Thomas Griffin 3/25/22
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“If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world.” – Mary at Fatima
On March 25th, as the world celebrates the Solemnity of the Annunciation, Pope Francis will consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. There is much history between papal consecrations and Russia. Consecrating Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart revolves around the apparition of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917.
Specifically, it is concerned with the secret of Fatima which specifically mentions consecrating Russia and First Saturday devotion. This was requested for viewing by Pope St. John Paul II following his assassination attempt in May 1981.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith notes: “Pope John Paul II immediately thought of consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and he himself composed a prayer for what he called an Act of Entrustment, which was to be celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major on 7 June 1981.”
His prayer on this particular day did not specifically mention Russia and he could not be there in person because he was still recovering from his injury from the assassination attempt. Therefore, he would gather on the Solemnity of the Annunciation in 1984 to fulfill, more directly, the request of the Blessed Mother.
Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, explains this event in his book, The Second Greatest Story Ever Told:
“On March 25, 1984, in St. Peter’s Square, with a crowd of about 200,000 of the faithful, with numerous bishops and cardinals present, in union with all the bishops throughout the world, and before the Fatima Shrine statue of Our Lady, Pope John Paul II solemnly consecrated the world and Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart as had been requested by Our Lady of Fatima.”
“However,” Fr. Gaitley continues “unfortunately, because the Pope did not explicitly say ‘Russia’ in his public prayer, choosing instead to use veiled references as Pius XII had done, some have argued that it did not count. But it did count because the Pope clearly implied Russia.”
Many have argued that Pope John Paul II’s consecration was not explicit enough to fulfill the desire of Our Lady of Fatima, but even Sister Lucia, who received words directly from the Blessed Mother herself, said of the consecration of 1984: “Yes. From that time, it is made!”
Yet again, the Church and the world are asking Mary for help. Today’s consecration is not an empty act that simply ought to make people feel better about a very difficult situation. The act is a worldwide movement to invoke the help of our Mother Mary.
She is ever present to her children. She doesn’t ask us to invoke her help because she is egotistical. The Blessed Mother simply knows that all who are near to her are made close to her Son.
Today, those committing violence are asked to consider a Mother’s look. And those experiencing pain are to know that Mary is intimately with them because she felt tormenting pain unlike any other person to ever live.
May Mary’s Immaculate Heart make us all more like who we were made to be.
Thomas Griffin teaches in the religion department at a Catholic high school on Long Island where he lives with his wife and son.
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