London, England, Mar 18, 2022 / 05:30 am (CNA).
The Catholic bishops of England and Wales will join Pope Francis in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The bishops announced on March 17 that they will participate in the act of consecration, which will take place at St. Peter’s Basilica at 5 p.m. local time on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.
Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth, southern England, will lead the rosary at his Cathedral Church of St. Mary and St. Boniface on the morning of the consecration.
He said: “I have been touched by the Holy Father’s initiative and look forward to uniting with him, my brother bishops, and Catholics in England and Wales in this act of consecration.”
“We know that there is a great need for the gift of peace and reconciliation, and we will be commending all those who are suffering at this time to Our Lady, knowing that she will present all her suffering children to Our Lord.”
Ukraine’s Latin Rite Catholic bishops asked Pope Francis to consecrate their homeland and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary following the full-scale Russian invasion on Feb. 24.
The pope will carry out the consecration during a penitential service on March 25. On the same day, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, will recite the act of consecration at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.
Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, said in a March 17 letter to U.S. bishops that Pope Francis intends to invite all Catholic bishops and priests around the world to join the act of consecration.
Catholic bishops in Latin America and the Caribbean have already indicated that they will take part.
The Episcopal Conference of Latin America (CELAM) said on March 15 that it had invited Catholics, church organizations, and 22 bishops’ conferences to “join the intentions of the Holy Father.”
The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have also signaled their intention to join in the act of consecration.
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