On 13 July 1917, Our Lady of Fatima asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart.
In Tuy (13 June 1929) Our Lady told Sr. Lucia: “The moment has come when God asks the Holy Father to consecrate Russia in union with all the bishops of the world to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.”
In her memoirs Sr. Lucia wrote:
“Later on, by means of an interior communication, Our Lord said to me, complaining: ‘They did not want to heed My request! Like the King of France they will repent and do it, but it will be late. Russia will have already spread its errors throughout the world, provoking wars and persecutions of the Church: the Holy Father will have much to suffer.’”
Later in 1930, Sr. Lucia wrote further on the meaning of the apparition and Our Lord’s requests: “The good Lord promises to end the persecution in Russia, if the Holy Father will himself make a solemn act of reparation and consecration of Russia to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, as well as order all the bishops of the Catholic world to do the same. The Holy Father must then promise that upon the ending of this persecution he will approve and recommend the practice of the reparatory devotion already described.”
On August 29, 1931, Sr. Lucia said: “As I was asking God for the conversion of Russia, Spain and Portugal, it seemed to me that His Divine Majesty said to me: ‘You console Me very much by asking me for the conversion of those poor nations. Ask it also of my Mother frequently, saying: Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world. At other times say: By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the entire world. Make it known to my ministers that if they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of my request, they will follow him into misfortune. It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.’”
First part of Commentary by Father Stehlin, the Director of the Militia Immaculatae:
Since this vision is the last public message of Fatima, we must thoroughly consider every word of the message. We also have to remember that Our Lady referred to this future vision on July 13, 1917, having the intention to explain to the world the devotion to her Immaculate Heart.
The Consecration of Russia
The only request of Our Lady at Tuy is the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. There are two reasons why she asked for the consecration of that nation and not another one:
The first reason is, that since its conversion to Christianity, Russia has had a special devotion to Our Lady. Pope Pius XII himself mentioned this fact in his Act of the Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary: “…The innumerable icons, monasteries and shrines all over Eastern Europe are proof of the religious fervour of these people, fervour which they owe to the ‘All Holy, Virgin and Mother of God.’” Although Russia followed the Eastern schism, it was certainly not the people themselves who chose to be separated from the Catholic Church; they were misled by the political and religious rulers, so it is understandable that Our Lady would have a certain predilection for these people and desire to have them brought back to the unity of the Roman Catholic Church.
Since the October Revolution in 1917, however, Russia has become the main vehicle and instrument of anti-Christian forces, a stronghold of Marxist atheistic ideology. The apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima are a response from Heaven to the Russian revolution. The two events are so close in time that Our Lady seems to be rallying the forces of the Church militant against this new threat: Fatima is her battle standard in opposition to the Communist revolution in Moscow. This is the second reason for the special importance of Russia: never before in history had an entire nation become such an instrument in the hands of Satan. As a result, Our Lady chose to make Russia the central battlefield in her spiritual warfare. The main thrust of her forces is through an extraordinary counter-attack. We would expect an appeal for special prayers, penances, sacrifices, and other ordinary means of conversion. She does not ask for these things, but rather asks for something much greater: the consecration of Russia.
When we consider this request to consecrate Russia, however, we are confronted by a special problem. How is it possible for one person to consecrate another? And would such a consecration be effective if the person were consecrated against his will, and if he were even an open enemy of the Church? If we understand consecration as a pious expression or a plea for mercy, then it is easy to see how such a prayer could be made for the enemies of the Church. Mothers often consecrate their children to Mary, even when their children are in spiritual danger or are estranged. While we can understand the consecration of Russia as such a pious desire on the part of the faithful and a solemn plea to Our Lady to have pity on Russia for the conversion of the nation, such an interpretation is yet inadequate and does not require the cooperation of the hierarchy of the Church and the pope himself.
There is, however, a deeper meaning to this appeal for consecration: through God’s merciful design, the faithful can effectively become instruments in His hands for the conversion of souls. Jesus Christ requires our participation in the expansion of His kingdom and His conquest of the world. This teaching of the Church is expressed in the encyclical of Pope Pius XII Mystici Corporis (par. 106): “God’s inscrutable providence has decreed that these graces should not be granted to us all at once; but their greater or lesser abundance will depend in no small part on our own good works, which draw down on the souls of men a rain of heavenly gifts freely bestowed by God. These heavenly gifts will surely flow more abundantly if we not only pray fervently to God, especially by participating every day if possible in the Eucharistic Sacrifice; if we not only try to relieve the distress of the needy and of the sick by works of Christian charity, but if we also set our hearts on the good things of eternity rather than on the passing things of this world; if we restrain this mortal body by voluntary mortification, denying it what is forbidden, and by forcing it to do what is hard and distasteful; and finally, if we humbly accept as from God’s hands the burdens and sorrows of this present life. Thus, according to the Apostle, ‘we shall fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ in our flesh for His Body, which is the Church’”.
Our Lady Herself at Fatima taught that the salvation of a great number of souls depends on our prayers and sacrifices. The spiritual foundation of the great Marian movements — movements such as the Legion of Mary, the Militia Immaculatae, and the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima — consists in the vocation of an elite to become channels of grace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary to all souls for their conversion and sanctification. Our Lady wants us to be her instruments; she wants us to pray and sacrifice for her other children who are lost in heresy, schism, Judaism, and Freemasonry. The lives and sacrifices of Jacinta, of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, and of many other saints prove the power of this instrumentality for the conversion of the enemy. Our Lady not only speaks of the conversion of individuals, but of communities, institutions, and even of nations, and especially the conversion of Russia, where the most bitter enemies of the Church are gathered.
Our Lady requests a most unique act of prayer: an act of entire surrender of self, a holocaust, in the sense of consecration. In this supreme offering, all is to be given to her, without excluding anyone or anything.
The infinite and almighty mercy of God has equipped us with this powerful weapon of consecration to be turned against the soldiers of the enemy; it will overthrow their designs, shake them to the depths of their persons, make them doubt the evil cause in which they have joined, and weaken their resolve to fight, in order to liberate the good will that lies buried within them and which the enemy’s propaganda had suffocated. In theological terms, this special act of consecration obtains for those estranged from God a special actual grace — the Preparatory Grace — which prepares the souls of men for the coming of God, disposing man little by little to open himself to the light of Truth and the supernatural life, towards conversion. This is the precise role that the Blessed Virgin has played throughout history. By her powerful prayers in heaven, by her apparitions and by her presence in many shrines on earth, she opens hearts that do not yet possess sanctifying grace, and prepares them for the grace of conversion, delivering them from the ranks of the enemy. This is the promise of the Immaculate Heart, if her requests are fulfilled.