8 facts about the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Virgin that Pope Francis will do

Jasjot Singh

On Tuesday the 15th, the Vatican announced that on March 25 Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Given the news, many people have wondered what this historic event means and why it is important for the universal Church. Therefore, here we share 8 data that will help you better understand this topic:

1. What does “consecration” mean?

The word “consecration” means to be reserved for a holy purpose. A person or nation that is consecrated is reserved for a holy purpose. The word “entrust” is often used as a synonym for consecrate.

The Congregation for Divine Worship of the Vatican defines the consecration to the Virgin Mary as the “conscious recognition of the singular position that Mary of Nazareth occupies in the Mystery of Christ and of the Church, of the exemplary and universal value of her evangelical testimony, of the confidence in his intercession and the efficacy of his patronage.”

Pope Saint John Paul II, who consecrated the entire Church and the world to Mary three times during his pontificate, taught that by consecrating ourselves to Mary we accept her help to offer ourselves completely to Christ.

Colin Donovan, EWTN’s vice president of theology, told CNA, the ACI Group’s English agency, that consecration “is a charge and also an appeal to God.”

“The encomienda here is the fact that we lay ourselves, our hearts, prayers and wishes at Our Lady’s feet,” he said. This “serves the purposes of God, because it elevates the Virgin in the mind of the Church and, it is hoped, in the mind of the world; and it is a call to God for our particular needs”.

two. Why Russia will be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

In her apparitions in 1917 to the three little shepherds in Fatima (Portugal), the Virgin Mary asked that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart.

In her apparitions, the Virgin revealed a secret, the second part of which was a declaration that the First World War would end, as well as a prediction that another war would begin during the pontificate of Pius XI if people continued to offend God and Russia was not. consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The Servant of God Sister Lucía Dos Santos, one of the three visionaries of Fatima, recounted that the Virgin Mary told her: “If you attend to my requests, Russia will convert and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world promoting wars and persecutions of the Church. The good ones will be martyred, the Holy Father will have to suffer a lot, several nations will be annihilated’”.

“But in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted and the world will enjoy a period of peace,” he added.

After the revelation of the secret, there was some controversy as to whether various consecrations of Russia carried out by later pontiffs met the requirements established by the Virgin.

But in a letter written in 1989, Sister Lucia confirmed that Pope Saint John Paul II granted Mary’s request for the consecration of Russia in 1984. At that time, Ukraine and Russia were part of the Soviet Union.

Other authorities, including the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, have also claimed that the consecration was completed to the satisfaction of the Servant of God Sister Lucia.

Donovan said that both St. John Paul II “and the mystic, Sister Lucy, weren’t sure at first, because he hadn’t mentioned Russia by name, but by allusion; however, she confirmed it with the Virgin, who told her that yes, God had accepted it and would fulfill her promise to her. Furthermore, he said that Sister Lucia confirmed several times, including in person, that Maria’s request had been granted.

3. What is the Immaculate Heart of Mary?

The Immaculate Heart of Mary is a devotion that symbolizes her perfect will to God expressed in her ‘fiat’. Mary’s heart is usually depicted with seven wounds and pierced by a sword. The early devotion was exemplified by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, but the modern devotion was founded by Saint John Eudes, a 17th-century French priest.

The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary was first observed by Saint John Eudes and received papal approval in the early 19th century. In 1944, the Marian feast was placed in the General Roman Calendar for August 22, the Day of the Octave of the Assumption of the Virgin.

Four. Was the consecration of Ukraine requested from the Pope?

Yes, the Catholic bishops of the Latin rite of Ukraine asked Pope Francis to do the consecration, in the midst of the Russian invasion of their country.

The Catholic Bishops of the Latin Rite of Ukraine; that is, the bishops who lead the country’s Roman Catholics sent a letter to Pope Francis on March 2 asking him to “publicly perform the act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary of Ukraine and Russia, as requested by the Blessed Virgin in Fatima”.

5. Why consecrate Ukraine and Russia now?

Donovan explained that “consecration is always a good thing” and that the ongoing war is “a context that is sufficient in itself” to justify consecration to Mary.

6. Why will the consecration be on March 25?

Donovan pointed out that the Marian feast of the Annunciation, held on March 25, is a prominent celebration in the Catholic Church, and also recalled that Saint Louis de Montfort recommended this special date to make the personal consecration to Mary.

“All the prerogatives of the Virgin come from the fact that from all eternity, God chose her to be the mother of the Word made flesh; that is the central Marian dogma of the Church,” Donovan said.

“I think that’s the perfect day, Saint John Paul II chose to do it on that day, and I think it’s a good day for anyone to do their personal consecration or for Pope Francis to do this. [consagración]”, he added.

7. Is this the first time Russia has been consecrated to Mary?

No, Russia has been consecrated before and, in fact, the whole world has also been consecrated.

For example, Pope Pius XII consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 31, 1942, and Pope Saint John Paul II renewed that consecration on May 13, 1982, again on March 25, 1984, and once more on October 8, 2000.

In October 2013, Pope Francis renewed the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and dedicated his pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima.

8. Why is there so much controversy over the consecration of Russia?

Although Donovan did not speak about the motivations of the people, he considered that some of them are based on “taking the Fatima message seriously.” In addition, he said that putting aside the judgment of the Church, going to the text and saying that the consecration of Russia was not done, “I think that keeps God at a level that … cannot be generous.”

“In his generosity, God accepted this, and we saw the fruits in the five years after the consecration [de Rusia en 1984]of the fall of the Soviet Union and the restoration of the nation of Russia”, he concluded.

Translated and adapted by Cynthia Pérez. Originally posted on CNA.

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