First off, we need to determine what any consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart would do. What does consecration really mean? Altars, churches and such are consecrated. And when they are, they are “set aside” for a purpose. Altars and churches are set aside for God. If we consecrate such things to God, why would we consecrate anything to Mary and Her Immaculate Heart? After all, she is not God.
Mary is not God, but she is the perfect vessel through which God made His power manifest in this world. He did so at the Incarnation and again at Pentecost. Did God need Mary? No, God chose Mary to be His instrument, which she consented at the Annunciation. Mary has been and will continue to be God’s instrument to make His power manifest in this world. He could have done it another way, but He did not.
So, can the pope consecrate a whole nation to Mary’s Immaculate Heart? Well, in two ways, yes. The pope, as the Vicar of Christ, has the spiritual authority to do so. And yes, even a nation can be “set aside” for Mary’s Immaculate Heart. The bigger question is if we will join in consecrating ourselves to Mary, since Pope Francis’ consecration is for “all humanity” though “especially Russia and Ukraine”.
Will the consecration end the war between Russia and Ukraine? I do not know how God plans on setting aside Russia and Ukraine. I do know that setting them aside specifically can only bring about a torrent of grace in order for it to be resolved as is best for “all humanity”. We are not all-knowing like God. But we can give Him the full rights to do with as He pleases if we “set aside” space for Him to do so. Mary did this most perfectly and we can do so as well if we consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart.
Mary, you accepted God’s will to be done in your life as the “handmaid of the Lord”. Help us to “set aside” ourselves to your Immaculate Heart, in order that we may do like you in all things, so that we can make God’s power manifest in this world. Amen.
Small excerpt of Pope Francis’ consecration prayer to fit a personal consecration to Mary’s Immaculate Heart in union with the pope’s consecration tomorrow, on the Solemnity of the Annunciation:
“Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine. Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love. Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world. The ‘Fiat’ that arose from your heart opened the doors of history to the Prince of Peace. We trust that, through your heart, peace will dawn once more. To you we consecrate the future of the whole human family, the needs and expectations of every people, the anxieties and hopes of the world.”