Parishes and schools around the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are invited to join Pope Francis as the whole world, “especially Russia and Ukraine,” are consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, March 25.
The pope’s historic act is scheduled for 5 p.m. Rome time, or 9 a.m. Pacific Time, during a Lenten penance service at St. Peter’s Basilica. It will be performed in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and at the request of Ukraine’s Catholic bishops,
The timing on Friday coincides with just after the start of the school day for most Los Angeles-area students. Archbishop José H. Gomez has encouraged the archdiocese’s priests to take advantage of the timing, calling for school-wide Masses and prayers, and inviting the faithful to watch the pope’s consecration live. Links to the live streamed event in Rome, as well as consecration resources and a video message from Archbishop Gomez, can be found at LACatholics.org/PrayForUkraine.
“Friends, we are all deeply disturbed by the war in Ukraine, and the unconscionable attacks on innocent men, women, and children in their homes and neighborhoods,” Archbishop Gomez said in a video message released Wednesday, March 23.
“In this time when our world is weighed down under the shadow of war, I invite you to enter into this solemn moment of prayer with the Holy Father. Together with him, let us ask our Blessed Mother to turn her eyes of mercy towards all her children. Let us ask her to intercede with her Son, to deliver her children from evil and grant us peace,” he said.
In his message, the archbishop asked priests in the archdiocese to celebrate special Masses to pray for peace and for the people of Ukraine and Russia, to recite the prayer of consecration, and to ring their church bells at 9 a.m., a suggested 29 times to mark the 29 days since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
The pope’s consecration, on the solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord, follows a series of individual consecrations to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the wake of Our Lady’s appearances at Fátima in 1917.