VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) – The Vatican released the wording of Pope Francis’ consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. While the prayer avoids mentioning either Our Lady of Fatima or communism, it refers to Russia by name, along with humanity, and has been described as “contain[ing] the necessary elements.”
The text was revealed by Father John Stone and then the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis before being shared by Vatican journalist Diane Montagna. It refers to a consecration and entrustment of “the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine.”
The key sentence reads: “Therefore, 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.”
JUST IN: #Vatican sends letter from #PopeFrancis & Act of Consecration of Russia & Ukraine to bishops. It reads: “Therefore, Mother of God & our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust & consecrate ourselves, the Church & all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine.” pic.twitter.com/AMSasMiw4O
— Diane Montagna (@dianemontagna) March 22, 2022
While the Ukrainian bishops had asked the Pope to “perform the act of consecration to the Sacred Immaculate Heart of Mary of Ukraine and Russia, as requested by the Blessed Virgin in Fatima,” the text of the prayer appears to be somewhat more vague than this – not mentioning Fatima or the errors of Russia – although still containing the key components necessary.
The text mirrors that used by Pope John Paul II in 1984, when he made an “entrustment” of the world to the Immaculate Heart, although he did not name Russia specifically. The Polish Pope’s prayer reads: “a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated.” That action was originally deemed by Sr. Lucia to have not fulfilled the conditions set out by Our Lady.
Pope Francis’ consecration text is an improvement on his predecessor’s, and does indeed mention Russia by name, as well as using the term “consecrate.”
In his accompanying letter, Pope Francis explained how “also accepting numerous requests from the people of God he wishes to entrust in a way special to the Madonna the nations in conflict.”
The consecration is “a gesture of the universal church,” writes the Pontiff, “which in this dramatic moment lifts up to God, through His mother and ours, the cry of pain of those who suffer and implore an end to violence, and to entrust the future to humanity to the Queen of peace.” “Therefore, I invite you to join in this act by summoning religious priests to the people of God.”
Welcomed by Catholics as fulfilling Our Lady’s request
The consecration prayer has been met with praise by Catholics, who have welcomed the specific mention of Russia, in stark contrast to John Paul II’s 1984 prayer.
With the Holy See Press Office having already confirmed that Pope Francis had indeed asked, although not ordered, the bishops of the world to join him in making the consecration, naming Russia in the prayer itself was the aspect of Our Lady’s request that was unknown before today.
Fatima expert, lawyer and author John Salza, who has penned two books on Fatima, told LifeSiteNews that the text of the consecration “does contain the necessary elements.”
Russia (and Ukraine) are given pre-eminent importance due to the word ‘especially.’ Heaven did not provide the actual consecration formula and did not impose any negative conditions to my knowledge (meaning not to add other objects to the consecration).
We have been conditioned to react negatively to anything Pope Francis does, and understandably so. Perhaps this is God’s way of humbling the Church’s enemies, who are now mocking Francis for this formula.
He added, “This formula is not what I proposed in my own recommendation to Vatican sources, but it does contain the necessary elements (of course, all the bishops must also participate).”
Meanwhile, U.K. author and commentator Deacon Nick Donnelly also welcomed the prayer, calling it a “relief” to see the prayer in its current format.
“After the inexplicable failure of previous popes to meet the simple conditions set out by Our Lady for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, it is a relief to see that Pope Francis’ prayer intends to be an act of solemn consecration and mentions ‘Russia’ twice,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“My only regret is that the prayer of consecration has not been composed with the childlike simplicity that is the hallmark of Fatima and the messages of Our Lady. Why did Pope Francis think it appropriate to force his own personality and political preoccupations onto this long awaited response to God’s request? What is necessary is childlike obedience, not political agendas,” Deacon Donnelly closed.
‘We can hope for the best’
Christopher Ferrara, lawyer with the Thomas More Society and Fatima author, provided lengthy commentary to LifeSiteNews on the consecration, noting that it does meet the requirements but expressing misgivings about its content nonetheless.
“Predictably enough, the previously announced consecration of ‘Russia and Ukraine’ was watered down to an ‘entrustment’ and consecration of ‘ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine.’ Russia is thus not the sole object of the Consecration. Nor, quite shamefully, is there any mention of the Message of Fatima, the very source of the heavenly imperative of the Consecration,” he noted.
To that extent, the now nearly century-long farce continues: Pope after Pope after Pope, in ceremony after ceremony after ceremony, has somehow managed to avoid the simple act of consecrating Russia, by name, to the Immaculate Heart in unison with the world’s bishops, as Our Lady of Fatima requested. John Paul II alone conducted three “entrustment” ceremonies (1982, 1984, 2000) in which any specific mention of Russia was assiduously avoided and there was no organized worldwide episcopal participation. Only Pius XII mentioned “the peoples of Russia,” but then only in a papal bull issued in 1952, not a public ceremony in union with the Catholic episcopate.
However, Ferrara was hopeful that Pope Francis’ text was sufficient. “Yet with this latest attempt at a consecration of Russia there is reason for optimism,” he said.
“Barring any further meddling by Modernist papal advisors, the published text, which is being communicated to the worldwide episcopate with an invitation to invoke it at the appointed time, will finally link the words ‘consecrate’ and ‘Russia’ in a public declaration by the Pope, who will recite the operative words in union with as many of the world’s bishops who join him on Friday.”
He observed how “the repeated references to Mary as the Mother of God, Her Immaculate Heart, and Her divinely appointed roles as the Mother of all humanity and no less than the Queen of Heaven, are sure to provoke the ire of Protestants and liberal Catholics alike. No less dramatic is the ecumenically intolerable reference to Mary’s intercession as the means by which ‘God’s mercy be poured out on the earth.’”
“When all is said and done” Ferrara continued, “if the ceremony on Friday proceeds as planned, Russia will at least be named as an object, if not the object, of a papal consecration to the Immaculate Heart—a radically un-ecumenical act to be joined, one supposes, by a substantial number of the world’s bishops.”
“It seems to me that we can hope for the best, given that for the first time since Our Lady appeared to Sister Lucy at Tuy, Spain in 1929 to request the Consecration of Russia by the Pope and the world’s bishops precisely that is about to happen, albeit amidst a verbal jumble of other objects of the ceremony. We can only wait and see.”
‘Time of trial,’ but no mention of errors of Russia or communism
The “consecration” text opens by referring to “this time of trial” and how “we have strayed from that path of peace.”
While mentioning the suppression of “innocent lives,” the stockpiling of weapons and how “we have ravaged the garden of the earth with war,” the text completely avoids mentioning the errors of Russia or those of communism.
“The people of Ukraine and Russia, who venerate you with great love, now turn to you, even as your heart beats with compassion for them and for all those peoples decimated by war, hunger, injustice and poverty,” the prayer reads.
Referring to Mary’s fiat at the Annunciation, the prayer asks that “war may end and peace spread throughout the world.”
“We trust that, through your heart, peace will dawn once more. To you we consecrate the future of the whole human family, the needs and expectations of every people, the anxieties and hopes of the world.”
Making a veiled reference to the period of peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima, the text continues: “Through your intercession, may God’s mercy be poured out on the earth and the gentle rhythm of peace return to mark our days.”
Bishops around the world are now urged by the Pope to respond to his invitation and to join him in making the consecration of Russia and Ukraine on March 25.