According to St. Louis Marie, this consecration makes the one who does it a slave of the Virgin Mary, as he explains in chapter two of the treatise True Devotion to Mary. Now, some object, slavery is contrary to the natural law. Moreover, to consecrate oneself to a creature falls under idolatry, because God alone is the master of all things.
It should be noted that this saint was canonized by Pius XII on July 20, 1947, which is a guarantee of the orthodoxy of his spirituality. Indeed, one of the primary concerns of the Church in accomplishing the canonization of a saint is examining his writings in order to verify that they are in strict conformity with the doctrines of the Church.
To consecrate a thing is to dedicate it definitively to worship. Thus, to consecrate a person is to dedicate his life to divine worship: this is the case with religious consecration as with priestly consecration, in different degrees.
To consecrate oneself to a saint is thus to commit to venerating him. That is legitimate in the measure in which the cult of the saints is legitimate, and discretionary in the measure in which the private cult of saints is not imposed by the Church.
Consecration to Our Lady according to the formula of St. Louis de Monfort consists in:
1) A perfect renewal of the vows of holy baptism “between the hands of the Blessed Virgin.”
* Baptism, by its supernatural effects and its character as a liturgical act, introduces a person into a state of life which involves rights (receiving the sacraments) and duties (the laws of the Church). Baptismal promises ensure that a baptized person knows his obligations and intends to fulfill them.
* To those on whose behalf this commitment was made by the voice of his godparents, it is good to make it himself, since he is the one who must honor it.
*The fact of pronouncing it “between the hands of the Blessed Virgin” signifies two things:
+Recognition of the special role of the Mother of God in the salvation of each soul in particular.
+Commending oneself to her in order to obtain it. Just as a baptized person entrusts himself to the solicitude of his godparents to lead the Christian life properly, so too does he commend himself to the Mother of God.
2) The consecration of his person and his goods to the Blessed Virgin. That covers two things:
*The gift of himself and his goods to the Blessed Virgin. As for spiritual goods (merits, intercessions, indulgences, prayer intentions), it is a matter of entrusting them to her decision.
* “A desire for subsidiary but absolute dependence on the Blessed Virgin”: It is not only a question of a one time act, but it must result in devotion to the Mother of God, who causes all the actions of life to be carried out, and makes use of all the available goods in accordance with her intention.
All this comes, albeit in an optional way, within the framework of the worship which the Church encourages to be given to God.
Answers to objections
1. Slavery is the condition of the one whose activity is ordered, not to his own good, but to that of another. To devote oneself entirely to the cult of the Blessed Virgin in such a way as to fulfill only her intention, leads to dedicating one’s life to the worship of God under the protection of Our Lady, since that is her intention.
Thus, the faithful person who commits himself to it does not prejudice either his duties towards God or his duties towards his neighbor, of whom the Mother of God has knowledge, or his duty towards himself, since this devotion leads him to his own salvation. And yet, such a condition can be described as slavery.
2. The consecration of oneself to a saint consists in the commitment to venerate him. Since the saints are entitled to the cult of dulia, the consecration that is limited to it does not amount to adoring a creature.
Let us conclude with the saint: “I am all thine, and all that I have belongs to thee, O my sweet Jesus, through Mary thy holy Mother.”