Friday, March 25, is the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. On this day, the Roman Catholic Church around the world remembers the Virgin Mary’s unconditional Yes to God’s call for her service as the mother of his only begotten Son – the Word made flesh Who lived among us.
On Friday at 5 p.m. Rome time (11 a.m. CDT and Noon EDT), Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, as the world, in solidarity, cries out for an end to all war and an age of peace that spreads to every corner of the earth. The Holy Father has invited each bishop, together with his priests, to join in this act of consecration at an hour corresponding to 5:00 PM Rome time.
Evansville Bishop Joseph M. Siegel will be offering the act of consecration at St. Benedict Cathedral at 11 a.m. CDT, preceded by the recitation of the rosary beginning at 10:30 a.m. He has invited priests of the diocese to join the Holy Father and him in offering this consecration in their parishes at the hour corresponding to 5 p.m. Rome time in their parish. The Diocese of Evansville has parishes in the Central and Eastern time zones.
The rosary and Consecration at St. Benedict Cathedral will be live-streamed on the Diocese of Evansville YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/CatholicDioceseofEvansvilleIndiana) and the St. Benedict Cathedral Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/saintbenedictcathedral).
At the same time, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, will perform the same consecration in Fatima, Portugal. It was there, during her July 13, 1917, apparition that Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. Since that apparition, such a consecration has occurred before. On May 25, 1984, for example, St. Pope John Paul II consecrated Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope Francis believes current world events serve as an urgent call for renewal of the consecration.
Bishop Siegel encourages everyone across our 12 counties to join in prayer on March 25, if possible at the time of Pope Francis’ act of consecration, seeking the intercession of Mary, Mother of God, that the Lord will bring His peace and justice to the peoples and lands of Ukraine and Russia.