Pope Pius XII's Consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary took place on October 31, 1942. Pope Pius XII performed a Marian consecration, entrusting the world to the Virgin Mary, as Queen of Peace, through her Immaculate Heart. This consecration was made in the context of the reported messages from Jesus and the Virgin Mary purportedly received by Blessed Alexandrina of Balazar, and communicated to her spiritual director, Father Mariano Pinho.
Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa, from Balazar, was a Portuguese mystic who reported many private apparitions, messages and prophecies received directly from Jesus and Virgin Mary. In June 1938, based on the request of her spiritual director, Father Mariano Pinho, several bishops from Portugal wrote to Pope Pius XI, asking him to consecrate the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In June 1938, Father Mariano Pinho conducted a retreat at Fátima, Portugal, for the Portuguese bishops, at the end of which the bishops forwarded their own request to Pius XI for the consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This request was renewed several times.
At that time Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli (later Pope Pius XII) was the secretary of the state of the Vatican. On October 31, 1942, Pius XII made a solemn Act of Consecration of the Church and the whole world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, joined by the bishops of Portugal, gathered at the Cathedral in Lisbon. Pius spoke by radio, in Portuguese, to an audience of thousands of pilgrims who had come to Fatima to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the last apparition of Our Lady.
At that time, German troops under General Rommel had conquered strategic parts of North Africa while advancing towards the Suez Canal, and in Russia fighting continued against an expanding German invasion. On October 31, 1942 Pius XII called for a prayer crusade to Mary the Queen of Peace, and stated that only her intercession could save the situation. He then dedicated the whole human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He renewed the consecration again on December 8, 1942.
Supporters of Pope Pius and his Marian views point out that indeed the battlefield situation improved markedly for the Allies. Shortly afterwards, in the battle of El Alamein, British forces achieved a major breakthrough. According to Winston Churchill, not known as a Marian devotee, one can almost say, before El Alamein, we did not have a single victory, and after not a single defeat. In the Pacific, the Japanese defenders were decisively beaten during the Guadalcanal Campaign, as part of the larger land and sea battles in the Solomon Islands Campaign, with a few days after the consecration. The downfall of Stalingrad began a few days later as well with the encirclement on November 19, 1942. Stalingrad surrendered on the Marian feast day, February 2, 1943. This view is not shared by everyone, but is popular among Marian devotees of Pope Pius XII.
The noted Mariologist Gabriel Roschini called the 1942 consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary "the greatest honour, which anyone can imagine. It is the highest manifestation of the Marian cult." It opens new perspectives for salvation history. He and others see the consecration as a new “Marian way”, a new definition of what human means between the collectivism and unlimited liberalism. The consecration to Mary by Pope Pius means “that an age of the Church” had begun: Through Mary we understand the super-natural destiny of mankind and every human being.
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Alexandrina Maria da Costa (30 March 1904 – 13 October 1955), best known as Blessed Alexandrina of Balazar, was a Portuguese mystic and victim soul, member of the Association of Salesian Cooperators, who was born and died in Balazar (a rural parish of Póvoa de Varzim). Alexandrina left many written works, which have been studied mainly in Italy by Father Umberto Pasquale. On 25 April 2004 she was declared blessed by Pope John Paul II who stated that "her secret to holiness was love for Christ".Alfonso Muzzarelli
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