MARIAN CONSECRATION IN THE LIVES OF EIGHT PINOYS
People seem to come by this devotion in different ways and through different people, but the calling is the same.
Michael Laxina was invited by a friend. “I had no idea about it. I didn’t even know the word ‘consecration’. The only thing I knew was that it was a good thing. Later, I understood that it’s more than a good thing.” M.S. was “devotion-shopping”. “I thought the Montfortian consecration suited my personality best. The theology behind it impressed me. It also helped that some of my favorite saints (JP2, Mother Teresa, Kolbe, etc.) “enslaved” themselves to Our Lady.” He finally made the consecration at the urging of a good friend.
Randy Urgino stumbled upon it when he and his wife signed up for an apostolate. “Little did we know that it would make such a huge impact in our individual lives and our life as a couple and family.” Dominic Barrios made the consecration because he knew they needed all the graces they could get in bringing Lighthouse Catholic Media products to different parishes in the Philippines, which he anticipated to be a huge task.
Ogy Mantaring admits that consecration might not be easy for others to understand, but says, “I really believe that the desire to do the consecration was put in my heart by God. The first time I heard about it was in an mp3 talk. I was very inspired by it that I listened to it a second and a third time, and maybe even more, and each time I listened to it, the urge to make the consecration kept on growing.”
The man’s “Fiat”
Some were hesitant at first. “It took over a year before I finally did the consecration,” relates Ogy. Edwin, on the other hand, learned about it from brothers and sisters in a community years before he finally made the consecration. Initially, he was motivated by pride, but the Blessed Mother called him to greater humility: “Last year, after years of attempting, I just humbly submitted myself to her maternal care through the consecration.”
C.P. knew about consecration years ago: “I read St. Louis de Montfort’s The Secret of Mary back in 1996, but felt daunted to do it then because the original form of preparation for the consecration is quite intense. I did do the consecration sometime in 1997 but without the long preparation for it (which is actually permissible). In 2017 I was introduced to Fr. Michael Gaitley’s much-easier method and I finally resolved to do the full 33 days preparation.”
But what if I don’t want to do this alone?
You can make the consecration by yourself, like Edwin, with your friend or girlfriend, like Mike Jugo and Michael did, with family members like C.P. did, or in a group. Randy says, “We first went through it as a couple, then we did it with our prayer group and are still going through it with our family.” Ogy asked his wife to make the consecration with him, and their children jumped in as well. “We told our children what we were about to do and asked them if they wanted to do it with us, and each of them readily agreed.”
The men all claim that their lives have been changed.
Edwin has experienced “More interior movements. I thought too that growth in virtues especially on the harder ones like obedience, surrender and trust are occurring at a much faster pace.” Michael believes that now, Mama Mary always makes sure he is aware of God’s graces disposed by her. C.P shares that he is much less prone to sin now. “My Marian devotion has become much more intense — if in the past I tended to make Mama Mary almost an afterthought in my prayers, now I always direct frequent prayers to her (alongide Jesus of course). And last but not the least, after my girlfriend and I did the consecration together, I palpably felt that my love for her became much deeper and more affectionate.”
Randy’s life perspective has been totally altered. “Today, each day I live is in consultation with Mama Mary. I even lift up to her critical emails and meetings before I start or send them off. Mama Mary has led me back to Jesus and this she continues to do daily.” Ogy says that after the consecration, his prayer life also improved, and might have given him a deeper love for his (biological) mother. M.S.’ love for the Blessed Virgin and her Son has become stronger, and his devotion to her has more depth now compared to before.
Mike J. says that his life is “Much better because now my faith in God is stronger. My relationship with Jesus and Mama Mary is better. I used to get anxiety attacks often because of problems or perceived problems. Now, I’m learning to surrender my life to God and ask Mama Mary to always be a mother to me.” Dominic feels that “It has become easier to say yes to what could help the cause of God and the Church knowing that Mama Mary will be there to pray for us as well.”
Convince me some more
Are you still hesitating to make your Marian consecration? Edwin has some encouraging words for you: “Just do it. The Blessed Mother is a mother of Mercy. We will never be worthy to be her son by our efforts alone but she can show us how.” Michael repeats St. Maximilian Kolbe’s words: “Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
As Randy insists, “Nobody really knows us better than our moms and no human knows Jesus better than Mama Mary. If you want to know Jesus, allow His mother to introduce you.” Ogy addresses his recommendation not just to the men but to all, regardless of gender: “I do not know of anyone (yet) who has made the consecration and regretted it. In fact, most of them profess that it has changed their lives in a very positive way.”
Mike J. takes the Nike suggestion to heart: “Just do it! Mama Mary is our mother here on Earth and in Heaven!” M.S. takes it one step further: “Just do it. Ignore what other people would say. We’re all aware of the — for lack of a better term — ‘stigma’ attached to Catholic devotions as practiced by men, particularly those associated with Mama Mary. It’s unmanly? It’s something only ‘manangs’ — worse, ‘manays’, do? It’s ‘superstitious’? Masculine and Marian aren’t mutually exclusive concepts. Take your cue from JP2, Kolbe, Pier Giorgio Frassati, and of course, St. Joseph.”
Dominic does say not to do it because people told you so. “Do it only because you want to do more for the church and being consecrated will help you with that.” As C.P. puts it aptly though, “Mother knows best.”