Prince Yaroslav the Wise consecrated Kyivan Rus to the Virgin Mary in 1037. Some sources claim that he was the first ruler to dedicate a European nation to the Virgin Mother of God.
The “Sub tuum” or “Beneath thy protection” is the oldest preserved prayer to the Virgin Mary. Traced by modern scholars to the third century, it is a well-loved prayer in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Pope Francis encouraged the Church to pray this prayer to the Mother of God for healing. Pope Francis has also said, “Russian mystics and the great saints of all the traditions advised, in moments of spiritual turbulence, to shelter beneath the mantle of the Holy Mother of God pronouncing the invocation ‘Sub Tuum Praesidium.’”
Now, as Russia deploys troops to Ukraine, we commend the praying of this prayer to the Mother of God, asking for an end to escalations and troop deployments.
We fly to Your patronage, O Virgin Mother of God. Despise not our prayers in our needs, but deliver us from all dangers, since you alone are pure and blessed.
O most glorious Ever-Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ our God, accept our prayers and present them to Your Son and our God, that for the sake of You, He enlighten and save our souls.
This article was originally published by aleteia.org and republished with their permission