Consecration, Meaning of : University of Dayton, Ohio (2023)

Meaning of Consecration to Mary

– Answered by Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Q: What is the meaning of consecration?

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A: Consecration (nowadays also called dedication or entrustment) is a well-known term in the history of spirituality. It has biblical roots, and became the quest of many saints and spirituals through the centuries. Martyrs, virgins, monks are so-called consecrated persons. Consecration can be both personal and communitarian. It was promoted as oblation in Spain (fifteenth and sixteenth centuries) and became the object of special attention in France in the seventeenth century. Famous names attached to the Consecration movement are St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, St. John Eudes, and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. During the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries Popes Leo XIII and Pius XI lent their voices to the movement. So did the Legion of Mary, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and his Militia of the Immaculate, and the various Fatima groupings. During this century entire nations were consecrated to Mary (Portugal, Italy, Poland...) and, based on the message of Fatima, the consecration of the whole world was requested. This consecration was made by John Paul II on March 24, 1984, in union with the bishops of the world, and considered by Lucia as both sufficient and efficacious. On October 8, after the celebration of the mass, bishops united with the Holy Father in an "Act of Entrustment" to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

But what is the meaning of consecration (dedication or entrustment)?

1. God consecrates

In a strict and primary sense, there is room only for one type of consecration, the one made by God himself. Only God can appropriate a human being and make him/her sacred. God communicates his holiness to us; he gives us participation in his holiness. He is our creator and wants us to be in his image. This transformation into his likeness is the foremost meaning of consecration.

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2. Consecration is a response

Our consecration is therefore essentially a response to his call. In acquiescing, we bind ourselves to a consecration that comes from God. We consecrate ourselves to belong to the Lord in a new way. In fact this new way is the only way by which we truly become who we are. The foremost example of God-human consecration is Jesus Christ himself. He is the "Anointed," meaning he totally belongs to God. When, by a free act of his person (intelligence, will, affection), he accepts the mission for the salvation of the world (Jn 17, 19; 30) he consecrates himself. This is what we call his subjective consecration in response to the objective consecration of his being which occurred in his humanity at the moment of the Incarnation.

3. Consecration in Christ through baptism

Christ imparts to his disciples and followers a very special belonging to God. He gives us his own life by making us participants in his own consecration. This happens in baptism. Baptism is our first and most important consecration. Baptism is our objective consecration. With Christ and through him we are destined and commissioned to the glory of God and the salvation of the world. There is a radical meaning to this mission: through baptism we do not belong to ourselves anymore but to Christ who imparts his life to us.

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4. A consequence of baptism

What we commonly regard as consecration--our subjective consecration through promises, renewal of baptismal promises, confirmation, and vows--is consecration by voluntary adherence to what baptism has made of us. We promise to live as sons and daughters of God, and thus fulfill subjectively our objective consecration. All consecrations which follow baptism are rooted in this primary act of our Christian vocation.

5. Consecration to Mary

Can we consecrate ourselves to Mary? Mary is not the Creator, she is not the Redeemer. She is the opposite of a Goddess; she never substituted herself for God. But it was God's will that Mary had something to do with our Christian life, with our sanctification. It is a role assigned to her by God. In perfect union with her Son and subordinate to him, the Vatican II Council calls her "our mother in the order of grace" (LG 61). Let us not forget that Mary is the prototype of perfect consecration at the beginning of the New Testament. She was chosen to help us in our consecration through her intercession and by her maternal care, which disposes us to receive the gift of God we receive in baptism. She is the perfect example of the Church, and the model of all faithful. In her extreme spiritual sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's inspiration she is God's creaturely masterpiece.

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All consecrations to Mary have this Spirit-oriented (meaning Christocentric and theocentric) meaning. Consecration to Mary is consecration to the "perfect means" (Montfort) which Jesus chose to unite himself with us and vice versa. Consecration to Mary heightens the depth and truth of our commitment to Christ. Consecration to Mary must explicitly state that our ultimate goal and end is God (Holy Spirit; Christ our Lord). Consecrations to Mary where one pledges to perform all actions "through Mary, in Mary, and for Mary" are in fact a pledge to perform them more perfectly through Jesus Christ, with him, in, and for him. Dedication to the Heart of Mary must therefore maintain the vital unity between the Heart of Mary and the Heart of Jesus. We must confide ourselves to the Heart of Mary in view of our consecration to God. We offer ourselves to this divine consecration through Mary, for she points the way to the heart of Jesus.

