We are familiar with the words, ‘TOTUS TUUS’ ( Totally Yours), the dearest quote of St Pope John Paul II. It was his apostolic motto as well. He always used it to demonstrate his total consecration to the Blessed Virgin.
Readers would recall an earlier article narrating the importance of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin. Since then many people have elicited their interest in consecrating their lives to Mother Mary. We remember them all in gratitude as it was their request that prompted us to post this article detailing the preparation for the Act of Consecration. However, the most important reason for releasing this post is the realization that now we are passing through the perils of end times as prophesied and we need the protection of Mother Mary at this critical juncture, lest our enemy lead us astray in many ways.
Before proceeding further, I would like to make something clear. That devotion to Mary is in no way superior to the devotion to Jesus, nor does it impede us from coming closer to him. On the other hand, it complements, supplements and augments our devotion to Jesus. In fact the only goal of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is to bring us closer to Jesus.
Why should we take this circuitous route to reach Jesus? He is not an inaccessible person. Jesus was the most accessible man in history. He never turned away any person who approached him directly. Then why through Mary?
Because she was instrumental in the act of salvation at every stage. Right from the moment she granted her ‘FIAT’ to God’s will, to her innumerable sorrows in bringing up Jesus the sacrificial lamb, to her journey accompanying Jesus to Golgotha, to the hours she spent at the foot of the cross where her son was going through the most excruciating pain, to the final commission she received from her son (“Woman, here is your son”), she stood by her son. If Mary molded Jesus, she is the apt mold for us too. If Holy Spirit is the source of all graces, then Mary is the distributor of those graces, because she was filled with Holy Spirit from the moment of her immaculate conception.
Consecration is an attempt to be like Mary and through her, like Jesus. It is no doubt, beyond our power, but with Mary’s intercession it is possible. For her intercession to be quick and effective we need to submit to her everything which belong to us. Though the devotion to the Blessed Virgin has its origin in the early centuries, it was St Louis de Montfort who raised it into a form of special devotion through Consecration. He suggested a preparation lasting 33 days which concludes with the Act of Consecration on day 34.
Here I am attempting to give you a brief idea of how to proceed with the preparation for consecration. The following narration and quotes are based on the famous book, ‘True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary’ authored by the saint. I strongly recommend you to read the book to know more about consecration.
St Louis de Montfort suggests starting the preparation for Consecration sufficiently early so that the Act of Consecration could be done on any of the feast days of the Blessed Virgin. For example, if you plan to do the Consecration on the feast day of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary falling on 7th October, you need to start the preparation on 4th September.
Louis de Montfort arranges the preparation period of 33 days into sections of days, each section with its own prayers, and each day having its own readings coming from Sacred Scripture, ‘The Imitation of Christ’ (by Thomas a Kempis), and ‘True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary’.
The first section is a 12-day preparation period that focuses on emptying oneself of the spirit of the world in penance and mortification. Praying the Veni Creator, the Ave Maris Stella, the Magnificat, and the Glory Be every day is suggested.
During these 12 days we should examine our conscience, pray, practice renouncement, mortification and purity of heart. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world
which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.
This spirit of the world manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life, and by disobedience to God’s laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.
Next three sections consist of 7 days each, with each week having a specific focus.
Theme for the first week is ‘Knowledge of Self’. During this period we should concentrate on prayers, examinations, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self, all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her that we hope for light to know ourselves. The Litany of the Holy Spirit, the Litany of Loreto (Marian Litany), and the Ave Maris Stella that are to be prayed everyday help us in understanding our true nature and where we stand in relation to God.
Theme for the second week is ‘Knowledge of Mary’. During this period, we ask the Holy Spirit to help us better understand the Blessed Virgin; we pray the Litany of the Holy Spirit, the Litany of Loreto, the Ave Maris Stella, the prayer to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort, and 5 decades of the Rosary each day.
Acts of love, pious affection for the Blessed Virgin, imitation of her virtues, especially her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual mental prayer, her mortification in all things, her surpassing purity,her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness, and her divine wisdom:these are the “ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin”.
Theme for the third week is ‘Knowledge Of Jesus Christ’. During this period, we seek to better understand Christ through meditation and the Litany of the Spirit, the Ave Maris Stella, and the Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, Montfort’s prayer to Jesus, and the prayer ‘O Jesus Living in Mary’.
Day 34:Day of Consecration
On the day of consecration, either fast, give alms, offer a candle, do some spiritual penance and approach consecration in the spirit of mortification. Now go for Confession (or, if that is not possible, go during the 8 days prior) and then receive Communion with the intention of giving yourself to Jesus, as a slave of love, by the hands of Mary.
Now pray the words of the consecration. Copy them and have them with you at church, read them after the Mass (preferably in front of the tabernacle), and sign your copy of the Act of Consecration.
Prayers and readings for each day as also the prayer of consecration for the final day are available in the book “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary”. Handbooks containing the prayers and readings in a simpler form are also available in many languages. We request you to make use of them in your preparation.
Let us start the preparation for a meaningful Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary because our hope is in her promise; ‘IN THE END MY IMMACULATE HEART WILL TRIUMPH’. If her Immaculate Heart is set to triumph, we are also to be sharers in that great victory over Satan.