In Unity with Pope Francis in the Consecration of Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary


Dear brothers and sisters in the Archdiocese of Tokyo:

In Unity with Pope Francis in the Consecration of
Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

This year’s Lenten season began in the midst of the sad reality of war. Russia’s armed invasion of Ukraine has had a great impact on the world, and the situation unfolds in a way that has trampled on the hopes of many people who seek to protect life and strive for peace. I earnestly pray that the leaders of nations will not only defend people from threats to national independence, but also choose the path toward peace through dialogue that will protect life, restore hope and immediately put an end to all the indiscriminate actions that hinder the realization of the common good.

It has been almost a month since the war broke out on 24th February. Unfortunately, daily reports reveal that the situation is far from achieving peace. With the present widespread use of the internet, we can hear directly through various forms of social media the voices of people who are facing threats in their lives. I believe that because of this, many people realize that this is not merely a problem of other people but rather concerns everyone impelling all of us to strive for peace.

With heartfelt concern for the situation in Ukraine, Pope Francis has unceasingly exerted various efforts to bring about peace, and through the intercession of the Blessed Mother His Holiness will offer prayers for the establishment of God’s peace this Friday, 25th March, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, at 5:00pm (1:00am on March 26, Japan time), with the consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Pope has invited all the bishops around the world, and through the bishops called upon all the faithful, to unite as one in prayer during this consecration, preferably simultaneously on the prescribed time.

We received this morning from the Holy See the official prayer prepared for the day of consecration and is currently being translated by the General Secretariat of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ). As soon as the translated text is available, it will be posted on the CBCJ website.

Even if the official translation of the prayer is not finished on time, please remember the intentions of the Holy Father and offer prayers, such as the Holy Rosary, for peace.

The time of consecration in Rome by  His Holiness will be midnight in Japan. Thus, for the Archdiocese of Tokyo, even if it will not be possible to pray concurrently, we can offer our prayers the next morning. In addition, since the Archdiocesan Pastoral Evangelization Council will be meeting on Saturday, 26th March, we shall offer prayers at the beginning of the session with all the participants.

Let us join our hearts in prayer with the Holy Father, that through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, may God’s peace reign on earth, and for the land of Ukraine where life is in danger, may peace be established and the dignity of the gift of life be preserved.

Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi, SVD
Archbishop of Tokyo