Pope St. John Paul II famously promoted Total Consecration including taking "Totus Tuus" as his motto.

Does a practice of Total Consecration, sincerely pursued, entail receiving any special degree of wisdom or safeguards over decisions? E.g. Does Pope St. John Paul II’s total consecration say anything about the quality of the acts of his papacy? Does it say anything about the merit of the soul if later canonized? (i.e. Do they become a "Great Saint"?)

  • Are there such a thing as lesser saints?
    – Ken Graham
    Mar 26, 2021 at 19:21
  • 1
    @KenGraham a fair question, which with elaboration could be an answer
    – eques
    Mar 26, 2021 at 19:25

2 Answers 2


Does Total Consecration to Mary imply a supernatural wisdom?

Generally speaking I believe it does imply a supernatural wisdom coming from God.

The Total Consecration to Mary of Pope St. John Paul II is based on the works of St. Louis de Montfort, notably True Devotion to Mary, which he often mentioned in various talks and communications.

St. Louis de Montfort (1673 – 1716) had a profound devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and wrote extensively on the virtues of Our Lady, what true devotion to her consists in, and how the faithful need to turn to her as the way to her Son, Jesus Christ.

In his classic writings (The Secret of Mary, The Secret of the Rosary, and True Devotion to Mary) St. Louis de Montfort recommends that the faithful formally consecrate themselves to the Blessed Mother.

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True Devotion to Mary

Here follows the effects this devotion has on souls as explained by St. Louis de Montfort. In seems to follow that such a Consecration to Jesus through Mary will make one a “great saint” as you asked.

  1. My dear friend, be sure that if you remain faithful to the interior and exterior practices of this devotion which I will point out, the following effects will be produced in your soul:

1. Knowledge of our unworthiness

By the light which the Holy Spirit will give you through Mary, his faithful spouse, you will perceive the evil inclinations of your fallen nature and how incapable you are of any good apart from that which God produces in you as Author of nature and of grace. As a consequence of this knowledge you will despise yourself and think of yourself only as an object of repugnance. You will consider yourself as a snail that soils everything with its slime, as a toad that poisons everything with its venom, as a malevolent serpent seeking only to deceive. Finally, the humble Virgin Mary will share her humility with you so that, although you regard yourself with distaste and desire to be disregarded by others, you will not look down slightingly upon anyone.

2. A share in Mary's faith

  1. Mary will share her faith with you. Her faith on earth was stronger than that of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles and saints. Now that she is reigning in heaven she no longer has this faith, since she sees everything clearly in God by the light of glory. However, with the consent of almighty God she did not lose it when entering heaven. She has preserved it for her faithful servants in the Church militant. Therefore the more you gain the friendship of this noble Queen and faithful Virgin the more you will be inspired by faith in your daily life. It will cause you to depend less upon sensible and extraordinary feelings. For it is a lively faith animated by love enabling you to do everything from no other motive than that of pure love. It is a firm faith, unshakeable as a rock, prompting you to remain firm and steadfast in the midst of storms and tempests. It is an active and probing faith which like some mysterious pass-key admits you into the mysteries of Jesus Christ and of man's final destiny and into the very heart of God himself. It is a courageous faith which inspires you to undertake and carry out without hesitation great things for God and the salvation of souls. Lastly, this faith will be your flaming torch, your very life with God, your secret fund of divine Wisdom, and an all-powerful weapon for you to enlighten those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death. It inflames those who are lukewarm and need the gold of fervent love. It restores life to those who are dead through sin. It moves and transforms hearts of marble and cedars of Lebanon by gentle and convincing argument. Finally, this faith will strengthen you to resist the devil and the other enemies of salvation.

3. The gift of pure love

  1. The Mother of fair love will rid your heart of all scruples and inordinate servile fear. She will open and enlarge it to obey the commandments of her Son with alacrity and with the holy freedom of the children of God. She will fill your heart with pure love of which she is the treasury. You will then cease to act as you did before, out of fear of the God who is love, but rather out of pure love. You will look upon him as a loving Father and endeavour to please him at all times. You will speak trustfully to him as a child does to its father. If you should have the misfortune to offend him you will abase yourself before him and humbly beg his pardon. You will offer your hand to him with simplicity and lovingly rise from your sin. Then, peaceful and relaxed and buoyed up with hope you will continue on your way to him.

