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Watch Pope Francis consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary LIVE

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Safin HAMED / AFP

Watch Pope Francis dedicate the countries of Ukraine and Russia to the Blessed Virgin Mary here on Aleteia on Friday March 25. Ceremony begins at 5 pm Rome time (Noon, EST).

Pope Francis will lead the Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, 25 March – the Solemnity of the Annunciation – in St Peter’s Basilica beginning at 5 pm Rome time (Noon, EST). The Act of Consecration will begin at approximately 6:30pm Rome time (1:30pm, EST).

The same act, on the same day, at the same time, will be undertaken by Catholic bishops throughout the world.

The Act of Consecration will be prayed as part of a special Lenten Penance service at St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis has described the consecration saying,

This Act of Consecration is meant to be a gesture of the universal Church, which in this dramatic moment lifts up to God, through his Mother and ours, the cry of pain of all those who suffer and implore an end to the violence, and to entrust the future of our human family to the Queen of Peace.

Pope Francis will pray the prayer of consecration saying the formula found here.

What is the Marian Consecration?

What is a Marian consecration? A consecration means to entrust “one’s body, soul, possessions, works, and entire life to the protection, guidance, and intercession of Our Lady.”

In the apparition of 13 July 1917 in Fatima, the Blessed Virgin Mary asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. She stated that if this request was not granted, Russia would “spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church.” Nations will be annihilated she warned, and there would be much suffering.

Popes have previously consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope Francis’s consecration will thus be a renewal and an appeal for people of good will throughout the world to pray for peace.