In his classic work True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort explains that this devotion to Mary “leads the soul to avoid sin and to imitate the virtues of the Blessed Virgin,” especially her ten principal virtues.
He lists them as:
- Profound humility
- Lively faith
- Blind obedience
- Continual prayer
- Universal mortification
- Divine purity
- Ardent charity
- Heroic patience
- Angelic sweetness
- Divine wisdom
During this final week of Advent, we will explore these ten virtues and how they were manifested in her life. We’ll start with the first five today and read about the rest during Christmas week.
Profound humility. Our Lady was the most exalted of all creatures, yet also the most humble. “My soul doth magnify the Lord…” she said during her Visitation to St. Elizabeth, recorded in the Gospel of Luke. Not only did Mary attribute everything good to God and see herself as His creature, totally dependent on Him, but she also saw her life’s very purpose as glorifying the Almighty.
Lively faith. Our Lady believed everything God revealed and in all His promises, without faltering. And she did it with eagerness and joy, not with timidity or skepticism. She trusted in Him completely, He Who can neither deceive nor be deceived. “Blessed is she who believed that the Lord’s words to her would be fulfilled,” said St. Elizabeth to her at that same Visitation.
Blind obedience. Our Lady was perfectly obedient to God, as exemplified by her fiat at the Annunciation. Even at those times when the way ahead seemed uncertain or fraught with danger—such as when the Holy Family had to flee to Egypt—she always obeyed, trusting in God.
Continual prayer. Mary never stopped praying. She certainly set aside specific time in her day for prayer, to be alone with God and to converse with Him, but this prayer continued even amidst her other duties. Whether she was baking bread, preparing dinner, cleaning her house, or visiting a neighbor, all was done in union with God.
Universal mortification. Mortification is the denial of one’s own will and inclinations. Our Lady never followed after her own will, but continually united it to God’s will in every circumstance. She accepted patiently all contradictions, sufferings, and hardships with love, offering all things to God with perfect resignation and charity.
St. Louis de Montfort, one of Our Lady’s greatest devotees, is the premier guide for anyone desiring to deepen their love for her. In addition to True Devotion to Mary, one of his most beloved works is The Secret of the Rosary, in which he offers timeless insights on this magnificent prayer and advice on how to pray it well. You’ll find that his devotion becomes your own as you explore the pages of this magnificent work. This lovely edition comes bound in a soft blue cover with a gold ribbon-marker and optional personalization. Available today at The Catholic Company!