Saint Louis de Montfort is one of Our Lady’s greatest apostles. Pope John Paul II came to this understanding while he was a student in the seminary.
He was having difficulty with the issue of devotion to Our Lady, perhaps fearful that devotion to Mary would in some way take attention away from devotion and consecration to Jesus.
Then Pope John Paul II read Saint Louis de Montfort’s very popular and compelling book, True Devotion to Mary. His conversion experience was so powerful that he spent his pontificate speaking about Marian Spirituality, culminating in his greatest legacy to Catholics: The Luminous Mysteries or the Mysteries of Light, in which he detailed five new mysteries of the Rosary.
One hundred years from now, The Luminous Mysteries will almost certainly be viewed as the crowning achievement of his pontificate.
Today, every person has the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II and, like he, commit to a fervent devotion to Mary. Saint Louis de Montfort’s astounding explanation of Mary’s place in theology and in our spiritual lives underscores the reason dedication to Mary is completely Christ-centric.
Mary leads us to Jesus because he is always with her. Saint Louis de Montfort understood the numinous relationship between Mary and Jesus. It is a truism to say, “To Jesus through Mary.” Mary, the first apostle and the first Christian, is the easiest road to Jesus Christ. It took the inspiration of a saint, like Saint Louis de Montfort, to realize that Jesus and Mary are inseparable and that all devotion to Mary is automatically a devotion to Jesus Christ.
Who could possibly know Him better? Mother and Son are linked by a love that we can only imagine. On a human level, we all know of the profound relationship between mother and son. On a divine level, the profundity is beyond our comprehension. We have Saint Louis de Montfort to thank for the enlightening revelation of the love between Jesus and his mother, Mary. For his unique insight into Marian Spirituality, Saint Louis de Montfort has been thought of as a “Doctor of the Church.”
Who was Saint Louis de Montfort?
He was ordained in Paris, France, in 1700 and died in 1716. He was an itinerant preacher dedicated to a life of poverty. Saint Louis de Montfort had trouble with some bishops because of his zeal but was appointed by the pope as an “Apostolic Missionary” to give parish missions. Saint Louis de Montfort was a Charismatic preacher and was immensely popular with the people.
He claimed to be able to convert even the worst sinners if he were only able to touch them with the Rosary. He founded the Montfort Order of the Company of Mary (Montfort Missionaries) and the Daughters of Wisdom, as well as the Brothers of Saint Gabriel.
Saint Louis de Montfort is best known for his writings about Our Lady. Through the ages, his ability to convert people to Mary and Jesus is repeated with almost every new reader of his masterpiece, True Devotion to Mary. It affects every reader who is alive in faith, just as it affected Pope John Paul II when he was a seminarian. The continued popularity of his writings shows the working of the Holy Spirit in the teaching of this unique apostle of Mary.
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