When Mary appeared to the three children of Fatima in 1917, she revealed certain “secrets” to them. The Second Secret was a warning about Russia. In 1917 the revolution in Russia was still going on, and the success of the Bolsheviks was not yet certain. World War I was also still raging, with no one sure how much longer it would continue. Mary promised, “The war is going to end; but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the pontificate of Pius XI (this would be World War II).
Our Blessed Mother continued, “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, and various nations will be annihilated.”
We know that Russia (the Soviet Union) did in fact spread its errors throughout the world; there were wars, and persecution of the Church throughout the Twentieth Century, because of the errors of Russia. And a number of nations were in fact annihilated.
Mary does not leave us hopeless. She stated, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.” Pope Pius XII did consecrate the world, including Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on Oct. 31, 1942. Later, on March 25, 1984 (the Solemnity of the Annunciation), Pope Saint John Paul II and the bishops of the world would reconsecrate Russia and the world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart. Lucy, the visionary of Fatima was still living, stated that the consecration that Mary had requested had been fulfilled.
On Dec. 25, 1991, the red flag of the USSR, with the hammer and sickle, would be lowered for the last time, and the national flag of Russia was raised. There was a period of peace, and Communism in the Soviet Union and in the so-called Iron Curtain countries was defeated.
Over time, Vladimir Putin became the leader of Russia, and has longed for the return of the Russian Empire. He has looked back before the Soviet Union to the Romanov Czars and seen himself in their image. Putin has played the world, convincing many that he was a benevolent for KGB agent, who wanted only a world of peace and cooperation.
Putin has now shown his true colors, as he has launched a murderous invasion of Ukraine. In the past few weeks that nation has been devastated by the military strength of Russia. But we have also seen a heroic and inspirational response by the Ukrainian people and the emergence of a surprising hero in President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The Consecration of Ukraine and Russia last Friday, March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, was a renewal of the Consecrations by Pope Pius XII and Pope Saint John Paul II.
One other request of the Blessed Virgin was that we would fulfill the Five First Saturdays. On five consecutive first Saturdays we are to go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say a rosary, and spend 15 minutes meditating on the mysteries of the rosary, in reparation to Mary for our sins, and the sins of the world.
Let us take up Mary’s challenge and promise.
—Fr. Mike Comer