Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Helen
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Posted: Jan 21 2007 at 5:31pm | IP Logged Quote Helen

Welcome to Hidden Treasure!

Please introduce yourself so that we may cultivate a spirit of friendship and support on our journey for Hidden Treasure. Letís consider this place an oasis, a place to catch our breath, rest among friends and refresh ourselves as we head out into the world seeking the richness of heaven. Take a moment to say hello, even if we know you already here at 4Real, and tell us a little bit about what brought you to Our Lady and the desire to make a (or find out more about) total Consecration to her. We value your friendship and good example.



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Posted: Jan 21 2007 at 9:26pm | IP Logged Quote Helen

Well, it looks like Iím the first one here. I could use a little refreshment after the adventures of today. So, Iíll wait here under this lovely palm tree, in front of the cool waters of this oasis for the rest of my (4Real) friends to arrive. Iím looking forward to the little rest Iíll take here and listening to the descriptions of the way the beautiful Mother of God touches the lives of my friends. Iíll begin my story of finding Consecration to Our Lady in case a friend of mine is on her way. (I know in this place, my friends can hear me even if I canít see them.)

My story of Total Consecration begins in Eastern Europe. I was there with my family on an adoption trip. We were supposed to be finalizing our adoption but everything was going wrong. In late July of 1999, our three day trip was extended to a week as problems surfaced and solutions were sought to clear up- what was turning into Ėan adoption disaster. I began my days at the main cathedral attending Holy Mass at one of their magnificent side chapels. Icons of Our Lady were everywhere and great reverence was shown to her by the people.

In order to reach the chapel one had to walk past a miraculous image of Our Lady. No one but the tourist *walked* in front of it. The local people stopped and bowed low, genuflected, or walked on their knees. As I was a tourist, I blithely walked by this image, but only the first few times. Thankfully, through grace, I noticed the reverence shown to this image. I figured ďwhen in Rome, do as the Romans.Ē I too, not really knowing what I was doing but imitating what I saw, would now never pass the image without an act of reverence.

As the adoption was more clearly turning sour, I began to spend more time in front of this image. The morning I heard from the judge ďAdoption DeniedĒ, I had earlier experienced a wellspring of sentiment to promise the Lady of this image:

ďIf you release these children to me, I will enter the MIM of the Franciscans of the Immaculate and make the Marian Vow.Ē

I surprised myself that morning.
What did I say?
I couldnít believe my inspirations nor my words. But I repeated it to the Lady of the Miraculous image, shocking myself further. (Up until this point, I figured I didnít need to join any group because I already said the Rosary every day and went to Mass as often as I could.)

Returning home from this failed adoption trip, I remembered my promise to the Lady of the Miraculous image after Sunday Mass back in my home parish. I renewed my promise in front of the Blessed Sacrament and had a more profound experience of

ďI am not consecrated enough to Our Lady. It needs to be more official.Ē

As soon as I could, I began classes with the FI and began to prepare for the Marian vow of total and unlimited consecration to the Immaculate.


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Posted: Jan 21 2007 at 9:40pm | IP Logged Quote Bridget

I'm here, Helen. It is wonderful to see this up.

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Posted: Jan 21 2007 at 10:18pm | IP Logged Quote KC in TX

I've been led more and more to Mary. It seems she is always calling my name. I will post more later, but I've got to get more things prepared for our Blue Knights meeting tomorrow (I'm the leader--why did I volunteer?). Your story is beautiful.

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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 12:10am | IP Logged Quote Jenny

About 8 years ago I was close friends with a woman who had made her Total Consecration a few years earlier, during her "re-version" to the faith. I was always intrigued, but also very leary, allright scared, of such a devotion to Mary. What about Jesus, I would always think to myself?

Over the next few years I started True Devotion a couple of times, but it was just not sitting right with me. Then the priest we had at the time, Fr Gabet with the Fraternity of St Peter, he has such a strong, child-like love for Our Lady, through talking to him, I started reading again. This time it started making sense, but I was still fearful of committing to Mary. Oh, in the meantime, as we were expecting our first child I asked my husband if she were a girl, could her middle name, and all the middle names of all our future girls be Mary, to which he agreed So, at this point we have 2 daughters, with the middle name after Our Blessed Mother, and I am expecting our 3rd baby, I keep reading, keep asking Fr Gabet questions. I think my main fear stemed from a terrible relationship with my mother and grandmothers; I think, but who knows??

