Today marks the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Militia of the Immaculata, an evangelization apostolate of St. Maximilian Kolbe. Established on the evening of October 16, 1917 at the Conventual Franciscan’s College in Rome by St. Maximilian and six of his fellow students, its goal is to “win the whole world for Christ through the Immaculata, Mother of God and of the Church.”
The original aim of the MI was “To pursue the conversion to God of all people, be they sinners, or non-Catholics, or unbelievers, in particular the freemasons; and that all become saints, under the patronage and through the mediation of the Immaculate Virgin.
Kolbe was inspired to “do something” after a violent anti-Catholic demonstration by the Freemasons on Rome in early 1917, hence the original reference to the freemasons.
It has since spread throughout the world. One joins after a period of prayer and meditation on the charism of the MI. You then consecrate yourself to the Blessed Mother under the formula devised by St. Maximilian. His method is similar to the consecration of St. Louis DeMontfort. One typically selects a feast day associated with the Blessed Mother in order to join with however many others are consecrating themselves, and as a way of honoring Mary. The Act of Consecration is as follows:
“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 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.”
The Daily Renewal of Total Consecration is:
“Immaculata, Queen and Mother of the Church, I renew
my consecration to you this day and for always, so that you
may use me for the coming of the Kingdom of Jesus in
the whole world. To this end I offer you all my prayers,
actions and sacrifices of this day.”
I have been a member of the MI since 2002; I recently celebrated my 15th anniversary of consecration to Mary this past October 7th, having selected the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary as my day to enroll.
Although the Militia of the Immaculata is not a recovery organization by any means, I do credit my consecration with keeping myself sober when AA was insufficient. I have always said here on “Sober Catholic” that my Catholic Faith has been primarily responsible for my sobriety, with AA and the Twelve Steps providing the focus for drinking-specific issues and root causes. But for spirituality and the growth and depth of my maturing relationship with my “Higher Power” (Jesus), the enduring basis for sobriety, I credit the Faith. And although I may not have realized it at the time, my consecration to the Blessed Mother quite possibly gave me the strength to deal with things that AA couldn’t. Putting yourself in the hands of Mary for her to use by whatever means she wishes to bring about a “Civilization of Love,” you’re pretty much guaranteed of a solid sobriety. Not that I haven’t on occasion “felt thirsty,” but the feeling withers quickly.
I do think that “Sober Catholic” is a direct result of inspiration from Mary. This is all subjective, of course. But that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.
Quotes and other information courtesy of Militia of the Immaculata in the USA. When you visit that site, you’ll discover plenty of information on the history and founding of the MI, including how to enroll and the preparation needed, as well as material on the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe.
If you’re not in the USA, go here: MI International and you can locate information for your country.
I have also blogged about St. Maximilian Kolbe numerous times: St. Maximilian Kolbe post archives on Sober Catholic.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)