Like Mary, everything we have is by the grace of God; and in Mary, we see the fullness of life to which each of us is called. Her Immaculate Heart is truly the heart of the Church – simultaneously mother, disciple, and bride. It is completely fixed upon Jesus. We now turn our attention to the means Jesus has given us so that, with Mary, we may reach this fullness. One, in truth, can only be “consecrated” to God. The term means to be dedicated to God, solely for His use. This first takes place in Baptism (1 Cor 6:11; Eph 5:25-27), but it is meant to be deepened throughout our lives (Rom 12:1; Heb 2:11). When we speak of being consecrated to Mary, we are speaking by way of analogy. We are trying to convey that we, like Jesus in His humanity, wish to be completely entrusted to Mary’s love and activity on our behalf. When we pray an act of “Marian” consecration, we entrust ourselves to her heart and motherly intercession as, united with her, we renew and intentionally deepen our baptismal consecration to Jesus.
The Church has never proposed devotion to Mary as an end in itself. Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, the great apostle of Marian Consecration, was quite blunt about Mary’s position in relation to God, “With the whole Church I acknowledge that Mary, being a mere creature fashioned by the hand of God is, compared to his infinite majesty, less than an atom, or rather simply nothing, since he alone can say, ‘I am he who is.’” And yet, as De Montfort goes on to say, it was God’s free and sovereign choice to give “his only Son to the world only through Mary.” Scripture portrays her as the Ark of the New Covenant (2 Sam 6:9-14; Lk 1:35, 39-43), the personification of Daughter Zion (Zeph 3:14-17; Lk 1:28), the New Eve (Gen 3:15; Jn 19:26-27; Rev 12:1-6), the ideal disciple and intercessor (Lk 1:38, 45; Jn 2:1-11), and a sharer in Christ’s passion (Lk 2:35) and glorification (Rev 11:19-12:5), who is enthroned beside Christ as Queen (1 Kgs 2:19-25; Lk 1:32-33, 43; Rev 12:1-2). She is the Church come to full stature in Christ, and this is the reason for Marian devotion. As De Montfort wrote, “Of all God’s creatures Mary is the most conformed to Jesus. It therefore follows that, of all devotions, devotion to her makes for the most effective consecration and conformity to him. The more one is consecrated to Mary, the more one is consecrated to Jesus.” To be “devoted” to Mary means to love her as the mother of our Lord – to come to love her as Jesus loves her – and to emulate her discipleship, her love for Him. Christ Jesus is the alpha and omega of Marian devotion.
Such devotion recognizes that everything Jesus did at the Cross was ordered toward our salvation, including His entrustment of John to Mary (Jn 19:26-27). As an apostle, one of the foundation stones of Christ’s Church (Rev 21:14), this entrustment of John has a universal scope – a gift extended to the entire Church. All that is required is for individual souls to, like John, accept Christ’s gift: “from that hour the disciple took her into idia [literally ‘his own’]” (Jn 19:26-27). John took Mary into all that was uniquely his – his home, heart, prayer, life as an apostle, etc. You and I continue to reap the fruits of this entrustment in John’s Gospel, in his penetration into the mystery of Christ’s Person. His deep relationship with Mary did not lead John to make an idol of her; rather, their shared life was a catalyst opening his heart to understand and communicate Christ’s life and teaching in an utterly unique and profound way. John’s shared life with Mary – an extension of Christ’s shared life with her – is accessible to each of us in the mystical Body of her Son. She is a spiritual mother who is very much alive, joined to us in the communion of saints, and acting on our behalf (see Rom 12:4-5; Heb 12:1, 22-24; Rev 5:8). Like John, our goal in entrusting our lives as disciples to Mary’s heart is to come to share her total receptivity to God – to let Christ be formed in the womb of our hearts and be born into the world through our words and actions.
Adapted from Shane Kapler’s The Biblical Roots of Marian Consecration: Devotion to the Immaculate Heart in Light of Scripture (TAN Books, 2022).
 Louis Marie de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (Bay Shore, NY: Montfort Publications, 1996), no. 14.
 True Devotion, no. 120.