Special Mass collections in Ireland as Pope Francis to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to Immaculate Heart of Mary

Archbishop Eamon Martin has invited people to join Pope Francis in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary’ at a special service on Friday.

Pope Francis will lead the Act of Consecration in the Vatican within a service beginning at 4pm Irish time.

The service can be witnessed live via www.vaticannews.vaOn Friday 25 March, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, Pope Francis will lead a ceremony of prayer in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, to consecrate and entrust Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In welcoming the Act of Consecration, Archbishop Eamon Martin invited the ‘faithful and all people of goodwill to join with religious, clergy and bishops to pray for peace on this solemn occasion’.

Pope Francis. (YouTube)

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Archbishop Martin said: “The Catholic Church in Ireland will join wholeheartedly with Pope Francis to pray a solemn Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

“In pastoral leadership, Pope Francis will unite the universal Church in prayer for peace and asks us to do so from our homes, churches, cathedrals, and Marian sanctuaries. Together, with the bishops of Ireland, I invite everyone to join in this powerful global act of prayerful solidarity for peace in the world, and especially between Russia and Ukraine.

“I wish to assure the Archbishops in Ukraine that the thoughts and prayers of the people of Ireland are with them, and their people, in the midst of the horrific turmoil impacting their country. It is heartening to hear that the clergy of Ukraine are continuing to celebrate Mass and the sacraments on the streets and in the bunkers and shelters, doing their best to bring to their fearful people the love and compassion of Christ.

“One reality of the terror in Ukraine is that we can never take peace for granted. The appalling scenes of suffering compel us to always work for peace, pray for peace and make sacrifices for peace.”

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Archbishop Martin concluded: “I ask everyone to generously support the Special Collection for Ukraine which will take place at Masses across the country this weekend.”