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What is a Marian Consecration? St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Today is the day my wife and I finish our annual Consecration to Jesus through Mary - our Marian Consecration. This has been an incredibly rich annual prayer experience for my wife and I, but Marian consecration is strongly advised for individuals, as well. 

This could change everything for you!      

Holy Mother Church offers us an incredibly rich spiritual banquet. As Catholics, we can feast on a vast array of prayers, devotions, liturgies, and traditions. There is devotion or tradition to fit every appetite, personality, and life stage of the Church's children. 

One such tradition that is particularly powerful is Marian consecration. Consecrating yourself to the Blessed Mother is a profoundly impactful path to sanctity.


This is where it all starts:

The Classic Marian Consecration Book: St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

Here are the translations of St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary that I have published: 

  

I found that the older-style language - the thee's and thy's - were sort of tough for a lot of readers, so I created a translation that is true to St. Louis de Monfort's original Marian Consecration book, but with more updated language.  

Marian Consecration Table of Contents



What is a Marian Consecration? Introduction to Consecration and Entrustment to Mary

“Consecrate” means to “dedicate formally to a religious or divine purpose.”

Marian consecration is the act of entrusting one’s body, soul, possessions, works, and entire life to the protection, guidance, and intercession of the Blessed Mother.

The act of entrusting oneself to Mary’s care and intercession is nothing new. Jesus Himself consecrated His beloved disciple, St. John the Apostle, to Mary while He was on the Cross (John 19:26-27). 



Early Christians and the Church fathers recognized Mary’s holiness and her significance as the Mother of God. We’ve been asking for Mary’s intercession and intervention in our lives since the beginning of the Church. She is our mother, after all!

Saint Louis de Montfort developed a formal method of consecration to Jesus through Mary in the 1600s. More on this below ... 


What is the Marian Consecration Prayer?

A Marian Consecration can be as short and simple as praying the following prayer. However, there are many more rigorous, formal, retreat-like methods, as well, which I will describe in the next section. 

Here is the Marian Consecration prayer composed by St. Maximilian Kolbe for the Militia of the Immaculata:

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, (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, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: “She will crush your head,” and “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole 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.

 

Here's a Marian Consecration Prayer VIDEO:

Want to hear and see the Marian Consecration Prayer? Here's a video:  


Wondering How to Consecrate Someone to Mary?

Are you wondering how to consecrate someone, like your child or newborn, to Jesus through Mary? Pray the above Consecration Prayer over them, replacing your name with their name. 


Why Should I Consecrate Myself to Mary?

Is this all just a big distraction from Jesus? What’s the point of consecration to Mary, anyway? What if I already have a devotion to Mary, pray the Rosary, and ask for her intercession?

First off, this is about Jesus. Marian Consecration is Consecration to Jesus through Mary. Mary is, simply put, the BEST path to Jesus. Marian Consecration is a deepening of our devotion to and relationship with Jesus through the Blessed Mother. 

Here is St. Louis de Montfort's quote on why we should approach Jesus through Mary:


If you already have a devotion to Mary, Marian Consecration is a natural next step. This is the way to let Mary affect you life more intimately. You will look back on your life after a Marian consecration and notice a huge turn to Mary. 

I know I have! I look backward and see what has happened to me since my first Marian Consecration: I've written books on Mary, helped found the Men of the Immaculata, a Marian organization for men which has led thousands of men in Marian Consecrations! It's wild how Mary has helped direct my life.  

When we consecrate ourselves to Mary, we give her our entire lives as well as the merits of all our prayers. We give Mary all our works in order to belong more fully to Jesus. We also do this so that Mary can do far greater things with our small offerings. We give Mary everything, so she can present it all to Jesus.

Why give Mary everything? 

Because she’s our Mom! 

As St. Louis de Montfort said, "We never give more honor to Jesus than when we Honor His Mother":


Our Blessed Mother only wants what’s best for us and for all her children. Mary wants us to know, love, and serve Jesus more. She wants nothing more than to get her children to Heaven. No one, except Jesus, is more invested in our happiness, both temporal and eternal. 

How does Mary help us get to Heaven? At the hour of our death, who better to present us to Jesus than Jesus' mom? 

Mary takes all the good that we are and that we do. Adding her grace, she presents us to her Son. The best part? When she presents us to Jesus, in all our littleness and all our feeble efforts, Jesus does not and cannot refuse her. Jesus never refuses His Mother.


Can’t I Just Consecrate Myself to Jesus?

Yes! That’s actually the purpose of Marian Consecration. When we consecrate ourselves to Mary, we are really consecrating ourselves to Jesus through Mary. Jesus and Mary are intimately united. Giving ourselves to Mary leads only to total surrender to God. 

Again, this is why St. Louis de Montfort tell us that "Mary is the Safest, Easiest, Shortest, and most Perfect way of approaching Jesus":


There are many other Christian denominations and outright heresies out there. Not all of these are safe paths to Jesus. Holy Mother Church is the safest way to Christ.   

The Mom of Moms will take us to the King of Kings!

By consecrating ourselves to Mary, we leap into the arms of our Mom. We know that she advocates for us, loves us, and wants to see us become Saints. We cannot go wrong with Marian Consecration.


What are the Different Kinds of Marian Consecrations?

Though Marian Consecration is an ancient practice, St. Louis de Montfort first formalized the Marian Consecration - or what he called Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary - in the 1600s. St. Louis' works would remain buried, literally buried, for hundreds of years until they were providentially rediscovered in the atheistic aftermath of the French Revolution.   

