ARLINGTON, VA –– Today, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, His Excellency, the Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, J.C.D., Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, joined Pope Francis and fellow bishops worldwide in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. At the exact hour the Bishop of Rome prayed over the warring Nations in a penitential celebration at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican—5:00 p.m. in Rome and noon on the U.S. East Coast—Archbishop Broglio repeated the same prayer in the Memorial Chapel at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Arlington, VA. More than 70 U.S. Military-affiliated Catholics and others participated in the Holy Mass and consecration.
Preaching the homily before the consecration, His Excellency drew on the first reading, Is 7:10-14; 8:10, wherein Isaiah proclaimed, “…. the virgin shall be with child, and…. name him Emmanuel, which means ‘God is with us!’.” Archbishop Broglio preached in part:
“Isaiah’s ministry takes place at a difficult moment in salvation history. The people are beginning to experience the exile in Babylon. They are uncertain and depressed. Their limited vision only allows them to see a bleak future. The prophet teaches about the attractiveness of divine truth, which, when embraced, gives the necessary courage to take the steep path. They can live the hope that transforms and sustains their life
“It is so important today to know how to perceive this type of motivation. Our era is not easy. We still labor under the effects of the pandemic, the economy is uncertain, many still suffer and tyrants make us all reflect. There is war in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, uncertainties in our cities, and other worries on all sides. We are concerned that the poor, especially the immigrants will suffer more or anew the indignity of poverty and deportation. In the midst of so many challenges we must be able to recognize, celebrate, and feel this divine love.”
Immediately after the homily, Archbishop Broglio turned to face the altar, knelt down, and offered the prayer of consecration, which included the following supplication:
“Therefore, O Mother, hear our prayer.
Star of the Sea, do not let us be shipwrecked in the tempest of war.
Ark of the New Covenant, inspire projects and paths of reconciliation.
Queen of Heaven, restore God’s peace to the world.
Eliminate hatred and the thirst for revenge, and teach us forgiveness.
Free us from war, protect our world from the menace of nuclear weapons.
Queen of the Rosary, make us realize our need to pray and to love.
Queen of the Human Family, show people the path of fraternity.
Queen of Peace, obtain peace for our world.”