The Bishop of Shrewsbury will consecrate his diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on Sunday.
Bishop Mark Davies’s act of consecration will mirror Pope Francis’s, the Pope will consecrate the world to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart on Sunday.
Bishop Davies said: “I see this act of entrustment to Mary’s Immaculate Heart as an antidote to the rapid process of secularisation and de-Christianisation in societies like our own.
“It points to the often overlooked priority in the leadership of Pope Francis which constantly calls for our interior conversion, a change at heart.”
Bishop Davies will say the prayer consecrating the Diocese of Shrewsbury to Mary’s Immaculate Heart following 10:45am Mass at Shrewsbury cathedral.
Bishop Davies said: “Mary is the model of a life totally consecrated to God, her pure heart (Mt.5:8) completely open to the call and grace of God.
“By this prayer of entrustment we each seek to associate ourselves with her heart, to embrace her words ‘let it be to me according to your word’ (Lk.1:38) and so to live fully our baptismal consecration.”
The bishop added: “At Fatima, amid an era marked by wars, destruction and persecutions on a scale unprecedented in human history, Our Lady pointed us to the indispensable means of prayer and penance so that our hearts may be purified, so that peace may be received by humanity. In this way we will surely witness the triumph of her Immaculate Heart.”
The statue of Our Lady of Fatima is scheduled to travel to Rome on Saturday. It will be welcomed at an evening prayer service with the Pope and pilgrims in St Peter’s Square.
The statue has not been taken to the Vatican since 1984 when Blessed Pope John Paul II consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary a year after he was shot in St Peter’s Square.
The statue will then be taken to the Shrine of Divine Love, where the Diocese of Rome plans to hold an all-night vigil.
The statue and the pilgrims will return to St Peter’s Square on Sunday for the recitation of the rosary and Mass with Pope Francis. Pope Francis will then consecrate the world to Mary’s Immaculate Heart.