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Marian Consecration

By Deacon Keith Fournier

To consecrate means to dedicate. It is used in reference to worship and means to be set aside or set apart for God. It is also a word which speaks to the very core of the Christian vocation. We are all called through our Baptism to be set aside for God.

Rooted in the Jewish tradition, consecration has biblical roots. It is also entrenched within the Christian Tradition. The history of the Church is filled with the living witness of holy men and women who were set apart to continue the redemptive mission of the Lord Jesus Christ until He returns; men and women who lived in the heart of the Church for the sake of the world.

Madonna of Mercy with Kneeling Friars - Fra angelico - 1424

Madonna of Mercy with Kneeling Friars - Fra angelico - 1424

Throughout Christian history, the special role of Mary in the redemptive mission led to deeper reflection and a growing understanding that she is the exemplar of the faith. In their Pastoral Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council summarized this important insight:

"The Virgin Mary, who at the message of the angel received the Word of God in her heart and in her body and gave Life to the world, is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer. Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit."

The faithful express a special love for Mary through prayers of consecration to Jesus - offered through her maternal intercession and mediation. Again, the Council fathers help us understand this consecration:

"Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth. At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved. She is "the mother of the members of Christ . . . having cooperated by charity that faithful might be born in the Church, who are members of that Head." Wherefore she is hailed as a pre-eminent and singular member of the Church, and as its type and excellent exemplar in faith and charity. The Catholic Church, taught by the Holy Spirit, honors her with filial affection and piety as a most beloved mother" (LG #53).

"There is but one Mediator as we know from the words of the apostle, for there is one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a redemption for all" ( 1 Tim.2:5,6).

Altarpiece of the Seven Joys of Mary - Unknown German Master - 1480

Altarpiece of the Seven Joys of Mary - Unknown German Master - 1480

"The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no wise obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows His power. For all the salvific influence of the Blessed Virgin on men originates, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on His mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it. In no way does it impede, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful with Christ."

"Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was on this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace. This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation" (LG #61,62).

"Marian Consecration" in Western Christian spirituality is usually associated with St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, St. John Eudes, and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. However, a reading of the early Fathers of the undivided Church finds its firm root in the first centuries of Christianity. Mary is the model of a life perfectly consecrated to God. She was specially chosen by God in the plan of salvation. She continues now as our mother - given to us by Her Son and Savior - to help us consecrate our lives to Him. She offers us her example, her prayers and her motherly care.

On Sunday, October 8, 2000, Blessed John Paul II, who was totally consecrated to Jesus through Mary, led the Bishops of the world in a consecration of the Third Millennium to Mary in these beautiful words which unfold the meaning of Marian consecration:

"Woman, behold your Son!" (Jn 19:26).
As we near the end of this Jubilee Year,
when you, O Mother, have offered us Jesus anew,
the blessed fruit of your womb most pure,
the Word made flesh, the world's Redeemer,
we hear more clearly the sweet echo of his words
entrusting us to you, making you our Mother:
"Woman, behold your Son!"

When he entrusted to you the Apostle John,
and with him the children of the Church and all people,
Christ did not diminish but affirmed anew
the role which is his alone as the Saviour of the world.
You are the splendor which in no way dims the light of Christ,
for you exist in him and through him.
Everything in you is fiat: you are the Immaculate One,
through you there shines the fullness of grace.
Here, then, are your children, gathered before you
at the dawn of the new millennium.

The Church today, through the voice of the Successor of Peter,
in union with so many Pastors assembled here
from every corner of the world,
seeks refuge in your motherly protection
and trustingly begs your intercession
as she faces the challenges which lie hidden in the future.
In this year of grace, countless people have known
the overflowing joy of the mercy
which the Father has given us in Christ.
In the particular Churches throughout the world,
and still more in this centre of Christianity,
the widest array of people have accepted this gift.
Here the enthusiasm of the young rang out,
here the sick have lifted up their prayer.

Here have gathered priests and religious,
artists and journalists,
workers and people of learning,
children and adults,
and all have acknowledged in your beloved Son
the Word of God made flesh in your womb.
O Mother, intercede for us,
that the fruits of this Year will not be lost
and that the seeds of grace will grow
to the full measure of the holiness
to which we are all called.

Today we wish to entrust to you the future that awaits us,
and we ask you to be with us on our way.
We are the men and women of an extraordinary time,
exhilarating yet full of contradictions.
Humanity now has instruments of unprecedented power:
we can turn this world into a garden,
or reduce it to a pile of rubble.
We have devised the astounding capacity
to intervene in the very well-springs of life:
man can use this power for good, within the bounds of the moral law,
or he can succumb to the short-sighted pride
of a science which accepts no limits,
but tramples on the respect due to every human being.
Today as never before in the past,
humanity stands at a crossroads.

