Consecration of Russia and Ukraine, and the Fatima Message

Fr Leonard E Dollentas

On Friday, March 25, 2022, Pope Francis presided over the Celebration of Penance at 5:00 pm at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.  At about 6:30 pm Rome time, praying before a statue of Mary that was loaned by the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima at San Vittoriano on the outskirts of Rome, the Pope said, “Mother of God and our mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine,” in pronouncing the act of consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The act of consecration was performed in communion with the local churches throughout the world. Pope Francis’ decision came in response to a request from the Latin rite bishops of Ukraine, posted on their website March 2, 2022. The bishops wrote: “We humbly ask Your Holiness to publicly perform the act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, of Ukraine and Russia, as requested by the Blessed Virgin in Fátima.” About 1% of the Ukrainian population are Latin rite Catholics. They are concentrated in the west of Ukraine, with six dioceses suffrages to the Archdiocese of Lviv. The largest of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches in Ukraine, in communion with Rome, is the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. They comprise about 9% of Ukraine’s 44 million population, which is predominantly Orthodox Christians.

The consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary fulfilled a request made by the Mother of God during one of the 1917 Marian apparitions. It was purportedly revealed to the Portuguese children that such a consecration would usher in a period of world peace. We may recall that the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed three secrets in the 1917 Fatima apparitions. The first part is the vision of Hell. Our Lady showed the three children a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Our Lady then explained that devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was a means to save souls from going to Hell. The second secret was a statement that World War I would end, and there was a prediction of another war that would start during the reign of Pius XI if people continued to offend God, and Russia was not consecrated to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. The third secret contains much apocalyptic imagery, including a vision of a pope who is shot. Many Fatima scholars believed that this vision had to do with the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II on May 13, 1981. Sister Lucia, one of the three Fatima visionaries, recalled in her memoirs that Our Lady asked for “the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays.” She said that Mary told her: “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.”

Colin Donovan, the vice president for theology at EWTN, said 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.” Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, welcomed the news of the consecration. “This is a spiritual act long awaited by the people of Ukraine. Since the beginning of Russian aggression in 2014, Ukrainian Catholics have been urgently requesting this act to prevent the worsening of the war and the dangers coming from Russia,” he said.

We urge our readers online to continue to pray for world peace. May the power of prayer and the intercession of our Blessed Mother bring peace to Russia and Ukraine. At Fatima, the Blessed Mother had these assuring words of comfort: “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.”