Saturday, August 31, 2019

Two Lost Souls Profoundly United and Saved by Our Lady of Medjugorje - The Beautiful Love Story of Jim and Kathryn Jennings

I recently had the gift of listening to Kathryn Jennings' testimony.

It was incredibly moving. 

In it, she spoke of many things, but ultimately it was a profoundly beautiful testament of love.

Love of God - Who not only died on the Cross, but, continues tirelessly in any and all ways to save us - even by sending Mary to us each day.
Love of Our Lady for her children.
Love of a man and a woman - both terribly lost and broken - but, who were saved through Medjugorje.
And, who, eventually were brought together in a deeply beautiful union of love. 

Kathryn spoke first of her life-changing pilgrimage to Medjugorje. 
Of Mary promising her "a carpenter of her own", although she had no idea what that meant at the time.
Of how going to a talk by her future husband, Jim Jennings, saved her life. 
Saying that before the talk, she had been under such a fierce attack to kill herself (that lasted for weeks) - that although she didn't want to, she succumbed and felt compelled to write a suicide note and made preparations to kill herself the next day. 
She said she only went to the talk the night before, so her mother would have a happy memory of them being together, when she found out about her death. 
But, she related, the spirit that had been tormenting her to suicide suddenly left during Jim's talk and never returned. 
(We pray for all demons of suicide to be banished and sent to the foot of the Cross - never to torment souls again).

She encouraged us to listen to her husband's incredible transformation - from being a hardened convict to a man whose whole life changed after hearing about Our Lady of Medjugorje. 
Yet, it was not only his own life that changed, but many of the other most hardened inmates' lives - through a rosary prayer group Jim formed within the maximum security prison in which he lived. 
You can watch his incredible St. Paul-like conversion story here:

She spoke of their time together and of their love story
Of their joy and peace - even in the midst of trials and sickness.
She spoke of their unity throughout the years,
particularly as Jim was dying...
of holding each other, 
of praying together, 
until, at the end, they were praying:  
"Jesus, I trust in You" during each breath Jim struggled to take ...
And in doing so understood that Mary, while at the foot of the Cross, 
wasn't just a spectator of Jesus' death...
but, that they, too, must have prayed together: "Father, We Trust in You" at each of Jesus' excruciating breaths ...
as He was dying on the Cross. 

It was deeply moving and profoundly beautiful to hear of such union ... 
I'm still in tears as I write this. 

I encourage you to watch Kathryn Jennings' testimony for yourself - for there is so much more that she shared - and so many more incredible insights to ponder.
To do so, go to Fruit of Medjugorje #341.

Fruit of Medjugorje contains hundreds of video testimonies by people sharing the life-changing graces they've received in Medjugorje.
Because there's so many testimonies - there's no specific link for each talk. That's why you click on the website link and then scroll to video 341. There's a drop down menu on the top right of the video screen from which you navigate to each individual video.

May these videos be a great grace to you!

Thank you, dear Blessed Mother, for standing at the foot of the Cross with us in each of our sufferings and trials - praying for us to be united with Jesus, so that we, too, will join in that Prayer of Divine Love, and say: "Father, we trust in you!" 
Our Lady of Medjugorje, thank you, also, for never tiring of coming to us daily to teach us and offer us grace - 
and for the love, grace and guidance you pour into all those who are open to hear your voice.
May we be open to receive your call and so be drawn into LOVE itself - which is ever deeper union with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

© Janet Moore. 2019. All Rights Reserved.

I found a book written by Kathryn Jennings. In it, she writes about Jim's conversion and their love story. I haven't read it yet. But, I look forward to it.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Day 9: Total Consecration to the Immaculate According to St. Maximilian Kolbe

Today, on Day 9, we have the opportunity to make our Total Consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate!
In these days of preparation we have tried to prepare ourselves for this day of Consecration. 
Now it is time to consider more fully what this entails:

What is Total Consecration to the Immaculate?

"Consecration "began at the foot of the cross when John was entrusted to Mary.
Consecration means setting yourself aside for service to God. The Church has always advocated consecrating yourself to Jesus Christ through the Blessed Virgin Mary, the perfect model of discipleship.
One of the best known advocates of Marian consecration is St. Louis de Montfort (d. 1716). Modem day promoters include Pope John Paul II, who recommended an "act of entrustment" to Mary (his papal motto was an enthusiastic Totus Tuus-"Totally Yours.") 
All methods are equally worthy..."

Total Consecration is a fulfillment of Our Lady’s requests at Fatima:
Our Lady told the children: “Pray, pray, very much, make sacrifices for sinners. Remember that many souls are lost because there is nobody to pray and to make sacrifices for them” (Fatima Apparition of August 19, 1917). By offering up our prayers and sacrifices in Total Consecration to Our Lady, we give Her everything we do for the salvation of souls and to win all souls for Christ the King for all eternity. (
Marian consecration, therefore, is no archaic spirituality but is a living and active means of advancing the Faith as a People of God. It is not just another "devotion," but is a complete spirituality, one not lightly undertaken.
St. John Paul endorsed the Kolbean example of Marian Consecration as a critical element of the "New Evangelization" for the third Christian millennium, and St. Maximilian as a primary intercessor. In 1992 the Holy Father developed our understanding of this consecration even further. By dying for another and "consecrating his life to the lmmaculate Virgin," St. Maximilian has become, suggested the Holy Father, a "prophet and a sign of the new era, the civilization of love."

