Pope Francis prays at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal on May 12, 2017. / Vatican Media.
Vatican City, Mar 18, 2022 / 09:10 am (CNA).
The Vatican confirmed on Friday that Pope Francis is inviting the world’s bishops to join him in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See press office, issued the confirmation on March 18.
“I confirm that Pope Francis has invited the bishops of the whole world and their priests to join him in praying for peace and in consecrating and entrusting Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” he said.
“The occasion, as indicated in recent days, will be the Celebration of Penance, scheduled at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, in St. Peter’s Basilica.”
CNA reported on March 17 that the pope intended to invite all Catholic bishops and priests around the world to join in the act of consecration.
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.
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.”