Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe (1894-1941), martyr of the faith, and founder of the Militia of the Immaculata, a group devoted and consecrated to Our Blessed Mother. During his life, Saint Maximilian founded and grew the largest religious community in Europe, assisting those in need, speaking out against the tyranny of war, and aiding thousands of Jews escape persecution during the Second World War. His commitment to the rights and dignity of all, as filtered through his devotion to Mary, allowed him to achieve great works while alive, and the crown of martyrdom in death.
Below is an excerpt of Saint Maximilian’s “Explanation of the Act of Consecration”
For the text of the Full Prayer of Consecration, see here.
Cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property...
By these words we beg, we beseech the Immaculata to accept us. We offer ourselves to her entirely, in every respect, as her children, and as slaves of love, as servants, as instruments, and under every single aspect, under every title that anyone at any time might be able to express. We become hers as her possession and property, to use us and use us up even to complete destruction, according to her free disposition.
Make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.
To her we give our whole being, all the faculties of our soul, and therefore, intellect, memory and will, and all the faculties of the body - therefore, all the senses and each in particular, our strength, health or sickness. We offer her our entire life with all its experiences, pleasant, unpleasant or indifferent. We give her our death, whenever and wherever and it whatever way it befalls us. We give her our whole eternity. We expect that we will be able to belong perfectly to her, only then beyond comparison. In this way we express a desire and entreaty, so that she allows us to become hers under every aspect more and more perfectly.
In the third part of the act, we pray,
Use all that I am and have without reserve wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head, "and, "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world"
Satan, soiled by sin, endeavors to soil all souls on earth. He hates her who was always unspotted. He waits for her heel in the persons of her children; she crushes his head in the fight in the person of everyone who has recourse to her. We ask her to use us if she wishes, as an instrument to crush the proud head of the serpent in unfortunate souls. Holy Scripture adds, quoting the verse mentioned above, And you shall lie and wait for her heel. The evil spirit really lies in wait in a special way for those who dedicate themselves to the Immaculata; he desires to insult her at least in them. His endeavor against sincerely dedicated souls always ends with more shameful defeat; hence his fury is more violent, impotently furious.
The words, You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world, are taken from the prayers which the Church orders her priests to say about her. The Church says "heresies" and not the heretics, whom she loves, and because of this love desires to free them from the error of heresy. The Church says "all", without any exception; "alone", since "she" alone suffices. God is hers with all the treasures of grace for the conversion and sanctification of souls. No corner of the earth is excluded in the whole world. In this act of consecration we beg her to use us to destroy the whole serpent coiled about the earth, the serpent representing the various heresies.
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."
| Labels: Marian Devotion