St. Maximilian Kolbe adds this strong missionary dimension to Marian consecration, because he believed a vast Army of Mary - of souls fully consecrated to the Immaculate - would bring the Kingdom of God here on earth:
"The reason why the world does not recognize Jesus Christ as King is because it does not know the Immaculate. It’s commonly said 'No Mary, No Jesus; Know Mary, Know Jesus'.... St. Maximilian knew that as soon as the Immaculate was known to all hearts, the Kingdom of the Sacred Heart would reign in the world." ( Thus,

THE MILITIA OF THE IMMACULATA (MI) encourages a total consecration to Mary Immaculate as a means of spiritual renewal for individuals and society. Marian consecration in the MI is a formal act of self-giving that does not stop at Mary but is Christ-directed. It is really consecration to Jesus. The MI motto is "To lead every individual with Mary to the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
The MI employs prayer as the main weapon in the spiritual battle with evil. MIs also immerse themselves in apostolic initiatives throughout society, either individually or in groups, to deepen the knowledge of the Gospel and our Catholic Faith in themselves and in others.
By joining the MI, members become willing instruments of Our Lady, the handmaid of the Lord and the immaculate instrument of God. You become a member of an international movement sharing in the maternal mission of Mary the conversion and sanctification of all souls. The goals of the MI are personal sanctification, the conversion of the world and ultimately the universal reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The MI is one of the few Vatican approved public associations whose mission, like that of the Catholic Church, is universal.

Distinctive Features of the Kolbean Method:
It requires no set formulation. Nonetheless, St. Maximilian has identified four elements normally reflected in such an act of love.
1. Invocation of the Immaculate as such. In this invocation St. Maximilian insists repeatedly on invoking Mary precisely under her title as the Immaculate, especially in respect to the grace of total consecration.
2. Total consecration is unlimited and unconditional. The response is unlimited, precisely because total consecration to the Immaculate achieves a complete identification in the subject with the will of the Immaculate. The degree of our consecration to her is the measure of our response or reaction to God’s prior love for us, and when that identification with her total consecration to God, i.e. with her as the Immaculate Conception, is total on our part, then our charity is perfect as it can be. In obtaining this grace for us, her total consecration, i.e. her reaction-surrender qua Immaculate to the love of Father and Son for her as the most perfect fruit of a perfect redemption becomes in turn an “action” provoking an “equal and contrary reaction” in each believer to the love of the Father and the Incarnate Word, her Son.
3. Obedience. Total consecration as identification with the will of the Immaculate is not merely an affective identification, but a thoroughly effective, practical love, that is to say, total obedience to the Immaculate, a willingness and a readiness to do whatever she asks one to do.
As her reaction to His salvific love was the inspiration for His obedience to His Father’s command to die on the Cross to establish the order of salvation, viz. the Church, so it is for us the stimulus to the perfect implementation of Christ’s commands and instruction for our salvation in the Church, and thus in practice animates the system of obedience to a sacerdotal hierarchy established by Christ in the Church for the salvation of souls.
The term “possession by Mary Immaculate to describe the state of the soul totally consecrated to her is one particularly stressed by St. Maximilian. He notes that this state has also been described as a kind of childhood and as a kind of slavery. He acknowledges the validity of both descriptions, but adds that the term possession precludes misunderstandings easily attached to both, viz. that the one making such a consecration obtains some special rights with Our Lady, or in some way acts under compulsion, whereas in fact total consecration places one totally at the disposition of the Immaculate in a quite willing fashion. He does not mean to deny that Mary has a motherly care for each one of us in accord with Our Lord’s request on the Cross that she should be our Mother. But she exercises this responsibility, even if we have not made total consecration to her. Rather the focus of total consecration and the obedience it implies is the formation of an instrument, a true militia perfected by an effective obedience, whereby the Immaculate may obtain those ends proper to her as the Woman who crushes the head of the serpent, the father of lies.
The preference for the term possession by the Immaculate to describe this state suggest an underlying scriptural-liturgical parallel: we are only fully free of the influence or possession of Satan, when we are fully possessed by Mary Immaculate. Personal independence, in the intellectual order the principle of private judgment, so well symbolized by the ethos of freemasonry, is a gross deception, making a basic slavery to the prince of this world. Total humility is the only sure way to freedom. Between these two choices there is no third ground on which to stand.
4. Scope. In general the scope of total consecration is to know, love and serve the Immaculate as much as possible, and to make her known, loved and served in the same way by others, especially through her commands to pray and to do penance for the conversion of sinners and the triumph of the Sacred Heart of her Son: in a word to make her aims totally one’s own.
It is important to observe the stress place by St. Maximilian on two texts:
  • Allow me to praise you, Holy Virgin; give me strength against your enemies – where enemies are first of all understood as enemies of faith, viz. heretics, and in a particular way the quintessence of all heresy, the exercise of self-will on principle in the use of the intellect, called by St. Francis the poison of self-will (Admonitions, 6), and otherwise known as the principle of private judgment.
  • You have destroyed all heresies in the whole world. The focal point of the battle and its outcome is expressed well in this text, often cited by St. Maximilian.
Herein is the precise task… to oppose this principle so fundamental to the success of the stratagems of the father of lies in seeking to undermine the faith of the Church and of Christians, its exact contrary, i.e., heroic obedience to the desires of the Mother of Truth, the Immaculate. The humility of true obedience will always unmask the slavery of false freedom.

