Total Consecration to Mary & 33-Day Preparation
St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort
Our late Holy Father, Blessed Pope John Paul II, in his Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, stated that true, Christocentric devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and veneration of her universal Spiritual Motherhood, particularly as she carries out this wholly unique role as Co-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate, “totally grounded in that [perfect Redemption and Mediation] of Christ and radically subordinated to it, “in no way obscures or diminishes the unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power”.This is the luminous principle expressed by the Second Vatican Council which I have so powerfully experienced in my own life and have made the basis of my episcopal motto: Totus Tuus.(21) The motto is of course inspired by the teaching of Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, who explained in the following words Mary’s role in the process of our configuration to Christ:
“Our entire perfection consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ. Hence the most perfect of all devotions is undoubtedly that which conforms, unites and consecrates us most perfectly to Jesus Christ. Now, since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary, his Holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to her the more will it be consecrated to Jesus Christ” (Treatise on True Devotion, n. 120) (Rosarium Virginis Mariae, 19-22).
Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort’s, True Devotion to Mary, is universally acclaimed as the single greatest and most theologically authoritative book on the Blessed Virgin Mary ever to have been written. This work has had a monumental impact on a number of the most significant and influential popes, from the late 19th Century right down to our own times: (1) Pope Leo XIII beatified de Montfort in 1888, adopted de Montfort’s Mariological terminology (calling Mary the “Mediatrix” and “Co-Redemptrix”), and wrote no less than ten encyclicals on the Rosary; (2) Pope Saint Pius X, in 1904, wrote his key Marian encyclical, “Ad Diem Illum,” adopting much of the language and sentiment of de Montfort’s book, “True Devotion,” and even granted the Apostolic Blessing to all who would read de Montfort’s great treatise on the Blessed Virgin; (3) Pope Pius XII, also a deeply Marian pope, canonized de Montfort in 1947, raising him to the honors of the altar; and, as quoted above, (4) our beloved Blessed Pope John Paul II, as many know, took his papal motto, “Totus Tuus,” from de Montfort’s Latin prayer of total consecration to the Blessed Virgin, stating that his reading of “True Devotion” marked a “decisive turning point” in his life and spirituality that would forever shape his person, priesthood and papacy. There has even been serious speculation regarding de Montfort being made a Doctor of the Church!
This consensus amongst many of the most brilliant and saintly Vicars of Christ, namely, that de Montfort’s, Treatise on True Devotion to Mary, is, indeed, the single greatest work ever to have been written regarding a theologically accurate, entirely Christocentric devotion to Mary, Mother of God, ought to provide more than sufficient reason for any and every Christian to not simply read the work, but to re-read and own at least a paperback version of the work – for, it has been rumored of John Paul II that he carried, on his person, a leather-bound copy of this tremendous spiritual classic. To download a PDF copy of the spiritual masterpiece, True Devotion to Mary, entirely free of charge, click here; to purchase a beautiful, up-to-date version of the original translation of the French to English by Fr. Faber, click here, or click on the image of the book to the left of this text.
Moreover, de Montfort additionally prescribes a 33-day period of spiritual preparation, which the Saint explains in detail, that ought to be undertaken by anyone who is serious about making and, subsequently, living his/her act of total consecration to Mary. For those wishing to perform the 33-day preparation in accord with St. Louis de Montfort’s plan of consecration, it is suggested that one choose a Marian feast day on which to officially make the act of consecration, and begin the preparation exactly 33 days before the day on which one wishes to make his/her solemn Act of Consecration. For the reader’s convenience, I have compiled a list of some of the most significant and/or appropriate Marian Solemnities and Feasts on which to make one’s Act of Consecration:
MARIAN FEASTS OF THE LITURGICAL CALENDAR
- January 1st – Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God;
- February 2nd – Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
- February 11th – Our Lady of Lourdes;
- March 25th – Solemnity of the Annunciation to Mary;
- April 28th – St. Louis-Marie de Montfort, Author of True Devotion to Mary;
- May 13th – Our Lady of Fatima;
- May 31st – Mediatrix of All Grace;
- June 27th – Our Lady of Perpetual Help;
- July 16th – Our Lady of Mt. Carmel;
- August 14th – St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, Champion of Marian Consecration;
- August 15th – Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven;
- August 22nd – The Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
- September 8th – The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
- September 12th – The Most Holy Name of Mary;
- September 15th – The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary;
- September 24th – Our Lady of Ransom;
- October 7th – Our Lady of the Holy Rosary;
- October 13th – Anniversary of the Last Apparition at Fatima & Miracle of the Sun;
- November 21st – Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple;
- November 27th – Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal;
- December 8th – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception;
- December 12th – Our Lady of Guadalupe;
- December 25th – Solemnity of the Nativity of Our Lord;
- December 30th – Feast of the Holy Family;
All preparation readings and prayers can be found in any of the above text versions of the book – both E-book and paperback. Yet, a full text and audio file of the 33-day preparation, including all of the recommended spiritual readings and prayers, can be found here.
