Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, 25 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.
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 7 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 21 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 7 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 25 March 1984".