living the spirit of
The title, the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, taken from the writings of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, is both bold and beautiful. It captures the complete consecration of both Brothers and Sisters in the only religious community that has dared to use this title and to glory in its lowliness. “To serve thee (Mary) is liberty!”
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort explains this holy consecration in his writing: “There is an entire difference between a servant and a slave. A servant does not give all he is, all he has and all he can acquire, but the slave gives himself whole and entire to his master without exception.
The servant demands wages for the services which he performs for his master; but the slave can demand nothing. The servant can leave his master when he pleases…but the slave has no right to quit his master at will. The master of the servant has no right of life and death over him…but the master of the slave has by law a right of life and death. Lastly, the servant is only for a time in his master’s service; the slave always.
There is nothing among men, which makes us belong to another more than slavery. There is nothing among Christians which makes us more absolutely belong to Jesus Christ and His holy Mother than the slavery of the will, according to the example of Jesus Christ Himself, Who took on Himself the form of a slave for love of us (Phil. 2:7); and also according to the example of the Holy Virgin, who called herself the servant of the Lord. (Lk. 1:38).
We may therefore, following the sentiments of the saints and of the great men, call ourselves and make ourselves the loving slaves of the most holy Virgin, in order to be, by that very means, the more perfectly the slave of Jesus Christ.”
To Jesus through Mary
The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary consecrate all they are and have, even the value of their good actions to their Immaculate Queen. This spirit of Total Consecration is reflected in their daily lives and in all the apostolates that stem from Saint Benedict Center.
Give All to Find All
Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort formulated this as an official consecration to Mary and it is known as Holy Slavery with the end object of perfect union with Jesus Christ. It consists of a period of thirty-three days in honor of the years Our Lord spent on earth. This “prayerful preparation” is comprised of prayers taken from Holy Scripture, readings from the “Imitation of Christ” and his own writings based on Church teachings. What the novitiate is to a religious life and basic training is to athletes this preparation is to slavery to Mary. If you spend it well, you will begin to be consumed with the thought of pleasing Our Lord and His Mother, Mary in all you do. Out of love for her you will learn to sacrifice whatever is displeasing to her and her Divine Son. From there you will have a singleness of purpose and earnestly do all through her, with her, in her and for her. This is True Devotion.
Why True Devotion is Important
In the great competitive struggle to overcome the enemies of our salvation, the world, the flesh and the Devil– and to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ, we must look for advice from the Church and the writings of the saints– those spiritual giants who have gone before us. Best of all, however, is to place ourselves under the guardianship and guidance of the greatest and holiest creature that God ever made, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Saint Louis Marie de Montfort put his whole heart and soul into the task of finding the best way to place oneself under the patronage of the Mother of God. After extensive research into the writings of the great saints, he found the best method: Slavery to Mary. This approach was not new, but at that time little known and not thoroughly formulated. He developed and expounded this Slavery, and defended it too, in his popular book, “True Devotion To Mary.”
What can I expect after making the Consecration?
The essence of this true devotion is the total offering of one’s self and all one’s goods both temporal and spiritual to Our Lady—in as much as the duties of one’s state in life will allow—and then living as dependent upon her as a slave to a Queen.
The practice of this humble relationship is the source of many unique graces and privileges. This Queen will undoubtedly use us, and all that we give her, to the furthering of the glory of God and His Kingdom on earth.
Slavery to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a stumbling block to a world obsessed with asserting personal rights. The slaves of Mary, however, willingly place themselves in the service of that most loving Queen with no desire for any payment, reward or termination of service. Our Lady, in turn, uses her slaves to achieve their own sanctification, the salvation of countless other souls and the realization of her triumphant reign foretold by God in the Book of Genesis: She shall crush thy head… and repeated in the Fatima message: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”
“But happy and a thousand times happy is the generous soul that consecrates itself entirely to Jesus through Mary as a slave of love after it has, by Baptism, shaken off the tyrannical slavery of the Devil!”
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