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The Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a belief in the Roman Catholic Church that a specific act of consecration on the part of the Pope has been required by the Virgin Mary in return for which there would be world peace.
The Consecration of Russia is inherently related to the Marian apparitions reported at Our Lady of Fátima and Pontevedra, Portugal during which Portuguese children stated that the Virgin Mary appeared to them and delivered specific messages. The reported messages included a number of secrets that were gradually revealed by the Holy See. The messages emphasize the praying of the Rosary, wearing of the Brown Scapular, and made a number of prophecies and promises, one of which was that through the Consecration of Russia peace would be achieved. It is foretold and promised by Mary that her 'immaculate heart' will triumph in the end which will set forth the promised era of peace for mankind.
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The consecration of Russia was reportedly requested by the Virgin Mary, in a series of Marian apparitions known as Our Lady of Fátima, to three visionaries in 1917. It was also reported in further apparitions in 1925 in Pontevedra, Spain to a single remaining Fatima visionary. The Fátima visionaries stated that the Virgin Mary promised:
"But in the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father (and the remaining bishops) will consecrate Russia to Me. Russia will be converted and a period of peace will be given to mankind."
"... It was Our Lady of Fátima... with a crown of thorns... and said to me: "The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father in union with all the Bishops of the world to consecrate Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means.""
Lúcia Santos stated that at Pontevedra the Virgin Mary revealed to her Mary's Peace Plan consisting of three elements:
Towards the end of December 1940, Lúcia Santos sent a letter to Pope Pius XII, disclosing for the first time part of the secret about Russia and urging him to consecrate Russia.
Two popes consecrated Russia within the Roman Catholic Church based on the messages of Fátima and Pontevedra. One was Pope Pius XII, who was appointed Archbishop in the Sistine Chapel on May 13, 1917, the same day the Fátima apparitions were reported. The other was Pope John Paul II who was shot in Rome on May 13, 1981 and later credited Our Lady of Fátima with his recovery, saying that it was "in mysterious coincidence with the anniversary of the first apparition".
In October 1942, Pope Pius XII performed the Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the entire world and a decade later in July 1952 he specifically consecrated the Peoples of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary by his apostolic letter Sacro Vergente Anno. Pius XII stated:
"Just as a few years ago We consecrated the entire human race to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, so today We consecrate and in a most special manner We entrust all the peoples of Russia to this Immaculate Heart…"
On March 25, 1984, the feast of the Annunciation, Pope John Paul II consecrated Russia in a public ceremony. It needs to be mentioned, however, that Russia was never specifically mentioned in the consecration prayer but the consecration was in the form of a 'whole world consecration'. Cardinal Bertone has reported to the press many times that the message of Fatima is finished, yet the Pope in 2010 announced that we are mistaken if we think the prophecies of Fatima have been fulfilled. Cardinal Bertone reported that Lúcia Santos, one of the seers of the Fátima apparitions, said that the consecration requested by the Virgin Mary was fulfilled and accepted in heaven, and that everyone should live out the consecration personally by faithfully wearing the Brown Scapular. Others devoted to the cause of Fatima, however, deny that Russia yet has been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The entrance to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, to the south of the rectory, is a segment of the Berlin Wall intended to emphasize the belief that the Rosary prayers influenced the fall of the Berlin Wall related to the Consecration of Russia based on the Our Lady of Fátima messages.
Members of the Russian Orthodox Church object to the concept of the Consecration of Russia for two reasons: (1) Russia has already been Christian for over one thousand years, and has a great devotion to the Theotokos, and (2) the concept contains what appears to be an implicit proselytism of Russian Orthodox Christians to the Catholic Faith. Orthodox apologists point out that Russia was still an Orthodox nation at the time, and was not yet under the control of the atheist Bolsheviks. Thus the phrase "Russia will be converted" can imply conversion from Russian Orthodoxy to Catholicism. Yet, another possibility is that it means a conversion of the heart, which conforms to the theological commentary written by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) on the Fatima secret. The atemporal nature of divine revelation, which has made interpretation of the visions by the Catholic Church difficult, also works against the temporal argumentation of the Orthodox apologists.
However, the conception of Theotokos Derzhavnaya Orthodox icon points out that Virgin Mary is considered actual Tsarina of Russia by the religious appeal of Nicholas II thus Consecration of Russia may refer to return of Russian monarchy.