3. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is a privileged means “of finding Jesus Christ perfectly, of loving him tenderly, of serving him faithfully” (Treatise on True Devotion, n. 62). St Louis immediately expands this central desire to “love tenderly” into a passionate prayer to Jesus, imploring him for the grace to participate in the indescribable communion of love that exists between him and his Mother.

Mary’s total relativity to Christ and through him, to the Blessed Trinity, is first experienced in the observation: “You never think of Mary without Mary interceding for you with God. You never praise or honour Mary without Mary’s praising and honouring God with you. Mary is altogether relative to God; and indeed, I might well call her the relation to God. She only exists with reference to God. She is the echo of God that says nothing, repeats nothing, but God. If you say “Mary’, she says “God’. St Elizabeth praised Mary and called her blessed because she had believed. Mary, the faithful echo of God, at once intoned: “Magnificat anima mea Dominum’; “My soul magnifies the Lord’ (Lk 1: 46). What Mary did then, she does daily now. When we praise her, love her, honour her or give anything to her, it is God who is praised, God who is loved, God who is glorified, and it is to God that we give, through Mary and in Mary” (cf. Treatise on True Devotion, n. 225).

Again, in prayer to the Mother of the Lord, St Louis Marie expresses the Trinitarian dimension of his relationship with God: “Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father! Hail Mary, admirable Mother of the Son! Hail Mary, faithful Spouse of the Holy Spirit!” (The Secret of Mary, p. 71). Although this traditional greeting used earlier by St Francis of Assisi (cf. Fonti Francescane, 281) contains different levels of analogies, there is not a shadow of doubt that it expresses effectively Our Lady’s special participation in the life of the Most Holy Trinity.

4. St Louis Marie contemplates all the mysteries, starting from the Incarnation which was brought about at the moment of the Annunciation. Thus, in the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, Mary appears as “the true terrestrial paradise of the New Adam”, the “virginal and immaculate earth” of which he was formed (n. 261). She is also the New Eve, associated with the New Adam in the obedience that atones for the original disobedience of the man and the woman (cf. ibid., n. 53; St Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, III, 21, 10-22, 4). Through this obedience, the Son of God enters the world. The Cross itself is already mysteriously present at the instant of the Incarnation, at the very moment of Jesus’ conception in Mary’s womb. Indeed, the ecce venio in the Letter to the Hebrews (cf. 10: 5-9) is the primordial act of the Son’s obedience to the Father, an acceptance of his redeeming sacrifice already at the time “when Christ came into the world”.

All our perfection“, St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort writes, “consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ; and therefore, the most perfect of all devotions is, without any doubt, that which most perfectly conforms, unites and consecrates us to Jesus Christ. Now, Mary being the most conformed of all creatures to Jesus Christ, it follows that, of all devotions, that which most consecrates and conforms the soul to Our Lord is devotion to his holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to Mary, the more it is consecrated to Jesus” (Treatise on True Devotion, n. 120). In addressing Jesus, St Louis Marie expresses the marvel of the union between the Son and the Mother: “She is so transformed into you by grace that she lives no more, she is as though she were not. It is you only, my Jesus, who lives and reigns in her…. Ah! If we knew the glory and the love which you receive in this admirable creature…. She is so intimately united with you…. She loves you more ardently and glorifies you more perfectly than all the other creatures put together” (ibid., n. 63).

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