Also at this time, we were wanting to desperately move to this farm, but the owner had other plans. We were in a rent house and my husband and I decided a Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes would be appropriate. We were praying a novena a month that particular year for whatever intention we had. Well, Our Lady of Lourdes was the novena for February of that year and we had just put our house up for sale. It sold and we found a great rent house to use while we waited on the owner of the farm to decide what he wanted to do. So we decided we were going to start a novena to OLOL again, but first I had to find my novena book in the mass of moving boxes. We had also told Mother Mary that we would buy a statue of OLOL and place Her in a prominate place in our home. Ok, the day I started looking, not praying, but looking for my novena book, the owner of the farm called & asked us to move in as soon as the previous owners moved out, he wanted us to live here for a incredible rent price and take care of the farm! We obviously started the novena as soon as I found the book, 9 days petition, 9 days thanksgiving. In the meantime, I had gone to the Catholic Bookstore in town and looked through their catalogs to purchase an OLOL statue. The sales woman was hesitant b/c she said you never really know what the statue could look like just ordering from a catalog. I told her I was not worried b/c I promised Mother Mary a place of honor in our new home & I knew the statue would not be ugly    The store called 2 weeks later & said I would have to come pick out another statue b/c they no longer ordered from that particular company. The next day the store called back to tell me my statue was in! They said they were unloading the truck and there she was! So, we moved into our new home in August of 2001, I delivered our 3rd girl in October of 2001 and made my Total Consecration on the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes in 2002. While making my consecration, my 2 normally well behaved girls (4 & 2) ran up and down the pews in Church    The priest witnessing my consecration, Fr Hathaway FSSP, said not to worry he had expected something like this to happen during my consecration

Wow, do I need to go to bed? That was so much longer than I anticipated and you as well Helen

Thank you Helen for this wonderful forum. I cannot tell you how much your Mary Vitamins are appreciated

Oh as for my statue, well, She has been dropped, and glued, and played with and has a chipped nose and fingers. I have to admit, when we moved intot he larger house on the farm, I placed her in the built in china hutch. But have recently brought her out onto the bookshelf by my rocking chair in the living room.

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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 12:18am | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

Helen, dearest, *you* are a treasure, and I am looking forward to continuing this walk of Faith with you.

True Devotion to Mary is by my side right now, and St. Louis de Montfort means so much to me. (In fact, I wanted to give our newest little girl "Montfort" as a middle name.) This forum is exactly what I need right now.

Your failed adoption story is so touching. Even in sorrow (or maybe especially in sorrow), Our Lady calls us. May God bless you always.

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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 12:40am | IP Logged Quote aussieannie

In all my years of watching EWTN, it has been wonderful to hear holy, apostolic people say that their lives changed radically for them once they had consecrated themselves to Our Lady - Mother Angelica being one of them!

It makes me think of the example Louis deMonfort gave, if we were to make a statue would we prefer to amateurishly chip away at it or pour into the mold given to us by Our Blessed Mother that we know to be already perfect? It is child-like analogies such as this that can make it seem so clear why this form of devotion is so powerful.

I would recommend to anyone who would like to see the importance of Louis deMonfort's devotion for the very first time and what it is all about to read Mary Fabyan Windeatt's "St Louis De Montfort - The Story of Our Lady's Slave."   I have always thrived on simplistic presentations of things in my life. I once heard that if you are an adult entering the church it is always good to start with children's catechisms the way we all did as children, because I think it is those very simple pictures, analogies and facts that are in children's books in fact help us build and expand from there, they act as a good foundation that you never forget.

What I like about Mary Fabyan Windeatt in particular is that she gives you a sentence, phrase, paragraph that is simple and powerful that will have you pondering for days - it is often a little nutshell containing a deep and meaningful truth.

My husband, before we were married, introduced me to the True Devotion.

Actually, I must come back and add that it has been a long, long time since I have renewed my consecration and so I think I can do with some revitalization here.

What a great board, Helen!

God Bless, Anne

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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 4:52am | IP Logged Quote Dawn

Helen, I am here, too. I cannot thank you enough for starting this forum. I just placed my order for True Devotion and can hardly wait to have it in my hands.

Growing up Catholic, Mary has always been "around," but it is only since I became a mother, and especially since my youngest was born, that I have found an intense longing to be near her, to know her more intimately.

I remember this moment so clearly. I was pregnant with my earlybird and we were packing up my grandfather's house. He had just died and all the grandchildren were invited to take what we wanted before the aunts organized a yard sale.

In my father's childhood home, in the stairwell, there is a small window that faces the front porch. Up in that window was an old, faded, but beautiful statue of Our Lady. It had always been there - I had never given it a lot of thought, but it had always been right there.

Just like Mary in my life. Always there in the background.

I asked for and was given permission to take home the statue and I placed it in the nursery. I remember asking Mary to watch over my new baby and help me with the challenge of mothering. I added a few small things to the bureau top - a carved image of Mary and the Baby Jesus and a small porcelain set of the Holy Family (gifts from my husband's grandmother). Just having these things here gave me strength and peace.

