With the crisis in Ukraine, voices have been raised again that doubt that Russia was really Consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope John Paul II in 1984.
Guest Commentary by Michael Hesemann
When Our Lady of Fatima appeared for the third time to the little shepherds Lúcia, Jacinta and Francisco, on July 13th, 1917, she revealed three mysteries to them. The second secret read: “To avoid (a new world war) I will come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart and the Communion of Reparation on the first Saturdays of the month. If my wishes are heard, Russia will be converted and there will be peace. Otherwise, she will spread her errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions against the Church. The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will suffer a lot, various nations will be destroyed, but in the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will Consecrate Russia to me, which will be converted, and the world will have some time of peace”.
Twelve years later, on June 13th, 1929, Our Lady really returned. Jacinta and Francisco had since died; they had been victims of the Spanish flu, the great pandemic of the early 20th century. Lúcia, on the other hand, had joined the order of the Dorothean Sisters (she only became a Carmelite in 1946) and lived in the Monastery of Tuy, on the Spanish-Portuguese border. There she was praying in front of the tabernacle when she had an apparition of Our Lady granting her a vision of the Holy Trinity and declaring: “The time has come when God asks the Holy Father, together with all the bishops of the world, to Consecrate the Russia to my Immaculate Heart and thus save her”.
Immediately, the nun tried to write to the Pope through her bishop, but to no avail. Fatima was not yet recognized by the Church at this time and Pius XI was not a great friend of private revelations. This changed when, in 1939, Pius XII. a new Pope ascended to the Chair of Peter. Eugenio Pacelli was ordained a bishop on the day of Fatima, May 13th, 1917, already seeing it as a sign of divine providence. However, at that time he still knew too little about the phenomena to react “prematurely”. So he first asked Sister Lucia, through her bishop, to write her Memoirs of the Events of 1917, which she did. When her Memoirs were finally published in 1942 and also available in Italian, in the midst of World War II, Pius XII, in fact, on the 31st of October 1942, in a radio address to the Portuguese people, consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but without referring to Russia: “To peoples divided by error or discord, and above all to those who profess a single devotion to You and where there was not a house where Your venerable icons were not cherished, perhaps hidden today and preserved for better days, give them peace and lead them back to the one flock of Christ, among the one true shepherd. ”
Sister Lucia later explained that the Consecration, while well-intentioned, was not in accordance with the will of the Blessed Mother, who had specifically asked for an act of Consecration “together with all the bishops of the world”. However, a miracle happened: October 31st, 1942 became the decisive turning point in World War II. Just three days later, Hitler experienced his first major defeat at el-Alamein, followed a few weeks later by Stalingrad, where his end was sealed. But something was also happening in Russia. Before the war, Stalin was one of the cruelest persecutors of Christians in history, he suddenly made icons fly over Russian cities for Our Lady to protect them, and he founded three new churches in Stalingrad. From then on, at least the Russian Orthodox Church did not suffer any major attacks. However, Russia was still a long way from conversion. On the contrary: World War II led to communism subjugating all of Eastern Europe and now reaching the rest of the world as well. The Cold War was born and with it the world was on the brink of nuclear war twice, in the 1960s and 1980s. But no Pope was willing to carry out the Consecration in the way desired by the Blessed Mother, not even John XXIII, who even prevented the publication of the Third Secret, nor Paul VI, who made a pilgrimage to Fatima in 1967. Only the assassination attempt on Fatima Day, May 13th, 1981, shook Pope John Paul II. On the anniversary of the assasination attempt he traveled to Fatima and consulted Sister Lucia to effectively celebrate the solemn Consecration of the world and to at least – in pectore – carry out the Consecration of Russia. And again a miracle happened. According to Sister Lucia, in 1985 a third (atomic) war was threatened, but instead the Northern Fleet’s central weapons depot exploded on May 13th, 1984, which decisively hampered the war capabilities of the Northern Fleet. Russia. The time of the “hawks” in the Kremlin came to an end and in 1985 the “dove” Mikhail Gorbachev was elected the new secretary general .
