Consecration of Russia

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A Portuguese religious statue depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary, with her immaculate heart surrounded with thorns, as described by Sister Lúcia dos Santos of Fatima.

Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by a specific act of a pope along with all the other bishops of the world in the belief that it will usher in a period of world peace.

This belief is associated with the reported Marian apparitions at Fátima to three Portuguese children in 1917 and later to the one survivor of the three, Lúcia dos Santos at Tuy, Spain in 1929, in which Sister Lucia reported a vision representing God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus. Lúcia stated that at different times the Virgin Mary had given her messages that emphasized praying the rosary, wearing the brown scapular; and that she had made a number of prophecies and promises, one of these being that the consecration of Russia would usher in a period of world peace.

In response, Popes Pius XII (1942), John Paul II (1984) and Francis (2013) consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart, with Pius XII also specifically consecrating "the peoples of Russia" in 1952. Though Lúcia dos Santos declared that the consecrations of 1942 and 1984 were accepted in heaven, certain devotees to the cause of Fatima, especially Traditionalist Catholics, dispute that a valid consecration of Russia, fulfilling the requirements of the apparition at Tuy, has been carried out since the consecration has never been performed in union with all the Catholic bishops of the world as was requested.

Painting of Our Lady of Fátima.

History and Background[edit]

Christian Sacramentals
A series of articles on

Scapulars

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General articles
Saint Simon Stock
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
Rosary & Scapular
Sabbatine Privilege

Specific Scapulars
Mount Carmel (Brown)
Fivefold Scapular
Passion (Red)
Passion (Black)
Seven Sorrows of Mary (Black)
The Archangel (Blue/Black)
Good Counsel (White)
Sacred Heart of Jesus (White)
Immaculate Heart of Mary (White)
Immaculate Conception (Blue)
Green Scapular (Green)
Scapular of Our Lady of Walsingham
Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

The consecration of Russia to her Immaculate heart was reportedly requested by the Virgin Mary on several occasions beginning in Fatima, Portugal in 1917.

The children said that in an apparition on June 17, 1917, the Virgin said to them: "I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart. If people attend to My requests, Russia will be converted and the world will have peace."

They said that on July 13, 1917 the Virgin told them: "God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The [First World] war is going to end; if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that He is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart.... 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."

Lucia reported that the Virgin of Fátima appeared to her again on June 13, 1929, and said 'The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops of the world, to consecrate Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.'"

Consecration in the Roman Catholic Church[edit]

Statue of Pope Pius XII in Fátima, Portugal.

Two popes consecrated Russia within the Roman Catholic Church based on the messages of Fátima and Tuy. One was Pope Pius XII, who was appointed Archbishop in the Sistine Chapel on May 13, 1917, the same day the Fátima apparitions were reported. The other was Pope John Paul II, who was shot in Rome on May 13, 1981 and later credited Our Lady of Fátima with his recovery, saying that it was "in mysterious coincidence with the anniversary of the first apparition".[1][2]

In October 1942 Pope Pius XII performed the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the entire world, and in July 1952 he specifically consecrated the Peoples of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by his apostolic letter Sacro Vergente Anno. Pius XII stated:[3][4]

"Just as a few years ago We consecrated the entire human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, so today We consecrate and in a most special manner We entrust all the peoples of Russia to this Immaculate Heart…"

On March 25, 1984, the feast of the Annunciation, Pope John Paul II consecrated Russia in a public ceremony. Russia was never specifically mentioned in the consecration prayer; the consecration was in the form of a 'whole-world consecration'. Cardinal Bertone said to the press many times that the message of Fatima was finished; however the Pope in 2010 announced that we are mistaken if we think the prophecies of Fatima have been fulfilled. Cardinal Bertone reported that Lúcia Santos had said that the consecration requested by the Virgin Mary had been fulfilled and accepted in heaven, and that everyone should live out the consecration personally by faithfully wearing the brown scapular.[5] Others devoted to the cause of Fatima say that Russia has not yet been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.[6]

The entrance to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, to the south of the rectory, is a segment of the Berlin Wall intended to emphasize the belief that the Rosary prayers influenced the fall of the Berlin Wall related to the Consecration of Russia based on the Our Lady of Fátima messages.[7]

Russian Orthodox objections[edit]

Orthodox Christians often see the Fatima consecration in the light of the sad history of Latin-Orthodox religious conflict going back a thousand years. They tend to interpret the Fatima consecration as an encroachment by Latin Christianity on Orthodox territory while Catholics tend to see the matter as followers of Christ vs. atheistic Communism. Orthodox Christians and especially members of the Russian Orthodox Church object[citation needed] to the concept of the Consecration of Russia for two reasons: (1) Russia was already Christian at the time of the alleged Fatima apparitions and had a long history of devotion to the Theotokos, and (2) the concept contains what appears to be an implicit proselytism of Russian Orthodox Christians to the Catholic Faith. Orthodox apologists thus tend to understand the phrase "Russia will be converted" as implying conversion from Russian Orthodoxy to Catholicism and acceptance of papal supremacy. Catholics respond that the apparitions at Fatima took place after the March 1917 revolution that deposed Tsar Nicholas and the April 16th [N.S.] return to Russia of Lenin.[8] Russia was thus already in the throes of revolution and facing a renewed threat from a Bolshevism particularly hostile to all organized religion when prayers for Russia were first requested in May. The final October miracle occurred just weeks before the Communist Revolution. They argue that this timing suggests that the consecration refers to the threat that Russia faced from atheistic Communism. In 1946 during a gathering of youth at Fatima, Sister Lucia was asked by a young Russian girl (Natacha Derfelden) how the conversion of Russia would come about. However, Sister Lucia stated that the conversion of Russia would come through the Orthodox Church and "the Oriental rite", meaning the Byzantine tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.[9] Yet, another possibility is that it means a conversion of the heart, which conforms to the theological commentary written by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI) on the Fatima secret.[10] The atemporal nature of divine revelation, which has made interpretation of the visions by the Catholic Church difficult, also works against the temporal argumentation of the Orthodox apologists.

However, the conception of Theotokos Derzhavnaya Orthodox icon points out that Virgin Mary is considered actual Tsarina of Russia by the religious appeal of Nicholas II; thus Consecration of Russia may refer to a return of Russian monarchy.[11] The icon was brought to Fatima in 2003 and 2014, together with another significant Theotokos of Port Arthur icon.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Osservatore Romano Article on Fátima [1]
  2. ^ Garry Wills, Why I am a Catholic, Houghton Miflin Publishers, p. 246
  3. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis 44, 1952, page 505
  4. ^ Vatican Website (the papal letter)
  5. ^ Mark Miravalle, 1993, Introduction to Mary, p. 171.
  6. ^ http://www.fatima.org
  7. ^ Regis St. Louis and Robert Landon, 2007, Portugal, Lonely Planet Press, p. 290,
  8. ^ "The SEALED TRAIN" by Michael Pearson, New York:Putnam [1975] ISBN 0399112626
  9. ^ Quoted in "Russia Will be Converted" by John Haffert, President of the Blue Army, 1956, p. 204. This book may be a accessed in a scanned pdf at: http://johnhaffert.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Russia-convert-2.pdf
  10. ^ The Message of Fátima. http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20000626_message-fatima_en.html
  11. ^ (Russian) Будет царь! О России верующей и боримойAlexander Prokhanov's "Zavtra" newspaper, 13.09.2013 (reprint at 3rm.info)
  12. ^ (Russian) http://gazetaslovo.com/новости/португалия/item/portugaliya-pravoslavnye-svyatyni-posetili-fatimu.html

External links[edit]