Devotion to Mary Necessary
for Saints of these Last Times
We must remember that each of us was created by God in His Image to become saints. It is our destiny but only if we discipline our own will and follow the Will of God. St. Louis de Montfort guides us down that path to become great saints of the latter days. He emphasizes that we must truly consecrate ourselves to the Blessed Virgin Mary and make Her known and loved. You can be further guided to do this by becoming an Ambassador of Jesus and Mary (see "Ambassadors of Jesus, Mary and the Catholic Faith").
Taken from "True Devotion" by St. Louis de Montfort
It is Mary alone to Whom God has given the keys of the cellars1 of divine love, and the power to enter into the most sublime and secret ways of perfection; and the power likewise to make others enter in there also.
It is Mary alone Who has given to the miserable children of Eve, the faithless, entry into the terrestrial paradise; that they may walk there agreeably with God, hide there securely against their enemies, feed themselves there deliciously, without further fear of death, on the fruit of the tree of life and drink in long draughts the Heavenly waters of that fair fountain which gushes forth there with abundance; or rather, since She is Herself that terrestrial paradise, that virgin and blessed earth from which Adam and Eve, the sinners, have been driven, She gives no entry there except to those whom it is Her pleasure to make saints.
All the rich among the people, to make use of an expression of the Holy Ghost,2 according to the explanation of St. Bernard — all the rich among the people shall supplicate Her face from age to age, and particularly at the end of the world; that is to say the greatest saints, the souls richest in graces and virtues, shall be the most assiduous in praying to Our Blessed Lady, and in having Her always present as their perfect model for imitation and their powerful aid for help.
Especially Necessary for
Great Saints of the Latter Times
I have said that this would come to pass, particularly at the end of the world and indeed presently, because the Most High with His holy Mother has to form for Himself great saints who shall surpass most of the other saints in sanctity, as much as the cedars of Lebanon outgrow the little shrubs; as has been revealed to a holy soul whose life has been written by M. de Renty.
These great souls, full of grace and zeal, shall be chosen to match themselves against the enemies of God, who shall rage on all sides; and they shall be singularly devout to Our Blessed Lady, illuminated by Her light, strengthened with Her nourishment, led by Her spirit, supported by Her arm and sheltered under Her protection, so that they shall fight with one hand and build with the other.
With the one hand they shall fight, overthrow and crush the heretics with their heresies, the schismatics with their schisms, the idolaters with their idolatries and the sinners with their impieties. With the other hand they shall build3 the temple of the true Solomon4 and the Mystical City of God;5 that is to say, the most Holy Virgin, called by the Fathers the Temple of Solomon, and the City of God. By their words and their examples they shall draw the whole world to true devotion to Mary. This shall bring upon them many enemies, but shall also bring many victories and much glory for God alone. This is what God revealed to St. Vincent Ferrer, the great apostle of his age, as he has sufficiently noted in one of his works.
This is what the Holy Ghost seems to have prophesied in the fifty-eighth Psalm:
"And they shall know that God will rule Jacob, and all the ends of the earth; they shall return at evening and shall suffer hunger like dogs and shall go round about the city."6
This city which men shall find at the end of the world to convert themselves in, and to satisfy the hunger they have for justice, is the most holy Virgin, Who is called by the Holy Ghost the City of God.7
Providential Function of Mary in the Latter Times
It was through Mary that the salvation of the world was begun, and it is through Mary that it must be consummated.
Mary hardly appeared at all in the first coming of Jesus Christ, in order that men, as yet but little instructed and enlightened on the Person of Her Son, should not remove themselves from the Truth in attaching themselves too strongly and too grossly to Her.
This would have apparently taken place if She had been known, because of the admirable charms which the Most High had bestowed even upon Her exterior. This is so true that St. Denis the Areopagite has informed us in his writings that when he saw Our Blessed Lady, he would have taken Her for a divinity, because of Her secret charms and incomparable beauty, had not the faith in which he was well established taught him the contrary.8
But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary is to be made known and revealed by the Holy Ghost, in order that, through Her, Jesus Christ may be known, loved and served. The reasons which moved the Holy Ghost to hide His Spouse during Her life, and to reveal Her but very little since the preaching of the Gospel, subsist no longer.
1. Existence of This Function and Reasons for It
God, then, wishes to reveal and make known Mary, the masterpiece of His hands, in these latter times:
• Because She hid Herself in this world, and put Herself lower than the dust by Her profound humility, having obtained from God and from His Apostles and Evangelists that She should not be made manifest.