St. Maximilian expressed the purpose of the Militia Immaculata in this way: (KW 987C and 1080)
Truly supreme and incomparable joy is infused by the Holy Spirit, when one suffers for love of Christ.  
[The purpose of the MI] is to make humanity happy, by instilling into each soul—which thirsts and craves for happiness every moment of its life—the love of the one who can and wants to introduce peace and joy into each heart, during this earthly exile, in the midst of the confusion that surrounds us, of the concerns and headaches that beset us everywhere, of the pain that reaches the very depths of our hearts. Those who truly love the Immaculata and flee to her with filial love and affection at times of temptation and hardship in life, will surely take down all the obstacles on the road to happiness, and foretaste the joys of heaven. Those who in their lifetime have worked with zeal to expand the reign of the Immaculata will be happy at death.

But, some may be asking:

Am I Ready to Consecrate Myself Totally to Mary and Join the MI?

THE SPIRIT of the MI is the spirit of continual conversion. Not everyone ... understands perfectly, in the beginning, the power of this consecration. But when lived in the spirit of willingness and humility, the Immaculata will elevate our natural gifts and inspire us to holiness and fruitful service within the Church.
As Jesus said to those who would stand up and follow him: "Even greater things than these will you do.”

For those who have struggles in understanding consecrating ourselves completely to Mary, here is an excerpt of a letter Maximilian wrote addressing just this concern:
"My dear, these are lofty things and we, with our human minds, and even less so with out imagination, often are not able to arrive at understanding them, but for this reason too, it is necessary not to ever lose peace. God is a God of peace. Turmoil does not come from God…
It seems that I’ve gone through your whole letter now.
Your difficulty comes from the fact that you confuse feeling, remembering or understanding with the will. If only our will wants everything to be according to the Will of God, then by that very same fact it is so, even if we were not to understand or remember this, nor to feel it. At a given moment we can think of one thing alone, develop our feelings in one direction alone. Give yourself freely then to the devotion which at a given moment you’re drawn by, but remember that the essence of the love of God lies exclusively in fulfilling the Will of God in every moment. The more difficult this fulfillment will be, the more disgust and repugnance [we have to overcome], the greater will the manifestation of love be. But not even these difficulties belong to the essence [of love], and without them there can be an equal love. They serve only to manifest this love.
The fact that one consecrated totally and unlimitedly to the Immaculate, though he knows that he belongs to Her, even though he might not think of it, when going to visit Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, often explicitly gives the whole visit to the Immaculate just the same, be it even by means of just one [invocation] “Mary,” is another matter; he knows that in such a way he will bring to Our Lord the greatest possible pleasure, that then all the more She performs this visit in him and through him and he in Her and through Her.
Similarly, there is no better preparation for Holy Communion than that of giving the whole matter to the Immaculate (at the same time doing everything we can on our part, of course). She will prepare our hearts in the best way and we will be certain that we will procure Our Lord the height of happiness, that in such a way we will show Him the greatest love. And similarly in many other activities. I repeat though: even without at the present moment giving ourselves [to the Immaculate] we still belong to Her, because we have consecrated ourselves to Her and we have never revoked it.
One more thing. Our Lord has said that we will know a tree by its fruits [cf. Mt 7:20]. If something then causes you confusion, and all the more – as you write – if it was the cause of a cooling of fervor, then certainly it does not come from God. Hence all of this lack of peace is heavily suspect and it is necessary to always strive for fidelity in fulfilling the Will of God, even in the smallest things, and for peace. Our Lord has also said: “My peace I leave you, my peace I give you” [Jn 14:27].
If on the other hand something were to detract you from Our Lady under whatever pretense, even if for the sake of a higher devotion, take it as a suspect ploy, though it seem to be ever so holy.
In Her and through Her we certainly arrive at the Heart of Jesus, but without Her (according to the above meaning [of without Her]) everything is only a deception of Satan calculated to leading a soul to ruin. A beautiful illustration of this is the vision of St. Francis of the two ladders, the red and the white, which the brothers were climbing to heaven…[6]
May the Immaculate hold you ever closer to Her Immaculate Heart."

