Meet Sophia Quintieri who is a senior at Lansing Catholic High School. Last year Sophia undertook a 33-day consecration to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Those 33 days changed Sophia's life for the better, as she now explains. Sophia writes:
When a child is in the womb, some of the fetal stem cells are transferred into the mother’s body. The child’s stem cells can even help heal his or her mother. For decades after birth, the mother carries the DNA of her child. Mary, then, had Christ truly coursing through her veins. How could she radiate anything other than Him?
When I am struggling to connect with those around me, see God in my life or have faith in his plan, I turn to Mary. In her, I see the face of Christ. Like me, she was human, but unlike me, she was free from the fog of sin. She gave up her life for me, like Christ did on the cross. It was through her resounding and faithful 'YES!' that God’s plan was fulfilled and Christ came to earth. Her humility and relatability, as well as her strength under the pressure of being the mother of God, offer an inspiration and comfort that I do not see anywhere else.
I often find that God can seem intimidating: He is a perfect entity who does not make mistakes and can be hard to relate to. However, Mary hits a little closer to home. While she was perfect, she was also terrified of what God had in store for her. Through her joyful acceptance of God’s will, she gave her life to him. Her example shows us in a slightly more attainable way what God is calling me to do when he asks me to be like Christ. He simply wants me to let him bring his goodness into every part of my life.
Before knowing Mary, I thought I was fairly involved in my faith. However, I now realize that there was so much missing for me. In February of 2022, I was invited by a classmate to do a Marian consecration. I was hesitant at first but I figured I would check it out and, if I wasn’t interested after a couple weeks of the 33-day preparation, I would stop.
However, through learning about Mary, spending time in prayer with her and welcoming her into my life, I developed a deeper faith than ever. She allowed me to see her son in ways I had never considered, and she was a constant force, even when I did not feel connected to God. It is through a devotion to her that I have understood how much I need her son and how great he is.
Though a Marian consecration seemed absurd when I first heard about it, I am so grateful I know Mary. She has shown me every way he works in my life and helped me offer up everything — the good, the bad, the insignificant — to Christ. This March 25 will be my first Marian consecration "anniversary" and it has been such a faith-filled year for me.
As a teenager in the Catholic Church, there is no denying that my goals and beliefs do not match up with a lot of the goals of the rest of the world. There are times when it would be easier to walk away from my faith. However, Mary gives an outstanding example of loyalty and power by showing that living a Christ-filled life is possible for people like me. Mary was a normal girl simply going about life when she learned that she was designed for great things.
By showing me what a Christ-like life can look like, she shows others like me that our beliefs can be lived out in a world that does not always understand or welcome us. Because of my relationship with Mary, I know Christ and I have hope in his plans.
* First published in FAITH Magazine