100th Anniversary of the Fatima Apparitions

Holy See: The Consecration of Russia has taken place

There have been a number of consecrations of both Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, made by different popes (including several by Pope Pius XII and St. John Paul II, and one by Pope Francis on Oct. 13, 2013). But according to Sr. Lucia of Fatima, the 1984 consecration by St. John Paul II satisfied the request Heaven made in 1929 for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart.

The Evidence

In the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s “The Message of Fatima,” released June 26, 2000, as part of the Holy See’s official publication and interpretation of the secret of Fatima, we read (emphasis added):

Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished (“Sim, està feita, tal como Nossa Senhora a pediu, desde o dia 25 de Março de 1984”: “Yes it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on 25 March 1984”: Letter of 8 November 1989). Hence any further discussion or request is without basis.

In Fatima for Today by world-renowned expert on Fatima Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR (Ignatius Press, 2010), pages 193-199 and in Appendix C, he lays out evidence that St. John Paul II understood the consecration requested by Our Lady to have taken place, in large part because Sr. Lucia confirmed it repeatedly in letters and to Fr. Luis Kondor, the vice-postulator for the causes of Sts. Jacinta and Francisco.

Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, follows this line in his The Second Greatest Story Ever Told (Marian Press, 2015), Chapter 8. Here’s his discussion of whether or not the 1984 consecration counted:

On March 25, 1984, in St. Peter’s Square, with a crowd of about 200,000 of the faithful, with numerous bishops and cardinals present, in union with all the bishops throughout the world, and before the Fatima Shrine statue of Our Lady, Pope John Paul II solemnly consecrated the world and Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart as had been requested by Our Lady of Fatima. However, unfortunately, because the Pope did not explicitly say “Russia” in his public prayer, choosing instead to use veiled references as Pius XII had done, some have argued that it did not count.

But it did count because the Pope clearly implied Russia when he said, “In a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations that particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated.” He clearly intended to consecrate Russia, as did the bishops, who undoubtedly understood the implication.

After the ceremony, when he was thanked for consecrating “the world,” John Paul himself added, “and Russia.” This point of including Russia was deeply meaningful to him, because his own home country, Poland, was still suffering behind the Iron Curtain. In fact, many have speculated that during the several pauses John Paul made while reciting the World Consecration and the Triumph consecration prayer, he was probably bringing this intention of his heart even more directly to Our Lady, namely, his prayer for the collapse of Soviet Communism.

Still, the rumors persisted: “Did the consecration really count? Had the Pope actually done what was required?” To quell these rumors and set the record straight, Sr. Lucia gave her own opinion, in writing, on August 29, 1989:

Afterward [Pope John Paul II] wrote to all the bishops of the world asking them to unite themselves to him. He had the statue of Our Lady of Fatima [from the Cova da Iria chapel] brought to Rome on March 25, 1984. Then publicly, in union with those bishops who wished to associate themselves with His Holiness, he made the consecration in the way in which the Blessed Virgin had wished that it should be made. Afterward people asked me if it was made in the way our Lady wanted, and I replied: “Yes.” From that time, it is made!

Before reading this clear statement of Sr. Lucia, I still had questions of my own about the consecration, and so I asked one of the experts from the World Apostolate of Fatima why the 1984 consecration emphasized “the world” more than Russia. This was the insightful response I received:

If Russia had been consecrated as Our Lady had asked back in 1917, then Communism would have been nipped in the bud and World War II never would have happened. Instead, because of the consecration’s long delay, World War II did happen and Russia did spread her errors of atheism and Communism throughout the world. Therefore, by 1984, not just Russia but the whole world needed to be consecrated. So, John Paul explicitly consecrated “the world” as well as “nations that particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated,” which would include nations such as China and North Korea that certainly needed to be consecrated as well.

This response raises an important point: The consecration was made, but it was made late, as Mary herself had said. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect things to turn out as they would have had the consecration been done back in the early 20th century. After all, our Lord wants the response of faith, and when faith isn’t put into action, miracles don’t happen, or they’re lessened. Think, for example, of Our Lady of Fatima’s words regarding the October 13th Miracle of the Sun, which was lessened because of the actions of the faithless civil authorities, who imprisoned Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta. Mary told Lucia, “Had they not taken you to [prison], the miracle would have been greater.”

Why no era of peace?

As Fr. Apostoli points out, Our Lady did not ask for one thing alone to secure the conversion of Russia and peace in the world, but two: the consecration of Russia and the First Saturdays devotion (pg. 255).

Further, the First Saturdays are not simply to be done once in a set of five — the Five First Saturdays merely secure for an individual Our Lady’s assistance at the time of death. Rather, the First Saturdays are to be an ongoing act made by the faithful, the remnant holding back the wrath of God in the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah, the Body of Christ making reparation on behalf of the world and thus securing the world’s conversion, sanctification, and peace.

The evidence would seem to support that the consecration has been made; the First Saturdays have been neglected. And both are needed for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart, as is made clear in the second part of the secret of Fatima (emphasis added):

I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated.

This, many believe, is the reason we have not yet seen the conversion of Russia. The conversion was dependent upon both the consecration and the Communions of reparation, not just the former. The Holy Father has done what only he could do. All of us in the laity, the clergy, and the religious life, on the other hand, still have work to do in order to fulfill Our Lady’s request.

We understand that Fr. Gruner and the Fatima Center have always asserted that the consecration has not yet taken place. On this point, we stand with the Holy See. We trust the discernment of St. John Paul II; the assertion of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (at the time under the leadership of then-Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI) in the official document “The Message of Fatima,” released in 2000, that the consecration has been made; and the letters in which Sr. Lucia declared that Heaven had accepted it.

The Holy See on the Consecration

Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith’s “The Message of Fatima,” June 26, 2000, Introduction:

[…] John Paul II, for his part, asked for the envelope containing the third part of the “secret” following the assassination attempt on 13 May 1981. On 18 July 1981 Cardinal Franjo Šeper, Prefect of the Congregation, gave two envelopes to Archbishop Eduardo Martínez Somalo, Substitute of the Secretariat of State: one white envelope, containing Sister Lucia's original text in Portuguese; the other orange, with the Italian translation of the “secret”. On the following 11 August, Archbishop Martínez returned the two envelopes to the Archives of the Holy Office.

As is well known, Pope John Paul II immediately thought of consecrating the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and he himself composed a prayer for what he called an “Act of Entrustment”, which was to be celebrated in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major on 7 June 1981, the Solemnity of Pentecost, the day chosen to commemorate the 1600th anniversary of the First Council of Constantinople and the 1550th anniversary of the Council of Ephesus. Since the Pope was unable to be present, his recorded Address was broadcast.

In order to respond more fully to the requests of “Our Lady”, the Holy Father desired to make more explicit during the Holy Year of the Redemption the Act of Entrustment of 7 May 1981, which had been repeated in Fatima on 13 May 1982. On 25 March 1984 in Saint Peter's Square, while recalling the fiat uttered by Mary at the Annunciation, the Holy Father, in spiritual union with the Bishops of the world, who had been “convoked” beforehand, entrusted all men and women and all peoples to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished (“Sim, està feita, tal como Nossa Senhora a pediu, desde o dia 25 de Março de 1984”: “Yes it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on 25 March 1984”: Letter of 8 November 1989). Hence any further discussion or request is without basis.