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33 Days to Morning Glory

From Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, author of the popular book "Consoling the Heart of Jesus," comes an extraordinary 33-day journey to Marian consecration with four giants of Marian spirituality: St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Blessed Pope John Paul II. Father Michael masterfully summarizes their teaching, making it easy to grasp, and simple enough to put into practice. More specifically, he weaves their thought into a user-friendly, do-it-yourself retreat that will bless even the busiest of people. So, if you've been thinking about entrusting yourself to Mary for the first time or if you're simply looking to deepen and renew your devotion to her, "33 Days to Morning Glory" is the right book to read and the perfect retreat to make.

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A New Day Dawns for Marian Consecration

A divine exclamation point to a passionate plea came in the form of an image of the Blessed Mother crashing to the floor. Last June, in a talk to Marian novices, Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC, confessed that his devotion to Mary Immaculate had gotten "dry" and needed a "jumpstart."

"The prayers of novices are powerful, so please pray for me," he requested. It had been a long day. He sensed that some of the novices were getting fidgety.

"Guys," he said, "this is serious." At that moment, an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe that had hung for years on a wall of the retreat house on Eden Hill where they were meeting, fell with a crash and broke. The novices gasped.

Point taken.

They must have dedicated many prayers for Fr. Michael's intentions because a month later, while attempting to take some much-needed days off, he woke up with a fully formed idea of how to inspire (as well as jumpstart) Marian devotion to a degree he had never imagined. He spent that entire day writing, the evening reading and researching, and slept very little. He spent the following nine days on an identical schedule.

The result is the new book by Marian Press titled 33 Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration.

Though he jokes that the prayers of the Marian novices "ruined" his vacation, Fr. Michael says writing the book has already resulted in many graces, including reviving his own Marian zeal and firing up "other tepid souls to a greater love for Mary."

In the simplest of terms, by means of Marian consecration, we give ourselves to Mary to be formed into the image of her Son, Jesus.

"This is why we're encouraging so many of our Marian Helpers to consecrate themselves to Mary, because she brings us most intimately into that encounter with Jesus," says Fr. Michael, the director of the Association of Marian Helpers and author of the critically acclaimed book Consoling the Heart of Jesus (Marian Press). "The Association of Marian Helpers is dedicated to knowing and proclaiming the mercy of God, and the key ally, the key person to help us, is Mary Immaculate."

Saint Louis de Montfort (1673-1716), author of the seminal book on Marian consecration, True Devotion to Mary, described total consecration to Jesus through Mary as "the surest, easiest, and most perfect means" to becoming a saint. Long an enthusiastic promoter for Marian consecration, Fr. Michael says his book updates and modifies the 33-day regimen typically followed to prepare for such a blessing — the de Montfort Fathers' esteemed Preparation for Total Consecration.

"Updated, because since St. Louis de Montfort's death there have been even more insights into Marian consecration by great contemporary saints of Marian consecration, namely St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and Blessed John Paul II," says Fr. Michael. "So it's an updated version of the consecration preparation, because it includes these other three Marian giants who have most dramatically added to the beauty and richness of consecration spirituality."

Also, instead of what can seem like a "33-day marathon" of litanies and prayer, Fr. Michael's book prescribes 33 days of "spiritual reading and prayerful pondering." The book is broken down so that readers spend seven days each on the Marian consecration teachings of St. Louis de Montfort, St. Maximilian Kolbe, Blessed Mother Teresa, and Blessed John Paul II. Then the final five days are for review before reciting the Prayer of Consecration (preferably after receiving Holy Communion).

Why the phrase "morning glory" in the title?

"Because the act of consecrating oneself to Jesus through Mary marks the beginning of a gloriously new day," says Fr. Michael, "a new dawn, a brand new morning in one's spiritual journey. It's a fresh start, and it changes everything."

In writing the book, Fr. Michael says he grew in his appreciation for the special calling given by God to the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, who have been entrusted to spread devotion to Mary Immaculate and the message of The Divine Mercy. As the Marians' efforts to spread Divine Mercy continue to reach millions around the world, Fr. Michael says his new book marks an "opening volley" in the Association of Marian Helpers' efforts to re-emphasize the spirituality of Mary Immaculate and her powerful role in salvation history.

The book will also play a major role in an exciting new Association initiative to create small group, parish-based, faith renewal programs. The so-called Hearts Afire Parish-based Programs for the New Evangelization is designed "to set hearts on fire with love of God and neighbor and to inspire works of mercy in our families, parishes, and communities."

