Giving Ourselves Completely to Mary
Monsignor Charles M. Mangan
I am pleased to be able to present the following text, “Consecration to Mary,” written by Father Gabriele Amorth, S.S.P. (1925- ), a member of the Society of Saint Paul, who is the Chief Exorcist in the Diocese of Rome. A prolific author, Father Amorth gave the following discourse in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, on Saturday, May 14, 2005—six weeks to the day after the death of Pope John Paul II—during a ceremony honoring Our Lady of Fatima connected to the First “Day of the Pilgrim.”
I have translated this text from Italian into English.
May the words of Father Amorth inspire us to give ourselves completely to Our Blessed Mother. She awaits our self-surrender.
Consecration to Mary
by Father Gabriele Amorth, S.S.P.
It is beautiful to speak of the Consecration to Mary in this Basilica in which a Pope whom we all have in our hearts presented TOTUS TUUS (“Totally yours”) to the world.
But let us deepen the concept of consecration. To consecrate something is to separate it from profane use in order to use it exclusively for worship of God. Therefore, consecration can be made only to God. Why then do we consecrate ourselves to Mary? Because of her role in the plan of Redemption, in which she is always associated to Christ. Mary is wholly a reference to Christ. Therefore, consecration to her has the aim of belonging entirely to Jesus. Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716), the great apostle of consecration to Mary, calls it “Consecration to Jesus through Mary” (Ad Iesum Per Mariam), and spread that famous short formula: “I am all Yours and all that I have I offer to You, my lovable Jesus, through Mary, Your most holy Mother.”
But let us see first the Biblical texts which demonstrate that God associated Mary to Jesus in the entire plan of the Redemption. I choose three.
1. Genesis 3:15. Adam and Eve sinned. God casts them out of earthly paradise—the Garden of Eden—but gives a great hope for the Redeemer to them, with those words we usually call the Protoevangelium or “First Gospel”: “I will place enmity between you and the woman, between your offspring and hers; she will crush your head . . . .” It is the Offspring of the Woman, that is her Son, Who defeats Satan. But the Mother is so associated to the work of the Son, that painters and sculptors rightly represent Mary in the act of crushing the head of the serpent. “Jesus came to destroy the works of Satan.” (1 John 3:8)
2. Saint Luke 1:26-38. The Annunciation. Here the association of Mary in the work of the Redemption reaches its culminating point. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council (1962-1965) does not hesitate to say: “The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by the acceptance of her who was predestined to be the mother of His Son . . . .” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, 56) The Divine Maternity of Mary is the center of her mission and greatness. God wanted to give Jesus through Mary to us.
3. Saint John 19:25-27. At the foot of the Cross. Also in that supreme moment of the Redemption Mary associates herself entirely to the Son. The same Council will say the strongest and newest word: Mary “lovingly consent(ed) to the immolation of this victim which she herself had brought forth.” (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, 58) To what did she consent? To the Will of God: as the Father wants, so Jesus wanted and Mary wants.
Our consecration to Mary is a following of the Will of God Who wanted to make use of Mary because Jesus became incarnate and accomplished the work of the Redemption.
Consecration to Mary has a very ancient history. We present the recent great consecrations of the world. The most solemn was that pronounced by Pope John Paul II on March 25, 1984, in union with all the Bishops of the world, which led to the collapse of the Communist regime without a shot being fired.
But consecration has a very remote history. Already in the third century the oldest Marian prayer, the Sub Tuum Praesidum (“We fly to Thy Patronage”), presents a people that entrusts itself to Mary: “We fly to Thy Patronage, O Holy Mother of God, despise not our prayers in our necessities, but ever deliver us from all dangers, O Glorious and Blessed Virgin.” Thus, we find repeatedly consecrations throughout the centuries. Consider the very beautiful formula of consecration of Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo (+667), even if the first to use the expression “consecration to Mary” was Saint John Damascene (+749).
Throughout the Middle Ages there is a contest between cities and villages that entrust themselves to Mary, often presenting her with the keys of the city, in beautiful ceremonies. But it is in the seventeenth century that the great national consecrations ...
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