|Devotion to Our Lady||
REASONS FOR MAKING THE CONSECRATION IN RELATION TO GOD
1. It is the will of God, as announced by Our Lady at Fatima. The fact that God wants this should be sufficient reason for making the Consecration.
2. Mary is God's masterpiece and in justice deserves praise above and beyond what we give to anything else except the praise we give to God. God receives much glory when we honor Mary, the work of His hands.
3. God has made Mary the channel or mediatrix of all graces. It would be an insult not to use the means that God has appointed for the distribution of His graces, and to seek other means instead.
4. We imitate God's ways by our reliance on Mary in our lives. Just as God chose to enter this world through Mary and chose to rely on Mary for the work of the Redemption, we, likewise, should go to God through Mary and rely upon her for the work of our salvation.
REASONS FOR MAKING THE CONSECRATION IN RELATION TO OURSELVES
1. If we want to save our souls, then there is no better way of saving them than giving ourselves over to Mary.
2. There can be no salvation without the grace of God. This consecration is a surer and safer way of obtaining, increasing and keeping the graces of God.
3. Mary has been given the role of forming the saints of the end times. We are all called to be saints. There is no better school than the school of Mary for teaching, forming and maintaining sanctity.
4. A true devotion to Mary is almost a guarantee of salvation. This has been been affirmed by the testimonies of numerous Saints, Fathers and Doctors of the Church. Who in their right mind doesn't want to save their soul?
5. The devils have confessed that they find it more difficult to overcome the true servants of Mary than other souls who have a lesser devotion to Mary.
What is the Consecration to Mary? St. Louis Marie de Montfort tells us that the Consecration to Mary is a safe and sure means of giving glory and honor to God (our main purpose in life) and of sanctifying and saving our souls (our secondary purpose in life).
St. Louis points out, in his book True Devotion to Mary, that there is nobody who gives honor and glory to God as much as and as well as Mary. She is the perfect example, she is therefore the perfect teacher, and he adds that she is also a perfect ‘mold’ of perfection that we can pour ourselves into, so as to molded into replicas of her.
Furthermore, she is the masterpiece of God’s creation; she is the chosen channel for all the graces of God; she is the most influential with God; she is a terror to our infernal enemies of Hell; she is the mistress of all the powerful angels of God; she is a powerful advocate for sinners at the feet of her Son and our Judge—Jesus Christ. In short, SHE IS WHAT WE NEED to honor and glorify God as we ought; SHE IS WHAT WE NEED to obtain the mercy and grace required for our salvation.
Once again we repeat St. Louis' quote: "If we wish to go to Him [Jesus] ... we must use the same means which He used, in coming down from Heaven to assume our human nature and to impart His graces to us. That means was a complete dependence on Mary His Mother, which is TRUE DEVOTION to her... 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." (The Secret of Mary, chapter 1).
In this earthly life, whenever we need help or assistance, we seek the best possible person we can find and/or afford—the best teacher; the best school; the best craftsman; the best mechanic; the best doctor or surgeon; the best lawyer; the best coach, etc.—and that is for purely temporal things! How much more important is not the care and salvation of the soul? There, too, we need to seek out the best—and Mary is the best!
The devils, who seek the damnation of our soul, have to admit that they have no success with the true servants and slaves of Mary. In his book, The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis-Marie de Montfort recounts an incident where St. Dominic was exorcising some devils from some unfortunate person and the devils were forced to speak and admit their lack of success with the true servants of Mary. Here is the account of that incident:
When St. Dominic was preaching the Rosary near Carcassone, an Albigensian was brought to him who was possessed by the devil. The Saint exorcised him in the presence of a great crowd of people; it appears that over twelve thousand had come to hear him speak. The devils, who were in possession of this wretched man, were forced to answer St. Dominic's questions in spite of themselves. They said:
1. That there were fifteen thousand of them in the body of that poor man, because he had attacked the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary;
2. That by the Rosary, which he preached, he put fear and horror into the depths of Hell, and that he was the man they hated most throughout the world, because of the souls he snatched from them by the devotion of the Rosary.
3. They revealed several other things.
St. Dominic put his Rosary round the neck of the possessed man and asked them who, of all the saints in Heaven, was the one they feared most, who should therefore be the most loved and revered by men.