Since this time, other kinds of Marian Consecrations or variations of St. Louis' formula have been developed. St. Maximilian Kolbe developed a 9-day version. Fr. Michael Gaitley developed 33 Days to Morning Glory

These variations will be described below:

The Original and Classic Marian Consecration Book: St. Louis de Montfort's Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary

The original! Lost for centuries but miraculously recovered, St. Louis de Montfort's Marian Consecration is the gold standard for Marian consecrations. St. Louis' Consecration follows the 34-day format. 

Here are the updated translations of St. Louis' Marian Consecration books that I have published: 

 


Here is the prayer journal version, as well. This version of my translation includes extra writing space for your thoughts and reflections: 
 
 

St. Louis de Montfort's 33-day sequence consists of prayers and readings from his book Total Devotion and St. Thomas a Kempis' Imitation of Christ. These meditations focus on why consecration to Mary is proper. The prayers include some beautiful litanies and praying the Rosary. 

St. Louis' 33 days of Marian Consecration prayers culminates in a beautiful prayer of consecration on the 34th day, which is ideally a Marian feast day. The Act of Consecration is made in conjunction with the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the reception of Holy Communion.


Fr. Michael Gaitley's Marian Consecration: 33 Days to Morning Glory

More recently, Fr. Michael Gaitley wrote 33 Days to Morning Glory, which focuses on the Marian spiritualities of four Saints: Mother Teresa, Pope Saint John Paul II, St. Louis de Montfort, and Maximilian Kolbe.

Here is a video overview of 33 Days to Morning Glory from Father Gaitley, himself:



St. Maximilian Kolbe's 9-Day Marian Consecration

St. Maximilian Kolbe's shortened version of the Marian Consecration might be a great way to prepare for a longer consecration. At 9 days, it's the same length as a Novena. 

Here is a link to a great example of St. Maximilian's Marian Consecration.



Marian Consecrations for Children: Consecrate Your Whole Family to Mary!

My wife and I have been leading our kids in a Marian Consecration every year for Advent. It's not always easy! Pea and other food bits might be flying around more than the Holy Spirit, but it definitely pays off.

Here is a great example of a Marian Consecration for Children, the Dr. Carrie Gress version:



What Do I Need to Start My Marian Consecration?

To complete a Marian consecration, you really just need a willing heart. Mary usually takes care of the rest. Begin with a desire to know Jesus more deeply through His Mother.


Step #1: Pick a Marian Consecration: Length and Kind

Pick one of the Marian Consecrations described above. 

Pick whether you want to start with the simple Marian Consecration Prayer or one of the longer 9- or 34-day Marian Consecrations. 

If you pick the full 34-day Marian Consecration, I recommend St. Louis de Montfort’s Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. It is timeless. It's also the original, unless you count Jesus' Consecration of St. John the Apostle to Mary at the foot of the Cross. 

Next step: 

Pick an ending date. 


Step #2: Pick a Start and End Date: Marian Consecration Dates Calendar (33 Days to Morning Glory Start Dates)

St. Louis de Montfort recommends ending on a Marian feast day, like the Feast of the Immaculate Conception or the Assumption. Personally, I chose the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, which takes place on January 1st. Its is a great Advent exercise, gets us into Christmas, and is an excellent way to start the New Year! 

Here is a handy table of Marian Consecration Dates for 2021. Counting backward 33 days (the 34th day is the day of Consecration) can be tricky! 

(Remember to account for Leap Days)


Marian Feast DayStart DateConsecration Day
Our Lady of LourdesJanuary 9February 11
The AnnunciationFebruary 20March 25
Our Lady of FatimaApril 10May 13
The VisitationApril 28May 31
Immaculate HeartSaturday after Sacred HeartSaturday after Corpus Christi
Our Lady of Mt. CarmelJune 13July 16
The AssumptionJuly 13August 15
Queenship of MaryJuly 20August 22
Nativity of MaryAugust 6September 8
Holy Name of MaryAugust 10September 12
Our Lady of SorrowsAugust 13September 15
Our Lady of the RosarySeptember 4October 7
Presentation of MaryOctober 19November 21
Immaculate ConceptionNovember 5December 8
Our Lady of GuadalupeNovember 9December 12
Mother of GodNovember 29January 1
Presentation of the LordDecember 31February 2


Step #3: Rinse, Repeat, Renew

It is customary to renew your Consecration to Jesus through Mary every year by repeating the 33-day process and ending on the same Marian feast day. You can always alternate through the various methods of Marian Consecration through the years, too. 


Marian Consecration Prayers: St. Louis de Montfort's Prayer to Mary

Whether it's a 9-day Marian Consecration or a 34-day version, you will pray some of the Church's most beautiful prayers. The Litanies are especially rich. 

The Rosary is a BIG part of the Marian Consecration, as you might expect. Here is a Guide to Praying the Rosary, with How-to-Pray the Rosary Infographics


Here is also the prayer that St. Louis Marie de Montfort, himself, wrote to become like Mary: 





The Ultimate Goal of Marian Consecration

In a word, Sainthood. This is the Universal Call to Holiness. We are all called to holiness, not just priests and nuns. God created all of us to be Saints. 

We are made to know, love, and to serve the Lord, St. Ignatius tell us, and in so doing save our souls. Consecrating ourselves to Jesus through Mary is like tethering ourselves to a helium balloon headed straight to Heaven. 

We allow Mary to take us by the hand and take us - dragging, if necessary - to her Son, Jesus. The Blessed Mother knows, loves, and serves Jesus best. We have so much to learn from her life, and so much to gain by placing ourselves in her hands.


St. Louis Marie de Montfort, pray for us!

Mary Immaculata, pray for us!

Jesus, save us!

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2 Comments

  1. I am a Russian Orthodox Priest who is consecrated to Mary and a member of the Marian Movement of Priests. I have found that the Blessed Mother keeps me on track.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Father! Is the Marian Movement of Priests an international organization? I had never heard of it - sounds awesome.

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