Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, 25 March, during the Celebration of Penance that he will preside over at 5pm in St Peter's Basilica.
The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, said in a statement: “The same act, on the same day, will be performed in Fatima by Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, papal almoner,” who is being sent there by the Pope.
Consecrations of Russia to Mary
After the Fatima apparitions there were various acts of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Pope Pius XII, on 31 October 1942, consecrated the whole world, and on 7 July 1952 he consecrated the peoples of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Apostolic Letter Sacro vergente anno:
“Just as a few years ago we consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mother of God, so now, in a most special way, we consecrate all the peoples of Russia to the same Immaculate Heart. - Pope Pius XII”
On 21 November 1964, Pope St Paul VI renewed the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart in the presence of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council.
Pope St. John Paul II composed a prayer for what he called an 'Act of Entrustment' to be celebrated in the Basilica of St Mary Major on 7 June 1981, the Solemnity of Pentecost.
Our Lady’s Love
When Our Lady appeared at Fatima she asked for the faithful to live the First Saturday devotions and for Russia to be consecrated to her.
“When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.”
The consecration was done by St. John Paul II, as Lucia, the visionary confirmed. In 1989 Lucia wrote that the consecration “has been done just as Our Lady asked, on March 25, 1984.”
What is a Marian Consecration? It means “entrusting one’s body, soul, possessions, works, and entire life to the protection, guidance, and intercession of Our Lady.”
The history of this practice begins with Jesus Himself. He entrusted His beloved disciple, John, to his mother Mary while He was on the Cross (John 19:26-27). Meanwhile, Christians have asked Mary to pray for and help them since the earliest days of the Church.
The act of consecrating oneself to Jesus’ Mother became more formal in the 1600s:
Consecrations, of oneself or of a family, or in this case, countries, can be repeated and renewed as often as the faithful wish.
An act of consecration means a spiritual entrustment and many Catholics consecrate themselves to the Sacred Heart, to St. Joseph, to the Archangel Michael, as well as to Our Lady or even other saints.
Please pray for Ukraine and Russia