Manila (Agenzia Fides) - On March 25, the Filipino Bishops will join Pope Francis in the solemn act of consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which will take place during a penitential celebration in St. Peter's Basilica. As reported to Fides by Msgr. Bernardo Pantin, Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, the country's Bishops will perform the same act of consecration on the same day, in their respective dioceses. The Catholic Church in the Philippines expresses its closeness to the people who suffer also through a special collection of offerings, promoted on Sunday, March 20, during the holy masses in all 86 dioceses of the nation, to help alleviate the suffering of the Ukrainian people and to support people displaced by war.
"Even if Europe is relatively far from the Philippines, we have every reason to be concerned about the possible development of a global war", says a pastoral letter released by Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, President of the Bishops' Conference, expressing the hope that "an expansionist policy is not adopted in the Asia Pacific region". "The peace and security of some of the national territories - recalls the Bishop - are among the main internal concerns", noting the tension and the ongoing military operations in the Philippine Sea.
Msgr. David states that the situation in the disputed territories in the Asian region "is now proving to be one of the most important elements that will determine the choice of a new group of leaders for our country in the next elections", scheduled for next May.
The Philippine Church recalls that in July 1917 in the Portuguese town of Fatima, Our Lady asked for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart, to avoid wars and persecution of the Church. The Fatima apparitions of 1917 are among the most popular Marian apparitions of the Catholic Church. After the apparitions of Fatima, there were various acts of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Pope St. John Paul II consecrated the whole Church and the world to Mary three times during his pontificate. (SD-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 18/3/2022)