St. Maximilian had no set formula or stipulations on how to make our Total consecration. As he states in the letter above, simply saying "Mary" can be an act of consecration...
But, here are some ideas to utilize today, if you able:

On Our Consecration Day:
  • Recite the official act of consecration composed by St. Maximilian and give yourself wholeheartedly to Our Lady so as to let the Holy Spirit guide you on the path to holiness with her! 
  • Gain A PLENARY INDULGENCE - the complete remission of temporal punishment in purgatory due to sin. (This special grace was bestowed by Pope Pius XI in 1926 upon joining the MI):
    To receive the indulgence, you must:
    1. Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on the consecration day or within the eight days before (or after).
    2. Attend Mass and receive Holy Communion
    3. Pray an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the intentions of the Holy Father, and 
    4. Renounce all attachment to sin, even venial sin, on your enrollment date. By renouncing all attachment to sin you will be making an effort to remove all obstacles to Our Lady making you her own in the Holy Spirit.
  • Ask Our Lady and St. Maximilian to show you how you can best serve the Lord from this moment on.
  • Enroll in the Militia Immaculata online at: (When clicking on the link above to enroll in the Militia Immaculata, it gives you the option to also enroll as a Knight at the Foot of the Cross. See more information about this apostolate of redemptive suffering at the end of the article.
  • Wear the Miraculous Medal and recite it's prayer. "Hear­ing of the miraculous conversion of the agnostic Al­phonse Ratisbonne through the medal, St. Maximil­ian made wearing it and giving it away an integral part of his movement. He called the Miraculous Medal "a 'bullet' with which the faithful soldier hits the enemy, that is evil, and thus rescues souls."(Those who join the MI movement receive a com­plimentary medal from the National Center along with a membership certificate).
  • Pray the Rosary faithfully.


Daily Miraculous Medal Prayer 

O MARY, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all who do not have re­course to you, especially the enemies of the Church and those recommended to you.

Ml Prayer of Marian Consecration 

(Composed by St. Maximilian Kolbe)
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 whole 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.
As stated previously, "we may consecrate ourselves to the Immaculata in various ways and this consecration may be formulated in different words; indeed, a simple interior act of the will is sufficient, since in this is included the essence of our consecration to the Immaculata.
(To contemplate each line of Maximilian's act of consecration, see:
In living out your consecration, please consider making these devotions suggested in making your solemn Consecration a part of your daily life - in particular daily Mass and frequent confession, as well as these charitable dispositions perscribed by St. Maximilian Kolbe in order to experience a taste of paradise here on earth (KW 1065):

"Paradise was described even better by the man who, in this life, was plucked up to it for a short time: by St. Paul, who says: “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Cor 2:9). It is a description even closer to the truth, because it shows the infinite difference between the ideas that we hold about heaven and its reality. However, those who, here on earth, have had the chance to enjoy a small foretaste of paradise should be able to form an idea of what it will be like. And anyone may achieve that. One need only approach Confession with sincerity and great care, with deep sorrow for sins and firm resolve to make amends. Then they will immediately experience a peace and a happiness compared to which all the fleeting but dishonest pleasures of the world are, rather, loathsome torments. 
Let everyone come to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament with a good preparation; let them never allow their souls to remain in sin, but purify them right away. Let them perform all their duties well; raise humble and frequent prayers to the throne of God, especially through the hands of Mary Immaculate. Let them also embrace their brothers with charitable hearts, enduring suffering and difficulties for God’s sake. Let them do good to everyone, including their enemies, only for the love of God and not in order to be praised or thanked by men. Then they shall realize what it means to have a foretaste of heaven and find peace and happiness even in poverty, in suffering, in disgrace, in sickness."

I pray these eight days of preparation, culminating today in our Total Consecration (on the ninth day) have been a grace to you. 
Although I've consecrated myself many times before, this preparation - so imbued with the eternal wisdom given to us through St. Maximilian - has been a great gift to me and I see myself reading and rereading it each year.
I pray these articles help us to live our Total Consecration more fully - by helping us to more completely abandon ourselves to God through Mary - at each moment of our lives.
St. Maximilian, be with us and intercede for us to become great saints in and through Mary, our advocate - and so help bring the Kingdom of God to countless souls. We ask this in Jesus's Name. Amen.

© Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved.

I compiled much of today's post from these sources:

The following is additional information for reflection to utilize if interested:

SELECT the date on which you want your name recorded in the official register of the MI, preferably a Marian feast day, enroll online at

  • January 1 Solemnity of the Mother of God
  • February 11 Our Lady of Lourdes
  • March 25 Annunciation
  • May 13 Our Lady of Fatima
  • May 31 Visitation
  • Monday after Pentecost Sunday, Mary Mother of the Church
  • June 27 Our Lady of Perpetual Help
  • July 16 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
  • August 15 Assumption
  • August 22 Queenship of Mary
  • September 8 Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • September 15 Our Lady of Sorrows
  • October 7 Our Lady of the Rosary
  • November 21 Presentation of Mary
  • December 8 Immaculate Conception
  • December 12 Our Lady of Guadalupe
Who are the Knights at the Foot of the Cross?