• Because, She being the masterpiece of the hands of God, as well here below by grace as in Heaven by glory, He wishes to be glorified and praised in Her by those who are living upon the earth.
• As She is the dawn which precedes and reveals the Sun of Justice, Who is Jesus Christ, She must be seen and recognized in order that Jesus Christ may also be.
• Being the way by which Jesus came to us the first time, She will also be the way by which He will come the second time, though not in the same manner.
• Being the sure means and the straight and Immaculate way to go to Jesus Christ, and to find Him perfectly, it is by Her that the souls who are to shine forth especially in sanctity, have to find Our Lord. He who shall find Mary shall find life,9 that is, Jesus Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.10 But no one can find Mary who does not seek Her; and no one can seek Her who does not know Her; for we cannot seek or desire an unknown object.
It is necessary, then, for the greater knowledge and glory of the Most Holy Trinity, that Mary should be more than ever known.
• Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, in might and in grace, in these latter times: in mercy, to bring back and lovingly receive the poor strayed sinners who shall be converted and shall return to the Catholic Church; in might, against the enemies of God, idolaters, schismatics, Mahometans, Jews and souls hardened in impiety, who shall rise in terrible revolt against God to seduce all those who shall be contrary to them, and to make them fall by promises and threats; and finally, She must shine forth in grace, in order to animate and sustain the valiant soldiers and faithful servants of Jesus Christ, Who shall battle for His interest.
• And lastly, Mary must be terrible to the devil and his crew, as an army ranged in battle, principally in these latter times, because the devil, knowing that he has but little time, and now less than ever, to destroy souls, will every day redouble his efforts and his combats. He will presently raise up cruel persecutions, and will put terrible snares before the faithful servants and true children of Mary, Whom it gives him more trouble to conquer than it does to conquer others.
2. Exercise of This Function in the Struggle Against Satan
It is principally of these last and cruel persecutions of the devil, which shall go on increasing daily till the reign of Antichrist, that we ought to understand that first and celebrated prediction and curse of God, pronounced in the terrestrial paradise against the serpent. It is to our purpose to explain this here, for the glory of the Most Holy Virgin, for the salvation of Her children and for the confusion of the devil:
"I will put enmities between thee and the Woman, and thy seed and Her seed; She shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for Her heel."11
God has never made and formed but one enmity; but it is an irreconcilable one, which shall endure and grow even to the end. It is between Mary, His worthy Mother, and the devil — between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin, and the children and tools of Lucifer. The most terrible of all the enemies which God has set up against the devil is His holy Mother Mary. He has inspired Her, even since the days of the earthly paradise, though She existed then only in His idea, with so much hatred against that cursed enemy of God, with so much ingenuity in unveiling the malice of that ancient serpent, with so much power to conquer, to overthrow and to crush that proud, impious rebel, that he fears Her not only more than all angels and men, but in a sense more than God Himself.
Not that the anger, the hatred and the power of God are not infinitely greater than those of the Blessed Virgin, for the perfections of Mary are limited; but first, because satan, being proud, suffers infinitely more from being beaten and punished by a little and humble handmaid of God, and Her humility humbles him more than the Divine power; and, secondly, because God has given Mary such great power against the devils, that as they have often been obliged to confess, in spite of themselves, by the mouths of the possessed, they fear one of Her sighs for a soul more than the prayers of all the saints, one of Her threats against them more than all other torments.
Lucifer’s Loss from Pride
What Lucifer has lost by pride, Mary has gained by humility. What Eve has damned and lost by disobedience, Mary has saved by obedience. Eve, in obeying the serpent, has destroyed all her children together with herself, and has delivered them to him; Mary, in being perfectly faithful to God, has saved all Her children and servants together with Herself, and has consecrated them to His Majesty.
God has not only set an enmity, but enmities, not simply between Mary and the devil, but between the race of the holy Virgin and the race of the devil; that is to say, God has set enmities, antipathies and secret hatreds, between the true children and servants of Mary, and the children and slaves of the devil. They have no love for each other. They have no sympathy for each other. The children of Belial, the slaves of satan, the friends of the world (for it is the same thing), have always up to this time persecuted those who belong to Our Blessed Lady, and will in the future persecute them more than ever; just as Cain, of old, persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob, who are the figures of the reprobate and the predestinate.
But the humble Mary will always have the victory over that proud spirit, and so great a victory that She will go so far as to crush his head, where his pride dwells. She will always discover the malice of the serpent. She will always lay bare his infernal plots and dissipate his diabolical councils, and even to the end of time will guard Her faithful servants from his cruel claw.
