by Donal Anthony Foley –
Interest in the Collegial Consecration of Russia, which Our Lady of Fatima asked for at Tuy in Spain in 1929, has been heightened by the news that Pope Francis will make a consecration of Russia and Ukraine and all of humanity to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 2022, the feast of the Annunciation.
The position of the World Apostolate of Fatima is that the collegial consecration was in fact carried out by St. John Paul II on the same date in Rome, in 1984, and that this consecration fulfilled Our Lady’s request, and was, in the words of Sr. Lucia, accepted by Heaven. She is recorded in a 1993 video interview with Cardinal Ricardo Vidal saying, there is no further need of a consecration of Russia to fulfill the requests of Fatima, but that doesn’t mean the pope and bishops can’t continue to consecrate countries and in times of special need.
This fact, though, has been bitterly contested in some quarters ever since by those who deny the validity of the 1984 consecration. Therefore, Pope Francis’s initiative is seen by some as possibly likely to fulfill the requirements laid out by Our Lady in 1929. This is because the intention is to explicitly mention Russia, and it also appears that many of the world’s bishops are due to join in the consecration and Catholic lay people are also uniting in this effort.
However, all the available evidence suggests that the 1984 consecration was in fact valid and fulfilled the request of the Blessed Virgin.
The critics maintain that because St. John Paul II did not publicly mention Russia by name in 1984, and not all the bishops of the world were in union with him, then his consecration was invalid. But regarding the first point, this is to ignore the testimony of Bishop Alberto Cosme do Amaral, who was the bishop of Leiria-Fatima at the time, and who spoke to Fr. Robert Fox, then editor of Fatima Family Messenger, on July 10, 1989.
He told Fr. Fox that during the consecration ceremony, there were moments during which it was difficult to understand what the pontiff was saying. He then said that he later thanked the pope for consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – to which John Paul II responded “and Russia,” the implication being that he had mentioned that country quietly.
This incident is detailed in Timothy Tindal-Robertson’s book, Fatima, Russia & Pope John Paul II, (pp. 25-27), and there is also a good deal of information about this topic in the appendices in Fr. Andrew Apostoli’s book, Fatima for Today.
There were, in fact, serious reasons why the pope did not mention Russia specifically in the act of consecration, mainly that he was afraid of the adverse effect it could have had on believers in the Soviet Union, that is, persecution. And he was also said to be acting out of sensitivity to the Orthodox bishops who had been invited to join in the consecration prayer.
On a more general level, regarding the exact way in which the consecration was to be done, some have alleged that the pope was obliged to “order” all the bishops of the world to join in the consecration. But if we look at the official text of what happened at Tuy in 1929, as found in Sr. Lucia’s first memoir, this is what Our Lady actually said to her:
“The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the Bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”
It is important to note that the act was to be performed by the pope, who was to be in union with all the bishops, and not vice versa, when he made it. The text of the act was sent out to the bishops in advance, to ensure that he was in union with them. If some bishops did not join in making the act, nevertheless the pope fulfilled Our Lady’s request for him to be in union with all the bishops. Sr. Lucia also stated in the recorded video that even if Russia was not said or if not all bishops joined in, it did not invalidate the consecration.
Sister Lucia later confirmed in writing that the consecration had been properly done, in the way that Our Lady wanted, saying that when people asked her, she said: “‘Yes.’ From that time, it is made!” She reiterated this point on a number of occasions, and again, there is video evidence of her explicitly stating that the consecration had been done.
Coming back to the word “Russia,” and whether or not Pope John Paul II had to explicitly mention it during the consecration ceremony, it should be noted that if the pope can nominate cardinals, in pectore (“in the heart”), so that their names are kept secret, as was the case in communist ruled countries during the 20th century, then he is surely also at liberty to say the word “Russia” quietly during a consecration. What matters is that the word was heard in heaven.
And it should also be noted that during the 1984 act of consecration the pope said: “In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated.” Clearly, this was an indirect way of including Russia in the consecration.
We also need to bear in mind that in July 1917, Our Lady said that the consecration was intended to stop Russia from spreading its errors, principally from atheistic communism, around the world. But since the consecration was not done when requested, and only after a lapse of 55 years, then by 1984 the errors of Russia and the offshoots of those errors, including Cultural Marxism, had become entrenched around the world in many countries, political systems and institutions, and have now led in the West to an almost universal godless secularism.
It is to be fervently hoped that the consecration that Pope Francis will perform in union with many of the world’s bishops is effective as regards Ukraine and Russia, but clearly it is not the collegial consecration, since it also includes Ukraine and humanity as a whole, and the primary focus is actually on stopping the violence in Ukraine and not the conversion of Russia as such, or stopping the spread of atheistic communism.
We might then ask, why hasn’t Russia been converted, if that consecration was done properly, and accepted as such by God?
The answer to that question really lies in our own hands. In general, the Church has not taken the Fatima message on board – and this is despite the fact that the miracle of the sun was the greatest miracle since the Resurrection, and Fatima has received unprecedented papal support.
St. John Paul II did the consecration in 1984, and within a few years, communism in Russia and Eastern Europe collapsed, almost without a shot being fired. But we, that is the Church as a whole, have not complied with the Blessed Virgin’s requests, we have not taken up the Five First Saturdays devotion, or the promotion of the Rosary, or the devotion to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, with the requisite zeal and fervor given the immense problems the Church and the world are now facing. The Christian West and a great majority of Catholics have caved in to moral relativism and secularism, in favor of materialistic pursuits, helping to seed the anti-religious, anti-God culture that dominates today.
When we return to God and do what Our Lady asks and what Jesus commanded in the Gospels on a large enough scale, then we will see the conversion of Russia and many other countries, and the promised period of peace for the world.
Watch the video interview with Sister Lucia and Cardinal Ricardo Vidal
Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and maintains a related web site at www.theotokos.org.uk. He has also written two time-travel/adventure books for young people, and the third in the series is due to be published later this year – details can be seen at: http://glaston-chronicles.co.uk