Public Consecrations of countries to God in which political leaders have a role are unprecedented in modern times, but recently three sovereign nations have done so. That gives hope for the world that is rapidly sliding into materialistic secularism……Poland, Peru, and the Ukraine for a start, and the Church in Russia is beginning to bloom.
Poland Recognizes Christ as Their King
Historically, Poland has been a staunchly Catholic country, strong even under Communism. However, as a member of the very secular European Union, it had been slipping. Ten years ago while my wife was taking care of her ailing father, I taught at a local college and my four kids were going to a Polish school. From my reading about a failed Polish parliamentary resolution I asked about the idea of declaring Christ the King of Poland among priests and others. There didn’t seem to be much interest. One priest was hung up about separation of Church and state.
But to my surprise a week ago on November 19, the eve of the great Feast of Christ the King, during a solemn ceremony at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, the Catholic bishops of Poland officially recognized Christ as King of Poland. Furthermore, the consecration was carried out in the presence of Polish President Andrzej Duda, implying presidential approval. The consecration Mass was officiated by St. Pope John Paul’s former secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. On the actual feast, the Polish people followed that up by consecrating Poland and themselves to Christ the King in every parish in the country after a novena of preparation. See http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/christ-recognized-as-king-of-poland and http://www.sspx.org/en/news-events/news/polish-recognition-christ-king and also http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/polish-bishops-and-president-duda-declare-christ-king-poland.
Christ the King has a biblical basis. It was prophesied several times, especially in the Old Testament Book of Isaiah that the Messiah would be a king in the royal line of David and His kingdom would last forever. In Luke 1:31-33 of the New Testament the Archangel Gabriel says to Mary: “Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end."
By his presence at the Consecration Mass the President
of Poland Andrzej Duda gives official recognition of
Christ as King of Poland.
The action of the Polish bishops is consistent with Pope Pius XI's 1925 encyclical "Quas Primas," which solidified the devotion to Christ the King and established the feast. He wrote: "When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony………Our Lord's regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen's duty of obedience…….Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ." See http://w2.vatican.va/content/pius-xi/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_p-xi_enc_11121925_quas-primas.html.
This encyclical was Pius XI’s response to growing nationalism and secularism…….the promotion of human development through material means with no role for faith, religion, or belief in God. In secular states, there may be freedom of worship within the home or church building, but freedom of religion outside of the church building to practice the faith, follow basic beliefs, and have an influence in the public square through its own publications, schools, hospitals, etc. is restricted if not eliminated. Secularism breeds an erosion of basic God given freedoms and rights.
The official statement/prayer of the Episcopate of Poland regarding the act of recognition of Christ as King of Poland reads as follows:
“We profess in face of God and Earth, that we need your rule. We profess, that you and only you have holy rights to us that never expired. Therefore with humility we bend our heads to you, The Lord of the Universe, and we recognize your rule over Poland and our whole nation, that lives in the motherland and away in the wide world. Hereby Poland in the 1,050th anniversary of its baptism, solemnly recognizes the rule of Jesus Christ.”
This recognition of Christ as King of Poland complements the historical title of the Queen Mother Mary as Queen of Poland declared by King John Casimir in 1656 after 70 monks and 180 locals defended the Monastery of Jasna Góra that housed the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa against a Swedish force of 4,000.
The defeat of radical Islam (the Ottoman Turks with 200,000 troops) on September 11, 1683 by King Sobieski and the repulsion of the invasion of over 100,000 Soviet troops on the Feast of the Assumption August 15, 1920 are attributed by Poles to Mary’s intercession.
Had the Ottoman Turks won in 1683, radical Islam would have been largely unopposed in conquering Rome and fulfilling their dream of hoisting the Islamic flag over the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. Today ISIS has the same dream and has made no secret of it.
The Battle of Warsaw (1920) is often called the “Miracle on the Vistula” or in Polish “Cud nad Wisla”. Had the Soviets won in 1920 they could have advanced to the English Channel since the armies of Western Europe were exhausted and weak. Then all of Europe would have been Communist at least for a time. A Communist Reign of Terror ruled Hungary for six months in 1919 until repulsed by Admiral Horthy. My father lived under it and shared his experience under it many times.
Clearly, God is in control of History.
Consecration of Perú
A month before the President of Peru, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (78), an alumnus of both Oxford and Princeton, former functionary of the World Bank, successful investment banker in the United States, and economist, officially consecrated Peru to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the National Prayer Breakfast on October 21, 2016 in Lima. Interesting is that the President of Peru is the son of Polish/German father and French mother who immigrated to Perú. Having Jewish roots and a renowned pathologist, they had fled Nazism in 1933. See http://perureports.com/pedro-pablo-kuczynski/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedro_Pablo_Kuczynski.
The purpose of the annual prayer breakfast in Peru is to bring a message of optimism and reconciliation. Kuczynski was the first Peruvian president to attend one of the 21 breakfasts to date. This year’s theme was the “Mercy of the Love of God”.
