We continue the 52 week plan to grow in Catholic Manhood by becoming a better Catholic Son and Catholic Father. 

We continue reflecting upon the third major habit this week: Major Habit 3 – Live a Rich Liturgical Life, which has 4 sub-habits. Last week we reviewed Habit 10 – Center your life upon the Liturgy.

This week, we turn our attention to Habit 11.  

Habit 11 Consecrate yourself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph

Consecrate yourself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph and continually seek their intercession for you and your family and friends.

What is a “prayer of intercession”? – “Intercession” comes from Latin words which mean, “to go between.” The Church describes intercessory prayers as prayers a Catholic offers to God for the help of another person(s). Both Jesus and the Holy Spirit “go between” the Almighty Father and men, to intercede on the behalf of men so that they might be saved and blessed (CCC 2634). In the same way, in imitation of Jesus’ intercession on behalf of mankind, Catholics have always offered intercessory prayers for others, to ask God to bless and save them in their trials in life (CCC 2635-2636). 

Why seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary? – The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ and the Mother of the Catholic Church (CCC 963) and, after her Assumption, became the Queen of Heaven (CCC 966). As a result, Our Lady is known as our Advocate and Helper (CCC 969) who continues in her motherly role as an intercessor for those devoted to her Son (CCC 975). The Church through the Liturgy and teachings urge all men to build a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (CCC 971). 

Why seek the intercession of St. Joseph? – Though not born without sin as his bride the Immaculate Conception, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph was both created and called by the Holy Trinity to be the earthly father of Jesus. Numerous Saints consider St. Joseph the holiest and most virtuous of men, for Jesus Himself chose St. Joseph to be His earthly father, the Blessed Virgin Mary agreed to be St. Joseph’s bride and supreme virtue was necessary to protect and guide the young child Jesus to manhood. As St. Joseph was guardian of Jesus, St. Joseph continues in his role as protector as the patron of the Holy Catholic Church, of families and fathers. 

What is consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph? – “Consecrate” comes from Latin words which mean, “together, make or declare sacred” and is a “formal designation of a person…for the service of God.” The act of consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary is a formal prayerful process at the end of which a man makes a sacred commitment to the devotion to, and reliance upon, the Blessed Virgin Mary; consecration to St. Joseph follows a similar process.

What are the blessings of consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph? – The Blessed Virgin Mary was the mother of Jesus and St. Joseph was his earthly father, were closest to Jesus during the Incarnation and they  were loved by Jesus. The Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph continue to be near to Our Lord in Heaven. 

A man who consecrates himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph receives tremendous blessings: 

  • Jesus perfectly honored His mother and father and draws close to and blesses those who honor His parents.

  • Because of their closeness to Jesus, both the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph’s intercessions on a man’s behalf are particularly effective.

  • A man who commits himself to the care of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph can experience great peace and comfort through their maternal and paternal care, particularly in times of suffering

  • A man is more closely united with other Catholics who consecrate themselves.

Should a man consecrate himself to both the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph? – Yes. Just as every person can be blessed by the loving care of an earthly mother and father, so too can a man be blessed by the loving care of our eternal parents, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. 

How does a man consecrate himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph? – There are trustworthy consecrations to each:

  • Consecration the Blessed Virgin Mary – Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary by St. Louis de Montfort; 33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael Gaitley. 

  • Consecration to St. Joseph – Consecration to St. Joseph by Fr. Donald Calloway; Custos by Devin Schadt. 

This week’s questions – Here are some questions to meditate upon this week’s habit: 

How might I be blessed by drawing closer to the Blessed Virgin Mary through consecrating myself to her care?

How might I be blessed by drawing closer to St. Joseph through consecrating myself to his protection and care?

This week’s commitments Making a habit a reality requires commitment to concrete action. Here is this week’s challenge:

Further explore consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph and ask Jesus in prayer to guide you to His Will. 

Don’t forget to pray with the ECM Daily Gospel Devotional each day.

Consider listening to the EveryCatholicMan.com Gospel Devotional Podcast to be better prepared for Sunday Mass.

Daily Prayer – During the week, pray this short prayer, or one like it, to guide you in considering consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph:

Lord Jesus Christ, with the Almighty Father and Holy Spirit, You purposefully created and chose the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph to be Your parents. Please help me understand the blessings of consecration to Your parents and guide me to do Your Will regarding consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. Amen.