On March 25 Pope Francis led a celebration of the sacrament of penance and the act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in St. Peter's Basilica. The following is the full text of the pope's prepared homily.
In his homily, the pope said that the consecration ‘is no magic formula but a spiritual act.’
Catholic Bishops in Africa have, in separate statements, responded to Pope Francis’ call for prayer and consecration of Russia and Ukraine scheduled to take place on the Solemnity of the Annunciation, Friday, March 25.
The pope is asking the bishops ‘to join him in praying for peace and in consecrating and entrusting Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.’
The pope was speaking on the 21st day of the war in Ukraine.
Nearly 1.8 million people have entered Poland from Ukraine since the full-scale Russian invasion.
Pope Francis called for an end to the “harrowing war” in Ukraine on Sunday, condemning Russia's reported attacks on pregnant women and children in the eastern city of Mariupol.
Citing official statistics, Major Archbishop Shevchuk said there were more deaths among civilians than the military.
The besieged city of Mariupol is known as the ‘City of Mary.’
Pope Francis condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and expressed his solidarity with the country on Sunday.
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk issued a video message as Ukraine entered ‘the second week of this horrible war.’
Speakers were drowned out by a stream of obscenities.
‘In my house, we have 37 people,’ Father Vyacheslav Grynevych said.
Sisters in Kyiv are caring for around 100 people sheltering in a church basement.
He called for the opening of humanitarian corridors.
The pope assured Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of his closeness, support, and prayers for Ukraine.
“The tragic scenes which everyone feared are unfortunately becoming reality,” Cardinal Parolin said on Thursday.
Pope Francis asked young people Sunday to reach out to the elderly, especially those in nursing homes, to send a message of encouragement amid the loneliness of the coronavirus pandemic.