The Marian Consecration has been present in the VMY since its inception and is the most important expression of one´s spirituality in the Association. The Consecration expresses that the young assume his maturity in faith with the Marian and Vincentian identity. Here you can find the new procedure, accompanied by a simple explanation and a proposal for its conclusion.

During the First General Assembly – Rome 2000, the members of the Association of Vincentian Marian Youth made this commitment:  “We will promote and inculcate a deeper understanding of the Act of Consecration, the sign that we belong to the Association.  All National Associations will use the same formula for this Act of Consecration” (Cf. Final Document 3.3). We want to recover and revalue this dynamism that has been present in the life of the Association from the very beginning and which is the most relevant expression of its spirituality.  Hence, the International Council has worked intensely for two years, consulting the National Councils and has approved in its meeting of January 12, 2003 this new formula, together with a brief reflection and celebration guide.  It does not aim to be a treatise of systematic theology or a catechesis on the Marian Consecration… there are many people who can later on do both of these things.[1] Our aim is that this material be a simple means understandable to our young.  It is now the task of each National Council to make this known, to formulate attractive materials for its propagation, include it in the catechumenal process and set specific criteria for its celebration, so that the Act of Consecration will correctly express that the young assume their maturity in the faith within the Marian and Vincentian charism.

NEW FORMULA OF THE MARIAN CONSECRATION

TO JESUS WITH MARY

Lord Jesus, following the example of Mary, I want to DISCOVER you!

With her, Mother of the Church,

and in the heart of a serving community,

I want to be a youthful presence,

committing myself generously to evangelization.

Lord Jesus, following the example of Mary, I want to FOLLOW you!

With Mary, favored daughter of God the Father,

and in faithfulness to my baptismal consecration,

I want to be like You, the Evangelizer of the poor,

by being a builder of Life, Love and Peace!

Lord Jesus, like Mary, I want to LOVE you!

With her, the prayerful Virgin, filled with the Holy Spirit,

I want to make of my life a way of Prayer and Service,

in simplicity, and humility,

assuming the spirituality of the Magnificat.

Lord Jesus, like Mary, I want to OFFER myself!

With her, the first disciple,

I want to open my heart and my mind to the mission,

so that the gifts that You have given me may be at the service of the young of the world,

thus becoming your hands, Lord, for others.

Oh Mary conceived without sin.

pray for us who have recourse to you.

SOME POINTS FOR REFLECTION ON

THE MARIAN CONSECRATION IN  JMV

The Association offers to the youth the Consecration to Christ through Mary as a way of making explicit their baptismal consecration and to make of their life a total gift to God through service and evangelization of the poor, choosing Mary as Mother and model.

(JMv International Statutes, no. 10)

Notion

Consecration today is a proposal that is simple, suggestive and something we want to update.

It is simple even if it has various meanings and applications in other fields. Terms similar to consecration are self-giving, dedication, offering, option, etc., but they do not surpass it.  The Decree “Perfectae Caritatis”, no. 5, of the Second Vatican Council, says that all consecration in the Church “is deeply rooted in the baptismal consecration” and “expresses it more fully”. Any other consecration (e.g. matrimony or priesthood) serves to make him/her “capable of deriving more abundant fruit from this baptismal grace”.  (LG 44).

For this reason the term “consecration” is suggestive because it refers to the baptismal consecration itself expressed more fully.  Through our Baptism we offer ourselves totally to God, to make of our existence an acceptable offering to Him  (Rm 6:11-13; 12:1) and live for Jesus Christ  (2 Co. 5:15) as members of the Church through the action of the Holy Spirit.  Hence, the members of JMV want to reaffirm the giving of their whole life to God through the act of consecration.  This consecration-offering-option takes form in the following of Christ, a road that the young  want to journey together with Mary.  More than a outward act of piety or a terminology of our daily routine, it is a way of living, a way of life: to be attuned with Mary so as to live more intensely and faithfully our baptismal consecration.

