“Mondays with Mary” – A Marian Prayer of Saint Louis De Montfort

Although there are many saints that have a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of the greatest Marian saints in the Catholic Church is Saint Louis De Montfort. He is most notably known for the classic, True Devotion to Mary: with Preparation for Total Consecration. It is considered among many as the greatest work of Marian spirituality ever written. Through this work, a Christian will find Jesus Christ completely and fully through the Blessed Virgin Mary. He is also known for the work, The Secret of the Rosary. 

Queen of Heaven – Diego Velázquez

As much as I would like to focus on St. Louis De Montfort and some of his works, for today’s short post, I want to provide for you one of his Marian prayers. As of late (last week I was flying home and I was sick) in these blog posts, I have been trying to locate, research, and provide for you Marian prayers written by different saints. I believe if we want to grow in our love and devotion to Mary, the best examples are our older brothers and sisters in the faith – the Saints! Their prayers to Mama Mary inspire me to write my own Marian prayer, but for now, I personally pray The Hail Mary and The Memorare.

My powerful Queen,
you are all mine through your mercy,
and I am all yours.
Take away from me all that may displease God
and cultivate in me all that is pleasing to him.
May the light of your faith
dispel the darkness of my mind,
your deep humility
take the place of my pride,
your continual sight of God
fill my memory with his presence.
May the first of the love of your heart
inflame the lukewarmness of my own heart.
May your virtues take the place of my sins.
May your merits be my enrichment
and make up for all
that is wanting in me before God.
My beloved Mother,
grant that I may have no other spirit but your spirit, to know Jesus Christ and His divine will and to praise and glorify the Lord, that I may love God with burning love like yours.
Amen.

Saint Louis De Montfort…Pray for Us

“Mondays with Mary” – Consecration to the Blessed Virgin

Ever since I went on my first Ignatian Spiritual Exercises Retreat this past summer in San Diego with Miles Christi, I have been praying each morning different prayers as a Morning Prayer/Morning Offering. The prayers I pray in the morning are the same prayers we did on the retreat. They have been a great consolation to me and I enjoy the moments I have in prayer each morning.

One of the prayers that’s part of my morning offering is titled, Consecration to the Blessed Virgin. Although it has the word consecration in it, it’s much shorter than actual Prayer of Consecration that many of you probably know either through St. Louis DeMontfort’s Total Consecration or Fr. Michael Gaitley’s, 33 Days to Morning Glory. If you are interested in learning more about both of these consecrations, I would encourage you to read my blog post titled, “Mondays with Mary” – Marian Consecration: Knowing Jesus through Mary.

The morning prayer that I pray each morning has a similar theme to both of the aforementioned prayers, but where it differs is that it’s a consecration to the Blessed Virgin for the day. It fits perfectly between the Anima Christi and the Prayer to St. Joseph, two other prayers that are part of the morning offering.

I enjoy this prayer because it focuses on points that I am very fond of when it comes to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It speaks of her as Queen and Mother. Here we have two very important titles for Mary that are connected to the Marian Doctrines of Theotokos (God-Bearer) and Maternal Mediator (she is our Advocate and Queen Mother).

I also like the phrase, “in proof of my filial affection.” Here we see that through our sonship (filial) that Christ regained for us through his merits on the Cross – that we are not only “sons” of God, but also “sons” (and daughters) of Mary as well. She is our Mother, just as Jesus states when he gives her to St. John at the foot of the cross.

33 Day of Mary

The other part of this prayer that I like is the phrase “keep me and defend me as thy property and possession.” If you are familiar with the Marian Consecration Prayers, which speak of us as giving ourselves completely to Jesus through Mary, then you understand what this phrase means. I think in our modern culture we have a bad notion of slavery because in recent centuries man has distorted slavery into a very cruel practice, but in the early centuries slaves weren’t necessarily treated so poorly and were often freed after a certain number of years in service. For Jesus and Mary, we are not slaves to be beaten, but we should strive to be faithful slaves of love. If we are their possessions, then it’s their mission to keep us and defend us, as a Master would protect his slaves from another trying to hurt them.

So now that I have explained parts of this prayer to you briefly, let me share the actual prayer with you. It’s my hope that you will pray this prayer as I pray this prayer.

O, my Queen and my Mother! I offer myself entirely to thee; and, in proof of my filial affection, I consecrate this day to thee my eyes, my ears, my lips, my heart, my whole being without reserve. Since I am wholly thine, O bountiful Mother, keep me and defend me as thy property and possession. Amen.

I hope that you found today’s “Mondays with Mary” beneficial and that you will share this post with your family and friends. So many Christians lack to see the importance that the Blessed Mother plays in Salvation History, which is on-going today.

Let us pray for those Christians that believe Mary is an obstacle to Jesus and let us pray that they will come to know Jesus better through his Mother. If you want to get to someone in your life, the best thing to do is spend time with their mother. When we spend time with Mary, we come to know Jesus in a more deep and profound way.