THE KNIGHTS AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS (KFC) is an outreach within the MI movement, comprised of Catholics afflicted by the cross of suffering - physical, spiritual or emotional. As MI members, KFCs consecrate themselves to Mary. As did Mary at the Cross of her Son, they also participate in "redemptive suffering" (also called sacrificial or reparational suffering). This means they offer some of their daily prayers and trials to Jesus and Mary, who apply these gifts where grace is needed most, such as to convert hearts and save souls, to make amends for the sins of others, and ultimately to bring about the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
KFCs especially offer up their difficulties for the success of the Ml. They thus become a special core group or vanguard within the movement. Though often unable to actively evangelize because of infirmity, nonetheless KFCs generate untold graces as they link their sufferings with those of Christ. Through the intercession of Mary, they offer up all to the Father as a "sacrifice of praise.”
Supernaturally, KFCs are perhaps the most important members of the MI - a spiritual powerhouse.

How was the KFC Started?

ENVISIONED EARLlER in the writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe, the KFC was founded May 31, 1983. On the feast of Mary's Visitation, six teenaged and sick Conventual Franciscan friars, all MI members, decided to make use of their ailments and encourage others to do the same.
Sensing a good idea, the friars asked, "Why not harvest the immense reparational potential within the suffering MI community at large?" Thus a spiritual vanguard was formed: individuals no longer isolated or frustrated in sickness or agedness, working in solidarity for the conversion of the entire world. The very first Knight at the Foot of the Cross was Fr. Simeon Kaczmarek, OFM CONV. Bedridden for two years with cancer, Father offered his pain and prayers for the KFC cause while it was still being organized.

Theology of Redemptive Suffering

SACRIFICIAL SUFFERING is a rich Christian faith expression, modeled after Christ himself It is a partial answer to the age-old question, “Why does God allow human suffering?”
The Church has always taught that physical pain, mental distress, even minor annoyances, are not meaningless but are meant to be put to valuable use. As Jesus used the anguish of his Passion and the agony of Calvary to accomplish our salvation, so do our sufferings have supernatural value when joined to His Cross. By willingly accepting our struggles and presenting them back to God as a "burnt offering” for the intentions of others, we cooperate with Christ and become real participators in the mystery of his saving act.

Mary and Maximilian: Models of Reparational Suffering 

Mary Immaculate is a special model of reparational suffering. Standing at the Cross in interior distress, her soul "pierced by a sword" (Lk 2:35), she offered all to the Father in a silent, "Thy will be done." She invites us, and strengthens us, to do the same through our MI consecration as a KFC.
St. Maximilian Kolbe also is a model of reparational suffering. Imprisoned at the Auschwitz death camp, Maximilian "emptied himself" for the Gospel (Phil 2:7). He shared his meager food and water with fellow prisoners while tending to their spiritual needs. He persevered in charity toward his Nazi captors though they singled him out for special brutalities as a Catholic priest. He willingly endured the torture of the starvation bunker by taking the place of another prisoner. In this way, Maximilian became "another Christ," laying down his life for another.
According to St. John Paul II, St. Maximilian's holy example has made him a sign and a prophet of the new era, the civilization of love."

Knights at the Foot of the Cross Consecration Prayer

O IMMACULATA, queen of heaven and earth, health of the sick, and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. You stood at the foot of the Cross, uniting your self with the sufferings of Jesus, and so you became for all the Church a model of compassion.
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 daily sufferings and crosses, 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 whole world." Through my prayers and sufferings, 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, to 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, 0 Sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies
 Prayer of KFC Consecration Daily Renewal Prayer

IMMACULATA, Mother of the Church, I renew my self-consecration to you as a "Knight at the Foot of the Cross." I desire to magnify the Lord with you this day in a special way by offering you my sufferings. Joined with you in faith at the foot of Christ's Cross, may I ever be an unselfish instrument for the spread of the Militia of the Immaculata movement and the growth of the Church. Amen. 
O MARY conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.
THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL owes its origins to the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the chapel of the Rue du Bac, Paris, in 1830. She appeared to Catherine of Laboiuré, showing the young nun and future canonized saint the design of a medal that serves as a mini-catechism of the Church's teaching on Our Lady.
In a vision, Mary stood on a globe with brilliant light streaming from her jeweled fingers. "Behold the symbol of graces shed upon those who ask for them," she said, representing herself as Mediatrix of All Graces. Surrounding her a banner read, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you," symbolizing her Immaculate Conception. The vision reversed, showing the letter "M" entwined with a cross above the Sacred Hearts. This image rep­resents Mary as Co-redemptrix, a unique participator in Jesus' saving act of redemption.
Millions of medals have been distributed and un­told graces given "to those who wear it around the neck" as the Virgin promised to St. Catherine. 

