According to the Vatican News‘ Amedeo Lomonaco, on Friday, March 25, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, a decision welcomed by Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, saying it is an invitation to conversion and to rediscover hope and peace. But what does that mean exactly, and why is this significant? Pope St. John Paul II, who consecrated the entire Church and world to Mary three times during his pontificate, taught that by consecrating oneself to Mary, we accept her help in offering ourselves fully to Christ. Colin Donovan, vice president for theology at EWTN, says that consecration “is an entrustment and also an appeal to God. The entrustment here is the fact that we lay ourselves, our hearts, our prayers, our desires at the feet of Our Lady, and that serves God’s purposes because it elevates Our Lady in the mind of the Church, and hopefully in the mind in the world. And it’s an appeal to God for our particular needs.” But according to the New York Times’ Benedict Carey, praying may be hazardous to Ukraine
Previously, in an unprecedented gesture, Pope Francis visited the Russian embassy in Rome on Friday February 25, 2022 to express his concern over the war. According to the Associated Press, officials at the Vatican said they knew of no previous initiative by the pope to end a conflict in such a way. However, Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin characterized the Pope’s move as an impassive empty gesture. Perhaps Rubin is not aware that the Vatican cannot impose an effective no fly zone, something Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has aske NATO and the USA for multiple times. He has also asked for military aid. Something the Vatican is unable to provide.
According to Wikipedia, the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary was “allegedly” ordered in a Marian apparition by Our Lady of Fátima in 13 July 1917- emphasis mine. In her third apparition to the children of Fatima, in a vision to Lucia, Our Lady requested two things: the consecration of Russia, and the devotion of the Five First Saturdays of reparation. If these requests were heeded, she said, Russia would convert and there would be peace; if not, Russia would spread her errors throughout the world, another war would break out, and immense suffering would befall the Church and the world. The requests were not heeded, and the world endured the dreadful events of the 20th century: World War II, the Soviet oppression, the spread of communism and so on. Thus, Rubin and Carey, notwithstanding, the consecration of Russia plays a critical role to peace today. According to Wikipedia, The Vatican stated that Sister Lúcia declared to them in private correspondence on 8 November 1989 that the consecration offered by Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter’s Square on 25 March 1984 had been properly accomplished and was “accepted in Heaven”.
So, what is it? According to the Catholic Company, “what is certain is that the consecration of Russia is vitally important, and that we should pray hard for the Holy Father leading up to consecration day. We should also be fulfilling Our Lady’s other, equally critical request: the devotion of the Five First Saturdays.” Where the habit of the Five First Saturdays consists of the daily Rosary, receive Holy Communion, go to confession – according to Behavioral Economics Researcher, Dan Ariely
confessions works, in case Carey or Rubin asks. The Devotion also includes: say five decades of the Rosary, meditate for fifteen additional minutes on the Mysteries of the Rosary. This devotion must be done for Russia to be converted.