The Feast Day that Changed Russia

By Donal Foley – This year, rather unusually, the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, fell on Good Friday – and so it will be transferred to the Monday  Collegial-Consecrationof the week after Easter week, that is April 4.  It was 32 years ago  on the Feast of the Annunciation (March 25, 1984) that Pope St. John Paul II made the collegial consecration originally requested by Our Lady in July 1917, when she said, “I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart.”

This was a reference to the message Sr. Lucia received from her when she saw the vision of the Holy Trinity at the convent in Tuy, Spain, on June 13, 1929, when the Blessed Virgin said, “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops in the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”

The 1984 consecration came out of the attempt made on the Pope’s life by Mehmet Ali Agca in Rome on May 31, 1981, the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima, when he was shot in St. Peter’s square. Providentially, the bullet wounds were not fatal, and while in hospital the Pope became convinced that the consecration of Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart was an absolute necessity if the world was to be saved from war and atheism.

The Pope attempted to make the consecration in 1982, but for various reasons this did not work out. Therefore, he decided to renew the consecration in March 1984, with letters being sent to all the world’s bishops, including the Orthodox, asking them to join him in this action.

On March 25, 1984, the feast of the Annunciation, John Paul II duly made the act of consecration in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, before the statue of Our Lady flown in from the site of the apparitions at Fatima for this occasion. Although the text used did not mention Russia, the Pope did specifically recall the acts of consecration made by Pope Pius XII in 1942 and 1952, the latter being essentially concerned with Russia.

It also appears that John Paul II paused during the ceremony, and, according to the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, Alberto Cosme do Amaral, quietly included Russia in the consecration. This action is understandable, given the delicate political situation, and with the understanding that God was leaving the Pope, as head of the Church on earth, to decide the precise form the act should take.

Although not all the world’s bishops joined in the act of consecration, it appears that enough did to satisfy the request of Our Lady. Following this consecration, Sr. Lucia was visited by the Apostolic Nuncio for Portugal, and she told him that the consecration of Russia had indeed been accomplished, and that God had accepted it. After nearly seventy years, the act of collegial consecration had finally been carried out.

The massive changes which have taken place in Russia and Eastern Europe support the view that the consecration of 1984 was carried out largely in accordance with Our Lady’s wishes. She promised the conversion of Russia if her wishes were complied with, but she did not say that this would happen overnight.

What is missing is a widespread compliance among Catholics with Our Lady’s other request, which she linked with the collegial consecration, that is the widespread adoption of the Five First Saturdays devotion of reparation, which was fully revealed to Sr. Lucia in December 1925. When that happens on a large enough scale, then we will be much closer to seeing the fulfillment of Our Lady’s 1917 prophecy that in the end her Immaculate Heart will triumph and that a period of peace will be granted to the world.

Donal Anthony Foley is a writer in the United Kingdom and author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, available at


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1 Comment
  1. Fatima was real. The rosary is God’s instrument through Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth. Mary, and saying the rosary as she requested, brings us all the more closer to the life, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I wish the rosary to be affirmed more by the whole holy Church of God. May the Holy Spirit inspire us all to be more dedicated to Mary’s request in reparation for our sins against the Blessed Trinity.

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