True Devotion to Mary: My Consecration App
My Consecration: True Devotion to Mary
To completely consecrate oneself to Jesus is to become more devoted to the Lord, growing in holiness and increasing the virtues of faith, hope, and charity. St. Louis de Montfort gave us a way to do this with a beautiful Marian devotion, called the Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. His method of consecration is based upon the theological truth that Jesus came into the world through Mary and so through Mary, we can become closer to her Son.
St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort wrote this beautiful method of consecration in his book, True Devotion to Mary. The consecration consists of 33 days of prayers and spiritual exercises in preparation for the actual act of consecration. This preparation is built around renouncing the world, knowing oneself, and gaining a deeper relationship with the Holy Mother and her Son.
The 33-day preparation is broken into two periods. The first is a period of 12 days in which every prayer and spiritual exercise helps us to free ourselves from worldliness and materialism. The second period lasts for three weeks in which we endeavor to know and understand ourselves better so as to overcome sin and temptation as well as seek deeper knowledge of Blessed Mary and her Son, Jesus Christ.
The act of consecration happens after the 33rd day and is a day set aside specifically to perform the act. This day should be a Marian feast day. This day should be commemorated and celebrated every year. You do not need to make the 33-day preparation every year to commemorate your consecration, but it is a good spiritual practice to maintain and strengthen the graces and virtues gained through the preparation and consecration.
The consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary is a true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary that is so powerful that even St. John Paul the Great made the consecration himself. Through deep spiritual exercises and beautiful prayers to Mary, we draw closer to Jesus through the Most Admirable Mother.
Total consecration is not unlike a vow and so should be made in a solemn and serious manner. Even though this consecration is personal and is done privately, it makes it no less casual. Solemnity and respect are due to the consecration method and, most importantly, to the actual act of consecration.
The consecration is for life, giving your entire heart, mind, and soul to Jesus through Mary. In a way, we become slaves to Christ. St. Louis Montfort even referred to the act of total consecration as “Holy Slavery”. Because the consecration is lifelong, Montfort recommends continuing some of the spiritual exercises learned during the preparation period, as well as introducing new Marian devotions into your prayer life. Such recommendations are praying for strength in resisting the world, daily recitation of the Rosary, wear a little chain around your neck or wrist as an outward sign of your holy slavery to Christ, and renew your consecration every year.
History of the True Devotion to Mary
St. Louis de Montfort had a sincere love and devotion to Our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. Growing up as a child, he was blessed with the virtue of piety and wisdom, also holding a special devotion to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. As he grew in his closeness to Christ and His Mother, Montfort began to detest the ways of the world, or what he called the “spirit of the world”. So much so did he detest materialism that at the age of 19 he gave away all his belongings and vowed to live on alms for the remainder of his life.
Although the Blessed Mother held a special place in his heart from a young age, it wasn’t until his missionary life that his devotion to her increased substantially. With the daily recitation of the Rosary, he became ever more devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Then, in November of 1700, after joining the Third Order of the Dominicans, he began to preach extensively on the rosary, gaining admiration and a following of Marian devotion. Shortly thereafter, St. Louis de Montfort asked permission to form rosary confraternities, in which a number of religious would gather to pray the rosary and devote themselves to Mary. His rosary confraternities enjoyed immense popularity; so much so that he began to form what became officially known as the Company of Mary. The Company of Mary is a small company of priests dedicated to preaching at missions and retreats under the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
He was so taken by her perfect virtues that he wrote extensively on her, writings that have now been turned into three books: The Secret of Mary, The Secret of the Rosary, and True Devotion to Mary. True Devotion to Mary is perhaps his most popular work, although it was largely unknown for over 100 years after it was written.
St. Louis de Montfort’s final manuscript of True Devotion to Mary was completed in 1712, after he was already known for his two other Marian treatises on the Rosary. Yet, it wasn’t until 1842 that the manuscript was accidentally discovered at the Motherhouse of the Company of Mary in St. Laurent-sur-Sevre, France. It was published the very next year in 1843 and immediately became popular among his followers in France.
