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).

10:54 a.m.
An act followed in Russia and Ukraine

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow, Russia. Maxim Apryatin via Shutterstock.

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:

10:44 a.m.
The ‘sacrament of joy’

Confessors arrive for the penitential service inside St. Peter’s Basilica. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA.

The penitential service includes the opportunity for individual confession. Here are the confessors arriving in the basilica.

Confessors in St. Peter’s Basilica. Courtney Mares/CNA.

In his homily, Pope Francis spoke about confession, describing it as “the sacrament of joy.”

10:34 a.m.
The meaning of the act of consecration

Pope Francis attends the penitential service. Courtney Mares/CNA.

The act of consecration is long and theologically rich. Here are five things to know about it.

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

The statue of the Virgin Mary in St. Peter’s Basilica. Vatican Pool.

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

The booklet for the penitential service and act of consecration. Courtney Mares/CNA.

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

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle arrives for the penitential service and act of consecration. Courtney Mares/CNA.

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

Inside St Peter’s Basilica ahead of the consecration of Ukraine and Russia. Courtney Mares/CNA.

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:

09:55 a.m.
Welcome to readers

People gather in St Peter’s Square ahead of the consecration of Ukraine and Russia. Courtney Mares/CNA.

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.