Pope Francis touches a Marian statue after consecrating the world and, in particular, Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during a Lenten penance service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican March 25, 2022. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Now is time to turn to Mary

By  Paula Ducepec, Youth Speak News
  • March 30, 2022

It has been a month since the war in Ukraine began. Devastating stories and images have been shared on the news daily ever since.

On March 25, the feast day of the Annunciation of Mary, Pope Francis consecrated Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Consecration means “to make holy.” It is a dedication or an entrustment. The Pope invited Catholics to implore Mary to pray for us as the Mother of the Church.

His prayer read as follows: “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.” It adds: “Grant that war may end, and peace spread throughout the world.”

Francis’ prayer potentially fulfills a Fatima prophecy divulged to three Portuguese children 105 years ago, prophesying that consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary would convert Russia and cause peace to reign. Some say that Pope John Paul II’s consecration of Russia precisely 38 years ago to the day in 1984 did not fulfill this secret as he did not utter “Russia.” However, the writings of the one child Lucia, who became a nun, stated John Paul II did perform the prayer properly and thus fulfilled the prophecy.

Whether a prophetic period or not, this is an extraordinary moment for young Catholics.

Growing up in one of the safest countries in the world can disconnect us from the reality of conflict happening elsewhere.

But the Pope’s consecration can unify young believers worldwide through a specific cause and remind us we are all connected through God’s family.

The consecration marks an event that should be taken seriously and demand engagement. We can all come together in solidarity with those suffering from far away.

It can be one of the earnest ways that we can do to help out: pray. Because a war is happening on the other side of the world, we cannot just jump in and “sign up for the war.” There are more complications to this if ever this happens. One of the best things that we can do is to pray. We can be prayer warriors.

The term “prayer warriors” can have such a funny connotation. One may interpret it as a remote and impersonal thing that people can do in times of crisis. But in fact, this can be one of the most incredible acts that we can do as individuals.

We can pray for the people stuck in the middle of the war, the politicians making decisions for the lives of others, the people who initiated the war, the casualties of war, those who cannot see the direct effect of the war on them. There are a lot of things to pray for, and the consecration of the conflict can be one of the noblest things that we can do.

The consecration allows us to remember that we must turn everything to Mother Mary and her Son, Jesus Christ, in the bleakest moments. They are our refuge.

Many people are suffering from political miscalculations and selfish leaders. The destruction of peace is at its most sensitive, and we are merely holding our breath watching world leaders make their next moves.

At times of uncertainty we turn to the one we can rely on: Mary and her intercession to Jesus. We offer this time of uncertainty and our fears to Mary so that at this time, she accompanies us, especially in our prayers.

(Ducepec, 24, is a Bachelor of Science graduate of the University of Toronto.)

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.