Spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort I
By Father Anthony Mellace

Click here to read part two>>>The Marian Spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort Part II
Click here to read part three>>>The Marian Spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort Part III
NEW Click here to read part four>>>The Marian Spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort Part IV

Part I

I believe that the greatest devotee to the Blessed Virgin Mary was the holy priest and missionary, St. Louis de Montfort. He even wrote a book about her mysteries that shook the world to its foundations. His work entitled "The True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary" has yet to be surpassed in its beauty, style, charm, profundity of doctrine, balance and love of Mary. Anyone devoted to Mary needs to carry this book with him just as zealously as an Evangelical honors his Bible.

In his work, St. Louis tells us that problems exist in society because people do not know Jesus. He goes on to say further that Jesus is not known as He should be, because Mary herself is not known. In order to possess Jesus, we need to know Mary. Before developing his theme, St. Louis had to respond to an important question raised by many in his time: "Was Mary necessary to God in order for Him to save the world?" St. Louis responded that in the absolute sense, "no!". God is God and does not depend on a creature in order to fulfill His plans. God is free and can save the world without Mary, choosing another way or method. However, in truth, God did decide in choosing this particular way, which is Mary; not for any necessity on His part, but through a will that we call hypothetical or relative. In a certain sense, Mary did become necessary to God, because He wanted it to be so (though not true in itself). God made Mary a necessity in His plans, simply because He wanted it that way (though He really did not need to do so).

The following example will illustrate this teaching: If I were to make a journey, I would have at my disposal, as vehicles to realize the trip, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, buses, trains, planes, etc. I do not depend on just one vehicle, I have many to choose from. Once I choose the type I want, the others are dispensed. During the trip, the chosen vehicle becomes for me, in a certain sense, necessary, without which I cannot complete my journey. Now if God began the world's salvation with Mary, He is going to continue and complete it with her, because it is the way He chose to follow. We can affirm, therefore, that according to the plan established by God, Mary was necessary to Him for the coming of His Son. "It was through the Holy Virgin that Jesus came to us, and it will be through her that He will reign in the world...It is through Mary that the salvation of the world began, and it is through her that it will be consummated." (St. Louis de Montfort).

God wants to exalt Mary for all she is and has done. To reward the extreme poverty she practiced throughout her life, God has enriched her with his graces, conceding to her the power to distribute them to whomever she desires. To honor her extreme humility, God glorified her by handing over the obedience of all men and the power to fill heaven with saints. Due to this, the prayers of Mary before God are of greater value than those of all the saints and angels combined. God refuses her nothing. She dispenses His graces, works His marvels, restores the human race, intercedes for mankind, and is the faithful companion of His triumphs.

God also gave her the power to form Jesus within us. The Holy Spirit produces Jesus in the members of the Church according to the measure that He sees Mary in them. It is only in such measure that He will produce Jesus. Those who are not born of Mary, are not members of Jesus. Mary does not form the head (Christ) without at the same time, forming the body (the Church). Only she is capable of realizing such wonders of grace because no one was ever like her in purity, sanctity and spiritual fecundity. "When Mary plants her roots in a soul, she realizes wonders of grace that only she can produce...Mary has power over souls because she has power over her Son." ....And to no creature, pure as it might be, is permitted entrance into that sanctuary (Mary), except through a great and special privilege.." (St. Louis de Montfort).

In the end times, Mary will produce the greatest saints of the Church that she herself will form and educate. This is understandable since she was able, in collaboration with the Holy Spirit, to produce the greatest work that any human creature is able to do: the God-man Jesus. Mary, therefore, is necessary for our salvation. Not to love, honor, and serve Mary because of a malicious will, is a sign of one's perdition. On the other hand, devotion to Mary is practically a sign of salvation. To those called to a special perfection, devotion to Mary is indispensable and of greater necessity. Without this devotion, it is impossible to be intimately united to Jesus. Only Mary alone, was able to obtain the grace of God, without the help of anyone. How difficult it will be for others to find it without her! "All those who possess grace have it because of Mary...Mary has the power to let us enter into the sublime and secret ways of perfection." (St. Louis de Montfort).

The way to salvation and sanctity is Mary. Those who want to enrich themselves spiritually need to supplicate the graces from her. Mary enlightens, strengthens, leads, sustains and protects all her saints. The hour has come, now, for Mary to be glorified. There are seven reasons as to why God wants to exalt Mary:

1) He wants to exalt her humility and be glorified in her
2) She is the dawn that precedes the sun of justice
3) She is the clean, direct and perfect way to Jesus
4) In the end times, God will manifest in Mary His mercy to convert sinners, His grace to sustain and animate the servants of Jesus and His power to destroy lies, idolatries, divisions, and evils.
5) As Supreme Artist, He wants to reveal to the world his "obra prima" of love and mercy, who is Mary.
6) She is the way that Jesus will choose to come back to us.
7) She will crush the serpent's head.

The desire of God is that Mary be ever more known, loved and honored as never before in history. "Even though Mary was loved and honored throughout the centuries, she still deserves even more...the figures of the Old Testament were unable to do what Mary did.." (St. Louis de Montfort).

In the next article, the theme of Mary according to St. Louis de Montfort will be continued. The above text is a free translation from the Portuguese version of my book entitled "The Rose of Sharon."

Father Anthony Mellace



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