by Kevin Burke, LSW
As everyone has heard by now, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25 and has asked all the bishops of the world to unite with him as well as the Catholic faithful.
Given the rising tension between Russia and the U.S., two nations with large stockpiles of nuclear weapons, and the threat of expanded war in Eastern Europe, this initiative by the Holy Father is timely, and most welcome.
This consecration is closely associated with the apparitions in Fatima in 1917 when the Blessed Mother Mary appeared to three peasant children, warning of the coming “errors” that would proceed from Russia, and asking for the explicit consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
Tragically, the Bolshevik Revolution unfolded in Russia in 1917 leading to the rise of the Soviet Union and the spread of communism.
We may be tempted to see this consecration exclusively in the context of the “errors of Russia” predicted at Fatima, and the current actions of the Putin regime and its invasion of Ukraine.
The truth is, the United States and the West have become partners, even collaborators, in spreading a particularly deadly manifestation of the errors of Russia, and may indicate why the date of this consecration, March 25, is so important.
Divine Providence may be presenting the U.S. and other Western Nations a final opportunity for repentance and healing.
A Marxist Makeover
By the mid-1960s, Marxist intellectuals in the West were facing the failure of the Bolshevik model of communism in the Soviet Union so they adapted their revolutionary theory, developing a new framework that would have the same end game of communism – the destruction of traditional forms of faith, family and love of country.
Rather than Marx’s economic dialectic of capitalists and workers, these new revolutionaries focus on race, human sexuality, reproductive rights, and gender.
The promotion of abortion rights in the West, and around the world, has proven to be one of the deadliest manifestations of Marxist ideology. It’s important to note this error has its origins in the former Soviet Union, where abortion was legalized in 1920.
“Russia was the first country ever to legalize abortion up to birth without restriction and also developed and promulgated technology to this end. Russia and areas formerly controlled by the Soviet Union have the highest abortion rate in the world,” said Geoffrey Strickland, J.D., J.C.L., who serves as the director of Priests for Life’s Rome office.
“As predicted by the Blessed Mother at Fatima ‘various nations’ – the innumerable children of every race, creed and culture – have indeed been ‘annihilated’ through the fundamental error of abortion and the faulty logic behind it, namely that a human child is not a human being.”
Over 1 billion preborn girls and boys have been aborted around the world in the last 100 years. In China and India, sex-selection abortions have killed 160 million preborn baby girls. The imbalance of men to women is having unforeseen consequences for these societies.
Unite in Prayer with Pope Francis for Peace and Life
March 25 may be an opportunity provided by Almighty God, to pray not only for Ukraine and its people, and for Russia to end the war, but for all nations seduced by neo-Marxist ideology.
This consecration by Pope Francis takes place on the feast of the Annunciation. Priests for Life, along with many other pro-life groups, commemorate March 25 as the Day of the Unborn Child.
Observed around the world, this day, exactly nine months before Christmas, invites us to focus on the baby in the womb, and reminds us that Jesus was once a pre-born child himself.
This provides an opportunity for pro-life advocates from around the world, both Catholics and those of other Christian denominations, to unite with the Holy Father in prayer, not only for Russia and the Ukraine, but for the children in the womb. Here are some ideas for how to mark that day:
- Attend mass, receive the sacrament of Reconciliation, and pray the rosary for the de-escalation of the conflict in the Ukraine, and an end to the war.
- Pray as well for those nations that have collaborated with the former Soviet Union in spreading the errors of Marxist ideology in all its virulent manifestations, especially the tragic destruction of innocent preborn children in the womb.
- Pray that all nations, their leaders and their people will turn away from the legalized killing of preborn children.
- Pray for the repentance and healing of all who have participated, directly and indirectly in abortion.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Kevin Burke, LSW, is a pastoral associate of Priests for Life and co-founder of Rachel’s Vineyard. An expert on men and abortion loss, he is the author of Tears of the Fisherman and co-author of Rivers of Blood/Oceans of Mercy.