The World Will Join Pope Francis in Prayer This Friday
Bishops around the globe are encouraging their flocks to participate in the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Since Pope Francis announced the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, inviting bishops and their priests around the world to join him in the consecration and in prayer, responses have resounded from dioceses on every continent.
The act of consecration, led by Pope Francis, will be prayed on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. A simultaneous event will be occurring in Fatima, Portugal, where, in an apparition, Mary spoke of such a consecration the children seers in 1917.
Within the United States, many state dioceses have released statements indicating their support and involvement.
“We reaffirm the words of Pope Francis, who has been unceasing in his appeal to stop the war on Ukraine,” said the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. They went on to encourage donating to agencies serving Ukraine.
The Archdiocese of Chicago will host a Mass in communion with the consecration and follow it with a 30-minute Q&A detailing the refugee situation at the Polish border.
Canadian bishops have invited faithful Catholics to join in prayers for peace, specifically in a novena that began March 17. The Diocese of Saskatoon, similarly to Chicago, will host a noon Mass in union with the Vatican.
In Europe, countries further from the conflict have joined in committing to the consecration, as well.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, the primate of all Ireland, said in a tweet that he looks forward to participating and guided people to pray in the days leading up to the solemnity in preparation.
He later retweeted a prayer released by the Pope, invoking the intercession of St. Joseph, describing him as “you who experienced the suffering of those who must flee.”
Banding together, the presidents of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, and the Slovak Bishops’ Conference announced that they “joyfully welcome Pope Francis’ invitation.” They sent the press release during the European Catholic Social Days occurring in Bratislava.
From Latin America and the Caribbean, bishops shared their intention to join those spiritually involved in the consecration, too. In a translated summary of the statement, representatives invited “the Church of the continent so that on March 25, ‘the prayer for peace and universal brotherhood’ is redoubled and ‘we unite, once again, with the intentions of the Holy Father.’”
“We embrace our brothers and most vulnerable sisters and victims of violent and fratricidal actions,” the message said.
Their statement emphasizes “affection and filial communion with the Bishop of Rome,” ending with a teaching from 1 John, “God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God.”
Archbishop Valerian Okeke, from the Archdiocese of Onitsha in Nigeria, shared a call on Facebook for laypeople to join in the consecration. Addressing his “beloved brothers and sisters,” he repeated Pope Francis’s invitation. His post received more than 1,000 “likes.”
In Cape Town, Archbishop Stephen Brislin plans to join the Holy Father in a Mass consecrating Ukraine and Russia and will livestream the event on Facebook. The announcement included an image of Mary, wearing a blue veil and with her hand resting just above her immaculate, pierced heart.
The Permanent Council of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines decided to participate after a meeting on March 16. The secretary-general of the conference, Msgr. Bernardo Pantin, said the bishops will pray the same act as Pope Francis.
The conference also asked dioceses to hold a special second collection for those displaced by the war, as “an act of solidarity with the suffering people of Ukraine.”
Shared by the bishops and ordinaries of the Church of Kazakhstan, the same letter as the one used by Latin American bishops was addressed to the faithful of the Central Asian country, inviting them to join in the Pope’s celebration and consecration.
“According to the possibilities of each local reality,” it states, “it is possible to organize, at the same time, prayers in parishes or communities, to follow a live broadcast through the media, or simply to join spiritually and through prayer to this act which will lead us to the victory of peace and forgiveness.”
So, no matter where the faithful are in the world, they can participate and pray. EWTN will broadcast the consecration live at noon Eastern (5pm Rome time). You can watch on cable or online. The Register will also be carrying the livestream on our Facebook page.
As Pope Francis’ consecration prayer states, in part, “Queen of Peace, obtain peace for our world.”