Pope Francis has invited Catholics to annually renew an act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25.
The call was made during the Pope's general audience, where he recalled his historic act of consecration made last year. The solemnity of the Annunciation on Saturday marks one year since Pope Francis consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Blessed Virgin Mary in St. Peter's Basilica with a prayer asking for peace in the world.
The Pope called on parish communities and prayer groups to annually renew the Marian consecration, saying, "Let us not tire of entrusting the cause of peace to the Queen of Peace." He also urged people not to forget to pray for "martyred Ukraine, which is suffering so much."
Last year, Pope Francis asked all the world's bishops to join him in consecrating Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary one month after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The Virgin Mary specifically asked that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart in the 1917 apparitions at Fatima. The Vatican's Dicastery for Divine Worship defines consecration to Mary as an overt recognition of the "singular role of Mary in the mystery of Christ and of the Church, of the universal and exemplary importance of her witness to the Gospel, of trust in her intercession, and of the efficacy of her patronage."
Several popes in the past have consecrated the Church and world to Mary, including Pope Pius XII and St. John Paul II, who consecrated the entire Church and world to Mary three times during his pontificate.
Before praying the consecration last year, Pope Francis explained that it is "an act of complete trust on the part of children who, amid the tribulation of this cruel and senseless war that threatens our world, turn to their Mother, reposing all their fears and pain in her heart and abandoning themselves to her."