Garden Consecration

Garden Consecration to Jesus through Mary

"Seek and you shall find."

Through the centuries Christians seeking most fully to know, love and serve God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - have done so by consecrating their lives to Jesus through the Blessed Virgin Mary.

This consecration, made in love and devotion, rests solidly on the theological truths that: - God has created the world to show forth and share the divine love, goodness and action with humans, created to this end in the divine image and likeness; - the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate Conception, through her spotless purity and total responsiveness to God's will was and is most capable of all humans of receiving and sharing in the divine grace, light, wisdom and power; - God - for the fullest accomplishment of the purpose of Creation in human persons, and in the world - has deigned to fill Mary with grace and to call her, with her assent, to a total human sharing in the divine action for the redemption and renewal of the fallen world - endowing her with the privileges and prerogatives of: - The Divine Maternity, sharing with the Father the parenthood of Jesus, true God and true man, the redeeming Divine Word Incarnate; - Perpetual virginity for her intimate union and close cooperation with Jesus as co-redemptrix sharing in His redemptive ministry and sacrifice; and - Assumption body and soul into heaven, for her continued union and cooperation with Jesus - as: - appointed loving spiritual mother of all humans and the Church; - merciful human advocate and intercessor with the Father; - universal mediatrix and distributrix to the world of the divine grace, light, wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit; and - providentially governing Queen of Heaven and earth.

In short, we consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary because, immaculate, humble, open, full of grace and in intimate union with her divine Son, she is the model for our human spirituality; and is also, in the heavenly continuation of that same union, our divinely appointed advocate and mediatrix who intercedes through the Son with the Father for petitions from the world, and distributes divine blessings to it.

Each time God is prayed to through Mary's intercession, and divine grace and blessings are distributed through her mediation, a fuller human sharing in the divine love, goodness and action is accomplished by God in her, and in us, in ever-increasing fulfillment of the purpose for Creation.

In what follows will be described three practices of consecration to Jesus through Mary approved by the Church: the wearing of scapulars and medals; the spiritual exercises and consecration of St. Louis de Montfort; and consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

The wearing of scapulars is a simple act of consecration. The de Montfort consecration is made following preparatory purgative spiritual exercises and in the context of extensive illuminative and unitive insights for its perfection.

Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary summons us to make our consecration in spiritual communion with, and emulation of, Mary's Heart in her love for and union with the Heart of Jesus in his love for the Father - as manifested in His incarnation, His ministry, His sacrifice on the Cross, His sending of the Holy Spirit, and His loving mercy for us - for our inspiration and guidance in building the earthly Peaceable Kingdom for grateful return to the Father at the end of time, in the union of the Holy Spirit of love, for all eternity.

Daily Support and Quickening of our Consecrations

Each of these consecrations is supported by ready means for their quickening in our daily lives.

In the scapular and medal consecrations, this is accomplished through the sight, feeling and touch of our scapulars or medals as we move about.

St. Louis de Montfort suggests the wearing of little chains or the carrying of our Rosary beads as quickening reminders of our consecration. He also provides short aspirational prayers for frequent use through the day, such as:

"I am all yours and all I have is yours, O most loving Jesus, through Mary, your most holy Mother", and "Blessed Mother, use me today."

The Immaculate Heart consecration is quickened by the inclusion of phases such as "to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary" in a number of prayers, such as morning offerings, and by the carrying of holy cards portraying the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts.

For those of us who garden, or reflect on the virtual gardens in our hearts, the symbolically named Flowers of Our Lady of medieval popular rural devotional tradition - as we behold or envisage them - quicken our emulation of Mary's maidenly spirituality, and our beseeching of the exercise of her heavenly prerogatives, to which we have consecrated ourselves:

Immaculate Purity - Spotless white "Annunciation Lily" or "Madonna Lily"

Humility - Lowly, hidden Violet, "Mary's Humility"

Openness and Filling - Tulip, "The Woman"

Fidelity to God - Fuchsia, "Our Lady's Eardrops," adorning the ears of her who "heard the word of God and kept it"

Divine Maternity - Peace Lily and other spathe and spadix "Lady-Lord" flowers symbolizing the Madonna and Child.

