33 Day Consecration
33 Day Consecration

Pope John Paul II’s First Thrust—Totus Tuus—Living and Promoting Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary According to the Teachings of St. Louis de Montfort  

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 Pope John Paul II has made and lives total consecration to Jesus through Mary according to the formula of St. Louis de Montfort. He referred specifically to this Marian devotion in section 48 of his encyclical Mother of the Redeemer (“Redemptoris Mater”). He also referred to it in his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope, in the chapter entitled,The Mother of God,” and in Gift and Mystery, in the chapter entitled “The Marian Thread.”  

Pope John Paul II’s Latin motto, ‘Totus Tuus,’ is emblazoned on his papal coat of arms. This Latin motto is literally translated as: “All Yours.” In Gift and Mystery, he reveals the origin and meaning of this motto:

The phrase comes from St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort. It is an abbreviation of a more complete form of entrustment to the Mother of God which runs like this: Totus Tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt. Accipio Te in mea omnia. Praebe mihi cor Tuum, Maria. 


(I am all yours, and all I have is yours. I welcome you into all my affairs and concerns. Show me your heart, O Mary.)

 The commitment of this consecration requires one to surrender everything without any reservation in order to put it all in Mary’s hands. She utilizes this sacrifice to lead and help those who make it to “do whatever he tells you.”(cf. John 2:5). Doing whatever Jesus tells us means simply fulfilling our responsibilities at each present moment.

 St. Louis calls this consecration a “secret” because so few discover and take full advantage of it. In section 172 of his treatise on True Devotion he writes: “It must be noted that our good works, passing through Mary’s hands, are progressively purified. Consequently, their merit and their satisfactory and prayer value are also increased. That is why they become much more effective in relieving the souls in Purgatory and in converting sinners than if they did not pass through the virginal and liberal hands of Mary…the little that we give to the Blessed Virgin is truly powerful enough to appease the anger of God and draw down his mercy.” [1] (Cardinal Luigi Ciappi, the former papal theologian, calls this the “Marian Multiplier”.) 

Pope John Paul’s daily implementation of his total self-consecration to Mary, Totus Tuus, is basically his translation of this consecration into a vivid, concise self-image. His motto, emblazoned on his coat of arms for all to see, expresses his vision of himself as Mary’s slave of love, and as her personal concern and property, ready for her to direct and use without reserve in any way she wishes for the fulfillment of any and all of her desires, whatever these may be, as she draws the world to her Son.

Seeing himself constantly as Our Lady’s slave of love and as her personal concern and property, Pope John Paul II is moved constantly and, as it were almost automatically, to consult her Immaculate Heart in order to discern what she wishes him to do in the service of her Son and his Church. This has resulted in an incredible but not surprising fruitfulness in the long years of his pontificate.

Following the example and recommendations of His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the Family Apostolate believes St. Louis de Montfort’s guidelines for total consecration to Jesus through Mary are of central importance for themselves and indeed for all who seriously desire to conform their lives to the Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Why this is so is indicated in the following paragraph from de Montfort’s spiritual classic, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary:

 As all perfection consists in our being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus, it naturally follows that the most perfect of all devotions is that which conforms, unites and consecrates us most completely to Jesus. Now of all God’s creatures Mary is the most conformed to Jesus. It therefore follows that, of all devotions, devotion to her makes for the most effective consecration and conformity to Him. The more one is consecrated to Mary, the more one is consecrated to Jesus.

That is why perfect consecration to Jesus is but a perfect and complete consecration of oneself to the Blessed Virgin, which is the devotion I teach; or in other words, it is the perfect renewal of the vows and promises of holy baptism.[2]

 St. Louis’ teaching on total consecration to Jesus through Mary is, therefore, the first particular principle determining the AFC members’ way of life. They consecrate themselves to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin Mary according to the formula of St. Louis Grignon de Montfort. Members prepare to renew the de Montfort consecration to Jesus through Mary starting on February 20 and ending on March 25, the Solemnity of the Annunciation and the Incarnation. It is on this day that the consecration takes place or is renewed.[3]  Subsequently, all Family Apostolate members strive daily to strengthen their self-images as Our Lady’s consecrated children who honor her and want to anticipate her slightest desires.

[2] See Appendix 7A for an additional excerpt from St. Louis’ True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which further explains the devotion of total consecration to Mary that he teaches. 

[3] See Appendix 7B for sections 217 through 225 of de Montfort’s True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  




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