Rockford Diocese To Join Pope Francis in Renewed Consecration of Russia, Ukraine
By Penny Wiegert, Editor
March 24, 2022
DIOCESE—“In a moment of unity and solidarity with Our Holy Father as well as with the people of Ukraine and Russia and all people of good will,” Bishop David Malloy announced March 18, he will join Pope Francis in the renewal of prayers of consecration for Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The ceremony originally announced in a March 18 letter to priests of the diocese was scheduled for the evening of March 25 was rescheduled after a letter was received by U.S. bishops from the Apostolic Nuncio requesting that all consecration ceremonies and prayers to be held in dioceses around the world be held at the same time as the ceremony in Rome. 
Therefore, Bishop Malloy rescheduled the local consecration and prayer ceremony for March 25 at 11 a.m. from the Cathedral of St. Peter, Rockford. The service will include recitation of the rosary and the prayer of consecration. 
A letter updating the new time was sent to diocesan priests March 21.
Bishop Malloy also encouraged all pastors in his March 18 letter, to hold similar services in their respective parishes, “especially on March 25 to visibly demonstrate unity with Pope Francis.” If a parish is not able to hold a service on March 25, Bishop Malloy asked the pastors to do so as close to March 25 as possible.
In Rome
Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25 during the Celebration of Penance that he will preside over at 5 p. m. in St Peter’s Basilica.
The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, said in a statement: “The same act, on the same day, will be performed in Fatima by Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, papal almoner,” who is being sent there by the Pope. The day of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord was chosen for the consecration.
But what has Fatima got to do with all this? Because, according to Vatican News Service,  in the apparition of July 13, 1917 in Fatima, Our Lady had asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart and the communion of reparation on the First Saturdays, stating that if this request was not granted, Russia would “spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church,” and “the good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated.”
After the apparitions of Fatima there were various acts of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: on Oct. 31,1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated the whole world, and on July 7, 1952 he specifically consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with the Apostolic Letter Sacro vergente anno, in view of the difficult situation of Christians forced to live in an atheistic communist regime.
Later, Pope St. Paul VI in 1964, and Pope St. John Paul II in 1981, 1982, and 1984 renewed this consecration of the whole human race. The consecration in 1984 took place March 25, in St. Peter’s Square; on that occasion, St. John Paul II, referring specifically to Our Lady’s request at Fatima, and in spiritual union with all the bishops of the world, entrusted all peoples, and “in a special way … those men and nations who are in special need of this entrustment and consecration,” to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In June 2000, when the Holy See revealed the third part of the so-called secret of Fatima, the then-secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, pointed out that Sister Lucia had personally confirmed in 1989 that the act of consecration performed by Pope John Paul II in 1984 corresponded to what Our Lady had asked.
And now this year, Pope Francis will again consecrate Russia together with Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in communion with bishops from all over the world.
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