All About Mary includes a variety of content, much of which reflects the expertise, interpretations and opinions of the individual authors and not necessarily of the Marian Library or the University of Dayton. Please share feedback or suggestions with


What does the consecration symbolize? ›

Consecration means “to make holy.” When one makes an act of consecration, it is made ultimately to God with the understanding that our consecration is a serious commitment on our part to respond faithfully to God's grace at work in our lives.

What does it mean to go on a consecration? ›

: to make or declare sacred. especially : to devote irrevocably to the worship of God by a solemn ceremony.

What does it mean to consecrate Russia and Ukraine? ›

Consecration refers to the solemn dedication of something to a special purpose or setting it apart. The ceremony took place on March 25, which coincided with the Feast of the Annunciation. It recalls the visit of the archangel Gabriel to Mary, informing her she would be the mother of Jesus. Vatican News. @VaticanNews.

Where did consecration come from? ›

The origin of the word comes from the Latin stem consecrat, which means dedicated, devoted, and sacred. A synonym for consecration is sanctification; its antonym is desecration.

What is an example of consecration? ›

Most often used in a religious context, consecration is the act of dedicating something to God, sanctifying it and making it holy. For example, someone entering the priesthood goes through a consecration rite that establishes his holy commitment.

What is another word for consecration? ›

Some common synonyms of consecrate are dedicate, devote, and hallow. While all these words mean "to set apart for a special and often higher end," consecrate stresses investment with a solemn or sacred quality.

What should we do during consecration? ›

In conversion God gives us grace to come before him, in consecration we give ourselves wholly to him. One of the key areas of consecration is PRAYER AND FASTING. Jesus, in Matt 6:5 says... Now it seems redundant to to highlight but Jesus expects that we would pray.

What do you do when you consecrate? ›

Consecrating yourself means to give priority to spiritual things over physical things. It will require intentionally avoiding things that may hinder you from connecting with God or take away from your time with Him.

Why do I need consecration? ›

Consecration prepares us for the presence of God so that He feels welcome in our hearts, lives, families, congregations, businesses, and communities. The first stage of presence-based transformation is focused primarily on prayer and fasting, repentance and seeking God's face in intimacy.

What happens when Russia is consecrated? ›

The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she will be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world."

What does the consecration of Russia mean? ›

“Consecration” means being set aside for a holy purpose.

You may or may not have heard of the concept of consecration before. A person— or nation— that is consecrated is set aside for a holy purpose. The word “entrustment” is often used synonymously with the word consecration.

What time will the consecration of Russia happen? ›

Bishop Olmsted and Bishop Nevares invite all people of faith to join Pope Francis on Friday, March 25, 2022, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, in prayers of Consecration for Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The consecration will take place at 5:00 p.m. Rome time and 9:00 a.m. Arizona time.

What is a consecrate person? ›

The word “consecrated” means “to be set apart.” Therefore, consecrated persons are “set apart” to love and live for God and His Church. Since the early First Century, men and women have given their lives to Christ.

What are the types of consecration? ›

Some examples of forms of consecrated life are: Monasticism, Religious Life , Secular Institutes, Societies of Apostolic Life, Consecrated Virgins, and Hermits. Each of these forms expresses itself in a variety of different orders.

What does it mean to live a life of consecration? ›

“To consecrate is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes,” said Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives—that is, our time and choices—to God's purposes.”

How does the Bible define consecration? ›

So what is consecration? Consecration is giving yourself to the Lord to become “a living sacrifice,” as Paul says in Romans 12:1: “I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.”

What prayer is said during consecration? ›

Therefore, O Lord, we humbly implore you: by the same Spirit graciously make holy these gifts we have brought to you for consecration, that they may become the Body and + Blood of your Son our Lord Jesus Christ at whose command we celebrate these mysteries.

What are prayers of consecration? ›

I rededicate my body and all its parts to the loving rule of Jesus Christ; I dedicate and consecrate my body to him in every way. I ask for the blood of Christ to cleanse my body and make it holy once more. Holy Spirit, come and fill your temple now; restore my body under the complete dominion of Jesus Christ.

What are the 5 stages of consecration? ›

This course reveals five stages of consecration that every true follower of Christ goes through -- from the beginning stage of Salvation to the challenging third stage and major turning point, Surrender, all the way to the fifth and final stage, the Finish Line.