Perpetual Virginity - Strawberry, in flower and fruit at the same time

Union with Jesus - Vines, clinging to trees

Co-Redemption - Iris (spears), "Mary's Sword of Sorrow" piercing her soul as Co-redemptrix at the foot of the Cross; "Virginia spiderwort, "Our Lady's Tears"

Pentecostal Mediation - Columbine, "Holy Spirit", from dove-like petals

Assumption - Hosta, "Assumption Lily," blooming at the feast of the Assumption, August 15, in northern temperate climates

Mercy - Daffodil's inclined blooms, symbol of "Our Lady looking down from heaven"; "Forget-me-nots, "Eyes of Mary"

Protection - Ladies Mantle, "Our Lady's Mantle

Intercession - Bleeding Heart, "Mary's Heart"

Distribution - Cowslip Primrose, "Our Lady's Keys" - to the heavenly spiritual storehouses. (Also "St. Peter's Keys")

Queenship - Corn Flower, "Our Lady's Crown" from the resemblance on first opening of its blooms to crowns

Presence with us - Golden Zinnia, "The Virgin," from its first single glorious haloed flower above its foliage "body."

While verbal formulas are essential to the articulation of our consecrations, and verbal expositions are necessary for the establishment of their theological foundations, the symbols of their elements - especially flower symbols - have an intuitive simplicity, directness and clarity for the quickening in daily living of Mary's virtues and prerogatives, through emulation of and in recourse to which we consecrate ourselves to Jesus.


While the undertaking of responsibility for a Mary Garden as a prayerful work thus serves to support and quicken our consecration to Jesus through Mary, we make our initial act of consecration according to one of the practices formally approved by the Church:

Scapular Consecrations

"The Mount Carmel brown scapular is the oldest among eight scapulars that have a Marian character and were approved by the Church. (Four of the others are white, one is blue, one black and one green.) The brown scapular owes its origin and existence to Saint Simon Stock who received a large brown scapular from Our Lady in a vision on July 16, 1251.

"A scapular is actually a sleeveless outer garment of a monk's habit that falls from the shoulders. The original significance implied that one was clothed with Mary's garment in the sense of being clothed with her attitudes and devotion to Christ. The small piece of cloth (or medal) used today recalls the intention of being clothed in the garments of salvation . . .

"The scapular can be worn by anyone. The wearing of the scapular is meant to foster true devotion to Mary. This devotion is founded on Mary's spiritual maternity and mediation of grace. The scapular teaches confidence in the intercession of Mary to obtain for its wearer the grace of perseverance . . . "

(Marian Library internet the Mary Page)

http://www.udayton.edu/mary/questions/yq/yq21.html

To St. Simon Stock:

"It is my garment; to be clothed in it means you're continually thinking of me, and I in turn am always thinking of you, and helping you to secure eternal life."

Miraculous Medal Consecration

The wearing of the Miraculous Medal - with Our Lady of Grace represented on the front and the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts on the back - widely adopted following its revelation in the appearance of Our Lady at the Rue de Bac in Paris, in 1830 - represents an extension for our times of scapular medal consecrations to the Immaculate and Sacred Hearts.

Prayer to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

"Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, we unite ourselves to you under your title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May this medal be for each one of us a sure sign of your motherly affection for us and a constant reminder of our filial duties towards you. While wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection and preserved in the grace of your Son. Most powerful Virgin, Mother of our Savior, keep us close to you every moment of our lives so that like you we may live and act according to the teaching and example of your Son. Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death so that in union with you we may enjoy the happiness of heaven forever. Amen."

St. Louis de Montfort Consecration

The widely praticed St. Louis de Montfort consecration to Jesus through Mary, as set forth in the saint's "True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary", of the eighteenth century - available on-line from:

http://www.immaculateheart.com/MaryOnLine/html/cover_story_0.html - is made after three weeks of instructional and mortificational exercises, as follows:

"In the presence of the heavenly court, I choose you this day as my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to you, as your slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to you the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me without exception, according to your good pleasure, for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity."

Especially significant in the de Montfort consecration to Mary is our consecration to her of the disposition of "even the value of all (our) good actions." This refers to the merited spiritual fruits of our earthly works, which, as described by de Montfort, rise as magnifications of divinely bestowed grace, light, wisdom and power to the heavenly storehouses for distribution through Mary Mediatrix, who has the keys to them; and through the blessings and indulgences of Holy Church, through St. Peter's keys, to where most needed for the furtherance of the Divine Plan for redemption, sanctification and kingdom.

