During the second apparition of Fatima on June 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary gave specific instructions to Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto regarding devotion to her Immaculate Heart.

She told the three shepherd children, “Jesus wishes to establish throughout the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart.” These words began a burning love in the hearts of the seers for the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Lucia asked Our Lady whether she would take them to heaven. To this she responded:

Yes, I will take Jacinta and Francisco soon. You, however, are to stay here a longer time. Jesus wants to use you to make me known and loved. He wants to establish the devotion to my Immaculate Heart in the world. I promise salvation to those who embrace it, and their souls will be loved by God as flowers placed by me before His throne.

As she spoke, Our Lady extended her hands and rays of light shone forth from them. In those rays, the children saw a vision of themselves submerged in the Divine presence. In the vision, Jacinta and Francisco were on the side of the light that was ascending to Heaven and Lucia was in the light that seemed to spread over the earth. In the palm of Mary’s right hand was a Heart pierced with thorns. The children understood that it was the Immaculate Heart of Mary offended by the sins of mankind and pleading for reparation.

It wasn’t long before Our Ladies prophecy was fulfilled. Jacinta fell ill first to influenza and then to tuberculosis spending months in first one hospital in Fatima and then another in Lisbon where she eventually died. Shortly before her second hospitalization, Jacinta told Lucia:

In a short time now I am going to heaven. You are to stay here and say that God wishes to establish in the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. ... Tell everybody that God grants graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and that they must ask them from her. Tell them that the Heart of Jesus wishes that by His side should be venerated the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Tell them to ask peace through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; God has placed it in her hands. Oh that I could put into the heart of everybody the flame that I feel burning within my breast and which makes me love so much the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary.

The message of Fatima is quite clear: it is Jesus’s will for us to be devoted to his mother’s Immaculate Heart. Because Mary’s will coincides perfectly with the will of her Son, then she desires devotion to her Immaculate Heart as well. One of the most beautiful proofs of devotion is that of consecration. A consecration is a conscious, willing decision to dedicate your soul, mind, heart, and body to God. Since Jesus wishes our devotion to his mother’s Immaculate Heart, then it is fitting that we should take his wishes seriously and fulfill them with a consecration.

“Consecration to the Mother of God is a total gift of self, for the whole of life and for all eternity; and a gift which is not a mere formality or sentimentality, but effectual, comprising the full intensity of the Christian life — Marian life,” said Pope Pius XII when he consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1942. “This consecration,” he explained, “tends essentially to union with Jesus, under the guidance of Mary.”

Such a consecration can take place in the form of a simple, spontaneous prayer from the depths of our hearts or in the context of a solemn celebration. The most important aspect is the surrendering of our soul, mind, heart, and body to Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart as Jesus desires. Below is a formal consecration prayer written by Venerable Pope Pius XII. You can also find it on the EWTN website:

Solemn Act of Consecration 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.