It has been announced throughout the world that this Friday, March 25, Pope Francis will celebrate the Act of Consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. This Act of Consecration will take place during the Celebration of Penance at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The same Act of Consecration will be carried out on the same day by Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner, at the Marian Shrine in Fatima, Portugal. Catholics associate this Act of Consecration with the apparitions of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima, Portugal. In 1917, Our Lady of Fatima said that in order to put an end to war and the persecution of the Church, we must pray and consecrate Russia to her Sacred Heart.


Holy Hour and Mass at The Cathedral

Bishop David P. Talley will join Pope Francis and his brother Bishops around the world for the Act of Consecration of Ukraine and Russia this Friday at our Mother Church, The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, at 11:00am (central time). All are invited to attend the Holy Hour. As an act of Communion with our Holy Father and in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and Russia who suffer from the current violence of war, after the Holy Hour, Bishop Talley will celebrate Mass, at The Cathedral at 12pm (noon).


Feast of Annunciation at Holy Rosary

Also, on Friday, all are welcome to celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation of Our Lord at our Third Annual Diocesan Pro-Life Mass at our Holy Rosary Catholic Church with Bishop Talley at 7:00pm. The celebration coincides with the 27th Anniversary of the papal encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). This prophetic document on the dignity and inviolability of every human life was put forth by Pope John Paul II on the Annunciation in 1995. The intimate connection of these two events highlights a profound reality about the identity and value of every human person. The evening is being sponsored by the Respect Life Committee at Holy Rosary.


Acts of Consecration History

The Day of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord was chosen for the Act of Consecration. In the apparition of July 13, 1917, in Fatima, Our Lady had asked for the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, stating that if this request were not granted, Russia would spread “its errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecution of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be destroyed.”


After the Fatima apparitions there were various Acts of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope Pius XII, on October 31, 1942, Consecrated the whole world, and on July 7, 1952 he consecrated the people 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.”


On November 21, 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 June 7, 1981, the Solemnity of Pentecost. In June 2000, The Holy See revealed the third part of the secret of Fatima. At the time, the then-Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, pointed out that Sister Lucia, in a letter of 1989, had personally confirmed that this solemn and universal Act of Consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wanted: “Yes, it was done,” wrote the visionary, “just as Our Lady had asked, on March 25, 1984”.


Ukrainian Major Archbishop Statement

His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop for the Ukrainian Catholic Church throughout the world recently stated: “This is a spiritual act long awaited by the Ukrainian people.” Other church leaders around the world have observed that it is meaningful that Pope Francis is celebrating the Act of Consecration of both Ukraine and Russia to the care of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. It is her Son, the Lord Jesus, who tells us: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

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