CPSU leader and then President of the USSR. His policy of “perestroika” included the introduction of religious freedom in the formerly militantly atheist state. In 1989 the Warsaw Pact states in Eastern Europe were liberated, in 1990 German reunification was allowed, in 1991 on the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (22nd of August – today of the “Queenship of Mary”) of all things, the radicals’ attempt to save communism collapsed, and it was Christmas for the entire Soviet Union. What followed was, in fact, the greatest miracle in history, the great power’s conversion from atheism: the anti-Christian Soviet Union became Christian Russia. Today, 82% of Russians profess Orthodox Christianity, since 1990, 30,000 new Churches have been consecrated and more than 800 new monasteries founded, and about 6,000 young people are ordained priests every year. Communism was postponed; in the 2021 Duma elections, the Communist Party received just 18% of the vote, little more than the SED’s successor Die Linke in Berlin (14.3%).
In any case, the Blessed Virgin at Fatima only spoke of a “time of peace” that would be granted by the Consecration. After all, it lasted 37 years, 77 even since the end of World War II, which corresponded to about one or two biblical generations (40 years).
However, traditionalist circles like to claim that the 1984 Consecration was invalid. A Canadian priest turned layman through his greed for money and disobedience to his bishop and Rome, a radical anti-Semitic and Holocaust denier, the late Nicholas Gruner raised millions with his self-proclaimed “Fatima Crusade” against Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI with the messages of Our Lady. Gruner even went so far as to accuse the Vatican of falsifying documents and replacing Sister Lucia with an actress to avoid the Blessed Mother’s wishes.
In December 2016, in Aljustrel, the home village of the three visionary children of Fátima, I was able to interview Maria dos Santos, then 96 years old, Sister Lucia. She explained to me in front of the camera – I posted the interview on youtube – that in the 1990s she was repeatedly questioned by pilgrims about the validity of the Consecration. Since her family was also allowed to visit Lúcia regularly at Carmelo de Coimbra, she took the opportunity to refer this matter to Sister Lúcia. The seer’s answer was surprisingly clear: “The Blessed Mother promised that Russia would convert if she was Consecrated and look, she was converted!”
This is exactly what the Holy See has been proclaiming since 1984. Thus, in June 2000, Cardinal Ratzinger published a letter written by Sister Lucia, in which she confirmed to Pope John Paul II on November 8th, 1989: “Yes, it has been done, as Our Lady asked, since March 25th, 1984” – “Yes, everything was done as Our Lady requested, on March 25th, 1984.” The claim that the letter is a forgery because it was typed is absurd. Those who visit the Carmel of Coimbra, the monastery where Sister Lúcia lived, will still find her beloved typewriter there. There are also photos showing her typinng with it. Earlier, on August 29th, 1989, she had stated, also in writing: “After (his visit to Fatima) he (John Paul II) wrote to all the bishops of the world asking them to join him. He had the image of Our Lady of Fatima brought to Rome on March 25th, 1984. Then, together with the bishops who wanted to help him, he publicly performed the Consecration the way the Blessed Virgin wanted it to be. After that, people asked me if it was carried out the way Our Lady wanted, and I replied, ‘Yes!'”
Despite this, Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, who was later named Archbishop and admitted to the College of Cardinals before Benedict XVI. served as Cardinal Secretary of State, again the “question of all questions” when he visited Sister Lucia in Coimbra on November 17th, 2001 on behalf of Pope John Paul II: Is Father Gruner right when he speaks of an omission?” Here, too, the response of the 93-year-old Seer left nothing to be desired in terms of clarity: “The World Consecration, at the request of Our Lady, took place in 1984 and was accepted by Heaven.”
Of course Cardinal Bertone was also accused of lying. The fact that Sister Lucia herself, in her latest book, “A Mensagem de Fátima” (Coimbra 2006), published posthumously by her co-sisters, confirmed the validity of the Consecration and antagonized all those who doubted, did not change anything: “Afterward, finally, there are still blind people who do not see or do not want to see and say: But there are still wars in this world… (but there are) civil wars that have always existed and will always exist.. The promise of peace refers to the wars throughout the world, instigated by the dissemination of Russia’s mistakes. This Consecration was made public by the Holy Father John Paul II in Rome on March 25th, 1984, before the miraculous image of Our Lady…”
But there is undeniable proof of the validity of the Consecration that even traditionalist conspiracy theorists should really accept. After all, Sister Lucia twice commented on the Consecration of Russia on camera.