4. Great confidence in God and in Mary

  1. Our Blessed Lady will fill you with unbounded confidence in God and in herself:
  1. Because you will no longer approach Jesus by yourself but always through Mary, your loving Mother.

  2. Since you have given her all your merits, graces and satisfactions to dispose of as she pleases, she imparts to you her own virtues and clothes you in her own merits. So you will be able to say confidently to God: "Behold Mary, your handmaid, be it done unto me according to your word."

  3. Since you have now given yourself completely to Mary, body and soul, she, who is generous to the generous, and more generous than even the kindest benefactor, will in return give herself to you in a marvellous but real manner. Indeed you may without hesitation say to her, "I am yours, O Blessed Virgin, obtain salvation for me," or with the beloved disciple, St. John, "I have taken you, Blessed Mother, for my all." Or again you may say with St. Bonaventure, "Dear Mother of saving grace, I will do everything with confidence and without fear because you are my strength and my boast in the Lord," or in another place, "I am all yours and all that I have is yours, O glorious Virgin, blessed above all created things. Let me place you as a seal upon my heart, for your love is as strong as death." Or adopting the sentiments of the prophet, "Lord, my heart has no reason to be exalted nor should my looks be proud; I have not sought things of great moment nor wonders beyond my reach; nevertheless, I am still not humble. But I have roused my soul and taken courage. I am as a child, weaned from earthly pleasures and resting on its mother's breast. It is upon this breast that all good things come to me."

  4. What will still further increase your confidence in her is that, after having given her in trust all that you possess to use or keep as she pleases, you will place less trust in yourself and much more in her whom you have made your treasury. How comforting and how consoling when a person can say, "The treasury of God, where he has placed all that he holds most precious, is also my treasury." "She is," says a saintly man, "the treasury of the Lord."

5. Communication of the spirit of Mary

  1. The soul of Mary will be communicated to you to glorify the Lord. Her spirit will take the place of yours to rejoice in God, her Saviour, but only if you are faithful to the practices of this devotion. As St. Ambrose says, "May the soul of Mary be in each one of us to glorify the Lord! May the spirit of Mary be in each one of us to rejoice in God!" "When will that happy day come," asks a saintly man of our own day whose life was completely wrapped up in Mary, "when God's Mother is enthroned in men's hearts as Queen, subjecting them to the dominion of her great and princely Son? When will souls breathe Mary as the body breathes air?" When that time comes wonderful things will happen on earth. The Holy Spirit, finding his dear Spouse present again in souls, will come down into them with great power. He will fill them with his gifts, especially wisdom, by which they will produce wonders of grace. My dear friend, when will that happy time come, that age of Mary, when many souls, chosen by Mary and given her by the most High God, will hide themselves completely in the depths of her soul, becoming living copies of her, loving and glorifying Jesus? That day will dawn only when the devotion I teach is understood and put into practice. Ut adveniat regnum tuum, adveniat regnum Mariae: "Lord, that your kingdom may come, may the reign of Mary come!"

6. Transformation into the likeness of Jesus

  1. If Mary, the Tree of Life, is well cultivated in our soul by fidelity to this devotion, she will in due time bring forth her fruit which is none other than Jesus. I have seen many devout souls searching for Jesus in one way or another, and so often when they have worked hard throughout the night, all they can say is, "Despite our having worked all night, we have caught nothing." To them we can say, "You have worked hard and gained little; Jesus can only be recognised faintly in you." But if we follow the immaculate path of Mary, living the devotion that I teach, we will always work in daylight, we will work in a holy place, and we will work but little. There is no darkness in Mary, not even the slightest shadow since there was never any sin in her. She is a holy place, a holy of holies, in which saints are formed and moulded.

