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 Many are familiar with Our Lady’s emphasis at Fatima for us to say the Rosary, which she asked us to say at each of her apparitions, and to wear the Brown Scapular for which she said “The Scapular and the Rosary are inseparable.” Perhaps more are familiar with the Miracle of the Sun that was understood by the people, as Our Lady had promised, to be the seal, the guarantee that in fact the three children were telling the truth about the apparitions. But not as many are familiar with Our Lady’s concerns about Russia and the spread of communism.


  During her third apparition on July 13, 1917 Our Lady showed the children a vision of Hell where the souls of poor sinners go. She then said: “To save them God wills to establish throughout the world the devotion to My Immaculate Heart. If people will do what I tell you, many souls will be saved, and there will be peace. But if they do not stop offending God, another and worse war will break out in the reign of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that it is the great sign that God gives you, that He is going to punish the world for its crimes by means of war, hunger, persecution of the Church and of the Holy Father.”


  Our Lady then said: “To forestall this, I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If they heed my requests, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, she shall spread her errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecutions of the Church; the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated; in the end My Immaculate Heart shall triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to Me, which will be converted, and some time of peace will be given to the world.”


  On June 13, 1929, Our Lady lived up to her promise to come back to ask for the Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart. In this vision, Our Lady was accompanied by a most unique vision of the Blessed Trinity which, as the Miracle of the Sun, was absolutely unique in the history of the world.

Our Lady came to Sister Lucia at her convent at Tuy, Spain while she was praying during the Holy Hour of Adoration and said:

“The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”


  Throughout her life, Sister Lucia remained steadfast that Our Lady did not ask for the Pope to consecrate the world, but Russia.


  Eight popes had the opportunity to perform this consecration, but did any of them do so exactly to the letter as Our Lady asked? Let’s take a very brief look at what each of these eight popes actually did:


Pius XI - The first pope was Pius XI who served from 1922-1939. He consecrated the human race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (which Leo XIII had done before him). However, he did not consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as requested by Our Lady. Pius XI was well aware of the Communist revolutions underway in Russia, Mexico and Spain as he had pointed out that each one had unleashed a horrible attack upon the Church. Knowing about the persecution going on in Russia, one can only wonder why he did not make the consecration that Our Lady requested. Could it have been that Communist sympathizers, especially Freemasons, had infiltrated the Vatican around this time? Is it possible that Pius XI had been “badly informed” about Our Lady’s request to consecrate Russia”

Pius XII - The second pope was Pius XII who served from 1939-1958. He was a man of great courage and even survived an assassination attempt on his life. He was a deeply Marian pope and on November 1, 1950, he solemnly proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the belief that Mary was assumed body and soul into heaven at the end of her days on earth. In 1954, he instituted the Feast of the Queenship of Mary and directed that there be a renewal of the consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary every year on this feast day, August 22, for she is the Queen of the World.


  During his tenure, Pius XII actually performed three consecrations. In Portugal on October 31, 1942, urged by the requests of Sister Lucia, Blessed Alexandrina and the bishops of Portugal, he consecrated the world with special mention of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary but only the bishops of Portugal joined in this consecration. Six weeks later, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8th), he repeated the consecration at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome but only a limited number of bishops were present. Ten years later, on July 7, 1952, Pius XII explicitly consecrated the people of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Unfortunately, the world’s bishops did not participate, and so it also failed to fulfill our Lady’s request for Russia’s conversion.


John XXIII - The third pope was John XXIII who served from 1958-1963. He did not attempt a full collegial consecration (that is one with all of the bishops of the world) of Russia. He did surprise the world by convoking the Second Vatican Council.


