Now, before I begin another polemic wherein I potentially alienate a certain segment of my readers, please let me affirm one thing of the utmost importance: I care not what a man thinks about the Consecration of Russia, and will not judge a man on how he discerns a debatable historic event such as Pope Francis’ Consecration.
To say that I do not care what a man thinks about the Fatima saga is not to say that I respect every man’s theory or hypothesis about the affair, but it is to say that I do not see the matter as a reason to lose friends or anathemize anyone with different ideas.
There are indeed many reasons to anathematize someone, such as a friend who believes that light beer is in fact beer – when it is clearly mildly beerish soda water – however, a reaction to an attempt to fulfill the demands of a private revelation is not a question of heresy or pale-ale preferences; it is not nearly as important.
At any rate, I of course do believe that the Consecration of Russia is a major event of historical and heavenly significance, and it is a worthy affair to discuss the issue and hope to God that the thing turned out okay, for reasons that are obvious.
After you have read this piece, I encourage you to watch a video I did on the subject, which explains in detail my thoughts.
Very well, let us discuss why I believe that Franciscus was the unlikely instrument of God’s Providence in finally satisfying the requests of Our Lady of Fatima.
Heaven vs Human
We must make some important distinctions and define the trajectory of this argument. Personally, I believe this is done best by distinguishing between the heavenly and human aspects of the Fatima message.
When I say heavenly I mean the events or messages that are from Heaven, and which have been accepted as valid. By human, I mean the interpretations by the human seer – Sister Lucy.
We are worried here with the question of the Consecration of Russia and not with the other aspects of Fatima, such as the Third Secret or the First Saturday.
Regarding the heavenly messages that Sister Lucy received from Our Lord and Our Lady, there a few to consider:
- July 13, 1917 Our Lady told the children: “I shall come to ask for the Consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart…If people attend to My requests, Russia will be converted and the world will have peace.”
- July 13, 1929 Our Lady told Sister Lucy: “The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, in union with all the bishops of the world, the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means. So numerous are the souls which the justice of God condemns for sins committed against Me, that I come to ask for reparation. Sacrifice yourself for this intention and pray.”
- August 1931 Our Lord told Sister Lucy: “You console Me a great deal in asking Me for the conversion of those poor nations [Russia, Spain and Portugal]: Request it also of My Mother, while saying to Her often: Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.” (emphasis mine) And: at other times say: by thy Pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.
- October 22, 1940 Our Lord told Sister Lucy: “…His Holiness will obtain an abbreviation of these days of tribulation [World War II] if he takes heed of My wishes by proclaiming the Act of Consecration of the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, with a special mention of Russia.’” (emphasis mine)
All of these moments and messages were recorded by Sister Lucy, done either at the request/demand of a confessor or with a confessor’s permission and guidance.
So, what we see here are the various messages from Heaven about what is to be done. And, there are certain consistent requests that are to be met if the Consecration is to happen validly.
- Consecration of Russia
- To the Immaculate Heart
- In union (more on this later) with the bishops
In addition, we see that Our Lord asked for the Consecration of the world and other nations but maintained that Russia herself must be mentioned “in particular.” We must assume that if these basic stipulations are met, that Heaven would be happy
What Sister Lucy wrote in various places about what was needed for the Consecration to be valid is not as consistent.
None of this is to say that we should not take Sister Lucy seriously; that would be absurd since we get the requests from heave from her! However, we must defer to Heaven over anything human if we find and discrepancies in her work.
- May 29, 1930 Sister Lucy writes to Father Gonçalves
- : “… the Holy Father will himself make a solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Sacred Hearts (Heaven did not say “Sacred Hearts”) of Jesus and Mary, as well as ordering (in the original Portuguese it does not say “order”) all the bishops of the of the Catholic world to do the same…” (emphasis mine)
- June 12, 1930 to Father Gonçalves: “…solemn public act of reparation (people often forget the “reparation” part, but Pope Francis did the act during a ceremony of penance, this is important) and consecration of Russia to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (again, Heaven did not say “Sacred Hearts”). His Holiness must also order all the bishops, etc. (Heaven did not say “order” and whether it is in the Portuguese again comes into question)
- In 1946 Lucy said to author Thomas Walsh that Mary did not ask for the consecration of the world – this is true – and “what Our Lady wants is that the Pope and all the bishops in the world shall consecrate Russia to Her Immaculate Heart on one special day.”
Now, as you can see, Sister Lucy relayed different requests. She mentioned the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, for which Heaven – according to Lucy – never asked. She mentioned the world, whereas Mary only asked for Russia, however Christ did say that requesting the conversion of other nations consoled Him “a great deal,” and later conceded “the world” in the apparition of October 22, 1940, quoted above. She spoke of a solemn public act, which was not mentioned by Mary or Christ. And, in her correspondence to Walsh she mentioned that it should be done on one special day.
