a pious child and especially devoted to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament,
when the brilliant St. Louis de Montfort (A.D. 31 January 1673 - 28 April
1716) reached the age of 19, he gave away all he had and resolved to live
on alms. He was ordained a priest in Paris, worked for some time as a hospital
chaplain, but then came to devote his time to preaching -- a task he was
extremely gifted at. He went on to found the Daughters of Wisdom -- an Order
devoted to hospital work and educating poor girls -- and the Company of Mary
(the Montfort Fathers), a missionary group of priests. It was his devotion
to Mary, though, for which he is most remembered.
St. Louis de Montfort's method of devotion is known as "Total Consecration,"
"True Devotion," or "Holy Slavery." This method is below, with on-site links
to all the necessary literature and prayers.
"True Devotion to
the Blessed Virgin Mary"
First, read "True
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin," written by St. Louis de Montfort himself
and decide for certain whether to consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary.
Read carefully, and don't take this lightly; consecrating oneself has the
character of a vow.
Choose a day
for the Consecration
Now choose the
date of a Marian Feast on which to make the consecration. Whichever Feast
you choose will determine the date to begin a 33-day period of spiritual
preparation, i.e., you follow spiritual exercises for 33 days, and the next
day will be the Marian Feast on which you consecrate yourself.
Because most of our religious orders and confraternities follow
the post-conciliar calendar, I list Marian Feasts which are the same
on both the traditional and Novus Ordo calendars below so that there will
be no "issues" for traditionalists who decide to enroll in the confraternity
associated with Montfort's Total Consecration:
Marian Feast You've
Apparition of the
Virgin Mary at Lourdes
Our Lady of Mt.
Nativity of the
Blessed Virgin Mary
Our Lady of
the Blessed Virgin Mary
Our Lady of
21 Feb when February
has 29 days. The Feast of the Annunciation is the Feast that St. Louis de
Montfort recommends most of all as it is this Feast that commemorates God
Himself taking on flesh and, thereby, subjecting even Himself to trust in
and dependency on Our Lady
Begin the 33-Day
Preparation for Consecration
Now begins the
33-day period of exercises. St. Louis-Marie breaks these days into sections
of days, each section having its own prayers, and each particular day having
its own brief readings with which to fill the mind for that day (the readings
come from Sacred Scripture, "The Imitation of Christ," and "True Devotion
to the Blessed Virgin Mary"). Don't just read the readings, internalize them;
don't let your lips just mouth the prayers, truly pray them.
First comes a 12-day preparation period that consists of emptying oneself
of the spirit of the world in penance and mortification. For those 12 days,
we pray the Veni Creator, the Ave Maris Stella,
the Magnificat, and the Glory Be. Then follow 3 weeks, each week having a
The first week focuses on offering up our prayers and devotions for the purpose
of coming to understand ourselves and our sins; humility is the key, and
the prayers the Litany of the Holy Ghost, the
Litany of Loreto, and the Ave Maris Stella help us.
During the second week, we ask the Holy Ghost to help us better understand
the Blessed Virgin; we pray the Litany of the Holy Ghost, the Litany of Loreto,
the Ave Maris Stellis, the prayer to Mary by St. Louis-Marie, and 5 decades
of the Holy Rosary each day for assistance.
During the third week, we seek to better understand Christ through meditation
and the Litany of the Holy Ghost, the Ave Maris Stella, and the Litany of
the Holy Name of Jesus, Montfort's prayer to
Jesus, and the prayer O Jesus Living in Mary.
Below are links to the individual readings for each day, and accompanying
The 34th day will
be your day of consecration.
Day of Consecration
On the day of consecration, either fast, give alms, or offer a
votive candle for the good of another
(or all of the above); do some spiritual penance and approach consecration
in the spirit of mortification.
Now go to Confession (or, if that is not possible,
go during the 8 days prior) and then receive
Communion with the intention of giving yourself
to Jesus, as a slave of love, by the hands of Mary. Try to receive Communion
per the method described in the Supplement of the book, "True Devotion to
the Blessed Virgin Mary" above.
Now pray the words of the consecration. Copy them and have them with you
at church, read them after the Mass (in front of the tabernacle would be
nice), and sign your copy of the Act of Consecration. I have prepared the
Act of Consecration in a relatively
decorative Microsoft Word Document for you to print out and sign, if
you desire (just right-click and choose "Print Target," or right-click and
"Save Target As" to download to your hard drive for printing later).
The words of consecration are:
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.
Sign your name here.
Once you have
consecrated yourself to Jesus through Mary, live that consecration. St.
Louis-Marie de Montfort recommended the following:
Keep praying to
develop a "great contempt" for the spirit of this world
Maintain a special
devotion to the Mystery of the Incarnation (e.g., through meditation; spiritual
reading; focusing on Feasts centering around the Incarnation, such as the
Annunciation and the Nativity, etc.)
the Ave, Rosary, and the Magnificat
Recite, every day
if it is not inconvenient, the "Little Crown of
the Blessed Virgin" -- a series of Paters, Aves, and Glorias -- one Ave
for each star in the Virgin's Crown. St. Louis has a special way of praying
the Little Crown, which is recommended.
Do everything through,
with, in and for Mary for the sake of Jesus, with the prayer, "I am all thine
Immaculate One, with all that I have: in time and in eternity" in your heart
and on your lips
with Mary in a special way before, during, and after Communion (see Supplement
of the book, "True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary" above)
Wear a little iron
chain (around the neck, arm, waist, or ankle) as an outward sign and reminder
of holy slavery. This practice is optional, but very recommended by St. Louis.
The appearance of this chain is not further specified.
Renew the consecration
once a year on the same date chosen above, and by following the same 33-day
period of exercises. If desired, also renew the consecration monthly with
the prayer, "I am all thine and all I have is thine, O dear Jesus, through
Mary, Thy holy Mother."
the Confraternity of Mary, Queen of All Hearts. Their address:
Director, Confraternity of Mary Queen of All Hearts
26 South Saxon Avenue
Bay Shore, NY 11706