Book Review: True Devotion to Mary

How can one praise this book enough? St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary is a must-read on  Marian devotion in the Catholic Church. Next to the Eucharist and the Papacy, Marian devotion is probably one of the most misunderstood teachings of the Catholic Church. Most Protestants accuse Catholics of paying too much attention to Mary, and too often in response Catholics will downplay or outright deny the necessity of Marian devotion in the teachings of the Church and the spiritual life. Yes, necessity.

“It was through the most holy Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world, and it is also through her that He has to reign in the world.”

St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary is the handbook on Marian devotion– what it is, in what it consists, why such devotion is necessary, and he also distinguishes between true and false devotions. St. Louis de Montfort demonstrates that those who would accuse the Catholic Church of being excessive in her devotion to Mary are confused, and that the Church is right and obliged to reveal the truth about the necessity of devotion to Mary. Mary’s role in the history of our salvation is far greater than simply giving birth to Jesus Christ. Is her role utterly, completely, and entirely dependent upon the grace of God? Of course! But this does not diminish her role. Mary is but a mere creature of the Creator; but she is a creature to whom great graces have been given. She is our means of finding Jesus, and we go to her only that we may more perfectly find and love her Son, Jesus.

“The Son of God became man for our salvation; but it was in Mary and by Mary. God the Holy Ghost formed Jesus Christ in Mary; but it was only after having asked her consent by the one of the first ministers of His court.”

We cannot find Jesus without Mary. And the more perfectly conformed and united to Mary that we are, the more perfectly conformed and united we are to her Son. This is the essential truth of authentic Marian devotion: it leads to a deeper understanding of and union with Jesus, necessarily. Just as Mary led the servants to her Son in the Bible (cf. John 2:5, “Do whatever [Jesus] tells you”), so too, does she lead us to God when we become the servant of the handmaid of the Lord. It was her will to do the holy will of God, and this is what she will teach us through imitation and prayer.

You can purchase this book here.

I wrote this review of  True Devotion to Mary for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic Store online. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

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Our Lady of the Rosary (aka Our Lady of Victory)

Today is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (also known as Our Lady of Victory).  These two titles are intertwined, especially as we remember today the great victory at the Battle of Lepanto. Led by Don Juan of Austria, the battle of Catholic naval forces of Spain, Austria, and Genoa was won over the Turkish fleet (of Muslims using thousands of Christian slaves as rowers). This victory is credited as belonging to Our Lady because Pope St. Pius V, knowing the Christians were at a disadvantage in battle, called on all of Europe to pray the Rosary for victory. They did, and the Christian fleet was victorious. The Rosary truly is our greatest ‘weapon’.

In honor of Our Lady, pray a Rosary today (and every day!). Imagine if Christians all joined together in praying the Rosary for victory over some of the evils of today: abortion, euthanasia… how quickly we would be empowered if more people would trust in God.

So, in honor of Our Lady today pray a Rosary (today, and every day!). Heed the words of Our Lady at Fatima…

PRAY THE ROSARY EVERY DAY!

Good reads in honor of this feast of the Most Holy Rosary:
Marian teachings of the Popes
The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis Marie de Montfort
The Rosary in Action by John S. Johnson

Here is G.K. Chesterton’s poem Lepanto

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run,
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross,
The cold queen of England is looking in the glass;
The shadow of the Valois is yawning at the Mass;
From evening isles fantastical rings faint the Spanish gun,
And the Lord upon the Golden Horn is laughing in the sun.

Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,
Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,
Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,
The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,
The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,
That once went singing southward when all the world was young,
In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,
Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.
Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,
Don John of Austria is going to the war,
Stiff flags straining in night-blasts cold
In the gloom black-purple, in the glint old-gold.

Torchlight crimson on the copper kettle-drums,
Then the tuckets, then the trumpets, then the cannon, and he comes.
Don John laughing in the brave beard curled,
Spurning of his stirrups like the thrones of all the world.
Holding his head up for a flag of all the free.
Love-light of Spain – hurrah!
Death-light of Africa!
Don John of Austria
Is riding to the sea.