But the power of Mary over all the devils will especially shine forth in the latter times, when satan will lay his snares against Her heel: that is to say, Her humble slaves and Her poor children, whom She will raise up to make war against him. They shall be little and poor in the world’s esteem, and abased before all, like the heel, trodden underfoot and persecuted as the heel is by the other members of the body. But in return for this, they shall be rich in the grace of God, which Mary shall distribute to them abundantly. They shall be great and exalted before God in sanctity, superior to all other creatures by their lively zeal, and so well sustained with God’s assistance that,
with the humility of their heel, in union with Mary, they shall crush the head of the devil and cause Jesus Christ to triumph.
3. In the Formation of the Apostles of the Latter Times
Finally, God wishes that His Holy Mother should be at present more known, more loved, more honored, than She has ever been. This, no doubt, will take place if the predestinate enter, with the grace and light of the Holy Ghost, into the interior and perfect practice which I will disclose to them shortly.
Then they will see clearly, as far as faith allows, that beautiful Star of the Sea. They will arrive happily in harbor, following its guidance, in spite of the tempests and the pirates. They will know the grandeurs of that Queen, and will consecrate themselves entirely to Her service, as subjects and slaves of love. They will experience Her sweetness and Her maternal goodness, and they will love Her tenderly like well-beloved children. They will know the mercies of which She is full, and the need they have of Her help; and they will have recourse to Her in all things, as to their dear advocate and mediatrix with Jesus Christ. They will know what is the surest, the easiest, the shortest and the most perfect means of going to Jesus Christ; and they will give themselves to Mary, body and soul, without reserve, that they may thus belong entirely to Jesus Christ.
But who shall those servants, slaves and children of Mary be?
They shall be the ministers of the Lord, who, like a burning fire, shall kindle the fire of Divine love everywhere.
They shall be "like sharp arrows in the hand of the powerful" Mary, to pierce Her enemies.12
They shall be the sons of Levi, well purified by the fire of great tribulation, and closely adhering to God,13 who shall carry the gold of love in their heart, the incense of prayer in their spirit, and the myrrh of mortification in their body. They shall be everywhere the good odor of Jesus Christ to the poor and to the little, while at the same time they shall be an odor of death to the great, to the rich and to the proud worldings.
They shall be clouds thundering and flying through the air at the least breath of the Holy Ghost; who, detaching themselves from everything and troubling themselves about nothing, shall shower forth the rain of the Word of God and of life eternal. They shall thunder against sin; they shall storm against the world; they shall strike the devil and his crew; and they shall pierce through and through, for life or for death, with their two-edged sword of the Word of God,14 all those to whom they shall be sent on the part of the Most High.
They shall be the true apostles of the latter times, to whom the Lord of Hosts shall give the word and the might to work marvels, and to carry off with glory the spoils of His enemies. They shall sleep without gold or silver, and, what is more, without care, in the midst of the other priests, ecclesiastics, and clerics;15 and yet they shall have the silvered wings of the dove, to go, with the pure intention of the glory of God and the salvation of souls, wheresoever the Holy Ghost shall call them.
Nor shall they leave behind them, in the places where they have preached, anything but the gold of charity, which is the fulfillment of the whole law.16
Finally, we know that they shall be true disciples of Jesus Christ, walking in the footsteps of His poverty, humility, contempt of the world, charity; teaching the narrow way of God in pure truth, according to the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world; troubling themselves about nothing; not accepting persons; sparing, fearing and listening to no mortal, however influential he may be. They shall have in their mouths the two-edged sword of the Word of God. They shall carry on their shoulders the bloody standard of the cross, the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, the sacred Names of Jesus and Mary in their hearts, and the modesty and mortification of Jesus Christ in their own behavior.
These are the great men who are to come; but Mary is the One Who, by order of the Most High, shall fashion them for the purpose of extending His empire over that of the impious, the idolaters and the Mahometans. But when and how shall this be? God alone knows.
As for us, we have but to hold our tongues, to pray, to sigh and to wait: "With expectation I have waited." (Ps. 39:2)
1. Canticle of Canticles 1:3.
2. Ps. 44:13.
3. Esd. 4:7.
4. Summa Aurea x, 367.
5. St. Augustine, Tract on Psalm 142, no. 3.
6. Ps. 58:14, 15.
7. Ps. 86:3.
8. Summa Aurea 842.
9. Prov. 8:35.
10. John 14:6.
11. Gen. 3:15.
12. Ps. 126:4.
13. I Cor. 6:17.
14. Ephes. 6:17.
15. Ps. 67:14.
16. Rom. 13:10.