Lastly, here are answers to frequently asked questions regarding Total Consecration according to Maximilian Kolbe if you're interested: 
1. What is Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary?
“According to the traditional definition Consecration to Mary consists in “offering oneself entirely to Mary, in order, through Her, to belong totally to Jesus. This consecration implies a complete and never-ending dedication of ourselves to the Blessed Virgin (all that we are and have) and a generous and total dependence on Her.” (Fr. Luigi Faccenda, “One More Gift: Total Consecration to the Immaculata According to the Spirituality of St. Maximilian Kolbe”,West Covina, CA: Immaculata Press, P. 31)
2. What does it mean to give oneself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Immaculate?
When we give ourselves to Our Lady, it means “we offer to Mary our soul with all its powers and faculties: affections, memory, intellect, will and freedom. We offer to Her our material goods, both present and future. We give Her our spiritual goods which means our merits, virtues, and past, present and future good works.” (Faccenda, p. 32)
3. How does Total Consecration relate to the ordinary duties of a Catholic?
When we were baptized, we renounced Satan and all his evil works (through our godparents) and consecrated ourselves to Jesus Christ. Through both Baptism and Confirmation, we promised to live according to the Commandments and the teachings of the Church. Jesus told us:”You must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Mt. 5:48) St. Paul reminds us: “For this the will of God, your sanctification.” (Eph. 1 :4)
When we totally consecrate ourselves to the Immaculate we are able to live out these baptismal vows more perfectly. In trustingly and lovingly becoming Her instruments, allow her to guide us every moment of our lives in order that She may mould us more and more into the image of her first-born son.
4. What dispositions are needed on the part of those who consecrate themselves to Our Lady?
According to St. Maximilian Kolbe anyone who consecrates oneself to Our Lady should be a “docile instrument” in Her hands. They should recall from the “Solemn Act of Consecration” that they are her “property and possession”. They should be willing to sacrifice themselves for Her as did St. Maximilian when he invited his friars to come to the missions with him for Our Lady: “Come with us to die of hunger, of fatigue, of humiliations, and of suffering for the Immaculate!”
5. What does it mean to be the “property and possession” of the Immaculate according to St. Maximilian in his prayer of Consecration?
To be the “property and possession” of the Immaculate it means that we belong entirely to Her as Her possession. We are Hers, according to St. Maximilian, even more so than a slave; a slave has rights. We have given her ourselves, all the “powers of soul and body”, our “whole life, death and eternity,” and “whatever pleases You.” In return, Our Lady will take us as Her “property and possession” and make sure that all our works, prayers, and virtues are pleasing to God. Because She is our Mediatrix with Her Son Jesus, all that we do for Her will be increased to the maximum for Her glory and the salvation of “many strayed and indifferent souls” for the spread of the “Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.”...

“Everywhere Is Love!”: Day 8 in the Preparation for Total Consecration According to St. Maximilian Kolbe

On Day 8, this last day of preparation for our consecration, let us contemplate further St. Maximilian's insight and wisdom regarding the Immaculata - who guided him at each moment of his life - up until he obtained the crown of martyrdom he had chosen as a young boy.
"Just a few hours before his second and final arrest, St. Maximilian Kolbe on February 17, 1941, wrote down his last reflections on the Immaculate Conception. The question, "Who are you, O Immaculate Conception?" occupied his priestly mind and heart forming him to be a living witness of the power of the Immaculate and to die as a living offering of love.

[These are his last reflections in their entirety:]