Consecration is also an experience that we want to update.   Today we hear about people dedicating their life to sports, to their families, to their profession, etc… this entails self-giving, courage, commitment and life witnessing.  In the same way, the young who make the consecration to Jesus with Mary, with their lives and in the midst of the world – with all that they are, all that they have and do – give themselves to the cause of Jesus and proclaim to the world their Christian option.  Our Marian consecration leads us to holiness through our apostolic commitment.    It entails also an openness to the different forms of collaboration and service that respond to the needs of our world today

How do we define or describe the consecration in the JMV Association?  There are many ways to do it but it is not simply a matter of finding the correct terminology but more of the actual deeds.  It could be expressed in this way:

It is a steadfast, sincere and freely given personal decision

to live out  the baptismal commitment

by giving one’s self fully to the following of Christ and the building up of his Kingdom,

being inspired in Mary’s self-giving and

opting for the evangelization of the poor in the Vincentian way

Consecration is a faith response that becomes a plan of life.  It is our yes to Christ’s invitation:  “If you want… follow me” (Cf. Lk. 9:23).  To consecrate one’s self is to deeply live in Christ and for Christ, following the Gospel and seeking the perfection of love.  In order to achieve this ideal, we find in Mary the way that leads us more directly to it.  When we make our consecration, we make our own her “fiat” to God’s will (Lk. 1:38) and we lovingly welcome her, like the disciple received her into his own home:   “This is your mother” (Jn. 19:27).  Hence our motto is “To Jesus with Mary” because it fosters the gift of our own selves, our availability and effective collaboration in the building up of the Kingdom.

It is good to recall the definition made by Pope Pius XII on the consecration to the Mother of God: “It is a total gift of self, for the whole of life and for all eternity; and a gift which is not a mere formality or sentimentality, but effectual, comprising the full intensity of the Christian life – Marian life – apostolic life.”[2].  The theologian, Karl Rahner, referring to this same theme, calls that moment the “key moment” – that moment of eternity in time – in which the Christian person decides for always the direction of his own life[3]. Beautiful name – key moment – to express the moment of consecration.  As the Association has always affirmed, “consecration is its soul”, it is the soul of its spirituality.

CM1

Inspired in Mary

 

In JMV, the Blessed Virgin Mary is mother, founder and catechist, our model in the following of Christ.  Catherine Laboure writes about the message she had been entrusted to pass on to Fr. Aladel: “The Blessed Virgin requires a mission of you… You will be its founder and director.  It is an Association of Children of Mary to which the Blessed Virgin will grant many graces[4]. Children of Mary… Marian Youth!  A beautiful name for the thousands of young people who in different parts of the world make up small communities of faith.

Naturally, taking the Virgin Mary as model entails a constant inspiration in her example, a trustful and imploring recourse to her intercession, a commitment to promote her devotion and, above all, an identification with her, especially in the traditional values-virtues of the Association:  humility, availability, charity, transparency and simplicity.  It also includes a deep knowledge of her person, of her relationship with Christ and the Church.  Mary is the first believer.  Her “fiat” to the angel’s announcement is her consecration to God, the “key moment” of her life.  A “key moment” fulfilled in time and for always, a model and incentive for our own “key moment”.

Apostolate in the Vincentian way

All spirituality leads to the apostolate (Cf. Mk. 3:14). Incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through Baptism… we are sent to the apostolate by the Lord Himself… so that we may witness to Christ throughout the world.  One engages in the apostolate through the faith, hope and charity which the Holy Spirit diffuses.  (Cf. AA 3).

While Christ comes to our encounter in the Word and in the Sacraments each time the community gathers together in the name of the Lord, he passes by our daily life in the person of the poor and in the events of the world.  When we welcome the poor, we are, in fact, welcoming Jesus.  Without the poor, we cannot be with Christ and vice versa, Christ cannot be disassociated from the poor: they are his sacrament (Mt 25:40). That is why we make our option for the poor our preferred area of apostolate.  Like Mary in the Magnificat, we want to be beside the needy.  JMV wants to work with the poor to evangelize them and to be evangelized by them.  With them, we want to achieve their human and integral promotion.  In this manner we make our self-giving to Christ effective and our faith credible in the world.