The Marian devotions of St. Louis de Montfort fell away somewhat over the years, but in the 20th Century, it gained popularity again. When St. John Paul the Great made an address to the Montfort Fathers, he called St. Louis de Montfort’s works, particularly that of True Devotion to Mary and the consecration to Jesus through Mary as a turning point in his spiritual life. He even adopted the phrase, Totus Tuus, as his apostolic motto. Totus tuus means “Always yours” and is a familiar phrase to Montfort followers. St. Louis de Montfort’s writings contain a similar phrase, “God Alone”, and is repeated over 150 times.
Montfort is considered one of the earliest writers on Mariology, a field of study devoted Mary, the Mother of God and her role in Salvation as Co-Redemptrix. He held the belief that Jesus and Mary are inseparable and that the surest way of following Christ and getting closer to Christ was through Mary, saying: “It is through the most Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus Christ came into the world, and it is also through her that he will reign in the world.” In fact, he believed so strongly in approaching Jesus through His Mother that he created the 33-day program to consecrate oneself to Jesus through Mary. His approach to Mary and Jesus and the consecration is beautifully expressed in True Devotion to Mary:
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. (True Devotion to Mary, no. 120-121).
He wanted the faithful to make more room in their hearts for the Lord by detaching themselves from the world. St. Louis believed that if one was bonded to the spirit of the world, one could not create a bond with Jesus Christ, which is why he made detachment from the world one of the primary exercises of his consecration method.
His method of consecration has become one of the most popular and revered forms of consecration since its creation, influencing popes, saints, and the faithful. Pope Pius IX believed the consecration to be the best form of Marian devotion aside from the Rosary and Pope Leo XIII even grated indulgences for practicing that method of Marian consecration. Pope Pius XI had been a frequent practitioner of St. Montfort’s consecration methods, even since his childhood. And St. John Paul the Great not only made the consecration himself but was greatly influence by Marian devotions throughout his life, pontificate, and in his writings, especially that of his encyclical Redemptoris Mater.
During his life, St. Montfort founded the Daughters of Wisdom, devoted to hospital work and the education of young girls. He also founded the Company of Mary, or the Montfort Fathers, who are a missionary group of priests.
Benefits of the Devotion
Over the centuries, many of the faithful who have chosen this form of consecration bear witness to the fruits it produces in one’s spiritual life. In many ways, it is a life-changing experience that is renewed every year. St. Louis de Montfort believed that the best way to please Jesus and strengthen your relationship with Him is through His Mother. After all, it was Mary that brought Him into the world. St. Maximilian Kolbe once said that one can never love the Blessed Virgin too much: no more so that her Son, Jesus Christ.
Because the consecration calls for detachment from the world, we are able to grow in virtue and in our closeness with Christ, God and Mary. Furthermore, there is no better intercessor than Mary, the Mother of God who cares for us as her children. By entrusting our entire being to her, we able to build a strong bond to Her Son.
In making a total consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary, we:
- Strengthen our relationship with God, Christ, and Mary.
- Grow in our detachment from the world and therefore build a strong bond to Jesus Christ.
- Live the Christian life more authentically and more fully.
- Participate in the life of Jesus Christ more fully.
- Answer the universal call to holiness of all the faithful, as St. Louis de Montfort said, “Chosen soul…it is certain that growth in the holiness of God is your vocation”.
- Full and complete participation in the life of Jesus Christ.
- A continual growth in holiness with each renewal and with the practicing of the consecration method each year.
- We imitate more closely the complete self-surrender of Jesus Christ and His Mother Mary.
- We will grow in virtue as we make our hearts more like Mary’s, free of the world.
- We give glory to Jesus more perfectly and more fully.
Consecration is a complete self-surrender and self-gift to God, Who first gave Himself to us in the Incarnation, made possible through Mary’s own total self-surrender to Our Father in Heaven. Through a total self-surrender to God, we are able to more fully accept His Will as Mary and Jesus did, working towards our eternal salvation.
Features of the My Consecration App
This app features:
- Preparation prayers
- A walk-through guide of the 33 days of spiritual preparation with prayers for each day of St. Louis de Montfort’s Marian Consecration
- Final consecration prayers
- A total guide to the consecration method
- Table of start and end dates for the Consecration