What is Total Consecration to Mary?
Consecration means setting yourself aside for service to God. The Church has always advocated consecrating yourself to Jesus Christ through the Blessed Virgin Mary, the perfect model of discipleship.
From the earliest known prayer to Mary, the Sub Tuum Praesidium (c. 200) to St. John Damascene (d. 750) to St. Louis de Montfort (d. 1716), devotion to Mary and total consecration to her have ancient roots. In our times Pope John Paul II recommended an "act of entrustment" to Mary (his papal motto was an enthusiastic Totus Tuus-"Totally Yours"). St. Maximilian Kolbe adds a strong missionary dimension to Marian consecration.
Marian consecration, therefore, is no archaic spirituality but is a living and active means of advancing the Faith as a People of God. It is not just another "devotion," but is a complete spirituality, one not lightly undertaken.
In 1992 the Holy Father developed our understanding of this consecration even further. By dying for another and "consecrating his life to the lmmaculate Virgin," St. Maximilian has become, suggested the Holy Father, a "prophet and a sign of the new era, the civilization of love." St. John Paul endorsed the Kolbean example of Marian Consecration as a critical element of the "new Evangelization" for the third Christian millennium, and St. Maximilian as a primary intercessor.
What is the Militia of the Immaculata?
THE MILITIA OF THE IMMACULATA (MI) is a worldwide evangelization movement founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe in 191 7. It encourages a total consecration to Mary Immaculate as a means of spiritual renewal for individuals and society. Marian consecration in the MI is a formal act of self-giving that does not stop at Mary, but is Christdirected. It is really consecration to Jesus. The MI motto is "To lead every individual with Mary to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
The MI employs prayer as the main weapon in the spiritual battle with evil. MIs also immerse themselves in apostolic initiatives throughout society, either individually or in groups, to deepen the knowledge of the Gospel and our Catholic Faith in themselves and in others.
By joining the MI, members become willing instruments of Our Lady, the handmaid of the Lord and the immaculate instrument of God. You become a member of an international movement sharing in the maternal mission of Mary the conversion and sanctification of all souls. The goals of the MI are personal sanctification, the conversion of the world and ultimately the universal reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The MI is a Vatican approved international public association of the faithful, whose mission, like that of the Catholic Church, is universal. Although the MI is open to Catholics only, it encourages all people of good will to develop a trusting relationship with Our Lady.
Why Should I Join the MI?
CONSECRATING YOURSELF to Mary through the ideal of St. Maximilian will be one of the most important acts of your life. You will be placing yourself under the mantle of Mary's protective care as the Immaculate Conception, Mother of the Church and Mediatrix of All Graces.
Through total consecration you cooperate with Mary in the work of building up and renewing the Church of the third millennium. She will enlighten your mind, guide your will, empower your efforts and intercede for you in a special way before the throne of the Father. You will also share in the intercessory prayers of the MI religious communities, who pray daily for the success of the MI movement and the sanctification of its members.
Finally, you will have the support that comes from being a part of an international movement of spiritual renewal. You will have access to MI conferences and materials, to its online resources, and to regular mailings from the national office on how better to live out your consecration.
Am I Ready to Consecrate Myself Totally to Mary and Join the MI?
THE SPIRIT of the MI is the spirit of continual conversion. Not everyone who enrolls as a member understands perfectly in the beginning the power of this consecration. But when lived in the spirit of willingness and humility, the Imma-culata will elevate our natural gifts and inspire us to holiness and fruitful service within the Church.
As Jesus said to those who would stand up and follow him: "Even greater things than these will you do.”
How Do I Enroll in the MI?
A. SELECT the date on which you want your name recorded in the official register of the MI, preferably a Marian feast day, enroll on-line at our website at missionimmaculata.com
- January 1 Solemnity of the Mother of God
- February 11 Our Lady of Lourdes
- March 25 Annunciation
- May 13 Our Lady of Fatima
- May31 Visitation
- June 27 Our Lady of Perpetual Help
- July 16 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
- August 15 Assumption
- August 22 Oueenship of Mary
- September 8 Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
- September 15 Our Lady of Sorrows
- October 7 Our Lady of the Rosary
- November 21 Presentation of Mary
- December 8 Immaculate Conception
- December 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe
B. PREPARE yourself for the day of enrollment by daily Mass if possible, the Rosary, spiritual reading; and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on or shortly before the day of your enrollment.
C. ON THE DAY of your MI enrollment, recite the official act of consecration. Renounce all attachment to sin and, if possible, attend Mass. In this way you will be making an effort to remove all obstacles to Our Lady making you her own in the Holy Spirit.
D. FINALLY, ask Our Lady and St. Maximilian to show you how you can best serve the Lord from this moment on.
Wear the Miraculous Medal
THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL owes its origins to the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the chapel of the Rue du Bae, Paris, in 1830. She appeared to Catherine of Laboiuré, showing the young nun and future canonized saint the design of a medal that serves as a mini-catechism of the Church's teaching on Our Lady.
In a vision, Mary stood on a globe with brilliant light streaming from her jeweled fingers. "Behold the symbol of graces shed upon those who ask for them," she said, representing herself as Mediatrix of All Graces. Surrounding her a banner read, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you," symbolizing her Immaculate Conception. The vision reversed, showing the letter "M" entwined with a cross above the Sacred Hearts. This image represents Mary as Co-redemptrix, a unique participator inJesus' saving act of redemption.
Millions of medals have been distributed and untold graces given "to those who wear it around the neck" as the Virgin promised to St. Catherine. Hearing of the miraculous conversion of the agnostic Alphonse Ratisbonne through the medal, St. Maximilian made wearing it and giving it away an integral part of his movement. He called the Miraculous Medal "a 'bullet' with which the faithful soldier hits the enemy, that is evil, and thus rescues souls."
Those who join the MI movement receive a complimentary medal from the National Center along with a membership certificate.
Daily Miraculous Medal Prayer
0 MARY, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to you.
Ml Prayer of Marian Consecration
(Composed by St. Maximilian Kolbe)
0 IMMACULATA, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you. If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world." Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of J es us. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, 0 Sacred Virgin
R. Give me strength against your enemies.
Gaining a Plenary Indulgence Upon Joining the MI
A PLENARY INDULGENCE-the complete rem1ss1on of temporal punishment in purgatory due to sin-is granted by the Church for enrollment in the MI. This great honor was bestowed on the Movement by Pope Pius XI in 1926.
To receive the indulgence, you must:
- Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation within the eight days preceding your enrollment,
- Attend Mass and receive Holy Communion on the day of your enrollment,
- Pray at least an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy Father, and
- Renounce all attachment to sin, even venial sin, on your enrollment date.