Children of Mary & Knights of the Immaculata


About Consecration to Mary

To Christ through Mary: Children of Mary and Knights of Immaculata

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much.  You can never love her more than Jesus did.” – St.Maximilian Kolbe

One day far too soon, each of us will look back and cherish our college days spent at Notre Dame, our alma mater. But Notre Dame, French for “Our Lady,” is twice our alma mater, twice our "gracious mother:” Our Lady Mary is also the alma mater of the Church, the gracious mother for all Christians; as Vatican II explained, Mary is “our mother in the order of grace” (Lumen Gentium, 61). Fr. Sorin’s devotion to Christ through Mary led him to found this University named after her, and ever since our community has had a uniquely strong devotion to Our Blessed Mother. If a “spirituality” is any method of encountering God, then two clubs on this campus, the Children of Mary and Knights of Immaculata, have uniquely dedicated themselves to promoting a Marian spirituality– to finding Christ, our living and true God, in and with His Mother, Mary.Mother, Mary.

Devotion to Mary

Perhaps the greatest explanation of devotion to Mary is a book by St. Louis de Montfort entitled “True Devotion.”  In the words of Pope John Paul II, “The reading of this book was a decisive turning-point in my life.  I say ‘turning-point,’ but in fact it was a long inner journey… This ‘perfect devotion’ is indispensable to anyone who means to give himself without reserve to Christ and to the work of redemption.”

St. Louis promoted devotion to Mary as a way to take the Christian life seriously.  “Christians,” he explained, “make a vow at their baptism” to follow Christ completely; “but who has kept this great vow?”  By this devotion, we humbly acknowledge that we have not been faithful to the promises of our baptism, and in this humility we ask Mary, herself perfectly humble, to lead us to her Son and to assist us in becoming perfectly obedient and loving.  For St. Louis, devotion to Mary was a quick and easy way to grow closer to Our Lord: “The more the Holy Ghost finds Mary, His dear and inseparable spouse, in any soul, the more active and mighty He becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul, and that soul in Jesus Christ.”

St. Louis was not concerned about somehow losing sight of Christ by honoring His Mother.  In his words, “The more we honor the Blessed Virgin, the more we honor Jesus Christ, because we honor Mary only that we may all the more perfectly honor Jesus, since we go to her only to find the end we are seeking, which is Jesus.” 

Knights of Immaculata

The Knights of Immaculata is a local chapter of a worldwide movement founded by St. Maximilian Kolbe in 1917.  Through a total consecration to Mary, members seek to immerse themselves in apostolic initiatives and to deepen the knowledge of the Gospel and our Catholic Faith in themselves and in others.  By joining this movement, members become willing instruments of Our Lady, who leads them to personal sanctification, the conversion of society, and ultimately the universal reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Ultimately, St. Maximilian was sent to Auschwitz by the Nazis, where he was martyred.  Since his death, the organization has spread throughout the world, to five continents and in forty-six nations. Official membership now nears four million.

On our campus, Knights of Immaculata works especially hard to prepare students to make this consecration to Jesus through Mary.  The group runs a book study every Sunday, from 4:30pm to 5:30pm in the Dooley room of LaFortune, to give students an intellectual understanding of the theology and practice of this devotion.  Every semester, a group of students from the club formally makes or renews the consecration.  

Children of Mary

Children of Mary is a group of students seeking Christ through a communal prayer life.  While it is distinct from Knights of Immaculata, both clubs often collaborate on shared goals.  In one sense, the Children of Mary work to live out as a community the ideals which the Knights of Immaculata instills in its members.

Saying the Rosary together is a centerpiece of the Children of Mary, who sponsor a daily Rosary Monday through Thursday at Zahm Hall at 10:00pm, before the 10:30pm Mass.  On Friday, members lead a Rosary at Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Lady Chapel of the Basilica at 4:15, before Benediction.  Sundays, the group promotes a Rosary around St. Mary’s Lake, 8:00pm by the Dooley statue near the Grotto.

In addition to attending Mass together at Zahm Hall during the week, Children of Mary sponsor a Solemn Mass in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary every Saturday morning at 9:00am in Alumni Hall Chapel.

Everyone is strongly encouraged to attend any or all of these events.  Individuals interested in learning more about either club, as well as their other activities not listed here, can attend the monthly meetings of Children of Mary. 

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