VATICAN — Pope Francis and bishops around the world have consecrated all humanity, “especially Russia and Ukraine,” to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and responding to a request particularly from Ukrainian bishops, Pope Francis announced that he would make the act of consecration on March 25.
The text of the prayer was sent to chanceries worldwide in advance of the pope’s act of consecration, so that bishops could join him that day.
On March 22, during a meeting of the diocese’s priests, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego joined with Auxiliary Bishops John Dolan and Ramón Bejarano and the priests in reciting the consecration prayer. In a memorandum, Bishop McElroy later asked all parishes to gather in prayer during the morning of March 25 to unite themselves with the pope and the consecration that day.
When Mary appeared to three shepherd children at Fatima, Portugal, in 1917 with a message encouraging prayer and repentance, she also asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
While popes, especially St. John Paul II in 1984, made acts of consecration, either “Russia” wasn’t mentioned out loud or the consecration wasn’t made in union with the world’s bishops, leading some people to think that the Fatima request had not been fulfilled. However, the last surviving visionary, Sister Lucia dos Santos, said St. John Paul had done so.
The text for Pope Francis’ consecration pleads with Mary to “accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love. Grant that war may end, and peace spread throughout the world.”
Information from The Southern Cross was added to this Catholic News Service report. See video and prayer at sdcatholic.org/consecration.