St. Vincent is the saint of Mission and Charity oriented towards the most poor.  After the Virgin Mary, we take St. Vincent as model and protector of the Association.  In the area of spirituality – centered in Christ and the poor – as in the apostolate – Mission and Charity – the Vincentian way offers a horizon that is greatly captivating and attractive to young people with ideals.  In the school of Vincent de Paul, JMV learns to “continuously go from an affective to an effective love”, which is service to the poor undertaken with joy, perseverance, humility and creativity.  Hence, JMV belongs to the Vincentian Family, to those congregations and associations founded by St. Vincent himself or are inspired in his charism to continue in the Church the fulfilment of the project of Jesus, evangelizer and servant of the poor.

Consecration, an “aspiration”for all

 

It is clear that consecration is a serious decision: it aspires to an effective and total self-giving.  But more than a commitment or ideal to fulfil, it is a call, a grace, an action of God that touches and transforms the person in his/her innermost self.  In all cases, the consecration to Christ with Mary should be the aspiration of all the members of JMV, that is, all should aspire to make it and to live it.  It is a serious decision because belonging to the Association entails commitment.  That is why the consecration should be the result of a mature faith from which springs an spontaneous, freely given and responsible “yes”.  JMV is not a social club of friends who meet, whenever they like, to do a specific task or simply to see and communicate with each other.  It is neither a generic parish group of young people who wish to collaborate temporarily in certain activities but rather it is an Association in the Church that lives in fidelity to a charism and a mission confided to it.  To consecrate one’s self in the Association is to follow Jesus, the friend who asks us to live his Word in a consistent and radical way.  At the heart of the consecration exists that deep desire to listen to the Word, meditate on it, share it with others and put it into practice.

 

Need for adequate formation

Consecration demands full use of our freedom as well as full knowledge: of one’s self, of Christian life, of Mary’s role in God’s plan of salvation, of the Vincentian charism and the Association.  Time and again, the Church and its institutions insist on the need for formation.  The Association, too, because “it is the key factor in our faith journey” (GA 2000, Final Document, 2).  Without a progressive knowledge of Jesus Christ, of the Virgin Mary and of our being Christian, we cannot live lives filled with fervour, with ideals of love and service.   One cannot love what one does not know.  When one grasps the Christian meaning of consecration, the value of his/her self-giving to God and his Kingdom, it will be easy to aspire, live and formulate it.  That is why the act of consecration cannot be improvised; it is an act and a commitment so intense and vital that it requires maturation and adequate preparation in order for it to be the “result of a deep knowledge of the Association, of formation within the perspective of faith, and of a serious discernment in the Holy Spirit”, as enunciated in the International Statutes.

The formula of the Consecration “To Jesus with Mary” is beautiful and progressive:

1°. TO DISCOVER YOU: I come to JMV with a knowledge of faith that has been handed down to me by my family.  I understand that I need to discover you personally.  You told me to ask and it will be given to me, to search and I will find, to knock and the door will be opened to me (Mt. 7:7).  Mary, the first to do this, will help me.

2°. TO FOLLOW YOU: You are the Way and only your footsteps will lead me to where you want me to go.  Mary always followed you, even before she gave birth to you.  Her journey through dark and rough roads was not easy.  She, the pilgrim of faith, will take me by the hand and light up my way to you, with confidence and hope.

3°. TO LOVE YOU:  Loving you will be easier and joy-filled when I experience your love for all.  Like St. Augustine, I can also say:  my heart was restless until I found and followed you.  And it will be restless until I find you more and more.  Who could have loved you more than Mary, your mother and the best of your followers?  Her heart will inflame mine.

4°. TO OFFER MYSELF: Whoever loves does not rest until offering him/herself totally to the person loved.  And, above all, if the person loved is all good and offered himself before for him/her.  When I offer myself to you, I cannot do any other thing than to offer myself to your people, who are mine also, especially to the young and the most poor of the world.  That is my consecration.  Mary, the first to be consecrated and dawn of evangelization, will show me the way.