As far as I can understand, nothing that Sister Lucy said as part of her interpretation of the events would invalidate an act if it were to consider her suggestions. In fact, all her requests make perfect sense and should be taken seriously.
However, the fact remains that Heaven asked for two specific things of Sister Lucy, and by extension we have those requests of Heaven through Sister Lucy: the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with the bishops requested by the Virgin; and Christ told Lucy to request of Mary the conversion of other nations, the world, and Russia.
Only Russia? Do Whatever He Tells You
Call me crazy – I have been called worse –but I am of the opinion that when Christ tells us to do something, that we should… do that thing.
The Wedding at Cana comes to mind when the Theotokos says “do whatever He tells you” in the context of the miracle of the water turning into wine.
Did Our Lady ask for the conversion or consecration of other nations? No. Did Our Lord request to Sister Lucy to request of Mary the conversion of other countries? Yes.
We know from the messages of Fatima that it is consecration that precedes the conversion in the Fatima method. Thus, if Christ wants us to seek the conversion of nations besides Russia, it would only make sense that consecrating those nations would convert them.
Some may say I am stretching things here by including the apparition at Rianjo wherein Christ speaks of the conversion of other nations. But, it is not as if we are talking about some thousand year old prophecy or vision and then overlaying it on the Fatima saga. No, Christ spoke to Sister Lucy – the most important seer of Fatima – and told her what to request of Mary. In addition, he spoke in that same dialogue of how the Pope would be in hot water if he did not perform the consecration in a timely fashion.
Thus, in a dialogue with a seer of Fatima – who had been tasked with requesting of Rome the consecration – Our Lord said that the conversion of other nations was something He wanted, and he also spoke of the pope and the Consecration of Russia.
Again, call me crazy, but it seems reasonable that if a pope were to heed those words and consecrate other nations alongside Russia – something Sister Lucy asked the pope to do a few years later – then it would only be fitting.
You may disagree, and that is fine, however, it seems silly to assume that if another nation besides Russia was mentioned that somehow this would invalidate the whole affair. To be honest, that would seem like Heaven had played a trick and confused poor Sister Lucy – which of course is impossible.
You can’t consecrate more than one nation at a time!
I am sorry, but this objection is nonsensical. A consecration is an act of putting aside something especially for God. To do this, we must make our intentions clear about what we are consecrating and to whom.
If it is impossible to consecrate more than one nation, then it is impossible to consecrate only one nation; for a nation is not one thing but many regions, a myriad of cities, and a plethora of peoples.
Can you even consecrate a person? What about their billions of cells that make up the person?
Perhaps the pope should have been more specific and read a roll call of every single Russian citizen on earth to be sure… Although, that would be invalid as well, because people who are not Russian citizens could still in a sense be Russian by blood or birth.
Funny enough, we would have to consecrate the whole world to get every Russian, but again, this would not suffice if the pope is only to say Russia… which is of course a collection of many things, and therefore cannot easily be consecrated.
I jest, but it is not true to say that you cannot consecrate more than one thing, any more than it is true to say that you cannot bless more than one thing. You may bring your rosaries to your parish and ask the priest to bless them alongside other rosaries, as long as it is clear that your rosary is among the lot being blessed.
Our Lady asked for Russia, but she never said “only Russia!” even if many commentators believe she said that.
Forget Fatima for one moment, and pretend Canada and the US were at war – God forbid! – and the pope decided to consecrate both nations to the Sacred Heart in a special way and on a special day.
You would be a fool to say: “The pope cannot do so! He must do two ceremonies on two different days, there is no way Heaven will accept this!”
The pope is the pope, and the head of the Church, thus the head of the world – as such he is in charge and can consecrate what he pleases and when he pleases. It is simply necessary for the objects of the consecration and to be clear.
Pope Francis said, among other things, “especially Russia.” It seems to me that he meant to consecrate something to the Immaculate Heart – especially Russia.
This is not exactly what Our Lady asked for!
This is true, it is what Our Lady and Our Lord asked for. Should we think that pleasing both would make them at odds?
In addition, Our Lady did not ask for much, and if we are supposed to only say what she told us to say, then we would not be able to say anything, as she left no prayer, or rubric, or instructions on how to perform the ceremony – a ceremony that she herself did not ask for specifically.
Our Lady asked for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in union with the bishop of the world, that’s it.
So, there was much room left for interpretation on how to do that and what to say, and she asked that it be done by the Holy Father.
I would imagine that Our Lady understands that the pope would use his discretion, as I am sure that she understands he is Christ’s Vicar.
To be honest, to do exactly what Our Lady asked would be for the pope to do nothing more than to stand up and say, “I as the pope in union with the bishops hereby consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – the end.”
Funny enough, I think that would work! In fact – do you know what Pope Francis said in his homily before the act of Consecration?
