In August, 1941, Sister Lucia, the Fatima, Portugal, visionary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, wrote her third memoir. She described a previous apparition that she had with her 2 cousins on July 13, 1917. She said that the Blessed Virgin Mary had told them,
To prevent [war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father] 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, various nations will be annihilated. 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.
Now that Pope Francis has consecrated Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us pray for Our Lady’s promised conversion of Russia and the period of peace. Why did Our Lady ask us to pray for the conversion of Russia?
On December 16, 1936, St. Faustina, the recipient of the Divine Mercy Devotion, received a message from Jesus regarding Russia. He told her, “I cannot suffer that country any longer. Do not tie my hands, my daughter.” St. Faustina understood that if it had not been for the prayers of souls that are pleasing to God, that whole nation [Russia] would have already been reduced to nothing. “Oh, how I suffer for that nation which has banished God from its borders!” (Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska, 818).
Why did Jesus say to St. Faustina in 1936, “Oh, how I suffer for that nation [Russia] which has banished God from its borders.”?
In 1924, Russia liquidated ten million kulaks (independent Russian farmers who opposed collectivization) by forced collectivization.
In 1933, Russia confiscated and hoarded the Ukrainian grain harvest. It was a true genocide that resulted in the deaths by starvation of approximately 8 million Ukrainians.
In 1934, the Great Purge of Russia began and those suspected of being threats to the state were purged. It lasted until 1938 and resulted in the deaths of approximately 1 million human beings. There were also approximately 2 million who died or were killed in the gulags, the slave labor camps.
In the 1940s, under the atheistic Soviet communist dictatorship regime in Ukraine, the four-million-member Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church was outlawed. Its bishops were arrested and either exiled or died in prison. Almost 4,000 churches were closed and countless Catholic laypeople were imprisoned, exiled, or sent to the gulags.
The killings continued as Russia spread Communism throughout the world, as the Blessed Virgin Mary had prophesied at Fatima, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. On February 4, 1989, the New York Times reported that the total Russian victims up to that date totaled about 20 million people.
Since then, Russia has committed the international crime of aggression against Georgia, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Crimea, and now, the rest of Ukraine.
On November 18, 1920, Russia became the first country in the world to legalize abortion. Since then, there have been at least 100 million abortions in Russia. In 2001, only 1.31 million children were born in Russia, while 2.11 million abortions were performed.
In the photo below, Pope Francis holds a flag up at his General Audience of April 6. He said that it was brought to him from the “martyred city” of Bucha, Ukraine, as a memorial of what he called, “the “horrific cruelties” against unarmed women and children in Bucha. He said that the blood of innocent civilians “cries out to heaven” for an end to the atrocities of war. “Recent news about the war in Ukraine, instead of bringing relief and hope, attest to new atrocities, such as the Bucha massacre, increasingly horrific cruelties carried out even against unarmed civilians, women and children.
“They are victims whose innocent blood cries out to heaven and implores an end to this war. Let us silence the weapons, let us stop sowing death and destruction.”
Then Pope Francis invited Ukrainian refugee children to join him up on the stage in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. He explained to the audience that these children had to flee the war and that “this is one of the fruits of war. Let’s not forget the people of Ukraine.”
Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote, “The Bucha massacre was deliberate. Russians aim to eliminate as many Ukrainians as they can.”
Journalist Sergei Medvedev said the scenes we see now in Ukraine recall other 3rd millennium Russian atrocities. He said, “Looking at the photos from Irpin and Bucha, you understand that these are the same people who torture in colonies, pre-trial detention centers, during interrogations, the same hands tied behind their backs, the same culture of violence and impunity. “This is Russia, this is the norm.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy detailed the war’s alleged atrocities in a speech to the U.N. Security Council after visiting Bucha. He said that Russian forces “killed entire families, adults and children, and they tried to burn the bodies. Civilians were crushed by tanks while sitting in their cars in the middle of the road, just for their pleasure. They cut limbs, slashed their throats, women were raped and killed in front of their children.”
Rebekah Koffler, a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, said, “It is absolutely not an accident that they are fighting this way. This is 100% intentional. It’s not a lack of military discipline.”
On April 3, Pope Francis entrusted Ukraine to Mary and urged the faithful to pray for people suffering from the Ukrainian War. He said, “May the Lord accompany you and Our Lady keep you. Let us now pray to her for peace, as we think of the humanitarian tragedy unfolding in war-torn Ukraine, still under the bombardment of this sacrilegious war. May we be tireless in praying and in offering assistance to those who suffer.”
As we approach Holy Week and meditate on the Passion of Jesus Christ, let us be mindful of the Passion of Ukraine and pray for its end! Let us turn to Our Lady, and, as she requested, let us pledge to pray the daily Rosary, as best we are able, for the intentions of the conversion of Russia, and for peace and freedom in Ukraine, Europe and the world.