Mary, the Mother of God, has always occupied a very particular place in Cistercian hearts and prayer. All of our houses are placed under her patronage and care, and in a special way, on the Solemnity of the Assumption each year, every community of the Order, throughout the world, marks the feast by making an act of consecration. We invite you to join us in prayer as we embrace Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of Cîteaux:
Virgin Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, Our Lady of Bethlehem, look with kindness on all of us who present ourselves to you today. For over nine hundred years generations arising from the humble seed sown by the Founders of the New Monastery have truly sought God under the shade of your mantle. We come before you and consecrate to you in a special way ourselves and all our communities.
We do not count on our own merits, on which we know we cannot presume, but solely on the goodness of your maternal heart. Conform us to your Son, according to the Cistercian grace.
O Mother, by a response of love and total offering to Christ, you desire the spiritual and apostolic renewal of your sons and daughters. We pray to you with confidence: keep under your protection the sons and daughters of the Cistercian family, a you have done for hundreds of years, and receive our thanks for the special favours poured out on them in abundance, especially for that devotion to you which is the precious heritage left us by our Fathers. We love to take up the words of your troubadour, our Father Saint Bernard, to beg you, our Advocate:
Reconcile us with your Son, conform us to your son, stand for us in the presence of your Son. By the grace you have obtained, by the favour you alone were able to obtain, by the mercy to whom you gave birth, grant that he who, through you, chose to share our weakness and our misery, will make us also sharers in his glory and blessedness, through your intercession.Father Saint Bernard
Obtain from your Divine Son – that perfect image of the Father in the Holy Spirit – that all who receive the gift of following him in the Cistercian life may be enabled to bear witness to that gift by their transfigured lives, as they joyfully make their way with their brothers and sisters toward our heavenly homeland and the light which will never grow dim. We ask you that in all of us he may be glorified, blessed and loved, who is sovereign Lord of all things, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.