Story by Reagan Scott
(SNR) - Saturday, May 13 marks 100 years since the first time Our Lady of Fatima appeared to siblings Jacinta and Francisco Marto and their cousin Lucia Santos at Fatima, Portugal.
At Fatima, three of Mary’s essential messages were to first, repent and do penance; second, to pray the Rosary daily for the conversion of sinners and third, to consecrate oneself to her Immaculate Heart.
As the 100th anniversary of Mary’s appearance at Fatima approaches, Wayne Ringer, Mary Ringer and Bob Sullivan were motivated to create a campaign to encourage others to consecrate (or re-consecrate) themselves to Mary.
“This is a very special year, and I feel like Jesus is going to give an outpouring of grace at Mary’s hand,” Mary Ringer said. “Jesus loves Mary so much, and he wants us to love her too.”
Marian Consecration is a way to totally consecrate oneself to Jesus through Mary and is preceded by 33 days of preparation before consecrating oneself on a Marian feast day. After the first year, people may re-consecrate themselves every year after that. To consecrate oneself to Mary this year on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, preparations begin April 10.
“Mary was Christ’s first disciple, and Christ’s most perfect disciple; thus, she has a thing or two to teach us about authentic discipleship,” Wayne Ringer said. “Christ gave Mary to us as a mother while hanging on the cross when he addressed his beloved disciple, who represented all disciples thereafter, ‘son, behold your Mother… Mother behold your son.’ Jn 19:26.
“We consecrate ourselves that we may be more devoted, more committed to our Lord,” he explained. “Consecration is much more about the heart and the will than it is about the intellect.”
Two of the most popular methods for Marian consecration are through the books, “True Devotion to Mary” by St. Louis de Montfort and “33 Days to Morning Glory” by Father Michael Gaitley.
These books take readers through the process of Marian Consecration, step by step. Either method may be used, but interested individuals must acquire the books, available in Catholic bookstores or on online.
While 33 days of preparation might sound daunting, it is the goal of Wayne Ringer, Mary Ringer and Sullivan to make the preparation period easier through fellowship.
After their own consecrations to Mary, Wayne and Mary Ringer were inspired to begin a group to encourage others to consecrate themselves on this special feast day.
“Our consecration to Mary has borne many fruits in our lives,” Wayne said. “I first consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary on Dec. 8th, 1991. I received a tremendous amount of courage and apostolic zeal from the consecration, and my relationship with Christ deepened. It was our hope to share this great gift of the Church with others.”
The group leaders are all members of Regnum Christi, which encourages small apostolates to lead others to encounter Christ. To encourage others to consecrate themselves to Mary this year, Wayne Ringer and Sullivan are leading the men’s team through the Facebook group, “1000 Man Consecration.” Mary Ringer is leading the women’s team in the Facebook group, “All Thine: Women to Jesus Through Mary.” Anyone is welcome to join these groups.
“I have produced over 25 videos on Facebook that promote consecration by having laymen, laywomen, priests, brothers, sisters, seminarians and Bishop Conley testify to the power of consecration in their own lives,” Wayne Ringer said. “These videos are great to share with others, as they witness the very real grace that is available by entrusting our whole lives over to our Mother Mary.”
Through the Facebook groups, Mary Ringer said she hopes that people will be able to post things that they meditate on throughout the day as they begin the preparation for their consecration.
In the video, Bishop Conley said that he first consecrated himself to Mary two years after he became Catholic (in 1976).
He said, “I look back at that moment in my life where I gave everything to Mary in total consecration to her Immaculate Heart, and it’s changed everything in my life; not only as a young Catholic but then my vocation to the priesthood, my service as a priest and now my service as a bishop.”
Mary and Wayne Ringer acknowledge that there are amazing benefits that come from Marian Consecration.
“Consecration implies mission. God has given us each a mission at our baptism to faithfully complete. If we do not fulfill this mission, no one else will – it is OUR mission. Mary, the Mediatrix of all grace, gives us everything necessary to do the will of God in our particular calling,” Wayne Ringer said.
Mary Ringer has seen the blessings that she has received in her life through Marian Consecration and wishes to share those same gifts with others.
She said, “My relationship with Jesus didn’t really take off until I consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary. I’m hoping that people will have that defining moment in their life and will find peace and joy in their relationship with Jesus.”