Basis for Devotion to
the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Through the centuries, popes, saints and good and holy theologians have taught the importance of devotion and prayers addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is necessary that we pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary as the saints have taught.
The Holy Catholic Church, the pillar and ground of the Truth, inspired and directed by the Holy Ghost down through the centuries has consistently taught this doctrine and this practice. The Blessed Virgin Mary is: “Our Life, Our Sweetness and Our Hope” as the Salve Regina — the Hail Holy Queen prayer of 1000-years expresses so well. These titles and realities are defended against Protestant and Modernist attacks by St. Alphonsus Liguori in his book, The Glories of Mary.
Pope Leo XIII tells us that all graces come to us from God, through the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ, then through the Hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary to us. Of course, we see from this order that God has laid down for our salvation that God is first and above all — then the Sacred Humanity of Jesus Christ — then Mary the Mother of Jesus. It is after Mary that the importance of the Catholic Church comes. Mary is the Mother of the Church and She is the highest member after Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church.
The Blessed Virgin’s role in leading souls to Heaven is more widely and better understood by the Catholic Faithful (in the past 150 years) since the definition of the Immaculate Conception in 1854 and the Dogma of the Assumption defined in 1950. The reason for this growing role of the Blessed Virgin is explained by St. Louis de Montfort in a little essay beginning below.
Of course the devil, who is Her enemy, has raised a counterattack on Her and on devotion to Her. We have seen this take place especially in the last 40 years since the end of Vatican Council II.
The battle for your soul in this time of Apostasy rages on and each one of us is the target, those who are Her children, those who believe in Jesus Christ Her Son and who obey Him.
Besides the teaching of the saints, (like St. Alphonsus, St. Louis de Montfort, St. Bernard, St. Anthony Mary Claret, St. Maximilian Kolbe and many more), as well as the teachings of the popes, (especially from 1750 to 1960) on the importance, usefulness and necessity of devotion to Our Lady — the Catholic Church, guided by the Holy Ghost, has had a tremendous series of Divine interventions with Our Lady. She appeared at Rue de Bac in 1830, at La Salette in 1846, at Lourdes in 1858, at Knock in 1878, and above all, at Fatima in 1917.
These apparitions at Fatima have been certified by the Catholic Church as worthy of belief and by God Himself with the Apocalyptic Miracle of the Sun on October 13, 1917 before 70,000 witnesses.
It is in the Fatima Message, through Sister Lucy of Fatima, that the great impetus for the flowering of devotion to the Immaculate Heart takes place. This is explored further below.
Providential Function of Mary
in the Latter Times
By St. Louis de Montfort (+1715 AD)
It was through Mary that the salvation of the world was begun, and it is through Mary that it must be consummated.
Mary hardly appeared at all in the first coming of Jesus Christ, in order that men, as yet but little instructed and enlightened on the Person of Her Son, should not remove themselves from the Truth in attaching themselves too strongly and too grossly to Her.
This would have apparently taken place if She had been known, because of the admirable charms which the Most High had bestowed even upon Her exterior. This is so true that St. Denis the Areopagite has informed us in his writings that when he saw Our Blessed Lady, he would have taken Her for a divinity, because of Her secret charms and incomparable beauty, had not the Faith in which he was well established taught him the contrary. (S.A., 842. Epistola ad Pauleum)
But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary has to be made known and revealed by the Holy Ghost, in order that, through Her, Jesus Christ may be known, loved and served. The reasons which moved the Holy Ghost to hide His Spouse during Her life, and to reveal Her but very little since the preaching of the Gospel, subsist no longer.
Existence of This Function and Reasons For It:
God, then, wishes to reveal and make known Mary, the masterpiece of His hands, in these latter times:
- Because She hid Herself in this world, and put Herself lower than the dust by Her profound humility, having obtained from God and from His Apostles and Evangelists that She should not be made manifest.
- Because, She being the Masterpiece of the Hands of God, as well here below by grace as in Heaven by glory, He wishes to be glorified and praised in Her by those who are living upon the earth.
- As She is the dawn which precedes and reveals the Sun of Justice, Who is Jesus Christ, She must be seen and recognized in order that Jesus Christ may also be.
- Being the Way by which Jesus came to us the first time, She will also be the Way by which He will come the second time, though not in the same manner.
- Being the Sure Means and the Straight and Immaculate Way to go to Jesus Christ, and to find Him perfectly, it is by Her that the souls who are to shine forth especially in sanctity, have to find Our Lord. He who shall find Mary shall find life, (Prov. 8:35), that is, Jesus Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life (St. John 14:6). But no one can find Mary Who does not seek Her; and no one can seek Her who does not know Her; for we cannot seek or desire an unknown object. It is necessary, then, for the greater knowledge and glory of the Most Holy Trinity, that Mary should be more than ever known.
- Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, in might and in grace, in these latter times: in mercy, to bring back and lovingly receive the poor strayed sinners who shall be converted and shall return to the Catholic Church; in might, against the enemies of God, idolaters, schismatics, Mohammedans, Jews and souls hardened in impiety, who shall rise in terrible revolt against God to seduce all those who shall be contrary to them, and to make them fall by promises and threats; and finally, She must shine forth in grace, in order to animate and sustain the valiant soldiers and faithful servants of Jesus Christ, who shall battle for His interests.
- And lastly, Mary must be terrible to the devil and his crew, as an army arrayed for battle, principally in these latter times, because the devil, knowing that he has but little time, and now less than ever, to destroy souls, will every day redouble his efforts and his combats. He will presently raise up cruel persecutions, and will put terrible snares before the faithful servants and true children of Mary, whom it gives him more trouble to conquer than it does to conquer others.
Exercise of This Function In the Struggle Against Satan:
It is principally of these last and cruel persecutions of the devil, which shall go on increasing daily till the reign of Antichrist, that we ought to understand that first and celebrated prediction and curse of God, pronounced in the terrestrial paradise against the serpent. It is to our purpose to explain this here, for the glory of the Most Holy Virgin, for the salvation of Her children and for the confusion of the devil: “I will put enmities between thee and the Woman and thy seed and Her seed; She shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for Her heel.” (Gen. 3:15) (End of quotation from St. Louis de Montfort)
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