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Saturday, October 26, 2013

What's Pope Francis' consecration of the world got to do with me?

by Anabelle Hazard

File:Blessed Virgin Mary.jpg
The immaculate Heart of Mary, artist unknown.

With all the post-interview spotlight beaming/glaring on Pope Francis, I hope all Catholics and secular media alike pay careful attention to what he did last October 13th, 2013: consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Specifically, I wish he makes everyone wonder: what this consecration means to me on a personal level, why is it so significant, and hopefully, make us all want to jump in.

Consecration means to dedicate an object or person thing toward a specific purpose. When one consecrates himself to Mary, he gives himself over to her hands so that she can teach and mold him for the purpose to which God created him.  St. Louis de Montfort writes that Mary is the “surest, easiest, shortest and most perfect means” to becoming like her Son Jesus.  Technically speaking, it is consecrating oneself to union with Jesus through Mary. Since Mary is in full union with the Divine Will, her mission is always to serve the Divine Will, particularly to help the formation and sanctification of souls. Mary, in short, helps us become the purpose for which we are created: saints. 

Blessed Pope John Paul II and St. Maximilian Kolbe are the two most famous saints in our history who consecrated themselves to Mary.  Blessed John Paul II, who dedicated his papacy to Mary with the motif Totus Tuus, is on the record-breaking fast track to canonization.  Granted, St. Maximilian Kolbe’s martyrdom is not the easiest path, but it was the surest one, and one he willingly accepted. 

The significance of consecration is that it is a covenant with a dual dimension

A person consecrated to Mary entrusts everything he has to her: body, soul, material possessions, spiritual goods (like merits and virtues), everything in his past, present and future.  Mary takes the gift (often imperfect because of human flaws and selfish motives), and presents the gift to Jesus perfectly wrapped. St. Louis de Montfort illustrated this analogy: a humble farmer offers his only fruit --a scruffy, bruised, worm-bitten apple-- to the King through the hands of the Queen.  The Immaculate Queen, conceived without sin, polishes that gift with her merits, and embellishes it with her virtues.  The gift becomes a purer, more pleasing version than what came out of the farmer’s own efforts.

Continue reading at Anabelle's blog Written by the Finger of God.


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