  2. Please note that I say that saints are moulded in Mary. There is a vast difference between carving a statue by blows of hammer and chisel and making a statue by using a mould. Sculptors and statue-makers work hard and need plenty of time to make statues by the first method. But the second method does not involve much work and takes very little time. St. Augustine speaking to our Blessed Lady says, "You are worthy to be called the mould of God." Mary is a mould capable of forming people into the image of the God-man. Anyone who is cast into this divine mould is quickly shaped and moulded into Jesus and Jesus into him. At little cost and in a short time he will become Christ-like since he is cast into the very same mould that fashioned a God-man.

  3. I think I can very well compare some spiritual directors and devout persons to sculptors who wish to produce Jesus in themselves and in others by methods other than this. Many of them rely on their own skill, ingenuity and art and chip away endlessly with mallet and chisel at hard stone or badly- prepared wood, in an effort to produce a likeness of our Lord. At times, they do not manage to produce a recognisable likeness either because they lack knowledge and experience of the person of Jesus or because a clumsy stroke has spoiled the whole work. But those who accept this little-known secret of grace which I offer them can rightly be compared to smelters and moulders who have discovered the beautiful mould of Mary where Jesus was so divinely and so naturally formed. They do not rely on their own skill but on the perfection of the mould. They cast and lose themselves in Mary where they become true models of her Son.

  4. You may think this a beautiful and convincing comparison. But how many understand it? I would like you, my dear friend, to understand it. But remember that only molten and liquefied substances may be poured into a mould. That means that you must crush and melt down the old Adam in you if you wish to acquire the likeness of the new Adam in Mary.

7. The greater glory of Christ

  1. If you live this devotion sincerely, you will give more glory to Jesus in a month than in many years of a more demanding devotion. Here are my reasons for saying this:
  1. Since you do everything through the Blessed Virgin as required by this devotion, you naturally lay aside your own intentions no matter how good they appear to you. You abandon yourself to our Lady's intentions even though you do not know what they are. Thus you share in the high quality of her intentions, which are so pure that she gave more glory to God by the smallest of her actions, say, twirling her distaff, or making a stitch, than did St. Laurence suffering his cruel martyrdom on the grid-iron, and even more than all the saints together in all their most heroic deeds! Mary amassed such a multitude of merits and graces during her sojourn on earth that it would be easier to count the stars in heaven, the drops of water in the ocean or the sands of the sea-shore than count her merits and graces. She thus gave more glory to God than all the angels and saints have given or will ever give him. Mary, wonder of God, when souls abandon themselves to you, you cannot but work wonders in them!
    1. In this devotion we set no store on our own thoughts and actions but are content to rely on Mary's dispositions when approaching and even speaking to Jesus. We then act with far greater humility than others who imperceptibly rely on their own dispositions and are self-satisfied about them; and consequently we give greater glory to God, for perfect glory is given to him only by the lowly and humble of heart.
    1. Our Blessed Lady, in her immense love for us, is eager to receive into her virginal hands the gift of our actions, imparting to them a marvellous beauty and splendour, and presenting them herself to Jesus most willingly. More glory is given to our Lord in this way than when we make our offering with our own guilty hands.
    1. Lastly, you never think of Mary without Mary thinking of God for you. You never praise or honour Mary without Mary joining you in praising and honouring God. Mary is entirely relative to God. Indeed I would say that she was relative only to God, because she exists uniquely in reference to him.

She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say "Mary" she says "God". When St. Elizabeth praised Mary calling her blessed because she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God, responded with her canticle, "My soul glorifies the Lord." What Mary did on that day, she does every day. When we praise her, when we love and honour her, when we present anything to her, then God is praised, honoured and loved and receives our gift through Mary and in Mary. - Wonderful Effects of This Devotion

Do it the St. Louis de Montfort's Way: Total Consecration

In the spirit of this devotion, it would like Pope John Paul II giving all the merits of his works as a Supreme Pontiff to Jesus through Mary and thus increasing his own merits when he gets to heaven. Everything he did would be consecrated to Jesus through Mary (Ad Jesum per Mariam)!

