Have You Given Yourself to Mary?

St.Louisby Donal Anthony Foley

St. Louis de Montfort was a preeminent promoter of devotion to Our Lady, and indeed proposed a formula of complete consecration to her as part of his Marian teaching. Today is the 300th anniversary of his death on April 28, 1716, at the age of 43. He spent most of his short priestly life in Western France, and his two best known Marian works are the Treatise on True Devotion and The Secret of the Rosary. He took the idea of “Holy Slavery” to the Blessed Virgin, as found amongst French spiritual writers, including St. John Eudes, and developed it more fully.

The notion of “slavery” sounds odd to modern ears, but all it really means is being in a freely willed state of total consecration – total abandonment – to the love and guidance of Our Lady, in the knowledge that this is the ideal way to draw closer to God.  The idea of consecration to Our Lady in de Montfort’s thought, which can easily be misunderstood, really means consecrating oneself to Jesus through Mary, and is not an end in itself.  Similarly, the idea of “spiritual childhood,” developed and popularized by St Thérèse of Lisieuxas, is perhaps easier for the modern mind to accept and understand.

And just as St. Louis advocated this idea of total consecration, so at Fatima, Our Lady herself said to Lucia during the June 13, 1917 apparition that she would stay on earth for some time longer because, “Jesus wants to use you to make me known and loved. He wishes to establish devotion to my Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by me to adorn His throne.”  This devotion to the Immaculate Heart also implies a special personal consecration to her if it is to be truly effective, just as parishes, dioceses, and even countries, such as Portugal, have been consecrated to her.

St. Louis composed a formula of consecration to the Blessed Virgin which emphasized the idea of the individual making a total offering of self to God through Mary, arguing that this was really a renewal of the baptismal vows in which the individual is completely consecrated to God. He insisted, though, that this consecration had to be carried over into daily life, as a lived spirit, if it was to be really effective. And this is also the case with devotion to Our Lady of Fatima, which has to be a lived devotion if it is to bear fruit in our lives.

The Prophecies of St. Louis

St. Louis made a number of interesting prophecies concerning the future role of Mary in the Church and the world, including this statement in True Devotion: “If … as is certain, the knowledge and the kingdom of Jesus Christ must come into the world, it can only be as a necessary consequence of the knowledge and reign of Mary. She who first gave Him to the world will establish His kingdom in the world.”

St. Louis wrote that we could look forward to a wonderful Marian age to come, just as Our Lady promised the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart at Fatima and a period of peace for the world. He foresaw men and women who, in their true devotion to Mary, would prepare the way for Christ by living the message of the Gospel in simplicity and humility, and thus inaugurate a future great triumph for Christianity, but one also involving persecution and suffering for the Church.

So we can see St. Louis as a herald of Our Lady at Fatima, and indeed his work has been approved by a number of Popes. He was finally canonized in 1947, indicating that the Church has found nothing objectionable in his ideas on the total consecration to the Blessed Virgin, and he may one day be declared a Doctor of the Church.
St. Louis de Montfort, pray for us!

For further reading on Marian Consecration, click here, or visit our gift shop.

Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian and maintains a related web site at www.theotokos.org.uk.

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1 Comment
  1. To Learn more about St Louis de Montfort Google Shrine of Our Lady of The Island.
    The Montfort Fathers gave conferences (a novena) leading to today’s feast day.,

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