On Friday, March 25, the Archdiocese of Toronto will answer the call of Pope Francis for dioceses around the world to pray for peace to help bring about an end to the war in Ukraine.
During a ceremony of prayer for peace at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.
Locally, Cardinal Thomas Collins will celebrate the 12:10 p.m. (noon) Mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral Basilica and pray the consecratory prayer. To watch the livestream, please visit https://www.stmichaelscathedral.com/live/.
Across the archdiocese, many parishes will celebrate a noon Mass aligning with the Holy Father’s consecration at 5 p.m. Rome time. Please contact your parish to see if they are participating.
Speaking at a recent summit, Pope Francis said we all are called to pray so that those who “hold the fate of nations will leave no stone unturned to stop the war and open a constructive dialogue.”
Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart in the Fatima apparition of July 1917. Fittingly, March 25 marks the 38th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s consecration of the world and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
If you would like to help Ukrainians in need, the Archdiocese of Toronto is currently accepting donations, which will be used both to relocate refugees to Canada via the Office of Refugees Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT) and to help Ukrainians fleeing violence in Europe via the Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). You can learn more here and donate here.
The Vatican text of the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, sent to bishops throughout the world. Pope Francis has invited bishops and the rest of the world to join him when he recites the prayer on March 25 in St. Peter’s Basilica.
O Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, in this time of trial we turn to you. As our Mother, you love us and know us: no concern of our hearts is hidden from you. Mother of mercy, how often we have experienced your watchful care and your peaceful presence! You never cease to guide us to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.
Yet we have strayed from that path of peace. We have forgotten the lesson learned from the tragedies of the last century, the sacrifice of the millions who fell in two world wars. We have disregarded the commitments we made as a community of nations. We have betrayed peoples’ dreams of peace and the hopes of the young. We grew sick with greed, we thought only of our own nations and their interests, we grew indifferent and caught up in our selfish needs and concerns. We chose to ignore God, to be satisfied with our illusions, to grow arrogant and aggressive, to suppress innocent lives and to stockpile weapons. We stopped being our neighbour’s keepers and stewards of our common home. We have ravaged the garden of the earth with war and by our sins we have broken the heart of our heavenly Father, who desires us to be brothers and sisters. We grew indifferent to everyone and everything except ourselves. Now with shame we cry out: Forgive us, Lord!
Holy Mother, amid the misery of our sinfulness, amid our struggles and weaknesses, amid the mystery of iniquity that is evil and war, you remind us that God never abandons us, but continues to look upon us with love, ever ready to forgive us and raise us up to new life. He has given you to us and made your Immaculate Heart a refuge for the Church and for all humanity. By God’s gracious will, you are ever with us; even in the most troubled moments of our history, you are there to guide us with tender love.
We now turn to you and knock at the door of your heart. We are your beloved children. In every age you make yourself known to us, calling us to conversion. At this dark hour, help us and grant us your comfort. Say to us once more: “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?” You are able to untie the knots of our hearts and of our times. In you we place our trust. We are confident that, especially in moments of trial, you will not be deaf to our supplication and will come to our aid.
That is what you did at Cana in Galilee, when you interceded with Jesus and he worked the first of his signs. To preserve the joy of the wedding feast, you said to him: “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3). Now, O Mother, repeat those words and that prayer, for in our own day we have run out of the wine of hope, joy has fled, fraternity has faded. We have forgotten our humanity and squandered the gift of peace. We opened our hearts to violence and destructiveness. How greatly we need your maternal help!
Therefore, O Mother, hear our prayer.
Star of the Sea, do not let us be shipwrecked in the tempest of war.
Ark of the New Covenant, inspire projects and paths of reconciliation.
Queen of Heaven, restore God’s peace to the world.
Eliminate hatred and the thirst for revenge, and teach us forgiveness.
Free us from war, protect our world from the menace of nuclear weapons.
Queen of the Rosary, make us realize our need to pray and to love.
Queen of the Human Family, show people the path of fraternity.
Queen of Peace, obtain peace for our world.
O Mother, may your sorrowful plea stir our hardened hearts. May the tears you shed for us make this valley parched by our hatred blossom anew. Amid the thunder of weapons, may your prayer turn our thoughts to peace. May your maternal touch soothe those who suffer and flee from the rain of bombs. May your motherly embrace comfort those forced to leave their homes and their native land. May your Sorrowful Heart move us to compassion and inspire us to open our doors and to care for our brothers and sisters who are injured and cast aside.
Holy Mother of God, as you stood beneath the cross, Jesus, seeing the disciple at your side, said: “Behold your son” (Jn 19:26). In this way he entrusted each of us to you. To the disciple, and to each of us, he said: “Behold, your Mother” (v. 27). Mother Mary, we now desire to welcome you into our lives and our history. At this hour, a weary and distraught humanity stands with you beneath the cross, needing to entrust itself to you and, through you, to consecrate itself to Christ. The people of Ukraine and Russia, who venerate you with great love, now turn to you, even as your heart beats with compassion for them and for all those peoples decimated by war, hunger, injustice and poverty.
Therefore, Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine. Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love. Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world. The “Fiat” that arose from your heart opened the doors of history to the Prince of Peace. We trust that, through your heart, peace will dawn once more. To you we consecrate the future of the whole human family, the needs and expectations of every people, the anxieties and hopes of the world.
Through your intercession, may God’s mercy be poured out on the earth and the gentle rhythm of peace return to mark our days. Our Lady of the “Fiat”, on whom the Holy Spirit descended, restore among us the harmony that comes from God. May you, our “living fountain of hope”, water the dryness of our hearts. In your womb Jesus took flesh; help us to foster the growth of communion. You once trod the streets of our world; lead us now on the paths of peace. Amen.
Personal Prayer for the Consecration of Russia & Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Most glorious Mother,
Queen of Heaven and Earth,
To you do we turn in our time of need.
Your Heart is most pure,
Your virtues overflow in superabundance,
You are the Immaculate Conception,
You are our Mother and Queen.
In the face of grave evil,
In this time of war,
In this time of devastation and chaos,
We entrust all to you.
Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Please pray for us,
Cover us with your mantle of protection,
Free us from violence,
Free us from war.
Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Call us to repentance,
Open the eyes of sinners,
Pour down your Son’s mercy,
Pour down His abundant grace.
We consecrate to your Immaculate Heart this day,
Ourselves and our loved ones,
Our families and churches,
Our communities and countries.
Most Immaculate Heart of Mary,
In union with the Holy Father in Rome,
With the bishops throughout the world,
With all the faithful at prayer,
We consecrate Russia and Ukraine to you.
Receive them into your Immaculate Heart,
Bring healing and peace,
Strength and wisdom,
Love and compassion,
Mercy and forgiveness,
Reconciliation to all.
Through the powerful mediation of your Immaculate Heart,
Bind satan and all demons,
Thwart their evil plots.
St. Michael the Archangel,
All angels and saints,
Pray for Ukraine,
Pray for Russia,
Pray for peace in the world,
Pray for peace in every heart.
Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Pray for us.
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus, I trust in You!