We want to manifest our love and gratitude to the Blessed Virgin by making a forth vow of slavery to Mary 1 according to the spirituality of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. This will secure her indispensable help in perpetuating the Incarnation in all things.
In addition to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, we make a fourth vow–consecration to Mary. This consecration is a total surrender to Mary so as to better serve Jesus Christ, and has two aspects:
FILIAL SLAVERY OF LOVE
Statue of Our Lady at the formation house in Montefiascone - Italy
This consecration to Mary is done as a “filial slavery of love” according to Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort’s commendable method. He refers to such slavery as “willing” or “loving,” 2, because, as we are moved only by love, we freely and willingly offer ourselves and all our goods to Mary and to Jesus Christ through her. This offering is a fuller and more conscious renewal of the promises made in our baptism, when we were clothed in Christ, 34. Saint John Paul II says, “Surrender to Mary, in the spirit of St. Louis Grignion de Montfort, has seemed to me the best means of participating fruitfully and effectively in this reality, in order to draw from it and share with others its inexpressible riches... I think we are confronted here with the sort of paradox often to be noted in the Gospels, the words ‘holy slavery’ signifying that we could not more fully exploit our freedom... For freedom is measured by the love of which we are capable. 5.
By this slavery of love, we offer Christ through Mary not only our bodies, souls, and goods, but also our good works (past, present and future), together with their satisfactory and meritorious value. Thus, she may dispose of everything according to the will of her Son and for His greater glory 6 We are certain that we must go to the Incarnate Word through Mary, His Mother, and that she will form “great saints.” 7.
Our Lady of Sorrows at the first house of Formation
San Rafael - Argentina
“Marianizing” life is the fruit and natural consequence of the consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. To “marianize” life, one must first do everything through Mary The phrase “through Mary” indicates the way, that is, the fusion of intentions. The Mother of God keeps nothing for herself, but she teaches and tells us in all things, just as she did to the servants at Cana, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5).
Second, we must do everything with Mary. She is our companion and model, the masterpiece of God, who must guide “all our intentions, actions and operations.”8The Apostle Paul said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1); with greater reason we can say the same of the Virgin Mary – in whom the Almighty, whose name is Holy, has done great things.9.“While in the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she is without spot or wrinkle, the followers of Christ... turn their eyes to Mary who shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model of virtues.”10.
Third, one must act in Mary, in intimate union with her, which means that an abiding unity should exist between the consecrated soul and the Mother of God. He who loves abides in the beloved; this is ardent love, tending toward a mutual union, becoming more profound and more solid with each positive act. In this way one imitates the Incarnate Word who came into the world and dwelled in Mary’s womb for nine months; and Jesus’ last command and gift becomes effective: ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home (Jn 19:27).
Finally, one must do everything for Mary. The Blessed Virgin, who always submitted to Christ according to the Father’s eternal design, must be the end that guides all our actions, the object that attracts the heart of each consecrated person, and the motive at the beginning of each task. Mary is the “proximate end, our mysterious intermediary, and the easiest way of reaching Him.”11.
Therefore, every faithful slave of Jesus in Mary must invoke her, salute her, think of her, talk about her, honor her, glorify her, entrust himself to her, rejoice and suffer with her, work, pray and rest with her. In brief, one must seek to live always, through Jesus and Mary, with Jesus and Mary, in Jesus and Mary, and for Jesus and Mary.
1 IVE Constitutions # 17, 82-89.
2 Saint Louis-Marie Grignion De Monfort, TD, 70-72.
3 Cf. Gal 3:27.
4 Saint Bonaventure, Speculum Beata Mariae Virginis, 3, 5.
5 Quoted by André Frossard, Be Not Afraid!, New York 1984.
6 Saint Louis-Marie Grignon De Monfort, TD 121-125.
7 Saint Louis-Marie Grignon De Monfort, TD 47.
8 Saint Ignatius Of Loyola, Spiritual Exercises, 46
9 Cf. Lk 1:49.
10 Lumen Gentium, N 65.
11 Saint Louis-Marie Grignon De Monfort, TD 265..