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Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter’s Square on April 20, 2022. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA
Vatican City, Apr 23, 2022 / 09:40 am (CNA).
Pope Francis said on Saturday that “we must ask for the grace to cry” with Our Lady for the lives destroyed by the Ukraine war and the other miseries of our time, like “the children discarded before they are even born.”
In a meeting on April 23 with the Catholic community affiliated with the Marian shrine of Our Lady of Tears in northern Italy, the pope said that Mary’s tears are “a sign of God’s weeping for the victims of the war” in Ukraine.
Pope Francis underlined that the war is “destroying not only Ukraine,” but it is destroying “all the nations involved in the war.”
“Because war not only destroys the people who are defeated, no, it also destroys the victor … War destroys everyone,” he said in Paul VI Hall.
“We have entrusted our prayer to the Immaculate Heart, and we are certain that our Mother has accepted it and intercedes for peace, for she is the Queen of Peace,” the pope added.
In a speech to 2,800 pilgrims from Italian parishes close to the 16th century shrine of Our Lady of Tears in Treviglio, Italy, the pope said that “our civilization, our times, have lost the [Biblical] sense of weeping.”
He said: “We must ask for the grace to cry in front of the things we see … not only wars … but the discarded, the elderly who are discarded, the children discarded before they are even born.”
“The miseries of our time should make us cry and we need to cry. …We must allow ourselves to be moved,” he added.
Pope Francis said that “Mary’s tears” intercede and help those with hearts of stone who have forgotten how to cry.
“Mary’s tears were transformed by the grace of Christ, as her whole life, her whole being, everything in Mary is transfigured in perfect union with the Son, with his mystery of salvation. Therefore when Mary cries, her tears are a sign of God’s compassion,” the pope said.
“And for this reason Our Lady’s tears are a sign of the compassion of God, who always forgives us with this compassion; they are a sign of Christ’s pain for our sins, for the evil that afflicts humanity, especially the little ones and the innocent, who are those who suffer,” he said.
The pope also spoke about the war in Ukraine in a meeting with the FIAT Association on Saturday. The FIAT Association was founded by Belgian Cardinal Leo Jozef Suenens in 1987.
“The tragedies we are experiencing at the moment, particularly the war in the territory of Ukraine so close to us, remind us of the urgency of a civilization of love. In the eyes of our brothers and sisters, victims of the horrors of war, we read the profound and pressing need for a life marked by dignity, peace and love,” Pope Francis told the group.
“Like the Virgin Mary, we must continually cultivate the missionary spirit to make ourselves close to those who suffer, opening our hearts to them. We must walk with them, fight with them for their human dignity and spread the perfume of God’s love everywhere.”
Denver Newsroom, Mar 29, 2022 / 16:00 pm (CNA).
Every Catholic Christian has a role to play in living out Pope Francis’ consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Bishop Mark Davies of Shre… […]
The interior of Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Philadelphia during a March 25, 2022 Mass following the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the immaculate heart of Mary. / Archdiocese of Philadelphia/Screenshot
An image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Peter’s Church, Vienna, Austria. / Diana Ringo via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0 at).
Vatican City, Mar 25, 2022 / 09:55 am (CNA).
11:04 a.m. Pope Francis goes to confession, then hears confessions
After Pope Francis preached his homily, there was a moment of total silence in the basilica. Following the recitation of the Confiteor, the prayer beginning “I confess to almighty God…”, the pope walked across the basilica to the area with the confessionals. There, he made his confession while standing. He then walked over to a confessional and began to hear confessions himself.
10:54 a.m. An act followed in Russia and Ukraine
Catholics in the Russian capital Moscow are gathering today to pray and follow the live feed of the act of consecration. They are meeting at Immaculate Conception Cathedral, a building with a turbulent history.
Ukrainian Catholics will also be praying the act of consecration, which has been shared on the website of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, based in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.
Andrii Yurash, Ukraine’s ambassador to the Holy See, has tweeted this:
PopeFrancis leading Mass with rank of dedication🇺🇦&🇷🇺 to ImmaculateHeart of VirginMary according to Revelation in Fatima in 1917, when She asked to consecrate🇷🇺 in intention to convert it&prevent from doing bad things. So today’s rank is another attempt🇻🇦defend🇺🇦from devil’s🇷🇺war pic.twitter.com/sO32IhB1k2
Some commentators have raised questions about a phrase found in some non-English versions of the text. The phrase, “Earth of Heaven,” is present in the Spanish text (“tierra del Cielo”) and the Italian translation (“terra del Cielo”).
The Vatican has issued an explanation of the phrase. You can find it here.
10:24 a.m. The statue of Mary inside St. Peter’s Basilica
Pope Francis is expected to stand before this statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary as he reads the act of consecration. The act is available on the Vatican website in an impressive 36 languages, including Ukrainian and Russian. The pope is expected to make the act of consecration in Italian.
10:14 a.m. A guide to the penitential service
Here is the booklet for the penitential service and act of consecration given to members of the congregation inside St. Peter’s Basilica. You can see the contents here.
10:12 a.m. How to watch live
If you’d like to watch the consecration live, we encourage you to tune in via EWTN.
The pope is expected to recite the act of consecration at around 6:30 p.m. local time.
When is 6:30 p.m. Rome time for you? There’s a handy cheat sheet here.
10:08 a.m. Inside the basilica
This was the scene inside the basilica ahead of the penitential service and act of consecration.
Here are the preparations, as seen by our reporters at the basilica:
St. Peter’s Basilica is preparing for the penance service and consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate 🤍 of Mary. pic.twitter.com/HPu3roaESi
The crowd in St Peter’s Basilica is waiting in eager anticipation of Pope Francis’ consecration of the world, especially Russia and Ukraine, to the Immaculate Conception of Mary. pic.twitter.com/iqcGzPsFSN
Welcome to CNA’s live coverage of the momentous global act of consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our reporters are inside St. Peter’s Basilica, where a penitential service will begin shortly, followed by the consecration.