Pope Pius XII consecrated the Church and the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1942, first on October 31st, during a radio broadcast to Portugal, then repeated it in Rome on December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. This was in the midst of World War II, and the war was not going well for the allies. However, within a short time the tide turned, as the Germans were defeated at El Alamein in North Africa on November 11th, the anniversary of the end of World War I, and the following February, in a battle that had raged for 5 months, they were defeated at Stalingrad. The date was February 2nd, the Feast of the Purification of Mary and the Presentation of Our Lord. Many historians consider this victory the decisive turning point of the war.
Fr. Gabriel Roschini, O.S.M., a noted Mariologist of the day who is said to have had a hand in writing the prayer, called the 1942 consecration the highest manifestation of Marian devotion, opening new perspectives for salvation history, even beginning a new era for the Church. This new era seems to have been the intention of God in sending the Blessed Virgin to Fatima, in order “to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart” (July 13, 1917 apparition).
Although Pope Pius XII had already received the request for the Consecration of Russia from Sr. Lucia in 1940, the direct instrument of this particular consecration was a young woman, Alexandrina da Costa, of Balasar, Portugal.(1) Known today as Blessed Alexandrina, and often called the Fourth Apostle of Fatima, she was both a mystic and stigmatist, living on only the Eucharist for the last 13 years of her life (1942-1955). Through her spiritual director she had been conveying a message of Our Lord to the Popes since 1936 - first to Pius XI, and then Pius XII, asking for the Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart. This request for the Consecration of the World would be the one he would fulfill in 1942, waiting until 1952 to Consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart, as requested by Our Lady through Sr. Lucia.
(1) The connection to Alexandrina would be acknowledged by the Holy See in the decree of her heroic virtues, as well as the biography prepared for her beatification in 2004.
Act of Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart Pope Pius XII, October 31 & December 8, 1942
Queen of the Holy Rosary, Help of the Christians, Refuge of the human race, Conqueress in God’s battlefields, To You and to Your Immaculate Heart In this tragic hour of human history We entrust and consecrate ourselves, And the Holy Church.
She is the Mystical Body of Your Jesus, Suffering and bleeding in so many parts And tormented in so many ways, We consecrate to You the whole world torn by bitter strive And consumed by the fire of hatred The victim of its own wickedness.
Look with compassion to all material and moral destruction To the suffering and fears of fathers and mothers Of husbands and wives, of brother and sisters and innocent children. Look at the many lives cut down in the flower of youth So many bodies torn to pieces in brutal slaughter So many souls tortured and troubled And in danger of being lost eternally.
Oh, Mother of Mercy, obtain peace for us from God! Obtain especially those graces, which can convert human hearts quickly. Those graces, which can prepare, establish and insure peace. Queen of Peace, pray for us; Give the world at war the peace for which all are longing, Peace in Truth, Justice and the Charity of Christ.
Give them peace of the arms and peace of mind, That in tranquility and order The Kingdom of God may expand.
Grant Your protection to infidels And to those still walking in the shadow of death; Give them peace and permit that the sun of truth may raise upon them; And that together with us They may repeat before the Only Savior of the World: Glory to God in the highest And peace on earth among men of good will (Lk2.14) Give peace to the people separated by error and schism, Particularly those, who have special devotion to You And among whom there was no home, Where Your venerable Icon was not honoured, Though at present it may be hidden In the hope for better days. Bring them back to the One Fold of Christ, Under the One True Shepherd.
Obtain peace and complete liberty for the Holy Church of God, Check the spreading flood of neo-paganism, Arouse within the faithful love of purity The practice of Christian life and apostolic zeal, So that the people who serve God, May increase in merit and number.
All of humanity were once consecrated to the Heart of Your Son. All our hopes rest in Him, Who is in all times Sign and pledge of victory and salvation.
Forever we consecrate ourselves to You And to Your Immaculate Heart, Oh, Mother and Queen of the World! May Your love and patronage hasten the victory of the Kingdom of God, May all nations, at peace with each other and with God, proclaim You Blessed And sing with You from one end of the earth to the other, The eternal Magnificat of glory, love and gratitude To the Heart of Jesus, in which alone, They can find Truth, Life and Peace.