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I 




60009Q202S 



I 




600089202S 



A TREATISE 



THE TRUE DEVOTION 

TO 

THE BLESSED VIEGIN. 

BT THE YBNEBABLB 8BBYANT OV GOD, 

LOUIS-MARIE, GRIGNON DE MONTFORT. 



TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL FRENCH 

By FREDERICK WILLIAM PABER, D.D. 

PBIBST OF THE OBATOBT. 



LONDON: 
BURNS AND LAMBERT, 17, 18 PORTMAN 6TRBET, 

AND 63 PATEBNOSTEB BOW. 
1863. 




LONDON: 

PRWTBD BT ROBSON, LBYBT, AND P&ANKLTN, 

Oreat New Street and Fetter Lane. 



CONTENTS. 



PAQB 

Translator's Preface v 

Preface TO THE French Edition .... xiii 
Introduction 1 

PART I. 
ON DEVOTION TO OUR BLESSED LADT IN GENERAL. 
I. Excellence and Necessity of Devotion to our 

Blessed Lady 7 

n. Discernment of the True Devotion to our Blessed 

Lady ; five fundamental truths presupposed 37 

1. False Devotions to our Lady . . 62 

2. True Devotion ; its Characters . . 70 

PART n. 

ON THE MOST EXCELLENT DEVOTION TO OUR BLESSED LADT, 

OR THE PERFECT CONSECRATION TO JESUS BT MART. 
Preliminary Observations on the different ways of 

honouring our Blessed Lady .... 77 
I. In what consists the perfect Consecration to Jesus 

by Mary 82 

n. Its Motives 91 

Figure of this Consecration in the history of Ja- 
cob receiving the blessing of Isaac through 
the offices of Rebecca .126 



IV COl^ENTS. 

PAGB 

III. Admirable Effects of the perfect Consecration to 

Jesus by Mary . 149 

rV. Its Exterior and Interior Practices . 169 

Manner of practising this Devotion at Communion 185 

Formula of Consecration to Jesus by Mary . . .190 



PREFACE. 



It was in the year 1846 or 1847, at St. Wilfrid's, 
that I first studied the life and spirit of the 
Venerable Grignon de Montfort ; and now, after 
more than fifteen years, it may be allowable to 
say, that those who take him for their master 
will hardly be able to name a saint or ascetical 
writer to whose grace and spirit their mind will 
be more subject than to his. We may not yet 
call him Saint ; but the process of his beatifica- 
tion is so far and so favourably advanced, that 
we may not have long to wait before he will be 
raised upon the altars of the Church. 

There are few men in the eighteenth century 
who have more strongly upon them the marks 

B 



VI PREFACE. 

of the Man of Provideiice than this Elias-like 
Missionary of the Holy Ghost and of Mary. 
His entire life was such an exhibition of the 
holy folly of the Cross, that his biographers 
unite in always classing him with St Simon 
Salo and St. Philip Neri. Clement XL made 
him a missionary-apostolic in France, in order' 
that he might spend his life in fighting against 
Jansenism, so far as it affected the salvation of 
souls. Since the apostolical epistles it would be 
hard to find words that bum so marvellously as 
the twelve pages of his prayer for the Missionaries 
of the Holy Ghost, to which I earnestly refer all 
those who find it hard to keep up, under their 
numberless trials, the first fires of the love of 
souls. He was at once persecuted and venerated 
every where. His amount of work, like that of 
St. Antony of Padua, is incredible and, indeed, 
inexplicable. He wrote some spiritual treatises, 
which have already had a remarkable influence 
on the Church during the few years they 
have been known, and bid fair to have a much 
wider influence in years to come. His preaching, 
his writing, and his conversation were all im- 



PEEFAOE. VU 

pregnated with prophecy, and with anticipations 
of the latter ages of the ChurcL He comes for- 
ward, like another Si Vincent Ferrer, as if on 
the days bordering on the Last Judgment, and 
proclaims that he brings an authentic message 
from God about the greater honour and wider 
knowledge and more prominent love of His 
Blessed Mother, and her connexion with the 
second advent of her Son. He founded two reli- 
gious congregations,— one of men, and one of 
women, — ^which have been quite extraordinarily 
successfiil ; and yet he died at the age of foriy- 
three, in 1716, after only sixteen years of priest- 
hood. 

It was on the 12th of May 1853, that the 
decree was pronounced at Eome, declaring his 
writings to be exempt from all error which 
could be a bar to his canonisation. In this 
very treatise on the veritable devotion to our 
Blessed Lady, he has recorded this pro- 
phecy. " I clearly foresee that raging brutes 
will come in fury to tear with their diabolical 
teeth this little writing, and him whom the Holy 
Ghost has made use of to write it ; or at least 



VUl PBEFACE. 



to envelop it in the silence of a coffer, in order 
that it may not appear." Nevertheless, he pro- 
phesies both its appearance and its success. All 
this was fulfilled to the letter. The author died 
in 1716, and the treatise was found by accident 
by one of the priests of his congregation at St. 
Laurent - sur - S^vre, in 1842. The existing 
superior was able to attest the handwriting as 
being that of the venerable founder; and the 
autograph was sent to Eonie, to be examined 
in the process of canonisation. 

All those who are likely to read this book 
love God, and lament that they do not love Him 
more ; all desire something for His glory, — ^the 
spread of some good work, the success of some 
devotion, the coming of some good time. One 
man has been striving for years to overcome a 
particular fault, and has not succeeded. An- 
other mourns, and almost wonders while he 
mourns, that so few of his relations and friends 
have been converted to the faitL One grieves 
that he has not devotion enough ; another that 
he has a cross to carry, which is a peculiarly- 
impossible cross to him ; while a third has do* 



PBEFAOB. ix 

mestic troubles and family unliappinesses, which 
feel almost incompatible with his salvation ; and 
for all these things prayer appears to bring so 
little remedy. But what is the remedy that is 
wanted ? what is the remedy indicated by God 
Himself? If we may rely on the disclosures of 
the Saints, it is an immense increase of devotion 
to our Blessed Lady; but, remember, nothing 
short of an immense one. Here, in England, 
Mary is not half enough preached. Devotion 
to her is low and thin and poor. It is fright-- 
ened out of its wits by the sneers of heresy. 
It is always invoking human respect and carnal 
prudence, wishing to make Mary so little of a 
Mary that Protestants may feel at ease about 
her. Its ignorance of theology makes it un- 
substantial and unworthy. It is not the promi- 
nent characteristic of our religion which it 
ought to be. It has no faith in itself. Hence 
it is that Jesus is not loved, that heretics are 
not converted, that the Church is not exalted ; 
that souls, which might be saints, wither and 
dwindle; that the Sacraments are not rightly 
frequented, or souls enthusiastically evangelised. 



X PBEFACB. 

Jesus is obscured because Mary is k^t in the 
background. Thousands of souls perish because 
Mary is withheld from them. It is ihe miserable 
imworthy shadow which we call our devotion 
to the Blessed Virgin that is the cause of all 
these wants and blights, these evils and omis- 
sions and declines. Yet, if we are to believe 
the revelations of the Saints, God is pressing for 
a greater, a wider, a stronger, quite another 
devotion to His Blessed Mother. I cannot think 
of a higher work or a broader vocation for any 
one than the simple spreading of this peculiar 
devotion of the Venerable Grignon de Montfort. 
Let a man but try it for himself, and his sur- 
prise at the graces it brings wiili it, and the 
transformations it causes in his soul, will soon 
convince him of its otherwise almost incredible 
efficacy as a means for the salvation of men, 
and for the coming of the kingdom of Christ. 
Oh, if Mary were fcut known, there would be no 
coldness to Jesus then 1 Oh, if Mary were but 
known, how much more wonderfiil would be our 
faith, and how different would our Communions 
be ! Oh, if Mary were but known, how much 



PBEFAOE. XX 

happier, how much holier, how much less worldly 
should we be, and how much more should we 
be Uving images of our sole Lord and Saviour, 
her dearest and most blessed Son I 

I have translated the whole treatise myself, 
and have taken great pains with it, and have 
been scrupulously faithftJ. At the same time, 
I would venture to warn ihe reader that one 
perusal will be very far from making him master 
of it If I may dare to say so, there is a grow- 
ing feeling of something inspired and super- 
natural about it, as we go on studying it ; and 
with that we cannot help experiencing, after 
repeated readings of it, that its novelty never 
seems to wear off, nor its ftdness to be dimin- 
ished, nor the fresh fragrance and sensible fire 
of its unction ever to abate. May the Holy 
Ghost, the Divine Zealot of Jesus and Mary, 
deign to give a new blessing to this work in 
England; and may He please to console us 
quickly with the canonisation of this new apostle 
and fiery missionary of His most dear and most 



XU PREFACE. 

immaculate Spouse; and still more with the 
speedy coming of that great age of the Church, 
which is to be the Age of Mary 1 

F. W. Faber, 
Priest of the Oratory, 

, Presentation of our Blessed Lady, 
1862. 



Note. 
See Vie de Louis-Marie Qrignon de Montfort (Le 
Clerc, Paris, 1839); also the Jesuit Father Clorivi- 
ere's life of him, 1785. Grandet's Life of him (1724), 
as well as Bastide's memoirs of fifty missions given 
with the servant of God, I only know by the quota- 
tions in the Life of 1839. 



PREFACE TO THE FRENCH EDITION. 



" Gk)D wishes that His holy Mother should now 
be more known, more loved, more honoured, 
than ever she has been ; and this will no doubt 
come to pass, if the predestinate will enter, by 
the grace and light of ihe Holy Ghost, into the 
interior and perfect practice which I will dis- 
cover to them." These words of the venerable 
servant of God, Louis Marie Grignon de Mont- 
fort, cannot fail to interest our piety, and to 
inspire us with a lively desire of learning from 
him so excellent a practice of honouring the 
most holy Virgin. 

He had been drawn from his earliest infancy, 
in quite a particular fashion, to the love of this 
Queen of Angels ; and in a conversation which 
he had with his intimate friend Monsieur Blain, 
two years before his death, the pious missionary 
confessed to him that Gtod had favoured him 



ZIY PREFACE TO THE FBENCH EDITION. 

wiih an extraordinaxy grace, which was the 
continued presence of Jesus and Mary in the 
bottom of his soul. This word was a mystery 
to Monsieur Blain ; but we shall see the expla- 
nation of it in this little treatise. We shall see 
revealed to us there the heart of him who knew 
no fairer name than the slave of Jesus in Mary. 
We do not, however, pretend to say that this 
explanation will be equally understood by all. 
We must remember here that word of the Eter- 
nal Wisdom, " Thou hast hidden these things 
from the wise and prudent, and revealed them 
to the little ones." It has been said in the Life 
of the venerable servant of God, that his history 
will never be understood except by a Christian. 
It has this in common wiih the lives of a great 
number of the servants of God. We may say 
also that this little work will never be under- 
stood by a Christian who is too much a stranger 
to the maxims of humility and evangelical sim- 
plicity, and that the wise of this world will find 
themselves shocked at the lessons of true wisdom 
which they will read without penetrating their 
sense. Animcdis homo nonperdpit ea^ quce surd 



PBEFAOE TO THE FRENCH EDITIOK. Z¥ 

iSpiritus DeL Stultitia enim est illiy et non potest 
intelligere^ quia spiritualiter examinaiur. The man 
who guides himself only by natural light does 
not comprehend the things of the Spirit of Qt)d. 
They seem to him follies, because they can only 
be judged by a supernatural light which he has 
not got But let us hasten to add, that sincere 
and simple souls will relish the manna hidden in 
the pious and touching instructions of the virtu- 
ous priest who consumed his life in evangelising 
the poor. They will bless Divine Providence for 
the treasure. They will feel themselves pene- 
trated with love for Jesus and Mary, in reading 
these burning pages, which the man of Qod 
wrote in the fervour of his prayer, without ever 
losing sight of the presence of our Divine Saviour 
and His holy Mother. ... In conclusion, let us 
say a few words on the discovery of this treatise. 
At the time of the French revolution in 1793, 
the manuscripts which the house of the Mission- 
aries of St. Laurent-sur-S^vre possessed were 
hidden in the neighbouring farms, where they 
remained buried in dust for many years. Later 
on, those which were found were put into the 



XYl PBEFACE TO THE FRENCH EDITION. 

library of the missionaries. But this little trea- 
tise was not at that time recognised, as was the 
case with some others also composed by the 
venerable founder of the Company. It was 
not till 1842 that one of the priests of the 
house of St Laurent found it by chance in the 
library, where it had been put without being 
recognised, after having been mixed up with a 
great number of imperfect books. " After I had 
read a few pages," says the priest, " I took it-, 
hoping to find it useful for making a sermon on 
our Lady. I read by chance the place where he 
speaks of his Company of Mary. I recognised 
the siyle and thoughts of our venerable founder, 
and his way of addressing his missionaries ; and 
after that, I had no doubt the manuscript was 
his. I took it to our superior, who identified 
the handwriting." 

[The manuscript has been examined at Rome; 
recognised to be the work of the venerable servant 
of God ; most minutely examined in its doctrine ; 
and declared to be exempt from all error which could 
be a bar to his canonisation.] 



INTRODUCTION. 



It is by the most holy Virgin Mary that Jesus 
has come into the world, and it is also by her 
that He has to reign in the world. 

Mary has been singularly hidden during her 
life. It is on this account that the Holy Ghost 
and the Church call her alma Mater^ — Mother 
secret and hidden. Her humiliiy was so pro- 
found that she had no propensity on earth more 
powerfiil or more unintermitting than that of 
hiding herself, even from herself, as well as 
from every other creature, so as to be known to 
Gk)d only. He heard her prayers to Him, when 
she begged to be hidden, to be humbled, and to be 
treated as in all respects poor and of no accoimt 
He took pleasure in hiding her from all human 
creatures in her conception, in her birth, in her 
life, and in her resurrection and assumption. 
Her parents even did not know her, and the 
Angels often asked of each other : Quoe est ista? 
Who is that? Because the Most High either hid 



2 • INTRODUCTION. 

her from them, or if He revealed any ihing of 
her to them, it was nothing compared to what 
He kept undisclosed. 

Qt)d the Father consented that she should 
do no miracle, at least no public one, during 
her life, although He had given her the power. 
God the Son consented that she should hardly 
ever speak, though He had communicated His 
wisdom to her. Qt)d the Holy Ghost, though 
she was His faithful Spouse, consented that His 
Apostles and Evangelists should speak but very 
little of her, and no more than was necessary to 
make Jesus Christ known. 

Mary is the excellent masterpiece of the 
Most High, of which He has reserved to Him- 
self both the knowledge and the possession. 
Mary is the admirable Mother of the Son, who 
took pleasure in humbling and concealing her 
during her life, in order to &vour her humihty, 
calling her by the name of woman (mulier)^ as if 
she was a stranger, although in His heart He 
esteemed and loved her above all angels and all 
men. Mary is the sealed fountain and the faith- 
ful Spouse of the Holy Ghost, to whom He alone 
has entrance. Mary is the sanctuary and the 
repose of the Holy Trinity, where God dwells 
more magnificently and more divinely than in 
any other place in the universe, without except- 
ing His dwelling between the Cherubim and 
Seraphim. Neither is it allowed to any creature, 



IKTBODUCTIOir. 8 

no matter how pure, to enter into that sanctuary 
without a great and special privilege. 

I say with the Saints, The divine Mary is 
the terrestrial Paradise of the New Adam, 
where He is incarnate by the operation of the 
Holy Ghost, in order to work there incompre- 
hensible marvels. She is the grand and divine 
World of God, where there are beauties and 
treasures unspeakable. She is the magnificence 
of the Most High, where He has hidden, as in 
her bosom, His only Son, and in Him all that 
is most excellent and most precious. Oh, what 
grand and hidden things that mighty God 
has wrought in this admirable creature! How 
has she herself been compelled to say it, in spite 
of her profound humiliiy : Fecit mihi magnUy qui 
potem est! The world knows them not, because 
it is at once incapable and unworthy of such 
knowledge. 

The Saints have said admirable things of 
this Holy City of God ; and, as they themselves 
avow, they have never been more eloquent and 
more content than when they have spoken of 
her. Yet, after all they have said, they cry out 
that the height of her merits, which she has 
raised up to the throne of the Divinity, camu)t 
be fully seen ; that the breadth of her chariiy, 
which is broader than the earth, is in truth im- 
measurable ; that the grandeur of her power, 
which she exercises even over God Himself, 



4 INTRODUCTION. 

incomprehensible ; and finally, that the depth of 
her humility, and of all her virtues and graces, 
is an abyss which never can be sounded. 

height incomprehensible I breadth un- 
speakable ! grandeur immeasurable I abyss 
impenetrable ! Every day, from one end of the 
earth to the other, in the highest heights of the 
heavens and in the profoundest depths of the 
abysses, every thing preaches, every thing pub- 
lishes, the admirable Mary I The nine choirs of 
Angels, men of all ages, sexes, conditions, and 
religions, good or bad, nay even the devils them- 
selves, willingly or unwillingly, are compelled, 
by the force of truth, to call her Blessed. 

St. Bonaventure tells us that all the Angels in 
heaven cry out incessantly to her, Sancta^ sanctay 
sancta Mariuy Dei Genitria et Virgo; and that 
they oflFer to her millions and millions of times 
a day the Angelical Salutation, Ave Maria; pro- 
strating themselves before her, and begging of 
her, in her graciousness, to honour them with 
some of her commands. 

St. Michael, as St Augustine says, although 
the prince of all the heavenly court, is the most 
zealous in honouring her and causing her to be 
honoured, while he waits always in expectation 
that he may have the honour to go, at her bid- 
ding, to render service to some one of her serv- 
ants. 

The whole earth is fiill of her glory, es- 



INTBODUCnON. O 

pecially among Christians, amongst whom she 
is taken as the protectress of many kingdoms, 
provinces, dioceses, and cities. Numbers of ca- 
thedrals are consecrated to God under her name. 
There is not a church without an altar in her 
honour, not a coimtry or a canton where there 
are not some miraculous images, where all sorts 
of evils are cured, and all sorts of good gifts ob- 
tained. Who can count the confraternities and 
congregations in her honour ? How many reli- 
gious orders have been founded in her name and 
under her protection I What numbers there are 
of Brothers and Sisters of all these confraterni- 
ties, and of religious men and women of all these 
orders, who publish her praises and confess her 
mercies ! There is not a little child, who, as it 
lisps the Ave Maria, does not praise her. There 
is scarcely a sinner who, even in his obduracy, 
has not some spark of confidence in her. Nay 
the very devils in hell respect her while they fear 
her. 

