This is an Epic book! – Highly recommend. It has brought wonders to my life and so many others. To Jesus through Mary.
In addition to 33 days to Morning Glory I have read both St. Luis de Montfort’s True Devotion and The Marian Vow by FI Fr. Stefano M. Manelli. Although I got a lot out of Luis de Montfort’s book, 33 days to Morning Glory by Michael E. Gaitely, MIC is my top choice because it benefits from St. John Paul II’s more recent teaching and Vatican II’s contribution as well as the modern Sts. Kolbe and Mother Teresa. Fr. Stenfano’s book I recommend as an aside project if you want to dive more deeper into Marian action in your life (She acting through you) after you read the other two books mentioned.
Let us remember that Gaitely chose to open the work with a quote from Vatican II. (the cover page before the table of contents – at least in my edition)
“Everyone should have a genuine devotion to [Mary] and entrust their life to her motherly care” -Vatican II
Gaitely also divides his book into 4 major parts. He starts with St. Luis de Montfort, then continues with St. Maximilian Kolbe, then St. Mother Teresa and ends with St. John Paul II.
As is stated in the intro to his fourth part, “St. John Paul II, “The most Marian Pope,” as he’s been called, profoundly deepened the Church’s understanding of Marian consecration. Building on the work of the Second Vatican Council, he provides us with a thoroughly biblical treatment of Marian consecration…”
It is good to remember that it was Vatican II that has given Mary as mediatrix a deep push into authoritative Church teaching in Lumen Gentium. The Dogmatic Constitution of the Church (Lumen Gentium) teaches in paragraphs 61-2. (Bold mine – Vatican Translation)
61. Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was on this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace.
62. This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.(15*) By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and cultics, until they are led into the happiness of their true home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix. This, however, is to be so understood that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator.
For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.
The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. It knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more intimately adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.
It is no wonder why Gaitley chose to end with St. John Paul II, because he built upon Vatican II’s call for Marian maternal help so wonderfully expressed in Marian consecration. Vatican II helped the greatest Marian Pope ever deepen his understanding of Mary’s role and give him a push to bring it into his mission and our lives more fully.
Overall, I hope you pick up any material on Marian Consecration if you have not already done so. She does not take away crosses but she does dip them in honey. Personally, I know that when I made the consecration so many graces were brought into my life. I hope to live up to this calling in my every day life.