What is Consecration to Mary
The MI Act of Consecration to Mary
We may consecrate ourselves to the Immaculata in various ways and this consecration may be formulated in different words; indeed, a simple interior act of the will is sufficient, since in this is included the essence of our consecration to the Immaculata. For greater facility, a short formula expresses the spirit of the MI:
“O 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, N…, 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, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: ‘She will crush your head,’ and, ‘You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world.’ 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, O sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.”
This act of consecration consists of three parts:
- an invocation;
- a request that she may deign to accept us as her property;
- a supplication that she may deign to make use of us to conquer other souls to her.
In the invocation we first say,
We turn to her under this name, because she herself deigned to give us this name at Lourdes: the Immaculate Conception. God is immaculate, but God is not conceived. Angels are immaculate, but there is no conception with them. The first parents were immaculate before sinning, but neither were they conceived. Jesus was immaculate and conceived, but he was not a conception, for as God He already existed before and to Him also applied the words of the name of God as revealed to Moses: “I am who am, who always is and does not begin to be.” Other people are conceptions, but stained. She alone is not only conceived, but also a Conception and an Immaculate one.
This name conceals many more mysteries, which will be revealed in time. Thus, it indicates that the Immaculate Conception belongs in a certain sense to the essence of the Immaculata. This name must be dear to her, because it signifies the first grace she received in the first moment of her existence. The first gift is always the dearest one. This name, then, is fulfilled throughout her whole life, because she was always unspotted. Hence, she was also full of grace and God was with her [cf. Lk 1:28] always and even to the degree that she became the Mother of the Son of God.
Queen of heaven and earth
In a family, loving parents fulfill the wishes of the children as much as they are able, insofar as they are not harmful for them. So much more does God, the Creator and Prototype of earthly parents, desire to fulfill the will of his creatures, insofar as it is not harmful for them; that is, insofar as it is conformable with His will. The Immaculata did not bend away from the will of God in anything. In all things she loved the will of God, loved God. Hence, rightly she is called the “Suppliant Omnipotence.” She has influence upon God himself, on the entire world; she is the Queen of heaven and earth. In heaven, everyone acknowledges her sovereignty of love. However, that group of the first angels that did not want to acknowledge her regality lost its place in heaven.
She is queen also of earth because she is the Mother of God himself, but she both desires and has a right to be acknowledged freely by every heart and to be loved as the Queen of every heart. In this way, through her, that heart may be purified ever more, may become immaculate, similar to her heart and ever more worthy of union with God, with the love of God, with the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Refuge of sinners
God is merciful, infinitely merciful, and nevertheless just and infinitely just. He cannot bear the least sin and must demand full reparation for it. The dispenser of the most precious Blood of Jesus, which has an infinite value and washes away these sins, is Divine Mercy personified in the Immaculata
Therefore, rightly, we invoke her “Refuge of sinners,” of great sinners, even if their sins be the most serious and numerous possible, even if they think that never again they would deserve mercy. Indeed, every cleansing of the soul is for her a new confirmation of her title of “Immaculate Conception.” The more deeply the soul is plunged into sin, the more the power of her immaculateness does show itself, in making such a soul pure as snow.
Our most loving Mother
The Immaculata is the Mother of our entire supernatural life because she is the Mediatrix of all graces, indeed, the Mother of divine grace, hence, our Mother in the sphere of grace, in the supernatural sphere. Moreover, she is a most loving mother, because you do not have any mother so affectionate, so loving, so “of God” like the Immaculata, wholly divine.
God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you
In a family, the father is glad at times that the mother stays his punishing hand over the child by her intercession, because, in this case, justice is satisfied and mercy is shown. Not without cause is justice suspended. Similarly, God, in order not to punish us, gives us a spiritual mother, whose intercession he never opposes. Hence, the saints claim that Jesus reserved for himself the order of justice, giving to the Immaculata the whole order of his mercy.
In the second part of the act of consecration we say,
I, a repentant sinner
We here admit that we are not as she, immaculate, but sinful. What is more none of us can say that he has passed even a single day committing no sin, but feels himself guilty of much infidelity. We also say “unworthy,” because truly between an immaculate being and one soiled by sin there is in some sense an infinite difference. Therefore, in all truth, we acknowledge ourselves unworthy to turn to her, to pray to her, to fall at her feet, in order not to become similar to the proud Lucifer.
Hence, we also say,
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
By these words we beg, we beseech the Immaculata to accept us. We offer ourselves to her entirely, in every respect, as her children, as slaves of love, as servants, as instruments, and under every single aspect, under every title that anyone at any time might be able to express. We offer ourselves as her possession and property at her complete disposal, so that she may use us, and even use us up completely.
Make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you
At this point, to her we give our whole being, all the faculties of our soul; that is, intellect, memory, and will, and all the faculties of the body—therefore, all the senses and each in particular, our strength, health or sickness. We offer her our entire life with all its events, pleasant, unpleasant or indifferent. We give her our death, whenever and wherever and in whatever way it befalls us. We give her even our whole eternity. Actually, we have the firm hope that in paradise only we will be able to belong to her in an incomparably more perfect manner. In this way, we express a desire and an entreaty that she may allow us to become hers under every aspect more and more perfectly.
In the third part we pray,
Use all that I am and have without reserve wholly to accomplish what was said of you: “She will crush your head,” and, “You alone have destroyed all the heresies in the whole world.”
