Over the last couple of weeks one of the biggest headlines in the Catholic Church has been that Pope Francis made the decision to consecrate all of humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
As requested by Our Lady of Fatima, the Holy Father sent messages via papal nuncios and other delegates inviting bishops and priests throughout the world to join him in praying an act of consecration. At least one invitation, it seems, got lost in the mail.
When the announcement was made that the pope was going to carry out the consecration, Father Davide Pagliarani, Superior General of the Society of St. Pius X, expressed the society’s gratitude and enthusiasm regarding the decision.
The Priestly Society of Saint Pius X has learned with joy of the announcement of the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, scheduled for March 25th.
After a long wait, punctuated by fervent crusades and assiduous recitation of rosaries, the Society of Saint Pius X is happy to see the request of Our Lady of Fatima taken into account, which called for a solemn act by the Pope in union with all the bishops.
The Society of Saint Pius X places its trust more than ever in the recitation of the rosary and in the practice of penance. It prays in a special way for peace in the world, ever more convinced that nations will only find concord by a true conversion to Christ the King, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
On the day of the consecration, the SSPX made an official statement about the personal meeting that the Superior General had with the Holy Father weeks prior on February 8th. The statement said that
This meeting made it possible to show that the SSPX has no other goal than to serve the Church in the midst of the current crisis. Fr. Pagliarani had the opportunity to make it clear to the Pope that everything the Society does has only this service in mind. Mutual good memories of Argentina were also exchanged.
The short statement concluded with these words of prayerful hope, posted shortly after the Consecration of Russia had been concluded in Rome:
Let us not fail to pray for the ecclesiastical authorities and especially for Pope Francis. Through these prayers, may Catholic Tradition regain all its rights in the Church, so that as many souls as possible may benefit and work out their eternal salvation.
What did the SSPX do on the Day of Consecration?
Though the SSPX was not directly invited by Rome to participate in the act of consecration, it was an event that was an answer to decades of prayers for the clergy and the faithful. For the SSPX, no invitation was necessary to join in what should be considered an historic day, regardless of the outcome.
“We have not been invited, but we definitely want to be part of this,” His Excellency, Bishop Bernard Fellay, said in his remarks before the act of consecration.
“We have many reasons to celebrate today. It seems as if our prayer to heaven for decades asking the Immaculate Heart of Mary that the pope would consecrate Russia according to the requirements of herself,” said Fellay, “well, it seems that this is going to happen today. And so, with all our heart, we want to unite ourselves to this act, expecting so many good fruits that have been promised.”
Before the act of consecration, His Excellency recalled the background of Our Lady’s request, reminding the faithful that “God had put into Her hands the peace of the nations.”
We see that there have been many attempts to make this consecration. What we have seen is that up to now, the precise requirements from Heaven have never been completely accomplished. But Heaven in its mercy has always given, we could say, a proportionate answer. Every time a pope has turned to the Immaculate Heart, some good has happened for the world and for the Church. So let us pray that this consecration made today will have the fruits so long expected.
His Excellency offered the consecration at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary. Nestled on 1100 picturesque acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, the seminary is home to some 137 seminarians. Located in an area some would affectionately refer to as “the middle of nowhere,” lately the seminary has become an oasis of spiritual refuge for roughly 200 lay Catholics seeking authentic sacred Tradition, something the SSPX has steadfastly preserved with the utmost reverence and respect.
Without an invitation, the seminary community embraced the Holy Father’s request that the Universal Church unite in prayer. Before the consecration was to be offered, however, they took extra care to prepare their hearts, minds, and souls for the sacred occasion.
On Thursday evening, the priests, seminarians, brothers, sisters, and the faithful gathered for vespers as usual. Following vespers, the community began Eucharistic Adoration that would last until 6am Friday morning. Benediction, Prime, and Solemn High Mass followed.
Then at 11:30am, the community gathered once again to offer a rosary ahead of the consecration.
“We will offer the rosary to prepare our hearts to offer this consecration the best way, the right way, as Heaven wants it,” His Excellency said.
The enthusiasm demonstrated at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary was indicative of the enthusiasm and prayerful support offered the world over by the SSPX as gesture of solidarity and gratitude to Pope Francis and his landmark decision to proceed with the consecration.
Were he alive today, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Society of St. Pius X, would have it no other way.
The book, Thought for the Day published by Angelus Press, is a collection of quotes taken from the sermons and writings of Lefebvre. His words for the Solemnity of the Annunciation were quite fitting, not only for the feast, but for the consecration. His Grace said:
God Himself is the one who chose the Virgin Mary to be His Mother, and by that very fact our Mother, because she is the Mother of Jesus and therefore of all the members of the Mystical Body of Jesus. A child who rejects his mother is a turncoat. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is therefore not an optional devotion.
Having maintained unwavering fidelity to the Immaculata since their beginnings, the SSPX were ready for this day: the day Pope Francis consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the solemnity of the Annunciation, and the 31st anniversary of the repose of Archbishop Lefebvre. Indeed, to remain on the sidelines on this special day would have been the act of a turncoat. Thus, the Consecration on March 25 was an event for which the ever growing community of SSPX believers didn’t need an invitation from Rome. They RSVP’d for the celebration more than a half century ago.
Images provided by author.