I have had one opportunity to view the Tilma of Saint Juan Diego prominently on display at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was in my early twenties while I was working as a contractor on the Mexican Railroad. The chance to see it could easily be described as providential. We were logging ninety hour weeks and had not begun a day with any destination in mind. Mornings began promptly with packing up suitcases from the night before, and at sundown we would find a room wherever the railroad had brought us. Somehow, Mexico City became the only extended destination of our month long journey down the railways of the Ferrocarril. Knowing I was as close to the Basilica as I would ever be; I hailed a cab and went to Tepeyac Hill where Juan Diego had first encountered the Blessed Virgin.
Christ was a revolutionary figure. While the world may not see it, thinking Him the ultimate nice guy, every Christian knows it. He changed the world, challenged the world, demanded action, and he spoke of both heaven and hell as consequences for our actions. While His message was complex, one person was able to crystallize it perfectly: “Do whatever He tells you.”
In some ways that person, Mary the Mother of God, became more controversial. Within Christianity itself some downplay her role and deny her place. The Church formed by her Son, though, never has. The Bible itself says that she was full of grace, as told by the angel, and what grace she had she reflected onto her Son: Do whatever He tells you.
Jesus Christ loved his mother, and at His crucifixion he told “the disciple” to “behold your Mother.” While He was talking to the Apostle John he used the word for “adherent” or “learner” instead. Mary is the spiritual Mother of all Christians.
The full extent of this doctrine has revealed itself over time, through Mariology, and her greatest champion in recent centuries has probably been Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (31 January 1673 – 28 April 1716) a French Roman Catholic priest and Confessor who developed a system by which a believer can consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary.
There are many books on this topic, and plenty of information all over the web, so the full history will not be spelled out here, but suffice it to say that his was a 33-day process meant to end on a Marian holy day, and at its heart is prayer to increase the holiness of the participant.
Our Lady of Fatima, a most important holy day, approaches on May 13. Thirty-three days before that is April 10, 2018, less than a week away, and that is when we will begin. Those wishing to in the Traditian Order will start the Consecration on that day. Here is a link to the details including the text we will be using, available for as little as 99 cents online.
Member or not, ready or not, we invite you to join us wherever you pray, on Tuesday April 10 as we strive to be more holy.
Just as the light of the moon is actually cast by the sun, devotion to the Mother of God is equally an effort toward a better relationship with her son. This simple principle has been understood from the earliest ages of Christianity, before the splits away from the Church He founded, indeed before the Bible was even written (reading on the early Church in this regard is highly recommended). Mary is central to the life of Jesus, and thus central to us, and there simply is no better understanding than that.
Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (31 January 1673 – 28 April 1716) was a French Roman Catholic priest and Confessor. In addition, he was one of the great writers on the topic of Mariology. His grandest work on the topic was his “True Devotion to Mary.” It has been inspirational to many since, with Pope St. John Paul II saying that reading this work was a “decisive turning point” in his life.