After that we must surely say with the Saints, 
De Maria nunquam satis; we have not yet praised, 
exalted, honoured, loved, and served Mary as we 
ought to do. She has deserved still more praise, 
still more respect, still more love, and far more 
service. 

Ailer that we must say with the Holy Ghost j 
Omnis gloria Jilioe Regis ab intusj — " All the glory 
of the King's daughter is within." It is as if 

C 



INTRODUCTION. 



all the outward glory, which heaven and earth 
rival each other in laying at her feet, is nothing 
in comparison with that which she receives with- 
in £pom the Creator, and which is not known by 
creatures, who in their littleness are imable to 
penetrate the secret of the secrets of the King. 

After that we must cry out with the Apos- 
tle, Nee oculus vidity nee auris avdimt^ neo in cor 
hominis ascendit^ — " Eye has not seen, nor ear 
heard, nor man's heart comprehended," the beau- 
ties, the grandeurs, the excellences, of Mary, — 
the miracle of the miracles of grace, of nature, 
and of glory. 

If you wish to comprehend the Mother, says 
a Saint, comprehend the Son; for she is the 
worthy Mother of God. Hie taceat omnia lingua^ 
— " Here let every tongue be mute." 

It is with a particular joy that my heart has 
dictated what I have just written, in order to 
show that the divine Mary has been up to this time 
unknown, and that this is one of the reasons that 
Jesus Christ is not known as He ought to be. 
If, then, as is certain, the kingdom of Jesus 
Christ is to come into the world, it will be but 
a necessary consequence of the knowledge of the 
kingdom of the most holy Virgin Mary, who 
brought Him into the world the first time, and 
will make His second advent full of splen- 
dour. 



TRUE DEVOTION 



TO 



THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 



PART I. 

ON DEVOTION TO OUR BLESSED LADY IN GENERAL. 



I. EXCELLENCE AND NECESSITY OF DEVOTION 
TO OUR BLESSED LADY. 

I AVOW, with all the Churcli, that Mary, being 
but a mere creature that has come from the 
hands of the Most High, is, in comparison with 
His Infinite Majesty, less than an atom; or 
rather she is nothing at all, because He only is 
*^He who is," and thus by consequence that 
grand Lord, always independent and sufficient to 
Himself, never had, and has not now, any abso- 
lute need of the Holy Virgin for the accomplish- 
ment of His will and for the manifestation of His 
glory. He has but to will, in order to do every 



8 TBUE DEVOTION TO 

thing. Nevertlieless I say that, things being 
supposed as they are now, Grod having willed to 
commence and to complete His greatest works 
by the most holy Virgin, since He created her, 
we may well think He will not change His con- 
duct in the eternal ages; for He is God, and 
He changes not either in His sentiments or in 
His conduct. 

God the Father has not given His Only-be- 
gotten to the world except by Mary. Whatever 
sighs the patriarchs may have sent forth, — ^what- 
ever prayers the prophets and the saints of the 
ancient law may have offered up to obtain that 
treasure for fiill four thousand years, — it was but 
Mary that merited it ; it was but Mary who found 
grace before Otd by the force of her prayers and 
the eminence of her virtues. The world was un- 
worthy, says St Augustine, to receive the Son 
of God immediately from the Father's hands. 
He has given Him to Mary in order that the 
world might receive Him through her. The Son 
of God has made Himself Man ; but it was in 
Mary and by Mary. God the Holy Ghost has 
formed Jesus Christ in Mary ; but it was only 
after having asked her consent by one of the 
first ministers of His court 

God the Father has communicated to Mary 
His fruitfulness, as far as a mere creature was 
capable of it, in order that He might give her 
the power to produce His Son, aud all the mem- 



THE BLESSED YIBGIN. 9 

bers of His mystical Body. God the Son has 
descended into her virginal womb, as the new 
Adam into the terrestrial paradise, to take His 
pleasure there, and to work in secret the marvels 
of His grace. 

God made Man has found His liberiy in see- 
ing Himself imprisoned in her womb. He has 
made His Omnipotence shine forth in letting 
Himself be ctoried by that blessed Virgin. He 
has found His glory and His Father's in hiding 
His splendours from all creatures here below, and 
revealing them to Mary only. He has glorified 
His Independence and His Majesty, in depend- 
ing on that sweet Virgin, in His Conception, in 
His Birth, in His Presentation in the Temple, 
in His Hidden Life of thirty years, and even in 
His Death, where she was to be present, in order 
that He might make with her but one same 
sacrifice, and be immolated to the Eternal Fa- 
ther by her consent ; just as Isaac of old was 
ofiered by Abraham's consent to the Will of 
Qod. It is she who has suckled Him, nourished 
Him, supported Him, brought Him up, and then 
sacrificed Him for us. 

admirable and incomprehensible depend- 
ence of a God, which the Holy Ghost could not 
pass in silence in the Gospel, although He has 
hidden from us nearly all the admirable things 
which that Incarnate Wisdom did in His Hidden 
Life, as if He would enable us, by His revelation 



10 TRUE DEVOnOK TO 

of that at least, to understand something of its 
price! Jesus Christ gave more glory to God 
the Father by submission to His Mother during 
those thirty years than He would have given 
Him in converting the whole world by the 
working of the most stupendous miracles. Oh, 
how highly we glorify God, when, to please Him, 
we submit ourselves to Mary, after the example 
of Jesus Christ, our Sole Exemplar ! 

If we examine narrowly the rest of our 
Blessed Lord's Life, we shall see that it was His 
Will to begin His miracles by Mary. He sancti- 
fied St. John in the womb of St. Elizabeth his 
mother ; but it was by Mary's word. No sooner 
had she spoken than John was sanctified ; and 
this was His first and greatest miracle of grace. 
At the marriage at Cana He changed the water 
into wine ; but it was at Mary's humble prayer ; 
and this was His first mirade of nature. He 
has begun and continued His miracles by Mary, 
and He will continue them to the end of ages by 
Mary also. 

God the Holy Ghost being barren in God — 
that is to say, not producing another Divine 
Person — is become firuitful by Mary, whom He 
has espoused. It is with her, in her, and of 
her, that He has produced His Masterpiece, which 
is a God made Man, and whom He goes on pro- 
ducing in the persons of His members daily to 
the end of the world. The predestinate are the 



THE BLESSED YIBGIK. 11 

members of that Adorable Head. This is the 
reason why He, the Holy Ghost, the more He 
jQnds Mary, His dear and indissoluble Spouse^ 
in any soul, becomes the more active and mighiy 
in producing Jesus Christ in that soul, and that 
soul in Jesus Christ. 

It is not that we may say that our Blessed Lady 
gives the Holy Ghost His finiitfulness, as if Ho 
had it not Himself. For inasmuch as He is God, 
He has the same firuitfulness or capacity of pro- 
ducing as the Father and the Son, only that He 
does not bring it into action, as He does not pro- 
duce another Divine Person. But what we want 
to say is, that the Holy Ghost chose to make use 
of our Blessed Lady, though He had no absolute 
need of her, to bring His fruitfulness into ac- 
tion, by producing in her and by her Jesus 
Christ in His members ; a mystery of grace 
unknown to even the wisest and most spiritual 
among Christians. 

The conduct which the Three Persons of the 
Most Holy Trinity have deigned to pursue in 
the Licamation and first coming of Jesus Christ, 
They still pursue daily in an invisible manner 
throughout the whole Church, and They will 
still pursue it even to the consummation of ages 
in the last coming of Jesus Christ. 

God the Father made an assemblage of all 
the waters, and He named it the sea (mare). 
He has made an assemblage of all His graces, 



12 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

and He has called it Mary (Maria). This great 
Grod has a most rich treasury in which He has 
laid up all that He has of beauty, of splendour, 
of rarity, and of preciousness, even to His own 
Son ; and this immense treasury is none other 
than Mary, whom the Saints have named the 
Treasure of the Lord, out of whose plenitude all 
men are made rich. 

God the Son has communicated to His Mo- 
ther all that He has acquired by His Life and 
by His Death, His infinite merits and His ad- 
mirable virtues; and He has made her the 
treasuress of all that His Father has given Him 
for His inheritance. It is by her that He appUes 
His merits to His members, and that He com- 
municates His virtues, and distributes His graces. 
She is His mysterious canal ; she is His aque- 
duct, through which He makes His mercies flow 
gently and abundantly. 

To Mary, His faithftd Spouse, God the Holy 
Ghost has communicated His unspeakable gifts; 
and He has chosen her to be the dispensatrix of 
all He possesses, in such sort that she distributes 
to whom she wills, as much as she wills, as she 
wills, and when she wills, all His gifts and graces. 
The Holy Ghost gives no heavenly gift to men 
which He does not pass through her virginal 
hands. Such has been the Will of God, who 
has willed that we should have every thing in 
Mary ; so that she who impoverished, humbled, 



THE BLESSED VIBGIN. 13 

and hid herself even to the abyss of nothingness 
by her profound humility her whole Kfe long, 
should now be enriched, and exalted by the 
Most High. Such are the sentiments of the 
Church and the Holy Fathers. 

If I were speaking to the free-thinkers of 
these times, I would prove what I have said 
so simply, drawing it out more at length, and 
confirming it by tiie Holy Scriptures and the 
Fathers, quoting the original passages, and ad- 
ducing various solid reasons, which maybe seen 
at length in the book of Fr. Poir^ {La Triple 
Couronne de la Sainte Vierge), But as I speak 
particularly to the poor and simple, who being 
of good -will, and having more faith than the 
common run of scholars, believe more simply 
and so more meritoriously, I content myself 
with putting out the truth quite simply, without 
stopping to quote the original passages, which 
they would not understand. Nevertheless, with- 
out making much research, I shall not fail from 
time to time to bring forward some of them. But 
let us now go on with our subject. 

Inasmuch as grace perfects nature, and glory 
perfects grace, it is certain that our Lord is 
still, in heaven, as much the Son of Mary as He 
was on earth ; and that, consequently. He has 
preserved the most perfect obedience and sub- 
mission of all children towards the best of all 
mothers. But we must take great pains not to 



14 TRUB DEVOTION TO 

conceive of this dependence as any abasement or 
imperfection in Jesus Christ. For Mary is infi- 
nitely below her Son, who is God, and therefore 
she does not command Him, as a mother here 
below would command her child, who is below 
her. Mary, being altogether transformed into 
God by grace, and by the glory which trans- 
forms all the Saints into Him, asks nothing, 
wishes nothing, does nothing which is contrary 
to the Eternal and Immutable Will of God. 
When we read, then, in the writings of SS. Ber- 
nard, Bemardine, Bonaventure, and others, that 
in heaven and on earth every thing, even to 
God Himself, is subject to the Blessed Virgin, 
they mean to say that the authority which God 
has been well pleased to give her is so great, that 
it seems as if she has the same power as Gt)d, 
and that her prayers and petitions are so power- 
ftd with God, that they always pass for com- 
mandments with His Majesty, who never resists 
the prayer of His dear Mother, because she is 
always humble and conformed to His WilL 

If Moses, by the force of his prayer, arrested 
the anger of God against the Israelites, in a man- 
ner so powerfiil that the Most High and infi- 
nitely mercifiil Lord, being unable to resist him, 
told him to let Him alone, that He might be 
angry with and punish that rebellious people, 
what must we not with much greater reason 
think of the prayer of the humble Mary, that 



THE BLESSED YIBJGJN* 15 

worthy Mother of God, which is more powerful 
with His Majesty than the prayers and interces- 
sions of all the Angels and Saints both in heaven 
and on earth ? 

Mary commands in the heavens the Angels 
and the Blessed. As a recompense for her pro- 
found humiliiy, God has given her the power 
and permission to fill with Saints the empty 
thrones fi'om which the apostate angels fell by 
pride. Such has been the will of the Most High, 
who exalts the humble, that heaven, earth, and 
hell bend with good will or bad wiU to the 
commandments of the hmnble Mary, whom He 
has made sovereign of heaven and earth, general 
of His armies, treasurer of His treasures, dis- 
penser of His graces, worker of His greatest 
marvels, restorer of the human race, mediatrix 
of men, the exterminator of the enemies of 
Qody and the faithfiil companion of His gran- 
deurs and His triumphs. 

Qod the Father wishes to have children by 
Mary till the consununation of the world ; and He 
has said to her these words. In Jacob inhaJntay — 
" Dwell in Jacob," — ^that is to say. Make jowc 
dwelling and residence in My predestinated 
children, figured by Jacob, and not in the 
reprobate children of the devil, figured by 
Esau. 

Just as, in the natural and corporal genera- 
tion of children, there is a father and a mother, 



16 TRITE DEVOTION TO 

SO in the supematural and spiritual generation 
there is a Father, who is God, and a Mother, 
who is Mary. All the true children of God, 
the predestinate, have God for their Father, and 
Mary for their Mother. He who has not Mary 
for his Mother, has not God for his Father. 
This is the reason why the reprobate, such as 
heretics, schismatics, and others, who hate our 
Blessed Lady, or regard her with contempt 
and indifference, have not God for their Father, 
however much they boast of it, simply because 
they have not Mary for their Mother. For 
if they had her for their Mother, they would 
love and honour her as a true and good child 
naturally loves and honours the mother who has 
given him life. 

The most infallible and indubitable sign by 
which we may distinguish a heretic, a man of 
bad doctrine, a reprobate, from one of the pre- 
destinate, is that the heretic and the reprobate 
have nothing but contempt and indifference for 
our Blessed Lady, endeavoming by their words 
and examples to diminish the worship and love 
of her openly or hiddenly , and sometimes under 
specious pretexts. Alas ! God the Father has 
not told Mary to dwell in them, for they are 
Esaus. 

God the Son wishes to form Himself, and, 
so to speak, to incarnate Himself, every day by 
His dear Mother in His members, and He has 



THE BLESSED YIBGIN. 17 

said to her, In Israel hoereditare^ — " Take Israel 
for your inheritance. " It is as if He had said, GJod 
the Father has given Me for an inheritance all 
the nations of the earth, all the men good and 
bad, predestinate and reprobate. The one I will 
lead with a rod of gold, and the others with a 
rod of iron. Of one I will be the Father and 
the Advocate, the Just Punisher of others, and 
the Judge of all. But as for you, My dear 
Mother, — you shall have for your heritage 
and possession only the predestinate, figured by 
Israel; and, as their good Mother, you shall 
bring them forth and maintain them; and, as 
their sovereign, you shall conduct them, govern 
and defend them. 

" This man and that man is bom in her,'* 
says the Holy Ghost, — Homo et homo ruxtus est in 
ea (Ps. Ixxxvi. 5). According to the explanation 
of some of the Fathers, the first man that is 
bom in Mary is the Man-God, Jesus Christ; 
the second is a mere man, the child of Gt)d and 
Mary by adoption. If Jesus Christ the Head 
of men is bom in her, tibe predestinate who are 
the members of that Head ought also to be bom 
in her by a necessary consequence. One and 
the same mother does not bring forth into the 
world the head without the members, nor the 
members without the head ; for this would be a 
monster of nature. So in like manner, in the 
order of grace, the Head and the members are 



1 8 TEUE DEVOTION TO 

bom of one and the same Mother ; and if a 
member of the mystical Body of Jesus Christ— 
that is to say, one of the predestinate — ^was bom* 
of any other mother than Mary, who has pro- 
duced the Head, he would not be one of the 
predestinate, nor a member of Jesus Christ, but 
simply a monster in the order of grace. 

Besides this, Jesus being at present as much 
as ever the Fruit of Mary, — as heaven and earth 
repeat thousands and thousands of times a day, 
" and Blessed be the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus," 
— it is certain that Jesus Christ is, for each man 
in particular who possesses Him, as truly the 
fruit of the work of Mary, as He is for the whole 
world in general ; so that if any one of the &ith- 
fiil has Jesus Christ formed in his heart, he can 
say boldly. All thanks be to Mary I what I pos- 
sess is her effect and her fruit, and without her 
I should never have had it. We can apply to 
her more truly than St. Paul applied to himself 
those words, Quos iterum parturio donee formetur 
Christus in vobis^ — " I am in labour again with 
aU tibe children of God, until Jesus Christ my 
Son be formed in them in the ftdness of His 
age." St. Augustine, surpassing himself, and 
going beyond all I have yet said, affirms that 
all the predestinate, in order to be conformed to 
the image of the Son of God, are in this world 
hidden in the womb of the most holy Virgin; 
where they are guarded, nourished, brought up, 



THE BLESSED YIBGIN. 19 

and made to grow by that good Mother untfl 
she has brought them forth to glory after death, 
which is properly the day of their birth, as the 
Church calls the death of the just mystery of 
grace, unknown to the reprobate, and but little 
known even to the predestinate 1 

God the Holy Ghost wishes to form Himself 
in her, and to form elect for Himself by her, 
and He has said to her, In electis meia mitte 
radices. Strike the roots, My Well-beloved and 
My Spouse, of all your virtues in My elect, in 
order that they may grow from virtue to virtue, 
and from grace to grace. I took so much com- 
placence in you, when you lived on earth in the 
practice of the most sublime virtues, that I de- 
sire still to find you on earth, without your 
ceasing to be in heaven. For this end, repro- 
duce yourself in My elect, that I may behold in 
ihem with complacence the roots of your invin- 
cible faith, of your profound humility, of your 
xmiversal mortification, of your sublime prayer, 
of your ardent charity, of your firm hope, and 
all your virtues. You are always My Spouse, as 
fiuthfrd, as pure, and as finiitfrd as ever. Let 
your faith give Me My faithftd, your purity 
My virgins, and your fertility My temples and 
My elect. 

When Mary has struck her roots in a soul, 
she produces there marvels of grace, which she 
alone can produce, because she alone is the fruit- 



20 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

fill Virgin, who never has had, and never will 
have, her equal in purity and in fruitfiilness. 

Mary has produced, together with the Holy 
Ghost, the greatest thing which has been, or 
ever will be, which is a God-Man ; and she will 
consequently produce the greatest things that 
there will be in the latter times. 

The formation and education of the great 
Saints, who shall come at the end of the world, 
are reserved for her. For it is only that singu- 
lar and miraculous Virgin who can produce, in 
imion with the Holy Ghost, singular and extra- 
ordinary things. 