Using 33 Days to Morning Glory, Hearts Afire is being tested in pilot programs around the country. Hearts Afire will officially be introduced on the live broadcast on EWTN of the Divine Mercy Sunday celebration on Eden Hill on April 15.

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Deb — Jan 5, 2012 - 17:38 EST

I bought this book and started the consecration on December 31st. I have done the St. Louis consecration twice and never really understood what I was doing. So far with this book, my eyes are being opened to the most amazing things regarding a relationship with Mary and I am thinking of each days reading and making myself NOT read ahead. This is opening my eyes and my heart to Mary.

Jeanne Fjelstad — Jan 7, 2012 - 13:38 EST

THE FIRST TIME I EVER TUNED INTO THE DIVINE MERCY CHAPLET ON EWTN, FATHER MICHEAL ( NOT YET A PRIEST,IN HIS CRISP MARIAN BLUE DRESS SHRT) JUST SEEMED SPECIAL TO ME . GOD BLESS YOU FATHER !!!!!

Jennay — Jan 19, 2012 - 19:53 EST

This book seems like a miracle! I have very high regards for Fr. Michael Gaitley. God must be using him to bring many to Mary and through Her, to Jesus. Let us rejoice!

Fred D. — Apr 25, 2012 - 17:47 EDT

It seems that 33 days for Marian preparation is a bit long, especially in the times we live in? At the Foot of the Cross was it that hard for the disciple to be able to make the choice to take Mary into his home/heart? Marian consecration is meant for a child and has always seemed more simpler than the thought of older adults feeling as though the needed to prepare for a whole month in order to give themselves as a gift.

Rob — Jul 24, 2012 - 1:26 EDT

Fred, a full month is appropriate because we need, as adults, to be renewed in mind, heart and soul. Children generally have a lot less bagage to get rid off. A month for adults should help us to become disposed to give ourselves totally to Jesus through Mary and then live out that consecration on a daily basis. Not easy to do but the Holy Spirit will help us accomplish that as He did with Mary our Mother.

Donna — Aug 13, 2012 - 15:06 EDT

My Prayer Group made our Consecration
on June 29. It was an awesome 6 weeks
spiritual journey!! I highly recommend
this retreat for everyone!! We can not
wait for the Consoling Your Heart to Jesus retreat for Oct 1!! It will change
your life!!

Anne_Elizabeth — Aug 26, 2012 - 17:55 EDT

I made my consecration today.

Marty — Nov 9, 2012 - 19:41 EST

Do you think your book 33 Days would be suitable for middle-school age children? If not, do you suggest another resource?

Sarah — Nov 13, 2012 - 12:07 EST

Great question, Marty. I think "33 Days to Morning Glory" is suitable for that age group. In fact, we've heard of children even younger than that who have understood and profited from the book. The main reason why may be Fr. Gaitley's way of explaining profound points in an understandable way and keeping them concrete. Hope this helps!

Paul Cranley — Jan 2, 2013 - 19:55 EST

I did my first 33 Day Consecration to Mary in 1994 and have repeated it yearly every year. After a few years the meanings of the words were jumping off the page and into my heart. Fr. Michael's book is an outstanding way to bring the incredible graces of Consecration to this generation.
My Daughter, while in college said after her first Consecration, "This is a great way to jump-start your prayer life". I agree fully. Thank you Fr. Michael & Mother Mary!

Janet — Feb 3, 2013 - 20:16 EST

I heard Fr Gaitley on a Lighthouse catholic media tape, I asked my husband for 33 days for Christmas. I did the 33 days and made my consecration yesterday after the 8am mass (feast of the presentation/purification). I have just started daily meditation and this retreat was a perfect way to begin. I start a 10 week course on the Ignation exercises on the 6th of Feb letting Mary into my heart is a great grace. Thank you/God bless

jessy thomas — May 23, 2013 - 10:43 EDT

why it is 33 days.

Brian — May 31, 2013 - 11:16 EDT

I made my Consecration today!

