Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

St. Maximilian Kolbe's Way:
Unlimited Consecration

Background: When still a young child in Poland, St. Maximilian Kolbe (8 January 1894 - 14 August 1941) was known to be rather boisterous, so much so that his mother asked him once in exasperation, "What is going to become of you?" Her question made him think, and he asked Our Lady the same question: "I felt very sad and went to the Blessed Virgin and asked Her what would become of me. After that, I asked Her again in church. Then the Blessed Virgin appeared to me, holding two crowns. One was white [representing purity], and the other red. [representing martyrdom]." Our lady then asked him which he would choose. "I choose them both." Our Lady smiled and disappeared.

St. Maximilian grew up, became a priest, and founded the confraternity (a fraternity that includes laymen) known as the Militia Immaculata (also known as "The Militia of the Immaculata"), a movement whose purpose is "to convert sinners, heretics, and especially Masons, and to sanctify all under the patronage and through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin Mary." To this end, he encouraged conscecration to Mary and, because he was so inspired by the story of the converison of the Jew Alphonse Ratisbonne, the wearing of the Miraculous Medal.

Though very sick with tuberculosis, he published a magazine, Knights of the Immaculate, to fight religious apathy and founded monasteries in Poland and Japan. When the Nazis invaded Poland, he was arrested and sent to Auschwitz. There, in July 1941, a prisoner escaped, and in retribution for such, the Nazis' method was to kill ten of the remaining prisoners. One of these apparently doomed prisoners was a married man with children. St. Maximilian asked the Nazis if he might die in that man's place, and his wish was granted. He was starved and dehydrated for three weeks -- weeks spent spiritually tending to and singing hymns with the nine prisoners with him -- and then given a lethal injection of carbolic acid on 14 August.

The Militia Immaculata

In St. Maximilian's "system," one consecrates oneself to Mary by joining the Militia Immaculata to help in the conversion of souls through the intercession of Our Lady. In joining a Confraternity, your prayers and intentions are explicitly shared by others (hence the more "corporate nature" of St. Maximilian's way of Total Consecration as contrasted with that of St. Louis de Montfort). You will also be the recipient of mailings, magazines, etc., intended to deepen your resolve and assist you in trusting Mary. To do this, three steps are necessary:

  • resolve to offer yourself as an oblation to the Blessed Virgin and to act as an instrument of her holy hands in bringing souls to her Son;
  • enroll in the Militia Immaculata;
  • piously wear the Miraculous Medal.

After you've decided to consecrate yourself and become a member of the Militia Immaculata, choose a Marian Feast Day on which to have your name enrolled. The greatest of these Feasts are listed below (because the Militia Immaculata follows the post-conciliar calendar, I've chosen only those dates that are the same on both Novus Ordo and traditional calendars so that there will be no "issues" for traditionalists when trying to enroll):

11 Feb Apparition of the Immaculate Virgin Mary at Lourdes
25 Mar The Annunciation
16 Jul Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
15 Aug The Assumption
8 Sep Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
15 Sep Our Lady of Sorrows
21 Nov Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
8 Dec Immaculate Conception
12 Dec Our Lady of Guadalupe

Now, notify the closest Militia Immaculata center of your intentions. At the bottom of this page (will open in a new browser window), you will find a form with which to relate your personal information and the date you want to be enrolled.

Prepare yourself in the days preceding the date you've chosen. Attend Mass, go to Confession, do penance, pray the Rosary, engage in spiritual readings, especially the writings of St. Maximilian and other Marian Saints.

On the chosen day, make the intention of receiving the indulgences attached to the consecration; consciously renounce all attachment to sin, even venial; go to Confession; attend Mass; receive the Eucharist; pray 6 Paters, 6 Aves, and 6 Glorias for the (Catholic and holy) intentions of the Pope; and pray the prayer of consecration written by St. Maximilian:

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 thee. I, N___, a repentant sinner, cast myself at thy feet humbly imploring thee to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to thyself as thy 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 thee. If it pleases thee, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of thee: "She will crush your head," and, "Thou alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world."

Let me be a fit instrument in thine Immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing 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 thou enters, one obtains the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through thy hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise thee O Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against thy enemies.

If the steps above are followed, a Plenary Indulgence is received. If there is attachment to venial sin, a partial indulgence is received instead.

Finally, wear the Miraculous Medal piously.

Once the consecration is complete, continue to build up your trust of and devotion to Mary. Ask for the intercession of St. Maximilian to help you become a good child of Mary.

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