Mahound is in his paradise above the evening star,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
He moves a mighty turban on the timeless houri’s knees,
His turban that is woven of the sunset and the seas.
He shakes the peacock gardens as he rises from his ease,
And he strides among the tree-tops and is taller than the trees,
And his voice through all the garden is a thunder sent to bring
Black Azrael and Ariel and Ammon on the wing.
Giants and the Genii,
Multiplex of wing and eye,
Whose strong obedience broke the sky
When Solomon was king.

They rush in red and purple from the red clouds of the morn,
From temples where the yellow gods shut up their eyes in scorn;
They rise in green robes roaring from the green hells of the sea
Where fallen skies and evil hues and eyeless creatures be;
On them the sea-valves cluster and the grey sea-forests curl,
Splashed with a splendid sickness, the sickness of the pearl;
They swell in sapphire smoke out of the blue cracks of the ground,-
They gather and they wonder and give worship to Mahound.
And he saith, ‘Break up the mountains where the hermit-folk can hide,
And sift the red and silver sands lest bone of saint abide,
And chase the Giaours flying night and day, not giving rest,
For that which was our trouble comes again out of the west.
We have set the seal of Solomon on all things under sun,
Of knowledge and of sorrow and endurance of things done.
But a noise is in the mountains, in the mountains, and I know
The voice that shook our palaces – four hundred years ago:
It is he that saith not ‘Kismet’; it is he that knows not Fate;
It is Richard, it is Raymond, it is Godfrey at the gate!
It is he whose loss is laughter when he counts the wager worth,
Put down your feet upon him, that our peace be on the earth.’
For he heard drums groaning and he heard guns jar,
(Don John of Austria is going to the war.)
Sudden and still – hurrah!
Bolt from Iberia!
Don John of Austria
Is gone by Alcalar.

St Michael’s on his Mountain in the sea-roads of the north
(Don John of Austria is girt and going forth.)
Where the grey seas glitter and the sharp tides shift
And the sea-folk labour and the red sails lift.
He shakes his lance of iron and he claps his wings of stone;
The noise is gone through Normandy; the noise is gone alone;
The North is full of tangled things and texts and aching eyes,
And dead is all the innocence of anger and surprise,
And Christian killeth Christian in a narrow dusty room,
And Christian dreadeth Christ that hath a newer face of doom,
And Christian hateth Mary that God kissed in Galilee,
But Don John of Austria is riding to the sea.
Don John calling through the blast and the eclipse
Crying with the trumpet, with the trumpet of his lips,
Trumpet that sayeth ha!
Domino gloria!
Don John of Austria
Is shouting to the ships.

King Philip’s in his closet with the Fleece about his neck
(Don John of Austria is armed upon the deck.)
The walls are hung with velvet that is black and soft as sin,
And little dwarfs creep out of it and little dwarfs creep in.
He holds a crystal phial that has colours like the moon,
He touches, and it tingles, and he trembles very soon,
And his face is as a fungus of a leprous white and grey
Like plants in the high houses that are shuttered from the day,
And death is in the phial, and the end of noble work,
But Don John of Austria has fired upon the Turk.
Don John’s hunting, and his hounds have bayed –
Booms away past Italy the rumour of his raid.
Gun upon gun, ha! ha!
Gun upon gun, hurrah!
Don John of Austria
Has loosed the cannonade.

The Pope was in his chapel before day or battle broke,
(Don John of Austria is hidden in the smoke.)
The hidden room in man’s house where God sits all the year,
The secret window whence the world looks small and very dear.
He sees as in a mirror on the monstrous twilight sea
The crescent of his cruel ships whose name is mystery;
They fling great shadows foe-wards, making Cross and Castle dark,
They veil the plumèd lions on the galleys of St Mark;
And above the ships are palaces of brown, black-bearded chiefs,
And below the ships are prisons, where with multitudinous griefs,
Christian captives, sick and sunless, all a labouring race repines
Like a race in sunken cities, like a nation in the mines.
They are lost like slaves that sweat, and in the skies of morning hung
The stair-ways of the tallest gods when tyranny was young.
They are countless, voiceless, hopeless as those fallen or fleeing on
Before the high Kings’ horses in the granite of Babylon.
And many a one grows witless in his quiet room in hell
Where a yellow face looks inward through the lattice of his cell,
And he finds his God forgotten, and he seeks no more a sign –
(But Don John of Austria has burst the battle-line!)
Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate’s sloop,
Scarlet running over on the silvers and the golds,
Breaking of the hatches up and bursting of the holds,
Thronging of the thousands up that labour under sea
White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
Vivat Hispania!
Domino Gloria!
Don John of Austria
Has set his people free!

