Following the announcement from the Holy See that the Holy Father will consecrate both Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Holy Mass for Peace in Ukraine was celebrated by His Excellency Cardinal Pietro Parolin the evening of the 16 March 2022.
In the initial words of his homily the Vatican Secretary of State preaching to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See said, “We are here this evening to implore God the gift of peace in Ukraine, and ask him to help every man and woman of goodwill to be the artisan of peace.” Continuing he made reference to the discourse on the mountain, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called children of God.”
He quoted the Holy Father’s Angelus message of the 6th March saying in Ukraine the rivers of blood and tears are flowing and “We are talking only about a military operation but war which cultivate death, destruction, and misery”. “If we are here to pray it is because we are convinced that prayer is never useless” affirmed the Cardinal saying prayer can change hearts and minds.
“Do you not think, brothers and sisters, that if we really put the words of Jesus into practice, all the conflicts of the world would gradually disappear?” asked Cardinal Parolin.
Towards the end of his homily he said, “We turn to God with a broken heart regarding what is happening in Ukraine”, repeating what Pope Francis said appealing for ceasefire because God is with those who seek peace and not with those who use violence.
On the 15th of March the Press Office of the Holy See had announced that, “On Friday 25 March, during the Celebration of Penance at which he will preside at 17.00 in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The same act, on the same day, will be carried out in Fatima by His Eminence Cardinal Krajewski, Apostolic Almoner, as envoy of the Holy Father.”
And on the evening of 16 March is was announced that Pope Francis held a video call with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to discuss the war in Ukraine, and calls on Church leaders to use the language of Jesus, not that of politics. And talking about the cost of ware the Holy Father said “Wars are always unjust, since it is the people of God who pay. Our hearts cannot but weep before the children and women killed, along with all the victims of war. War is never the way. The Spirit that unites us asks us as shepherds to help the peoples who suffer from war.”
It has been noted by Vatican News that both Latin-rite and Byzantine-rite Catholic Bishops in Ukraine have expressed their gratitude to Pope Francis for his desire to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. “This is a spiritual act long awaited by the people of Ukraine. Since the beginning of Russian aggression in 2014, Ukrainian Catholics have been urgently requesting this Act to prevent the worsening of the war and the dangers coming from Russia,” said Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.