Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005 and before that a regular correspondent for the paper. His articles have appeared in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Soul, Faith and Family, Catholic Digest, and Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in major newspapers. He is the author of Fruits of Fatima — Century of Signs and Wonders. He holds a graduate degree and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside on the East Coast.
We always need heavenly help to navigate the waters of life, but when we get hit by a severe storm as in the form of this coronavirus, that should be a serious call to do something about it — spiritually too, of course.
We have to head for the Ark which will keep us safe. We have to seek refuge offered by the Ark. We do that by consecrating ourselves to our Blessed Mother, the Immaculate Conception.
Since we know that the Blessed Mother is called the Ark of the New Covenant — “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the Ark of his Covenant was seen within his temple (Revelation 11:19) followed right away by “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars (Revelation 12:1) — this is a time to consecrate ourselves to Our Blessed Mother if we’ve never done so before Or re-consecrate ourselves even if we have done so even more than once.
As the ark kept Noah and his family safe, infinitely more so will this Ark of the New Covenant keep us safe. Even the Old Testament as well as Luke in the New prefigures Mary as this new Ark.
At Fatima During her June apparition, our Blessed Mother said: My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way that will lead you to God.
“Hence, the Heart of Mary is a refuge and the way to God for all his children,” Marian Father Donald Calloway answers very clearly in his book, Under the Mantle. He repeats, “Hence it is that this Immaculate Heart must be for us a refuge and the way that leads to God.”
It’s the place that will get us safely through the violent storms and hurricanes such as the coronavirus. In her July apparition at Fatima, as our Blessed Mother described the various afflictions and destruction that would happen if men did not repent and continued to sin, she did tell us again of that safe Ark when she promised, In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.
Safe Sailing in Life
We want to sail safely into port — every port. This consecration “gives us the confidence to move on, to walk ever more deeply into the whiteness of eternal light,” assures the great Marian apostle, St. Louis de Montfort:
Stifling fear is transformed into
courageous assurance… This
joyful confidence becomes a hallmark of those who live the Consecration…
Trust in Providence becomes characteristic of those who live the Consecration.
Isn’t that what all of us need in these times?
"In dangers, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not her name depart from your lips, never suffer it to leave your heart,” taught the Doctor of the Church, St. Bernard of Clairvaux.
De Montfort also made clear, “The more one is consecrated to Mary, the more one is consecrated to Jesus.”
He explained, “That is why perfect consecration to Jesus is but a perfect and complete consecration of oneself to the Blessed Virgin, which is… the perfect renewal of the vows and promises of holy baptism.” Ah, again the waters appear — this time the saving ones of baptism.
At the same time that our Blessed Mother is the Ark she is also the intercessor. As Father Gabriel Amorth said, “We consecrate ourselves to Mary also because we trust in her powerful intercession.”
And how much we need the intercession of our Mother at this moment!
Cardinal Luigi Ciappi, a Dominican, for 40 years the papal theologian for five popes — Venerable Pius XII, John Paul I, and Sts. John XXIII, Paul VI, and John Paul II — taught two ends for consecration to her Immaculate Heart. One of them being “to win, by the irresistible power of filial love, the maternal patronage of Mary, and to conform our sentiments and action to hers, thus more easily conforming to the will of Christ and Our Heavenly Father.”
This is also a good time to remember that in the Litany of Loreto, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we invoke her by the titles, “Health of the Sick and Comforter of the Afflicted.”
The Ark then has the Nurse of all nurses, Mary, and the Divine Physician Jesus.
This is the time to book passage, or re-book passage, with the Ark of the New Covenant.
Three forms of Consecration prayers follow.
O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, _______________, a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you. If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and, "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world."
Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
V. Allow me to praise you, O Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.
I, ________________ , a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy 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 thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.
Today I renew my total consecration to you, Mary, my mother. I give you my whole being so you may lead me to console your Son with the perfect consolation you give to him. From this day forward, dear Jesus, whenever I embrace you, may it be with the arms of Mary. Whenever I kiss you, may it be with the lips of Mary. Whenever I sing to you, praise you, and thank you, may it be with the voice of Mary. Jesus, in short, every time I love you, may it be with the Heart of Mary (p. 114).