When the Holy Ghost, her Spouse, has found 
Mary in a soul. He flies there. He enters there 
in His folness; He communicates Himself to 
that soul abundantly, and to the full extent to 
which she makes room for her Spouse. Nay, 
one of the great reasons why the Holy Ghost 
does not now do startling wonders in our souls 
is because He does not find there a sufficiently 
great imion with His faithftd and indissoluble 
Spouse. I say indissoluble Spouse, because since 
that Substantial Love of the Father and the Son 
has espoused Mary, in order to produce Jesus 
Christ, the Head of the elect, and Jesus Christ 
in the elect. He has never repudiated her, inas- 
much as she has always been fruitfiil and faith- 
ftd. We may evidently conclude, then, from 
what I have said (1), That Mary has received 



THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 21 

from God a great domination over the souls of 
the elect ; for she cannot make her residence in 
them, as God the Father ordered her to do, and 
form them in Jesus Christ, or Jesus Christ in 
them, and strike the roots of her virtues in their 
hearts, and be the indissoluble companion of the 
Holy Ghost in all His works of grace, — she can- 
not, I say, do all these things unless she has a 
right and domination over their souls by a singu- 
lar grace of the Most High, who, having given 
her power over His only and Natural Son, has 
given it also to her over His adopted children, 
not only as to their bodies, which would be but 
little matter, but also as to their souls. 

Mary is the Queen of heaven and earth by 
grace, as Jesus is the King of them by nature 
and by conquest. Now, as the kingdom of Jesus 
Christ consists principally in the heart and in- 
terior of a man, — according to that word, " The 
kingdom of God is within you," — in like maimer 
the kingdom of our Blessed Lady is principally 
in the interior of a man, that is to say, his soul ; 
and it is principally in souls that she is more 
glorified with her Son than in all visible crea- 
tures, and that we can call her, as the Saints do, 
the Queen of hearts. 

(2.) We must conclude that, the most holy 
Virgin being necessary to God by a necessity 
which we call hypothetical, in consequence of 
His Will, she is far more necessary to men, in 

D 



J 



TEUE DEVOTION TO 



order for them to arrive at their Last End. We 
must not confound devotions to our Blessed Lady 
with devotions to the other Saints, as if devotion 
to her was not far more necessary than devotion 
to them, or as if devotion to her were a, matter 
of supererogation. 

The learned and pious Suarez the Jesuit, 
the erudite and devout Justus Lipsius doctor of 
Louvain, and many others, have proved invin- 
cibly, in consequence of the sentiments of the 
Faliiers (and, among others, of St Augustine, 
St. Ephrem deacon of Edessa, St Cyril of Je- 
rusalem, St. Germanus of Constantinople, St 
John Damascene, St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St 
Bemardine, St. Thomas, and St. Bonaventure), 
that devotion to our Blessed Lady is necessary 
to salvation, and that, even in the opinion of 
(Ecolampadius and some other heretics, it is an 
infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem 
and love for the holy Virgin ; while on the other 
hand it is an infallible mark of predestination to 
be entirely and truly devoted to her. 

The figures and words of the Old and New 
Testaments prove this. The sentiments and 
examples of the Saints confirm it. Eeason and 
experience teach and demonstrate it Even the 
devil and his crew, constrained by the force of 
truth, have often been obliged to avow it in 
their own despite. 

Among all the passages of the holy Fathers 



THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 23 

and doctors, of which I have made an ample col- 
lection, in order to prove this truth, I shall, for 
brevity's sake, quote but one : Tibi devotum esse^ 
est arma qucedam salutis quoe Deus his dat^ quos 
vide salvos fieri^ — " To be devout to you, holy 
Virgin," says St. John Damascene, " is an arm 
of salvation which God gives to those whom He 
wishes to save." I could bring forward here 
many histories which prove the same thing, and, 
among others, one which is related in the chroni- 
cles of St. Dominic. There was an unhappy he- 
retic near Carcassonne, where St. Dominic was 
preaching the Rosary, who was possessed by a 
legion of fifteen thousand devils. These evil 
spirits were compelled, to their confusion, by the 
commandment of our Blessed Lady, to avow 
many great and consoling truths, touching devo- 
tion to the holy Virgin ; and they did this with 
so much force, and so much clearness, that it is 
not possible to read this authentic history, and 
the panegyric which the devil made, in spite of 
himself, of devotion to the most holy Mary, 
without shedding tears of joy, however luke- 
warm we may be in our devotion to her. 

If devotion to the most holy Virgin Mary is 
necessary to all men, simply for working out 
their salvation, it is still more so for those who 
are called to any particular perfection ; and I do 
not think any one can acquire an intimate union 
with our Lord, and a perfect fidelity to the Holy 



24: TBUE DEVOTION TO 

Ghost, without a very great union with the most 
holy Virgin, and a great dependence on her 
succour. 

It is Mary alone who has found grace before 
God, without the aid of any other mere creature : 
it is only by her that all those who have found 
grace before God have found it at all ; and it is 
only by her that all those who shall come aft^- 
wards shall find it. She was foil of grace when 
she was saluted by the Archangel Gabriel, and 
she was superabundantly filled with grace by the 
Holy Ghost when He covered her with His im- 
speakable Shadow ; and she has so augmented, 
fix)m day to day and firom moment to moment, 
this double plenitude, that she has reached a 
point of grace immense and inconceivable ; in 
such sort that the Most High has made her the 
sole treasurer of His treasures, and the sole dis- 
penser of His graces, to ennoble, to exalt, and 
to enrich whom she wishes ; to give the entry 
to whom she wills into the narrow way of hea- 
ven ; to pass whom she wills, and in spite of all 
obstacles, through the strait gate of life ; and 
to give the throne, the sceptre, and the crown 
of iJie King to whom she wills. Jesus is every 
where and always the Fruit and the Son of 
Mary ; and Mary is every where the veritable 
tree, who bears the Fruit of life, and the true 
Mother, who produces it. 

It is Mary alone to whom God has given 



THE BLESSED YIBOIN. 25 

the keys of the cellars of divine love, and the 
power to enter into the most sublime and secret 
ways of perfection, and the power likewise to 
make others enter in there also. It is Mary 
alone who has given to the miserable children 
of Eve, the feithless, the entry into the terres- 
trial paradise, that they may walk there agree- 
ably with Grod, hide themselves there securely 
against their enemies, and feed themselves there 
deliciously, without any more fear of death, on 
the fruit of the trees of life and of the knowledge 
of good and evil, and drink in long draughts 
tiie heavenly waters of that fair fountain, which 
gushes forth there with abundance ; or rather 
she is herself that terrestrial paradise, that vir- 
gin and blessed earth, from which Adam and 
Eve, the sinners, have been driven, and she 
gives no entry there except to those whom it is 
her pleasure to make Saints. 

All the rich among the people, to make use 
of an expression of the Holy Ghost, according 
to the explanation of St. Bernard, — all the rich 
among the people shall supplicate thy face from 
age to age, and particularly at the end of the 
world ; ihat is to say, the greatest Saints, the 
souls richest in graces and virtues, shall be the 
most assiduous in praying to our Blessed Lady, 
and in having her always present as their perfect 
model to imitate, and their powerful aid to give 
them succour. 



2& TRUE DEVOTION TO 

I have said that this would come to pass 
particularly at the end of the world, and indeed 
presently, because the Most High with His 
holy Mother has to form for Himself great 
Saints, who shall surpass most of the other 
Saints in sanctity, as much as the cedars of 
Lebanon outgrow the little shrubs, as has been 
revealed to a holy soul, whose life has been 
written by a great servant of God. 

These great souls, ftdl of grace and zeal, 
shall be chosen to match themselves against the 
enemies of God, who shall rage on all sides ; 
and they shall be singularly devout to our 
Blessed Lady, illuminated by her light, nourished 
by her milk, led by her spirit, supported by her 
arm, and sheltered under her protection, so that 
they shall fight with one hand and build with 
the other. With one hand they shall fight, 
overthrow, and crush the heretics with their 
heresies, the schismatics with their schisms, the 
idolaters with their idolatries, and the sinners 
with their impieties. With the other hand they 
shall build the temple of the true Solomon, 
and the mystical city of God ; that is to say, 
the most holy Virgin, called by the holy Fathers 
the temple of Solomon and the ciiy of God. By 
their words and their examples tiiey shall bend 
the whole world to true devotion to Mary. This 
shall bring upon them many enemies ; but it shall 
also bring many victories and much glory for 



THE BLESSED YIBQIK. 27 

God alone. It is this which God revealed to St 
Vincent Ferrer, the great apostle of his age, 
as he has sufficiently noted in one of his works. 

It is this which the Holy Ghost seems to 
have prophesied in the fifty-eighth Psalm, of 
which these are the words : Et sclent quia 
Dominus dominabitur Jacob , etjinium terrce ; con-- 
vertentur ad vesperamj etfamem patientur tU canesy 
et circuibunt dvitaterrij — " And they shall know 
that God will rule Jacob, and all the ends of 
the earth ; they shall return at evening, and 
shall sufier hunger like dogs, and shall go round 
about the city." 

This city which men shall find at the end of 
the world to convert themselves in, and to satisfy 
the hunger they have for justice, is the most holy 
Virgin, who is called by the Holy Ghost the 
City of God. 

It is by Mary that the salvation of the world 
has begun, and it is by Mary that it must be 
consummated. Mary has hardly appeared at 
all in the first coming of Jesus Christ, in order 
that men, as yet but little instructed and en- 
lightened on the Person of her Son, should not 
remove themselves firom Him, in attaching them- 
selves 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. Denys the 



28 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

Areopagite has informed us in his writings that 
when he saw our Blessed Lady, he should have 
taken her for a Divinity, in consequence of her 
secret charms and incomparable beauty, had 
not the Faith in which he was well established 
taught him the contrary. But in the second 
coming of Jesus Christ, Mary has to be made 
known and revealed by the Holy Ghost, in order 
that by 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 a very little since the preaching 
of the Gt)8pel, subsist no longer. 

Q^d, then, wishes to reveal and discover 
Mary, the masterpiece of His hands, in these 
latter times : 

1. Because she hid herself in this world, and 
put herself lower than the dust by her profound 
hmniUiy, having obtained of God and of His 
Apostles and Evangelists that she should not 
be made manifest. 

2. Because, 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. 

3. As she is the aurora which precedes and 
discovers the Sun of Justice, who is Jesus Christ, 
she ought to be recognised and perceived, in 
order that Jesus Christ may be so. 



THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 29 

4. Being the way by which Jesus Christ 
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. 

5. 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 holy 
souls, who are to shine forth especially in sanctity, 
have to find our Lord. He who shall find Mary 
shall find life ; that is, Jesus Christ, who is the 
Way, the Truth, and the Life. 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 Triniiy , that Mary 
should be more known than ever. 

6. 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 con- 
verted and shall return to the Catholic Church ; 
in might, against the enemies of God, idolaters^ 
schismatics, Mahometans, Jews, and souls har- 
dened in impiety, who shall rise in terrible re- 
volt 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 faithfiil servants 



30 TBUE DEVOTION TO 

of Jesus Christ, who shall do battle for His in- 
terests. 

7. And, lastly, Mary must be terrible to 
the devil and his crew, as an army ranged in 
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 new persecutions, 
and will put terrible snares before the faithful 
servants and true children of Mary, whom it 
gives him more trouble to surmoimt than it does 
to conquer others. 

It is principally of these last and cruel per- 
secutions of the devil, which shall go on in- 
creasing 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 conftision of the devil. 

Inimicitias ponam inter te et mulierem^ et 
semen tuum et semen illius; ipsa conteret caput 
tuumj et tu insidiaberis calcaneo ejus (Gen. iii. 
15), — " 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." 

Gt)d has never made or formed but one en- 



THE BLESSED YIBOIN. 31 

mity ; but it is an irreconcilable one, which shall 
endure and develop even to the end. It is be- 
tween Mary, His worthy Mother, and the devil, 
— ^between the children and the servants of the 
Blessed Virgin and the children and instruments 
of Lucifer. The most terrible of dl the enemies 
which God has set up against the devil is His 
holy Mother, Mary. He has inspired her, even 
since the days of the earthly Paradise, though 
she existed then only in His idea, with so much 
hatred against that cursed enemy of God, with 
so much industry in unveiling the malice of that 
old serpent, with so much power to conquer, 
to overthrow, and to crush that proud impious 
rebel, that he fears her not only more than all 
Angels and men, but ia some sense more than 
Grod Himself. It is not that the anger, the 
hatred, and the power of God are not infinitely 
greater than those of the Blessed Virgin, for the 
perfections of Mary are limited, but it is, first, 
because Satan, being proud, suffers infinitely 
more firom being beaten and pimished by a 
little and hiunble handmaid of God, and her 
humility humbles him more than the Divine 
power; and, secondly, because God has given 
Mary such a great power against the devils, 
that, as they have often been obliged to confess, 
in spite of themselves, by the mouths of the 
possessed, they fear one of her sighs for a soul 
more than the prayers of all the Saints, and one 



32 TRXJE DEVOTION TO 

of her menaces against them more than all 
other torments. 

What Lucifer has lost by pride, Mary has 
gained by humiUty. What Eve has damned and 
lost by disobedience, Mary has saved by obedi- 
ence. Eve, in obeying the serpent, has de- 
stroyed aU her children together with herself, 
and has delivered them to him ; Mary, being 
perfectly faithM to God, has saved all her chil- 
dren and servants together with herself, and has 
consecrated them to His Majesty. 

Gtod has not only set an enmity but enmities^ 
not simply between Mary and the devil, but be- 
tween the race of the holy Virgin and the race 
of the devil ; that is to say, God has set enmi- 
ties, antipathies, and secret hatreds between the 
true children and the servants of Mary, and the 
children and servants of the devil. They do not 
love each other mutually. They have no inward 
correspondence with each other. The children 
of Belial, the slaves of Satan, the friends of the 
world (for it is the same thing), have always up 
to this time persecuted those who belong to our 
Blessed Lady, and will in fiiture persecute them 
more than ever ; just as of old Cain persecuted 
his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob, 
who are the figures of the reprobate and the 
predestinate. But the humble Mary will always 
have the victory over that proud spirit, and so 
great a victory that she will go the length of 



THE BLESSED VIRGIK. 



crushing his head, where his pride dwells. She 
will always discover the malice of the serpent 
She will always counterwork his infernal mines 
and dissipate his diaboUcal counsels, and will 
guarantee even to the end of time her faithful 
servants fix)m his cruel claw. But the power of 
Mary over all the devils will especially break 
out in the latter times, when Satan will lay his 
snares against her heel ; that is to say, her hum- 
ble slaves and her poor children, whom she will 
raise up to make war against him. They shall 
be little and poor in the world's esteem, and 
abased before all, like the heel, trodden underfoot 
and persecuted as the heel is by the other mem- 
bers of the body. But in return for this, they 
shall be rich in the grace of God, which Mary 
shall distribute to them abundantly. They shall 
be great and exalted before God in sanctity, 
superior to all other creatures by their animated 
zeal, and leaning so strongly on the divine suc- 
cour, that, with the humihty of their heel, in 
union with Mary, they shall crush the head of 
the devil, and cause Jesus Christ to triumph. 

In a word, God wishes that His holy Mother 
should be at present more known, more loved, 
more honoured, than she has ever been. This no 
doubt will take place, if the predestinate enter, 
with the grace and light of the Holy Ghost, 
into the interior and perfect practice which I 
will disclose to them shortly. Then they will 



34 TBITE DEVOTION TO 

see clearly, as far as faith allows, that beautiful 
Star of the Sea. They will arrive happily in har- 
bour, following its guidance, in spite of the tem- 
pests and the pirates. They will know the gran- 
deurs of that Queen, and will consecrate them- 
selves entirely to her service, as subjects and 
slaves of love. They will experience her sweet- 
nesses and her maternal goodnesses, and they 
will love her tenderly like well-beloved children. 
They will know the mercies of which she is full, 
and the need they have of her succour; and they 
will have recourse to her in all things, as to 
their dear advocate and mediatrix with Jesus 
Christ They will know what is the most sure, 
the most easy, the most short, and the most per- 
fect means by which to go to Jesus Christ ; and 
they will deliver themselves to Mary, body and 
soul, without reserve, that they may thus be all 
for Jesus Christ 

But who shall be those servants, slaves, and 
children of Mary ? They shall be a burning fire 
of the ministers of the Lord, who shall kindle 
the fire of divine" love every where, and sicut 
aagittce in manu potentisy — like sharp arrows in 
the hand of the powerfiil Mary to pierce her 
enemies. They shall be the sons of Levi, well 
purified by the fire of great tribulation, and 
closely adhering to God; who shall carry the 
gold of love in their heart, the incense of prayer 
in their spirit, and the myrrh of mortification in 



THE BLESSED VIBOIK. 35 

their body ; and they shall be every where the 
good odour of Jesus Christ to the poor and to 
the little, while they shall be an odour of death 
to the great, to the rich, and to the proud world- 
lings. 

They shall be clouds thundering and flying 
through the air at the least breath of the Holy 
Ghost ; who, without attaching themselves to any 
thing, without being astonished at any thing, 
without putting themselves in pain about any 
thing, shall shower forth the rain of the Word 
of Grod and of life eternal. They shall thunder 
against sin ; they shall storm against the world ; 
they shall strike the devil and his crew; and 
they shall strike ftuiiher and further, for life or 
for death, with their two-edged sword of the 
Word of Gted, all those to whom they shall be 
sent on the part of the Most High. 

They shall be the true apostles of the latter 
times, to whom the Lord of Hosts shall give the 
word and the might to work marvels, and to 
carry off the glory of the spoils of His enemies. 
They shall sleep without gold or silver, and, 
what is more, without care, in the middle of 
the other priests, ecclesiastics, and clerks, inter 
medios cleros ; and yet they shall have the silvered 
wings of the dove, to go, with the pure intention 
of the glory of Gted and the salvation of souls, 
wheresoever the Holy Ghost shall call them. 
Neither shall they leave behind them, in the 



36 TBUB DBVOnON TO 

places where they have preached, any thing but 
the gold of charity, which is the aocomplish- 
ment of the whole law. In a word, we know 
that they shall be true disciples of Jesus Christ, 
who, marching in the footsteps of His poverty, 
humility, contempt of the world, and chariiy, 
shall teach the strait way of Grod in the pure 
truth, according to the holy Gospel, and not 
according to the maxims of the world, without 
putting themselves in pain about things, or ac- 
cepting persons, without sparing, fearing, or 
listening to any mortal, however influential he 
may be. 

They shall have in their mouths the two- 
edged sword of the Word of God. They shall 
carry on their shoulders the bloody standard of 
the cross, the crucifix in their right hand and 
the rosary in their left, the sacred names of Je- 
sus and Mary on their hearts, and the modesty 
and mortification of Jesus Christ in their own 
behaviour. These are the great men who shall 
come. But Mary shall be there by the order of 
the Most High, to extend His empire over that 
of the impious, the idolaters, and the Ma- 
hometans. But when and how shall this be ? 
God alone knows. It is for us to hold our 
tongues, to pray, to sigh, and to wait, — easpec- 
tans easpectavu 



THE BLESSED YIBGIN. 37 

n. DISCERNMENT OF THE TRUE DEVOTION TO 
OUR BLESSED LADY. 

