March 26, 2022



When Catholic Bishops in Ukraine reiterated their longstanding appeal that their country be "consecrated" to the Mother of God, especially now in midst of a horrific war, Pope Francis agreed to lead the effort. In fact, he chose to add "Russia" to the consecration as well as "all humanity". The adding of Russia was directly linked to request of the Mother of God who, during a series of apparitions at Fatima, Portugal, asked that such a consecration take place. In one of her encounters with three shepherd children, she explained, "I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of Reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world."

Pope Francis, wanted to make the consecration a global event and therefore he invited all the Bishops of the world to join in at the same time together with the faithful of their eparchies and dioceses. Metropolitan Lawrence, in turn, invited all the parishes of the Archeparchy to participate in some way. He also chose to lead a special prayer event at the parish church of the Protection of the Mother of God - 'Blessed Virgin Mary' in Winnipeg. He was joined by Archbishop Stefan Soroka and several clergy and lay-faithful for a moleben' prayer service in honour of the Mother of God. Following the Gospel reading, Metropolitan Lawrence shared an explanation of the event and why Pope Francis called the world to participate. At the close the Moleben', the Archbishops and clergy processed to a side altar where a unique icon of Mary the Protectress is enshrined. [The icon, written by Modest Sosenko at the beginning of the last century in Ukraine, was brought to Winnipeg by the first Bishop to Canada, the Blessed Bishop-Martyr Nykyta Budka]. At the side altar, both Archbishops led a series of petitions in both Ukrainian and English and then read a pray of appeal to Mary.

Following the prayer event, everyone was invited to the parish auditorium for a moment of refreshment prepared by the ladies of the parish and to join in a direct live link to the event of Pope Francis that was occurring in Rome. The crowd in the auditorium sat before the large screen truly feeling as though they were there in St. Peter's Basilica. Before Pope Francis led the actual prayer of consecration, there was a rather lengthy penitential service. However, the crowd gathered in the Winnipeg auditorium gladly and attentively took in the event. It was powerful meditation on the importance of repentance - especially the inspiring homily of Pope Francis.

As Pope Francis proclaimed the words of the consecration everyone present followed each world in prayerful silence. The text was available in Ukrainian and English. Some read, some simply listened. In the end, everyone received the blessed of Pope Francis, albeit via livestreaming. The event was offered in the hope of "a period of peace" in the world. If the spirit of peace with which everyone left the Winnipeg event is any indication, then the world will be truly blessed by our Lord through the intercession of His Blessed Mother.


See the Winnipeg event here (followed by a link to the Rome event...)

(*in this raw unedited video, the event begins only at 24:00)


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