Pope Francis is not easy to categorize, but it is not the Pope’s job to conform to any ideology or faction within or without the Church. It is his job to preserve and propagate the Faith, and the Holy Father was on the job during the Feast of Corpus Christi, on which he called for an hour of universal Eucharistic adoration. (See: “Pope Francis to Lead Global Holy Hour”.)
And there is this important aspect of the Pope’s request: he asked that all the churches in the world participate at the same time (between 5pm and 6pm Rome time, on June 2). We cannot recall such a specifically timed request of a Pope to the universal Church in recent history. But we know that universal participation — at the same time — is a condition laid down by Our Lady of Fatima for the consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart (see: “The Consecration of Russia: Consequences for the World”).
Exactly how many churches responded to the Pope’s request on Corpus Christi is difficult to estimate, but reports indicate that the Holy Father was joined in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament by the Faithful in thousands of dioceses throughout the world. One can only imagine the graces that are being poured down on our suffering world as a result of this massive act of adoration.
And the Pope has now set a precedent for universal, simultaneous prayer. We know that most of the bishops would obey the Pope were he to ask them to participate in the consecration of Russia, as requested by Our Lady of Fatima, to whom the Holy Father has consecrated his papacy. We must hope and pray that this act of consecration will come soon. And we now have strong reason to hope.
While Pope Francis was leading the Corpus Christi procession in Rome, something was happening in Russia that hadn’t happened in 96 years: the Blessed Sacrament was being carried in procession through the streets of St. Petersburg, the historic capital of Russia (see: “Russian faithful allowed Corpus Christi procession after 95 years”).
Neither the Orthodox Church, nor the government intervened to stop the procession from taking place. This is, in a word, astounding. After almost a century of suppression, Catholics were permitted to carry Our Lord in public procession along the thoroughfares of the city that served as the capitol of Russia when it was still a Christian nation. What does this portend?
We know that Russia has been chosen by Heaven to play a crucial role in salvation history. The Miracle of the Sun at Fatima — the greatest public miracle in history — confirmed Our Lady’s prophecy that, in the end, Russia will be consecrated to Her Immaculate Heart. When this is done, Our Lady said, Russia will be converted and a period of peace will be granted to the world. Certainly, the re-emergence of public Eucharistic adoration in the nation whose errors of atheism and materialism have spread throughout the world has a significance that cannot be overestimated.
We also know that the Message of Fatima was preceded by angelic apparitions in 1916 that focused on the importance of the Eucharist. An angel appeared to the children holding a chalice, with a host above the chalice. He taught them a prayer of adoration and reparation (see: The True Story of Fatima: A complete account of the Fatima Apparitions, Chapter I, “The Angel”). The angel told them that many not only do not adore Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, but they commit outrages against His Holy Presence. He asked them, by their love, to console Our Lord for these outrages.
The angel then gave Lucia the Host, and distributed the contents of the chalice to Jacinta and Francisco. The children were also told that it is by the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, joined to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that sinners will be converted.
Could Pope Francis be preparing us for the consecration of Russia? The Holy Father is bringing the world back to Our Lord in the Eucharist. Will he then bring Russia back to the Church through the Immaculate Heart? Let us pray to Our Lady that it may be so — and soon.
How the Pope Can Change the World — On May 12, 2013 a good number of supporters of the Fatima Center in Rome participated in the Italian March for Life. The Fatima Center representatives were part of a crowd of 30,000 which included "Large groups of young priests, seminarians and religious in cassocks and habits; families; and people of every profession including politicians and doctors, gathered to march against abortion, legalized in Italy in 1978 and which has seen millions of children killed." But during the Italian March for Life we saw something that should be a model for the future of Catholic social action: the personal participation of the Pope.
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