Having said something so far of the necessity 
which we have of the devotion to the most holy 
Virgin, I must now show in what this devotion 
consists. This I will do, by God's help, after I 
shall have first presupposed some fundamental 
truths, which shall throw light on that grand 
and solid devotion which I desire to disclose. 

First Truth. Jesus Christ our Saviour, true 
Qod and true Man, ought to be the last end of 
all our other devotions, else they are false and 
delusive. Jesus Christ is the alpha and omega^ 
the beginning and the end of all things. We 
labour not, as the Apostle says, except to render 
every man perfect in Jesus Christ ; because it is 
in Him alone that the whole plenitude of the 
Diviniiy dwells, together with all the other 
plenitudes of graces, virtues, and perfections ; 
because it is in Him alone that we have been 
blessed with all spiritual benediction; and be- 
cause He is our only Master, who has to teach 
us ; our only Lord, on whom we ought to de- 
pend ; our only Head, to whom we must belong ; 
our only Model, to whom we should conform 
ourselves ; our only Physician, who can heal us ; 
our only Shepherd, who can feed us ; ovcc only 
Way, who can lead us ; our only Truth, who can 
I us grow ; our only Life, who can animate 

B 



38 TBUE DEVOTION TO 

US ; and our only All in all things, who can suf- 
fice us. There has been no other name given 
under heaven, except the name of Jesus, by 
which we can be saved. God has laid no other 
foundation of our salvation, of our perfection, 
and of our glory, except Jesus Christ. Every 
building which is not built upon that firm rock 
Is founded upon the moving sand, and sooner or 
later will fall infallibly. Every one of the feith- 
ftd who is not united to Him, as a branch to the 
stock of the vine, shall fall, shall wither, and 
shall be fit only to be cast into the fire. If we 
are in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ in us, we 
have no condemnation to fear. Neither the 
Angels of heaven, nor the men of earth, nor the 
devils of hell, nor any other creatures, can in- 
jure us ; because they cannot separate us troia 
the love of God which is in Jesus Christ By 
Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ, 
we can do aU things ; we can render all honour 
and glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy 
Ghost; we can become perfect ourselves, and 
be to our neighbour a good odour of eternal 
life. 

K, then, we establish the solid devotion to 
our Blessed Lady, it is only to establish more 
perfectly the devotion to Jesus Christ, and to 
put forward an easy and secure means for 
finding Jesus Christ K devotion to our Lady 
removed us &om Jesus Christ, we should have 



THE BLESSED YIRGIK. 39 

to reject it as an illusion of the devil; but on 
the contrary, so far from this being the case, 
there is nothing which makes devotion to our 
Lady more necessary for us, as I have already 
shown, and will show still ftuiiher hereafter, 
than that it is the means of finding Jesus Christ 
perfectly, of loving Him tenderly, and of serv- 
ing Him faithftdly. 

I here turn for one moment to Thee, my 
sweet Jesus, to complain lovingly to Thy Di- 
vine Majesiy that the greater part of Chris- 
tians, even the most learned, do not know the 
necessary union which there is between Thee 
and Thy holy Mother. Thou, Lord, art always 
with Mary, and Mary is always with Thee, and 
she cannot be without Thee, else she would 
cease to be what she is. She is so transformed 
into Thee by grace that she lives no more, that 
she is as tiiough she were not. It is Thou 
only, my Jesus, who livest and reignest in her 
more perfectly than in all the Angels and the 
Blessed. Ah I if we knew the glory and the 
love which Thou receivest in this admirable 
creature, we should have very different thoughts 
both of Thee and her from what we have now. 
She is so intimately united with Thee, that it 
were easier to separate the light from the sun, 
the heat from the fire. I say more: it were 
easier to separate from Thee all the Angels and 
the Saints than the divine Mary, because she 



40 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

loves Thee more ardently, and glorifies Thee 
more perfectly, than all other creatures put to- 
gether. 

After that, my svreet Masterj is it not an 
astonishingly pitiable thing to see the ignorance 
and the darkness of all men here below in re- 
gard to Thy holy Mother? I speak not so 
much of idolaters and pagans, who, knowing 
Thee not, care not to know Thee ; I speak not 
even of heretics and schismatics, who care not 
to be devout to Thy holy Mother, being sepa- 
rated as they are from Thee and Thy holy 
Church : but I speak of Catholic Christians, 
and even of doctors amongst Catholics, who 
make profession of teaching truths to others, 
and yet know not Thee nor Thy holy Mother, 
except in a speculative, dry, barren, and indif-^ 
ferent manner. These doctors speak but rarely 
of thy holy Mother, and of the devotion which 
we ought to have to her, because they fear, so 
they say, lest we should abuse it, and should do 
some injury to Thee in too much honouring 
Thy holy Mother. If they see or hear any one 
devout to our Blessed Lady, speaking often of 
his devotion to that good Mother in a tender, 
strong, and persuasive way, as of a secure 
means without delusion, as of a short road 
without danger, as of an immaculate way with-, 
out imperfection, and as of a wonderftd secret 
for finding and loving Thee perfectly, they cry 



THE BLESSED YIBOIN. 41 

out against him, and give him a thousand false 
reasons by way of proving to him that he ought 
not to talk so much of our Blessed Lady, that 
there are great abuses in that devotion, and 
that we must direct our energies to destroy 
these abuses, and to speak of Thee, rather than 
to incline the people to devotion to our Blessed 
Lady, whom they already love sufficiently. 

We hear them sometimes speak of devotion 
to Thy holy Mother, not for the purpose of estab- 
lishing it and persuading men to it, but to destroy 
the abuses which are made of it, while all the 
time these teachers are without piety or tender 
devotion towards Thyself, simply because they 
have none for Mary. They regard the Bosary, 
the Scapular, and the Chaplet as devotions 
proper for weak and ignorant minds, and with- 
out which men can save themselves; and if 
there falls into their hands any poor client of 
our Lady, who says his Rosary, or has any 
other practice of devotion towards her, they 
soon change his spirit and his heart Listead 
of the Rosary, they counsel him the &evea 
Penitential Psalms. Listead of devotion to 
the holy Virgin, they counsel him devotion to 
Jesus Christ. 

my sweet Jesus, have these people got 
Thy spirit? Do they please Thee in acting 
thus ? Is it to please Thee, to spare one single 
effort to please Thy Mother for fear of thereby 



42 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

displeasing Thee ? Does devotion to Thy holy 
Mother hinder devotion to Thyself? Is it that 
she attributes to herself the honour which we 
pay her ? Is it that she makes a side for herself 
apart ? Is it that she is an alien, who has no 
union with Thee ? Does it displease Thee that 
we should try to please her? Is it to sepa- 
rate or to alienate ourselves from Thy love to 
give ourselves to her and to love her? Yet, 
my sweet Master, the greater part of the learned 
could not shrink more from devotion to Thy 
holy Mother, and could not show more indif- 
ference to it, if all that I have just said were 
true! Keep me. Lord, — ^keep ine from their 
sentiments and their practices, and give me 
some share in the sentiments of gratitude, es- 
teem, respect, and love which Thou hadst in 
regard to Thy holy Mother, in order that I 
may love Thee and glorify Thee all the more 
by imitating and following Thee more closely. 

So, as if up to this point I had still said 
nothing in honour of Thy holy Mother, give 
me now the grace to praise her worthily, Fa/c 
me digne tuam Matrem coUavdarey in spite of all 
her enemies, who are Thine as well ; and grant 
me to say loudly with the Saints, Non prcemmat 
aliquis Deum se habere propitivm^ qui benedictam 
Matrem offemam habuerit, — " Let not that man 
presume to look for the mercy of God who 
offends His holy Mother." To obtain of Thy 



THB BLESSED YIB6IN. 43 

mercy a true devotion to Thy holy Mother, and 
to inspire it to the whole earth, make me to 
love Thee ardently ; and for that end receive the 
burning prayer which I make to Thee with St 
Augustine and thy true friends : 

" Tu es Christus, pater mens sanctus, Deus 
mens pius, rex mens magnus, pastor mens bonus, 
magister mens unus, adjutor mens optimus, di- 
lectus mens pulcherrimus, panis mens vivus, 
sacerdos meus in aetemum, dux mens ad pa- 
triam, lux mea vera, dulcedo mea sancta, via 
mea recta, sapientia mea praeclara, simplicitas 
mea pura, concordia mea pacifica, custodia 
mea tota, portio mea bona, salus mea sempi- 
tema. 

" Christe Jesu, amabilis Domine, cur amavi, 
quare concupivi in omni vitS, me^ quidquam 
prsBter te Jesum Deum meum? Ubi eram 
quando tecum monte non eram ? Jam ex hoc 
nunc, omnia desideria mea, incalescite et effluite 
in Dominum Jesum; currite, satis hactenus tar- 
d^tis ; properate, qu6 pergitis ; qusBrite quam 
quseritis. Jesu, qui non amat te, anathema sit ; 
qui te non amat, amaritudinibus repleatur. 

" dulcis Jesu, te amet, in te delectetur, te ad- 
miretur omnis sensus bonus tuaB conveniens laudi ; 
Deus cordis mei et pars mea, Christe Jesu, defi- 
ciat cor meum spiritu sue, et vivas tu in me, et 
concalescat spiritu meo vivus carbo amoris tui, 
et exorescat in ignem perfectum, ardeat jugiter 



44 TBUE DEVOTION TO 

in arS, cordis mei, ferveat in mediiUis meis, 
flagret in absconditis animae meae; in die con- 
summationis mess consummatus inveniar apud 
te. Amen." 

I have desired to put in Latin this admir- 
able prayer of Si Augustine, in order that 
those who understand Latin may say it every 
day, to ask for the love of Jesus, which we seek 
by the divine Mary. 

\_The translator thinks it well to give the prayer 
in English^ and rvithout throwing it into the small 
print of a note ;] 

Thou art Christ, my holy Father, my ten- 
der Gk)d, my great King, my good Shepherd, 
my one Master, my best Helper, my most 
Beautiful and my Beloved, my living Bread, 
my Priest for ever, my Leader to my coun- 
try, my true Light, my holy Sweetness, my 
straight Way, my excellent Wisdom, my pure 
Simplicity, my pacific Harmony, my whole 
Guard, my good Portion, my everlasting Sal- 
vation. 

Christ Jesus, sweet Lord, why have I ever 
loved, why in my whole life have I ever de- 
sired, any thing except Thee, Jesus my God ? 
Where was I, when I was not in Thy mind 
with Thee ? Now, from this time forth, do ye, 
all my desires, grow hot, and flow out upon 
the Lord Jesus; run, — ^ye have been tardy so 
far ; hasten whither ye are going ; seek whom 



THE BLESSED YIBGIN. 45 

ye are seeking. Jesus, may he who loves 
Thee not be anathema ; may he who loves Thee 
not be filled with bitterness ! 

sweet Jesus, may every good feeling that 
is fitted for Thy praise love Thee, delight in 
Thee, admire Thee, God of my heart, and my 
Portion! Christ Jesus, may my heart faint 
away in spirit, and mayest Thou be my life 
within me I May the live coal of Thy love 
grow hot within my spirit, and break forth into 
a perfect fire ; may it bum incessantly on Ae 
altar of my heart ; may it glow in my inner- 
most being; may it blaze in hidden recesses 
of my soul ; and in the day of my consumma- 
ticKQ may I be found consummated with Thee I 
Amen. 

Second Truth. We must conclude, from what 
Jesus Christ is with regard to us, that we do 
not belong to ourselves, but, as the Apostle 
says, are entirely His, as His members and His 
slaves, whom He has bought at an infinitely 
dear price, — the price of all His Blood. Before 
Baptism we belonged to the devil, as his slaves ; 
but Baptism has made us true slaves of Jesus 
Christ, who have no right to live, to work, or to 
die, except to bring forth fimit for that God- 
Man, to glorify Him in our bodies, and to let 
Him reign in our souls, because we are His 
conquest. His acquired people, and His inherit- 
ance. It is for the same reason that the Holy 



46 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

Ghost compares us, 1. to trees planted along the 
waters of grace in the field of the Church, who 
ought to bring forth their fimit in their seasons ; 
2. to the branches of a vine, of which Jesus 
Christ is the stock, and which must yield good 
grapes; 3. to a flock of which Jesus Christ is 
the shepherd, and which is to multiply and give 
milk ; 4. to a good land, of which God is the 
labourer, in which the seed multipUes itself, and 
brings forth thirty-fold, sixty-fold, and a hun- 
dred-fold. Jesus Christ cursed the unfruitftd 
fig-tree, and gave sentence against the useless 
servant, who had not made any profit on his 
talent. All this proves to us that Jesus Christ 
wishes to receive some finiits from our wretched 
selves, namely, our good works, because those 
good works belong to Him alone : Creati in ope- 
rSms bonis in Christo Jem^ — " Created in good 
works in Christ Jesus," — ^which words show both 
that Jesus Christ is the sole principle, and ought 
to be the sole end of all our good works, and also 
that we ought to serve Him, not as servants on 
wages, but as slaves of love. I will explain 
myself: 

Here on earth there are two ways of belong- 
ing to another, and of depending on his author- 
ity, namely, simple service and slavery, — ^what 
we mean by a servant, and what we mean by a 
slave. 

By common service amongst Christians a 



THE BLESSED YIR6IK. 4? 

man engages himself to serve another, during a 
certain time, at a certain rate of wages or of 
recompense. 

By slavery a man is entirely dependent on 
another for his whole life, and must serve his 
master without pretending to any wages or re- 
ward, just as one of his beasts, over which he 
has the right of life and death. 

There are three sorts of slavery : a slavery 
of nature, a slavery of constraint, and a slavery 
of the will. All creatures are slaves of God in 
the first sense : Domini est terra et plenitudo ejtiSy 
— " The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness of 
it." The demons and the damned are slaves in 
the second sense; the just and the Saints in the 
third. The slavery of the will is the most glori- 
ous to God, who looks at the heart, claims the 
heart, and calls Himself the God of the heart ; 
that is, of the loving will, because by that sla- 
very we make choice of God and His service 
above all things, even when nature does not 
oblige us to it. 

There is an entire difference between a ser- 
vant and a slave : 1. A servant does not give 
all he is, all he has, and all he can acquire by 
himself or by another, to his master ; but the 
slave gives himself whole and entire to his mas- 
ter, all he has and all he can gain, without any 
exception. 2. The servant exacts wages for the 
services which he performs for his master ; but 



48 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

the slave can exact nothing, whatever assiduity, 
whatever industry, whatever energy, he may 
have at his work. 3. The servant can leave his 
master when he pleases, or at least when the 
time of his service shall be expired ; but the 
slave has no right to quit his master at his will. 
4. The master of the servant has no right of 
life and death over him, so that if he kill him 
like one of his beasts of burden, he would com- 
mit an unjust homicide ; but the master of the 
slave has by the law a right of life and death 
over .him, so that he may sell him to any body 
he likes, or kill him, as if he stood on the same 
level as one of his horses. 5. Lastly, the ser- 
vant is only for a time in his master's service ; 
the slave is for always. 

There is nothing among men which makes 
us belong to another more than slavery. There 
is nothing among Christians which makes us 
more absolutely belong to Jesus Christ and His 
holy Mother than the slavery of the will, ac- 
cording to the example of Jesus Christ Himself, 
who took on Him the form of a slave for love 
of us, — Formam servi accipienSj — and also accord- 
to the example of the holy Virgin, who is called 
the servant and the slave of the Lord. The 
Apostle calls himself, as by a title of honour, 
Servus Christi^ — " The slave of Christ" Chris- 
tians are often called in the Holy Scriptures 
Servi Christij " Slaves of Christ," — ^whioh word 



THE BLBSS^) YIB6IK. 49 

servfiSy as a great man has truly remarked, sig- 
nified in old times nothing but a slave, because 
there were no servants then like those of the 
present day. Masters were served only either 
by slaves or by fi-eedmen. It is this which 
the catechism of the Holy Council of Trent, in 
order to leave no doubt about our being slaves 
of Jesus Christ, expresses by an unequivocal 
term, in calling us Mandpia Christi^ — " Slaves 
of Jesus Christ." 

Having premised this, I say that we ought 
to be to Jesus Christ and to serve Him not only 
as mercenary servants, but as loving slaves, 
who, by an effect of great love, give themselves 
up to serve Him in the quality of slaves, for 
the simple honour of belonging to Him. Before 
Baptism we were the slaves of the devil ; Bap- 
tism has made us the slaves of Jesus Christ : 
Christians must needs be either the slaves of 
the devil or the slaves of Jesus Christ. 

What I say absolutely of Jesus Christ, I say 
relatively of our Blessed Lady. Jesus Christ, 
having chosen her for the inseparable companion 
of His life, of His death, of His glory, and of 
Hia power in heaven and upon earth, has given 
her by grace, relatively to His Majesty, all the 
same rights and privileges which He possesses 
by nature. Quidquid Deo convenit per naiuramy 
MarioB convenit per gratiamf—^^ All that is fitting 
to Gk)d by nature is fitting to Mary by grace," 



50 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

— say the Saints ; so that, accordmg to them, 
Mary and Jesus having but the same will and 
the same power, the two have the same subjects, 
servants, and slaves. 

We may, therefore, following the sentiments 
of the Saints and of many great men, call our- 
selves, and make ourselves, the loving slaves of 
the most holy Virgin, in order to be by that 
very means the more perfectly the slaves of 
Jesus Christ. Our Blessed Lady is the means 
our Lord made use of to come to us. She is 
also the means which we must make use of to 
go to Him. For she is not like all the rest of 
creatures, who, if we should attach ourselves to 
them, might rather draw us away from God 
than draw us near Him. The strongest in- 
clination of Mary is to unite us to Jesus Christ 
her Son ; and the strongest inclination of the 
Son is, that we should come to Him by His 
holy Mother. It is to honour and please Him, 
just as it would be to do honour and pleasure to 
a king, to become more perfectly his subject 
and his slave, by making ourselves the slaves of 
the queen. It is on this account that the holy 
Fathers, and St. Bonaventure after them, said 
that our Lady was the way to go to our Lord : 
Via veniendi ad Christum est appropinquare ad 
iliam. 

