Charity registration No. SC002876  
Sunday October 20th. 2013
Pope Francis consecrates world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
ens of thousands of pilgrims from all over the world gathered  in St. Peter’s Square last Sunday to witness Pope Francis consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Holy Father performed the consecration before the image of Our Lady of Fatima, asking Mary’s help to “revive our faith.”                                                                 Oct. 13 marked the 96th anniversary since the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to shepherd children, Jacinta, her younger brother, Francisco, and Lúcia  at Fatima. It also took place as the Year of Faith draws to a close on the Feast of Christ the King, Nov. 24.    In front of an estimated 150,000 pilgrims, the Pope asked Mary to welcome the consecration “with the benevolence of a mother. “Guard our lives in your arms,” he said. “Bless and strengthen every desire for goodness; revive and help the faith to grow; sustain and illuminate hope; arouse and enliven charity; guide all of us on the path of holiness.” He also asked Our Lady to teach mankind her “special love” for children and the poor, for the excluded and suffering and for sinners.    The original statue of Our Lady of Fatima had been transferred from its home at the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal to St. Peter’s Square especially for the consecration. The act marked the culmination of a weekend of Marian prayer and devotion, followed by a worldwide televised vigil at various Marian sites all over the world. Untie ‘All Knotted Hearts’ In his address, the Holy Father stressed that the Virgin Mary leads Christians to the mercy of God, who can untie “all knotted hearts” caused by sin. “These knots take away our peace and serenity,” he said, and he urged the faithful not to give up hope that God can untie these knots. Mary, he said, “takes us with the hand of a mother to the embrace of the Father, to the Father of mercy.” Repeatedly over the weekend, the Holy Father explained how Mary, through her witness of faith, is the paradigm for all believers.     Drawing on her example, he challenged the faithful to consider their own faith more profoundly, following her example of fidelity, which wasall the way to Jesus’ crucifixion. Her faith at that moment, he said, was “like a little flame burning in the night”; and at the empty tomb, her heart was filled with the joy of faith. During his Sunday homily, Pope Francis reflected on the importance of Mary’s faithfulness even in moments of difficulty. “Her Yes to God was a Yes that threw her simple life in Nazareth into turmoil. Many
times,” he said, “she had to utter a heartfelt Yes at moments of joy and sorrow, culminating in the Yes she spoke at the foot of the cross.” Importance of Gratitude He also preached about the importance of gratitude, especially for the Christian community and for family life. “If families can say these three things, they will be fine: ‘sorry,’ ‘excuse me,’ ‘thank you,’” he said, adding that, “all too often, we take everything for granted.” Reflecting on Mary’s example of Christian gratitude, he recalled the Magnificat, saying it is “a song of praise and thanksgiving to God not only for what he did for her, but for what he had done throughout the history of salvation.” He added that God reveals himself in poverty, weakness and humility and stressed that the journey to salvation also entails commitment. “I ask myself: Am I a Christian by fits and starts or am I a Christian full time?” the Pope said. “Our culture of the ephemeral, the relative, also takes its toll on the way we live our faith. God asks us to be faithful to him, daily, in our everyday life.” But he stressed that the Christian knows God cannot be unfaithful even if the believer is himself, and he “never tires of stretching out his hand” to help and encourage us. “This is the real journey: to walk with the Lord always, even at moments of weakness, even in our sins,” he said. His words were welcomed by the whole Church. The consecration, he said, is a way of combating this and helping the world convert to Christ. “The Pope is saying to the faithful: ‘Be simple like Mary, because the whole pontificate has that theme.” Timothy Tindal-Robertson, president of the World Apostolate of Fatima in England and Wales, stressed that Sunday’s ceremony was “a giving of the world into the Immaculate Heart of Mary to save it.” “That is her whole mission,” he said. “Mary is again at the foot of the cross to bring salvation, and this is what the world needs.” He was especially struck by Pope Francis kissing the feet of the statue of Mary. “It is the Holy Father saying (to Mary) we, the Church, welcome you; we embrace you; we love you,” he said. “That’s the message that needs to get right out into the Church.”