Cervantes on his galley sets the sword back in the sheath
(Don John of Austria rides homeward with a wreath.)
And he sees across a weary land a straggling road in Spain,
Up which a lean and foolish knight forever rides in vain,
And he smiles, but not as Sultans smile, and settles back the blade…
(But Don John of Austria rides home from the Crusade.)

Our Lady of Sorrows… Mary as Co-Redemptrix

“And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

Luke 2:34-35

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows… probably one of my ‘favorites’. There is a shrine in Carey, Ohio to Our Lady of Consolation. When you walk in, on the right hand side is the statue the shrine is named for… but the side the draws my attention, is the left side… Our Lady of Sorrows:

And just underneath the altar: the cause of Mary’s deepest sorrow:

Her Son, her Divine Son, Our Lord, lying in a tomb after being falsely accused, spat upon, treated with such indignities, scourged, paraded like a criminal, and then crucified between two thieves… all for love of us.

Catholic tradition sees seven sorrows (or dolors) of Mary. Seven times the sword that the prophet Simeon predicted would pierce her soul, pierced her Immaculate Heart. First, the presentation in temple where Simeon foretells the coming sorrows. Second, when the Holy Family (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph) must flee to Egypt to escape Herod’s murderous rampage. Thirdly, when on their way back from Jerusalem they “lost” Jesus for 3 days whilst he was in the Temple. Fourthly, as Our Lady watched her scourged and bleeding Son carry His cross to Calvary. Fifthly, at the crucifixion as she stood beneath the Cross of her Son, pouring out His innocent precious Blood for the salvation of sinners. Sixthly, when after the death of Jesus, they lowered His bleeding Body from the Cross and she received her dead Son into her arms. Finally, when they laid the Body of Jesus in the tomb and sealed the sepulcher by rolling a large stone in front of it. Mary suffered with Jesus, as Simeon had foretold, she consented to God’s plans without knowing the details of their unfolding. One of my favorites lines from Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ is when he shows Mary during the scourging at the pillar, she says, “My Son… when, where, how… will You choose to be delivered of this?” She doesn’t cry out, she doesn’t seek to stop His sufferings… she trusts. And in doing so, suffers with Him.

This is what the Church means when she calls Mary Co-Redemptrix. Mary is the woman with the Redeemer. It is impossible to tear Mary from our Redemption. Our Redemption (Jesus Christ) began in her. Our Redemption came through her. She was chosen, and she consented. She stood in sorrow unimaginable beneath the Cross of Our Lord and offered Him to the Father, trusting completely in His plan of salvation.

Today especially, and always: Our Lady of Sorrows, ora pro nobis! (pray for us!)

Mother, have pity on me, who has not loved God, and who has so greatly offended Him. Thy sorrows, it is true, assure me of pardon, but that is not sufficient. I wish to love God. Who could obtain for me that grace if not thee, who are the Mother of holy love! O Mary, Thou consolest everyone; favor me also, with thy consolations. Amen. (Prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori)

Catholic reads for the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows:

The Foot of the Cross by Fr. Frederick W. Faber

Happy Birthday to the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O sacred Virgin; give me strength against thine enemies, and against the enemy of the whole human race. Give me strength humbly to pray to thee. Give me strength to praise thee in prayer with all my powers, through the merits of thy most sacred nativity, which for the entire Christian world was a birth of joy, the hope and solace of its life.

When thou wast born, O most holy Virgin, then was the world made light.