We owe this proof to her longtime interpreter, the Portuguese specialist in Fátima, Carlos Evaristo, who grew up in Canada. He accompanied several English-speaking Cardinals to Carmel in Coimbra in the 1990s to translate during their meetings with the Sisters. On two occasions, they allowed him to record conversations to openly contradict Father Gruner’s lies. The first of these two conversations took place on October 11th, 1992, when Indian Cardinal Antony Padiyara visited Sister Lucia. On the recording, Sister Lucia can be heard clearly saying: “Everything has led to this Consecration being accepted… The Pope had Russia in mind when he mentioned ‘those peoples’ in the act of Consecration in 1984. Those familiar with the call to Consecration of Russia knew what he was referring to… God knew what the Pope’s intention was and that he meant Russia by the Consecration. Intent is important. Just like when a priest intends to consecrate a host… There is no need to consecrate Russia again.”
A year later, on October 11th 1993, Filipino Cardinal Ricardo Vidal visited her. Again Evaristo interprets, and again everything was recorded on video. And again Sister Lucia is clearly heard speaking of Russia’s conversion:
“You have to understand one thing. We must not misinterpret the word ‘conversion’. The word ‘conversion’, ‘convert’, ‘a conversion’ indicates a change. A ‘conversion’ is a change from evil to good. But that does not mean that all evil disappears… The Holy Father made the Consecration and this Consecration is valid. The Blessed Virgin never said that the Pope had to pronounce the word ‘Russia’. She said: ‘He will consecrate Russia to me and she will be converted. And then there will be peace.” But this promise of peace referred to the wars and persecutions caused by the errors of atheistic communism all over the world… The 1984 Consecration prevented an atomic war that would have broken out in 1985… The wars that are going on now are civil wars, not world wars. Local wars. The Blessed Virgin never referred to such wars.”
Of course, it is good and right to invoke the Mother of God in a crisis and to entrust to her again countries in need or war, even if this has already happened in the past. In this regard, Russian and Ukrainian bishops have recently called for the Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. But this requirement has nothing to do with the fact that the 1984 Consecration was valid. At that time, it destroyed Soviet communism and brought about the conversion of a great power. So we have good reason to hope that this time it will bring peace to besieged Ukraine.
March 15, 2022
Holy See Announces: “On March 25th, the Pope will Consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary”
The consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by Pope Francis will take place during the Celebration of Penance on the 25th of March in St Peter’s Basilica.
By Vatican News
Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, the 25th of March, during the Celebration of Penance that he will preside over at 5pm in St Peter’s Basilica.
The Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, said in a statement: “The same act, on the same day, will be performed in Fatima by Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, papal almoner,” who is being sent there by the Pope.
The day of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord was chosen for the consecration.
Martyrdom of the good
In the apparition of 13 July 1917, in Fatima, Our Lady had asked for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart, stating that if this request were not granted, Russia would spread “its errors throughout the world, promoting wars and persecution of the Church.”
“The good,” she added, “will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be destroyed.”
Consecrations of Russia to Mary
After the Fatima apparitions there were various acts of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Pope Pius XII, on 31 October 1942, consecrated the whole world, and on the 7th of July 1952 he consecrated the peoples of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the Apostolic Letter Sacro vergente anno:
“Just as a few years ago we consecrated the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mother of God, so now, in a most special way, we consecrate all the peoples of Russia to the same Immaculate Heart. – Pope Pius XII”
On the 21st of November 1964, Pope St Paul VI renewed the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart in the presence of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council.
Pope St. John Paul II composed a prayer for what he called an ‘Act of Entrustment’ to be celebrated in the Basilica of St Mary Major on the 7th of June 1981, the Solemnity of Pentecost.
In June 2000, the Holy See revealed the third part of the secret of Fatima.
At the time, the then-Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, pointed out that Sister Lucia, in a letter of 1989, had personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wanted: “Yes, it was done,” wrote the visionary, “just as Our Lady had asked, on the 25th of March 1984”.
March 15, 2022