What on Earth is a Marian Consecration?

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: The Almighty has done great things for me, and Holy is his Name.

Portion of the Magnificat, Lk 1:46-49

What on Earth is a Marian Consecration? That is what I thought to myself when I read some fellow Catholic bloggers mentioning the subject. I felt like such a bad Catholic having never heard of it (it didn’t help when I asked my parents about it, and they both said they knew all about it and had both done Marian Consecrations themselves!) So I did some research on it, and bought myself this book:

(Kindle edition here) (Also, the workbook can be found here, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

A Marian Consecration, apparently, is a do-it-yourself retreat, in which you read daily 5-10 minute devotions for 33 days, finishing it up with Confession, Mass, and a Consecration prayer entrusting yourself into Mary’s tender care. The idea is, that in strengthening your love for Mary, you will in turn strengthen your relationship with Jesus. Because no person on Earth loved Jesus more perfectly than his Blessed Mother.

This idea of consecrating yourself to Mary was first introduced by St. Louis de Montfort, a French priest who lived during the 18th century. His book on Marian Consecration is here:

I plan on doing his consecration next, but I am glad that I started with the 33 Days, which is a more modern take on it. The book explains in layman’s terms what a Marian Consecration means and introduces you to the writings about Mary from four saintly Catholics: St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe (who died in Auschwitz), Blessed Mother Teresa, and Pope Saint John Paul II.

In these turbulent times, I figured we need all of the spiritual help we can get.  St. Maximilian Kolbe, who lived in Poland during the Nazi invasion and was eventually imprisoned in a concentration camp (where he volunteered to die in the place of a prisoner who had a family and was accordingly executed by the Nazi guards) also lived during some pretty dang turbulent times. His inspiring notion was that the evil seen around the world was not due to a earthly battle, but rather a spiritual one. So, the battle must be waged for people’s souls, with Mary (she who crushes the head of the serpent) as our inspiration.

I was going through a very troubling time when I began 33 Days to Morning Glory. I was struggling with not obsessing over the negative things in my life and letting them consume me. Personally, this consecration was a game changer. I am becoming more and more successful at letting peace reign in my heart rather than turmoil. The Paris attacks threw me for another loop, of course, toward the end of my 33 days, but the consecration really helped me refocus and trust in God.

I found one passage on a homily from Pope Saint John Paul II that really seemed to speak directly to what was troubling me:

The homily’s context is the widespread, ‘almost apocalyptic’ evil of our time, an evil that ‘menaces,’ that is ‘spreading,’ and that gathers ‘like a dark cloud over mankind.’ The Pope confesses that this evil causes ‘trepidation’ in his heart. Despite this, he finds hope in ‘a Love more powerful than evil’ which no ‘sin of the world can ever overcome.’ This Love he identifies as ‘merciful Love.’

33 Days to Morning Glory, by Michael E. Gaitley

The monsters of this world can take everything away from us that we hold dear, except for one thing: our Faith.

Featured image: The Madonna of the Lilies by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

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6 thoughts on “What on Earth is a Marian Consecration?

  1. morgan

    You did not know what a Marian Consecration is And your parents did? Poor job in raising you 😉 No REALLY I’M JUST KIDDING!!! I have had no clue either and google and wikipedia didn’t help as well. I’m definitely a bad catholic myself but then, I’ve already known that for a looooong time 😉 And since I have no clue what the german equivalent might be I can’t even ask my mom, but then I suspect she might not know it either, because I think she’s a bad Catholic as well, with being raised by a Lutheran mother. Enough of that nonsense! I hope I could put a smile on your face with my stupid blabber 😉

    I’m very glad this helped you find inner peace. The ritual of reading a spiritual/biblical study every day is something I do not really know of Catholics but I remember my Lutheran grandmother reading her daily watchwords (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daily_Watchwords) religiously. She had one of those tear-off calendars with the watchwords on front and a short sermon-like text on the back (I think. She died when I was still a kid). She later reused the sheets as markers in her favorite recipe book. You could find 1969 watchwords in there. I see these watchword books everywhere in Lutheran households and churches in Germany. Don’t know it that’s a german thing. I found several books on amazon.de, but only one on amazon.com. Sometimes I find peace in reading some more or less random bible verses. Reminder for me. Need to start bible studies again. Started with downloading a watchword app. There are great study books out – for younger people, for parents… I just can’t find english ones, since I’m not familiar with them.

    At a church meeting shortly after the Paris attacks someone cited this verse: “for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” It’s found in 2 Timothy 1,7 (I found the translation here: http://www.bibleserver.com/text/ESV/2%20Timothy1, no idea if that’s the one used by american catholics. I once got in a fight with some evangelicals about the so called apocryphas. They are in the german standard version, but apparently Luther threw them out. Catholics only have the standard version lying around. Having several different bible translations is obviously a protestant thing here).

    Looong text. I want to let you know that you are not alone in letting yourself get submerged in seeing negative things. I can beat myself up for days over one single sentence I said and later deemed stupid. I send you HUGS and prayers.

    1. sylvia.hobgood@gmail.com Post author

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I know, I’m such a bad Catholic, but I’m working on it;) The Marian Consecration is basically devoting your life to Mary, and asking her to use us and our sufferings that we offer up however she wishes (whether it be to relieve someone else’s suffering, for someone’s conversion, for a soul’s release from Purgatory into heaven, etc.) I have to look up watchwords! I haven’t heard of that either! (Man, I really need to up my spiritual game). I am not nearly knowledgeable enough to engage in a debate on the apocrypha, you impress me! I do know that the Catholic Bible has some books that the Protestant Bibles do not, like Maccabes, Wisdom, and Tobit. Thank you for all of your encouragement and support. Hugs and prayers right back!

  2. Suzi Whitford

    This is a beautiful reminder, and a practice not many of us are familiar with! Thank you for bringing it up. I remember I wanted to do this back in college. Maybe I should now as I’m a mommy!

    1. sylvia.hobgood@gmail.com Post author

      It was edifying, for sure. So much of the Marian doctrine that I didn’t even know!!

  3. Ashley Primeaux

    Wow what a perfect timing for this post. I did this consecration last year at this time and finished on the Immaculate Conception which is the day I found out I was expecting my third blessing! The book was amazing, of course. I had received it as a gift from a parent of a student I taught and it had been hidden away for two years. God knew when the right time was for me. I could cry thinking about how it all intertwined in to my life, just like yours. More Mary is what every one needs in their life! Thank you for sharing your journey.

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