How does one become consecrated? ›

To consecrate yourself is to answer God's call to spiritual consecration. This means making a conscious, willing decision to dedicate your soul, mind, heart, and body to God. This decision must be one of will, intelligence, and affection.

Is the United States consecrated? ›

The United States has been consecrated to Mary on three occasions including 1792, 1846, and most recently in 1959. Yet why consecrate the nation to the Blessed Virgin Mary at all? Early in the Church's history, Mary has been called Theotokos, the God-bearer.

Is it against the law to have a Bible in Russia? ›

Legal and policy framework

The Constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the Government of Russia generally respected this right in practice. However, it seems that in some cases the authorities imposed restrictions on certain groups, most often through the registration process.

Is the law of consecration communist? ›

Some have suggested that the practice of the law of consecration and the system of the united order are only a religious kind of socialism or communism. Others assert that it was a development either from the economic philosophies of Joseph Smith's day or from communal experiments within the new religion.

Who wrote the consecration prayer to Russia? ›

On March 25, 1984, Pope John Paul II sought to finally accomplish what Our Lady of Fatima had requested seven decades earlier. He set out to consecrate communist Russia to her Immaculate Heart, the promised step to turning the Soviet state away from its wicked ways.

What time is the consecration of Russia 2022? ›

Please unite in prayer on Friday, March 25, 2022, the Solemnity of the Annunciation, at 10:00 a.m. (Mountain Time) for the Act of Consecration of Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Do we live the law of consecration today? ›

Today, we live this law in different ways. For instance, we serve others, accept callings and assignments in the Church and do our best at them, and pay a full tithe and a generous fast offering.

How long is the consecration? ›

The Consecration consists of a 33-day period of prayerful preparation, followed by the actual act of Consecration itself, all of which are provided in this Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary link.

When did the law of consecration end? ›

Consecration and Stewardship ended as the Latter-day Saints were driven from Jackson County in 1833, and only sporadic attempts were made to put its principles into operation during the rest of Joseph Smith's lifetime.

What are 3 characteristics of consecrated life? ›

Consecrated Life: A permanent state of life recognized by the Church, entered freely in response to the call of Christ to the perfection of love and characterized by the making of public vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

What are the benefits of a consecrated life? ›

Living a consecrated life also makes one to have joy and peace in the Lord, while healing one of all infirmities. The benefits of being consecrated are inexhaustible, and this is the reason one must dedicate one's life to God in order to enjoy all the benefits.

What are the three vows of consecrated life? ›

All Christians are called to live the virtues of chastity, poverty and obedience; these vows provide for a purification of heart and spiritual freedom that uniquely mark the life of the consecrated woman religious. Living these vows enables her to focus her entire being on God and His people.

What is the biblical significance of consecration? ›

Consecration is giving yourself to the Lord to become “a living sacrifice,” as Paul says in Romans 12:1: “I exhort you therefore, brothers, through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.”

What is the meaning of consecration biblically? ›

But what does consecration mean? By definition, it is: 1) The act of dedicating yourself to the service and worship of God. 2) To make holy or dedicate to a higher purpose. 3) Association with the sacred.

What is the significance of consecration in the life of the religious? ›

Consecrated Life: A permanent state of life recognized by the Church, entered freely in response to the call of Christ to the perfection of love and characterized by the making of public vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

What is the Hebrew meaning of consecration? ›

refers to persons or things being separated to or belonging to God. They are holy or sacred. They are set apart for the service of God. The Hebrew kadosh and Greek hagiazo are translated by several different English words: holy, consecrate, hallow, sanctify, dedicate. See holy .

How do we consecrate ourselves before God? ›

So how do we consecrate ourselves to the Lord? We simply need to spend time alone with Him in intimate prayer. During this time of personal prayer, we can freely open to the Lord and have a detailed transaction with Him.

What does it mean to live a consecrated life? ›

Consecrated life (also known as religious life) is a state of life in the Catholic Church lived by those faithful who are called to follow Jesus Christ in a more exacting way.

What are the three main types of consecrated life? ›

Here you can read more about different forms of consecrated life from those who are living the vocation: Monastic Life. Religious Life. Secular Institutes.

What are the three vows of a consecrated person? ›

All Christians are called to live the virtues of chastity, poverty and obedience; these vows provide for a purification of heart and spiritual freedom that uniquely mark the life of the consecrated woman religious. Living these vows enables her to focus her entire being on God and His people.


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