Pope Francis recommends the practice -- here are some great resources to help you get started
Several popes in the last century have not only recommended the practice of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, but have practiced it themselves. Pius XII and St. John Paul II even consecrated the peoples of the earth to her heart.
Most recently, Pope Francis has recommended this practice and followed the example of his predecessors by consecrating the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. He related to the crowds gathered at St. Peter’s for the consecration how Mary “takes us with the hand of a mother to the embrace of the Father, to the Father of mercy.”
Consecration to the Blessed Mother reminds us of the close connection Mary has with Jesus, and how she treasured everything she saw, “in her heart” (cf. Luke 2:19,51). Pope Benedict XVI reflected on this profound mystery on the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, where he said, “The heart that resembles that of Christ more than any other is without a doubt the Heart of Mary, his Immaculate Mother, and for this very reason the liturgy holds them up together for our veneration.” Marian consecration is an exterior way that speaks of our interior desire to follow God’s will and unite our heart with His.
However, few know what is involved in making such a consecration, or where to start. Here are some great resources; choose whichever one your heart feels most comfortable with.
33 Days to Morning Glory – Currently one of the most popular methods of Marian consecration, this book by Father Michael Gaitley takes you through 33 days of 5-minute readings, to prepare your heart to be consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is a method based on St. Louis de Montfort’s writings and simplified so that anyone can participate.
True Devotion to Mary: with Preparation for Total Consecration – St. Louis de Montfort is widely known as the principal advocate for what he calls, “Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary.” This is the traditional approach that has been used by many since the saint’s death. It includes numerous prayers, litanies and readings to be read in preparation for Total Consecration. St. John Paul II was an avid supporter of St. Louis de Montfort and even made Montfort’s words apart of his papal motto.
Consecration.com – Put together by the Militia of the Immaculata, this website has a great resource for total consecration to the Immaculate Mary that was central to the spirituality of St. Maximilian Kolbe.
Prayers of Consecration
After you have prepared yourself and your family for the consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, here are some prayers that you may use. Often these prayers are said in front of a statue or image of Mary.
A Solemn Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary – Pope Pius XI
Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of Your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.
Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as You wish to accomplish Your designs in the world.
O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.
We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed Your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes Your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home.