The Secret of Mary

by St. Louis de Montfort

With Imprimi Potest, Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1947

-------- Part I --------

"Mary is the admirable echo of God. When we say, 'Mary,' she answers, 'God.' When, with St. Elizabeth, we call her 'Blessed, ' she glorifies God."
------St. Louis De Montfort 
A Secret of Sanctity


   1. Predestinate soul, here is a secret the Most High has taught me, which I have not been able to find in any book, old or new. [1] I confide it to you, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, on condition: 

  • That you communicate it only to those who deserve it by their prayers, their alms-deeds and mortifications, by the persecutions they suffer, by their detachment from the world and their zeal for the salvation of souls. [2]
  • That you make use of it for your personal sanctification and salvation, for this secret works its effect in a soul only in proportion to the use made of it. beware, then, of remaining inactive while possessing my secret; it would turn into a poison and be your condemnation. [3]
  • That you thank God all the days of your life for the grace He has given you to know a secret you do not deserve to know. As you go on making use of this secret in the ordinary actions of your life, you will comprehend its value and its excellence, which at first you will not fully understand because of your many and grievous sins and because of your secret attachment to self. [4]
2. Before you read any further, lest you should be carried away by a too eager and natural desire to know this truth, kneel down and say devoutly the Ave Maris Stella [5] and the Veni Creator, [6] in order to understand and appreciate this Divine mystery. [7]

As I have not much time for writing, nor you for reading, I shall say everything as briefly as possible.

1. The holy slavery of Jesus in Mary was known, no doubt, before St. Louis De Montfort's time; yet he rightly calls this devotion a secret: first, because there lies in it, as in all things supernatural, a hidden treasure which grace alone can help us to find and utilize; secondly, because there are but few souls that enter into the spirit of this devotion and go beyond its exterior practices. Again, as no one had as yet thoroughly explained this devotion nor shaped it into a definite method of spiritual life, St. Louis De Montfort could say of a truth, "I have not been able to find this secret in any book, old or new."

2. These words show how highly St. Louis De Montfort esteemed this devotion. As there are professional secrets committed only to men who know how to appreciate and exploit them, so this secret of sanctity must be entrusted only to such souls as truly concern themselves with their perfection; and following the recommendation of Our Lord not to profane holy things [Matt. 7: 6], De Montfort preserves this secret with a holy jealousy that denotes respect for Divine things.

3. "This solemn warning of the Saint is an application of the Parable of the Talents reported in Matthew 25. The unfaithful servant buried the talent he received and was condemned by the Master for his culpable negligence and for his disdain for the gifts of God. It is also a condemnation of the passivity or inertia taught by the false spirituality of Quietism or semi-Quietism that existed in St. De Montfort's time and that was condemned by Rome. The Saint does not mean that one is obliged to follow his plan of spiritual life in order to be saved, for in his Treatise on the True Devotion to Mary, which is a development of the Secret of Mary, he explicitly says that we can attain Divine union by other roads, but that his method is an EASY, SHORT, PERFECT and SECURE WAY that leads us to union with Our Lord." 

4. These words contain three important counsels: 1) This devotion must be practiced in the ordinary course of life as well as in the most important actions. 2) Only when we steadily persevere in it, and not merely try it for a few weeks, shall we be able to judge of its excellence and know its fruit. 3) It is necessary to remove all hindrances to this devotion, namely, sin and secret affection for that which is sinful.

5. Ave Maris Stella

6. Veni Creator.

7. Let us not make light of this recommendation. It is an important one. If many persons do not become acquainted with the secret of this devotion, it is because they forget that in order to be allowed to enter this "Garden Enclosed," as Mary is called, they must entreat the Holy Ghost, "Who searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" [1 Cor. 2: 10], to grant them that favor. [See The Tree of Life and Prayer to Jesus.]



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