After 105 years, the consecration of Russia, to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, is finally scheduled to happen in the way she requested. When Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, spoke to the three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, she requested a number of things. One of them was that the pope consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
The popes have known about this for almost as long, and as yet, while many consecrations have happened, none have been according to what Our Lady asked, in the way that she asked. What was considered the last consecration, by Pope Saint John Paul II in 1984, was not according to Our Lady’s request because he did not consecrate Russia by name. He simply consecrated “the world” and “those nations Our Lady requested.” I’m not going to criticize Pope Saint John Paul II for this. Suffice it to say that Cold War politics were thick in 1984, and he was under tremendous pressure from his advisors not to do anything that they thought might offend ecumenical relations with the Russian Orthodox Church.
Sister Lucia (1907-2005), the eldest of the three Fatima seers, reported that the 1984 consecration was accepted in heaven, and we have no valid reason to doubt her words on this. Seven years after that consecration the Soviet Union collapsed, which was a major component of the “errors of Russia” that Our Lady warned of. However, that doesn’t change the fact that the consecration was never done the way Our Lady asked, and so the nagging question that begs to be asked is this. If the consecration is done the way Our Lady requested, will that fulfill the requirement from heaven in full, and bring about more graces from God?
The “errors of Russia” are basically the manifestations of Marxism, namely communism, socialism and fascism. However, could there be more “errors of Russia” that Our Lady might be referencing. Could Russia’s confrontational position with the West be one of them? Could Russian Orthodoxy itself be another? By that I mean the Russian Orthodox Church not being in a state of full communion with Rome. I’m afraid only heaven knows right now, and those of us here on earth will just have to wait and see.
Of course, the “errors of Russia,” in the form of Marxism, have been spread around the world, and embraced everywhere in many different manifestations. Communism is still a problem in China, North Korea and Cuba. Socialism is a growing problem in many nations. Fascism is making a comeback in some places (including Ukraine), and even in Western Christendom (Europe, the Americas and Oceania), cultural Marxism is being adopted everywhere, and a growing number of people are accepting socialism. Will this coming consecration have an effect on that? Only heaven knows. Again, the rest of us are just going to have to wait and see.
Pope Francis has also promised to consecrate Ukraine along with Russia, and while that might seem like a distraction, it’s actually not. Ukraine was part of Russia in 1917 when Our Lady asked for the consecration in the first place. So consecrating Ukraine is consecrating Russia from the vantage point of 1917 when the request was made. Besides, while Our Lady did not specifically request the consecration of Ukraine (in addition to Russia), she also did not forbid the consecration of other countries along with Russia. She only asked that Russia be consecrated by name, and that is what Pope Francis is scheduled to do this Friday, on March 25, 2022.
All the bishops of the world have now received an official invitation by Pope Francis to join him in the consecration this Friday at 5pm Rome time. Because Our Lady did not specify how such a consecration is to be done, the pope only needs to extend the invitation, and that meets the request. Each bishop is free to join him spiritually, while in his own diocese, using whatever prayers or liturgical rites he chooses. In some dioceses the bishop may simply say a prayer privately. In other dioceses, he may say a prayer publicly. Still yet, in other dioceses, he may engage in an elaborate celebration. While in others, he may issue it as his intention before the celebration of mass.
We can join in this consecration by saying the rosary with that intention. We can also participate in any other way we wish, using special prayers, attending mass, or attending a specific consecration ceremony that might be organized by our priest or bishop.
Will the consecration bring an end to the current conflict in Ukraine? That appears to be what the pope hopes will happen. We are free to hope the same. I should advise, however, that answers to prayer are not always instantaneous. Sometimes they can take days, weeks, months or even years! What is important to remember is this. We should join the Holy Father in the consecration of Russia (and Ukraine) and then just trust that God has heard our prayer. He will answer when he is ready, in his own good time, when it is right.
Coincidentally, or maybe I should say providentially, my latest book The Last Days is set to be published on the same date as the consecration. This was not planned. I chose March 25, 2022 as the publication date months ago, because it is a Marian feast. The message of Fatima is discussed in Chapter 10 of the book.
Shane Schaetzel is an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through Anglicanism and was trained as a catechist through the University of Dayton – a Catholic Marianist Institution. Shane’s articles have been featured on LifeSiteNews, ChurchMilitant, The Remnant Newspaper, Forward in Christ, and Catholic Online. Shane is an author of Catholic books, which can be read here.