The Role of the Legion of Mary in Consecration
In the Legion of Mary, we do everything we can for Jesus through Mary. We give Mary our heart, our will, our possessions, and our families. Why? Because this is how we build up the Kingdom of God. By giving her our everything, we try to imitate her complete obedience to God (“Be it done to me according to Thy word”). Our duties during the week include a meeting where we pray and then discuss doing the spiritual works of mercy for God, all done in the name of His mother. These works include taking the Eucharist to the sick and the dying, saying a public rosary outside the church every First Saturday, visiting with the homebound and prisoners, teaching CCD, and door-to-door evangelization.
But the Legion of Mary is much more than just a parish organization that assists our priests with the distribution of the Eucharist. We are a spiritual powerhouse of prayer. We regularly pray the rosary, and once a year, we do the St. Louis de Montfort thirty-three day consecration to Jesus through Mary. This consists of thirty-three days of prayer and meditation, and then taking the consecration oath to Jesus through Mary on the thirty fourth day. As a result of doing this, our entire focus on life changes. Now, we see life through the magnifying soul of Mary, and we gain an increased hunger for daily Mass, an increased understanding of scripture, a desire for more frequent confessions, and a new zeal to evangelize. The consecration prayer is:
“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, N_____, 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.”
This St. Louis de Montfort 33 day consecration is highly recommended for all Catholics, whether or not they are in the Legion of Mary. It is a great way to inoculate oneself against the onslaught of Satan, because we now have the motherly protection of Mary fighting for us, 24/7/365.
Parish Consecration and St. Maximilian Kolbe
Now, our wonderful priest is taking the additional step of consecrating our entire parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This was recommended by one of the greatest saints of the twentieth century, St. Maximilian Kolbe, the Saint of Auschwitz. St. Maximilian bravely stepped forward to take the place of a condemned man in the death camp. He was subsequently placed in a starvation bunker and ministered to all of the other condemned prisoners in there. Finally, the Nazis gave him a shot of carbolic acid and killed him. His ashes in the Auschwitz crematorium rose to heaven on the vigil of the Assumption of Mary in 1941.
St. Maximilian Kolbe was totally dedicated to the Immaculata, his name for the Blessed Virgin Mary. When he was a young man, Mary appeared to him, and offered him a white crown (purity) and a red crown (martyrdom). She asked him which one he wanted, and he said both, which he did receive. Before the internet, St. Maximilian started a magazine dedicated to spreading the word of the power of the Immaculata throughout Poland and beyond. His Marian printing press, which evangelized millions of Poles in Marian consecration before WWII, helped set the stage for Catholic Poland to overcome the atheist Soviet Union in its postwar occupation of Eastern Europe. The godless workers’ revolt (the Bolsheviks) in the streets of Russia in 1917 was later overcome by a Marian workers’ revolt (Solidarity) in the streets of Poland in 1989. Joseph Stalin’s famous quote – “The Pope? How many divisions does he have?” – was answered when the Berlin wall came down because of Mary’s intercession in Poland. Not as well known is that St. Maximilian also set up a Franciscan monastery in Nagasaki, Japan. The monastery survived the atomic bomb blast in August of 1945 because he built it on the side of a mountain instead of downtown.
Consecration and Our Lady of Fatima
We all know that Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 asked the Holy Father to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, in order to convert Russia and to prevent the errors of Russia from reaching other countries. While the rank and file parish priest cannot do that, he can do the next best thing and consecrate his individual parish to her Immaculate Heart. There are so many errors in the world today concerning Christian morality. The best way to keep them out of your parish is to consecrate it to our Mother. The benefits of doing this will be spiritual protection for the priest and his flock; an increased number of parishioners; a more intense faith among existing parishioners; an increased reverence for sacred scripture, Adoration, and the Holy Eucharist; longer confession lines; the return of those who have left the faith; and Mary’s motherly protection for parish families. In no way does this replace the aforementioned individual thirty-three day consecration to Mary, but rather, it is a first step in getting parishioners to even want to male that personal consecration.
The Prayer of Parish Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
“O immaculate, Mother of the Church and Queen of Heaven, we join together as a parish family to consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart. We consecrate to you all that we are, all that we have, all that we love, our bodies, our hearts, our souls. To you we consecrate our families, our priests, our religious and all who serve in our parish ministries. We entrust to you the sick and dying, and the souls of the faithful departed of our entire parish. We desire that everyone may come to know you more fully and share in the benefits of your intercession of love. So that our consecration may be truly effective and persevering, and so that it may bear the fruits of a rich interior life, today we renew our consecrations as Christians through the Baptismal promises. We promise to follow with joy and humility the truths of the Catholic Church, always showing fidelity to the teaching of the Holy Father, our Bishop and the Magisterium. We promise to show you faithful devotion, to listen to the word of God and to read it attentively, to obey God’s commandments, to participate in the feast of the Church, to seek the strength of the sacraments, specially Reconciliation and the Eucharist. We pray that we may always be ready to offer our prayers, sacrifices and sufferings to bring about the triumph of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in our souls and in those is our sisters and brothers, in our parish and the entire world. Amen”
Mary and the Body of Christ
The Blessed Virgin Mary is like the neck. She connects the Body of Christ (the religious and the parishioners) to the Head of the Church (Jesus). After all, if the neck is missing in a human, he is decapitated and quite dead. By consecrating ourselves AND the parish to her Immaculate Heart, we are saying, individually and collectively, that we want to become even more alive in Christ. Through consecration, our heart in our body and in our parish morphs into her loving Immaculate Heart, which is supremely humble, loving, and kind, as well as totally dedicated to her Son. That fact makes it so much easier for the Head of the Church (Jesus Christ) to let His precious blood in the Eucharist flow into our new Marian heart, and to communicate His holy will to us. Now, her Immaculate Heart, which He loves so much, starts to take over and soften our hardened, worldly hearts into hers. Satan HATES that!
As Mary said at Fatima, on July 13, 1917, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” This parish consecration is one very sure way to help to accomplish this prophecy.
So, what are you waiting for? The historical record shows that consecration to the Blessed Mother and her rosary is more powerful than the former Soviet Union and the atomic bomb!
To learn how to consecrate your parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, click here.