Francis “dedicated” Ukraine and Russia to the “Immaculate Heart of Mary,” according to a prayer that popes uttered only at the most serious moments of history.
In front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, installed in the heart of St. Peter’s Basilica, on Friday evening, March 25, on the feast of the Annunciation in the church, Pope Francis moved, very collected, regularly raising his eyes to this statue, to “sanctifiedRussia and Ukraine, slowly, almost in an undertone, uttering a long prayer for an end to this conflict and “get the world“. At the same time, Catholic bishops around the world and millions of believers said the same prayer.
“Mother of God and our Mother, we entrust and solemnly consecrate ourselves, the Church and all mankind, especially Russia and Ukraine, to Your Immaculate Heart. Hail this act, which we do with confidence and love, put an end to war, bring peace to the world.This key phrase completed a long plea for peace before the Mother of God.who brings peace“and what”always point to Jesus, Prince of Peace“.
This prayer, very rarely uttered by popes – only six times in a century and always on dramatic occasions – has its origins in the Church-recognized apparitions of Mary at Fatima in Portugal in 1917.
SEE ALSO – Pope Francis led the mass “for peace in Ukraine”
One of “see“Lucy wrote down this message that she would have received from the Virgin in the midst of the First World War:In order to prevent this war, I will come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the expiatory communion of the first Saturdays. If my demands are accepted, Russia will turn and there will be peace; otherwise it will spread its delusions all over the world, provoking wars and persecution of the Church.” The special envoy of the Pope in Fatima, the Polish Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, said at the same time, this Friday, the same prayer in Fatima, in front of the statue of the Virgin.
Introducing this prayer, Francis lamented that the world “forgot a lesson in the tragedies of the last century, the sacrifice of millions who died in world wars ” as well as, ” fed up with greed, we closed ourselves in nationalist interests (…)”. He then implored God through the Virgin: In this dark hour, come to help and comfort us (…) We are sure that you do not neglect our prayers and come to our aid, especially in times of trial.»
The Pope then referred to “an urgent need for your maternal intervention” before reciting a long litany to the Mother of God: “You, sea star, do not let us drown in the storm of war (…) Free us from war, save the world from the nuclear threat (…) Queen of the world, get peace for the world.He then asked for protection for “those who suffer and run under the weight of bombs” Where “forced to leave their homes and their country.»
Not a magic formula
Prior to this prayer, the pope held a penitential ceremony with confessions in which he confessed and a sermon in which he once again criticized:this odious war” out of which ” bombs are destroying the homes of many of our defenseless Ukrainian brothers and sisters“.
“We feel helpless and helpless (…) our strength is not enoughhe remarked. We cannot resolve the contradictions of history alone, not even the contradictions of our hearts. We need the wise and gentle power of God, which is the Holy Spirit. We need the Spirit of love, destroying hatred, quenching resentment, greed, awakening us from indifference (…)François emphasized: Because if we want the world to change, our hearts must first change. To do this today, let’s take ourselves by the hand of the Virgin.“.
He also once again explained the meaning of his gesture:In union with the bishops and believers of the whole world, I wish to solemnly offer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary everything that we are experiencing: to renew the consecration of the Church and all of humanity to Her and to dedicate to Her the special Ukrainian and Russian peoples, who, with filial love, honor her as their Mother.But, he noted,it is not a magic formula, but a spiritual act. This is a gesture of complete trust of children who, in the hardships of this cruel and senseless war that threatens the world, resort to the help of their Mother, instilling fear and pain in Her Heart, entrusting themselves to Her.»