March 24, 2022

Renewal of the Consecration of Ukraine to the Mother of God


On March 15 the Vatican announced that, in response to an appeal from Bishops in Ukraine, Pope Francis would consecrate Ukraine and Russia to the Mother of God. This is not the first time that Ukraine has been consecrated to the Theotokos. In fact, Ukraine is believed to be the first nation dedicated to Mary back in 1037 under the rule of Yaroslav the Wise. Since then, this consecration of Ukraine at the Ukrainian People has been repeated several times as in 1987, 1995 and 2014.

Pope Francis chose to extend the requested consecration to include Russia as well. He furthermore, tied the event to the Marian apparitions of Fatima where the Blessed Virgin Mary requested that the Pope together with the whole episcopal college would consecrate Russia to her "Immaculate Heart". Pope Francis chose March 25th as the day that he would lead this Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. March 25th is the feast of the Annunciation (Gregorian Calendar) and it is the very day in 1984 that his predecessor, Pope Saint John Paul II, consecrated the whole world to the Mother of God. The 1984 consecration, at the time, was directly associated with the request of the Mother of God in Fatima.

Pope Francis not only chose to add Russia to the original request, but has arranged for his delegate, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, to perform this same consecration at Fatima, Portugal. This has all caused a fair amount of speculation about what the Pope's message is with all of this. The principal response, however, by a world watching a horrific war being waged by Russia on the Ukrainian people is that such a consecration is very much welcome. The Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, welcomes such an event and he says the people of Ukraine have hoped for this since Russia renewed its aggression toward Ukraine in 2014 [HERE].

His Grace, Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak, is asking that all parishes of the Archeparchy make March 25th a special day of prayer for peace in Ukraine. The parishes may either arrange for a special prayer event around the time that Pope Francis will be leading the Consecration (approx. 11:00 AM Winnipeg time) or at some other time during that day. A parish may also simply incorporate the special intention into an already scheduled Liturgy or other prayer service.

Metropolitan Lawrence will lead a prayer service on Friday March 25th at 10:00 AM at the church of the Protection of the Mother God - Blessed Virgin Mary - in Winnipeg (965 Boyd Ave.) after which the congregation will also join the Rome and Fatima events via livestreaming. All are invited to attend this event.

Furthermore, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a press release in which it included a special Novena prayer that can be prayed daily by all the Faithful in the days leading up to the March 25th event. This novena will serve as spiritual preparation for the very hopeful global prayer event that will be led by Pope Francis on the feast of the Annunciation.

Special Daily Novena Prayer (March 17-25):

God of реасе and justice,
we pray for the реорlе of Ukraine today.
We pray for реaсе and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for аll those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or реасе,
for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions.
Above аll, we pray for аll your precious children, at-risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Реасе.

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