2009 Belongs to Our Lady

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Murillo, S Ildefonso Vergine.jpg

For over thirty years now, my dear old friend Father Jacob, O.P. and I have renewed our consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God annually on January 1st. Experience has taught me the wisdom of entrusting the new year to Our Blessed Lady, Mediatrix of All Graces. Readers of Vultus Christi may want to join me in asking the Mother of God again today to open her hands over the entire year.

I offer today my translation of the sublime prayer of Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo (+667). This prayer, taken from his treatise De virginitate perpetua Sanctae Mariae, is one of the earliest expressions of total consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In it, heralding an expression that Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort will make famous, the Bishop of Toledo declares himself the slave of Mary, Handmaid of the Lord. He also emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit with theological keenness and tender piety.

To illustrate the prayer, I chose Murillo's painting of the Virgin Mother bestowing on Saint Ildephonsus a splendid (blue and gold!) chasuble woven in heaven, to reward him for having written so beautifully in defense of her perpetual virginity.

Prayer of Saint Ildephonsus of Toledo, Bishop

The Abundance of the Sweetness of Thy Son

I come to thee, only Virgin Mother of God,
and fall prostrate before thee,
who alone didst cooperate in the Incarnation of God.
I humble myself before thee,
who alone wert found to be the Mother of my Lord.
I pray thee, who alone wert found to be the handmaid of thy Son:
obtain that my sins be wiped away;
command that I be cleansed of the wickedness of my deeds,
and, that I may love the glory of thy virtue,
reveal to me the abundance of the sweetness of thy Son.

Murillo, S Ildefonso Vergine, casula.jpg

Thou Art His Co-Worker in My Redemption

Bestow upon me the gift of proclaiming the true faith of thy Son,
and of defending it.
Grant that I may cleave to God and to thee,
that I may serve thy Son and thee,
that I may be His bondsman and thine;
His, because He is my Creator,
and thine, because thou art the Mother of my Creator;
His, because He is Lord of the angelic powers,
and thine, because thou art the handmaid of the Lord of All;
His, because He is God,
and thine because thou art the Mother of God;
His, because He is my Redeemer,
and thine because thou art His co-worker in my redemption.

The Body by Which He Healed My Wounds

That which He wrought for my redemption,
verily He formed in thine own person.
That He might be my Redeemer,
He became thy Son.
That He might be the price of my ransom,
He became incarnate of thy flesh.
The Body by which He healed my wounds,
He took from thee so that He, in it, might be wounded.
The mortal Body by which He took away my death,
He took from thy mortality.
The Body by which He brought my sins to nought,
He received sinless from thee.
This nature of mine that ahead of time, in Himself,
He placed above the angels in the glory of His Father's right hand,
He assumed -- humbling Himself -- out of thine own true body.

I Am Thy Slave

Therefore, I am thy slave,
because Thy Son is my Master.
Therefore thou art my Lady,
because thou art the handmaid of my Lord.
Therefore I am the slave of the handmaid of my Lord,
because thou, my Lady, didst become the Mother of my Lord.
Therefore I have become thy slave,
because thou didst become the Mother of my Maker.

By the Holy Spirit

I pray thee, I pray thee, holy Virgin,
may I, by the Spirit through Whom thou didst give birth to Jesus,
have Jesus and hold Him.
By that Spirit through Whom
thou didst conceive this same Jesus in thy flesh,
may my soul receive Jesus.

Let the Spirit gift me with the knowledge of Jesus,
this Spirit by Whom it was given Thee to bear Jesus and to give Him birth.
Let the Spirit in Whom thou didst declare thyself the handmaid of the Lord,
choosing that it should be done unto thee according to the Angel's word,
grant me to proclaim the heights of Jesus with lowliness.

To Love Jesus and to Fear Him

In the Spirit thou didst adore Jesus as thy Lord
and gaze upon Him as thy Son;
in that same Spirit may I love Him.
And may I fear this same Jesus,
with that reverence by which He, truly being God,
became subject to His parents.

4 Comments

Let's entrust to her 2009 and everything else. Nothing could be more safeguarded when given to the loving embrace of our Blessed Mother.

What a beautiful prayer, Father Mark! Thanks for sharing and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Dear Father Mark,

Thanksgiving to our Blessed Mother and to yourself for this timely reminder.

J

I am grateful that you posted this prayer and yearly consecration to the BVM. Along with the Veni Creator, I prayed it prior to retiring. It was a great consolation to me especially at this time in my life.

Que feliz me siento de saber que este ano 2009
te pertenese MADRE MIA.
tu,la llena de gracia.
Mi Madre y Mi Reyna.
Que alegria y que descanzo.
saber que estamos bajo tu amparo maternal.
tu, que nos acompanas en este valle de algrimas.
tu, el temor y el terror de satanas.
una vez mas el padre,el hijo y el espiritu santo
se han dignado darnos la mejor proteccon .la proteccon y el amor de nuestra madre..

deceo que este ano 2009 logremos escuchar tu clamor,madre mia.
que este ano logrmos consagrar a russia a tu corazon imaculado.
que este ano logrmos obedecerte,
haciendo todo lo que tu hijo amado nos diga..
que este ano logremos entender y vivir la misa frente al altar, junto a ti madre mia,
en espiritu y verdad.
que este ano reyne la paz interior,
aun en tiempo de guerra..
que este ano nos decidamos por la fe ,
la esperanza y la caridad..
que este ano seamos mas puros,
mas castos,mas dignos de ser hijos del padre celestial
gracias reyna del cielo y la tierra
por ser mi madre y por que me permites ser tu hija.

mary

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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