The Secret of Mary

by St. Louis de Montfort

With Imprimi Potest, Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1947

-------- Part II --------

Renouncement of the World and the Three Knowledges

Consecration to Jesus Through Mary

St. Louis De Montfort advises us to prepare for the Consecration by exercises which certainly are not compulsory, but which assure its great efficacy, because of the purity and other dispositions which they tend to develop in our souls.

 Two different periods are assigned for these exercises: a preliminary period of twelve days, during which we endeavor "to free ourselves from the spirit of the world"; then a second period of three weeks: the first devoted to the knowledge of ourselves; the second to knowledge of the Blessed Virgin; and the third to knowledge of Jesus Christ.

These periods mentioned by St. Louis De Montfort do not constitute a rigorous and unchangeable division. According to circumstances, they may be lengthened or shortened. The faithful often take but three days to prepare for the annual renewal of their Consecration.

The object of this Consecration is to cast off the spirit of the world, which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ, in order to acquire fully the spirit of Jesus Christ through the Blessed Virgin. Hence the practices suggested by St. Louis De Montfort: renouncement of the world, knowledge of self, of the Blessed Virgin and of Jesus Christ.

 --------FIRST PERlOD--------

 Twelve Preliminary Days 

    "The first part of the preparation should be ! employed in casting off the spirit of the world, which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ."

The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God, a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus, it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes, and by the pride of life; by disobedience to God's laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are, first, sin in all its forms; and then all else by whIch the devIl leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

Prayers to be said every day: Veni, Creator. Ave Maris Stella.
Reading suitable for the twelve days: Gospel according to St. Matthew, Chapters 5, 6, 1. Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapters 13, 18, 25; Book III, Chapters 10, 40.
Spiritual Exercises: Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement, mortification, purity of heart; this purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in Heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith.

 --------SECOND PERIOD--------

First Week

   "During the first week, they should employ all their prayers and pious actions in asking for a knowledge of themselves and for contrition for their sins; and they should do this in a spirit of humility."

   During this week, we shall consider not so much the opposition that exists between the spirit of Jesus and ours, as the miserable and humiliating state to which our sins have reduced us. Moreover, the True Devotion being an easy, short, sure and perfect way to arrive at that union with Our Lord which is Christian perfection, we shall enter, seriously upon this way, strongly convinced of our misery and helplessness. But how attain this without a knowledge of ourselves?

Prayers: Litany of the Holy Ghost. Ave Maris Stella.
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Reading: Gospel according to St. Matthew, Chapters 24, 25. Gospel of St. Luke, Chapters 11, 13, 16, 17, 18. Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter 24; Book II, Chapter 5; Book III, Chapters 7, 8, 13, 20, 30, 47.
   Treatise on True Devotion [True Devotion to Mary], Nos. 78-82, 227, 228.
Spiritual Exercises: Prayers, examens, reflection, acts of renouncement of our own will, of contrition for our sins, of contempt of self-----all performed at the feet of Mary, for it is from her we hope for light to know ourselves, and it is near her that we shall be able to measure the abyss of our miseries without despairing. 

 Second Week

    "They shall devote the second week to the knowledge of the Blessed Virgin."

We must unite ourselves to Jesus through Mary-----this is the characteristic of our devotion; therefore, St. Louis De Montfort asks that the second week be employed in acquiring a knowledge of the Blessed Virgin.

Mary is our sovereign and our mediatrix, our Mother and our mistress. Let us then endeavor to know the effects of this royalty, of this mediation, and of this maternity, as well as the grandeurs and prerogatives which are the foundation or consequences thereof. Our Mother is also a perfect mold wherein we are to be molded in order to make her intentions and dispositions ours. This we cannot achieve without studying the interior life of Mary; namely, her virtues, her sentiments, her actions, her participation in the mysteries of Christ and her union with Him.

 Prayers: Litany of the Holy Ghost. Ave Maris Stella.
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

St. Louis De Montfort's Prayer to Mary. Recitation of the Rosary.
 Reading: Gospel according to St. Luke, Chap. 1, 2. Gospel according to St. John, Chapter 2. Treatise on True Devotion, Nos. 1-48, 90-93, 
        105-182,213-225. Secret of Mary , Nos. 23-34.
Spiritual Exercises: Acts of love, pious affections for the Blessed Virgin, imitation of her virtues, especially her profound humility, her lively faith, her blind obedience, her continual mental prayer, her mortification in all things, her Divine purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, her angelic sweetness and her Divine wisdom-----"these being," as St. Louis De Montfort says, "the ten principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin."

Third Week

   "During the third week, they shall apply themselves to the study of Jesus Christ."

   What is to be studied in Christ? First the man-God, His grace and glory; then His rights to sovereign dominion over us, since, after having' renounced Satan and the world, we have taken Jesus Christ for our "Lord." What next shall be the object of our study? His exterior actions and also His interior life; namely, the virtues and acts of His Sacred Heart; His association with Mary in the mysteries of the Annunciation and Incarnation, during His infancy and hidden life, at the feast of Cana and on Calvary.

Prayers: Litany of the Holy Ghost. Ave Maris Stella.
Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus
or of the Sacred Heart.
St. Louis De Montfort's Prayer to Jesus. O Jesus Living in Mary.

Reading: Gospel according to St. Matthew, Chapters 26, 27.
   Gospel according to St. John, Chapters 13 ff. Imitation of Christ, Book II, Chapters 7,11,12; Book III, Chapters 5, 6,56; Book IV; Chapters 1,8, 13. Treatise on True Devotion, Nos. 60-67, 183, 212, 226-265.
Spiritual Exercises: Acts of love of God, thanksgiving for the blessings of Jesus, contrition and resolution. 



HOME----------------MARY'S INDEX------------------CATHOLIC CLASSICS