Saturday is the day of the week which is traditionally consecrated to Our Blessed Lady. All traditional altar servers must cultivate a fervent and manly devotion to the Mother of God, and certainly this applies to members of the Sodality.
The Secretary of the SST intends to post on this Blog each Saturday a prayer or chant to the Queen of Heaven, as far as he is able. We start the series with a little prayer written by Fr Zucchi, which is used by the Legion of Mary. It is an excellent short consecration to our blessed Lady, and is worth getting by heart.
O Domina mea! O Mater mea! Tibi me totum offero, atque, ut me tibi probem devotum, consecro tibi hodie oculos meos, aures meas, os meum, cor meum, plane me totum. Quoniam itaque tuus sum, o bona Mater, serva me, defende me ut rem ac possessionem tuam. Amen.
My Queen! My Mother! I give thee all myself, and, to show my devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my entire self. Wherefore, O loving Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, defend me, as thy property and possession. Amen.
Raccolta. 500 days indulgence. Plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if this act of oblation is repeated every day for a month. (S.C.Ind., Aug. 5, 1851; S.P.Ap., Nov. 21, 1936.)
We should not underestimate the power of learning prayers by heart. As the words and the meaning sink into our minds and our hearts, they work with the grace of God - without which nothing is possible in the life of the soul - to convert us and to renew us for God's service. They are indeed sacramentals.
Modern education underestimates the power of learning by heart. Of course, rote learning can be overdone, when there is no attention to developing understanding. But the wisdom of the ages urges on us learning. In times past, a novice monk had to learn the psalter off by heart as part of his training - the 150 Psalms which are recited or chanted each week according to the Holy Rule of St Benedict. Of course, a server must learn the responses of mass perfectly; using a little card is no long term substitute for proper knowledge.
More on memorization another time ...
But who was Fr Zucchi? I am presuming that he was Fr Niccolò Zucchi SJ, 17th century Italian Jesuit, astronomer, and apostolic preacher, but I can't find out for sure. Anyone know?