still a young child in Poland, St. Maximilian Kolbe (8 January 1894 -
14 August 1941) was known to be rather boisterous, so much so that his
mother asked him once in exasperation, "What is going to become of
you?" Her question made him think, and he asked Our Lady the same
question: "I felt very sad and went to the Blessed Virgin and asked Her
what would become of me. After that, I asked Her again in church. Then
the Blessed Virgin appeared to me, holding two crowns. One was white
[representing purity], and the other red. [representing martyrdom]."
Our lady then asked him which he would choose. "I choose them both."
Our Lady smiled and disappeared.
St. Maximilian grew up, became a priest, and founded the confraternity
(a fraternity that includes laymen) known as the Militia Immaculata
(also known as "The Militia of the Immaculata"), a movement whose
purpose is "to convert sinners, heretics, and especially Masons, and to
sanctify all under the patronage and through the intercession of the
Immaculate Virgin Mary." To this end, he encouraged conscecration to
Mary and, because he was so inspired by the story of the converison of
the Jew Alphonse Ratisbonne, the wearing of the Miraculous Medal.
Though very sick with tuberculosis, he published a magazine, Knights
of the Immaculate, to fight religious apathy and founded
monasteries in Poland and Japan. When the Nazis invaded Poland, he was
arrested and sent to Auschwitz. There, in July 1941, a prisoner
escaped, and in retribution for such, the Nazis' method was to kill ten
of the remaining prisoners. One of these apparently doomed prisoners
was a married man with children. St. Maximilian asked the Nazis if he
might die in that man's place, and his wish was granted. He was starved
and dehydrated for three weeks -- weeks spent spiritually tending to
and singing hymns with the nine prisoners with him -- and then given a
lethal injection of carbolic acid on 14 August.
The Militia Immaculata
Maximilian's "system," one consecrates oneself to Mary by joining the
Militia Immaculata to help in the conversion of souls through the
intercession of Our Lady. In joining a Confraternity, your prayers and
intentions are explicitly shared by others (hence the more "corporate
nature" of St. Maximilian's way of Total Consecration as contrasted
with that of St. Louis de Montfort). You will also be the recipient of
mailings, magazines, etc., intended to deepen your resolve and assist
you in trusting Mary. To do this, three steps are necessary:
- resolve to offer
yourself as an oblation to the Blessed Virgin and to act as an
instrument of her holy hands in bringing souls to her Son;
- enroll in the
- piously wear
the Miraculous Medal.
decided to consecrate yourself and become a member of the Militia
Immaculata, choose a Marian Feast Day on which to have your name
enrolled. The greatest of these Feasts are listed below (because the
Militia Immaculata follows the post-conciliar calendar, I've chosen
only those dates that are the same on both Novus Ordo and traditional
calendars so that there will be no "issues" for traditionalists when
trying to enroll):
the Immaculate Virgin Mary at Lourdes
||Our Lady of Mt.
||Nativity of the
Blessed Virgin Mary
||Our Lady of
the Blessed Virgin Mary
||Our Lady of
Now, notify the
closest Militia Immaculata center of your intentions. At the bottom of this
page (will open in a new browser window), you will find a form with
which to relate your personal information and the date you want to be
Prepare yourself in the days preceding the date you've chosen. Attend
Mass, go to Confession, do penance, pray the Rosary, engage in
spiritual readings, especially the writings of St. Maximilian and other
On the chosen day, make the intention of receiving the indulgences
attached to the consecration; consciously renounce all attachment to
sin, even venial; go to Confession; attend Mass; receive the Eucharist;
pray 6 Paters, 6 Aves, and 6 Glorias for the (Catholic and holy)
intentions of the Pope; and pray the prayer of consecration written by
Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving
Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to thee. I,
N___, a repentant sinner, cast myself at thy feet humbly imploring thee
to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to thyself as thy
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
thee. If it pleases thee, use all that I am and have without reserve,
wholly to accomplish what was said of thee: "She will crush your head,"
and, "Thou alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world."
Let me be a fit instrument in thine Immaculate and merciful hands for
introducing and increasing 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 Jesus. For wherever thou enters,
one obtains the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is
through thy hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart
V. Allow me to praise thee O Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against thy enemies.
If the steps
above are followed, a Plenary Indulgence
is received. If there is attachment to venial sin, a partial indulgence
is received instead.
Finally, wear the Miraculous Medal
Once the consecration is complete, continue to build up your trust of
and devotion to Mary. Ask for the intercession of St. Maximilian to
help you become a good child of Mary.