“Mondays with Mary” – Marian Consecration: Knowing Jesus through Mary

In his book, True Devotion to Mary, Saint Louis De Montfort states,

“True devotion to Our Lady is interior; that is, it comes from the mind and heart. It flows from the esteem we have for her, the high idea we have formed of her greatness, and the love which we have for her…this devotion consists then in giving ourselves entirely to the Blessed Virgin, in order to belong entirely to Jesus through her.”

true-devotion-to-mary

Consecration to Jesus through Mary has been a long-standing and fertile tradition in the Catholic Church dating back to the early centuries of Christianity. The Early Church Fathers, such as St. John Damascene and St. Ildefonsus of Toledo, used the term, servus Mariae – servant or slave to the Mother of God. Now this understanding of slave is not the contemporary understanding as being degrading to the human person, but has its roots in the Sacred Scriptures. St. Paul in his letter to the Romans states that he is a “slave of Jesus Christ” which means that he is a completely focused and dependent on Jesus Christ. The term “Slave of Mary” simply means the same thing.

By the ninth century in Ireland, the terms “slave” or “servant” of Mary became common practice among the faithful. In the thirteenth century, the devotion received Church approval through the religious order known as the “Servites of Mary.” Throughout the centuries, a few Popes, such as Pope John VII, Pope Nicholas IV, and Pope Paul V, declared themselves as the “slave of the Mother of God.” The great Troubadour of Mary, St. Bernard of Clairvaux said he was a slave of the Mother of God and added these words, “Whatever you are about to offer, remember to commend it to Mary, so that through the same channel whence grace flowed, it may return to the giver of grace.”

Consecration to Our Lady under a variety of disciplines had spread throughout all of Catholic Europe by the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Many Christians devoted themselves to Mary in the early years of these forms so that they would increase their relationship with Jesus Christ through his Mother.

So, what is Marian Consecration?

In his book, 33 Days to Morning Glory (I will talk about this book shortly), Reverend Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, states, [Marian Consecration] is…

“A new way of life in Christ. The act of consecrating oneself to Jesus through Mary marks the beginning of a gloriously new day, a new dawn, a brand new morning in one’s spiritual journey. It’s a fresh start, and it changes everything.”

Furthermore, Mark Miravalle states in Introduction to Mary,

“Consecration to Jesus through Mary is to give oneself entirely to Mary in a self-donation of love that enables the Mediatrix of all graces to use her full intercessory power to keep a person faithful to his or her baptismal promises to Jesus Christ.”

Our Lady, Mary Mediatrix of All GracesTheologically, the roots of Consecration to Jesus through Mary are found in the Marian doctrines of Spiritual Maternity and Mediatrix of All Graces. After her Assumption, the Blessed Mother now serves as our Spiritual Mother in Heaven bringing our petitions to her Son and our King, Jesus Christ. When an individual consecrates oneself to Mary, the doors of the heart open to the great graces that flow from Our Lord Jesus Christ that is given to His Mother, our Advocating Queen. Once our heart is completely turned over to Mary, she can then intercede for us with greater magnitude for our prayers and keep us away from the attacks of Satan.

For more on Mary’s intercessory role and Mediatrix of All Graces, I would encourage you to read my blog post – The Queenship of Mary: Advocate, Co-Redemptrix, and Mediatrix.

The two most famous Marian Consecrations come from two great saints, St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maximilian Kolbe. Both saints had great devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary throughout their entire lives and created their own consecrations.

St. Louis de Montfort’s, True Devotion to Mary, focuses on the Christians consecration to the Immaculate Mother in order for the individual to find a deeper union with Jesus Christ while focusing on their baptismal promises. St. Maximilian Kolbe’s, “Consecration to the Immaculata”, focuses on Mary’s statement at Lourdes where she said, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Both of these great saints help us grow in our relationship with Mary, so that our relationship with Jesus Christ will be ever stronger and renewed in Him.

33 Days to Morning GloryAlthough these are two fantastic consecrations, the consecration that is sweeping through the Catholic Church in the United States, and possibly other regions around the world is the do-it-yourself retreat in preparation for Marian Consecration known as the 33 Days to Morning Glory. In the past six months, I have traveled throughout different parts of the USA and have found that this personal retreat and consecration is on the lips of most faithful Catholics I meet.

33 Days to Morning Glory is a four-week retreat that focuses on four Marian giants who lived out their consecration to Jesus through Mary each day of their lives. Like Mary, this retreat will help us to ponder the words in our hearts. Although there are five days of review at the end, the retreat is structured like so: Week 1 – St. Louis de Montfort; Week 2 – St. Maximilian Kolbe; Week 3 – Blessed Mother Teresa; and Week 4 – Blessed John Paul II.

If you have not heard of this personal 33-day retreat until now, I would encourage you to stop by your local Catholic gift shop or purchase it online. There are seventeen different times you can begin this consecration throughout the calendar year. Don’t wait for the “perfect” consecration date, as I have (starting it in two days now), to begin such an important aspect of our relationship with Jesus Christ through Mary.

I leave you with the words of my hero and soon to be canonized saint of the Catholic Church. When speaking of de Montfort’s True Devotion, Blessed John Paul II, pope-john-paul-II

“The reading of this book was a decisive turning point in my life. I say “turning point,” but in fact it was a long journey…this “perfect devotion” is indispensable to anyone who means to give himself without reserve to Christ and to the work of Redemption.”

Mary, Our Spiritual Mother and Mediatrix of All Graces…Pray For Us!