On the statues and pictures of the Immaculata, we always see a serpent at her feet, surrounding the globe of the earth, as she crushes its head with her foot. Satan, soiled by sin, endeavors to soil all souls on earth. He hates her who was always unspotted. He lie in wait for her heel in the persons of her children; however, in the fight against her, she crushes always his head in every soul who has recourse to her. We ask her to use us, if she wishes, as an instrument to crush the head of the proud head of the serpent in unfortunate souls. Holy Scripture adds, quoting the verse mentioned above, “and you shall lie in wait for her heel.” The evil spirit really lies in wait in a special way for those who consecrate themselves to the Immaculata, because he desires to insult her at least in them. His endeavor against sincerely dedicated souls always ends with his more shameful defeat; hence, his impotent fury becomes all the more violent.
The words, “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world,” are taken from the prayers that the Church orders her priests to say to her. The Church speaks of “heresies” and not of the “heretics,” for she, Mary, loves them, and because of this love desires to free them from the error of heresy. The Church says “all,” without any exception; “alone,” since “she” alone suffices. God, in fact, belongs to her with all the treasures of grace; that is, graces of the conversion and sanctification of souls. “In the whole world” means that no corner of the earth is excluded. In this act of consecration, we beg her to use us to destroy the whole serpent, representing the various heresies, which keep the world entangled.
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
All over the world, we see unhappy, erring souls, who do not even know their purpose in life. They love all kinds of earthly goods instead of the one good, namely, God. Many, too, are indifferent to the highest love. We desire the “implanting and developing… in a most eminent degree the glory” of the Immaculata in those souls. We beg her to make us useful instruments in her immaculate and most merciful hands and that she would not allow us to oppose her; we ask her that she may even constrain us, should we not want to listen to her.
And thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus
The most Sacred Heart of Jesus is the love of God toward men. His kingdom is the reign of love in the hearts of men, which Jesus manifested in the crib, throughout his life, on the cross and in the Eucharist, when he gave his mother as mother to us. Moreover, He desires to enkindle this love in human hearts. The implanting and developing of the honor of the Immaculata and the winning of souls for her is the winning of souls for Jesus’ mother, who will carry the kingdom of Jesus into souls.
For wherever you enter, there 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
The Immaculata is the “Suppliant Omnipotence.” Every conversion and sanctification is the work of grace, and she is the Mediatrix of all graces. Therefore, she alone suffices for obtaining and distributing all graces, any grace. During the apparition of the Miraculous Medal, St. Catherine Labouré saw rays streaming from the precious rings on the fingers of the Immaculata.
They represent graces that the Immaculata liberally bestows upon everyone who desires them. Alphonse Ratisbonne speaks similarly about the rays of grace, as he recounts his vision.
Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against your enemies.
When Duns Scotus, a Franciscan, went to Paris for a dispute in which he was to defend the privilege of the Immaculate Conception at the University of the Sorbonne, he passed by a statue of the Blessed Mother and prayed to her with the above-mentioned words. As tradition has it, the Blessed Mother bowed her head as a sign of confirmation.
In the first part of this petition, Duns Scotus turns humbly to the Mother of God and asks that she permit him to praise her. Acknowledging his great unworthiness for such a sublime work as praising the Blessed Mother, he likewise acknowledges that such a grace depends upon her, and it is enough that she permit him, and his efforts will be crowned with success.
The second part is strong, unwavering, and brave. He asks for strength to overcome the serpent, to be an instrument in her hand.
Who is her enemy? Whatever is stained, whatever does not lead to God, whatever is not love, whatever comes from the hellish serpent which is lie personified; hence, it includes all our defects, or all our faults. We beg her to give us strength against them. For this one purpose all devotions exist, all prayers, the holy sacraments: that we receive power to overcome all obstacles on our journeying toward God in a more and more ardent love, in assimilating ourselves to God, in uniting with God himself.
Just as we have come from God through creation, so also we return to God. All nature tells us this. Wherever we glance, for each action we see a corresponding reaction, equal and opposite, which is an echo of God’s operation and of activity in creation as well. On the return road of reaction, a creature, endowed with free will, meets with difficulties and oppositions, and God permits these trials in order to strengthen even more the energy with which this creature strives toward Him.
In order to obtain sufficient strength for it, a creature must pray, must ask for that strength from Him, who is the source of all strength and who looks upon the efforts of his creature with love and desires that he come sincerely to Him; actually, He does not stint his aid. Even if that creature, that dear child of his, stumbles on the way, falls, soils oneself, and wounds oneself, this merciful Father cannot look upon his misfortune. He sends down his only begotten Son, who by his life and teaching points out to his fallen creature a bright and sure road. By his Sacred Blood, of infinite value, He washes away the dirt and heals the wounds.
So that the soul from fear of the violated justice of God would not lose hope, God sends the personification of his very love, the Spouse of the Spirit, full of motherly love, the Immaculata, all beautiful, without stain, though a daughter of men, sister of human beings. He entrusts her with the generous distributing of his entire mercy towards souls. He constitutes her the Mediatrix of grace earned by her Son. He makes her the Mother of grace, the Mother of souls reborn of grace, souls regenerated, and continually being reborn into an always more perfect divinization.
From The Writings of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe (KW 1331)