In his speech, Kuczynski proclaimed: "By the authority vested in me, I make an act of consecration of myself, my family and the Republic of Peru to the love and protection of Almighty God through the intercession of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I place in your loving hands my government with all of its workers and citizens that are under my responsibility. I offer to God Almighty my thoughts and decisions as President so that I may use them for the good of our country and always be conscious of the Ten Commandments in governing it.” He asked for God’s forgiveness “for all the transgressions I may have committed in the past, all those committed by the Republic in the past, and for all those decisions that may have been made contrary to his commandments and I ask for his help in changing everything that separates us from Him.” For more detail in Spanish, see http://diocesisdecelayamx.blogspot.com/2016/10/video-presidente-kuczynski-consagra-el.html and the video of the consecration speech http://aciprensamx.blogspot.com/2016/10/video-presidente-kuczynski-consagra-el.html and http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/peruvian-president-consecrates-nation-to-sacred-heart-immaculate-heart-23070/ as well as http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/peru-consecrated-to-the-sacred-and-immaculate-hearts in English.
I’m especially proud of Perú because I spent 14 years (1965 – 1982) of my life in Arequipa, teaching at the universities of Santa María and San Agustín. Hundreds of missionaries from all over the world gave their lives to Perú…….USA, Spain, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Malta, etc. I would like to think that the Lord used us to make a difference, small but significant. What a privilege!
Consecration of Ecuador
The action of Kuczynski has one precedent in neighboring Ecuador more than a century before. The then Ecuadorian president Gabriel Garcia Moreno consecrated Ecuador to the Sacred Heart on March 25, 1874. Ecuador's official act of consecration reads: "Prostrate before your divine presence, all the public powers of the Church and of the State offer and consecrate to Thee now and for always the Republic of Ecuador as Thy exclusive possession and property." This consecration is enshrined in Ecuador's constitution:
Art. 1: The Republic of Ecuador consecrates itself to the Holy Heart of Jesus, proclaiming it as Patron and Protector.
Art. 2: The Feast of that same Sacred Heart of Jesus is prescribed as a civil first-class holy day, to be observed in every cathedral of this Republic by diocesan prelates with all possible ceremony.
Consecration of Ukraine
On October 23, 2016 the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, at a ceremony held at Fatima consecrated the Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
His words in Fatima are as follows: “Mary, we stand today before your countenance and consecrate to your Immaculate Heart and place under your protection the Ukraine and other Eastern European nations and the world. We offer you all the pain and suffering of Ukraine, because only through conversion and repentance comes peace. Receive our offering and save our people and our land and the world from sin and death.” For greater detail see http://op54rosary.ning.com/forum/topics/ukraine-consecrated-to-the-immaculate-heart and http://news.ugcc.ua/en/news/the_head_of_the_ugcc_in_fatima_consecrated_ukraine_to_the_immaculate_heart_of_mary_77901.html.
The country is mired in a war since 2014 with ethnic Russian speaking Ukrainian separatists, who with the help of Russia are bent upon having eastern Ukraine annexed to Russia. Ukraine had already been forcibly absorbed by the very repressive atheistic Soviet Union from 1919 to 1991, when it finally obtained its independence. For more detail see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukrainian_Soviet_Socialist_Republic and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_pro-Russian_unrest_in_Ukraine.
In Russia of all places the faith is growing as never before since the consecration of Russia by St. Pope John Paul II in union with the bishops of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984……..the number of churches has increased from 400 to 30,000; monasteries from 22 to 800, and schools of theology from 0 to 100. See http://paulrsebastianphd.blogspot.com/2016/10/177-consecration-to-immaculate-heart.html for the time line after the consecration.
Not a Theocracy. The consecrations in Poland, Peru, Ecuador, and Ukraine in no way mean any dictatorial theocracy like Sharia Law or a decrease in democracy. All basic human rights remain and constitutional guarantees remain intact. Man will always have a free will. However, the people prayerfully place their countries in the hands of God, and entrust their nations to Him, asking for His guidance and protection. They aspire to a mindset that prayerfully seeks the will of God in all policies and decision making as well as faithfulness to Him, His Ten Commandments, and the moral/social teachings of the Church which invariably have a biblical basis. An individual or a Country can never go wrong by trusting in the will of God which is always for the best in the long run.
The consecration may be to the Immaculate Heart, i.e., as most Catholics believe in the path to Jesus through Mary since her mission is to bring souls to her Son. The Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart are united as one. Thus her will is God’s will. After all, Mary received her great mission from the Father to conceive by the Holy Spirit her spouse and give birth to the Son of God.
A Country faithful to its consecration has a much better chance for social order, tranquility, and just socioeconomic development within its borders than under secularism and the chaotic moral relativism where everybody does what is right in his/her own mind, the same mentality that led to the ruin of Sodom and Gomorra.
One can also make an individual consecration to Mary according to St. Louis de Montfort. See http://www.iipg.org/consecration1.htm.
May other countries follow the example of Ecuador, Peru, Ukraine, and Poland. May these initial consecrations be part of a trend that will bring all nations back to God who loves us infinitely and thirsts for souls and their love.