The prayer specifically asks the Blessed Virgin Mary to “free us from war” and to “protect our world from the menace of nuclear weapons.”
4. The consecration quotes Our Lady of Guadalupe
The consecration prayer references Marian devotions from around the world, including Mary, Undoer of Knots, a Marian devotion close to Pope Francis’ heart.
It also directly quotes Our Lady of Guadalupe’s words to St. Juan Diego: “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?”
The consecration says: “We now turn to you and knock at the door of your heart. We are your beloved children. In every age you make yourself known to us, calling us to conversion. At this dark hour, help us and grant us your comfort. Say to us once more: “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?” You are able to untie the knots of our hearts and of our times. In you, we place our trust. We are confident that, especially in moments of trial, you will not be deaf to our supplication and will come to our aid.”
5. Pope Francis asks forgiveness from God on behalf of all humanity
Pope Francis will make the act of consecration in the context of a penitential service in which many priests will be hearing confessions in St. Peter’s Basilica.
At the beginning of the prayer, Pope Francis confesses to the Lord on behalf of humanity: “We have forgotten the lesson learned from the tragedies of the last century, the sacrifice of the millions who fell in two world wars.”
The pope then asks for forgiveness for “ravaging” the world with war and sin. The prayer says: “Now with shame, we cry out: Forgive us, Lord!”
“Holy Mother, amid the misery of our sinfulness, amid our struggles and weaknesses, amid the mystery of iniquity that is evil and war, you remind us that God never abandons us, but continues to look upon us with love, ever ready to forgive us and raise us up to new life,” it says.
Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.