Fr. John Hardon defined consecration to Mary as an act of devotion that consists of making an entire gift of ourselves to Jesus through Mary. It is, moreover, a habitual attitude of complete dependence on Mary in one’s whole life and activity.
There have been various popular consecration movements in Church history. Among them, St. Louis de Montfort’s (1673-1716) method is an outstanding example. He emphasized the fact that consecration is necessarily made to “God alone”, which is brought about through a total gift of oneself to Mary, his Mother. Later, St. John Paul II was to take St. Louis de Montfort’s formula of Marian consecration as his own Episcopal motto: “Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt” (I am all yours, and all that I have is yours).
St. Maximilian Kolbe (1894-1941) also developed the concept of consecration. He explains that in making the act of consecration, a person gives himself or herself to Mary as her property, and through her to Jesus. This means that a person performs good works as one who labors without wages, trustfully hoping to receive food and shelter and have other needs satisfied by the master, to whom one gives all one is and does, and on whom one depends entirely in a spirit of love and trust.
Personal consecration to Mary was the norm for centuries until the idea of consecrating communities, nations, even the world received impetus at Fatima. Thus, on October 31, 1942, while World War II raged on, Servant of God, Pope Pius XII consecrated the whole human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Subsequently, Catholic leaders and Popes consecrated the peoples under their pastoral care to Our Lady with greater frequency.
Following this tradition we are going to consecrate our parish to the Blessed Virgin Mary in the context of the 5:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday, October 7, 2017, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. We will pray the rosary at 4:30 p.m. that day before Mass. We anticipate a watershed of graces to pour over St. Peter’s as a result of Our Lady’s maternal intervention. Then, we will seal this act of consecration with Forty Hours of Eucharistic devotion in our traditional manner.
St. Louis de Montfort, pray for us.
Fr. Tim Byerley, Pastor