Sunday, March 25, 2012

Making the Total Consecration

St. Louis de Montfort tells us:
“At the end of these three weeks they should go to confession and Holy Communion with the intention of consecrating themselves to Jesus through Mary as slaves of love. When receiving Holy Communion they could follow the method given later on. They then recite the act of consecration which is given at the end of this book. If they do not have a printed copy of the act, they should write it out or have it copied and then sign it on the very day they make it.

“It would be very becoming if on that day they offered some tribute to Jesus and his Mother, either as a penance for past unfaithfulness to the promises made in baptism or as a sign of their submission to the sovereignty of Jesus and Mary. Such a tribute would be in accordance with each one’s ability and fervour and may take the form of fasting, an act of self-denial, the gift of an alms or the offering of a votive candle. If they gave only a pin as a token of their homage, provided it were given with a good heart, it would satisfy Jesus who considers only the good intention.
Every year at least, on the same date, they should renew the consecration following the same exercises for three weeks. They might also renew it every month or even every day by saying this short prayer: I am all yours and all I have is yours, O dear Jesus, through Mary, your holy Mother.”

The Total Consecration consists in giving everything we are and have (including even the value of our good works and prayers) wholly and entirely to the Blessed Virgin Mary, with no strings attached. After consecrating oneself to Jesus through Mary in this manner, we no longer even offer prayers or sacrifices for specific intentions, but rather offer both the prayer and the intention to our Lady knowing that she sees all and will bring all things to fulfillment according to God’s will.

This is the devotion of holy slavery: To give over everything to Mary, and to live every moment of life (from this time forward) so that we do everything through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary, in order that all may more perfectly be done through Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus, and for Jesus.

Making the Total Consecration

After completing the thirty-three days of preparation, we:
1) Go to confession (within a week or two, before or after)
2) Receive communion with devotion (asking Mary to live in our soul and to receive Jesus there)
3) Recite the act of consecration, which is copied below. (the act of consecration may be recited alone or in a group, at home or in a church, before a priest or privately)
[many will write out by hand the prayer of consecration, at least that portion which is in italics]
4) Make some tribute to Jesus and Mary: especially the giving of an alms, or some special sacrifice

Practices for the rest of one’s life

From this day forward, we:
1) Go to confession and communion regularly (confession every month or every other month)
2) Daily recite some portion of the Rosary (hopefully, at least five decades)
3) Wear the brown scapular
4) Renew the consecration each year, following the same days of preparation beforehand
5) Offer all that we are and have, including even the value of all our prayers and good works, wholly and entirely to Jesus through Mary

Act of Consecration to Jesus through Mary

O Eternal and incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.

I, ___________________, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen.


Father Ryan Erlenbush said...

And it is good to note that St. Louis-Marie also wanted us to pray the "Little Crown" of Mary every day -- which consists of three Our Fathers and twelve Hail Marys (said as one Our Father and four Hail Marys, three times), in honor of the twelve stared crown Mary received in heaven (cf. Revelations 12) from the three Persons of the Trinity.

Also, one is encouraged to at least consider wearing a simple iron chain on either the wrist or the ankle in commemoration of total slavery to Jesus through Mary. (see more about this in True Devotion n. 170)

Neither of these devotions are required, but they are both worth considering as holy and devout, and great helps in the spirit of the Total Consecration. +

Anonymous said...

Dear Father Ryan:
With regard to First Saturday Devotion to Mary's Immaculate Heart, what does one do when, as this year, a first Saturday falls on Holy Saturday?

Bobby Bambino said...

I can't believe how excited I am to do this tonight! Thank you so much for all these posts, Father. I would not be making this consecration now had it not been for your promptings in these posts. God love you.

antmcos said...

Dear Fr Erlenbush,
Thank you so much for all of your posts on the Total Consecration. Your initial post on this ignited a spark and led me and two of my friends to make the Consecration this morning with great joy. I've had True Devotion at home for several years but was too scared initially to even get past the first few pages. Thank you for explaining so many things and helping me to take that leap and not be afraid. God Bless you!

Franz Klein said...

Your comments about the Ash Wednesday-Annunciation match-up were inspiration for me to renew my consecration for the first time in many years. And my wife made it with me. Thanks--and God bless your priestly ministry.

Anonymous said...


I see that you can go to confession within a week or two of the consecration. Does the same rule apply for Communion? My wife and I weren't able to go to Mass today.



Marko Ivančičević said...

Finally i'm Mary's slave... :)

Father Ryan Erlenbush said...

Oh yes, no worries ... just go to Mass and receive communion when able (at least by this Sunday, I'm sure) ... and then give our Savior to his Mother, resting in your heart.

Peace and blessings! +

Father Ryan Erlenbush said...

@Franz Klein,
I'm so glad to hear that you renewed the consecration!
Also, I'm very happy that I was able to encourage you in the devotion ... I always thank our Lady for my good friend who encouraged me in the True Devotion back in seminary days. +

Michelangelo said...

Dear Father Ryan,

I also completed my consecration, and I thank you very much for guiding us so diligently. God bless you, Father!

Gary said...

Dear Father Ryan,

These words were, to me, like lving water. I am on a spritual journey in discernment- so that I too may drink of this blessed opportunity, to give 100% devotion to Mary and Jesus.

I am such a sinner and pray that God and Mary will both forgive me. I am ready to come clean, right now, and turn my live over to - not mine - but his will.


Carrie Adams said...

Hello Father,
I am sorry to comment a few months late. I was not aware of the obligation to wear the brown scapular. Is wearing the brown scapular binding under pain of sin for one who has made Total Consecration, or is it just a very good suggestion?

Father Ryan Erlenbush said...

It is a good idea and a very strong suggestion of de Montfort to wear the scapular ... but it does not bind under pain of sin.

Indeed, we are all learning more and more and continuing to grow in our faith -- I commend you for your desire to be a true slave of Jesus and Mary! +

Carrie Adams said...

Thank you for your response, Father! Merry Christmas!

Trish B said...

Is it okay to do the fast the day before? It's Friday so I'm doing mine today-- my consecration day is tomorrow, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.

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