Pope Francis to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to Immaculate Heart of Mary Pope Francis to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to Immaculate Heart of Mary 

Moscow Archbishop on consecration of Russia and Ukraine to Mary

The Archbishop of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow welcomes Pope Francis' decision to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, saying it is an invitation to conversion and to rediscover hope and peace.

By Amedeo Lomonaco

On Friday, March 25, Pope Francis will preside at the Penitential Celebration in St. Peter's Basilica. During the ceremony, he will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Speaking to Vatican News, the Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow says this act of consecration is an invitation to light the flame of hope in a time of darkness. The meaning of this consecration, Archbishop Pezzi adds, is "to convert our hearts to Christ."


The Pope has decided to put everything into Mary’s hands. What does this entrustment to Our Lady mean?

It is a dark period. What is needed when there is darkness? We need lights, at least small flames. The consecration is an invitation to light this flame of hope that has never been extinguished in our hearts, that has never been extinguished. This is also why the Pope can freely and forcefully address the whole Church and ask, in particular, that these flames of hope be rekindled in the peoples of Russia and Ukraine.

How has the Pope's desire to consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary been received by Catholics in Russia?

It was received with great enthusiasm. In Russia, the consecration to the Heart of Mary is very much felt among Catholics. Some years ago, on the occasion of a Marian year, I renewed the consecration of our diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. So I must say that this invitation was truly received as a gesture of support for our hope and, I would also say, as a gesture that has awakened or, that aims to awaken, our desire to be effective peacemakers through this consecration.

What is the meaning and significance of this act that Francis will perform on March 25 in Rome, while Cardinal Krajewski will do the same in Fatima?


I think it has a very symbolic and exhortative meaning. First of all, it seems significant in itself that the Pope has chosen to make this consecration in both Rome and Fatima. We know very well that in the fourth message (of Our Lady), that of July 1917, Mary spoke explicitly about the conversion of Russia. The meaning of this consecration is precisely that of converting our hearts to Christ, of placing Christ back in our lives. Christ is the Prince of Peace, the One who - as St. Paul says - reunited the divided peoples, gathered them into himself. And we know that the Immaculate Heart of Mary is exactly the way through which Our Lady participates in these sufferings of Christ that continue to hurt where there is no peace, where there is no friendship among men. In a certain sense, it is like the desire to entrust these peoples to what is most intimate in the Virgin and as a mirror of the Trinity - we could say - in the very heart of God. It is like an invitation to be caught up in this magnet of love that is the cross.

What is your appeal to the rulers of Russia and Ukraine?

My appeal is the one launched by Pope Francis. I would not like to add anything except what John Paul II said to the whole world and in particular to its rulers: "Do not be afraid of Christ." Paraphrasing, we could say that with Christ everything is possible, without Christ nothing is possible. So let us not be afraid, especially those who have more responsibility. We are not afraid of Christ, He does not judge us, He only invites us to do everything so that He can be at the center of relationships between men.

God always forgives, Jesus is always ready to welcome the artisans of peace...

This must never be forgotten. Pope Francis said in a recent television interview that forgiveness is the right of every man. I think this is not only true but, perhaps it is what is also most shocking for us; we are not so ready and, therefore, we must convert so that forgiveness becomes the first word. Christ loves perhaps more than all the peacemakers because the peacemaker is the one who lives of this forgiveness: he needs this forgiveness and is willing to offer it without limits to every other person.

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18 March 2022, 13:46