Background: Always 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:
Virgin Mary at Lourdes
20 Feb 1
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
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 specific focus.
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
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 pdf format for
you to print out and sign, if you desire.
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
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
Keep praying to
develop a "great contempt" for the spirit of this world
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.)
recite the Ave, Rosary, and the Magnificat
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.
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
yourself with Mary in a special way before, during, and after Communion
(see Supplement of the book, "True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary"
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, but they can be purchased (search for "consecration chain")
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