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Fatima and the Consecration of Russia
by Fr. Thomas Crean. O.P.

I’ve been asked to say why I don’t think that our Lady’s request has yet been fulfilled that Russia be consecrated to her immaculate heart by the pope and the bishops of the world. I shall take my information from Donal Foley’s book, Marian Apparitions, the Bible and the Modern World: I should note, however, that I do not draw the same conclusion as the author from the facts which he presents in this fine work.


We know of the request for the consecration only from Sr Lucia of Fatima. According to Sr Lucia, at the third apparition in Fatima, on July 13th, 1917, after showing the three children the vision of hell, our Lady said, among other things: ‘I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart’. Again, Sr Lucia said that on 13 th June, 1929, in the course of a vision that she was granted in her conventual chapel in Tuy, she heard our Lady say, ‘The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father, in union with all the bishops of the world, to make the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, promising to save it by this means’. Sr Lucia wrote to her confessor and also to the local bishop about this on several occasions, and in 1937 the bishop contacted Rome about the matter.

On 31st October 1942, in the course of a radio message, Pope Pius XII consecrated the whole world to our Lady’s immaculate heart, and made special mention of ‘those who profess to thee a singular devotion, where was no house that did not display thy icon, today hidden perhaps until better days’. This was a reference to Russia , even though the country was not mentioned by name. No bishops were involved in this papal act.

On July 7th, 1952, Pope Pius XII consecrated Russia by name to Mary’s immaculate heart, again without involving the bishops of the world.

On 13th May, 1982, exactly a year after the attempt that had been made on his life, Blessed John Paul II went to Fatima to carry out an act of consecration. I do not know whether he mentioned Russia by name or alluded to it in some other way; however,  according to Donal Foley, ‘this consecration had not fulfilled the conditions of collegiality asked for by Mary’ {i.e. it was not done in union with the bishops of the world}.

No doubt for this reason, the pope decided to renew his act two years later, having this time sent out in advance letters to the world’s bishops. On 25th March, 1984, therefore, Pope John Paul read out a text consecrating the world to Mary’s immaculate heart, in the course of which he said, “in a special way we entrust and consecrate to you those individuals and nations which particularly need to be thus entrusted and consecrated”. According to Donal Foley, ‘Although not all the world’s bishops joined in the act of consecration, it appears that a “moral totality” did’ 1.

As far as I know, there have been no further papal consecrations of the world since then.

Inference: None of these 4 papal acts both singled out Russia , whether by name or in some equally unmistakeable way, and also was done in union with the bishops of the world. Therefore the request referred to at Fatima in 1917 and formally made at Tuy in 1929 has not yet been fulfilled.

Confirmation: According to the Italian newspaper, L’Avvenire, on 25th March 1984, several hours after making the act of consecration, Pope John Paul II said in the presence of some 10,000 witnesses: “We wished to choose this Sunday for the act of entrusting and consecration of the world ... of all peoples, especially those who have a very great need of this consecration and entrustment, of those peoples of whom You Yourself are awaiting our act of consecration.” 2 In other words, after having performed the act of consecration, the pope acknowledged that there was some act of consecration which heaven was still awaiting.


1st Objection:- The world includes Russia. Therefore by consecrating the world in 1984, Pope John Paul also consecrated Russia.

2nd Objection:- Sr Lucia said that the 1984 consecration had fulfilled our Lady’s request. The Vatican stated this after a meeting between Sr Lucy and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on 17th November 2001.

Responses to Objections:

1st Response:-

By consecrating a larger thing, one consecrates what is contained within it only if the larger and the smaller thing are both being set aside for the same purpose. Thus by consecrating a church one consecrates each brick of the church, without having to refer to each one or trace the holy oil over each one. But by consecrating a city, one would not thereby consecrate all the buildings within it in such a way that they would become churches: consecrating a city does not have the same sense as consecrating a building to make it a church. The former sets the city aside from other cities for the service of God, but not for His liturgical worship. Likewise, consecrating a church does not consecrate the chalices and patens within it: each of them needs to be individually consecrated for a distinctive purpose, that of touching the body and blood of Christ. Now, the fact that Russia was mentioned by name by our Lady sufficiently shows that it has a special purpose in heaven’s plan. Otherwise there would have been no point in mentioning it expressly, any more than a bishop would announce his desire to consecrate a particular brick in a church, when what he really wants is to consecrate the whole church. Therefore Russia must be mentioned by name, or at least in some quite unequivocal way, if it is to be consecrated in the manner that heaven requires.

2nd Response:-

Directly contradictory words have been attributed to Sr Lucia on the validity of the 1984 consecration3. No transcript or audio or video recording has been provided of the 2 hour conversation which Cardinal Bertone had with the seer in 2001. It does not seem possible to ascertain with certainty what Sr Lucia’s opinion was on the question at the end of her life. 


1. It can be added that this is disputed by others. See for example, ‘Setting the Record Straight’ by Christopher Ferrara, available on-line at http://www.fatima.org/apostolate/vlarchive/strs.pdf

2. My source for this quotation is Christopher Ferrara’s article, ‘Sister Lucy betrayed’, available on-line at http://www.fatimacrusader.com/cr57/cr57pg03.asp

3. See Christopher Ferrara’s article: ‘Fatima for Today: a response’, on-line at http://www.fatima.org/news/newsviews/fatima-for-today-a-response.pdf

Version: 8th September (2013)

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