Total Consecration to Mary is not a one-time commitment. It is a way of life. Each year those who made their consecration renew it with prayerful preparation lasting thirty-three days.
Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort formulated this as an official consecration to Mary and it is known as Holy Slavery with the end object of perfect union with Jesus Christ. It consists of a period of thirty-three days in honor of the years Our Lord spent on earth. This “prayerful preparation” is comprised of prayers taken from Holy Scripture, readings from the "Imitation of Christ" and his own writings based on Church teachings. What the novitiate is to a religious life and basic training is to athletes this preparation is to slavery to Mary. If you spend it well, you will begin to be consumed with the thought of pleasing Our Lord and His Mother, Mary in all you do. Out of love for her you will learn to sacrifice whatever is displeasing to her and her Divine Son. From there you will have a singleness of purpose and earnestly do all through her, with her, in her and for her. This is True Devotion.
Why True Devotion is Important
To become skillful in any field of endeavor, we go to an expert in that field and ask for advice or, better still, we place ourselves under the tutelage of that expert. We see this done in the realm of sports all the time, whether it is neighborhood competition, professional sports, or the Olympic games. Behind every “superstar” there is a coach. So also, must it be in the spiritual realm.
In the great competitive struggle to overcome the enemies of our salvation, the world, the flesh and the Devil– and to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ, we must look for advice from the Church and the writings of the saints– those spiritual giants who have gone before us. Best of all, however, is to place ourselves under the guardianship and guidance of the greatest and holiest creature that God ever made, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort put his whole heart and soul into the task of finding the best way to place oneself under the patronage of the Mother of God. After extensive research into the writings of the great saints, he found the best method: Slavery to Mary. This approach was not new, but at that time little known and not thoroughly formulated. He developed and expounded this Slavery, and defended it too, in his popular book, “True Devotion To Mary.”
What can I expect after making the Consecration?
The essence of this true devotion is the total offering of one’s self and all one’s goods both temporal and spiritual to Our Lady—in as much as the duties of one’s state in life will allow—and then living as dependent upon her as a slave to a Queen. The practice of this humble relationship is the source of many unique graces and privileges. This Queen will undoubtedly use us, and all that we give her, to the furthering of the glory of God and His Kingdom on earth.
Slavery to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a stumbling block to a world obsessed with asserting personal rights. The slaves of Mary, however, willingly place themselves in the service of that most loving Queen with no desire for any payment, reward or termination of service. Our Lady, in turn, uses her slaves to achieve their own sanctification, the salvation of countless other souls and the realization of her triumphant reign foretold by God in the Book of Genesis: She shall crush thy head… and repeated in the Fatima message: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
“But happy and a thousand times happy is the generous soul that consecrates itself entirely to Jesus through Mary as a slave of love after it has, by Baptism, shaken off the tyrannical slavery of the Devil!”