 “IMMACULATE CONCEPTION. These words fell from the lips of the Immaculata herself. Hence, they must tell us in the most precise and essential manner who she really is.
Since human words are incapable of expressing divine realities, it follows that these words: “Immaculate,” and “Conception” must be understood in a much more profound, much more beautiful and sublime meaning than usual: a meaning beyond that which human reason at its most penetrating, commonly gives to them.
St. Paul wrote, quoting the Prophet Isaiah: “Things that the eye has not seen, that the ear has not heard, that the heart of man has not imagined” (Is. 64,4), such are the good things that God has prepared for those who love him (I Cor. 2,9). Here, these words apply fully.
However, we can and should reverently inquire into the mystery of the Immaculata and try to express it with words provided by our intelligence using its own proper powers.
Who then are you, O Immaculate conception?
Not God, of course, because he has no beginning. Not an angel, created directly out of nothing. Not Adam, formed out of the dust of the earth (Gen. 2,7). Not Eve, molded from Adam’s rib (Gen. 2,21). Not the Incarnate Word, who exists before all ages, and of whom we should use the word “conceived” rather than “conception”. Humans do not exist before their conception, so we might call them created “conceptions.” But you, O Mary, are different from all other children of Eve. They are conceptions stained by original sin; whereas you are the unique, Immaculate Conception.
Everything which exists, outside of God himself, since it is from God and depends on him in every way, bears within itself some semblance to its Creator; there is nothing in any creature which does not betray this resemblance, because every created thing is an effect of the Primal cause.
It is true that the words we use to speak of created realities express the divine perfections only in a halting, limited and analogical manner. They are only a more or less distant echo- as are the created realities that they signify- of the properties of God himself.
Would not “conception” be an exception to this rule? No; there is never any such exception.
The Father begets the Son; the Spirit proceeds from Father and Son. These few words sum up the mystery of life of the Most Blessed Trinity and of all the perfections in creatures which are nothing else but echoes, a hymn of praise, a many-hued tableau, of this primary and most wondrous of all mysteries.
We must perforce use our customary vocabulary, since it is all we have; but we must never forget that our vocabulary is very inadequate.
Who is the Father? What is his personal life like? It consists in begetting, eternally; because he begets his Son from the beginning, and forever.
Who is the son? He is the Begotten-One because from the beginning and for all eternity he is begotten by the Father.
And who is the Holy Spirit? The flowering of the love of the Father and the Son. If the fruit of created love is a created conception, then the fruit of divine Love, that prototype of all created love, is necessarily a divine “conception.” The Holy Spirit is, therefore, the “uncreated, eternal conception,” the prototype of all the conceptions that multiply life throughout the whole universe.
The Father begets; the Son is begotten; the Spirit is the “conception” that springs from their love; there we have the intimate life of the three Persons by which they can be distinguished one from another. But they are united in the oneness of their Nature, of their divine existence.
The spirit is, then this thrice holy “conception,” this infinitely holy, Immaculate Conception.
Everywhere in this world we notice action, and the reaction which is equal but contrary to it; departure and return; going away and coming back; separation and reunion. The separation always looks foreword to union, which is creative. All this is simply an image of the Blessed Trinity in the activity of creatures. Union means love, creative love. Divine activity, outside the Trinity itself, follows the same pattern. First, God creates the universe; that is something like a separation. Creatures, by following the natural law implanted in them by God, reach their perfection, become like him, and go back to him. Intelligent creatures love him in the conscious manner; through this love they unite themselves more and more closely with him, and so find their way back to him. The creature most completely filled with this love, filled with God himself, was the Immaculata, who never contracted the slightest stain of sin, who never departed in the least from God’s will. United to the Holy Spirit as his spouse, she is one with God in an incomparably more perfect way than can be predicated of any other creature.
What sort of union is this? It is above all an interior union, a union of her essence with the “essence” of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit dwells in her, lives in her. This was true from the first instant of her existence. It was always true; it will always be true.
In what does this life of the Spirit in Mary consist? He himself is uncreated Love in her; the Love of the Father and of the Son, the Love by which God loves himself, the very love of the Most Holy Trinity. He is a fruitful Love, a “Conception.” Among creatures made in God’s image the union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all (cf. Mt. 19,6). In a much more precise, more interior, more essential manner, the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of the Immaculata, in the depths of her very being. He makes her fruitful, from the very first instant of her existence, all during her life, and for all eternity.
This eternal “Immaculate Conception” (which is the Holy Spirit) produces in an immaculate manner divine life itself in the womb (or depths) of Mary’s soul, making her the Immaculate Conception, the human Immaculate Conception. And the virginal womb of Mary’s body is kept sacred for him; there he conceives in time- because everything that is material occurs in time- the human life of the man-God.
And so the return to God (which is love), that is to say the equal and contrary reaction, follows a different path from that found in creation. The path of creation goes from the Father through the Son by the Holy Spirit; this return trail goes from the Spirit through the Son back to the Father; in other words, by the Spirit the Son becomes incarnate in the Womb of the Immaculata; and through this Son love returns to the Father.
And she (the Immaculata), grafted into the Love of the Blessed Trinity, becomes from the first moment of her existence and forever thereafter the “complement of the Blessed Trinity”.
In the Holy Spirit’s union with Mary we observe more than the love of two beings; in one there is all the love of the Blessed Trinity; in the other, all of creation’s love. So it is that in this union heaven and earth are joined; all of heaven with all the earth, the totality of eternal love with the totality of created love. It is truly the summit of love.
At Lourdes, the Immaculata did not say of herself that she had been conceived immaculately, but, as St. Bernadette repeated, “Que soy era immaculada councepciou”: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
If among human beings the wife takes the name of her husband because she belongs to him, is one with him, becomes equal to him and is, with him, the source of new life, with how much greater reason should the name of the Holy Spirit, who is the divine Immaculate Conception, be used as the name of her in whom he lives as uncreated Love, the principle of life in the whole supernatural order of grace?”
(Sketch: Feb. 17, 1941")

O, how great are the depths of these mysteries and how we must give ourselves time to ponder them - for the above wisdom is the fruit of St. Maximilian's lifelong contemplation of Mary within the plan of the Holy Trinity.
To help us, let's read further of the exuberant joy that comes from contemplating the greatness of God's love and His plan of salvation:
With Mary on a Mission
Everywhere Is Love! 
Scrutinizing with ecstatic admiration the divine plan of salvation, whose origin is the Father who freely willed to communicate to creatures the divine life of Jesus Christ revealed wondrously in Mary Immaculate, Father Kolbe, fascinated and enraptured, exclaims: ‘Everywhere is love’ (KW1291). 
The gratuitous love of God is the answer to all doubts.God is love,’ says St. John (1Jn 4:8). These words, pronounced by Pope St. John Paul II during his homily of December 8,1982, at Santa Maria Maggiore, two months after the canonization of Father Kolbe, hold the key to understanding mission in the perspective embraced and lived by St. Maximilian. 
Mission, in fact, it is all about love: the excessive love of God the Father who dreams of the happiness of every creature and gives His Son for us (cf.Jn 3:16). It is about the excessive love of Christ, who became man for us in Mary's womb, let His Heart be pierced on the Cross to quench our dry and hard hearts with the living Water of His Spirit, with His Body broken and his Blood poured forth for us (Jn 19:17-37). It is about the humble love of the young woman of Nazareth, who offered her womb and heart to God in the abandonment of faith, so that in time and in history He could realize this plan of salvation and love (cf.Lk 1:26 -38).
With the depth of the mystics and saints, Maximilian, follower of St. Francis, understood that the infinite love of the Triune God for humanity was fully revealed through Jesus Christ. In the mystery of the Incarnation and the Cross, God humbled Himself, became poverty, weakness, flesh. The Lord Jesus stripped / emptied Himself of everything and surrendered to our hands (cf. Phil 2:6-7):  
He is totally-given Love...
St. Maximilian, however, did not forget that the mystery of this emptying took place in the womb of Mary, as St. Paul reminds us: When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law(Gal 4:4). For a special gift of grace, we could say for a unique charism, Maximilian was allowed to grasp and accept with great clarity the mystery and mission of Mary in God's plan. 
For Maximilian, Mary is not only the creature whom God chose as His Mother to enter into the world: she is the Immaculata, the new Woman, the redeemed humanity dreamed of by God. She is, even today, the Mother of God who became man, called to continue to work with the Holy Spirit in generating the Son in the hearts of men. (emphasis mine)

