WASHINGTON – The head of a foundation encouraging Catholics to have a deeper devotion to Mary said that having a relationship with the mother of God “is more than just a bonus.”
“It’s a calling for us to renew and keep our baptismal promises and to answer God’s call to imitate Christ,” said Anthony Mullen, executive director for the Children of the Father Foundation, based in Pennsylvania.
Through the foundation, Mullen has been working for more than a decade to enlighten Catholics about the spiritual aid he says Catholics can receive through a devotion to Mary.
Now the foundation is promoting a new website that has been created to reintroduce a centuries-old spiritual guide by St. Louis de Montfort (1673-1716) called “Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary,” a 34-day spiritual exercise.
Canonized in 1947, St. Louis was a French priest and known in his time as a preacher and author, whose books, still widely read, have influenced a number of popes, including Pope John Paul II. He is considered as one of the early proponents of the field of Mariology as it is known today. He also placed a major emphasis on recitation of the rosary.
The title on one of the saint’s prayers to Mary, “Totus Tuus” (“Totally Yours”), was Pope John Paul’s episcopal motto, which expressed his dedication to Mary. He gave her great space in his writings and catechesis, and he consecrated populations and continents to her care.
In an interview with Catholic News Service, Mullen said he believes that reciting the rosary and having a love for Mary is an essential response to answer God’s call to holiness. The foundation is making St. Louis’ spiritual guide “Total Consecration” available for free from its website www.myconsecration.org. More free supplemental materials are also available at the site.
A booklet titled “Stewardship of Faith” that accompanies the guide says that “if you feel as though your spiritual life is in the doldrums, the consecration is designed to jump-start your whole being into another level of existence.”