A statue depicting the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the parish church of St. Nicholas in Krapina, Croatia. / Zvonimir Atletic/Shutterstock.

Vatican City, Mar 16, 2022 / 05:05 am (CNA).

Catholic bishops in Latin America and the Caribbean will join Pope Francis’ consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25.

The Episcopal Conference of Latin America (CELAM) said on March 15 that it had invited Catholics, church organizations, and 22 bishops’ conferences to “join the intentions of the Holy Father.”

The conference said it had received the news of the Marian consecration “with great joy and hope,” especially as there is a need “to redouble our prayer for peace and universal brotherhood.”

“We reiterate our affection and filial communion with the Bishop of Rome, raising our pleas to God our Father so that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, he will grant us the gift of peace,” CELAM said.

“With our prayer and solidarity, we embrace our most vulnerable brothers and sisters and victims of violent and fratricidal actions, with the certainty that ‘God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God (1 John 4:6),” the bishops added.

The Vatican announced on March 15 that Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord. The consecration will take place during a penance service in St. Peter’s Basilica at 5 p.m. local time.

Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, will carry out the same act on the same day at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal.

The Latin American bishops said that they would participate in the consecration “in accordance with the time zones of our countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.”