Here's a useful list of the best days to start the 33-day process in order to end on a Marian feast day.
Today we celebrate the Queenship of Mary, a day that reminds us of Our Lady’s exalted place in the Kingdom of Heaven as the “Queen Mother.”One popular way of honoring Mary and her crucial role is to make a Marian Consecration.
What is a Marian Consecration? It means “entrusting one’s body, soul, possessions, works, and entire life to the protection, guidance, and intercession of Our Lady.”
The history of this practice begins with Jesus Himself. He entrusted His beloved disciple, John, to his mother Mary while He was on the Cross (John 19:26-27). Meanwhile, Christians have asked Mary to pray for and help them since the earliest days of the Church.
The act of consecrating oneself to Jesus’ Mother became more formal in the 1600s:
A more formal method of consecration to Mary was developed by St. Louis de Montfort in the 1600s. His 33-day prayer consists of short instructions on why one would even consecrate themselves to Mary in the first place (more on that below) and praying the Rosary and other various prayers to Mary and God. This period of prayer culminates in a beautiful prayer of consecration that one makes in conjunction with the Sacrament of Reconciliation and the reception of Holy Communion, ideally on a Marian feast day.
Every year, many Christians choose to make a consecration to Mary. A new book helps parents and educators to include children in the consecration too.
Marian Consecration for Children: Bringing Mary to Life in Young Hearts and Minds, by Dr. Carrie Gress, offers a fun and thrilling way for children to participate in this centuries-old practice.
Gress weaves in tales of saints, kings, queens, knights, and princesses as a way to teach children about virtue, courage, and their spiritual mother who loves them. In addition, she draws valuable spiritual lessons from contemporary stories such as The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Winnie the Pooh, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and many other fables and fairy tales that have brought children’s imaginations to life for decades.
It’s a book that will not only hold the attention of children, but also help them approach God on their own. Making a Marian Consecration as a family is a wonderful way to foster children’s friendships with Christ and His Mother.
If that sounds great to you, and you’re fired up about making a Marian Consecration, you might be wondering, “When should I begin the Consecration?” Ideally you want to end the 33-day process on a Marian feast day. So what day do you need to start?
Fortunately, Gress provides a really useful chart in the front of the book to help readers figure out this question.
Here are the 20 best days of the year to start a Consecration in order to finish on a Marian feast:
- Start January 9 to end on February 11, the feast of the Apparation at Lourdes
- Start February 20 (or 21st in a leap year) to end on March 25, the feast of the Annunciation
- Start April 10 to end on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima
- Start April 21 to end on May 24, the feast of Mary, Help of Christians
- Start April 28 to end on May 31, the feast of the Visitation
- Start May 25 to end on June 27, the feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help
- Start June 13 to end on July 16, the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
- Start July 13 to end on August 15, the feast of the Assumption
- Start July 20 to end on August 22, the feast of the Queenship of Mary
- Start August 6 to end on September 8, the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary
- Start August 10 to end on September 12, the feast of the Holy Name of Mary
- Start August 13 to end on September 15, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows
- Start September 4 to end on October 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary
- Start October 17 to end on November 19, the feast of Our Lady of Divine Providence
- Start October 19 to end on November 21, the feast of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary
- Start October 25 to end on November 27, the feast of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
- Start November 5 to end on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception
- Start November 9 to end on December 12, the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- Start November 29 to end on January 1, the feast of Mary, Mother of God
- Start December 31 to end on February 2, the feast of the Presentation of Our Lord
Gress writes in Marian Consecration for Children,
In our world, it’s easy to feel small, as if our little efforts account for nothing. But when we are united with Mary, she can take even our smallest offerings and make them useful in God’s plan. When we consecrate ourselves to Mary, we bind ourselves to her even more closely as her spiritual children so that every effort, no matter how small, can be magnified by her love and become a proper gift to God.
Gress’ beautiful description of a Marian Consecration applies to anyone. Hopefully this list of the best dates to begin will help with planning for your own Marian Consecration, either on your own, with your children, or with others.