The rising of the spiritual fruits of our prayers (and works) to heaven, where they are received by Mary, is also the origin of the name of the "Rosary" - given to the "Psalter of Our Lady" after rose pneums were perceived by those of spiritual vision to rise to Mary from lips of persons praying the Paters and Aves (Catholic Encyclopedia).

In this, the spiritual efficacy and fruitfulness of our consecrated prayers, acts, works and sufferings is enhanced through our recollectedness and custody of heart; our perception or envisaging of them in the context of the divine plan of Creation, Redemption and Kingdom; our formulation of the intentions for which they are offered; our clarity as to the prerogatives of Mary to which we are making recourse; and the articulation of our prayers with our lips ("All grace is poured forth from your lips.")

It is, together with the sacraments, from the heavenly storehouses of the grace, light, wisdom and power magnified through the prayers, acts, works and sufferings of its members, in Christ - especially through the celebration of the Mass - that the Church is said to be holy. It is from these storehouses of the fruits of the Church's prayers and acts that its sacramental indulgences and blessings are distributed.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states of blessings:

"Blessings are... sacramentals and, as such, produce the...following specific effects: excitation of pious emotions and affections of the heart... freedom from the power of evil spirits...(and) various other benefits, temporal or spiritual.

"A blessing...imparted with the sanction of the Church has all the weight of authority that attaches to the voice of her who is the well-beloved Spouse of Christ, pleading on behalf of her children. The whole efficacy, therefore, of these benedictions, insofar as they are liturgical and ecclesiastical, is derived from the prayers and invocations of the Church made in her name by her ministers. . . . "

The Catholic Rural Life Prayerbook (1956) of the U.S. National Catholic Rural Life Conference observes that today sacramental blessings are "riches of the Church which have been long unknown and unused like a treasure hidden under our very doorstep."

An extensive description of and history of garden besssings is to be found in the accompanying article:

" The Blessing of Mary Gardens as Holy Places."

Consecration Through the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, of earlier origins, came into more widespread adoption in the eighteenth century.

As described in a French book on the Madonna in Art:

"The winter of impiety began to yield under a new breath of life. The cult of the Virgin was the first to feel the effect of this reawakening.

"Everywhere it revived as though at the invitation of the heavenly Spouse, repeating the sweet words of the holy Canticle: 'Arise, my love, my dove, my beautiful one and come. For the winter is past, the rains are over and done, the flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning has come and the voice of the turtle dove is heard.'

"All the ancient devotions to the Blessed Virgin reappeared and new ones came to join them. Two, principally, gave a new impetus to her cult: the Month of May and Devotion to the Immaculate Heart."

Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary may be seen as a loving, heavenly enhancement, for our times, of the widely practiced de Montfort consecration. We now perceive our consecration of ourselves to act "by, with, in and through Mary" not so much, as de Montfort phrases it in medieval terminology, as "servants" or "slaves" of Mary, the worthy Mother of God (which she of course always is and will be); but in loving spiritual communion and cooperation with her Immaculate Heart in her love for her Divine Son and Lord and for the intentions of his Most Sacred Heart, in her "intimate union and close cooperation" with him - as called for by the Second Vatican Council.

"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."

Marian Library internet the Mary Page http://www.udayton.edu/mary/questions/faq/faq23.html

Personal consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary has been expressed in a number of forms.

The Immaculate Heart consecration adopted by the Marian Movement of Priests, for example, includes the following:

"Virgin of Fatima, Mother of Mercy, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Refuge of Sinners, I consecrate myself in a very special way to Your Immaculate Heart.

"By this act of consecration I intend to live with you and through you the obligations assumed by my baptismal consecration. I pledge further to bring about in myself that interior conversion so urgently demanded by the Gospel...that shall free me of every attachment to myself and to every compromise with the world, so that, like you, I may be available only to do the will of the Father.