Happy is thy stock, holy thy root, and blessed thy fruit, for thou alone as a virgin, filled with the Holy Spirit, didst merit to conceive thy God, as a virgin to bear Thy God, as a virgin to bring Him forth, and after His birth to remain a virgin.

Have mercy therefore upon me a sinner, and give me aid, O Lady, so that just as thy nativity, glorious from the seed of Abraham, sprung from the tribe of Juda, illustrious from the stock of David, didst announce joy to the entire world, so may it fill me with true joy and cleanse me from every sin.

Pray for me, O Virgin most prudent, that the gladsome joys of thy most helpful nativity may put a cloak over all my sins.

O holy Mother of God, flowering as the lily, pray to thy sweet Son for me, a wretched sinner. Amen.

(Prayer by St. Anselm)

September 8th the Church celebrates the birth of Our Lady, esteemed Mother of God, who, by her Immaculate Conception was also born free from all stain of sin. She is the solitary boast of our race. So in honor of Our Lady’s birthday pray the Rosary, pray the Angelus, the Litany of Loreto, the Salve Regina, and don’t forget Mary’s own prayer: the Magnificat

Good Reads:
The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori
True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort

Mary in the Church

In honor of today’s being the First Saturday of the month, I thought I’d share my compendium of Marian links (online Papal/Conciliar documents and writings of the Saints and other holy writers). I’m constantly updating my compendium, so don’t hesitate to let me know if you’ve found something more.

Prayer of St. Anselm:

O Glorious Lady, grant that through you we may deserve to ascend to Jesus, your Son, who through you deigned to descend among us.

Popes

Supremi Apostolatus Officio, Pope Leo XIII
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/le…fficio_en.html

Octobri Mense Pope Leo XIII
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/le…-mense_en.html

Adiutricem, Pope Leo XIII
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13adiut.htm

Augustissimae Virginis Mariae, Pope Leo XIII
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13augus.htm

Diuturni Temporis, Pope Leo XIII
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13diutu.htm

Fidentem Piumque Animum, Pope Leo XIII
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13fiden.htm

Iucunda Semper Expectatione, Pope Leo XIII
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13ro5.htm

Laetitiae Sanctae, Pope Leo XIII
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13ro3.htm

Magnae Dei Matris, Pope Leo XIII
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13ro2.htm

Superiore Anno, Pope Leo XIII
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13ro4.htm

Vi E Ben Noto, Pope Leo XIII
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13ros.htm

Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ineff.htm

Ubi Primum, Pope Pius IX
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius09/p9ubipr2.htm

Allocution, Pope Pius X
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius10/p10aniv.htm

Ad Diem Illum, Pope Pius X
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pi…ssimum_en.html

Ingravescentibus Malis, Pope Pius XI
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Pius11/P11GRAVE.HTM

Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pi…s-deus_en.html

Ingruentium Malorum, Pope Pius XII
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pi…alorum_en.html

Fulgens Corona, Pope Pius XII
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pi…corona_en.html

Deiparae Virginis Mariae, Pope Pius XII
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pi…mariae_en.html

Ad Caeli Reginam, Pope Pius XII
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pi…eginam_en.html

Christi Matri, Pope Paul VI
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6christ.htm

Mense Maio, Pope Paul VI
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6month.htm

Signum Magnum, Pope Paul VI
http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6great.htm

Marialis Cultus, Pope Paul VI
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/pa…cultus_en.html

Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Pope John Paul II
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/jo…mariae_en.html

Redemptoris Mater, Pope John Paul II
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/jo…-mater_en.html

Saints

True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Monfort
http://www.ewtn.com/library/montfort/truedevo.htm

The Glories of Mary, St. Alphonsus Liguori (excerpts)
http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/glories.htm

The Secret of Mary, St. Louis de Montfort
http://www.ewtn.com/library/Montfort/secret.htm

The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis de Montfort
http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary.htm

Other Marian works

The Mother of the Savior, Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange (excerpts)
http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/mother-savior.htm

The Moral and Social Influence of Devotion to Mary, Dr. Orestes Brownson
http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/MORSOCDM.HTM

The Imitation of Mary, Alexander de Rouville
http://www.scribd.com/doc/4560439/Imitation-of-Mary

