Requirements/Suggested Practices

I would not wish anyone to forego consecration to Mary based on a fear of not being able to live up to the requirements/suggested practices outlined in the previous post.

For instance, in True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort says with regard to the recitation of the ‘Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin’:  “They may recite every day of their life – without, however, making a burden of it…”  Of the wearing of little chains he writes, “It is perfectly true that these external insignia are not essential, and a person who has embraced this devotion may very well go without them…”

One of the requirements for consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is keeping the first five Saturdays.  Now, what if that is a legitimate impossibility for someone who desires to be consecrated, someone who perhaps lives in a remote area (I’m thinking of northern Canada, just as an example).  In some areas, consecrated hosts are flown in, in bulk, and there is a Liturgy of the Word once a week.  But one aspect of keeping the first five Saturdays is that you go to confession within eight days before or after the first Saturday of the month, and this would be impossible in a remote area where there are no priests available.

There could be many and varied reasons why certain of the requirements/suggested practices could not be fulfilled, but personally, I would not allow any such impediment to keep me from consecrating myself to Mary.  I would pray to Mary about it, discuss it with her on your Consecration Day, and perhaps offer her something that is within your power to do. 

Our Consecration Requirements; Our Lady’s Promises

When we give ourselves to Mary in the Act of Consecration on the 34th Day, there are requirements which we promise to fulfill, as well as promises which Mary makes to us. In the Consecration Preparation for the Triumphant Victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we see that what is required of us is to:

  • Pray the Rosary every day,
  • Practice the gift of the First Five Saturdays, and
  • Give our petitions and recourse in life to Mary, for she brings all to Him.

In return, Mary has many promises for the souls who are consecrated to her. I will just touch upon some of them here, but the book goes into much greater detail:

  • Peace within our hearts, our families, our homelands, and the victory of peace on earth (when unity is found among Our Lady’s children);
  • Reconciliation, union and peace.  She will bring all hearts into union and lead them into the embrace of Jesus;
  • An open heart to receive and reflect the glory of God, and the sanctification of our souls through the practice of virtue.  She will be our portal to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and we will receive the halo of purity adorned with virtue;
  • A new power in prayer and through it an increased relationship with Jesus.  All the mysteries of heaven will be taught to our soul, and we will be led to the fullness of the Gospel message;
  • The Holy Spirit will move in us and through us and Mary will lead us to the glorification of the Holy Trinity;
  • She will be our Advocate, petitioning and interceding for us; as Mediatrix of all graces, she will bestow on us all the graces she wishes us to receive, as well as a special grace to join our hearts through hers to the Sacred Heart of Jesus;
  • She will never leave our side, even should we be living during the dark times of the great tribulation.

“In the illusions and darkness of Satan in the world, the Holy Virgin is sent among us to guide our souls through such bleakness.  She comes to offer a plan of hope and to bring into our hearts once more the fires of sacred love.  A tender mother who calls so gently and affectionately to her children, to repeat that they are dearly loved and that God exists.  He waits for each of us, even the last sheep, with open arms of mercy and forgiveness.”  [Consecration Preparation for the Triumphant Victory of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, pg. 3]

* * * * * * * * * * * *

In True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort outlines what might be called “suggested practices” rather than requirements, in Part Two, Section IV, ‘Particular Practices of this Devotion’.  He describes a series of appropriate exterior and interior practices; the section is quite long, so I will just highlight a few things here.

   Some of the exterior practices include:

  • Recitation of the “Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin”;
  • Wearing a little blessed chain as a sign of loving and glorious slavery to Jesus and Mary;
  • Devotion to the Feast of the Annunciation (de Montfort calls it the Mystery of the Incarnation of the Word);
  • Devotion to the Hail Mary and the Rosary;
  • Devotion to the Magnificat;
  • Contempt of and flight from the world.

St. Louis de Montfort tells us that the interior practices may be expressed in four words:  “to do all our actions by Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary; so that we may do them all the more perfectly by Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus and for Jesus.”

Rather than “Promises”, St. Louis de Montfort outlines, in Part Two, Section III, ‘Wonderful Effects of this Devotion’, seven effects which he says are certain to take place in the soul of the person who is faithful to the exterior and interior practices already mentioned.  Again, he goes into great detail, but just to highlight here, the seven effects are:

  • Knowledge and contempt of self;
  • Participation in Mary’s faith;
  • Deliverance from scruples, cares and fears;
  • Great confidence in God and Mary;
  • Communication of the soul and spirit of Mary;
  • Transformation of the faithful soul by Mary into the likeness of Jesus Christ;
  • The greater glory of God.

“Oh what a difference between a soul which has been formed in Christ by the ordinary ways of those who, like the sculptor, trust in their own skill and ingenuity, and a soul thoroughly tractable, entirely detached and well-molten, which, without trusting to its own skill, casts itself into Mary, there to be molded by the Holy Ghost.  How many stains and defects and illusions, how much darkness and how much human nature is there in the former; and oh how pure, how heavenly and how Christlike is the latter!”  [The Secret of Mary, St. Louis de Montfort, Item 18, pg. 16]