Pope Francis is planning to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on October 13 while kneeling before the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary from Fatima which will be flown to Rome for the event.
According to the official website of the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Fatima, Portugal, the statue of Our Lady which is currently housed in the Little Chapel of Apparitions will be brought to Rome on October 12-13 to be present for the Marian Day celebrations. The actual consecration will take place on October 13.
In a letter addressed to Bishop Antonio Marto, of Leiria-Fatima, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, wrote: “The Holy Father strongly desires that the Marian Day may have present, as a special sign, one of the most significant Marian icons for Christians throughout the world and, for that reason, we thought of the beloved original Statue of Our Lady of Fatima”.
This will not be the first time the world was consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The first consecration took place on October 31, 1942, when Pope Pius XII consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart.
He followed this consecration 10 years later with another, only this time he specifically consecrated the Russian people to the Immaculate Heart in keeping with a request made by Our Lady during the apparitions of July 13, 1917. Pope Paul VI renewed this consecration in 1964.
According to correspondence by Sr. Lucia, one of the three children to whom Mary appeared in Fatima, these consecrations did not yet fulfill Our Lady’s request; and so, in 1982, Pope John Paul II invited all the bishops of the world to join him in consecrating the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart. However, because so many bishops did not receive the invitation in time for the consecration, Sr. Lucia said that Our Lady’s request still had not been fulfilled.
A year later, in October of 1983, Pope John Paul II tried again, this time at the Synod of Bishops. He followed this with another consecration in March, 1984, in which he was “united with all the pastors of the Church in a particular bond”. Both the pope and Sr. Lucia were uncertain that the conditions had been met, but in 1989, Sr. Lucia confirmed that it had been accomplished and that “God will keep His word.”
Three months later, on November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall fell. Within a month, peaceful revolutions took place in Soviet satellite states such as Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Albania. In 1990, East and West Germany were unified. On Christmas Day, 1991, the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic was dissolved.
The Marian Day celebration in Rome, which will take place Oct. 12-13, will include a recitation of the Rosary with those gathered in Marian shrines throughout the world; a prayer vigil; Marian catechesis; and Holy Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Square.
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