In unione con i Vescovi e i fedeli del mondo, desidero solennemente portare al Cuore immacolato di Maria tutto ciò che stiamo vivendo: rinnovare a lei la consacrazione della Chiesa e dell’umanità intera e consacrare a lei, in modo particolare, il popolo ucraino e il popolo russo, che con affetto filiale la venerano come Madre.
In union with the Bishops and faithful of the world, I desire in a solemn way to bring all that we are presently experiencing to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I wish to renew to her the consecration of the Church and the whole of humanity, and to consecrate to her in a particular way the Ukrainian people and the Russian people who, with filial affection, venerate her as a Mother.
The intention is clear and the substance is clear. Notice too, what does he say? He wants to “renew” the consecration of the world and the Church, but “in a particular way” (in modo particolare, i.e. for the first time), “Russia” and “Ukraine.”
My point is, if you want exactly what Our Lady asked for, then you would have to be consistent and say that even if the pope were to do the Consecration during a Mass, that it would somehow be invalid… because Our Lady did not say to do it during Mass.
Again, she did not say exactly how and where and when to do it, but of course we must do exactly what she did not tell us to do!
But it was not in union with all the bishops!!!
Did Our Lady ask for something to be done in union or in unison? Did she ask for it to be done in a unified fashion or as an act of unification? She said “in union.”
The pope acting as the pope as the Head of the Church and head of the bishops in a public way after having united all the bishops of the world to take part is as “in union” as union can be.
I would have preferred him to order the bishops, but that was not what Heaven said. I would have liked the ceremony to have been done via the world’s largest Zoom call with a camera of each and every bishop of the world livestreaming himself saying the same prayer (the prayer that Our Lady never gave) at the same time (regardless of time zone). But that would be insane.
Come to think of it… there are 24 different time zones, which means if a Bishop were in each time zone, which there may be, that it might be impossible to do the whole thing in a technical sense on the same day, which was written in Walsh’s work… Oh boy, so it couldn’t have been that it must take place on the same day as in date, while also at the same time as in chronological moment of time, as this might be an impossibility.
Perhaps there is a lost letter that mentions it should be done only when daylight savings time works in the favour of all time zones organizing into the same calendar day… Quick, someone search the profound wisdom of the Catholic blogosphere, there must be a definitive answer!!
So, it is either impossible, or we can be reasonable people and allow for some wiggle room like Heaven did.
Every single bishop who prays for the pope’s intentions and says his name during Mass is de facto in union with him. If it suffices for a bishop to demonstrate his unity with the pope each and every day by saying his name, then this would also suffice to demonstrate unity with his intention to consecrate Russia.
Again, going strictly by the words of Mary, the pope could have said “every bishop is to offer Mass for this intention as demonstration of union…” and it would have to suffice.
Furthermore, it was asked that the pope “in union with all the bishops” do the consecration, not “all the bishops in union with the pope.”
Pope Francis consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as the Vicar of the Catholic Church and invited all the bishops to join him, and he did so in a public way as the representative of Christ and the bishops of the world.
Simply put, it has been done!
Fatima is Not Medjugorje
I will end with one more polemic so as to annoy my detractors even more.
Fatima is not Medjugorje, because Fatima is real and approved.
What is so off putting about Medjugorje is that it is confusing and contradictory, and that the words of the supposed seers can be used for a variety of prophecies and interpretations, etc.
We are not speaking of the apparitions of Sister Lucy, but the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima.
We are not speaking of the Consecration of Russia as having to fulfill Sister Lucy’s requests, but Mary’s.
Mary’s and Christ’s requests are clear and concise, whereas Lucy’s leave room for confusion.
Again, I am not saying that Sister Lucy should not be held in the highest esteem – she should be canonized in my opinion – but I will not treat her as an oracle as I will not disrespect her and treat her as the supposed seers of Medjugorje.
I will not dishonour her legacy by focussing on her words rather than Our Lady’s and Our Lord’s. I believe she would be horrified to find out that we sought to satisfy her inconsistent requests rather than Mary’s and her Son’s.
Photo credit: Diane Montagna.
 Father Antonio Maria, S.J. Fatima, Documentos, (Porto, 1976), p. 467.
 I am pulling the following citations from a book called Sister Lucia: Apostle of Mary’s Immaculate Heart, in a chapter called The Consecration of Russia, written by Mark Fellows, I believe it is no longer in print. It is a wonderful resource for all things Sister Lucy. Although I must add, it is curiously missing the apparition of Christ to Lucy in 1931 where He mentions requesting the conversion of the world.
Kennedy Hall is a contributing editor for OnePeterFive. He is the author Terror of Demons: Reclaiming Traditional Catholic Masculinity and Lockdown with the Devil, a novel about 2020 published by Our Lady of Victory Press. He is also a writer at Catholic Family News and LifeSiteNews. He is married with five children and lives in Ontario, Canada. You can find his work at kennedyhall.ca.