At this they let out such unearthly screams, that most of the people fell to the ground, seized with fear. Then, using all their cunning so as not to answer, the devils wept and wailed in such a pitiful way that many of the people wept also, out of pure natural pity. The devils, speaking through the mouth of the Albigensian, pleaded in a heart‑rending voice, "Dominic, Dominic, have pity on us, we promise you we will never harm you.
"You have always had compassion for sinners and those in distress; have pity on us, for we are in grievous straits. We are suffering so much already, why do you delight in increasing our pains? Can't you be satisfied with the pains we now endure? Have mercy on us, have mercy on us!"
St. Dominic was not in the least moved by the pathetic words of those wretched spirits, and told them he would not let them alone until they had answered his question. Then they said they would whisper the answer in such a way that only St. Dominic would be able to hear. The latter firmly insisted upon their answering clearly and audibly. Then the devils kept quiet and would not say another word, completely disregarding St. Dominic's orders.
So he knelt down and said this prayer to Our Lady: "Oh, most glorious Virgin Mary, I implore you by the power of the Holy Rosary command these enemies of the human race to answer my question."
No sooner had he said this prayer, than a glowing flame leaped out of the ears, nostrils and mouth of the possessed man. Everyone shook with fear, but the fire did not hurt anyone. Then the devils cried, "Dominic, we beseech you, by the passion of Jesus Christ and the merits of his Holy Mother and of all the saints, let us leave the body of this man without speaking further; for the angels will answer your question whenever you wish. After all, are we not liars—so why should you want to believe us? Do not torment us any more, have pity on us."
"Woe to you, wretched spirits, who do not deserve to be heard," St. Dominic said, and kneeling down he prayed to the Blessed Virgin: "O most worthy Mother of Wisdom, I am praying for the people assembled here, who have already learned how to say the Angelic Salutation [the Hail Mary] properly. I beg you for the salvation of those here present, compel these adversaries of yours to proclaim the whole truth, here and now before the people."
St. Dominic had scarcely finished this prayer when he saw the Blessed Virgin near at hand surrounded by a multitude of angels. She struck the possessed man with a golden rod that she held and said, "Answer my servant Dominic at once!" It must be noted that the people neither saw nor heard Our Lady, only St. Dominic.
Then the devils started screaming:
"Oh, you who are enemy, our downfall and our destruction, why have you come from Heaven to torture us so grievously? O advocate of sinners, you who snatch them from the very jaws of Hell, you who are a most sure path to Heaven! Must we, in spite of ourselves, tell the whole truth, and confess before everyone, who it is who is the cause of our shame and our ruin? Oh, woe to us, princes of darkness!
"Then listen, you Christians. This Mother of Jesus is most powerful in saving her servants from falling into Hell. She is like the sun, which destroys the darkness of our wiles and subtlety. It is she who uncovers our hidden plots, breaks our snares, and makes our temptations useless and ineffective.
"We have to say, however reluctantly, that no soul, who has really persevered in her service, has ever been damned with us; one single sigh, that she offers to the Blessed Trinity, is worth far more than all the prayers, desires, and aspirations of all the saints. We fear her more than all the other saints in Heaven together, and we have no success with her faithful servants.
"Many Christians who call on her at the hour of death and who really ought to be damned, according to our ordinary standards, are saved by her intercession. And if that Marietta (it is thus, in their fury, they called her) did not counter our plans and our efforts, we should have overcome the Church and destroyed it long before this, and caused all the Orders in the Church to fall into error and infidelity.
"Now that we are forced to speak, we must also tell you that nobody, who perseveres in saying the Rosary, will be damned, because she obtains for her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins, by which they obtain pardon and mercy."
Then St. Dominic had all the people say the Rosary very slowly and with great devotion, and a wonderful thing happened: at each Hail Mary, which he and the people said, a large number of devils issued forth from the wretched man's body, under the guise of red‑hot coals. When the devils had all been expelled and the heretic completely delivered from them, Our Lady, although invisible, gave her blessing to the assembled company, and they were filled with joy.
A large number of heretics were converted because of this miracle and joined the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary. (St. Louis Marie de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary, “Thirty-Third Rose”).
In more recent times, we have the more succinct statement of Our Lady Herself at Fatima (on July 13, 1917) where she said to the three children: "I want you to come here on the 13th of next month, [August] to continue to pray the Rosary every day in honor of Our Lady of the Rosary, in order to obtain peace for the world and the end of the war, because ONLY SHE CAN HELP YOU."