Moreover, if, as I have said, the holy Virgin 
is the Queen and Sovereign of heaven and of 



THE BLESSED VIBGIK. 01 

earth, then is it not true what has been said by 
St. Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bemardine, and 
St Bonaventure, — has she not as many subjects 
and slaves as there are creatures ? Imperio Dei 
omnia subjiciuntur^ et Virgo ; ecce imperio Virginia 
omnia subjiduntury et Deus. Is it not reasonable 
that amongst so many slaves of constraint, there 
should be some of love, who of their own good will, 
in the quality of slaves, should choose Mary for 
their mistress? What! are men and devils to have 
their voluntary slaves, and Mary to have none ? 
What I shall a king hold it to be for his honour 
that the queen, his companion, should have slaves 
over whom she has the right of life and death, 
because the honour and power of the one is the 
honour and power of the other, and yet are we to 
think that our Lord, who, as the best of all Sons, 
has divided His entire power with His holy 
Mother, shall take it ill that she too has her 
slaves ? Has He less respect and love for His 
Mother than Ahasuerus had for Esther, or than 
Solomon for Bathsebee ? Who shall dare to say 
so, or even to think it ? 

But whither is my pen hurrying me ? Why 
am I stopping here to prove a thing so plain ? 
If we do not wish to call ourselves slaves of the 
Blessed Virgin, what matter? Let us make 
ourselves and caU ourselves slaves of Jesus 
Christ; for that is to be the slave of the holy 
Virgin, inasmuch as Jesus is the finiit and tha 



52 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

glory of Mary ; and it is this very thing which 
we do, by the devotion of which we are here- 
after to speak. 

Third Truth. Our best actions are ordina- 
rily stained and corrupted by the ground of evil 
which is so deeply laid up in us. When we put 
dean and clear water into a vessel which has a 
foul and evil smell, or wine into a cask the inside 
of which has been spoilt by another wine which 
has been in it, the clear water and the good 
wine are spoilt, and readily take the bad odour. 
In like manner, when God puis into the vessd 
of our soul, spoilt by original and actual sin, 
His graces and heavenly dews, or the delicious 
wine of His love. His gifts are ordinarily spoilt 
and corrupted by the bad leaven and the evil 
which sin has left within us. Our actions, even 
tte most sublime and virtuous, feel the eflFects of 
it. It is therefore of great importance in the 
acquiring of perfection, which it must be re- 
membered is only acquired by union with Jesus 
Christ, to empty ourselves of every thing which 
is bad within us ; otherwise our Lord, who is 
infinitely pure and hates infinitely the least stain 
upon our souls, will cast us out fi'om His pre- 
sence, and will not imite Himself to us. 

1. To empiy ourselves of oiu'selves, we must, 
first, thoroughly recognise, by the light of the 
Holy Ghost, our inward corruption, our incapa- 
ni^ &s^ every good thing useftd for salvation, 



THE BLESSED TIBOIir. 53 

our weakness in all things, our inconstancy at 
all times, our indignity of every grace, and our 
iniquiiy in every position. The sin of our first 
fiither has spoilt us all, soured us, puffed us up 
and corrupted us, as the leaven sours, puffs, and 
corrupts the paste into which it is put. The 
actual sins which we have committed, whether 
mortal or venial, pardoned though they may be, 
have nevertheless increased our concupiscence, 
our weakness, our inconstancy, and our cor- 
ruption, and have left evil consequences in our 
souls. Our bodies are so corrupted that they 
are called by the Holy Ghost bodies of sin, con- 
ceived in sin, nourished in sin, and capable of 
all sin, — bodies subject to thousands of maladies, 
which go on corrupting fi-om day to day, and 
which engender nothing but disease, vermin, 
and corruption. 

Our soul, united to our body, has become so 
camaly that it is called flesh. '* All fledh having 
corrupted its way," we have nothing for our 
portion but pride and blindness in the spirit^ 
hardness in the hearty weakness and inconstancy 
in the soul, concupiscence, revolted passions, 
snd sicknesses in the body. We are naturally 
prouder than peacocks, more grovelling on the 
earth than toads, more vile than unclean ani- 
mals, more envious th^i serpents, more glutton- 
ous than hogs, more ftuious than tigers, lazier 
than tortoises, weaker than reeds, and more ca- 

F 



64: TRUE DEVOTION TO 

pricious than weathercocks. We have down 
in our own selves nothing but nothingness and 
sin, and we deserve nothing but the anger of 
God, and the everlasting hell. 

After this, ought we to be astonished if our 
Lord has said, that whosoever wishes to follow 
Him must renounce himself and hate his own 
soul, and that whosoever shall love his own soul 
shall lose it, and whosoever shall hate it shall 
save it ? He who is infinite Wisdom does not give 
commandments without reason, and He has 
only commanded us to hate ourselves, because 
we so richly deserve to be hated. Nothing is 
worthier of love than God, and nothing is wor- 
thier of hatred than ourselves. 

2. Secondly, in order to empiy ourselves of 
ourselves, we must die to ourselves daily. That 
is to say, we must renounce the operations of 
the powers of our soul, and of the senses of our 
body. We must see as if we saw not, under- 
stand as if we understood not, and make use of 
the things of this world as if we made no use 
of them at all. This is what St. Paul calls dying 
daily, — Quotidie morior. If the grain of com 
falling on the earth does not die, it remains 
earth, and brings forth no good jfruit. Ifisi 
granum frummti^ cadem in terrarrij mcyrtuum 
fuerity ipsum solum manet. If we die not to 
ourselves, and if our holiest devotions do not 
inchne us to this necessary and useM death. 



THE BLESSED VIBGIK. 55 

we shall bring forth no fruit worth any thing, 
and our devotions will become useless. All our 
justices will be stained by self-love and our own 
will ; and this will cause God to hold in abomin- 
ation the greatest sacrifices we can make, and 
the best actions we can do ; so that at our death 
we shall find our hands empty of virtues and of 
merifs, and we shall not have one spark of pure 
love, which is only communicated to souls dead 
to themselves, souls whose life is hidden with 
Jesus Christ in Grod. 

3. We must choose, therefore, among all the 
devotions to the Blessed Virgin, the one which 
draws us most towards this death to ourselves, 
inasmuch as it will be the best and the most 
sanctifying. For we must not think that all that 
shines is gold, that all that tastes sweet is honey, 
or aU that is easy to do and is done by the 
greatest number is sanctifying. As there are 
secrets of nature to do in a short time, at little 
cost and with facility, natural operations, so 
also in like manner there are secrets in the 
order of grace to do in a short time, with sweet- 
ness and facihty, supernatural operations, such 
as emptying ourselves of self, filling ourselves 
with God, and becoming perfect. 

The practice which I am about to disclose is 
one of these secrets of grace, unknown by the 
greater number of Christians, known even to 
few of the devout, and practised and rehshed by 



56 TBUB DEVOTION TO 

a far less number still. But in order to begin 
to disclose this practice, let us consider a fourth 
truth, which is a consequence of the third. 

Fourth Truth It is more perfect, because it 
is more humble, not to approach God of our- 
selves, without taking a mediator. The very 
foundation of our nature, as I have just shown, 
is so corrupted, that if we lean on our* own 
works, industries, and preparations, in order to 
reach God and to please Him, it is certain that 
our justices will be defiled, or be of little weight 
before God, to engage Him to xmite Himself to 
us, and to hear us. It is not without reason 
that God has given us mediators with Hia 
Majesty. He has seen our unworthiness and 
incapacity. He has had pity upon us ; and^ in 
order to give us access to His mercies. He has 
provided us with powerfiil intercessors with His 
grandeur, insomuch that to neglect these mediae 
tors, and to draw near to His holiness directly, 
and without any recommendation, is to £ul in 
humility. It is to fail in respect towards GJod, 
so high and so holy. It is to make less account 
of that King of kings than we should make of 
a king or prince of earth, whom we sboidd not 
willingly approach without some friend to speak 
for us. 

Our Lord is our Advocate and Mediator of 
redemption with God the Father. It is by Him 
that we ought to pray, in union witibi the whcde 



THE BLESSED VIBGIK. 57 

Clrarch tritunphant and militant. It is by Him 
that we have access to the Majesty of the Father, 
before whom we ought never to appear except 
leaning on the merits, and indeed clothed with 
the merits, of His Son ; just as the young Jacob 
eame before his father Isaac in the skins of the 
kids to receive his benediction. 

But have we not need of a mediator with the 
Mediator Himself? Is our purity great enough 
to unite us directly to Him, and by ourselves ? 
Is He not God, in all things equal to His Father, 
aind by consequence the Holy of Holies, as 
worthy of respect as His Father? If, by His 
infinite charity, He has made Himself our bail 
and our Mediator with Grod His Father, in 
order to appease Him and to pay Him what we 
owed Him, are we on that account to have less 
respect and less fear for His Majesty and His 
Sanctity? 

Let us say boldly with St. Bernard, that we 
have need of a mediator with the Mediator Him- 
self, and that it is the divine Mary who is the 
most capable of filling that' charitable office. It 
is by her that Jesus Christ came, and it is by 
her <hat we must go to Him. If we fear to go 
directly to Jesus Christ our Gk>d, whether be- 
cause of His infinite greaiaiess, or because of our 
vileness, or because of our sins, let us boldly 
implore the aid and intercession of Mary our 
Moibor. She is good^ she is tender, she has 



58 TBUE DEVOTION TO 

nothing in her austere or repulsive, nothing too 
sublime and too brilliant. In seeing her, we see 
our pure nature, ^he is not the sun, who, by 
the vivacity of his rays, blinds us because of our 
weakness; but she is fair and gentle as the 
moon, which receives the light of the sun, and 
tempers it to render it more suitable to our 
capacity. She is so charitable that she repels 
none of those who ask her intercession, no 
matter how great sinners they have been ; for, 
as the Saints say, never has it been heard since 
the world was the world, that any one has con- 
fidently and perseveringly had recourse to our 
Blessed Lady, and yet has been repelled. 

She is so powerfiil that never have any of 
her petitions been refused. She has t)utto show 
herself before her Son to pray to Him, and 
straightway He grants her desires, straightway 
He receives her prayers. He is always lovingly 
vanquished by the breasts, the yearnings, and 
the prayers of His dearest Mother. All this is 
drawn firom St Bernard and firom St, Bonaven- 
ture, so that, according to them, we have three 
steps to mount to go to Grod : the first, which is 
the nearest to us, and the most suited to our 
capacity, is Mary ; the second is Jesus Christ ;. 
and the third is Grod the Father. To go to 
Jesus, we must go to Mary ; she is our media- 
trix of intercession. To go to Glod the Father^ 
we must go to Jesus ; for He is our Mediator of 



THE BLESSED YIROIK. 59 

redemption. Now it is by the devotion which I 
am about to bring forward, that this order is 
guarded perfectly. 

Fifth Truth It is very diflScult, considering 
our weakness and frailty, to preserve in our- 
selves the graces and treasures which we have 
received from Grod : — 

1. Because we have this treasure, which is 
worth more than heaven and earth put together, 
in frail vessels, — Habenvus thesaurum latum in 
vasia JhCtUibus^ — ^in a corruptible body, and in a 
weak and inconstant soul, which a mere nothing 
disturbs and dejects. 

2. Because the devils, who are skilful 
thieves, wish to surprise us unawares, and to 
strip us. They watch day and night for the fe- 
vourable moment. For that end they go round 
about us incessantly to devour us, and to snatch 
from us in one moment, by a sin, all that we 
have gained of graces and of merits for many 
years. Their malice, their experience, their 
stratagems, and their number, ought to make 
us fear immensely this misfortune, especially 
when we see how many persons, ftdler of grace 
than we are, richer in virtues, better founded in 
experience, and far higher exalted in sanctity, 
have been surprised, robbed, and unhappily pil- 
laged. Ah I how many of the cedars of Leba- 
non, how many of the stars of the firmament, 
have we not seen to fall miserably, and in the 



60 TBUB DEYOnON TO 

twinkling of an eye to lose all their height and 
all their brightness I Whence comes tiiat aad 
and curious change ? It has not been for want 
of grace, which is wanting to no man ; but it 
has been want of humility. They thought 
themselves stronger and more suflScient than 
they were. They thought themselves capable 
of guarding their own treasures. They trusted 
in themselves, leaned upon themselves. They 
thought their house secio'e enough, and their 
coffers strong enough, to keep the precious trea- 
sure of their grace. It is because of that 
scarcely sensible leaning upon themselves, while 
all the while it seemed to them that they were 
leaning only on the grace of God, that the most 
just Lord has permitted them to be robbed by 
leaving them to themselves. Alas I if they had 
but known the admirable devotion which I will 
unfold presently, they would have confided their 
treasure to a Virgin, powerful and feithful, who 
would have kept it for them as if it had been 
her own possession ; nay, who would have even 
taken it as an obligation of justice on herself 
to preserve it for them. 

3. It is difficult to persevere in justice be- 
cause of the strange corruption of the world. 
The world is now so corrupt, that it seems to be 
inevitable that religious hearts should be soiled^ 
if not by its mud, at least by its dust. So that 
it has become a kind of miracle fear any one to 



THE BLESSED VIBOIK. 61 

remain firm in the midst of tUs impetuous tor- 
rent without being drawn in by it, in the midst 
of that stormy sea without being drowned in it 
or stripped by the pirates and the corsairs, in 
the midst of that pestilent air without being 
infected by it. It is the Virgin, alone faithAil, 
in whom the serpent has never had part, who 
works this miracle for those who serve her in 
that sweet way which I have shortly to unfold. 

Having assumed these Five Truths, we must 
now take more pains than ever to make a good 
choice of the true devotion to our Blessed Lady. 
There are at this time, more than ever, false devo- 
tions to our Blessed Lady, which it is easy to mis- 
take for true ones. The devil, like a false coiner 
and a subtle and experienced sharper, has already 
deceived and destroyed so many souls by a felse 
devotion to the Blessed Virgin, that he makes a 
daily use of his diabolical experience to plunge 
many others by this same way into everlasting 
perdition ; amusing them, lulling them to sleep 
in sin, under the pretext of some prayers badly 
said, or of some outward practices which he in- 
spires. As a false coiner does not ordinarily 
counterfeit any thing but gold and silver, or 
very rarely the other metals, because they are 
not worth the trouble, so the evil spirit does 
not for the most part counterfeit the other de- 
votions, but only those to Jesus and Mary, the 
devotion to Holy Communion, and to our Blessed 



bTi TBUB DEVOTION TO 

Lady, because they are, among other devotions, 
what gold and silver are amongst metals. 

It is, then, very important first of all to 
know (1) false devotions to our Blessed Lady 
in order to avoid them ; and (2) the true de- 
votion in order to embrace it. Li conclusion, 
among so many practices of true devotion to 
our Blessed Lady, I will explain more in detail, 
in the second part of this treatise, which is the 
most perfect one, the one most agreeable to our 
Lady, the most glorious to Grod, and the most 
sanctifyang to ourselves, in order that we may 
attach ourselves to it. 

1. On False Devotions to our Lady. 

I find seven kinds of false devotees and 
false devotions to our Lady, namely, (1) the 
critical devotees ; (2) the scrupulous devotees ; 
(3) the external devotees; (4) the presumptuous 
devotees; (5) the inconstant devotees ; (6) the 
hypocritical devotees ; and (7) the interested 
devotees. 

The critical devotees are, for the most part, 
proud scholars, rash and self-sufficient spirits, 
who have at bottom some devotion to the holy 
Virgin, but who criticise nearly all the practices 
of devotion to her, which the simple people pay 
simply and holily to their good Mother, because 
these practices do not fall in with their own 
humour and fancy. They call in doubt all the 



THE BLESSED YIBGIN. 63 

miraoles and histories recorded by authors 
worthy of our faith, or drawn from the ehroni- 
des of religious orders ; narratives which testify 
to us the mercies and the power of the most 
holy Virgin. They cannot see without xm- 
easiness simple and humble people on their 
knees before an altar or an image of our Lady, 
sometimes in the comer of a street, in order to 
pray to God there ; and they even accuse them 
of idolatry, as if they adored the wood or the 
stone. They say that, for their part, they are 
not fond of these external devotions, and that 
their minds are not so weak as to give faith to 
such a number of tales and little histories as are 
in circulation about our Lady. Or, at other 
times, they reply that the narrators have spoken 
as professional orators, with exaggeration; or 
they put a bad interpretation upon their words. 
These kind of false devotees and of proud and 
worldly people are greatly to be feared. They 
do an infinite wrong to the devotion to our 
Lady ; and they are but too successftil in alien- 
ating people from it, under the pretext of de- 
stroying its abuses. 

The scrupulous devotees are those who ftar 
to dishonour the Son by honouring the Mother, 
to abase the one in elevating the other. They 
cannot bear that we should attribute to our Lady 
ihe most just praises which the holy Fathers have 
given her. It is all they can do to endure that 



64 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

tiiere should be njore people before the altar of 
the Blessed Virgin than before the Blessed Sa- 
crament, as if the one was contrary to the other, 
as if those who prayed to our Blessed Lady did 
not pray to Jesus Christ by her. They are un- 
willing that we should speak so often of our 
Lady, and address ourselves so frequently to her. 
These are the favourite sentences constantly in 
their mouths : " To what end are so many chap- 
lets, so many confraternities, and so many ex- 
ternal devotions to the Blessed Virgin ? There 
is much of ignorance in all this. It makes a 
mummery of our religion. Speak to us of those 
who are devout to Jesus Christ" (yet they often 
name Him without uncovering : I say this by 
way of parenthesis). " We must have recourse 
to Jesus Christ ; He is our only Mediator. We 
must preach Jesus Christ ; this is the solid de- 
votion." What they say is true in a certain 
sense, but it is very dangerous, when, by the ap- 
plication they make of it, they hinder devotion 
to our Blessed Lady, and it is, under the pre- 
text of a greater good, a subtle snare of the evil 
one. For never do we honour Jesus Christ more 
than when we are most honouring His Blessed 
Mother. Lideed we only honour Mary that we 
may the more perfectly honour Jesus, inasmuch 
as we only go to her as to the way in which we 
are to find the end we are seeking, which is 
Jesus. 



THE BLESSED YXBGIN. 65 

The Church, with the Holy Ghost, blesses 
our Lady first, and our Lord second, — Benedicta 
ifu m mulierSmSy, et henedktus fructua verUris tvi 
Jems. It is not that Mary is more than Jesus, 
or even equal to Him, That would be an into- 
lerable heresy ; but it is that, in order to bless 
Jesus more perfectly, we must begin by blessing 
Mary, Let us, then, say with all the true clients 
of our Lady against these false scnipulous de- 
votees, Mary, thou art blessed amongst all 
women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, 
Jesus. 