... And the Word was made flesh (Jn 1:14) as the result of the love of God and the Immaculata. So He became the firstborn, the Man-God, and souls are not reborn in Christ by any other way, other than through the love of God toward the Immaculata and in the Immaculata. (KW1296)
Just as Jesus became incarnate through Mary and the power of the Holy Spirit, so Christ is made incarnate again in each of us through the same eternal exchange of love of the Holy Spirit and the Immaculata! 
It is a great mystery, which at its heart can be summed up:
"Everywhere is love!
All life, all existence, all grace is the excessive unbounding love of God, which the Immaculata alone receives and incarnates perfectly - not only in and for herself - but in all those who unite themselves perfectly - (fully) to her! 
(I pray this summation of these great mysteries does justice to them...)
St. Maximilian further explains in practical ways how Mary's love perfects our offerings:
"... It is true that we love the Father in the Son, in Jesus Christ, and to Him we must give all our love, in order that in Him and through Him all our love might be received by the Father. But it is not any less true that our acts, be they even as holy as possible, are not without blemish, and if we want to offer them to Our Lord pure and immaculate, we must direct them straight to Her who alone is Immaculate, and give them to Her as Her property, so that as Her own property She might give them to Her Son. Then they will become without blemish, immaculate. Having then received an infinite value through the Divinity of Jesus they will worthily honor God."

Lastly, here is one last quote which, again, in practical terms expresses what complete abandonment to the will of God through Mary looks like in our lives:
From the Writings of St. Maximilian Kolbe (KW 46 and 56)
Let us work with prudence, patience, and humility, but with perseverance, purifying continuously our intentions, to fulfill only the will of God through the Immaculata, helping each other by prayer, advice and action.
Let us be led, let us be quiet, quiet, let us not claim to do more than she wants, or faster [than she wants it]. Let her carry us; she will take care of everything, she will provide for all our needs of the soul and the body; let us give to her any difficulty, displeasure, let us trust that she will take care of them better than we could. Therefore peace, peace, a lot of peace in unlimited confidence in her. We did not make the MI; we do not know nor can carry it forward. If the MI belongs to our Heavenly Mother, the obstacles will make it stronger, and if not, let it fall; why should we meddle? If even our Heavenly Mother would not want the MI to last, but be content with what it has done so far, she is Our Lady; may she do whatever she likes. Let us take care of things, but let us not worry about them. We need that the external and internal tribulations, the failures, the listlessness, the fatigue, the jeers, the misfortunes, and other crosses purify and strengthen us. It takes a lot of patience even with ourselves and even with the good God, who tries us out of love."

This abandonment of everything into the hands of Mary is another way of expressing our abandonment of everything to God and His Holy Will;
for it is His Will that we give ourselves completely to Mary so she and the Holy Spirit can form us into other Christs...
When and if we do so, 
we come to trust ever more fully that all is love, which is another way of saying with all trust that "all things work together for good for those who love God" (Romans 8:28)

When we understand this, we can be filled with true joy and peace    
even when all our plans fail, 
even when we are ridiculed, rejected, tested and tried...
even when we are called to give up our life - 
in a thousand tiny ways throughout each day or ultimately in martyrdom -
for we truly understand that it is in dying we are born to eternal life!
It was this abandonment to God, through Mary the Immaculata, which enabled Maximilian to be filled with the grace and peace and love of God in the midst of a "struggle [that] is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens" (Eph 6:12).

It can do the same for us. 
If we also give all we are to Mary (for the love of God), their love will form us, too, into living offerings of love and witnesses of the power of the Immaculata.

St. Maximilian, be with us and help us to live this total consecration through prayer, mortification and Charity in the midst of this great battle for our souls and the souls of all God's children.
Intercede for us to become great saints in and through the Immaculata, our advocate - as we attend Mass, pray the mysteries of the rosary and wear the miraculous medal - not only in preparation for our Total Consecration, but from now on daily (to the extent that it's possible), praying:

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all those who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of Holy Church and all those recommended to you.

© Janet Moore 2019. All Rights Reserved.