And once again, O Virgin Most Holy,
salvation lies fully and uniquely in Jesus, your Son.
Therefore, O Mother, like the Apostle John,
we wish to take you into our home (cf. Jn 19:27),
that we may learn from you to become like your Son.

"Woman, behold your son!"
Here we stand before you
to entrust to your maternal care
ourselves, the Church, the entire world.
Plead for us with your beloved Son
that he may give us in abundance the Holy Spirit,
the Spirit of truth which is the fountain of life.

Receive the Spirit for us and with us,
as happened in the first community gathered round you
in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (cf. Acts 1:14).
May the Spirit open our hearts to justice and love,
and guide people and nations to mutual understanding
and a firm desire for peace.

We entrust to you all people, beginning with the weakest:
the babies yet unborn,
and those born into poverty and suffering,
the young in search of meaning,
the unemployed,
and those suffering hunger and disease.
We entrust to you all troubled families,
the elderly with no one to help them,
and all who are alone and without hope.

O Mother, you know the sufferings
and hopes of the Church and the world:
come to the aid of your children in the daily trials
which life brings to each one,
and grant that, thanks to the efforts of all,
the darkness will not prevail over the light.

To you, Dawn of Salvation, we commit
our journey through the new Millennium,
so that with you as guide
all people may know Christ,
the light of the world and its only Savior,
who reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit
who reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit
for ever and ever. Amen.


More Mary, Mother of God



Appearances of Mary

Apparitions and Appearances

Apparitions and Appearances Image

The term "appearance" has been used with Marian apparitions and visions of Jesus Christ. The Church will confirm an apparition as worthy of belief, but belief is never required by divine faith. Read More

Evaluating Apparitions

Evaluating Apparitions Image

A Roman Catholic approved Marian apparition is one that has been examined by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and has been granted approval by the local Bishop or the Holy See. Read More

Approved Appearances
Traditionally
Vatican
Bishop
Coptic
Un-Approved Appearances
Approval of Faith Expression
Unapproved Apparitions

Mary as Mother

Mother of God (TheotoKos)

Mother of God (TheotoKos) Image

From antiquity, Mary has been called "Theotokos", or "God-Bearer". The word in Greek is "Theotokos". The term was used as part of the popular piety of the early first millennium church. Read More

Daughter of the Father

Daughter of the Father Image

Mary is "full of grace," because it is precisely in her that the Incarnation of the Word, the hypostatic union of the Son of God with human nature, is accomplished and fulfilled. Read More

Mother of the Redeemer

Mother of the Redeemer Image

Mary was there at the Incarnation, Birth, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of God Incarnate. She was there throughout the often called "hidden years" in Nazareth. In the life of the Redeemer... Read More

Spouse of the Spirit

Spouse of the Spirit Image

Throughout God's relationship with Israel He promises to espouse His people to himself (See, e.g. Hosea 2:19). This language of spousal love, of nuptiality, is also present in this overshadowing... Read More

Mother of the Church

Mother of the Church Image

Since the Virgin Mary's role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. She is acknowledged as... Read More

Mother of the Domestic Church

Mother of the Domestic Church Image

Mary is the mother of every domestic church, of every Christian family. She fully understands the naturally supernatural realities of family life because she lived them. Read More

Our Mother

Our Mother Image

I found that every one of the great influences in my Christian life from that communion of saints to which we are all joined was profoundly "Marian". Francis of Assissi, Bernard of Clairvaux... Read More



Mary as Model

Mary in the Scriptures

Mary in the Scriptures Image

Christian Scripture calls the "more excellent way", the way of Love. Mary understands this Way and walked on it with extraordinary humility. Follow her in journey through the Scriptures. Read More

Mary in the Tradition

Mary in the Tradition Image

To understand Mary in the Tradition of the Church we have to understand what is meant by the word "Tradition" - and why it matters. In his second letter to the Thessalonians the Apostle Paul... Read More

Mary and the Councils

Mary and the Councils Image

A Bishop named Nestorius objected to the title of Theotokos, Mother of God or God Bearer for Mary. The Council of Ephesus met in 431AD and affirmed Mary was the "Mother of God"... Read More

Mary in the Liturgical Year

Mary in the Liturgical Year Image

The Second Vatican Council did not offer one particular document on Mary, the Mother of God. Rather, the Council fathers incorporated the meaning and mission of Mary, as well as her... Read More

