March 18, 2022
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On Friday, March 25, 2022, the Feast of the Annunciation, Pope Francis will lead an Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at 5:00 p.m. in the evening in Rome, which is 12:00 p.m. noon in northeast Ohio. This prayer will take place during a penance service in St. Peter’s Basilica. Pope Francis has invited each bishop, together with his priests, to join in this act of consecration.
Bishop David Bonnar will join in this act of consecration, in union with the pope, and celebrate the 12:10 p.m. Mass at St. Columba Cathedral in Youngstown. The faithful and all members of the public are invited to attend this Mass, or to pray during this hour in support of the Pope’s consecration and for peace in Ukraine. The Mass will be streamed online at www.doy.org/live/
The Solemnity of the Annunciation (March 25) celebrates the announcement from the angel Gabriel to Mary that she would conceive and give birth to Jesus (Luke 1:26-38). It is celebrated nine months before Christmas.
Devotions surrounding the Immaculate Heart of Mary predate but were especially popularized in 17th – 19th century France, and then again through Marian apparitions in Fatima, Portugal in 1917. Pope Francis and previous popes have led various consecrations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, including Pope St. John Paul II’s consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984. In his own comments about the announcement, Bishop Bonnar says, “In times of war, loss, and disillusionment it is tempting for any human being to lose heart and despair. The steady beating of the Immaculate Heart of Mary promises peace and hope.”