3. SUGGESTED GUIDE FOR THE RECEPTION

 

This celebration may be done after the homily or after communion if the reception is done within the Mass.  The Consecration may also be done within the Celebration of the Word.  We present here some suggestions which may be used in either of the two situations.

 

I. Opening Song

 

II. Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, your Holy Spirit sanctified the Virgin Mary from the first moment of her existence.  She received in her heart your Word with faith and became the Mother of our Saviour.  Today, we are gathered here to honour her, and together with her renew our baptismal commitment.  We ask you to send upon us your Holy Spirit, so that like Mary, we may receive your Word with faith and respond to it in our lives.  Through Jesus Christ your Son…

III. First Reading

Suggestions:

1.      Genesis 3:1-15 (Enmity between the woman and the serpent)

2.      1 Chronicles 17:1-15 (Nathan’s prophecy)

3.      Proverbs 8:22-35 (Wisdom as Creator)

4.      Song of Songs 4:1, 7-9, 12-15 (Beauty of the beloved)

5.      Zephaniah 3:14-20 (Promise of a Saviour)

IV. Responses

Suggestions:

1.      1 Samuel 2:1-10 (Song of Hannah)

2.      Psalm 98 (The judge of the world)

3.      Psalm 40 (Song of praise and prayer for help)

4.      Psalm 45:10-17 (2nd part of Royal wedding song)

5.      Psalm 131 (Childlike trust)

V. Second Reading

Suggestions:

1.      Galatians 4:1-7 (Sons of God)

2.      Revelations 12:1-6 (The vision of the woman and the dragon)

3.      Ephesians 1:3-14 (God’s plan of salvation)

4.      1 Peter 2:4-9 (The new priesthood)

5.      Romans 5:12-19 (Adam and Jesus Christ)

VI. Gospel

Suggestions:

1.      Luke 1:26-38 (The annunciation)

2.      Luke 1:39-45 (The visitation)

3.      Luke 1:46-56 (The Magnificat hymn)

4.      Matthew 5:13-19 (Salt for the earth and light for the world)

5.      Luke 2:22-35 (Presentation of the Child Jesus)

6.      John 2:1-11 (The wedding at Cana)

7.      John 19:25-27 (Jesus crucified and Mary at the Cross)

8.      Mark 3:31-35 (The true kinsmen of Jesus)

9.      Luke 4:16-22 (Jesus at the synagogue in Nazareth)

10.   Matthew 25:31-46 (The last judgment)

VII. Roll Call

The Celebrant (or President, if the celebration is not held within the Mass) reads out the names of the members of the Association who will make the Consecration, saying:

“After a deliberation of the Council held on _____________________, the following have been accepted to make their consecration to Jesus with Mary in the Association of the Vincentian Marian Youth…”

As their names are called, they go up to the front of the altar.  They may opt to say this prayer:  “To Jesus with Mary”.

VIII. Dialogue

Priest:       Dear young people, what do you wish today?

Youth:  We wish to consecrate ourselves to Jesus with Mary in the Association of the Vincentian Marian Youth.

Priest:       Are you ready to make this commitment in the Association?

Youth:       Yes, we are, with the grace of God.

Priest:      Do you know to what this Consecration binds you?

Youth: To live a full Christian life, following Jesus Christ, the evangelizer of the poor, imitating Mary’s virtues and her generous self-giving and dedicating ourselves to the service and evangelization of the poor, as St. Vincent de Paul taught us.

Priest: Do you promise to strive to acquire the virtues that should characterize a Vincentian Marian Youth:  spirit of collaboration (humility), sensitivity to the poor (charity), transparency (purity and simplicity) and always seeking to discover God’s will (obedience)?

Youth: Yes, we promise.

Priest: Dear young people, considering your desires and good dispositions, I invite you, in the presence of this Christian community gathered here, to make your consecration to Jesus with Mary Immaculate.

IX. Consecration

Those who will make the consecration (with a lighted candle in their hands, if appropriate) recite together the prayer:

 

TO JESUS WITH MARY

Lord Jesus, following the example of Mary, I want to DISCOVER you!

