St. Thérèse wrote in her autobiography, “God gave me the consolation of contemplating at close range the souls of little children.” She reflected, “Seeing innocent souls at such close range, I understand what a misfortune it was when they were not formed in their early years, when they are soft as wax upon which one can imprint either virtue or vice.” 2
Indeed, an innocent soul is precious. St. Dominic Savio, who died at the early age of fourteen, was known for his gentle and kind soul. His virtue was well developed, and he was known to help others living at the Oratory with St. John Bosco along the path of virtue. In his memoirs, St. John Bosco reported a vision he had while sleeping of St. Dominic Savio. The boy was leading other children in Heaven. He was clothed in garments with jewels and flowers that gave honor to the purity he maintained within his soul. When St. John Bosco asked St. Dominic what was his greatest consolation at the time of death, Dominic replied, “What helped me most and gave me greatest joy when I was dying was the loving care and help of the great Mother of God. Tell your sons not to fail to keep close to her while they are alive. But hurry—the time is almost up.” 3
Thus, we see there is indeed a window of opportunity to cultivate tender young souls in virtue when such work is gentle and well received. Our Lord sends us help with such an important task. He sends us His Mother to help in cultivating holiness in His children. Our Lady, in her humility, never forces her help upon anyone, but waits to be asked. This Consecration journey to Jesus through Mary is the request we make to Mary to bring a soul entrusted to her under her mantle of protection. The soul brings all it has—past, present and future—to be placed at the disposal of Mary. In turn Our Lady takes the soul by the hand and guides it to its true home in Heaven while cultivating a multitude of fruits.
The Consecration is one with an ultimate end leading to Jesus. As Jesus is one with the Father, and the Breath between the two is the Holy Spirit, then essentially the Consecration brings a soul to closer union with God in His Three Persons (cf. Catechism 703).