External devotees are persons who make all 
devotion to our Blessed Lady consist in outward 
practices. They have no taste except for the 
exterior of this devotion, because they have no 
interior spirit of their own. They will say quanti- 
ties of Bosaries with the greatest precipitation ; 
they will hear many Masses distractedly ; they 
will go without devotion to processions; they 
win enrol themselves in all sorts of confraterni- 
ties, without amending their lives, without doing 
any violence to their passions, or without imi- 
tating the virtues of that most holy Virgin. 
They have no love but for the sensible part 
of devotion, without having any relish for its 
solidity. If they have not sensible sweetness in 
their practices, they think they are doing no- 
thing; they get all out of joint, throw every 
thing up, or do every thing at random. The 



64 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

there should be njore people before the altar of 
the Blessed Virgin than before the Blessed Sa- 
crament, as if the one was contrary to the other, 
as if those who prayed to our Blessed Lady did 
not pray to Jesus Christ by her. They are un- 
willing that we should speak so often of our 
Lady, and address ourselves so frequently to her. 
These are the favourite sentences constantly in 
their mouths : " To what end are so many chap- 
lets, so many confraternities, and so many ex- 
ternal devotions to the Blessed Virgin ? There 
is much of ignorance in all this. It makes a 
mummery of our religion. Speak to us of those 
who are devout to Jesus Christ" (yet they often 
name Him without uncovering : I say this by 
way of parenthesis), " We must have recourse 
to Jesus Christ ; He is our only Mediator. We 
must preach Jesus Christ ; this is the solid de- 
votion." What they say is true in a certain 
sense, but it is very dangerous, when, by the ap- 
plication they make of it, they hinder devotion 
to our Blessed Lady, and it is, under the pre- 
text of a greater good, a subtle snare of the evil 
one. For never do we honour Jesus Christ more 
than when we are most honouring His Blessed 
Mother. Indeed we only honour Mary that we 
may the more perfectly honour Jesus, inasmuch 
lA&we only go to her as to the way in which we 
%d the end we are seeking, which is 



THE BLESSED YXBGIN. 65 

The Church, with the Holy Ghost, blesses 
our Lady first, and our Lord second, — Benedicta 
tu in mulierSmSy, et hemdictus fructits ventris tui 
Jesus* It is not that Mary is more than Jesus, 
or even equal to Bom, That would be an into- 
lerable heresy ; but it is that, in order to bless 
Jesus more perfectly, we must begin by blessing 
Mary. Let us, then, say with all the true clients 
of our Lady against these false scrapulous de- 
votees, Mary, thou art blessed amongst all 
women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, 
Jesus. 

External devotees are persons who make all 
devotion to our Blessed Lady consist in outward 
practices. They have no taste except for the 
exterior of this devotion, because they have no 
intmor spirit of their own. They will say quanti- 
tiea of Bosaries with the greatest precipitation ; 
they will hear many Masses distractedly ; they 
will go without devotion to processions; they 
wiU enrol themselves in all sorts of confraterni- 
ties, without amending their lives, without doing 
any violence to their passions, or without imi- 
tating the virtues of that most holy Virgin. 
They have no love but for the sensible part 
of devotion, without having any relish for its 
solidity. If they have not sensible sweetness in 
their practices, they think they are doing no- 
thing ; they get all out of joint, throw every 
thing up, or do every thing at random. The 



64 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

there should be njore people before the altar of 
the Blessed Virgin than before the Blessed Sa- 
crament, as if the one was contrary to the other, 
as if those who prayed to our Blessed Lady did 
not pray to Jesus Christ by her. They are un- 
willing that we should speak so often of our 
Lady, and address ourselves so frequently to her. 
These are the favourite sentences constantly in 
their mouths : " To what end are so many chap- 
lets, so many confraternities, and so many ex- 
ternal devotions to the Blessed Virgin ? There 
is much of ignorance in all this. It makes a 
mummery of our religion. Speak to us of those 
who are devout to Jesus Christ" (yet they often 
name Him without uncovering : I say this by 
way of parenthesis). " We must have recourse 
to Jesus Christ ; He is our only Mediator. We 
must preach Jesus Christ ; this is the solid de- 
votion." What they say is true in a certain 
sense, but it is very dangerous, when, by the ap- 
plication they make of it, they hinder devotion 
to our Blessed Lady, and it is, under the pre- 
text of a greater good, a subtle snare of the evil 
one. For never do we honour Jesus Christ more 
than when we are most honouring His Blessed 
Mother. Lideed we only honour Mary that we 
may the more perfectly honour Jesus, inasmuch 
as we only go to her as to the way in which we 
are to find the end we are seeking, which is 
JesuB. 



THE BLBS8SD YXBGIN. 65 

The Church, with the Holy Ghost, blesses 
our Lady first, and our Lord second, — Benedicta 
tu in mulieribu8y et benedictus fntctus ventris tui 
Jems. It is not that Mary is more than Jesus, 
or even equal to Him. That would be an into- 
lerable heresy ; but it is that, in order to bless 
Jesus more perfectly, we must begin by blessing 
Mary. Let us, then, say with all the true clients 
of our Lady against these false scrupulous de- 
votees, Mary, thou art blessed amongst all 
women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, 
Jesus. 

External devotees are persons who make all 
devotion to our Blessed Lady consist in outward 
practices. They have no taste except for the 
exterior of this devotion, because they have no 
interior spirit of their own. They will say quanti- 
ties of Eosaries with the greatest precipitation ; 
they will hear many Masses distractedly ; they 
will go without devotion to processions; they 
wiU enrol themselves in all sorts of confraterni- 
ties, without amending their lives, without doing 
any violence to their passions, or without imi- 
tating the virtues of that most holy Virgin. 
They have no love but for the sensible part 
of devotion, without having any relish for its 
solidiiy. If they have not sensible sweetness in 
their practices, they think they are doing no- 
ticing; they get all out of joint, throw every 
thing up, or do every thing at random. The 



66 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

world 18 full of these exterior devotees; and 
there are no people who are more critical of men 
of prayer, of those who foster an interior spirit 
as the essential thing, while they do not lightly 
accomit of that outward modesty which always 
accompanies true devotion. 

Premmptuous devotees are sinners abandoned 
to their passions, or lovers of the world, who, 
under the fair name of Christians and clients of 
our Blessed Lady, conceal pride, avarice, im- 
purity, drunkenness, anger, swearing, detraction, 
injustice, or some other sin. They sleep in peace 
in the midst of their bad habits, without doing 
any violence to themselves to correct their faults, 
under the pretext that they are devout to the 
Blessed Virgin. They promise themselves that 
Gbd will pardon them; that they will not be 
allowed to die without confession ; and that they 
will not be lost eternally, because they say the 
Eosary, because they fast on Saturdays, because 
they belong to the Confraternity of the Holy 
Eosary, or wear the scapular, or are enrolled 
in other congregations, or wear the little habit 
or little chain of our Lady.* They will not be- 
lieve us when we tell them that their devotion is 
only an illusion of the devil, and a pernicious 
presumption likely to destroy their souls. They 
say that God is good and merciful ; that He has 
not made us to condemn us everlastingly ; that 
* See note farther on. 



THE BLESSED YIBOIK. 67 

no man is without sin ; that they shall not die 
without confession ; that one good Peceavi at the 
hour of death is enough ; that they are devout 
to our Lady ; that they wear the scapular ; and 
that they say daily, without reproach or vanity, 
seven Paters and Aves in her honour ; and that 
they sometimes say the Eosary and the Office of 
our Lady, besides fasting, and other things. To 
give authority to all this, and to blind themselves 
stiU further, they quote certain stories, which 
they have heard or read, — it does not matter to 
them whether they be true or false, — ^relating 
how people have died in mortal sin without con- 
fession ; and then, because in their Ufetime they 
sometimes said some prayers, or went through 
some practices of devotion to our Lady, how 
they have been raised to life again, in order to 
go to confession, or their soul been miraculously 
retained in their bodies till confession ; or how 
they have obtained from Qt)d at the moment of 
death contrition and pardon of their sins, and so 
have been saved ; and that they themselves ex- 
pect similar favours. Nothing in Christianity 
is more detestable than this diabolical presump- 
tion. For how can we say truly that we love 
and honour our Blessed Lady, when by our sins 
we are pitilessly piercing, wounding, crucifying, 
and outraging Jesus Christ her Son ? If Mary 
laid down a law to herself, to save by her mercy 
this sort of people, she would be authorising 



68 TBUB DEVOnOH TO 

crime, and aflsisting to crucify and outrage her 
Son, Who would dare to think such a thought 
as that? 

I say, that thus to abuse devotion to our 
Ladj, which, after devotion to our Lord in the 
Blessed Sacrament, is the holiest and solidest of 
all devotions, is to be guilty of a horrible sacri- 
lege, which, afl;er the sacrilege of an unworthy 
Ciommunion, is the greatest and the least pardon- 
able of all sacrileges. 

I confess that, in order to be truly devout to 
our Blessed Lady, it is not absolutely necessary 
to be so holy as to avoid every sin, though tiiis 
were to be wished; but so much at least is 
necessary, and I beg jou, to lay it well to 
heart: — 

1. To have a sincere resolution to avoid, at 
least, all mortal sin, which outrages the Mother 
as wdl as the Son. 2. I would add also that to 
do violence to ourselves to avoid sin, to enrol 
ourselves in confraternities, to say the Eosary or 
other prayers, to fast on Saturdays, and the like^ 
is wonderftdly useful to the conversion of a sin- 
iwr, however hardened ; and if my read^ is such 
a one, even if he has his foot in the abyss^ I 
would counsel these things to him. Nevertheless 
it must be on the condition that he will only 
practise these good works with the intention of 
obtaining from Gk)d, by tbe intercession of the 
Blessed Virgin, the grace of contrition and the 



THE BLESSED YIBQIN. 69 

pardon of his sins, to conquer his evil habits, 
and not to remain quietly in the state of sin, in 
spite of the remorse of his conscience, the ex-* 
ample of Jesus Christ and the Saints, and the 
maxims of the holy GospeL 

The inconstant devotees are those who are 
devout to our Blessed Lady by intervals and 
whims. Sometimes they are fervent and some- 
times lukewarm. Sometimes they seem ready 
to do any thing for her, and then, a Utde after- 
wards, they are not Uke the same people. They 
begin by taJdng up all the devotions to her, and 
enrolling themselves in the confraternities ; and 
then they do not practise the rules with fidelity. 
They change like the moon; and Mary puts 
them under her feet with the crescent, because 
they are mutable, and unworthy to be reckoned 
among the servants of that faithful Virgin, "vdiose 
clients have for their special graces fidelity and 
0(wastancy. It were better for such persons to 
load themselves with fewer prayers and prac- 
tices, and to fulfil them with faithftdness and 
love, in spite of the world, the devil, and the 
flesh. 

We have still to mention the false devotees 
to our Blessed Lady, who are the ht/pocritical 
devotees ; who doke their sins and sinful habits 
under her mantle, in order to pass in the eyes of 
men for what they are not. 

There are also the interested devotees, who 

Q 



60 TEUB DEVOTION TO 

twinkling of an eye to lose all their height and 
all their brightness I Whence comes that sad 
and curious change ? It has not been for want 
of grace, which is wanting to no man ; but it 
has been want of humility. They thought 
themselves stronger and more sufficient than 
they were. They thought themselves capable 
of guarding their own 1a*easures. They trusted 
in themselves, leaned upon themselves. They 
thought their house secure enough, and their 
coffers strong enough, to keep the precious trea- 
sure of their grace. It is because of that 
scarcely sensible leaning upon themselves, while 
all the while it seemed to them that they were 
leaning only on the grace of God, that the most 
just Lord has permitted them to be robbed by 
leaving them to themselves. Alas ! if they had 
but known the admirable devotion which I will 
unfold presently, they would have confided their 
treasure to a Virgin, powerful and faithful, who 
would have kept it for them as if it had been 
her own possession ; nay, who would have even 
taken it as an obligation of justice on herself 
to preserve it for them. 

3. It is difficult to persevere in justice be- 
cause of the strange corruption of the world. 
The world is now so corrupt, that it seems to be 
inevitable that religious hearts should be soiled, 
if not by its mud, at least by its dust. So that 
it has become a kind of miracle f(»r any one to 



THE BLESSED YIBOIK. 61 

remain firm in the midst of this impetuous tor- 
rent without being drawn in by it, in the midst 
of liiat stormy sea without being drowned in it 
or stripped by the pirates and the corsairs, in 
the midst of that pestilent air without being 
infected by it It is the Virgin, alone faithftd, 
in whom the serpent has never had part, who 
works this miracle for those who serve her in 
that sweet way which I have shortly to unfold. 

Having assumed these Five Truths, we must 
now take more pains than ever to make a good 
choice of the true devotion to our Blessed Lady. 
There are at this time, more than ever, false devo- 
tions to our Blessed Lady, which it is easy to mis- 
take for true ones. The devil, like a false coiner 
and a subtle and experienced sharper, has already 
deceived and destroyed so many souls by a false 
devotion to the Blessed Virgin, that he makes a 
daily use of his diabolical experience to plunge 
many others by this same way into everlasting 
perdition ; amusing them, lulling them to sleep 
in sin, under the pretext of some prayers badly 
said, or of some outward practices which he in- 
spires. As a false coiner does not ordinarily 
counterfeit any thing but gold and silver, or 
very rarely the other metals, because they are 
not worth the trouble, so the evil spirit does 
not for the most part counterfeit the other de- 
votions, but only those to Jesus and Mary, the 
devotion to Holy Communion, and to our Blessed 



62 TBUE DEVOTION TO 

Lady, because they are, among other devotions, 
what gold and silver are amongst metals. 

It is, then, very important first of all to 
know (1) false devotions to our Blessed Lady 
in order to avoid them; and (2) the true de- 
votion in order to embrace it. Li conclusion, 
among so many practices of true devotion to 
our Blessed Lady, I will explain more in detail, 
in the second part of this treatise, which is the 
most perfect one, the one most agreeable to our 
Lady, the most glorious to Grod, and the most 
sanctifying to ourselves, in order that we may 
attach ourselves to it. 

1. On False Devotions to our Lady, 
I find seven kinds of false devotees and 
false devotions to our Lady, namely, (1) the 
critical devotees ; (2) the scrupulous devotees ; 
(3) the extxjmal devotees; (4) the presumptuous 
devotees ; (5) the inconstant devotees ; (6) the 
hypocritical devotees ; and (7) the interested 
devotees. 

The critical devotees are, for the most part, 
proud scholars, rash and self-sufficient spirits, 
who have at bottom some devotion to the holy 
Virgin, but who criticise nearly all the practices 
of devotion to her, which the simple people pay 
simply and hohly to their good Mother, because 
these practices do not fall in with their own 
humour and fancy. They call in doubt all tbe 



THE BLESSED YIBOIN. 63 

miracles and histories recorded by authors 
worthy of our faith, or drawn from the chroni- 
cles of religious orders ; narratives which testify 
to us the mercies and the power of the most 
holy Virgin. They cannot see without un- 
easiness simple and humble people on their 
knees before an altar or an image of our Lady, 
sometimes in the comer of a street, in order to 
pray to God there ; and they even accuse them 
of idolatry, as if they adored the wood or the 
stone. They say that, for their part, they are 
not fond of these external devotions, and that 
their minds are not so weak as to give faith to 
such a number of tales and little histories as are 
in circulation about our Lady. Or, at other 
times, they reply that the narrators have spoken 
as professional orators, with exaggeration; or 
they put a bad interpretation upon their words. 
These kind of false devotees and of proud and 
worldly people are greatly to be feared. They 
do an infinite wrong to the devotion to our 
Lady ; and they are but too successful in alien- 
ating people from it, under the pretext of de- 
stroying its abuses. 

The scrupulous devotees are those who ftar 
to dishonour the Son by honouring the Mother, 
to abase the one in elevating the other. They 
cannot bear that we should attribute to our Lady 
ihe most just praises which the holy Fathers have 
given her. It is all they can do to endure that 



bZ TBUE DEYOTIOH TO 

Lady, because they are, among other devotions, 
what gold and silver are amongst metals. 

It is, then, very important first of all to 
know (1) false devotions to our Blessed Lady 
in order to avoid them ; and (2) the true de- 
votion in order to embrace it. Li conclusion, 
among so many practices of true devotion to 
our Blessed Lady, I will explain more in detail, 
in the second part of this treatise, which is the 
most perfect one, the one most agreeable to our 
Lady, the most glorious to Qtxi, and the most 
sanctifying to ourselves, in order that we may 
attach ourselves to it. 

1. On False Devotions to our Lady. 

I find seven kinds of false devotees and 
felse devotions to our Lady, namely, (1) the 
critical devotees ; (2) the scrupulous devotees ; 
(3) the extxjmal devotees; (4) the presumptuous 
devotees ; (5) the inconstant devotees ; (6) the 
hypocritical devotees; and (7) the interested 
devotees. 

The critical devotees are, for the most part, 
proud scholars, rash and self-sufficient spirits, 
who have at bottom some devotion to the holy 
Virgin, but who criticise nearly all the practices 
of devotion to her, which the simple people pay 
simply and holily to their good Mother, because 
these practices do not fall in with their own 
humour and fancy. They call in doubt all the 



THE BLESSED YIBOIN. 63 

miracles and histories recorded by authors 
worthy of our faith, or drawn from the chroni- 
des of religious orders ; narratives which testify 
to us the mercies and the power of the most 
holy Virgin. They cannot see without un- 
easiness simple and humble people on their 
knees before an altar or an image of our Lady, 
sometimes in the comer of a street, in order to 
pray to Grod there ; and they even accuse them 
of idolatry, as if they adored the wood or the 
stone. They say that, for their part, they are 
not fond of these external devotions, and that 
their minds are not so weak as to give faith to 
such a number of tales and little histories as are 
in circulation about our Lady. Or, at other 
times^ they reply that the narrators have spoken 
as professional orators, with exaggeration; or 
they put a bad interpretation upon their words. 
These kind of false devotees and of proud and 
worldly people are greatly to be feared. They 
do an infinite wrong to the devotion to our 
Lady ; and they are but too successful in alien- 
ating people from it, under the pretext of de- 
stroying its abuses. 

