FATIMA, Portugal — On Wednesday, nations from around the world can be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in a liturgy to be celebrated at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, built in the place where in 1916 and 1917 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three Portuguese children.

In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Portuguese bishops’ conference announced last week they would reconsecrate Portugal to Christ and Mary on the evening of March 25. Shortly after the announcement, the Spanish bishops’ conference requested that their country also be consecrated in the same liturgy.

The secretary general of the Portuguese bishops’ conference told ACI Digital, CNA’s Portuguese language news partner, that any other country can also join the initiative, simply by a request from its bishops’ conference to the bishops’ conference of Portugal.

During the March 25 liturgy, Cardinal Manuel Clemente, Patriarch of Lisbon, alongside Cardinal António Marto, diocesan bishop in Fatima, will lead the rosary, before consecrating the Iberian Peninsula, along with any other countries joining the initiative, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The global coronavirus pandemic has infected nearly 400,00 people, and killed more than 16,000 worldwide. In Portugal, more than 2000 have been infected and more than 20 have been killed. In neighboring Spain, more than 30,000 have been infected, and 2,200 have been killed.