From Fort Worth to Eastern Europe: How you can participate in the Act of Consecration

by Michelle McDaniel

North Texas Catholic

Pope Francis prays in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this file photo. This week he invited all Catholics to join him in praying an Act of Consecration for Russia and Ukraine on March 25. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)Pope Francis prays in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this file photo. This week he invited all Catholics to join him in praying an Act of Consecration for Russia and Ukraine on March 25. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)
Pope Francis prays in front of a statue of Our Lady of Fatima during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this file photo. This week he invited all Catholics to join him in praying an Act of Consecration for Russia and Ukraine on March 25. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, pool)


Because of the tragic events in Ukraine, Pope Francis will lead an Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 2022, the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The Holy Father has invited all of the world’s bishops, priests, and laity to participate in the Act of Consecration at a time that coincides with the consecration in Rome.

Bishop Michael Olson has accepted Pope Francis’ invitation. But what does this mean for the faithful?
 

What is the Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine?

This consecration, an act of spiritual entrustment, is a powerful devotional response to the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine. This prayer will be led by Pope Francis, in it, he will entrust Ukraine and Russia to Mary for her protection and help.
 

How do I participate?

You’re invited to pray with Bishop Olson on March 25 at St. Patrick Cathedral after the 12:05 p.m. Mass. This will happen at the same time that Pope Francis is conducting his consecration in St. Peter’s Basilica.
 

What if I can’t attend?

Bishop Olson, echoing the invitation of Pope Francis for all Catholics to join in the Act of Consecration, has encouraged the faithful of the diocese, if unable to attend, to assemble in their churches to pray the Act of Consecration for Russia and Ukraine on March 25. Local Catholics can also watch the consecration and join in the prayer via livestream on the diocesan website, fwdioc.org.
 

What will this look like?

On Friday March 25 after the 12:05 p.m. Mass, Bishop Olson will lead the congregation in a prayer sent by Pope Francis to all the bishops. Bishop Olson will lead this prayer in the English translation, and it will be interpreted for the deaf. You may join in the consecration in person at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, via livestream at fwdioc.org, or from your home parish or a place of prayer. This prayer beseeches Mary, turning to her for help. It conveys repentance and asks for her guidance despite our sins. Begging for her intercession, this prayer asks that Mary, as the Queen of Heaven, help restore God’s peace to the world and especially to Russia and Ukraine.

You can download the full English translation of the prayer here.
 

Has an Act of Consecration happened before? Why?

Mary appeared to three shepherd children at Fatima in 1917 with a message encouraging prayer and repentance, as well as a request for Russia’s consecration to her.

She said: “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 good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.”

The message finishes on a lighter note: “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”

Since this message, Russia has been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary four times.

  1. Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the eve of All Saints Day in 1942, in the midst of World War II.
     
  2. In 1952, Pope Pius XII issued an apostolic letter entrusting Russia and her people to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
     
  3. Pope Paul VI renewed the consecration of the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the conclusion of the third session of the Second Vatican Council in November of 1964. He sent a golden rose to Fatima to commemorate the event.
     
  4. St. John Paul II carried this out in 1984, leading the world’s bishops in the consecration of Russia and the world. Despite controversy surrounding the event, according to the Vatican, “Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished.”

Because of the tragic events in Ukraine, Pope Francis will lead an Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 2022, the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The Holy Father has invited all of the world’s bishops, priests, and laity to participate in the Act of Consecration at a time that coincides with the consecration in Rome.

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