It was noon in Syracuse last Friday as the clocks in Rome, at the Vatican, struck 5 p.m. In that moment, a simultaneous consecration of Russia and Ukraine began as people throughout the world prayed for peace in Eastern Europe.
The Solemnity of the Annunciation, March 25th, provided the perfect backdrop for special prayers to the Blessed Mother, as Queen of Peace, to become the conduit for pleas for an end to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Both countries were consecrated in services held in Syracuse, in Rome by Pope Francis, and around the world.
At the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse, Bishop Douglas J. Lucia and Bishop Emeritus Robert J. Cunningham prayed before an icon of the Virgin Mary following the celebration of Mass.
In his homily, Bishop Lucia told the large gathering that “for us Mary is a model for how to navigate God’s work in our daily lives.” Bishop asked those in attendance and watching via livestream to consider whether they are doing God’s work, and whether they are trusting in God each day.
In consecration prayers at the end of Mass, Bishop Lucia shared that in war “we have chosen to ignore God, have suppressed innocent lives. … We stopped being our neighbor’s keepers and stewards of our garden home.” The prayers to Blessed Mary concluded with these words: “To your Immaculate Heart, we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity—especially Russia and Ukraine.” The closing prayer asked that the Blessed Mother “lead us on the path to peace.”
The consecration can be viewed on the Syracuse Diocese YouTube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8by4J-Zm41Q.