The Consecration of Families to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
by Fr Gabriel-Marie Jacquier (1906-1942) of the Congregation of the brothers of Saint-Vincent de Paul
We should choose a feast day of Our Lady’s, a Saturday or Sunday, or an important family anniversary. You could make a novena together, before this solemnity, perhaps of the Rosary or Litanies.
During the preparation days, our hearts and spirits should be turned towards the Queen who is to come, and whose coming we should ardently desire. Each one, separately, will consecrate himself or herself to the service of the Immaculate Heart according to the individual formula.
On the actual day of the consecration, it would be good to go to Holy Communion together, so that Jesus may give to our souls his filial spirit towards Mary.
In the main room where the family normally gathers together, we should have a statue or a picture of the Blessed Virgin, placed as if on a throne of glory with flowers and candles.
If at all possible, we should invite a priest to preside as a representative of Jesus and Mary.
The Ceremony of Consecration
1. The recitation of three decades of the Rosary
- The first, in honour of the mutual love of the eternal Father and His well-beloved daughter and to join ourselves spiritually in this love.
- The second, in honour of the mutual love of the incarnate Word and his tender Mother, and to join ourselves spiritually in this love.
- The third, in honour of the mutual love of the Holy Ghost and His virginal Spouse, and to join ourselves spiritually in that love.
2. A Canticle in honour of the Blessed Virgin, if possible
3. The formal blessing of the statue or picture by the priest , unless it has already been blessed
4. A talk by the priest to explain the profound meaning of this consecration, the obligations that come with it, and the graces it promises.
(If there is no priest, then the head of the family can give this explanation.)
5. The head of the family says the act of consecration, with everyone kneeling around him
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and tender Mother of men / to fulfil the desires of the Sacred Heart, / we consecrate ourselves to thee, and to thy Immaculate Heart, / and recommend to thee / all the families of our nation and of all the world.
Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, / and use us and all families as thou wishest, / to accomplish thy designs upon the world.
O Immaculate Heart of Mary, / Queen of Heaven and earth, and of our family, / 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 the Catholic life, / and an ardent zeal for souls and for the holiness of family life.
We come with confidence to thee, / O throne of grace and Mother of fair love; / inflame us with the same divine fire / which has inflamed thy own Immaculate Heart.
Make our hearts and homes thy shrine, / and through us make the Heart of Jesus / rule and triumph in every family in the world. Amen
6. Prayer to Saint Joseph, father of every Catholic family
Trusting in thy most powerful goodness, a living reflection of the goodness of God the Father, we humbly ask thee to extend to us the paternal providence with which thou surrounded Jesus and Mary.
Baptism plunges us into the Heart of thy Spouse, and makes us members of thy divine Son; we therefore, like them, want to abandon ourselves totally to thy care.
Help us to live, by thy example, in intimacy with them, which will introduce us to the family life of the most Holy Trinity.
But as the difficulties of the valley of tears could distract us from this unique love, we give thee all our worries and all our preoccupations. Be therefore for us, as thou were for Jesus and Mary, the provider of bread, of clothing, of daily shelter and medicine for our poor bodies. Shelter us from attacks of the devil, as thou once avoided the pursuits of Herod; but above all, be as thou were in Nazareth, the veil which screens us from the curiosity of the world, so that we can peacefully grow in pure love.
O Saint Joseph, we glorify thy paternal goodness by peacefully trusting thee and by giving thee our filial love. We are sure that thy attentive providence will never fail thy children, and that it will bring us into an ever closer intimacy with Jesus and Mary, and through them, with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen!
7. Magnificat for the graces given to Mary and to this family
8. Blessing of the priest who represents Jesus and Mary
Short formula for renewing the consecration at the beginning of morning and evening prayers
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the world, we acknowledge thy supreme dominion over our family.
We abandon ourselves to thy maternal leadership, teach us to love the Heart of Jesus, and to reproduce in our lives thy Nazareth home.
We offer thee all the merits of this day for the triumph of your Immaculate Heart, and through thee the triumph of Christ the King. Amen!
After the Consecration
From now on, may the Heart of Mary be considered the centre of this family: may her image have a place of honour, next to that of Jesus, everywhere in the house.
Her feast days and Saturdays will be celebrated communally; devotions to her, especially the Rosary, will increase in the home. The Heart of Mary will be included in all events both happy and unhappy.
It’s before her image that we will gather together to thank her for favours received or for acceptance of crosses. We will greet her on coming in, and on going out, and often throughout the day. We will add an invocation to Mary at the end of blessings and grace before and after meals. We will celebrate with the Virgin of Nazareth the main family anniversaries, baptisms, confirmations, marriages, special favours, etc. Every year we will solemnly renew the consecration , following, as much as possible, the already indicated preparation and ceremonial.
Every day, at the start of morning and evening prayers, a brief formula will remind everyone that the whole family belongs to Mary. Every member of this privileged family will do their best to live in intimate and habitual union with Mary, Queen and Mother of the home, always going to her as a little child goes to its mother.
In order to be worthy of the Immaculate heart of Mary, the family will put into practices the holy laws of Christian marriage, safeguarding the union of spirits and hearts, in a peaceful hierarchy, and inspiring simplicity in all things, purity and devotion to the house of Nazareth.
— Family influence
Reunions of families could be organized periodically in order to pray together to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and to receive instruction that will help them reproduce the examples of the Holy Family.
A large part will be given to education.
You will set out to win over other homes to our Mother. With this end in mind, you will pass on apostolic experiences and study the way one should act in various different circles.
Published in Le Sel de la terre 9
A text on the consecration of families to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is going to be published soon.