A Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin

True Devotion to Mary, first pages

In this wonderful book, St. Louis de Montfort starts out by describing, in very strong words, the blessings of Our Lady:

It is by the most holy Virgin Mary that Jesus has come into the world, and it is also by her that He has to reign in the world.

Mary has been singularly hidden during her life. It is on this account that the Holy Ghost and the Church call her alma Mater,–Mother secret and hidden. Her humility was so profound that she had no propensity on earth more powerful or more unintermitting than that of hiding herself, even from herself, as well as from every other creature, so as to be known to God only. He heard her prayers to Him, when she begged to be hidden, to be humbled, and to be treated as in all respects poor and of no account. He took pleasure in hiding her from all human creatures in her conception, in her birth, in her life, and in her resurrection and assumption. Her parents even did not know her, and the Angels often asked of each other: Quae est ista? Who is that? Because the Most High either hid her from them, or if He revealed any thing of her to them, it was nothing compared to what He kept undisclosed.

God the Father consented that she should do no miracle, at least no public one, during her life, although He had given her the power. God the Son consented that she should hardly ever speak, though He had communicated His wisdom to her. God the Holy Ghost, though she was His faithful Spouse, consented that His Apostles and Evangelists should speak but very little of her, and no more than was necessary to make Jesus Christ known.

Mary is the excellent masterpiece of the Most High, of which He has reserved to Himself both the knowledge and the possession. Mary is the admirable Mother of the Son, who took pleasure in humbling and concealing her during her life, in order to favour her humility, calling her by the name of woman (mulier), as if she was a stranger, although in His heart He esteemed and loved her above all angels and all men. Mary is the sealed fountain and the faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost, to whom He alone has entrance. Mary is the sanctuary and the repose of the Holy Trinity, where God dwells more magnificently and more divinely than in any other place in the universe, without excepting His dwelling between the Cherubim and Seraphim. Neither is it allowed to any creature, no matter how pure, to enter into that sanctuary without a great and special privilege.

I say with the Saints, The divine Mary is the terrestrial Paradise of the New Adam, where He is incarnate by the operation of the Holy Ghost, in order to work there incomprehensible marvels. She is the grand and divine World of God, where there are beauties and treasures unspeakable. She is the magnificence of the Most High, where He has hidden, as in her bosom, His only Son, and in Him all that is most excellent and most precious. Oh, what grand and hidden things that mighty God has wrought in this admirable creature! How has she herself been compelled to say it, in spite of her profound humility: Fecit mihi magna, qui potens est! The world knows them not, because it is at once incapable and unworthy of such knowledge.

The Saints have said admirable things of this Holy City of God; and, as they themselves avow, they have never been more eloquent and more content than when they have spoken of her. Yet, after all they have said, they cry out that the height of her merits, which she has raised up to the throne of the Divinity, cannot be fully seen; that the breadth of her charity, which is broader than the earth, is in truth immeasurable; that the grandeur of her power, which she exercises even over God Himself, incomprehensible; and finally, that the depth of her humility, and of all her virtues and graces, is an abyss which never can be sounded.

Without trying to add anything to the words of St. Louis de Montfort, it seems that Mary should be venerated because she is the masterpiece of God, and because she is the ideal human being.

In other words, she is the maximum potential of humanity, realized. So that, if you were to start doing as much good as you can, and only good–or rather, cooperating completely and unreservedly with the inspirations of God in your soul, and resisting every single temptation, big and small–from the first moment of your existence in conception, until the end of your life, you would reach the height of glory and merit that Mary did.

And since she’s the ideal, if we look to her, and try to imitate her virtues, we cannot fail. Whereas with the other Saints, they may make mistakes or have incorrect judgment, so that if we follow them religiously we might also err, if we follow Mary, we can’t go wrong, since she never made a single mistake.

This also explains why she is a safe and sound spiritual mother: even though she’s just a human like us, she loves us with a motherly love that absolutely no other person can ever attain, even the rest of the Saints put together. So where one mother might get overwhelmed or another frustrated or another impatient at our failings, she is kind, gentle, understanding, forgiving, and always wants nothing more than to lead us to her Divine Son, Jesus Christ.

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