Diocese prays in unity with Pope Francis’ consecration of Russian and Ukraine to Mary

The statue of Mary at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon, where Bishop Mark Hagemoen will pray in unity with Pope Francis on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, with the consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. (Photo by Kiply Lukan Yaworski, Catholic Saskatoon News)

Catholic Saskatoon News, with files from The B.C. Catholic

When Pope Francis consecrates Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Friday, March 25, the prayers of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon will be with him.

Bishop Mark Hagemoen will celebrate Mass at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Holy Family, 123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The Mass with Saskatoon’s bishop will also be live-streamed at saskatoonmass.com and on the diocese’s YouTube channel.

Later that evening, Mary’s accompaniment of Jesus on the way to the cross will be the focus of prayers during Stations of the Cross, held at 7 p.m. March 25, also at the Cathedral of the Holy Family.

“I invite all our parishes to unite in prayer at this time for the intention of the peace
for Ukraine, Russia, and all of the world, at this extraordinary time of needed grace and blessing,” said the bishop in a letter to the faithful announcing the Mass.

Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during a penitential celebration that he will preside over at 5 p.m. Rome time, 10 a.m. Saskatoon time, Friday, March 25, at St Peter’s Basilica. The papal ceremony will be live-streamed HERE.

Holy Father’s prayer of consecration – LINK

In preparation for the Pope’s consecration, the archbishop and Canada’s Catholic bishops have also invited the faithful and all people of good will to join in a novena (nine days of prayer) starting March 17 for peace and the people of Ukraine.

In a statement, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said, “Pope Francis wishes to place the people of Ukraine and Russia under the protection of Mary, the Mother of God, with a special liturgical act. To this end, he will consecrate the two countries to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at a penitential celebration.”

The consecration is being well received by the Catholic bishops in Ukraine and by the Russian bishops, said the CCCB, adding Ukrainian Catholic leaders are preparing with the novena and “they hope that all Catholic faithful from around the world will join them.”

The Canadian bishops said, “In view of this appeal, the Catholic Bishops of Canada, united with the Holy Father, invite their faithful and all people of good will to participate in the novena with the following prayer:

God of реасе and justice,
we pray for the реорlе of Ukraine today.
We pray for реaсе and the laying down of weapons.
We pray for аll those who fear for tomorrow,
that your Spirit of comfort would draw near to them.
We pray for those with power over war or реасе,
for wisdom, discernment and compassion to guide their decisions.
Above аll, we pray for аll your precious children, at-risk and in fear,
that you would hold and protect them.
We pray in the name of Jesus, the Prince of Реасе.

The novena was initiated by Catholics in Ukraine and first requested by the Latin-rite archbishop of Lviv, Archbishop Mieczysław Mokrzycki.

The date of the consecration is historically significant, as St. John Paul II consecrated Russia and the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984.