*It should be noted that Marian Consecration is, by no means, simply “one” among “many” various pious practises or devotions to the Blessed Mother; instead, this is the crowning Marian devotion – the ultimate devotion to the Mother of Our Lord, which subsumes and incorporates all other Marian devotions, which are understood to constitute the various necessary means by which the ultimate end, or goal, of the daily living of our Total Consecration to Mary is brought to fruition. Of these “devotional means,” two devotions, in particular, stand out as absolutely essential, and by no means may they be dispensed with. These are (1) the daily prayer of the Holy Rosary (with an absolute minimum of five decades daily; the ideal, of course, being to pray the entire 15 or 20 decade Rosary daily); (2) the habitual wearing of the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, which, in truth, is the “religious habit,” or garment of the Consecrated Children of Mary; namely, those souls who have made a solemn act of total consecration to Our Lady, offering themselves wholly and without reserve to her, for her to dispose of as she wishes, for the greater glory of God and for the salvation of souls.
May Jesus and Mary bless and keep you, and, as a consequence of your consecration, may your name be forever written in the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, inflamed with love.
St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s Prayer of Consecration
O Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and True Man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary ever Virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and glory of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine Incarnation.
I give Thee thanks, that Thou hast annihilated Thyself taking the form of a slave, in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee, that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare no more come by myself before Thy Most Holy and August Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the Intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a Mediatrix with Thee. It is by her means that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, and the pardon of my sins, the acquisition and the preservation of wisdom. I salute Thee, then, O Immaculate Mary living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by Angels and by men. I hail thee, O Queen of heaven and earth to whose empire everything is subject which is under God.
I salute Thee, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which my lowness presents to thee.
I, [Name], a faithless sinner-I renew and ratify to-day in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce for ever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.
In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee as Thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past present and future; leaving to you the entire and full right of disposing of me, and of all that belongs to me, without exception, according to Thy good pleasure to the greatest glory of God, in time and in eternity.
Receive O gracious Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honour of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have thy Maternity, in homage to the power which both of you have over this little worm and miserable sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity hath favoured thee. I protest, that I wish, henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honour, and to obey thee in all things.
O admirable Mother, present me to thy Dear Son, as His eternal slave, so that as He hath redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me.
O Mother of mercy, get me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God, and for that end place me in the number of those whom thou lovest, whom thou teachest, whom thou leadest, and whom thou nourishest and protectest, as thy children and thy slaves. O Faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thy intercession and by thy example, to the fullness of His age on earth, and of His glory in heaven. Amen.
St. Maximilian Kolbe and Consecration to Mary
To receive the plenary indulgence attached to the making of this particular Act of Consecration to Mary, simply follow the simple steps outlined below:
- Consciously renounce all attachment to sin (including venial sin);
- Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation;
- Attend Holy Mass;
- Receive Our Lord in the Most Holy Eucharist;
- Recite prayers for the Holy Father and his intentions (an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be will suffice);
- After Mass/Holy Communion, recite the Prayer of Consecration to Mary below, composed by St. Maximilian Kolbe;
- Piously wear the Miraculous Medal around ones neck, and promote devotion to Mary, Marian Consecration and the Miraculous Medal;
- Enroll yourself in the Militia Immaculata, choosing a Marian Feast Day on which to make your official consecration.
Prayer of Consecration to Mary Immaculate, Composed by St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe
Oh, Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you.
I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have wholly to yourself as your possession and property.
Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death, and eternity, whatever most pleases you. If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve .
Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands, for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend, as far as possible, the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For, wherever you enter, you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us, from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, most Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against our enemies.