The Divine Purpose of Mary’s Compassion, Fr. Frederick W. Faber
http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/mary14.htm
(taken from Fr. Faber’s The Foot of the Cross)

The World’s Happiest Marriage, Msgr. Fulton Sheen
http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/happiest-marriage.htm
(taken from Msgr. Sheen’s The World’s First Love)

When Freedom and Love were One: The Annunciation, Msgr. Fulton Sheen
http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/annunciation5.htm
(taken from Msgr. Sheen’s The World’s First Love)

Marian Consecration

The more we honor the Blessed Virgin, the more we honor Jesus Christ, because we honor Mary only that we may the more perfectly honor Jesus, since we go to her only as the way by which we are to find the end we are seeking, which is Jesus.

St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary

I sought out Marian devotion when I was feeling helpless. I was spiritually drowning by things that don’t matter now, and I was desperate for Faith. I had a priest bring me a scapular (from Rome), and enroll me in the Brown Scapular*. I found a copy of St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary and devoured it. I started the 33-day Preparation for Total Consecration, and consecrated myself to the Blessed Mother on August 15, 2006 (the Feast of the Assumption of Mary).

I think in our modern struggles to be ‘ecumenical’, many Catholics overlook Marian consecration in fear that it might take away from Jesus. They couldn’t be any more mistaken. And they’ve obviously never read St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary. Marian devotion is something essential to Christian faith because how we view Our Lady defines how we think about Our Lord. I’ve been in ‘debates’ about Marian doctrines where the other person has retorted that Mary “was merely a vessel for the birth of the Savior” as though God just uses people and then throws them away after He’s accomplished His designs. That’s not how God has revealed Himself to us. Mary was not a vessel, she was (and is) a mother. She became the mother of Jesus Christ the instant the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and she conceived, in her womb, the Son of God. Thus, Mary is the Theotokos (the God-bearer)… the Mother of God (“Mother of my Lord” cf. Luke 1:43). And she followed her Son to the Cross, where her own soul was pierced as Simeon the prophet had foretold (cf. Luke 2:35). Clearly, she was not forgotten in the plans of God…

… all generations shall call me blessed

Luke 1:48

But what is consecration to the Blessed Mother?  In short, it is the way “to Jesus, through Mary”. As St. Louis de Montfort opens his True Devotion, it was through Mary that Our Lord Jesus Christ came into this world and so it is through her that we ought to go to Him. The great truth of Catholic Marian spirituality is that Mary always leads to her Son, Jesus. Always.

Whatsoever He shall say to you, do

John 2:5

Consecration is about conformity to Jesus Christ. We find our perfection in Him. To this end, and our growth in perfection, St. Louis de Montfort proposes a method of preparation and consecration that is 33 days of preparation + the day of consecration, or about 5 weeks. You can find various books and preparations for consecration according to St. Louis de Montfort that vary slightly. The preparation included in True Devotion to Mary consists of a preliminary period (12 days) to free ourselves from the “spirit of this world”, and then a second period of 3 weeks wherein the first week is devoted to knowledge of ourselves, knowledge of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and knowledge of Jesus Christ which is then crowned by our consecration. It is admitted that this preparation is flexible, and Fr. Helmuts Libietis has done a fine job of compiling a good preparation based on St. Louis de Montfort’s that is divided into 5 weeks, and 4 short meditations for each day followed by the prayers which St. Louis de Montfort suggests for that week titled Consecration to Mary. Slightly different, and perhaps a bit more time consuming than the basics which St. Louis offers in True Devotion, but nonetheless I have personally found Fr. Libietis’ preparation to be doable, and of great assistance in truly getting into the spirit of preparation that St. Louis de Montfort sought. It’s a good help.

