This stained glass window depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary is found in Incarnation Church, part of Incarnation-St. James Parish, Ewing. In his column, Father Ed Dougherty, M.M., reflects on why it is important for faithful to develop a relationship with the Blessed Mother.
This stained glass window depicting the Blessed Virgin Mary is found in Incarnation Church, part of Incarnation-St. James Parish, Ewing. In his column, Father Ed Dougherty, M.M., reflects on why it is important for faithful to develop a relationship with the Blessed Mother.
St. Louis de Montfort wrote, “Because Mary remained hidden during her life she is called by the Holy Spirit and the Church ‘Alma Mater,’ Mother hidden and unknown. So great was her humility that she desired nothing more upon earth than to remain unknown to herself and to others, and to be known only to God.” St. Louis made this observation in one of the opening lines of his book “True Devotion to Mary,” a spiritual classic in which he explains why cultivating a relationship with the Blessed Mother is so important in our lives.

Written in 1712, four years before St. Louis’ death, the manuscript for “True Devotion to Mary” was not discovered until 1842, at which point it was published and welcomed as a worthy addition to his other works on devotion to Mary, including “Secret of the Rosary” and “Secret of Mary.” In “True Devotion to Mary,” St. Louis explains that God gave Jesus to the world through Mary and therefore the best way for each one of us to find our way to Jesus in our everyday lives is through the intercession of Mary.

St. Louis shows how often Mary played a mediating role in the ministry of Jesus, writing, “We see that he chose to begin his miracles through Mary. It was by her word that he sanctified St. John the Baptist in the womb of his mother, St. Elizabeth; no sooner had Mary spoken than John was sanctified. This was his first and greatest miracle of grace. At the wedding in Cana he changed water into wine at her humble prayer, and this was his first miracle in the order of nature. He began and continued his miracles through Mary and he will continue them through her until the end of time.”

It’s interesting that St. Louis’ book should have remained hidden from the world for such a long time after his death. But it serves to remind us that sometimes the greatest treasures in life remain hidden and are only discovered by those who choose to search for them. Catholics know that a relationship with Mary is proclaimed by the Church to be one of these great hidden treasures in life. But it bears studying the writings of saints like Louis de Montfort in order to understand and stay in touch with this reality.

It is in Mary’s humility that we find the path to holiness, and it is humility that makes the story of her life such a quiet and hidden treasure that must be sought after in order to fully understand its value and importance in Salvation History. What a paradox that such a quiet life should be chosen by God to occupy such a high status.

In “True Devotion to Mary,” St. Louis highlights what may be the greatest hidden treasure of Mary’s life when he writes, “Jesus gave more glory to God his father by submitting to his mother for 30 years than He would have given him had he converted the whole world by working the greatest miracles. How highly then do we glorify God when to please him we submit ourselves to Mary, taking Jesus as our sole model.”

This statement exemplifies the treasure that awaits each and every one of us when we seek a relationship with the Blessed Mother. It is not a worldly treasure, but for those who understand its value, it opens up a world of happiness that will last for all eternity. 

For free copies of the Christopher News Note MAKING A FRIEND OF JESUS, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org

Father Ed Dougherty, M.M., is a member of The Christophers’ board of directors.