With her, Mother of the Church,

and in the heart of a serving community,

I want to be a youthful presence,

committing myself generously to evangelization.

Lord Jesus, following the example of Mary, I want to FOLLOW you!

With Mary, favored daughter of God the Father,

and in faithfulness to my baptismal consecration,

I want to be like You, the evangelizer of the poor,

by being a builder of Life, Love and Peace!

Lord Jesus, like Mary, I want to LOVE you!

With her, the prayerful Virgin, full of the Holy Spirit,

I want to make of my life a way of Prayer and Service,

in simplicity, and humility,

assuming the spirituality of the Magnificat.

Lord Jesus, like Mary, I want to OFFER myself!

With her, the first disciple,

I want to open my heart and my mind to the mission,

so that the gifts that You have given me may be at the service of the young of the world,

thus becoming your hands, Lord, for others.

Oh Mary conceived without sin.

pray for us who have recourse to you.

X. Blessing of Medals

Priest:      Our help is in the name of the Lord.

Youth:      Who made heaven and earth.

Priest:      The Lord be with you.

Youth:      And also with you.

Priest: Almighty and merciful God, who through the numerous apparitions of the Immaculate Virgin Mary on earth, continue to perform wonderful things for the salvation of all, graciously bestow your blessings on these medals (+) that those who faithfully receive and devoutly wear them may feel Mary’s protection and obtain your mercy through Christ our Lord.

Youth:      Amen.

(The Priest sprinkles the medals with Holy Water)

XI. Giving of Medals

The priest then offers the members the Medal, saying:

“Receive this Medal as a sign of your Consecration to Jesus with Mary Immaculate.  With the help of the Mother of God, make an effort day by day to be filled with Jesus Christ and give witness of his Kingdom, for the good of the Church and for all men”.

 

XII. Formula of reception of the Vincentian Marian Youth

The priest addresses the newly consecrated members, saying:

 

“May Jesus Christ receive you as members of our Association.  Like Mary, be living signs of the love of God in the world and by your adhering constantly to the Gospel, may you become leaven and instruments of salvation for the whole human family.  Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen”.

 

CM2

XIII. Magnificat (sung or recited)

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,

my spirit rejoices in God my Savior

for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:

the Almighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him

in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,

he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel

for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children forever.

(After the ceremony, the names of the new members who have made the consecration are written in the Registry Book of the Association, together with the date of their consecration).

 

XIV.         Agape

 

To end, the community can gather together to share some snacks.


[1] For this, we recommend some articles that the International Council took as reference in their reflection and you may request them from our International Secretariat in Madrid:  PEREZ FLORES Miguel, “Juventudes Marianas Vicencianas: La Consagración”  en  AA.VV, JMV, su espíritu y proyección apostólica (topics for reflection). Madrid 1984, 133- 144.   MARTINEZ SIERRA A, “Teología de la Consagración a María” in Sociedad Mariológica Española, LA CONSAGRACIÓN A MARÍA, Teología – Historia – Espiritualidad. (Estudios Marianos, Vol. II) Salamanca 1986, 19- 29. LUIS Ángel, “La Consagración a María en la vida y doctrina de Juan Pablo II” in Sociedad Mariológica Española, LA CONSAGRACIÓN A MARÍA, Teología – Historia – Espiritualidad. (Estudios Marianos, Vol. II) Salamanca 1986, 77- 112. DE FIORES Stefano, “Consagración Mariana y Consagración Bautismal” in Diccionario de Mariología, Paulinas, Madrid, 485- 495.

 

[2] Pius XII, Address to the Children of Mary, June 11, 1945 (Cf. 39 Apologías de las Congregaciones Marianas, SIPE-Estrella del Mar, Madrid. 71-72).

[3] RAHNER Karl, La Consagración a la Santísima Virgen en las Congregaciones Marianas: Sus aspectos teológicos y sus resonancias en la vida. Published in “Cuatrieme Centenaire des Congregations Mariales”, Rome 1963, 57-82.

[4] Cf. LAURENTIN René, The Life of Catherine Labouré, 145.