The scrupulous devotees are those who ftar 
to dishonour the Son by honouring the Mother, 
to abase the one in elevating the other. They 
cannot bear that we should attribute to our Lady 
ihe most just praises which the holy Fathers have 
given her. It is all they can do to endure that 



64 TRUE DEVOnOH TO 

there should be njore people before the altar of 
the Blessed Virgin than before the Blessed Sa- 
crament, as if the one was contrary to the other, 
as if those who prayed to our Blessed Lady did 
not pray to Jesus Christ by her. They are un- 
willing that we should speak so often of our 
Lady, and address ourselves so frequently to her. 
These are the favourite sentences constantly in 
their mouths : " To what end are so many chap- 
lets, so many confraternities, and so many ex- 
ternal devotions to the Blessed Virgin ? There 
is much of ignorance in all this. It makes a 
mmnmery of our religion. Speak to us of those 
who are devout to Jesus Christ" (yet they often 
name Him without uncovering : I say this by 
way of parenthesis). " We must have recourse 
to Jesus Christ ; He is our only Mediator. We 
must preach Jesus Christ ; this is the solid de- 
votion." What they say is true in a certain 
sense, but it is very dangerous, when, by the ap- 
plication they make of it, they hinder devotion 
to our Blessed Lady, and it is, under the pre- 
text of a greater good, a subtle snare of the evil 
one. For never do we honour Jesus Christ more 
than when we are most honouring His Blessed 
Mother. Lideed we only honour Mary that we 
may the more perfectly honour Jesus, inasmuch 
as we only go to her as to the way in which we 
are to find the end we are seeking, which is 
Jesus. 



THE BLBS8SD VIBQIN. 65 

The Church, with the H0I7 Ghost, blesses 
our Lady first, and our Lord second, — Benedicta 
tu in mulieribusy et bemdictua fructua ventris tui 
Jesus. It is not that Mary is more than Jesus^ 
or even equal to Him. Tliat would be an into- 
lerable heresy ; but it is that, in order to bless 
Jesus more perfectly, we must begin by blessing 
Mary. Let us, then, say with all the true clients 
of our Lady against these false scrupulous de- 
votees, Mary, thou art blessed amongst all 
women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, 
Jesus. 

External devotees are persons who make all 
devotion to our Blessed Lady consist in outward 
practices. They have no taste except for the 
exterior of this devotion, because they have no 
interior spirit of their own. They will say quanti- 
ties of Rosaries with the greatest precipitation ; 
ihey will hear many Masses distractedly ; they 
will go without devotion to processions; they 
wiU enrol themselves in all sorts of confratemi- 
ties, without amending their lives, without doing 
any violence to their passions, or without imi- 
tating the virtues of that most holy Virgin. 
They have no love but for the sensible part 
of devotion, without having any relish for its 
solidity « If they have not sensible sweetness in 
their practices, they think they are doing no- 
thing; they get aU out of joint, throw every 
thing up, or do every thing at random. The 



66 TRUE DEVOTIOH TO 

world is full of these exterior devotees; and 
there are no people who are more critical of men 
of prayer, of those who foster an interior spirit 
as the essential thing, while they do not lightly 
accomit of that outward modesty which always 
accompanies true devotion. 

Presumptuous devotees are sinners abandoned 
to their passions, or lovers of the world, who, 
under the fair name of Christians and clients of 
our Blessed Lady, conceal pride, avarice, im- 
purity, drunkenness, anger, swearing, detraction, 
injustice, or some other sin. They sleep in peace 
in the midst of their bad habits, without doing 
any violence to themselves to correct their faults, 
under the pretext that they are devout to the 
Blessed Virgin. They promise themselves that 
Gbd will pardon them; that they will not be 
allowed to die without confession ; and that they 
will not be lost eternally, because they say the 
Eosary, because they fast on Saturdays, because 
they belong to the Confraternity of the Holy 
Rosary, or wear the scapular, or are enrolled 
in other congregations, or wear the little habit 
or little chain of our Lady.* They will not be- 
lieve us when we tell them that their devotion is 
only an illusion of the devil, and a pernicious 
presumption likely to destroy their souls. They 
say that God is good and merciful ; that He has 
not made us to condemn us everlastingly ; that 
* See note farther on. 



THE BLESSED YIBOIK. 67 

no man is without sin ; that they shall not die 
without confession ; that one good Peccavi at the 
hour of death is enough ; that they are devout 
to our Lady ; that they wear the scapular ; and 
that they say daily, without reproach or vanity, 
seven Paters and Aves in her honour ; and that 
they sometimes say the Eosary and the Office of 
our Lady, besides fasting, and other things. To 
give authority to all this, and to blind themselves 
still further, they quote certain stories, which 
they have heard or read, — it does not matter to 
them whether they be true or false, — relating 
how people have died in mortal sin witiiout con- 
fession ; and then, because in their lifetime they 
sometimes said some prayers, or went through 
some practices of devotion to our Lady, how 
they have been raised to life again, in order to 
go to confession, or their soul been miraculously 
retained in their bodies till confession ; or how 
they have obtained from God at the moment of 
death contrition and pardon of their sins, and so 
have been saved ; and that they themselves ex- 
pect similar favours. Nothing in Christianity 
is more detestable than this diabolical presump- 
tion. For how can we say truly that we love 
and honour our Blessed Lady, when by our sins 
we are pitilessly piercing, wounding, crucifying, 
and outraging Jesus Christ her Son ? If Mary 
laid down a law to herself, to save by her mercy 
this sort of people, she would be authorising 



68 TRUE DEVOnOK TO 

crime, and assisting to crucify and outrage her 
Son. Who would dare to think sudi a thought 
as that? 

I say, that thus to ahuse devotion to our 
Lady, which, after devotion to our Lord in the 
Blessed Sacrament, is the holiest and solidest of 
all devotions, is to he guilty of a horrible sacri- 
lege, which, after the sacrilege of an imworthy 
Communion, is the greatest and the least pardon- 
able of all sacrileges. 

I confess that, in order to be truly devout to 
our Blessed Lady, it is not absolutely necessairy 
to be so holy as to avoid every sin, though this 
were to be wished; but so much at least is 
necessary, and I beg you to lay it well to 
heart: — 

1. To have a sincere resolution to avoid, at 
least, all mortal sin, which outrages the Mother 
as wdl as the Son. 2. I would add also that to 
do violence to ourselves to avoid sin, to enrol 
ourselves in confraternities, to say the Bosary or 
other prayers, to fast on Saturdays, and the like, 
is wonderftdly useftil to the conversion of a sin- 
ner, however hardened ; and if my readw is sudi 
a one, even if he has his foot in the abyss, I 
would counsel these things to him. Nevertheless 
it must be on the condition that he will only 
practise these good works with the intention of 
obtaining from Grod, by the intercession of the 
Blessed Virgin, the grace of contriticm and the 



THE BLESSSD VIBQIK. 69 

pardon of his sins, to conquer his evil habits^ 
and not to remain quietly in the state of sin, in 
spite of the remorse of his conscience, the ex- 
ample of Jesus Christ and the Saints, and the 
maxims of the holy GlospeL 

The inconstard devotees are those who are 
devout to our Blessed Lady by intervals and 
whims. Sometimes they are fervent and some- 
times lukewarm. Sometimes they seem ready 
to do any thing for her, and then, a little after- 
wards, they are not like the same people. They 
begin by taking up all the devotions to her, and 
enrolling themselves in the confraternities ; and 
then they do not practise the rules with fideliiy. 
They change like the moon; and Mary puts 
them under her feet with the crescent, because 
they are mutable, and unworthy to be reckoned 
among the servants of that faithftd Virgin, whose 
clients have for their special graces fideUty and 
constancy. It were better for such persons to 
load themselves with fewer prayers and prac- 
tices, and to fiilfil them with faithftdness and 
love, in spite of the world, the devil, and the 
flesh. 

We have still to mention the false devotees 
to our Blessed Lady, who are the hypocritical 
devotees ; who doke their sins and sinfiil habits 
under her mantle, in order to pass in the eyes of 
men for what they are not. 

There are also the interested devotees, who 

Q 



70 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

have recourse to our Lady only to gain some 
lawsuit, or to avoid some danger, or to be cured 
of some illness, or for some other similar ne- 
cessiiy, without which they would forget her 
altogether. Both, however, of these two last 
classes are false devotees, and neither of them 
pass current before QoA. and His holy Mother. 

Let us, then, take great care not to be of the 
number of the critical devotees, who believe 
nothing and criticise every thing ; nor of the 
scrupulous devotees, who are afraid of being too 
devout to oiu: Lady, out of respect to our Lord ; 
nor of the exterior devotees, who make all their 
devotion consist in outward practices ; nor of the 
presumptuous devotees, who, under the pretext 
of their false devotion to the Blessed Virgin, 
wallow in their sins ; nor of the inconstant de- 
votees, who by leviiy change their practices of 
devotion, or throw them up altogether on the 
least temptation; nor of the Aj(pom<icaZ devotees, 
who put themselves into confraternities, and wear 
the liveries of the Blessed Virgin, in order to 
pass for good people ; nor, finally, of the interested 
devotees, who only have recourse to our Lady to 
be delivered from bodily evils, or to obtain tem- 
poral goods. 

2. On tJie Characters of True Devotion to our 
Blessed Lady. 
After having laid bare and condenmed the 



THE BLESSED VIBOIK. 71 

fiJse devotions to the most holy Virgin, we must, 
in a few words, characterise the true devotion. 
It must be (1) interior^ (2) tender^ (3) /wZy, 
(4) constant^ and (5) disinterested. 

1. True devotion to our Lady is interior; 
that is to say, it comes from the spirit and the 
heart. It flows from the esteem we have of her, 
the high idea we have formed of her great- 
ness, and the love which we liave for her. 

2. It is tender ; that is to say, ftill of confi- 
dence in her, like a child's confidence in his 
loving mother. This confidence makes the soul 
have recourse to her in all its bodily or mental 
necessities, with much simplicity, trust, and 
tenderness. It implores the aid of its good 
Mother, at all times, in all places, and about all 
things ; in its doubts, that it may be enlightened ; 
in its wanderings, that it may be brought into 
the right path; in its temptations, that it may 
be supported ; in its weaknesses, that it may be 
strengthened ; in its falls, that it may be lifted 
up; in its discouragements, that it may be 
cheered ; in its scruples, that they may be taken 
away ; in its crosses, toils, and disappointments 
of life, that it may be consoled under them. In 
a word, in all its evils of body and mind, the 
soul's ordinary reftige is in Mary, without fear- 
ing to be importunate to her or to displease 
Jesus Christ. 

3. True devotion to our Lady is holy; that 



73 TRUE DEVOnOK TO 

is to say, it leads the soul to avoid sin, and to 
imitate in the Blessed Virgin particularly her 
profound humiliiy, her lively faith, her continual 
prayer, her universal mortification, her divine 
purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience^ 
her angelical sweetness, and her divine wisdom. 
These are the ten principal virtues of the most 
holy Virgin. 

4. True devotion to our Lady is constant 
It confirms the soul in good, and it does not 
let it easily abandon its spiritual exerdses. It 
makes it courageous in opposing the world in 
its fashions and maxims, the flesh in its weari- 
nesses and passions, and the devil in his temp- 
tations. So that a person truly devout to our 
Blessed Lady is neither changeable, irritable, 
scrupulous, nor timid. It is not that such a 
person does not fall, or change sometimes in the 
sensible feeling of devotion, or in the amoimt 
of devotion itself. But when he falls, he rises 
again by stretching out his hand to his good 
Mother. If he loses the taste and relish of de- 
votion, he does not disturb himself because oi 
that ; for the just and fiuthful client of Mary 
lives on the faith of Jesus and Mary, and not 
on sentiments and sensibilities. 

6. Lastly, true devotion to our Blessed Lady 

is disinterested ; that is to say, it inspires the soul 

not to seek itself but God only, and God in His 

V Mother. A true client of Mary does not 



THE BLI88BD YIBfiDT. 73 

Borve that august Queen from a spirit of lucre 
and interest, nor for its own good, \diether 
temporal, corporal, or spiritual ; but exclusively 
because she merits to be served, and Qod alone 
in her. He does not love Mary precisely be- 
cause she does him good, or because he hopes 
in her ; but because she is so worfliy of love. 
It is on this account that he loves and serves 
her as £dthAilly in his disgusts and drynesses, 
as in his sweetnesses and sensible fervours. He 
loves her as much on Calvary, as at the marriage 
of Oana. Oh I how such a client of our Blessed 
Lady, who has no self-seeking in his service of 
her, is agreeable and precious in the eyes of 
God and of His holy Mother I But in these 
days how rare is such a sight I It is that it 
may be less rare that I have taken my pen to 
put on paper what I have taught, in public and 
in private, during my missions for many years. 

I have now said many things about the most 
holy Virgin ; but I have many more to say, and 
Hxere are iniSnitely more which I shall omit, 
whether from ignorance, inabiUiy, or want of 
time, in ilie design which I have to form a true 
dient of Mary, and a true disciple of Jesus 
Ohrist. 

Oh I but my labour will have been well ex- 
pended if this little Writing, fidling into the 
hands of a soul of good dispositions, a soul well 
bom^ — ^bom of Qod and of Mary, and not of 



74 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will 
of man, — should unfold to him, and should, by the 
grace of the Holy Ghost, inspire him with, the 
excellence and the price of that true and solid 
devotion to our Blessed Lady, which I am going 
presently to describe. If I knew that my guilty 
blood could serve in engraving upon any one's 
heart the truths which I am writing in honour 
of my true Mother and sovereign Mistress, I 
would use my blood instead of ink to form the 
letters, in the hope to find some good souls who, 
by their fidelity to the practice which I teach, 
shall compensate to my dear Mother and Mis- 
tress for the losses which she has suffered 
through my ingratitude and infidelities. I feel 
myself more than ever animated to believe and 
to hope all which I have had deeply engraven 
upon my heart, and have asked of Grod these 
many years, namely, that sooner or later the 
Blessed Virgin shall have more children, ser- 
vants, and slaves of love than ever ; and that, 
by this means, Jesus Christ, my dear Maj^ter, 
shall reign more in hearts than ever. 

I clearly foresee that raging beasts shall come 
in fiiry to tear with their diabolical teeth this 
little Writing and him whom the Holy Ghost 
has made use of to write it, or at least to smother 
it in the silence of a coffer, that it may not 
appear. They shall even attack and persecute 
those who shall read it and carry it out in prac- 



THE BLESSED VIBOIK. 



75 



tioe. But what matter ? On the contrary, so 
much the better I This very foresight encom^ages 
me, and makes me hope for a great success ; that 
is to say, for a great squadron of brave and va- 
liant soldiers of Jesus and Mary, of both sexes, 
to combat the world, the devil, and corrupted 
nature in those more than ever perilous times 
which are about to come I Qui legitj mtelligat. 
Qui potest capere^ capiat. 



96 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

Qod, says Si Bernard, seeing that we are 
unworthy to receive His graces immediatelj 
from His own hand, gives them to Mary, in 
order that we may have through her whatever 
He wills to give us ; and He also finds His glory 
in receiving through the hands of Mary the gra- 
titude, respect, and love, which we owe Him 
for His benefits. It is most just, then, that we 
should imitate this conduct of God, in order, as 
the same St. Bernard says, that the grace should 
return to its Author by the same canal through 
which it came: Ut eodem alveo ad laryitarem 
gratia gratia redeaty quoJltuciL * 

This is precisely what our devotion does. 
We offer and consecrate all we are and all we 
have to the Blessed Virgin, in order that our 
Lord may receive through her mediation the 
glory and the gratitude which we owe Ham. 
We acknowledge ourselves unworthy and unfit 
to approach His Infinite Majesty by ourselves ; 
and it is on this account that we avail ourselves 
of the intercession of the most holy Virgin. 

Moreover, this devotion is a practice of 
great humility, which God loves above all the 
other virtues. A soul which exalts itself abasea 
Gk)d ; a soul which abases itself exalts QtxL 
God resists the proud, and gives His grace to 
the humble. If you abase yourself, thinking 
yourself unworthy to appear before Him and 
to draw nigh to Him, He .descends, and lowers 



THE BLESSED VIBOIK. 



75 



tioe. But what matter ? On the contrary, so 
much the better I This very foresight encourages 
me, and makes me hope for a great success ; that 
is to say, for a great squadron of brave and va- 
liant soldiers of Jesus and Mary, of both sexes, 
to combat the world, the devil, and corrupted 
nature in those more than ever perilous times 
which are about to come I Qui legit, inteUigat. 
Qui potest capere, capiat. 



98 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

herself his baQ^ his sapplement, and his dear 
all towards Jesns. In a word^ as that person 
is all consecrated to Mary, so is Marj all for 
him ; after such a £ishion that we can say of 
that perfect servant and child of Mary what 
St John the Evangelist said of himself, that he 
took the holy Virgin for all his goods, — Accepit 
earn discipuhM in sucu 

It is this which produces in the soul, if it is 
fiuthfid, a great distrust, contempt, and hatred 
of self, and a great confidence and a great self- 
abandonment in the Blessed Virgin, its good 
Mistress. A man no longer, as before, leans on 
his own dispositions, intentions, merits, and good 
w(»rks ; because, having made an entire sacrifice 
of them to Jesus Christ by that good Mother, 
he has but one treasure now, where all his goods 
are laid up, and that is no longer in himself; 
for his treasure is Mary. It is this which makes 
him approach oiy* Lord without servile or scru- 
pulous fear, and pray to Him with great confi- 
dence. It is this which makes him enter into 
the sentiments of the devout and learned Abbot 
Bupert, who, making an allusion to the victory 
that Jacob gained over the angel, said to our 
Blessed Lady these beautiful words : " Mary, 
my Princess, Immaculate Mother of a God-man, 
Jesus Christ, I desire to wrestle with that Man, 
namely, the Divine Word, not armed with my 
own merits, but with yours." Domino^ Dei 



THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 99 

genitrix Maria^ et incorrupta Mater Dei et 
Saminisj nan meisy sed tuis armatus meritisy cum 
isto VirOy seu VerboDeiy luctari cupio (Rup. Pro- 
log. in Cantic.), 

Oh, how strong and mighty we are with 
Jesus Christ, when we are armed with the wor- 
thy merits and intercession of the Mother of 
Grod, who, as St. Augustine says, has lovingly 
vanquished the Most High. 

2. As by this practice we give to our Lord 
by His Mother's hands all our good works, that 
good Mother purifies them, embellishes them, 
and makes them acceptable to her Son. 

(1) She purifies them of all the soil of self- 
love, and of tliat imperceptible attachment to the 
creature, which slips incessantly into our best 
actions. As soon as they are in her most pure 
and fruitfiil hands, those same hands, which have 
pever been sullied or idle, and which purify 
whatever they touch, take away firom the present 
which we ms^e to her all that was spoilt or im^ 
perfect about it. 

(2) She embellishes our works, in adorning 
them with her own merits and virtues. It is as 
if a peasant, wishing to gain the firiendship and 
benevolence of the king, went to the queen, and 
presented her with a fruit, which was his whole 
revenue, in order that she might present it to 
the king. The queen, having accepted the poor 
little offering from the peasant, would place the 



100 TBOE BXVOTION TO 

firuit on a large and beantifiil dish of goM, and 
eoj on the peasant's hehalf, would pres^it it to 
the king. Then the fruit, however unworthy in 
itself to be a king's present, would become worthy 
of his majesty, because of the dish of gold on 
which it rested and the person who presented it. 

