This Saturday, the 4th of March 2017: 1st Saturday of the month
Several people have asked us what it means to consecrate oneself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This is, indeed, an important question and without doubt it would be useful to clarify this point.
What is a consecration?
First of all, what does it mean to consecrate oneself? The term “consecrate” has several meanings. The one which interests us here is that which means “reserved for God”. Consecrate an object, an edifice or a place means that this object (a chalice, for example) or that edifice (a church, for example) is reserved for God and His worship and that it cannot serve for any other purpose.
A person, or a group of people can also be consecrated. In this case, the person keeps his freedom but promises to follow Jesus and to live according to His law. For example, when a person consecrates himself to the Sacred Heart, he gives himself entirely to Jesus: he gives Him his body, his soul, his worldly goods, his interior assets (virtues and merits), all that he has in the order of nature and of grace. By his act of consecration, he acknowledges that Our Lord has the full right to dispose of all his assets for the triumph of His Church. To consecrate oneself is to commit to being a meek instrument in His hands. It means promising an unwavering obedience in everything that He asks of us.
This is how Pope Pius XII explains a consecration: “Consecration is a total gift of oneself, for one’s life and for eternity: it is a gift not purely rhetorical or sentimental, but active, taking place in the intensity of Christian life.”
In a radio broadcast addressed to the people of Belgium he also specified: “By placing your personal, familal and national activities under the aegis of Mary, you invoke Her help and protection for all your projects, but, you also promise Her that you will do nothing to displease Her and to conform your whole life to Her direction and Her desires.”
Why consecrate oneself ?
But what can we expect in exchange for such a consecration? By his act of consecration, a person belongs to Whom he consecrated himself. Consequently, he will be His possession and can therefore claim to benefit from the protection that every proprietor accords to that which he possesses.
Thus, during the ceremony for the consecration of a family to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, God is asked to “bless our undertakings, both spiritual and temporal, to banish all worry and care, to sanctify our joys and soothe our sorrows.”
In Pope Pius XII’s forementioned radio broadcast he clearly states: “By placing your personal, familal and national activities under the aegis of Mary, you invoke Her help and protection for all your projects.”
By consecrating ourselves to Our Lord or Our Lady, we will also have a guide to keep us from lapsing and to lead us back onto the straight and narrow should we lose our way. We shall be protected against danger, and the devil’s snares.
Another benefit to be obtained from a consecration is peace (in the first place, that of the soul, but also temporal peace) as well as the conversion of sinners. In the consecration of the human race to the Immaculate Heart of Mary made by Pius XII on the 31st of October 1942, the Pope requested: “Oh, Mother of Mercy, obtain peace for us from God! Obtain especially those graces which can convert human hearts quickly. Those graces, which can prepare, establish and insure peace.”
Also, this is what Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort teaches: “So, to consecrate oneself to Mary, is very precisely to choose Her as Mother, not only for our physical protection, but firstly, and more importantly, to confer on Her alone the plenitude of maternal power over our souls. In a human family, a mother has power over her children. She protects them in two ways: by averting threats and dangers, sometimes even without their knowledge, and also by advising and guiding them, so that they make good use of their freedom.”
Can one consecrate oneself to Mary ?
Generally speaking, one consecrates oneself to God, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Christ the King. However, churches are often consecrated to the Holy Virgin or to saints. But consecration to Mary is sometimes the object of debate. For example, in the introduction to the encyclical Redemptoris Mater a theologian states: “One can only consecrate oneself to God the Creator, not to a creature, because that would be idolatry.” Consecrating oneself to the Holy Virgin would therefore be idolatry. The whole tradition of the Church contradicts this unfortunate affirmation. Such consecrations have always been made and have borne fruits. And the Church has never uttered the slightest objection.
In fact, we consecrate ourselves to the Most Holy Virgin during baptisms, marriages, confirmations and solemn communions. In many parishes, for example, at the end of a baptism it is customary to carry the baby to the Holy Virgin’s altar and there to consecrate him to Our Lady.
In his Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort incites us to consecrate ourselves to the Holy Virgin.
On the 1st of April 1836, the Curé d’Ars consecrated his parish to Mary conceived without sin. On the 11th of December in the same year, abbé Desgenettes consecrated the parish of Notre-Dame des Victoires to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Several countries have been consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The bishops of Portugal consecrated their country on the 13th of May 1931, and then again on the 13th of May 1938 and the 13th of October 1942. Pope Pius XII consecrated the world on the 13th of October 1942, then again on the 8th of December. Poland was consecrated in 1946 and Australia in 1948, etc.
Therefore, there is no doubt whatsoever that it is possible to consecrate oneself to Our Lady and most particularly to Her Immaculate Heart, as she requested for Russia on the 13th of July 1917. And in the next letter, we will see all the fruits which result from these consecrations.
So to respond to Our Lady’s call and place ourselves under Her protection, we should not hesitate to consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart. The next organised consecration with a preparation of 33 days is the 13th of May, the centenary of the first apparition of Our Lady of Fatima. We should not miss this occasion to consecrate ourselves, our families, our schools … or to renew our consecration. (To register, click HERE. Preparation in french only)
In union of prayer in the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Yves de Lassus,
Cap Fatima 2017.