By Anthony Adetayo & Veronica Idowu

The Supreme Pontiff, Pope Francis enjoined the whole world to join him in consecrating Russia and Ukraine. The Pope directed the Bishops and Priests in the whole world to pray for peace in the world most especially Ukraine and Russia and this should be done on the 25th March, 2022 (Solemnity of Annunciation of the Lord). Over 5,000 people gathered inside and around St. Peter’s Basilica to pray with the Pope for the world and especially Russia and Ukraine. The Pope while praying gave some words of reflection. He said “we ask the Lord for many things but we forget the most important thing, love. I wish to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is no magic formula but an act of children turning to their mother seeking protection. We must recognize once more the primacy of faith. Reconciliation is not our journey to God but His own hand of embrace to us.”

Not left out in this is the Catholic Diocese of Ijebu-Ode Diocese. The Bishop, Most Rev. Francis Obafemi Adesina encouraged all parishes within the Diocese to follow the formula of prayer released by the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria. The Bishop was joined by Msgr. Gabriel Ayankoya, Very Rev. Fr. Albert Igbodipe and Rev. Fr. Daniel Ogunsanya at the Holy Mass praying for peace in Nigeria, Ukraine and Russia. The celebration started with the Holy Rosary, Stations of the Cross and concluded with the Holy Mass.

Bishop Francis Adesina said that the celebration was in union with the Holy Father’s intention. Going further, he described the Annunciation of the Lord as total humility of Mother Mary who submitted her entire life to God’s plan. According to him, Mother Mary was not sure of what the submission would cause her but she got to know daily by the grace of God. Bishop Adesina made it known that so many people in some parts of the world might complain of insufficient food, money, jobs, social amenities even ‘heat’ but others in the world are experiencing war. He therefore prayed that the Lord, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary will send peace to the world.

Before the Holy Mass ended, just as it was led in Rome by the Pope, the Prayer of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was led by Bishop Adesina.

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