Paul VI - The fourth pope was Paul VI who served from 1963-1978 while inheriting the leadership of the Second Vatican Council. On November 21, 1964, he recalled the consecration to Mary made by Pius XII on October 31, 1942, and personally renewed this consecration to her. However, he did not use the opportunity of the Second Vatican Council, which gathered all the bishops together in one place, to make the collegial consecration requested by Our Lady at Fatima. On May 13, 1967, the 50th anniversary of Our Lady’s first apparition at Fatima, he called for national, diocesan and individual consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


John Paul I - The fifth pope was John Paul I who served only 33 days after being elected on August 26, 1978. His sudden death, the apparent result of a heart attack, led to rumors of foul play.


John Paul II - The sixth pope was John Paul II who served from 1978-2005. He has been credited with helping to end the Communist rule in his native Poland as well as the rest of Europe. He was shot in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981, the 64th anniversary of Our Lady’s first apparition at Fatima. The surgeons operated on him for 5.5 hours and were successful in saving his life . A a result he was filled with immense gratitude to Our Lady of Fatima for saving his life and he immediately thought of consecrating the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. John Paul II then composed a prayer which he called an “Act of Entrustment” from which he, in imitation of Pius XII, consecrated the whole world. Russia is mentioned by a special reference but without being mentioned by name. Because this consecration was not done in union with all the bishops of the world, it did not completely fulfill Our Lady’s request for the conversion of Russia. However, John Paul II would repeat his prayer of consecration of the whole world twice more.


  As an act of special gratitude, John Paul II went to Fatima on May 13, 1982, to thank Our Lady personally at her Shrine for saving his life and to repeat the Act of Entrustment (consecration of the world). It was exactly one year after the attempted assassination. However once again, this consecration did not properly fulfill the request of Our Lady for collegial union with all the bishops, according to Sister Lucia who said the following: “In the act of offering of May 13, 1982, Russia did not appear as being the object of the consecration. And each bishop did not organize in his own diocese a public and solemn ceremony of reparation and Consecration of Russia. Pope John Paul II simply renewed the consecration of the world executed by Pius XII on October 31, 1942. From this consecration we can expect some benefits, but not the conversion of Russia. Sister Lucia then concluded, “The Consecration of Russia has not been done as Our Lady demanded it. I was not able to say it previously because I did not have the permission of the Holy See.”


  Pope John Paul II realized that without the bishops joining him for the 1982 consecration, he would once again need to make the consecration. On March 25, 1984, John Paul II made the collegial consecration at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome (with numerous cardinals and bishops, who were personally present, as well as in union with all the bishops throughout the world), and while kneeling before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima that, at his request, had been specially sent from the Fatima Chapel of the Apparitions in the Cova de Iria.


  At this consecration in 1984, there were 250,000 people present, when John Paul II performed another consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart. Immediately after he pronounced the words of consecration, however, he departed from his prepared text and addresses Our Lady with this petition: “Enlighten especially the peoples of which You Yourself are awaiting our consecration and confiding.”


  On October 8, 2000, with 1500 bishops in St. Peter’s Square, John Paul II once again mentioned the world, but not Russia, in an “entrustment” of the world to Mary, failing once again to specifically consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, as requested by Our Lady.


Benedict XVI - The seventh pope was Benedict XVI who served from 2005-2013. He made an important visit to Fatima in May 2010 in which he said: “We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete.” ... “Mankind has succeeded in unleashing a cycle of death and terror, but failed in bringing it to an end.” On May 12, 2010, Benedict XVI entrusted the world’s priests to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


 At the end of his Mass on May 13, 2010, before an estimated 500,000 people at the Cova da Iria, he said the prophetic mission of Fatima is incomplete because: first, Our Lady’s message at Fatima, which contains fundamental truths of our faith, is still guiding and encouraging the Church in her struggles; and second, we have not yet seen the glorious triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She has promised us it will come, the victory of the woman over the dragon portrayed in the book of Revelation. Perhaps the statement of Benedict XVI that best sums up his pastoral advice regarding Fatima is “Learn the message of Fatima! Live the message of Fatima! Spread the message of Fatima!


