During Mass shortly after noon on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation, Bishop Joseph E. Kurtz prayed the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, joining the Pope and his fellow bishops around the world in consecrating the Church and all humanity to the Blessed Mother.
Earlier in the week, Pope Francis sent prayer to bishops around the world asking them to join him in consecrating “ourselves, the church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine “, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, according to Catholic News Service.
Pope Francis led prayer in St. Peter’s Basilica during a Lenten penance service in Rome.
During his homily, Bishop Kurtz shared with the congregation that in 2015, when he was president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, it was “my sad privilege to visit many places where there was a lot of pain,” he said. Among them were the cities of kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, and Kharkiv, where he visited refugees fleeing the conflict in Crimea.
The Archbishop noted that on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, “we commemorate that first moment of the conception of Jesus Christ in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” he said.
It was the day, he said, when the “Lord was announced to the world, an imperfect, sinful, violent world in need of redemption”.
Archbishop Kurtz said the Virgin Mary gave a “wonderful yes,” a “fiat,” when she replied, “Let it be done according to your will.”
“As we pray this fiat for people who are suffering, we pray that we may consecrate ourselves and the people of Ukraine and Russia to the Blessed Virgin Mary” who always leads to Jesus Christ, he said. .
Archbishop Kurtz also told his listeners that God’s will should not be used for evil.
“God’s will is that we walk with people who are suffering. God’s will is that we look for ways to achieve lasting peace,” he said. “It will require us to reach out in every way possible” to help the victims of the war in Ukraine.
Bishop Kurtz urged people to pray for faith and hope, as well as resolve to defend freedom. He also urged them to pray for peace to be restored in Ukraine and that “building justice is something you and I will be involved in.”