Dear reader, welcome to the new manual that will guide you through the Totus Tuus Journey! It is our hope that you read and “journey” the contents of this book, so you may feel and claim the soulful treasure hidden in it.
This process retrieves its origin at the outset of the eighteenth century, specifically between 1700 and 1716, the time in history that witnessed the ministry and apostolic zeal of St. Louis-Marie de Montfort.
Throughout his ministry, Montfort was haunted by the question, “Where does the main problem in the world come from?” He soon realized that “the universal failure comes from the Christians’ habitual forgetfulness of the promises and responsibilities of Baptism” (TD 127). Thus he suggested a process that fostered deep Christian awareness in communion with Mary.
The pastoral experience of this process, in the Philippines, dates back in 1986, when the first two Montfort Missionaries in the country were asked by some lay people of Manila to direct the Montfortian Month, almost a yearlong process of preparation for the consecration to Jesus Christ, Incarnate Wisdom, through the hands of Mary.
They accepted the challenge with courage and enthusiasm and soon were rewarded with an atmosphere of unique creativity, rich of insights and deep sharing. The guidelines were subsequently collected into a book, Totus Tuus Journey, published in 1988, authored by Claude Sigouin and Mario Belotti.
Since 1986, more than seventy groups have gone through the process, mostly facilitated by Montfortian lay associates, in various parts of the Philippines. In the course of time the original manual went through various revisions and publications, thus proving a great interest and desire among Christians to be assisted by the Montfortian spirituality in their journey to Christ. This manual marks the 30th anniversary of the process in the Philippines and aims at keeping the passion for it alive and high. Compared to the previous manuals, this is rather new in its contents and methodology; however, it maintains the same vision, mission and goal.
The Totus Tuus Journey (TTJ) is fundamentally a “pilgrimage of faith” which facilitates a deep encounter with Christ. In the words of Saint John Paul II, it is a pilgrimage in which “Mary precedes the people of God” (Redemptoris Mater, 3). In the context, the Pope emphasises that Christians need qualified people to guide them along the pilgrimage; in particular he mentions the name of St. Louis de Montfort. He writes: “Marian spirituality […] finds a very rich source in the historical experience of individuals and of various Christian communities present among the different peoples and nations of the world. In this regard, I would like to recall, among the many witnesses and teachers of this spirituality, the figure of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, who proposes consecration to Christ through the hands of Mary, as an effective means for Christians to live faithfully their baptismal commitments” (RM 48).
John Paul II spoke from his personal experience: “The reading of this book (True Devotion to Mary) was a decisive turning point in my life. I say ‘turning point’, but in fact it was a long journey […] This ‘perfect devotion’ is indispensable to anyone who means to give himself or herself without reserve to Christ and to the work of redemption”. And in the course of an audience with the Montfortian families, he confessed: “It is from Montfort that I have taken my motto: ‘Totus Tuus’ (I am all yours)”.
The relevance of this process is affirmed and testified by the desire of many women and men of today’s society to realize true wholeness in their life. With this in mind, the reader is invited to enter this journey of faith in a spirit of prayer and love, confidently looking forward to the attainment of its reward, i.e., our “transformation into Jesus in the fullness of his age on earth and of his glory in heaven” (TD 119).