Call for consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart is hopeful sign of the times

by David Carollo –

A few days ago at the Rome Life Forum, Cardinal Raymond Burke gave a compelling address on “The Secret of Fatima and a New Evangelization,” calling for a consecration of Russia in “recognition of the importance which Russia continues to have in God’s plan for peace and a sign of profound love for our brothers and sisters in Russia.”

While acknowledging his certitude that St. John Paul II carried out the collegial consecration of the world, including Russia, on May 25, 1984, Cardinal Burke said, “Today, once again, we hear the call of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, in accord with her explicit instruction.”

He went on to explain that St. John Paul II was pressured not to make explicit reference to Russia at the time because of political conflicts that might arise. These pressures should not be the case today and to make the consecration again with explicit mention of Russia is nothing more than following what John Paul II himself said of his consecration, “Mary’s appeal is not for just once. Her appeal must be taken up by generation after generation, in accordance with the ever new ‘signs of the times.” It must be unceasingly returned to. It must ever be taken up anew.”

Why is this an important and hopeful call today?

The 1984 consecration was done late – very late, which Our Lord foretold to Sister Lucia in 1936 when he said, “Like the King of France, they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars, and persecutions of the Church; the Holy Father will have much to suffer.”

In another conversation with Sister Lucia, Our Lord said, “[The Holy Father] will do it, but it will be too late. Nevertheless, the Immaculate Heart of Mary will save Russia. It has been entrusted to her.” Sister Lucia revealed these conversations to her confessor, Rev. Jose Bernardo Gonçalves, in May of 1936.

After the 1984 consecration was done, Sister Lucia confirmed that it was “accepted by Heaven.” When asked what the sign would be, she responded, “Look to the east.”

What happened soon after in the Soviet Union can only be seen as the hand of Our Lady.

  • On May 13, 1984 (feast of Our Lady of Fatima) an explosion destroys 80 percent of the Soviet Union’s main munitions storage depot for its largest fleet; two-thirds of its missiles are destroyed
  • On Dec. 13, 1984, an explosion in Siberia destroys the Soviet Union’s largest ammunition base
  • On April 26, 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident occurs and we now know it staved off a planned nuclear strike on Europe in retaliation for the arrival of U.S. Pershing II nuclear missiles in Europe.
  • May 12, 1988, an explosion wrecks the Soviet factory that made rocket motors for its deadly long-range missiles.

The new president Mikhail Gorbachev had, in the meantime, instituted new freedoms, including freedom of religion. By 1991, atheistic communism was dead, the Soviet Union was no more and the world had reportedly avoided a nuclear war.

Our part in the conversion of Russia

Sister Lucia said the consecration of Russia was so that Russia could “get converted,” conversion meaning “change,” but that the practice of the First Saturday Communions of Reparation would make that conversion more “perfect.”

Today we call the First Saturday devotion the “forgotten” message of Fatima. This was the critical role of the laity, one of two requests Our Lady made for Russia’s conversion. Sadly, most people did not take up this practice sufficiently, so that conversion is less perfect.

Still, the effects of the consecration were so powerful, one can imagine if this had been done before the Cold War. People are converting back to God in the former Soviet Union, churches and cathedrals are being rebuilt, the Russian public school system teaches a national program of spiritual and moral education. Young people, having grown up in atheistic families, are drawn to the beauty, truth and rich culture that the Catholic, Russian Orthodox and other Christian religions provide. I have been to Russia a number of times and can affirm, the Faith is on the rise there.

Professor Victor Khroul of Moscow State University, in an interview with Soul Magazine, said the sudden fall of atheistic communism and the change in Russia are the consequences of what St. John Paul II did. However, people did not know what to do with the new freedoms and did not know where to turn.

“Who is God?” he said. “The process (of returning to Christianity) must be very long. In Russia, we had an atheistic state for seven decades – three generations. Any kind of Christian activity that occurs here I consider to be a miracle. It is a miracle of God, when, in the younger members of atheistic families, the faith is born in their hearts and they themselves ask for Baptism.”

Where we are today?

So the Cold War has ended, it is reported we avoided a nuclear war and the horrors of the 20th century are to be memorialized. But the consecration was done late and Russia spread her errors.

Whole generations are in a state of apostasy, atheism is a plague on our nations, secular humanism and relativism have replaced objective truth and the natural laws. Disobedience toward God’s commandments and the twisting of their meaning to suit our own desire for freedom without responsibility, without concern for the consequences upon the human race, are redefining the very nature of God’s creation of man and woman and His plan for marriage, family and life.

Cardinal Burke points out, “infinitely more horrible are the spiritual chastisements” that we are dealing with in the world because they have to do with the “fruit of grievous sin: eternal death.”

Thirty four years after the 1984 consecration, the new “signs of the times” tell us the importance which Russia “continues to have in God’s plan for peace.”

We all await the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which Cardinal Burke says undoubtedly refers firstly to “the victory of the Faith, which will put an end to the time of apostasy and the great shortcomings of the Church’s pastors.”

Consecrations renew our trust in Jesus through Mary. They give us hope and they have an impact. In 1942, Pope Pius XII consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart. It was done insufficiently because it did not include the whole college of bishops. Yet, Sister Lucia said the Lord was pleased by his obedience and promised to shorten World War II—a punishment upon the world for its sins.

St. John Paul II consecrated the world in 1982, 1984 and again in the year 2000, entrusting the world and specifically the third millennium to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

(CNS photo/Paul Haring, Oct. 14, 2013).

Pope Francis in 2013 entrusted the world again to the Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima, renewing the consecrations of St. John Paul II.

Cardinal Burke’s call for this new generation to take up again the appeal of Our Lady of Fatima could be the sign of hope needed for the world, which is paying attention now during the 100th anniversary of Fatima, and which has lost all hope in the political process and world leaders.

Perhaps now is the time to invite our Russian Orthodox brothers to join in a consecration in order to please Our Lord who told Sister Lucia, “I want my whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary…”

We all wait in hope. Fatima is hope. In the meantime, we are called to pray daily, do penance, entrust ourselves to her Immaculate Heart, wear the Brown Scapular and take up the practice of the First Saturday devotion in response to the Queen of Heaven who appeals to her children more urgently today than ever.

 

 

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