So in offering and consecration ourselves to Mary, we seek conformity to her Son. Who was the perfect disciple? Mary. There’s a part in the Sacred Scriptures (which many often mistakenly view and use as an anti-Mary tract) where a woman cries out from the crowd after Jesus has exorcised a demon, “Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps that gave Thee suck” and Jesus responds, “Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it” (Luke 11:27-28). Anyone would have to agree that Mary fulfilled this blessing in a very singular way: she received the Annunciation of the coming of the Savior through the Angel Gabriel, and she responded that the will of God should be done unto her, and then she conceived the Word of God and kept Him, in her womb for 9 months, and thereafter in her Immaculate Heart. Yes, Mary was indeed Blessed to be the Mother of God; but she is blessed even moreso in hearing and keeping the Word of God.  Our Lord’s response to the woman in the crowd was in no way a degradation of Mary as His mother.

Imitation of Mary is imitation of Christ.

Jesus Christ our Saviour, true God and true Man, ought to be the last end of all our other devotions, else they are false and delusive. Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, of all things. We labor not, as the Apostle says, except to render every man perfect in Jesus Christ; because it is in Him alone that the whole plenitude of the Divinity dwells together with all the other plenitudes of graces, virtues, and perfections. It is in Him alone that we have been blessed with all spiritual benediction; and He is our only Master, who has to teach us; our only Lord on whom we ought to depend; our only Head to whom we must be united; our only Model to whom we should conform ourselves; our only Physician who can heal us; our only Shepherd who can feed us; our only Way who can lead us; our only Truth whom we must believe; our only Life who can animate us; and our only All in all things who can satisfy us. There has been no other name given under Heaven, except the name of Jesus, by which we can be saved. God has laid no other foundation of our salvation, our perfection or our glory, than Jesus Christ. Every building which is not built on that firm rock is founded upon the moving sand, and sooner or later infallibly will fall. Every one of the faithful who is not united to Him, as a branch to the stock of the vine, shall fall, shall wither, and shall be fit only to be cast into the fire. Outside of Him there exists nothing but error, falsehood, iniquity, futility, death and damnation. But if we are in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ is in us, we have no condemnation to fear. Neither the angels of Heaven nor the men of earth nor the devils of Hell nor any other creature can injure us; because they cannot separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus Christ. By Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ, we can do all things; we can render all honor and glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost; we can become perfect ourselves, and be to our neighbor a good odor of eternal life (2 Cor. 2:15-16).

If, then, we establish solid devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more perfectly devotion to Jesus Christ, and to provide an easy and secure means for finding Jesus Christ…

St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, #61, 62

Good Reads about the Mother of God:
True Devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort
The Secret of Mary by St. Louis de Montfort
The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort
The Glories of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori
Consecration to Mary by Fr. Helmuts Libietis

*The Brown Scapular

Book Review: Queen Mother

Edward Sri’s Queen Mother is part of the Letter & Spirit Project run by the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology (founded by Scott Hahn). Thus, it focuses almost exclusively on the Sacred Scriptures. Though there have been criticisms regarding the lack of recourse to Sacred Tradition, I don’t think this is ultimately detrimental, nor am I surprised since the goal of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology is biblical theology (hence the name). It does not deny or negate the importance of evidence from Sacred Tradition, or the Magisterium, but simply seeks to draw out a deeper understanding of the biblical evidence of certain themes and doctrines of the Catholic faith.

Dr. Sri’s book is an examination of the Theology of the Queenship of Mary from a solidly biblical perspective. This theology of Mary’s Queenship is important as it explains and identifies her role as Queen of Heaven and Advocate. Mary’s role in God’s plan of Salvation was not limited to her earthly life, and this book provides biblical evidence for Mary’s role in Heaven. She is the prime intercessor to her Son, the King of Heaven, and the spiritual Mother of the Church.

The book is divided into four parts: an introduction, evidence from the Old Testament, evidence from the New Testament, and then summary conclusions. It is a relatively small book, only about 100 pages, but the back half of the book is filled with copious notes, references, and a great bibliography for those inclined to deeper study of Marian doctrines.

I think Dr. Sri’s book will also be of value to those practicing apologetics. The Marian doctrines of the Church, and especially the acknowledging of Mary as Queen of Heaven and Mother of the Church, have always been a concern of Protestants. Dr. Sri’s Queen Mother presents a biblical view of Mary that should provide an excellent response for apologists defending the biblical view of Mary.

You can purchase this book here.

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