The members of societies think it an honour and a duty to wear the distinguishing badge of their body. The special badge for members of the Archconfraternity of Mary, Queen of our Hearts, is the Medal which everyone knows, a model of the group at Rome in the chapel appointed as the centre of the whole association. The pious slaves of Jesus in Mary need not be urged to wear upon their breast the blest badge of the Heavenly Mother.
In the Treatise of the True Devotion Blessed de Montfort writes these lines already quoted: ‘Those who wish to enter into this particular devotion, which is not at present erected into a confraternity, though that were to be wished, etc.’
This wish of the holy writer has been realized. On March 25, 1899, Monsignor Duhamel, Archbishop of Ottawa, canonically established the first Confraternity in the parish church of Notre Dame de Lourdes.
On April 28, 1913, the Confraternity was erected at Rome, and His Holiness Pius X gave it official rank and the name of the Archconfraternity of Mary, Queen of Our Hearts, enriched by numerous indulgences. Thence it has spread to every country and its members are numbered by hundreds of thousands. For further particulars it is well to refer to the Manual of the Confraternity. I commend it to you.
3. The Feast of the Mystery of the Annunciation.
(3) The third practice which de Montfort recommends ‘is to celebrate with more than ordinary devotion every year the Feast of the Annunciation, for this is the principal feast of this devotion, which was established in order to promote the honour and imitate the dependence in which the Eternal Word placed Himself on this day, for the love of us.’
The mystery of the Incarnation is indeed the basis of the doctrine of the Holy Slavery. It shows us the Son of God, taking in the womb of Mary the form of a slave and subjecting Himself in all things to His holy Mother. He is then indeed the Model Whom we must imitate, and it is His act of dependence that we must produce in all our life in Mary. On this fundamental mystery we must often, and every liturgical year, nourish our souls.
It would be well for each slave to renew his consecration every year with the same three weeks’ preparation. He should also make a duty of renewing this surrender of himself several times a day, but by a shorter formula, for instance this: ‘Tuus totus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt. I am all thine, and all that I have, I offer to thee, O my loving Jesus, through Mary, Thy holy Mother.’ An indulgence of three hundred days each time is attached to the recital of this shortened form of Consecration.
(To be continued.)