And since my son was born, I have prayed to Mary to watch over him. When he was three he was diagnosed with PDD and I know why I felt compelled to bring Mary into our life. I needed her - need her - more than ever.

I ask her daily to help me learn how to be a better wife, mother and friend. I ask her to wrap her mantle around my family every day. I am trying to demonstrate to my boys how special she is, and instill a true devotion in them as well.

I am sorry I have rambled. I just am so happy to ber here. I can't wait to learn more.

God bless you Helen. God bless all you lovely friends!

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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 5:50am | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

Helen, thanks so much for starting this. My parents named me Mary Stephanie and my mother has always had such a devotion to Mary, praying to her as a small child not knowing the words to any "real prayers". My mother's devotion to Mary probably has a great deal to do with why I was blessed with such a good husband and marriage. I say that because I wasn't very prayerful as a young woman, so it must have been my parents' prayers that saved me.

Lately I've been leaning more and more on Mary, and hoping to find the true devotion that my mother had/has. I'm like Dawn, Mary has always been in the background, though I've called to her often since becoming a mother, more so in the past few years.

But yikes! I have had the Consecration book sitting on my shelf since 2002. I've picked it up a few times but didn't really do anything with it but read a few pages, so I'm eager to take this journey with all of you. Looking forward to learning more.

(Oh, and before I forget, thank you so much for Mary Vitamin! It always brightens up my Inbox amid all the darkness of junk mail and spam !)

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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 6:17am | IP Logged Quote Becky Parker

I don't have time to write much this morning but I wanted to say thank you Helen for starting this! It seems my devotion to Mary is so very strong at times in my life, and other times I can barely get myself to pray the rosary. This is frustrating. I love her dearly and want so much to be like her. I have the book True Devotion and will begin reading it. I'm looking forward to this forum as it develops!

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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 11:07am | IP Logged Quote KellyJ

Oh, what a lovely place this is!

My total consecration to our Lady came about through a family crisis. My parents happened to be starting the consecration for the first time during that period of crisis. They introduced me to it just before the preparatory days started it. This was and is using the Montfortian method as outlined in True Devotion to Mary and Preparation for Total Consecration (I hope I got the names right).

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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 7:06pm | IP Logged Quote amiefriedl


I did my Total Consecration to Mary last year. I'm TERRIBLE with dates most of the time so I can't even remember exactly which date it was. I'll have to look it up.

It is such a wonderful thing to be devoted to Mary. Finding a priest that is truly devoted to Mary is a wonderful thing too as Jenny said. Our local FSSP priest is an amazing example for us mothers for his devotion to Mary as well.

I'm a big fan of Mary Vitamin too.

I've gotta run - been on the computer too long already today! See ya'll around!

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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 9:12pm | IP Logged Quote Rebecca

Dear Helen, I am here also. Thank you for this beautiful place to come and learn together.

I was raised by a Catholic mother and a Lutheran father. I became a Catholic when I was seven years old, having been baptized and receiving my First Holy Communion on the same day. I fell away from the Church in college, when I allowed myself to be misled.

I spent many years evangelizing Catholics from the faith, including my own husband to be, for which I am very sorry. Years later, I met a friend who was raising a lovely Catholic family. She had a strong devotion to Mary. Her home was filled with statues and paintings of Our Lady. Her family used to pray in their van while on road trips that we would take together. When they prayed the Hail Mary, at first I did not pray along with them because I did not want to love Mother Mary. I began to investigate the reasons that I had left the Church. Slowly, I realized that I agreed with everything that the Church taught except devotion to Mary. I prayed to her to tell her that I was not going to pray to her. Thankfully, she has a sense of humor and within two weeks of speaking to her for the first time in many years, I became very devoted to her.

There was a long road ahead of me because my husband had believed all the falsehoods that I had taught him about the Catholic Church. I prayed to Mother to soften his heart. Three months later he attended the Easter morning Mass. I then prayed to her that our marriage would be validated and that we could recieve the sacraments again. I prayed that she would soften my husband's heart that my oldest son (who was almost two) could be baptized. A few months later, we were married in the Church and our son was baptized two days later.

I then had to heal all of the wounds I had inflicted by converting my family members from the Church. My husband and I had talked his younger brother from the Church years earlier and I began to pray to Mother that they would return. He was married with two small children. They returned last Easter.

My mother and father in law returned a few years ago as well, as did my husband's sister and, my own mother on the day my oldest made his First Holy Communion.

All of these miracles are from the loving hands of Our Mother.

