A bishop said the consecration depends on 'fervent national preparation' and urged Catholics to undertake Forty Days of prayer

Scotland is to be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the first time.

The act of consecration will be carried out by the country’s bishops at the national Marian shrine at Carfin on September 3.

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley has asked Catholics to take part in Forty Days of spiritual preparation for the event.

On his Facebook page he wrote: “I shall be doing it daily and warmly invite everyone of you to join me.

“The consecration depends on fervent national preparation. Please share (I rarely ask this but this is important).”

This year, the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Mary at Fatima, has seen a flurry of national consecrations to the Immaculate Heart.

In June Polish bishops and politicians consecrated the country’s Church to the Immaculate Heart. In February Cardinal Vincent Nichols re-consecrated England and Wales. (The original consecration was made in 1948 by Cardinal Bernard Griffin, the then Archbishop of Westminster.) Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, the leader of the Maronite Catholic Church, consecrated the entire Middle East to the Immaculate Heart in June.

Pope Francis consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart in October 2013.