25 March 2022 at St Peter’s – the metaphysical importance of an event

by Roberto de Mattei

The news is official and of extraordinary relevance. On 25 March 2022, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Moreover, as confirmed by the director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, the Pope has “invited bishops, and their priests, from all over the world to join in praying for peace and in the consecration and entrustment of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”. On 22 March, the Holy See diffused the text of the Consecration. 

In Fatima, on 13 July 1917, Our Lady announced that God was going to “punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, hunger and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father”. To avoid these disasters, Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, by the Pope in union with all the bishops of the world, and the propagation of the devotion of the first Saturdays of the month, consisting in Confession, Holy Communion, meditating for fifteen minutes and praying the Holy Rosary on five first Saturdays of consecutive months. “If my requests are heeded,” Our Lady said, “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.”

After the apparitions of Fatima in 1917 there have been various acts of consecration and entrustment to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, all partial and incomplete, though not without effects. In 1931, Our Lord complained to Sister Lucia about the failure to consecrate Russia: “They have not chosen to heed my request. As the King of France, they will regret it and then will do it, but it will be too late. Russia will already have spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church, the Holy Father will have much to suffer.

Pius XII in his Radio Message to Portugal on 31 October 1942, consecrated the Church and the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The same Pope consecrated all the peoples of Russia to the Mother of God on 7 July 1952 with the apostolic letter Sacro Vergente Anno. Russia was explicitly named, but there was no solemn union with Catholic bishops from all over the world. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council would have been a tremendous occasion to fulfil the request of Our Lady. In 1965, 510 archbishops and bishops from 78 countries signed a petition asking that the Pope in union with the Council Fathers consecrate the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and especially Russia and other nations dominated by Communism. Paul VI, however, did not accept the request. 

John Paul II, after being dramatically wounded in the attack of 13 May 1981, attributed his recovery to the miraculous protection to Our Lady of Fatima and on 13 May 1982 he went as a pilgrim to her sanctuary, where he entrusted and consecrated to Our Lady “those men and nations who are particularly in need of this entrustment and consecration”. 

He repeated a similar consecration on 25 March 1984 in St Peter’s Square, in the presence of the statue of the Virgin which had been brought especially from Portugal. The Pope had written to bishops from all over the world asking to join him, but not everyone received the invitation and few accepted. Russia was not explicitly mentioned on this occasion either, but only a reference “to the peoples whose consecration and entrustment you expect us to do”.

A third act of entrusting the Church and humanity to the Virgin Mary was pronounced on 8 October 2000 in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima by John Paul II together with over 1,500 bishops representing the world episcopate. 

On 12 May 2010, Benedict XVI, kneeling before the image of Our Lady in the chapel of the Apparitions of Fatima, said a prayer of entrustment to her, asking for the liberation “from every danger that hangs over us”. He had made known the Third Secret of Fatima (the text of which, however, many have judged incomplete).

On 13 October 2013, Pope Francis proclaimed words of entrustment to Our Lady on the porch of St Peter’s. However, the consecration of Russia, which many were waiting for, was lacking.

On 13 May 2017, Pope Francis went to Fatima for the canonisation of the two little shepherds, Francesco and Jacinta, aged 9 and 11, who, together with their cousin Lucia dos Santos, had seen and heard the words of Our Lady in 1917. The beatification process for Lucia, who died in 2005, is underway. However, also in this case the Pope ignored the requests of Our Lady.

Today the international scenario has changed dramatically and Pope Francis has decided to carry out what none of his predecessors ever did. In fact, between 1917 to 2022, nine popes have known of Fatima and, since Benedict XV, all have approved its devotion. Six of them visited the shrine, as popes or as cardinals. Some of them, like Pius XII and John Paul II, showed great devotion to the apparitions of 1917. None of them, however, has so far fulfilled the urgent requests of Our Lady. The act that Pope Francis will perform on 25 March appears to correspond to these requests and is accompanied by the adhesion of bishops, priests and laity, which has never happened before. The importance of the event is not of a geopolitical nature, but of a metaphysical and supernatural nature, because it appears as one of those moments when the mystery of history seems to be torn apart and the light of God illuminates the events of the world, beyond the intentions of the protagonists.

This will take place at a time when Russian bombs in Kiev threaten to spread to the world.