St. Patrick parishioners prepare to make 'Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary'
CHARLOTTE — St. Patrick Cathedral parishioners have a special place in their hearts for the Blessed Mother. There are four statues of Our Lady inside the cathedral, a painting of Our Lady of Good Counsel, and depictions of moments of her life in several of the stained glass windows around the cathedral.
Father Christopher Roux, pastor and rector of the cathedral, shares this devotion to the Blessed Mother. He travels annually to Fatima, Portugal, to the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, leading pilgrimages for the seminarians of the Diocese of Charlotte. He also has a beautiful statue of Our Lady of Fatima that he displays to mark the October anniversary of Our Lady's final apparition to the children of Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun.
A short time ago, Father Roux suggested to the Prayer Works ministry at the cathedral that the parish make a 'Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary' using the devotional book by St. Louis de Montfort to prepare. He told parishioners that he had been considering this for about a year and that the spiritual benefits would be immeasurable.
"'Total Consecration to (Jesus Through) Mary,'" he said, "if undertaken seriously, lovingly and faithfully, offers spiritual graces and blessings, not only in this life, but it also guarantees we will not lose our soul in the next."
"Preparation for Total Consecration" is a 33-day period which includes a preliminary period of 12 days during which the faithful endeavor "to free ourselves from the spirit of the world." That is followed by a second period of three weeks. The first of these three weeks is devoted to the knowledge of ourselves, the second to that of the Blessed Virgin, and the third to that of Jesus Christ.
The cycle of preparation (daily prayers and meditations taking about 10 minutes per day) typically begins on a date that will end on a Marian feast day.
The parish began the "Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary" on Nov. 5 using St. Louis de Montfort's book, and will continue until the day of Consecration, Dec. 8 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On that day, the Consecration will take place at all of the Masses at St. Patrick Cathedral.
Anita Veyera, head of the parish's Prayer Works ministry, shares the goal of the prayer outreach for the Total Consecration, stating, "Our hope and prayer is that Our Blessed Mother will become the Queen of many, many hearts."
More information about the "Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary" is available online.
— SueAnn Howell, staff writer
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