  At the age of 85, Benedict XVI announced that he would be resigning on February 29, 2013. He did not consecrate Russia as Our Lady requested that it be done.


Francis I - The eighth pope was Francis I who began serving as Pope on March 13, 2013. At that time, there was excitement that Francis I would perform the consecration exactly as requested by Our Lady. Unfortunately, he did not. On August 13, 2013, he announces that he has invited the Catholic bishops to accompany him in consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in a solemn ceremony in Rome on the coming October 13, 2013. This actually turned out to be nothing more than yet another vague act of “entrustment” in which nothing was consecrated, not even the world is mentioned, and there is no reference at all to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


  On March 21, 2022, once again there was great excitement as Francis I announced in a letter, that he would perform a consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 2022, the Feast of the Annunciation. In the letter was an invitation to each Bishop, or equivalent in law, together with his priests, to join in the act of consecration. Here is the invitation that was sent:


  “I ask you to join in this Act by inviting the priests, religious and faithful to assemble in their churches and places of prayer on 25 March, so that God’s Holy People may raise a heartfelt and choral plea to Mary our Mother. I am sending you the text of the prayer of consecration, so that all of us can recite it throughout that day, in fraternal union.”


  Thanks be to God for the consecration which Francis I and many bishops offered to Our Lady on Her great feast of the Annunciation. So many elements of the Fatima request came together almost effortlessly, after decades of objections and protests that it could ever happen again.


  The text of the prayer of consecration, released with the Pope’s letter to the Bishops, runs just over 1,000 words. The crucial portion of the text appears towards the end and 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. Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love. Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world.”


  In order to properly evaluate this consecration made by Francis I, it is necessary to recall the specific instructions Our Lady gave to Sister Lucia on June 13, 1929 at her convent in Tuy, Spain, concerning the consecration, when she returned as she had promised 12 years earlier at Fatima:


  “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make and to order that in union with him and at the same time all the bishops of the world would make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to convert it because of this day of prayer and worldwide reparation.”


  Thus, the requested consecration includes several specific conditions:


· It must be (1) the Pope who publicly performs the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary - hence, (2) he must name Russia explicitly as the object of consecration.



· The Pope (3) must “order ... all the bishops of the world”: to “make the consecration of Russia” to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart (4) “in union with him and at the same time”.


· In order for the consecration to actually “convert” Russia, (5) the public ceremony must involve a conspicuous “day of prayer and worldwide reparation.”


  Based on the official documents quoted above, as well as the events of March 25, we know that Francis I publicly performed the consecration and explicitly named Russia as an object of consecration - the first time a pope has ever named Russia during a public consecration ceremony.


  However, we also know that he did not order but only invited all the bishops of the world to participate. While many of them did respond to his request, we do not yet know if a large majority of Catholic bishops (i.e., a number approaching moral unanimity) participate in what Our Lady specified must be a collegial act. Since the Pope did not initiate a system for confirming bishops’ participate, this is factually difficult to determine. Immediately following the consecration, Catholic News Agency reported that “every U.S. diocese participated in one form or another.” Nevertheless, Sister Lucia was clear on this point, emphasizing multiple times over a period of more than 40 years that the bishops must participate in union with the Pope.




  Our Lord tells us in the Gospel, “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matt. 7:16). While He was speaking about discerning between true and false shepherds, the same principle can be applied to human acts and whether or not they conform to God’s will, including the recent consecration.


  What is the fruit for which we should look? Our Lady herself told us: “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.”


  The conversion of Russia (meaning a return to Catholic unity) and a subsequent period of peace are identified by Our Lady as the direct fruits of the proper consecration of Russia. If these fruits fail to manifest in the relatively near future (i.e., months to years), we will know that God and Our Lady still await the consecration which will finally yield those miraculous fruits.


  In the meantime, let us heed Our Lord’s instruction to “watch and pray” (Mark 13:33).




Catholic Family News, Consecration of Russia and Ukraine: Report and Analysis, by Matt Gaspers,



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