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Russian Bishops: Consecration to Mary is prayer, not magic

Russia's Catholic Bishops hail Pope Francis' decision to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, recalling that consecration to Our Lady is an act of faith and prayer, and not recourse to some sort of magic.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Following Pope Francis' announcement that he will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Bishop Clemens Pickel, of Saratov, Russia, said the Bishops of Russia, who have just ended their plenary assembly, are "happy that he has decided to do this."

Speaking to Vatican News, Bishop Pickel noted that Russian Bishops are now planning for this Act of Consecration, focusing on helping the Russian faithful understand it well.

"The important thing is that we ourselves pray along and that it is about our hearts," he said, adding that "Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is not magic; it is prayer."

“We want to ask Our Lady with her heavenly power that the shedding of blood may stop, as soon as possible.”

Every consecration is a dedication to Christ, Bishop Pickel continued. "And so we want to entrust Russia and Ukraine to Mary: to her heart."

Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of Moscow, the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference in the Russian Federation, said Mary's heart is "the virgin land from which every country is born, because every country, every people is promised or fulfilled in Christ."

The Archbishop then noted that carrying out this Act of Consecration lends "a great strength of faith" to the Pope's recent appeals for peace.

“Celebrating an Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is to express that faith, hope and charity are the normal, real conditions for peoples to truly live together.”

Marian Consecration of Russia and Ukraine on 25 March

Pope Francis wishes to place the people of Ukraine and Russia under the protection of Mary, the Mother of God, with a special liturgical act.

He therefore will consecrate the two countries to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at a penitential celebration on 25 March at 5pm (Rome time) in St Peter's Basilica.

The same rite will be performed on the same day by the Papal Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, in the Portuguese Marian shrine of Fatima.

In both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, 25 March is the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord to Mary. The Marian apparitions in Fatima spoke, among other things, of Consecration of Russia to the Mother of God.

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16 March 2022, 13:31