As we write these lines, the war continues in Ukraine with the news media reporting atrocities which make us shudder. To this must be added the real risk that the conflict will expand to other countries and turn into World War III, a war which will be more terrible than the previous two.
Diplomacy and human means have not ended the conflict, which is why the Catholic Bishops of Ukraine asked Pope Francis to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as requested by the Virgin Mary during Her apparitions at Fatima in 1917. (Remember that in 1917, Ukraine was part of Russia.) The Holy Father responded positively to the request and offered an Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 2022 in union with all the bishops of the entire world as the Virgin Mother had asked.
The Act of Consecration is an event of great importance for the Church and for the world, giving us the opportunity to return to the messages Mary gave to the three young children at Fatima, summed up in these words: convert, pray (especially the Rosary), and do penance (Her requests). Fatima is described as the most important of the Marian apparitions in the history of humanity. Mary is a good mother who cares about the salvation of all Her children and continues to appear in the world and recommends, in each of Her apparitions – like in Akita, Japan (Hope), the recitation of the Rosary, the most powerful weapon for these times.
One should remember that Our Lady's requests at Fatima to obtain peace and the conversion of Russia are not limited to an act of the Holy Father and the bishops but require the collaboration of all the faithful.
Among the requests made by Our Lady, four are addressed to each person: the daily recitation of the Rosary, to cease offending Our Lord, Communions of reparation on the First Saturday of the month, and penance offered for the conversion of sinners.
So, even as we rejoice at the consecration made by Pope Francis, we should not fold our arms and sigh because the work is done. We also have a personal part to play in God's plan for saving souls and bringing peace. It is not only necessary that Russia is consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary but also that each of us consecrate ourselves to the same Immaculate Heart. We are asked to put into practice the devotion of Communion in reparation on the First Saturdays of the month. Of course, to receive Holy Communion worthily one must have purity of soul, and not be in a state of mortal sin.
We have saints who have modeled a life of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. One of the most notable is Maximilian Kolbe, a Polish martyr priest.
As the popes have repeatedly stated, there can be no peace without justice. In fact, it is remarkable that the financial principles of Economic Democracy, or Social Credit (not the surveillance system of the CCP), were devised by Scottish engineer, Clifford Hugh Douglas in 1917, the same year as the apparitions of the Virgin Mary at Fatima.
Poverty in the midst of plenty is a scandal that must cease. Douglas' financial proposals would guarantee daily bread to all through the allocation of a Social Dividend, based on the inheritance of natural resources and progress, financed not by taxes but by new money created without interest by a nation's central credit authority (see page 20).
The Act of Consecration brings hope. Let us fulfill our part by honouring Mary's requests at Fatima. In the end, as She promised, Her Immaculate Heart will triumph!