  • "I am yours, O Blessed Virgin, obtain salvation for me" This isn't troubling in light of Acts 4:12? Mar 27, 2021 at 11:51
  • @MikeBorden No. The Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Redeemer. We implore her to obtain our salvation from her Son with help of her intercession on our behalf. She helps looks after the salvation all God’s children through her maternal intercession.
    – Ken Graham
    Mar 27, 2021 at 15:16
  • So Jesus is "the" Way to God and Mary is "the" Way to Jesus or is Mary "a" way to Jesus? Mar 28, 2021 at 15:12
  • @MikeBorden Jesus is God. Mary is our helper to Jesus. Remember Mary’s words at the Wedding at Cana: ”Do whatever he asks you!”
    – Ken Graham
    Mar 28, 2021 at 15:17
  • @KenGraham while de Montfort is clear that Total Consecration is the quickest and surest way to become a saint, the secondarily aspect (and perhaps I could have clarified in the original question) is whether it confers in a difference in result (i.e. saints via total consecration are somehow superior to others) OR that being total consecration confers an indelible/inalienable share of Wisdom (i.e. once consecrated can't be lost). I suspect the answer to both is no.
    – eques
    Mar 29, 2021 at 12:30

Does Total Consecration to Mary imply a supernatural wisdom?

The answer is Yes.

One excellent example is St.John the beloved Apostle. Among the writers of the gospel, only St.John exemplifies a mystical narration of who Jesus is. The other gospel writers simply narrates what they witness and heard, but St.John transcends it.St.John the beloved Apostle possessed a supernatural wisdom, why?

The answer was written in Jesus seven last words that St.John heeded.

"Son, behold you Mother"-John1:26

The Mystical Wisdom of St. John the Beloved Disciplehttps://ocoy.org/the-mystical-wisdom-of-st-john-the-beloved-disciple/ https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/saints/john-the-apostle-651

A good example of supernatural or mystical wisdom can be seen in Chapter one of St.John gospel that the the three other gospel writers had not shown.St.John explain the mystery of incarnation of the Logos and Jesus divinity.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-14)

St.Montfort teaches Total Consecration, and St.John had shown it, by heeding the agonizing Jesus Christ at the Foot of the Cross, accepting Mary as Her Mother and opening the door of his home especially the door of his heart for Mary to enter and live. This is the essence of Total Consecration, welcoming and allowing Mary to visit our home and live in our hearts.

This is the same thing that happened to Mary's Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth. Like St.John the beloved Apostle, St.Elizabeth welcomes Mary in their home and the most important thing is, we need to hear Mary's voice, the voice of Mary is very important.Why? When one hear the voice or the greetings of the Blessed Virgin Mary, then we can receive so much graces enough to fill our souls with gifts of the Holy Spirit.

St.Montfort teaches, all graces comes from the Maternal hands of Mary, and this exactly what happened in the mystery of Mary's Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth, that sanctifies St.John the baptist in her womb, and showed he received "divine life" by leaping in her Mother's womb. And St.Elizabeth, seeing Christ in the Face of Mary, exclaimed the phrase only a faithful can profess, "Jesus id Lord", only if one is filled with the Holy Spirit. St.Elizabeth seems to be the first born-again Christian to utter the phrase, "Jesus is Lord".

Mary Visits Elizabeth

41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43And why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? - Luke1:41-43

In closing, the Total Consecration as reflected upon the passages in the mystery of Mary's Visitation and in St.John the beloved Apostles writings, like his gospel and the book of revelation, had shown that St.Elizabeth and St.John the beloved possessed a supernatural wisdom. All because of their encounter, hearing the voice of Mary and welcoming the Blessed Virgin Mary the Seat of Wisdom and the Mediatrix of all graces.

  • This answer could benefit from an elaboration of what Total Consecration is, the spiritual benefits resulting from it and how those relate to the final merits of the soul after death.
    – eques
    Mar 29, 2021 at 12:32

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