"To you I wish to entrust, Mother most sweet and merciful, my Christian existence and vocation, so that you may dispose of me for your designs of salvation. . . . I pledge to live according to your desires, especially as they pertain to a renewed spirit of prayer and penance, fervent participation in the celebration of the Eucharist, and in the apostolate, the daily recitation of the Rosary, and an austere manner of life (in) observance of the law of God, and the practice of the Christian virtues, especially purity. . . "

And that of the Shrine of the Immaculate Heart of Mary http://www.immaculate.force9.co.uk

"Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Abyss of Mercy and Source of every grace and blessing, I consecrate and unite myself entirely to You without exception or reserve - all that I am and all that I have, both temporal and spiritual, past, present and future, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary Your Mother.

"I leave myself entirely at Your disposal with complete confidence in Your Mercy and Love and I beg You to look upon this offering of my nothingness before You and to use me for Your own glory, for the honour of Your Mother and for the salvation of Souls.

"Help me to seek You alone in all things. Hide me in the shelter of Your Most Sacred Heart and be my only Consolation and Refuge. Grant me the graces I need to joyfully accept Your Cross daily, to lead a holy life and to die a holy death in Your service.

"Help me to trust completely in Your Mercy and Love and never to fear to humbly throw myself before the infinite Ocean of Mercy which is Your Most Sacred Heart, especially at those times when I may fail in my faithfulness in Your service.

"Through this weak and miserable instrument, may Your Mercy, Love, glory and power shine forth.

"Above all, set my poor heart on fire with the Flame of Love which burns in Your Most Sacred Heart and teach me how to return love for Love."

Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary came to be even more widely adopted following on Our Lady's messages at Fatima in 1917, where she called for the consecration, in reparation, of the prayers, acts, works and lives of all the world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through her Immaculate Heart, for the intention of world peace:

"God desires to establish in the world the devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and these souls will be loved by God, like flowers placed by me to adorn His throne.

My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God."

"Tell everybody that God gives graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask graces from her, and that the Heart of Jesus wishes to be venerated together with the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Ask them to plead for peace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary, for the Lord has confided the peace of the world to Her."

In response to this Pope Pius XII proclaimed a Solemn Act of Consecration to be made by the entire world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

"Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to You, all the people of our country and all the world.

"Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as you wish to accomplish your designs in the world.

"O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.

"We come with confidence to You, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart.

"Make our hearts and homes your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home. Amen."


Thus, consecration to Jesus through Mary, which was initiated with the simple form of the scapular and medal consecrations, and then enlarged to the fullness of the de Monfort consecration, has been further enhanced through its loving expression as a consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and this - through the request of Our Lady at Fatima and the act of consecration of Pope Pius XII - for the intention of peace on earth.

We rejoice that, in the state of grace of our baptism, the undertaking of our prayers, acts, works and sufferings for spiritual intentions meritoriously shares - in accordance with the purpose of Creation, and in imitation of Mary - in magnifications of bestowed grace, light, wisdom and power, which rise to the heavenly reservoirs and storehouses. From there, together with that from the acts and sufferings of Christ, Mary and the saints, and from all masses throughout the world, these are distributed, through Mary's mediation and the sacramental blessings and indulgences of Holy Church, to where they are most needed in the divine economy for love, sustenance, protection, forgiveness, healing and justice - and especially for world peace.

It is our faith that in this way all our daily prayers, acts, works and sufferings consecrated to Jesus through Mary contribute to the conversion of souls, the healing of bodies, the renewal of the world and the building of God's Kingdom; and specifically to those in the critical negotiations of the peace process that they may be more fully moved by the grace needed to make the compromises and agreements necessary for the establishment of world peace, as the world moves towards Kingdom.

If God has endowed Mary with the prerogative of Universal Mediation of the grace, light, wisdom and power directly bestowed by the Trinity, surely we are to consecrate to her the mediation and distribution of the magnification of these through our participatory prayers and good actions by, with, in and through her, as members of Christ's Holy Church - including those quickened by the Flowers of Our Lady as we tend them in our Mary Gardens.

Copyright, Mary's Gardens, 1999


The John Stokes and Mary's Garden collection was transferred to the Marian Library in May 2013. In addition to his archives, manuscripts, artwork, and personal library, John S. Stokes also donated his extensive website. It was transferred to the Marian Library in early 2010. This particular entry is archived content original to Stokes' Mary's Gardens website. It is possible that some text, hyperlinks, etc. are outdated.

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