Dominican Saints 101: St. Louis de Montfort
April 26, 2012
“God alone.” This was the motto of St. Louis Marie de Monfort (1673-1716, feast – April 28), who is most known for his work True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. It might seem ironic that someone who would spend his life spreading a true form of devotion to Mary would have as his motto, “God alone.” Yet, for St. Louis, Marian devotion can only be understood in light of a proper understanding of the true worship of God. St. Louis de Montfort was a priest, a third order Dominican, and the founder of two religious communities. He spent the greater part of his priesthood traveling around Europe by foot and preaching about the Blessed Virgin Mary. The best summary of his teachings on Mary can be found in his True Devotion, which he prophesied would be hidden by Satan. This prophesy came true, and the work was hid for over 100 years until its first publication in 1842. In this work, he lays out the Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary, and in that form of consecration we are able to see what his teachings about Mary are based on. For St. Louis de Montfort, someone consecrates himself to Mary so as to be more fully consecrated to Christ. He wrote:
As all perfection consists in our being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus it naturally follows that the most perfect of all devotions is that which conforms, unites, and consecrates us most completely to Jesus. Now of all God’s creatures Mary is the most conformed to Jesus. It therefore follows that, of all devotions, devotion to her makes for the most effective consecration and conformity to him. The more one is consecrated to Mary, the more one is consecrated to Jesus. (True Devotion, 121)
In other words, consecration to Mary has the purpose of drawing us closer to God. And thus, his motto: “God alone.” All is done through Mary, but for God. Almighty and eternal God, who made the Priest Saint Louis an outstanding witness and teacher of total devotion to Christ your Son through the hands of his Blessed Mother, grant us that, following the same spiritual path, we may constantly spread your Kingdom. Through Christ our Lord.