Yet, I have never made a Total Consecration. I so desire to do so and will follow this forum to learn more.

Love,

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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 9:22pm | IP Logged Quote Helen

Rebecca wrote:
All of these miracles are from the loving hands of Our Mother.

That is so beautiful!



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Posted: Jan 22 2007 at 9:26pm | IP Logged Quote Helen

4mothermary wrote:
Also at this time, we were wanting to desperately move to this farm, but the owner had other plans. We were in a rent house and my husband and I decided a Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes would be appropriate. We were praying a novena a month that particular year for whatever intention we had. Well, Our Lady of Lourdes was the novena for February of that year and we had just put our house up for sale. ...So we decided we were going to start a novena to OLOL again, but first I had to find my novena book in the mass of moving boxes. We had also told Mother Mary that we would buy a statue of OLOL and place Her in a prominate place in our home. Ok, the day I started looking, not praying, but looking for my novena book, the owner of the farm called & asked us to move in as soon as the previous owners moved out, he wanted us to live here for a incredible rent price and take care of the farm!

Sometimes you just know deep in your heart that it is Our Lady who has helped you.
Thank your for your lovely story Jenny.

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Posted: Jan 23 2007 at 9:53pm | IP Logged Quote bfarmmom

Oh how wonderful, I am so pleased to see this. I have the book True Devotion to Mary. I have picked it up a few times but have never finished it. I heard of a Consecration to Our Lady for the first time last year and became curious.
I am a cradle Catholic. Images of Our Lady have always been around me. As I get older and now especially raising a family I feel closer to her. I love Her and I feel Her calling me even closer. With raising my family I haven't made the proper time to enter into a deeper relationship with Her.
Thanks for starting this forum. This is just what I needed.
I hope I am making sense. I am exhausted but wanted to post. God Bless.

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Posted: Jan 24 2007 at 6:01pm | IP Logged Quote Meredith

This is so wonderful Helen, and it's so great to see so many friends here! I am so looking forward to seeking our Hidden Treasure together!

Blessings to all and thank you for this special forum Helen!

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Posted: Jan 24 2007 at 9:20pm | IP Logged Quote Cay Gibson

Hello, Helen and everyone.
Just wanted to let you all know I'm following this forum very carefully. I'm intrigued and inspired.

I could have written Kirsten word-for-word:

Kirsten wrote:
I am a cradle Catholic. Images of Our Lady have always been around me. As I get older and now especially raising a family I feel closer to her. I love Her and I feel Her calling me even closer. With raising my family I haven't made the proper time to enter into a deeper relationship with Her.
Thanks for starting this forum. This is just what I needed.


I have had the book True Devotion to Mary for years. I've taken it off the shelf to scan through but I've never sat down and consumed it.

I find myself overwhelmed and confused as to all the different practices, devotions, consecrations, etc. There's so many wonderful things out there and I'm never sure which one is calling me.

This board has motivated me to try to focus on this consecration. This past Monday I took the book to my Adoration hour and began reading it. I plan to take it each Monday and read a section of it during my holy hour. Slow and steady...

I have been an auxiliary member of the Legion of Mary for many, many years now. Other than the Tessera prayers and rosary I'm not really sure what devotions and practices are expected of me.


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Posted: Jan 24 2007 at 9:43pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

Cay Gibson wrote:
I have been an auxiliary member of the Legion of Mary for many, many years now. Other than the Tessera prayers and rosary I'm not really sure what devotions and practices are expected of me.


Cay, you are so good and do so much to promote the Faith already! I do think you raise an interesting point, and it is one that has been on my mind very much lately. What is expected of us? There are so many beautiful possibilities--possibilities as endless as Our Faith, but the truth is these Catholic charisms all lead in the same direction. No one can do them all, but we need to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit to discover the path God has set in place for us.

This is my long winded way of saying--you bring up such an enormously interesting question. I wonder if it might be explored in a separate thread of its own in addition to this one.

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Posted: Jan 24 2007 at 11:25pm | IP Logged Quote Helen

Cay Gibson wrote:
I find myself overwhelmed and confused as to all the different practices, devotions, consecrations, etc. There's so many wonderful things out there and I'm never sure which one is calling me.

This board has motivated me to try to focus on this consecration.

Welcome Cay! I'm so glad you're here.
As Alice said, all the practices lead to the same end, imitation and full conformity to Christ.

When we turn ourselves over to Our Lady, she will prepare us, mold us into her own image so that we may receive Christ in our hearts and souls. Her heart and soul was prepared especially by God so that she became the Mother of God. She has special insight that no one else possesses. She is uniquely qualified to guide us in the paths of perfection - she, a creature of God, not a divine person, walked them herself.

I began a new thread
What is expected?

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