ACT OF CONSECRATION TO OUR LADY OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL
O virgin mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to you under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May this medal be for each one of us a sure sign of your affection for us and a constant reminder of our duties towards you. Ever while wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection and preserved in the grace of your son. O most powerful Virgin, mother of our savior, keep us close to you every moment of our lives. Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death; so that, in union with you, we may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever. Amen.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. (3 times)
After Renewing One’s Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary,
It is Most Profitable and Sanctifying to Make the “Morning Offering:”
Morning Offering Prayer
O my Jesus – through, with and in the Most Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary – I hereby offer, to Our Eternal Father, all of my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day, and of my entire life, in union with your perfect, unblemished offing of Yourself – renewed this day and every day, throughout the world, from the rising of the sun to its setting, in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart and for those of the Immaculate Heart of Mary: for the salvation of souls; in reparation for sin; for the reunion of all Christians; for the private and public intentions of our Holy Father; for all bishops, priests, deacons, religious and lay members of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church; for the salvation and sanctification of all family members, friends and acquaintances; and finally, that I might be granted all the graces necessary to earnestly live out my consecration to the Two Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, with an ever-increasing faith, hope, love, perseverance, resignation of will, humility, littleness, purity and generosity, seeing Christ in each of my brothers and sisters today, especially the poorest of the poor. Amen.
Mary as Mediatrix of All Grace: The Firm Theological Foundation for the Tremendously Sanctifying Devotion of Total Consecration to Mary
In Dr. Ludwig Ott’s exceedingly erudite conspectus of Catholic Dogmatic Theology, entitled, “Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma,” – a book which is considered by the most orthodox of theologians to contain the most accurate representation of the thought and teaching of the official Magisterium of our Holy Mother Church – Dr. Ott states that “Although Christ is the sole Mediator between God and man (1 Tim. 2, 5), since He alone, by His death on the cross, fully reconciled mankind with God, this does not exclude a secondary mediatorship, subordinated to Christ (cf. ST III 26, I). “To unite men to God perfectively (perfective) appertains to Christ according to 2 Cor. V. 19. Therefore Christ alone is the perfect mediator between God and man, in as much as He reconciled mankind with God by His death. . . But there is nothing to prevent others in a certain way (secundum quid) from being called mediators between God and man, insofar as they, by preparing or serving, . . . cooperate in uniting men to God.
“The Fathers called Mary the “Go-between” (. . . mediatrix). A prayer ascribed to St. Ephrem says of her: “After the Mediator thou art the mediatrix of the whole world” (post mediatorem mediatrix totius mundi: Oratio IV ad Deiparam. 4th Lesson of the Office of th Feast). The title mediatrix is attached to Mary in official Church documents also.”
Indeed, Fr. Alessandro M Appollonio, FI, has written a truly outstanding article, which addresses precisely this topic of the title of Mediatrix as it is attached to the Blessed Virgin Mary in official Church documents. Moreover, the article provides tremendous insights into the “politics” of Mariology, and how, despite a great outpouring of support by numerous Church Fathers of the Second Vatican Council in favor of a dogmatic definition of Mary’s three-fold role as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate, a small yet powerful faction of bishops rendered this an impossibility at the time. The beginning paragraphs of the article are contained below, with a link to continue reading the article in full.
Mary Mediatrix of all Graces in the Pontifical Magisterium: From Benedict XIV to Benedict XVI
Mary’s universal mediation has been the object of the unchanging ordinary Papal Magisterium for at least the past three centuries and therefore must be considered Catholic doctrine, definitive tenenda, not dogmatically defined, but certainly definable (57). Despite this fact, a certain debate exists among some Mariologists today concerning the legitimacy and significance of the title Mediatrix of all graces. Those who deny its legitimacy generally also deny Mary’s coredemption, thus witnessing the logical nexus linking these two truths (58).
Pope Benedict XIV (+1758) describes Our Blessed Lady as the “heavenly stream which brings to the hearts of wretched mortals all God’s gifts and graces” (59).
Pope Pius VII (+1823) calls Mary the “Dispensatrix of all graces (gratiarum omnium dispensatricem)” (60).
To continue reading this article, please click this link: http://www.fifthmariandogma.com/co-redemptrix-fifth-marian-dogma/mary-mediatrix-of-all-graces-part-ii/