In Schoenstatt, we are very accustomed to praying the Little Consecration Prayer. every day. On the 18th of each month, it is very important for us to renew with special devotion our consecration to Mary, and we do so by praying, either individually or in the celebration of the renewal of the covenant, the little consecration through which we give ourselves anew to Mary with all that we are and have.

But have we ever wondered where this prayer comes from?

Historical context of the “Little Consecration”

Many of the most popular devotional prayers correspond to very ancient traditions that have been preserved within the Church and whose origin is usually unknown but which have been incorporated and respected by Catholics as their own. This is the case of the Little Consecration to Mary.

This prayer, also known as “ My Queen“, is believed to have been composed around the 16th century. It expresses some basic elements of Marian spirituality.

Let us remember that in the 16th century, Europe was going through a transition between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Serfdom was the typical way of being part of society. All men and their families belonged to a lord. It was not a membership established by law but based on what was called a “bond of dependence”.

This bond consisted fundamentally of a mutual adherence between lord and subject on the basis of fidelity and honor. The lord undertook to safeguard, protect and feed his subject, since he was a member of his household, and the subject, in turn, committed himself to neither having or serving anyone else but his lord, at whose side he had to fight.

This kind of relationship gave rise to a fraternal-filial union of dependence and solidarity of destinies. The fate of one depended on that of the other. A form of allegiance was thus established to protect and defend each other. The most outstanding form of this bond between lord and subject was the blood oath, when they belonged to the upper classes, by which both pledged to give their lives for each other, if necessary.

Official Prayer of Marian Congregations

little consecration

Later the Little Consecration became the official prayer of the Marian Congregations born under the protection of the Society of Jesus. This is how it made its way to Schoenstatt. Let us remember that the origin of Schoenstatt is the foundation of the Marian Congregation, dependent at Ingolstadt, in Bavaria.

Other Marian communities in the Church often pray the Little Consecration, which is widely spread among Catholics.

Our covenant life according to the Little Consecration

Praying the Little Consecration every day should have an effect on my daily life. As I give myself to Mary, I should become more and more like her.

We begin our prayer by calling Mary Most Holy: “My Queen” and “My Mother”. By calling her “Queen,” we acknowledge her royalty and her power. She is our Queen together with Christ the King. But she is also our Mother, a Mother who has the power of a Queen, because the Lord has placed it in her hands, so that she can fulfill the mission that He entrusted to her from the cross. She is a Queen who is Mother, who is dedicated to the power of love and mercy.

The covenant of love sealed with Mary makes us feel her close to us, very close to our heart. When we say to her, “My Queen, my Mother,” we know that she looks upon us with maternal affection and that, in response, she also says to us: “My son, yes, I am your Mother and your Queen, and you are my beloved son, my beloved daughter.”

As we love her so much, from our hearts bursts out: “I give myself entirely to you”. It is a spontaneous expression of surrender.

Love is not content with giving just a part, just a little of itself. True love gives everything, it offers and gives itself entirely.

Three verbs

little consecration

Finally, three verbs. We ask Mary for three things: to guard us, to defend us and to use us. We do not doubt for a moment that she watches over us and takes care of us, and that she defends us at every moment from every difficulty. And the third verb is the one that gives us wings, to fly freely and with dignity, because we ask our Mother to use this small instrument that we all are, for her minor and major conquests. From the moment we wake up until we go to bed, we feel like her instruments, so that in every detail, we can transform our hearts, our family, our environment, thus becoming instruments for change in the world. What more could we ask for, than to be instruments for the greatest mission in the universe?

And now I invite you to pray the little consecration with a deep awareness of its meaning.

My Queen, my Mother,

I give myself entirely to you,

and to show my devotion to you,

I consecrate to you this day

my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart,

my entire self without reserve.

As I am your own, my good Mother,

guard me and defend me

as your property and possession.


Source: The Covenant of Love with Mary, Father Rafael Fernandez, Editorial Patris