The characteristics of True Devotion to Mary according to St. Louis de Montfort

By Barb Ernster –

Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary was one of the key aspects of the Fatima message. Fatima is known as the “school of Mary” because it is within her Immaculate Heart that we learn best that perfect devotion to Jesus Christ, that perfect union with His most Sacred Heart, that perfect love where we grow in virtue and holiness.

St. Louis de Montfort, who wrote the classic book on the spiritual way to Jesus Christ through the Blessed Virgin Mary, summarized that “True Devotion to Mary is a way of holiness that is short, easy, secure and perfect.”  He stated, “The more a soul is consecrated to Mary, the more it is consecrated to Jesus Christ.”

One may marvel at the Fatima children’s rapid grown in holiness and their demonstration of heroic virtue and faith in the most challenging of circumstances. Lucia would go on to live eight more decades, giving herself totally to Jesus through Mary and repeating the prayer that Our Lady taught whenever she made some sacrifice: “O Jesus, it is for love of you, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for the sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary.”

According to St. de Montfort’s “characteristics of True Devotion,” the three children certainly achieved this holy way:

Interior: True Devotion to our Lady is interior; that is, it comes from the mind and the heart, it flows from the esteem we have for her, the high idea we have formed of her greatness and the love which we have for her.

Tender: It is tender; that is, full of confidence in her like a child’s confidence in his loving Mother. This confidence makes the soul have recourse to her in all its bodily and mental necessities, with much simplicity, trust and tenderness.

Holy: This devotion to Our Lady is holy; that is to say, it leads the soul to avoid sin and imitate the virtues of the Blessed Virgin, particularly her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual prayer, her universal mortification, her divine purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness and her divine wisdom. These are the ten principle virtues of the most holy Virgin.

Constant: It is constant; that is to say, it confirms the soul in good, and does not let it easily abandon its spiritual exercises. It makes it courageous in opposing the world and its fashions and maxims, the flesh in its weariness and passions; and the devil in his temptations, so that a person truly devout to our Blessed Lady is neither changeable, irritable, scrupulous nor timid.

Disinterested: True Devotion to our Lady is disinterested; that is to say, it inspires the soul not to seek itself but God only, and God in His holy Mother. A true client of Mary does not serve that august Queen form a spirit of lucre and interest, nor for his own good, whether temporal or eternal, corporal or spiritual, but exclusively because she deserves to be served and God alone in her.

St. Louis de Montfort, whose feast day is celebrated today, pray for us.

Learn more about the devotion of Marian consecration on our website.

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