Totus tuus maria
Traditionally during the month of May we honor Mary, our mother, in a special way. She is Jesus's mother, the most perfect disciple we are called to imitate, and, on the Cross, Jesus gave Mary to us as our mother when He looked to Mary and John and said, "Woman, behold, your son" and "behold, your mother" (John 19: 26-27). There are different devotions and ways we honor our Blessed Mother and ask for her protection and intercession for us before her Son. One way to do so is to consecrate ourselves "to Jesus through Mary."
A consecration to Mary? What's that?! First, consecrate something is to make it holy and set apart for God. St. Louis de Montfort, a 17th/18th century Saint, says in his book True Devotion that Marian Consecration is "the surest, easiest, shortest, and the most secure means" to become a saint, to becoming holy. That is because Mary has been given the special task of helping us to achieve holiness. She wants to help us to achieve full union with Jesus. When someone consecrates themselves to Mary they are really consecrating themselves to Jesus and asking Mary to help them get closer to Him - "to Jesus, through Mary." Marian consecration is simply put allowing Mary to do what she needs to do to make us holy. It is abandoning oneself into the loving arms of their mother and saying "yes" to God's Will as she did.
On May 1st, the bishops from the United States and Canada reconsecrated the nations to Mary Mother of the Church. Archbishop Gomez, the head of the USCCB, said, “Every year, the Church seeks the special intercession of the Mother of God during the month of May. This year, we seek the assistance of Our Lady all the more earnestly as we face together the effects of the global pandemic. This will give the Church the occasion to pray for Our Lady’s continued protection of the vulnerable, healing of the unwell, and wisdom for those who work to cure this terrible virus.” So this May, ask for our Lady's intercession as you pray for all who are suffering from the current pandemic. Seek her in your own life and ask her to help you be holy. Honor Mary as your Mother and turn to her for comfort in times of need and joy in times of rejoicing. Here are some ways that you can do that throughout the month:
- Have a May Crowning in your home with either a statue of Mary or an image of her!
- Pray a daily rosary.
- Read Scripture stories about her life: the annunciation and visitation, the nativity, her experience of watching her Son on the Cross...
- Sing Marian hymns such as Ave Maria, Hail Holy Queen Enthroned Above, or Hail Mary, Gentle Woman
- Consecrate yourself to Mary. Check out 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIO for specifics on how to do it and when to start the do-it-yourself retreat.