On the Immaculate Heart and the People of Russia
We know — and the knowledge has filled Our heart with hope and with deepest comfort — that you love and honor the Virgin Mother of God with ardent affection and that you venerate her sacred images. It is known that in the Kremlin itself there was constructed a church — today unfortunately no longer being used for divine worship — dedicated to our Lady assumed into heaven; and this is a most clear testimony of the affectionate devotion which your forebears had and you have for the beloved Mother of God.
HOPE FOR HEARTS THAT LOVE MARY
Now We are well aware that the hope of salvation can never be absent wherever hearts are turned with sincere and ardent piety to the most holy Mother of God. Though attempts be made by men, no matter how powerful or impious, to extirpate the Christian religion and Christian virtue from the minds of the citizens, and though Satan himself may strive with every means to foster this sacrilegious struggle — as is described in the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles: "For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities and the powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places" — yet notwithstanding, when Mary interposes her powerful protection, the gates of hell cannot prevail.
She, in fact, is the most loving and most powerful Mother of God and of us all, and never was it heard that anyone has had suppliant recourse to her and has not experienced her most efficacious protection. Continue, therefore, as you have been doing, to venerate her with fervent piety, and to love her ardently and to invoke her with these words which you have been accustomed to address to her: "To you alone has it been given, O most holy and most pure Mother of God, unfailingly to have your petitions ever answered."
MARY IMPLORED FOR RUSSIA
We, together with you, are raising to her Our suppliant invocations, that the Christian Faith, which is the honor and support of human society, may be strengthened and increased among the peoples of Russia, and that all the wiles of the enemies of religion, all their errors and their deceptive artifices, may be driven far from you; that public and private morality may be brought into conformity with the teachings of the Gospels; that those especially who among you profess themselves as Catholics, although deprived of their pastors, may resist with fearless fortitude the assaults of the impious, if necessary even unto death; that just liberty, which is the right of the human person, of citizens, and of Christians, may be restored to all as it should be, and in the first place to the Church, which has the divine mandate of teaching to all men truth and virtue; and finally that true peace may come with its shining light to your beloved nation and to all men throughout the world, and that this peace, founded securely upon justice and nourished by fraternal charity, may lead all mankind to that common well-being of citizens and peoples which is the fruit of mutual concord.
May our most loving Mother be pleased to look with clemency also upon those who are organizing the ranks of militant atheists and upon those who are collaborating in promoting such activities; may she deign to obtain for their minds that light which comes from God and direct their hearts through divine grace unto salvation.
RUSSIA CONSECRATED TO THE IMMACULATE HEART
In order that Our and your prayers be more readily answered, and to give you an especial attestation of Our particular affection, therefore, just as not many years ago We consecrated the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mother of God, in a most special way, so now We dedicate and consecrate all the peoples of Russia to that same Immaculate Heart, in confident assurance that through the most powerful protection of the Virgin Mary there may, at the earliest moment, be happily realized the hopes and desires which We, together with you and with all those of upright intention, have for the attainment of true peace, of fraternal concord, and of rightful liberty for all: in the first place for the Church, so that through the mediation of the prayer which We raise to heaven in union with you and with all Christian peoples, the saving Kingdom of Christ, which is "a Kingdom of truth and of life, a Kingdom of sanctity and of grace, a Kingdom of justice, of love, and of peace," may triumph and be firmly established in every part of the world.
And with suppliant appeal We pray the same most loving Mother that she may assist every one of you in the present sad circumstances and obtain from her divine Son heavenly light for your minds, and for your souls that virtue and fortitude by which, with God's grace, you may be able victoriously to overcome impiety and error.
1 Eph. 6:12.
2 Acathistus Festi Patrocinii SS. Dei Genetricis; Kondak 3.
3 Praef. in festo I Ch. Regis.
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