March 28, 2024

Verbatim: Letter from Archbishop Francis Leo on the Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary


A letter from Toronto Archbishop Francis Leo on the Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,

May Jesus and Mary be in your hearts.

I wish to follow-up on an initiative we have been contemplating for some time now and which will prove to be spiritually beneficial for our walk of faith and renewal in the Spirit: The Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is truly a grace-filled opportunity in which our Catholic archdiocesan family can gather together, in different ways, through this profound experience of prayer and devotion which is to take place on the Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord, celebrated this year on April 8, 2024. As an act of authentic Catholic piety, this present initiative comes at the request of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who on March 22, 2023 invited Catholics to annually renew an act of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at the occasion of the aforementioned solemnity.

The Directory on Popular Piety and The Liturgy, Principles and Guidelines, published in 2001 by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments explains, in the following way, the essence of Marian consecration (#204):

“Seen in the light of Christ’s words (cf. John 19, 25-27), the act of consecration is a conscious recognition of the singular role of Mary in the Mystery of Christ and of the Church, of the universal and exemplary importance of her witness to the Gospel, of trust in her intercession, and of the efficacy of her patronage, of the many maternal functions she has, since she is a true mother in the order of grace to each and every one of her children.”

As our spiritual mother, Our Lady wants the best for her children. Our consecration to her provides a unique and powerful occasion of grace as we turn to the Blessed Mother and, in faith, ask her to take all of our being and offer it to God the Father, through Christ her Son, in unity with the Holy Spirit. It allows for a new outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord into our lives and our loved ones. Mary is the gift that the Crucified Christ entrusted to His family, the Church, indeed to every disciple down through the ages; and with the consecration, we do what the Beloved Disciple did: we bring her home.

The Office of Formation for Discipleship has generously developed resources to assist parishes, schools, institutes of consecrated life, families and other communities in better understanding this wonderful Catholic tradition as well as providing a template for use in your respective setting. The resources consist of three documents: (i) A Marian Triduum (three-day preparation before the Consecration); (ii) the Ritual of Consecration; (iii) A Resource document with more information, FAQ and links to useful articles and complementary activities.

Please note that you may easily decide to pick and choose one or other of the prayers and readings found therein; one is not obliged to use all of the materials provided. Please adapt appropriately to the local reality at hand. Feel free to copy and paste parts of the ritual and the Marian triduum for your own family and community’s use and needs. The three documents are provided in both PDF and Word versions so as to facilitate your planning and celebrating the Consecration.

The consecration may take place in a parish church at the conclusion of Holy Mass, for example, or at another time as a part of some other expression of prayer be it at home, school or any other community gathering.

Accordingly, in deep communion with one another as members of the Body of Christ, I invite you to join me in our archdiocesan Consecration of the Blessed Virgin Mary — a beautiful act of ecclesial and personal faith. Guided by the Spirit of unity and accompanied on our journey by Mother Mary’s maternal mediation in Christ, we shall enjoy abundant divine consolations, be empowered with gifts from on High, and in showing loving care for one other, be pleasing to the Lord. Blessed Holy Week to all.


March 22, 2024

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