Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Summer evokes some strange feelings- perhaps because it is so heavily linked to childhood- I feel a heavy dollop of nostalgia these days. It is nice to be away from the classroom for a few weeks but I always plan to do far too much and never seem to accomplish quite what I intended.  I am trying to be more realistic this summer holiday and not set myself too many tasks. Last week, on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and the anniversary of the final apparition at Lourdes I did achieve one thing I had been praying about and preparing for over a number of months - I became a member of the Militia of the Immaculata -a movement of prayer that unites lay, clergy, married and unmarried Catholics. I felt this was a good way for me to thank Mary for the many graces I have received through her- especially in Lourdes and Nevers- and a way to make a real commitment to her in actions as well as words.

Read about it here

The movement itself was founded by Fr Maximilian Kolbe in 1917 and continues to spread itself throughout the world. I picked up a leaflet about it up in the town of Lourdes close to the Cachot, Bernadette's home at the time of the visions, when I was there in April.  As many people know I also had the privilege of visiting Fr Kolbe's cell this year and only then did I really comprehend what it meant for him to make a sacrifice of love in a place of such momentous hatred. I believe that Maximilian Kolbe prayed for great graces and that, when he needed them most, he received them in abundance.

In spite of its impressive name,  the Militia of the Immaculata is in some ways a very simple movement indeed.  It mainly centres around wearing the miraculous medal, and as many who read this blog know I love my miraculous medal! St Maximilian believed that the Miraculous medal was  a BULLET which targeted sin and evil.  As a member of the Militia one is asked to commit to the cause of the miraculous medal,  first and foremost to wear it yourself and pray the prayer which we all know so well: "O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee" daily. Fr Kolbe added slightly to this "and for those who do not have recourse to thee, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to thee. Amen." One is also asked to pray the rosary regularly. Once you feel confident of your own commitment the idea is to pass the medal on to members of your family and friends and finally to go beyond the realms of family and friends into the wider world. It is a movement of prayer and peace, dedicated to Mary and her immaculate heart.

I am glad to have joined, while I already do many of those things that the Militia requires I feel doing them as part of an army of prayer is something a little different,  it is, I hope, a start to keeping a very real promise in life.  It is only one way to do it-  as we all know- our great Church gives us many ways to make our individual promises and commitments to God- we all do so every day. I just wanted to share with you something that had been very meaningful to me. I can never return the great love that has been given to me by God- in terms of its perfection and purity- but I can hope to share it with others and live it as best I can. 

MI Consecration Prayer

Explanation of the Prayer of Total Consecration

(Composed by St. Maximilian Kolbe)

O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, (name), a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet, humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.

If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: "She will crush your head," and "You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world. " Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise you, O sacred Virgin
R. Give me strength against your enemies


Andrea said...

An Army of Prayer! I love it!
Storming the heavens....andrea

SQUELLY said...

I hope so! Nothing like prayer in this world :-)

Anne said...

My parents used to belong to something called "The Blue Army", I think it was the same thing. I also wear my miraculous medal every day. It's a constant reminder to me of our beautiful mother and her never ending love for me.

SQUELLY said...

That's great about your parents! I was given my miraculous medal for my first communion and I have grown to be so appreciative of it. I agree it is a wonderful reminder


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