On Oct. 13, 2017, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila is going to lead the Archdiocese of Denver in an act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and as an archdiocese, we need to be prepared.
The day he chose for this act is significant, as it will mark 100 years since the last apparition of Our Lady to the three shepherd children in Fatima.
“Mary wishes to assist us, through her Immaculate Heart, in bringing the world back to God,” the archbishop stated. “This is why I am encouraging people to join me in consecrating themselves, their families, parishes, and the archdiocese to her Immaculate Heart.”
The act of consecration will take place at the end of a Marian prayer service at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. The event will be livestreamed so that parishes gathered together as a faith community may participate.
The archbishop encourages all individual Catholics to prepare well for the Oct. 13 consecration by learning more about Mary and her virtues, intensifying prayer, and imitating Mary in one’s daily life.
To help the faithful learn more about Marian consecration, the Archdiocese of Denver has launch archden.org/heartofmary with a series of questions and answers on Marian consecration.
The Archdiocese of Denver will also share a five-part video series beginning Sept. 21 that will explore five characteristics of Mary Our Mother. Mary is the Christian par excellence. If we want to follow Our Lord, it would do well to follow the example of Our Lady.
An act of consecration is a spiritual act, which means that you must make a daily commitment to prepare yourself spiritually. If you already have good prayer habits built up, preparation for the consecration could simply mean intensifying your Marian devotions.
Traditionally, a Marian consecration is preceded by 33 days of preparation. The number of days associated with preparation is hypothesized to represent one day for each day of Christ’s life here on earth.
The 33-day period of preparation is not obligatory, but for those wishing to abide by the traditional preparatory period, the date for you to begin in order to be ready for the Oct. 13 Marian consecration is Sept. 11.
Resources to lead you through a 33-day preparation period include the classic prayers outlined in St. Louis Marie de Montfort’s Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary, or the modern version by Father Michael Gaitley, 33 Days to Morning Glory. Other great resources include Totus Tuus: A Consecration to Jesus Through Mary with Blessed John Paul II by Father Brian McMaster, and the website of the New Evangelizers, Jennifer and Greg Willits.
If you are not in the practice of praying every day, this is a perfect time to start small! Some good ideas include making a commitment to turn your mind and heart to Our Lady once a day. Could you commit yourself to saying a Hail Mary every day, or to pray the Angelus prayer every day at noon? One decade of the rosary takes three minutes, could you commit yourself to that once a day?
Our Lady is the model of all Christian virtue. Pick the virtue or virtues that you most admire in Mary, and do one act each day that seeks to imitate Our Lady. Simple ways of imitating Our Lady include listening to a friend or family member who needs to talk, doing a hidden act of charity at work, being patient with a toddler, letting your spouse have the last word, or spending an extra five minutes after Mass to give thanks. The possibilities are endless. What would Mary do?
For more information, visit Archden.org/heartofmary.