"Juanito, Juan Dieguito, the most humble of my sons..." These were the tender words of Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego in the first apparition of 1531 in Tepeyac (Mexico City).
Tonight I visited this chapel at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception across the street from the Dominican House of Studies and entrusted those of you discerning with us to our Blessed Mother. The flowers and expressions of love for our Lady were extraordinary. It was possible to smell the roses even from the back of the basilica.
St. Martin de Porres in the mosaic of the chapel offering a prayer before the Virgin.
As you consider God's plan for your life, consider also God's generosity and all that He has given you. If you would like to test your call, consider making a vocation weekend with us at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington DC. On Saturdays of the vocation weekends the men always have sufficient time for prayer and silence. It is even possible to make a mini-pilgrimage over to the Shrine.
On this great feast of our Lady, I thought I would share with you the consecration to her that some of our friars have made shortly after being ordained to the priesthood.
Act of Consecration of a Dominican Priest to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Queen of the most holy Rosary, Help of Christians, Refuge of the human race, Victress in all God's battles, I suppliantly and with great confidence, not in my own merit but solely because of the immense goodness of your motherly heart, prostrate myself before your throne begging mercy, grace, and timely aid.
To you and your Immaculate Heart I bind myself anew and consecrate myself anew in union with your Holy Mother, the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. Once again I proclaim you the Queen of the Order of Friars Preachers - the order, which your son, Dominic founded to preach the word of truth everywhere for the salvation of souls; the order which you have chosen as a beautiful, fragrant, and splendid garden of delights; the order in which the light of wisdom ought to shine that its members might bestow on others the fruit of their contemplation, not only by courageously uprooting heresy but also by sowing the seeds of virtue everywhere; the order which during the course of centuries has gloried in your scapular and in your most holy Rosary, which daily and in the hour of death devoutly and confidently salutes you as advocate in those words most sublime: Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy.
To you O Mary and to your Immaculate Heart I consecrate today my priesthood and my religious life that you might truly be its queen; that perfect observance, the love of your Son in the most holy sacrament of the altar, the love of your praise, and the love of St. Dominic and his virtues might reign in my heart and mind; so that I, thus filled with the spirit of truth, might effectively communicate it to others.
O Mother of Mercy, my mother and the Queen of the world, grant that all nations under the guidance of our supreme Pastor might proclaim you blessed, and together with you intone from pole to pole an eternal magnificat of glory, love and gratitude to the Sacred Heart to Jesus, in whom alone can be found life, truth and peace. Amen.