Bishop Alfred Schlert will join Pope Francis and bishops around the world in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The consecration will be a plea to God and to the Blessed Virgin Mary, in a time of great hardship, to intercede on behalf of the people of Ukraine to end the war.
Bishop Schlert will offer the prayers of consecration at Noon March 25 at the Cathedral of St. Catharine of Siena. The faithful are invited.
A Mass celebrated by Bishop Schlert will follow. The event will be livestreamed on AD Today.
“In this time of great need in the world and in Ukraine, it is appropriate for us to turn to our Blessed Mother and ask for her intercession with her Son for peace among nations and the conversion of hearts,” said Bishop Schlert.
Bishop Schlert will invite all priests of the Diocese to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in their parish churches at the same time he is doing so.
The consecration of Russia, done by previous Popes at critical times in world history, can be traced to visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary that three Portuguese children had in Fatima in 1917, the same year as the revolution that led to Communism in Russia.
Mary is said to have told the children that the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart would lead to the conversion of Russia, and to peace.
The Latin Rite bishops of Ukraine asked Pope Francis in early March to consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Vatican announced that the Pope will do so during the Celebration of Penance at 5 p.m. March 25 in St. Peter’s Basilica, which is noon Eastern Daylight Time. Simultaneously, Papal Envoy Cardinal Krajewski will do the same in Fatima.
March 25 is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Blessed Mother, the special feast day in the Church marking the Angel Gabriel’s appearance to Mary to inform her that she would be the mother of the Son of God, nine months before the Birth of Jesus on Christmas.