Consecration of Russian and Ukraine

03-27-2022Letter from the PastorFr. Don Kline, V.F.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Friday, the Church celebrated the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The Holy Father, Pope Francis, called on Christians the world over to pray in unity with the Church for peace in Ukraine. For the past nine days, many throughout the world joined Pope Francis in praying a Novena to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which was completed Friday.

The Pope then led the world in prayer to consecrate both Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. In union with the universal Church, millions of faithful Catholics gathered to join our Holy Father in prayer for the intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which impels us to conform to the will of the Sacred Heart of her Son, Jesus Christ.

First a bit of history. In 1917, at the height of the First World War, Our Lady appeared to three shepherd children at Fatima, in Portugal. In a series of six apparitions, Our Lady of Fatima instructed St. Francisco, St. Jacinta, and Servant of God Lucia dos Santos to convey a message of prayer and repentance to the whole world.

Our Lady also instructed that Russia should be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, lest the growing scourge of atheistic communism in Russia would spread to the whole world. Pope Pius XII did indeed consecrate the whole world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart in 1942, and he renewed that consecration in 1952, specifically naming Russia. Pope Paul VI again renewed that consecration in 1964, but through all those consecrations, there remained some question as to whether the consecrations had been speci7ic enough to Russia to satisfy Our Lady of Fatima’s instruction.

Finally, on March 25, 1984, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, 38 years ago, Pope St. John Paul II con7irmed the consecration of Russia and the whole world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. Pope St. John Paul II had a deep devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. He had been shot in an assassination attempt on May 13, 1981 - the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, and he attributed his survival to the prayers of Our Lady. I have seen the very bullet that had once been lodged near the Pope’s heart is now incorporated into the crown of the famous statue of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.

The Pope had that same statue brought to Rome on that day, 38 years ago on Friday, and there he again consecrated all the world, including Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Therefore, Pope Francis had chosen the Feast of the Annunciation, in this time of crisis in Russian and Ukraine, as the day to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.

May we also continue to pray for Poland, which is caring for over two million Ukrainian refugees.