A few dozen young Catholics eager to consecrate themselves to their mother gathered in the Gentile Gallery at 7 p.m. on Dec. 5 to hear a renowned Mariologist speak on the history and graces associated with Marian consecration in a talk entitled “Is Mary Really Our Mediatrix?”
Mark Miravalle, who holds a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas and teaches Mariology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, shared a history of Marian devotion and emphasized how essential it is to the Church then and now.
Miravalle said, “Any place that the Holy Spirit acts, the Holy Spirit acts only through Mary.” He concluded from this that Mary must be present in every Mass, Festival of Praise and time of prayer hosted on campus.
Miravalle said that Marian consecration has a long and legitimate history within the Church beginning with African slaves in the 4th century, St. Ildefonsus of Toledo in the 7th century and Sts. Anselm and Bernard in the 12th century. All of these saints promoted Marian consecration as a means of devoting one’s life more fully to Jesus Christ.
According to Miravalle, the spiritual history of the Church names Mary the “efficient … cause of salvation for herself and the whole human race.” Although all grace ultimately comes from God, Miravalle said that God chooses to dispense that grace through Mary, his mother.
Instead of dry facts, Miravalle presented a truth that was full of hope, joy and laughter. He joked with his audience when reminding them that Mary intercedes in the “most mundane” instances of daily life.
Drawing from Mary’s concern for the married couple at Cana, Miravalle said, “She has the authority, she has the power (of a queen) … but she’s concerned about the trifle.”
The event was sponsored by the Mercy through Mary Club, one of Franciscan University of Steubenville’s newest student clubs, and was hosted in honor of Mercy through Mary’s inaugural Marian consecration scheduled for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8.
Sophomore Gracie Tillman said that she appreciated the way Miravalle put complicated Mariology into layman’s terms to better prepare the audience members for their upcoming Marian consecration.
Tillman said, “I feel like he made it really easy to understand. … It does make me a lot more excited for Saturday, for the actual consecration.”