Mark — Jun 17, 2013 - 18:22 EDT

I made the 33 day consecration and on the advise from Fr. Michael's book ended it on May 12, the feast day of fatima. I have to admit it was easier than I expected. The book is simple to understand yet very deep and profound in getting to what Consecration to Jesus through Mary really means. It's a new way of life. Although it's only been 5 weeks I can honestly say I know and feel Mary interceding for me and my family as I offer any merits I may earn up for her to distrubute as she sees fit. This worried me at first. In fact I started and stopped the book once. I have always prayed so specifically for others and situations obviously putting family and friends first. I pray the rosary as often as possible and mostly while driving. I feared surrendering and trusting. At this point I can only say it is beyond anything I expected. She is with me and I'm with her. It's impossible to convey fully. Lastly, I asked her on the last day to give me a sign my concecration was adequate. (not demanding only asking so I could grow my confidence in her). I forgot asking and went to drive to get dinner from work and the moment I opened the door the strongest smell of flowers came from inside. My whole trip it was there and I check the car for the source but there wasn't one and it was only from inside. I know this was my sign the moment the scent hit me. Mary told me we are united in a special way. Now I offer my merits to her but only remind Mary that she know what's in my heart. Things are happening in a surprising way now thanks to Mary.

MARIA LUZ — Aug 9, 2013 - 12:15 EDT

Thank you FR. MICHEAL THIS BOOK HELP ME SO MUCH. WHEN I USED TO PRAY TO MARY ONCE IN A WHILE THE IMAGE ALWAYS WAS A STATUE OF MARY. AFTER THE SECOND TIME OF DOING IS RETREAT MARY BECAME A LIVE PERSON. SHE`S MY MOTHER NOW AND I TALK TO HER ALL DAY ,AND I KNOW JESUS IS VERY HAPPY.

Donna — Sep 27, 2013 - 22:57 EDT

I did the St. Louis de Montfort consecration to Mary back in the early 1970s while our family were missionaries in Canada. I'm not proud of the next part because we later divorced. I am remarried and have the Internal Forum and we live as brother and sister for many years.
Would it be wrong for me to take the consecration again?

Erin — Oct 5, 2013 - 20:17 EDT

I didn't realize any changes had taken place until a few weeks after I had finished "33 Days". I have struggled with obesity for all of my adult life, and I suddenly had the desire, the will, and the grace to begin a healthy & successful (30 pounds in 2.5 months!) weight loss plan.

The ONLY variable in my life between trying & failing over and over and what's happening now is Marian Consecration. When I run (I run now!), I pray, "Stella Maris...be the wind in my sails!" Small miracles are happening every day but with big results.

LoveGodAndAsHeLoved — Nov 1, 2013 - 23:18 EDT

Magnificent talk by Fr. Michael Gaitley tonight in Madison, WI. Pray for Fr. Gaitley-he said the Marians are under attack. We consecrated in a (parish) pilot program this summer, and take the class again through a parishwide program coming up next week. We have been ontologically changed! Everyone take this class! Please!

Ann-Marie — Jan 9, 2014 - 3:26 EST

I read the book after hearing about it from a friend and I loved it then gave it to my 2 college age daughters and my husband and one of my daughters read it and loved it. Then I led a group in our parish and had about 60 people signed up and we did it. Then I gave it to my 7th grade daughter's teacher and asked him to lead it with his class and the 7th and 8th graders did it and watched the DVD's each week as well and they loved it. So I would highly recommend it to middle school age students. It is so powerful but so easy to do. It is a great book to give to people and an easy way to get more people Consecrated to Jesus through Mary. God bless you, Fr. Micheal!!! Mary, continue to use us as your fit instruments! A great evangelization tool! I will be starting the "Consoling the Heart of Jesus" as Lenten Retreat soon. So please pray for our parish. God bless you, Fr. Michael!

JE — Jan 18, 2014 - 13:06 EST

I did this consecration twice in 2013. You find new things each time. The gifts and graces come surely afterward. My life circumstances have changed significantly for the better, and I am a better person, too.

Mary — Oct 25, 2014 - 8:12 EDT

I am on day 7 and a little confused about turning over the "merits" of my prayers. Does this mean grace I get for praying? Or the disposition, i.e. Answer to my prayers themselves?

Fr. Michael states early in the book that we should not give up praying for family, friends and personal needs. I had dedicated decades of my rosaries to specific intentions and now feel at a loss on how to proceed. I do feel blessings daily, and for that I am grateful. I understand the part about turning over merits of any good deeds. Thank you in advance.

Joey — Nov 5, 2014 - 20:09 EST

I am on day 2 and I am praying that my whole family will be with me at the end on end of this retreat on day 33.


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