In 1984, on 25 March, Pope St John Paul II consecrated the world to the Immaculate heart of Mary. The event took place in St Peter’s Square, before the statue of Our Lady of Fatima that had been specially flown to Rome for the occasion.

Here is the prayer:

‘Immaculate Heart! Help us to conquer the menace of evil, which so easily takes root in the hearts of the people of today, and whose immeasurable effects already weigh down upon our modern world and seem to block the paths towards the future!

From famine and war, deliver us.

From nuclear war, from incalculable self-destruction, from every kind of war, deliver us.

From sins against the life of man from its very beginning, deliver us.

From hatred and from the demeaning of the dignity of the children of God, deliver us.

From every kind of injustice in the life of society, both national and international, deliver us.

From readiness to trample on the commandments of God, deliver us.

From attempts to stifle in human hearts the very truth of God, deliver us.

From the loss of awareness of good and evil, deliver us.

From sins against the Holy Spirit, deliver us, deliver us.

Accept, O Mother of Christ, this cry laden with the sufferings of all individual human beings, laden with the sufferings of whole societies.

Help us with the power of the Holy Spirit to conquer all sin: individual sin and the “sin of the world,” sin in all its manifestations.

Let there be revealed, once more, in the history of the world the infinite saving power of the Redemption: the power of merciful Love! May it put a stop to evil! May it transform consciences! May your Immaculate Heart reveal for all the light of Hope!’

 

The statue from Fatima was particularly relevant, as two of the shepherd children, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, both now canonised, died in the midst of the Spanish flu pandemic. It is easy to make a connection with our own day.

May Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart bring us comfort in these days,, and may she bring healing to a ravaged and diseased world. May God bless you.