Consecration to the Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom

Mary, Queen of all HeartsMontfort calls for a total consecration to Jesus Christ, the Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom, through the hands of Mary. This practice of Christian devotion is at the heart of the response which St. Louis Marie de Montfort recommends when we consider the love shown to mankind by God. It has also been variously called "The Holy Slavery" and "True Devotion" (from the name of the book, Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, in which St. Louis Marie describes it most thoroughly) - but it should be noted that when he speaks of "true" devotion, he is not picking out just one form of devotion, but intends to speak of "genuine" devotion in its many forms.

Descriptions in the writings of St. Louis Marie

We find several descriptions of this practice in various books written by St. Louis Marie, for example:

  • The Love of Eternal Wisdom, no. 219: "The most perfect and most profitable of all devotions to the Blessed Virgin consists in consecrating ourselves entirely to her, and to Jesus through her, as their slaves. It involves consecrating to her completely and for all eternity our body and soul, our possessions both spiritual and material, the atoning value and the merits of our good actions and our right to dispose of them. In short, it involves the offering of all we have acquired in the past, all we actually possess at the moment, and all we will acquire in the future."
  • Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, no. 121: "This devotion consists in giving oneself entirely to Mary in order to belong entirely to Jesus through her. It requires us to give:
    1. Our body with its senses and members;
    2. Our soul with its faculties;
    3. Our present material possessions and all we shall acquire in the future;
    4. Our interior and spiritual possessions, that is, our merits, virtues and good actions of the past, the present and the future."
  • The Secret of Mary, no. 28: "This devotion consists in surrendering oneself in the manner of a slave to Mary, and to Jesus through her, and then performing all our actions with Mary, in Mary, through Mary, and for Mary."

From these quotations, certain things immediately stand out:

  • It is a "consecration" ("surrendering") of oneself to Jesus through Mary, not simply to Mary;
  • it is a "total" consecration - of all that we are and all that we have;
  • it involves the past and the future as well as the present moment - therefore it is not just a momentary action.

However, it is not enough to take a simple description of this practice. St. Louis Marie himself spent much time and effort to prepare people's minds for it, and to draw out its consequences and its benefits. And he recognised that different people would have different reactions to it, and would put it into practice at different levels:

"As this devotion essentially consists in a state of soul, it will not be understood in the same way by everyone. Some - the great majority - will stop short at the threshold and go no further. Others - not many - will take but one step into its interior. Who will take a second step? Who will take a third? Finally who will remain in it permanently? Only the one to whom the Spirit of Jesus reveals the secret. The Holy Spirit himself will lead this faithful soul from strength to strength, from grace to grace, from light to light, until at length he attains transformation into Jesus in the fullness of his age on earth and of his glory in heaven." (Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, 119)

The formula drawn up by St Louis Marie himself for this Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary is available for download here.

Consecration Formula

As composed by St. Louis Marie

Download here