Mary East and West

Mary East and West Image

Devotion to - and love for . Mary, the Mother of God, is a foundational part of the Christian Church both East and West. The Eastern Christian emphasis, both doctrinally and devotionally, is... Read More

Mary and the Early Fathers

Mary and the Early Fathers Image

Among the multiple and profound references to Mary, the Mother of God, found in the writings of the early Church Fathers is one of my favorites in the Cappadocian, Gregory of Nyssa... Read More

Mary and the Saints

Mary and the Saints Image

Among the titles given to Mary is "Queen of all the Saints". In one of his reflections on this woman whom he loved with such devotion, Blessed john Paul II proclaimed "This woman of faith... Read More


Mary as Disciple

Mary as Disciple

Mary as Disciple Image

We were made to give ourselves away to the Lord and, in Him, for others. Mary's choice, her response to the invitation of a God, is a singularly extraordinary event in all of human history. Read More

Handmaiden of the Lord

Handmaiden of the Lord Image

"I am the handmaiden (servant) of the Lord; let it be to me according to your Word." (Luke 1:38) When Mary spoke those few words, human history was forever changed. Read More

Model of Holiness

Model of Holiness Image

From antiquity the early Christians reflected on a "mystery" of the faith- how the Incarnation of Jesus Christ came about through the free cooperation of this little Virgin of Nazareth... Read More

First Disciple

First Disciple Image

She was the first evangelizer and the first disciple of her Son Jesus. She gave the first Gospel testimony to her cousin, Elizabeth, without words, as the Redeemer in her womb drew the child in her womb... Read More


Way of Mary

The Message of Mary

The Message of Mary Image

And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. (The Gospel of Luke 2:34-37) Read More

The Meaning of Mary

The Meaning of Mary Image

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word." "At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" without... Read More

The Prayer of Mary

The Prayer of Mary Image

Mary's Prayer teaches us to stay afloat in the ocean of life, with all of its undertows. Mary's way is to become an ark within, where the same God who became incarnate within her... Read More

The Song of Mary

The Song of Mary Image

"When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Most blessed are you... Read More

The Titles of Mary

The Titles of Mary Image

From the earliest theological reflections in Christian history we find the defense of the most important of the titles of Mary, "Theotokos" in Greek. It is translated God-bearer... Read More


Mission of Mary

Mary and the Eucharist

Mary and the Eucharist Image

In a beautiful apostolic exhortation entitled the Sacrament of Love, issued in 1997, Pope Benedict XVI wrote these words under a section entitled The Eucharist and the Virgin Mary... Read More

Mary & the New Evangelization

Mary & the New Evangelization Image

Throughout his pontificate, Blessed John Paul II called for this "New Evangelization." Pope Benedict XVI made this a central pillar of his pontificate. He erected a Pontifical Council... Read More

The Path of Mary

The Path of Mary Image

Before they were called Christians (Acts 11:26), at Antioch, they were referred to as "the Way". A Rabbi named Saul spoke of persecuting "the way" (Acts 22:4) before he was profoundly converted... Read More

The Marian Moment

The Marian Moment Image

Over the last two decades a recovery of the significance of the life and witness of Mary has occurred among many Christians, even those who descend from the communities of... Read More

Mary's Mission

Mary's Mission Image

"Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother... When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, Woman, behold, your son." Read More

Marian Prayer and Piety

Marian Prayer and Piety Image

Marian prayer and piety developed very early in the history of the undivided Christian Church of the first millennium. It has been kept alive in a myriad of piety practices in the both the Catholic... Read More


Message of Mary

What Does She Say?

What Does She Say? Image

The message of Mary is the message of the Gospel, to repent and believe the Good news. The message of Mary is conversion to Her Son by saying "yes" to God's invitation. That is the path to true... Read More

Marian Prayer and Devotion

Marian Prayer and Devotion Image

The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs the faithful on just how Mary prayed. Mary still prays. She has a special role in the plan of salvation and is a model for all Christians... Read More

Marian Consecration

Marian Consecration Image

To consecrate means to dedicate. It is used in reference to worship and means to be set aside or set apart for God. It is also a word which speaks to the very core of the Christian... Read More


Devotion of Mary

Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary

Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary Image

When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals - one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them... Read More

Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary Image

My soul magnifies the Lord, And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; Because he has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid; For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed... Read More

Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary

Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary Image

But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered... Read More

Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary

Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary Image

While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white. And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah, who appeared in glory... Read More

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