(3) She presents these good works to Jesus 
Christ ; for she keeps nothing of what is given 
for herself, as if she was our last end. She refers 
it all feithftdly to Jesus. Kwe give to hw^ we 
give necessarily to Jesus ; if we praise her or 
glorify her, we at once praise and glorify Jesus. 
As of old, when St. Elizabeth praised her, so 
now, when we praise and bless her, she sings 
herself, MagiAficat anima mea Dominum. 

(4) She persuades Jesus to accept these good 
works, however little and poor the present may 
be for that Saint of saints and that King of kings. 
When we present any tiling to Jesus by ourselves j 
and relying on our own industry and disposition, 
Jesus examines the offering, and often rejects it 
because of the stains it has contracted through 
sdf-love ; just as of old He rejected the sacrifices 
of the Jews when ihey were full of their own 
will. But when we present Him any thing by 
the pure and virginal hands of His Well-beloved, 
we take Him by His weak side, if it is allowaUe 
to use such a term. He does not consider so 
much the thing that is given Him, as the Mother 
who gives it. He does not consider so modi 



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64 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

there should be njore people before the altar of 
the Blessed Virgin than before the Blessed Sa- 
crament, as if the one was contrary to the other, 
as if those who prayed to our Blessed Lady did 
not pray to Jesus Christ by her. They are un- 
willing that we should speak so often of our 
Lady, and address ourselves so frequently to her. 
These are the favourite sentences constantly in 
their mouths : " To what end are so many chap- 
lets, so many confraternities, and so many ex- 
ternal devotions to the Blessed Virgin ? There 
is much of ignorance in all this. It makes a 
mummery of our religion. Speak to us of those 
who are devout to Jesus Christ" (yet they often 
name Him without imcovering : I say this by 
way of parenthesis). " We must have recourse 
to Jesus Christ ; He is our only Mediator. We 
must preach Jesus Christ ; this is the solid de- 
votion." What they say is true in a certain 
sense, but it is very dangerous, when, by the ap- 
plication they make of it, they hinder devotion 
to our Blessed Lady, and it is, under the pre- 
text of a greater good, a subtle snare of the evil 
one. For never do we honour Jesus Christ more 
than when we are most honouring His Blessed 
Mother. Lideed we only honour Mary that we 
may the more perfectly honour Jesus, inasmuch 
as we only go to her as to the way in which we 
are to find the end we are seeking, which is 
Jesus. 



THE BLESSED VIRGIN. 65 

The Church, with the Holy Qhost, blesses 
our Lady first, and our Lord second, — Benedicta 
tu in mulieribusy, et benedicius fntctits vmtria tui 
Jema. It is not that Mary is more than Jesus^ 
or even equal to Him. That would be an into- 
lerable heresy ; but it is that, in order to bless 
Jesus more perfectly, we must begin by blessing 
Mary. Let us, then, say with all the true clients 
of our Lady against these felse scrupulous de- 
votees, Mary, thou art blessed amongst all 
women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, 
Jesus. 

External devotees are persons who make all 
devotion to our Blessed Lady consist in outward 
practices. They have no taste except for the 
exterior of this devotion, because they have no 
interior spirit of their own. They will say quanti- 
ties of Bosaries with the greatest precipitation ; 
they will hear many Masses distractedly ; they 
will go without devotion to processions; they 
wilt enrol themselves in all sorts of confraterni- 
ties, without amending their lives, without doing 
auy violence to their passions, or without imi- 
tating the virtues of that most holy Virgin. 
They have no love but for the sensible part 
of devotion, without having any relish for its 
solidiiy. If they have not sensible sweetness in 
their practices, they think they are doing no- 
thing; they get all out of joint, throw every 
thing up, or do every thing at random. The 



66 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

world is fiall of these exterior devotees; and 
there are no people who are more critical of men 
of prayer, of those who foster an interior spirit 
as the essential thing, while they do not lightly 
account of that outward modesty which always 
accompanies true devotion. 

Premmptuoua devotees are sinners abandoned 
to their passions, or lovers of the world, who, 
under the fair name of Christians and clients of 
our Blessed Lady, conceal pride, avarice, im- 
purity, drunkenness, anger, swearing, detraction, 
injustice, or some other sin. They sleep in peace 
in the midst of their bad habits, without doing 
any violence to Aemselves to correct their faults, 
under the pretext that they are devout to the 
Blessed Virgin. They promise themselves that 
Grod will pardon them; that they will not be 
allowed to die without confession ; and that they 
will not be lost eternally, because they say the 
Eosary, because they fast on Saturdays, because 
they belong to the Confraternity of the Holy 
Rosary, or wear the scapular, or are enrolled 
in other congregations, or wear the little habit 
or little chain of our Lady.* They will not be- 
lieve us when we tell them that their devotion is 
only an illusion of the devil, and a pernicious 
presumption likely to destroy their souls. They 
say that God is good and merciful ; that He has 
not made us to condemn us everlastingly ; that 
♦ See note farther on. 



THE BLESSED YIBOIN. 67 

no man is without sin ; that they shall not die 
without confession ; that one good Peccavi at the 
hour of death is enough ; that they are devout 
to our Lady ; that they wear the scapular ; and 
that they say daily, without reproach or vanity, 
seven Paters and Aves in her honour ; and that 
they sometimes say the Eosary and the Office of 
our Lady, besides fasting, and other things. To 
give authority to all this, and to blind themselves 
still further, they quote certain stories, which 
they have heard or read, — it does not matter to 
them whether they be true or false, — ^relating 
how people have died in mortal sin without con- 
fession ; and then, because in their lifetime they 
sometimes said some prayers, or went through 
some practices of devotion to our Lady, how 
they have been raised to life again, in order to 
go to confession, or their soul been miraculously 
retained in their bodies till confession ; or how 
they have obtained from God at the moment of 
death contrition and pardon of their sins, and so 
have been saved ; and that they themselves ex- 
pect similar favours. Nothing in Christianity 
is more detestable than this diabolical presump- 
tion. For how can we say truly that we love 
and honour our Blessed Lady, when by oiu* sins 
we are pitilessly piercing, wounding, crucifying, 
and outraging Jesus Cluist her Son ? If Mary 
laid down a law to herself, to save by her mercy 
this sort of people, she would be authorising 



68 TRUE DEVOnOK TO 

crime, and assisting to crucify and outrage her 
Son. Who would dare to think such a thought 
as that? 

I say, that thus to abuse devotion to our 
Lady, which, after devotion to our Lord in the 
Blessed Sacrament, is the holiest and solidest of 
all devotions, is to be guilty of a horrible sacri- 
lege, which, aft;er the sacrilege of an unworthy 
Communion, is the greatest and the least pardon- 
able of all sacrileges. 

I confess that, in order to be truly devout to 
our Blessed Lady, it is not absolutely necessaiy 
to be so holy as to avoid every sin, though this 
were to be wished; Imt so much at least is 
necessary, and I beg you to lay it well to 
heart: — 

1. To have a sincere resolution to avoid, at 
least, aU mortal sin, which outrages the Mother 
as w^ as the Son. 2. I would add also that to 
do violence to ourselves to avoid sin, to enrol 
ourselves in confraternities, to say the Bosary or 
other prayers, to fast on Saturdays, and the like, 
is wonderfully usefol to the conversion of a sm- 
ner, however hardened ; and if my reader is such 
a one, even if he has his foot in the abyss, I 
would counsel these things to him. Nevertheless 
it must be on the condition that he will only 
practise these good works with the intention of 
obtaining from Gk)d, by the intercession of the 
Blessed Virgin, the grace of contrition and the 



THE BUSSSSD YIBGIK. 69 

pardon of his sins, to conquer his evil habits^ 
and not to remain quietly in the state of sin, in 
spite of the remorse of his conscience, the ex- 
ample of Jesus Christ and the Saints, and the 
maxims of the holj GK)speL 

The mconatant devotees are those who are 
devout to our Blessed Lady by intervals and 
whims. Sometimes they are fervent and some- 
times lukewarm. Sometimes they seem ready 
to do any thing for her, and then, a little after- 
wards, they are not like the same people. They 
begin by taking up aU the devotions to her, and 
enrolling themselves in the confraternities ; and 
then they do not practise the rules with fidelity. 
They change like the moon; and Mary puts 
them under her feet with the crescent, because 
they are mutable, and unworthy to be reckoned 
among the servants of that faithful Virgin, whose 
clients have for their special graces fidelity and 
ocmstancy. It were better for such persons to 
load themselves with fewer prayers and prac- 
tices, and to ftdfil them with faithftdness and 
love, in spite of the world, the devil, and the 
flesh. 

We have still to mention the false devotees 
to our Blessed Lady, who are the hypocritical 
devotees ; who cloke their sins and sinfiil habits 
under her mantle, in order to pass in the eyes of 
men for what they are not. 

There are also the interested devotees, who 

G 



70 TBUE DEVOTIOK TO 

have recourse to our Lady only to gain some 
lawsuit^ or to avoid some danger, or to be cured 
of some illness, or for some other similar ne- 
cessity, without which they would forget her 
altogether. Both, however, of these two last 
classes are false devotees, and neither of them 
pass current before God and His holy Mother. 

Let us, then, take great care not to be of the 
number of the critical devotees, who believe 
nothing and criticise every thing ; nor of the 
scrupulous devotees, who are afraid of being too 
devout to our Lady, out of respect to our Lord ; 
nor of the exterior devotees, who make all their 
devotion consist in outward practices ; nor of the 
presumptuous devotees, who, under the pretext 
of their false devotion to the Blessed Virgin, 
wallow in their sins ; nor of the inconstant de- 
votees, who by levity change their practices of 
devotion, or throw them up altogether on the 
least temptation; nor of the Ajpom^icaZ devotees, 
who put themselves into confraternities, and wear 
the liveries of the Blessed Virgin, in order to 
pass for good people ; nor, finally, of the interested 
devotees, who only have recourse to our Lady to 
be delivered from bodily evils, or to obtain tem- 
poral goods. 

2. On tJie Characters of True Devotion to our 
Blessed Lady. 
After having laid bare and condemned the 



THE BLESSED YIBQIK. 71 

fidse devotions to the most holy Virgin, we must, 
in a few words, characterise the true devotion. 
It must be (1) interior^ (2) tender^ (3) Iwh/y 
(4) constant^ and (5) disinterested, 

1. True devotion to our Lady is interior; 
that is to say, it comes from the spirit and the 
heart. It flows from the esteem we have of her, 
the high idea we have formed of her great- 
ness, and the love which we have for her. 

2. It is tender ; that is to say, ftill of confi- 
dence in her, like a child's confidence in his 
loving mother. This confidence makes the soul 
have recourse to her in all its bodily or mental 
necessities, with much simplicity, trust, and 
tenderness. It implores the aid of its good 
Mother, at all times, in all places, and about all 
things ; in its doubts, that it may be enlightened ; 
in its wanderings, that it may be brought into 
ihe right path ; in its temptations, that it may 
be supported ; in its weaknesses, that it may be 
strengthened ; in its falls, that it may be lifted 
up; in its discouragements, that it may be 
cheered ; in its scruples, that they may be taken 
away ; in its crosses, toils, and disappointments 
of life, that it may be consoled under them. In 
a word, in all its evils of body and mind, the 
soul's ordinary reftige is in Mary, without fear- 
ing to be importunate to her or to displease 
Jesus Christ. 

3. True devotion to our Lady is holy; that 



73 TBTHB DEYOnOH TO 

is to SBjy it leads the soul to avoid sin, and to 
imitate in the Blessed Virgin particularly her 
profound humility, her Uvely faith, her continual 
prayer, her universal mortification, her divine 
purity, her ardent charity, her heroic patience, 
her angelical sweetness, and her divine wisdom. 
These are the ten principal virtues of the most 
holy Virgin. 

4. True devotion to our Lady is constanL 
It confirms the soul in good, and it does not 
let it easily abandon its spiritual exercises. It 
makes it courageous in opposing the world in 
its fashions and maxims, the flesh in its weari- 
nesses and passions, and the devil in his temp- 
tations. So that a person truly devout to our 
Blessed Lady is neither changeable, irritable, 
scrupulous, nor timid. It is not that such a 
person does not fall, or change sometimes in the 
sensible feeling of devotion, or in the amount 
of devotion itsel£ But when he falls, he rises 
again by stretching out his hand to his good 
Mother. If he loses the taste and relish of de- 
votion, he does not disturb himself because of 
that ; for the just and fiuthful client of Mary 
lives on the faith of Jesus and Mary, and not 
on sentiments and sensibiUties. 

5. Lastly, true devotion to our Blessed Lady 
is disinterested ; that is to say, it inspires the soul 
not to seek itself but God only, and God in His 
holy Mother. A true client of Mary does not 



THE BUSSED YIRGnr. 73 

serve that august Queen from a spirit of lucre 
and interest^ nor for its own good, whether 
temporal, corporal, or spiritual ; but exclusively 
because she merits to be served, and Qtod alone 
in her. He does not love Mary precisely be- 
cause she does him good, or because he hopes 
in her ; but because she is so worthy of love. 
It is on this account that he loves and serves 
her as ^dthftdly in his disgusts and drynesses, 
as in his sweetnesses and sensible fervours. He 
loves her as much on Calvary, as at the marriage 
of Cana. Oh I how such a client of our Blessed 
Lady, who has no self-seeking in his service of 
her, is agreeable and precious in the eyes of 
God and of His holy Mother 1 But in these 
days how rare is such a sight I It is that it 
may be less rare that I have taken my pen to 
put on paper what I have taught, in pubUo and 
in private, during my missions for many years. 

I have now said many things about the most 
holy Virgin ; but I have many more to say, and 
there are infinitely more which I shall omit, 
whether from ignorance, inabihty, or want of 
time, m ihe design which I have to form a true 
dient of Mary, and a true disciple of Jesus 
Ohri^ 

Oh I but my labour will have been well ex- 
pended if this little Writing, felling into the 
hands of a soul of good dispositions, a soul well 
born;— bom of God and of Mary, and not of 



112 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

on the vows which we have made in holy Bap- 
tism. It was chiefly by this last reason that 
he shut his adversaries' mouths, making them 
see that this consecration to the holy Virgin, 
and to Jesus Christ by her hands, is nothing 
else than a perfect renewal of the vows and pro- 
mises of Baptism. He has said many beautifiil 
things on this practice, which can be read in his 
works. 

We may also see in M. Boudon's book the 
different Popes who have approved this devotion, 
the theologians who have examined it, the perse- 
cutions they have undergone and have overcome, 
and the thousands of persons who have embraced 
it, without any Pope having ever condemned 
it. Indeed, we cannot see how it could be con- 
demned without overturning the foundations of 
Christianiiy. It is clear, then, that this devotion 
is not new ; and that if it is not common, it is 
because it is too precious to be relished and 
practised by all the world.* 

(2) This devotion is a secure means of going 
to Jesus Christ, because it is the very character- 
istic of our Blessed Lady to conduct us surely 
to Jesus, just as it is the very characteristic of 
Jesus to conduct us surely to Ihe Eternal Father. 
Spiritual persons, therefore, must not fall into 

♦ Boudon says, in his Saint Esdavage^ that the 
English Catholics were remarkable for this devotion 
in the seventeenth century. — F. W. F. 



THE BLESSED VIROIN. 



75 



tioe. But wliat matter ? On the contrary, so 
much the better I This very foresight encourages 
me, and makes me hope for a great success ; that 
is to say, for a great squadron of brave and va- 
Hant soldiers of Jesus and Mary, of both sexes, 
to combat the world, the devil, and corrupted 
nature in those more than ever perilous times 
which are about to come I Qui legit^ inieUigat. 
Qui potest capere^ capiat. 



PAET 11. 

ON THE MOST EXCELLENT DEVOTION TO OUR 
BLESSED LADY, OR THE PERFECT CONSE- 
ORATION TO JESUS BY MARY. 



There are several interior practices of true 
devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Here are the 
principal of them stated compendiously. (1) 
To honour her as the worthy Mother of GJod, 
with the worship of hyperdulia ; that is to say, 
to esteem her and honour her above all the other 
Saints, as the masterpiece of grace, and the first 
after Jesus Christ, true God and true Man ; (2) 
to meditate her virtues, her privileges, and her 
actions ; (3) to contemplate her grandeurs ; (4) 
to make to her acts of love, of praise, of gratitude ; 
(6) to invoke her cordially; (6) to offer our- 
selves to her, and unite ourselves with her ; (7) 
to do all our actions with the view of pleasing 
lier; (8) to begin, to continue, and to finish 
all our actions by her, in her, and with her, in 
order that we may do them by Jesus Christ, in 
Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, and fpr Jesus 
Ohrist our Last End. We will presently e^^- 
plain this last practice. 



78 TKDB DEVOnOK TO 

Tme devotion to onr Lady has also several 
exterior practices, of which the following are the 
chief: — (1) to enrol ourselves in her confrater- 
nities, and enter her congregations ; (2) to join 
the religious orders instituted in her honour ; 
(3) to publish her praises; (4) to give alms, 
to fast, and to undergo outward and inward 
mortifications in her honour ; (5) to wear her 
hveries, such as the rosary, the scapular, or the 
litfle chain ; (6) to recite with attention, devo- 
tion, and modesty, the holy Eosary , composed of 
fifteen decades of Hail Marys in honour of the 
fift;een principal mysteries of Jesus Christ, or 
five decades, which is the third of the Bosary, 
either in honour of the five Joyous Mysteries, 
which are the Annunciation, the Visitation, the 
Nativity of Jesus Christ, the Purification, and 
the Finding of our Lord in the Temple ; or in 
honour of the five Sorrowful Mysteries, which 
are the Agony of our Lord in the Grarden of Ol- 
ives, His Scourging, His Crowning with Thorns^ 
His Carrying of the Cross, and His Crucifixion ; 
or in honour of the five Glorious Mysteries, 
which are the Besurrection of Jesus Christ, the 
Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Ghost at 
Pentecost, the Assumption of our Blessed Lady 
body and soul into Heaven, and her Coronaticm 
by the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity, 
We may also say a Chaplet of six or seven de- 
cades in honour of the years which we believe 



THE BLESSED YIBGIN. 79 

our Lady lived on earth ; or the little Corona of 
the Blessed Virgin, composed of three Our Fa- 
thers and twelve Hail Marys, in honour of her 
crown of twelve stars, or privileges; or the 
Office of our Lady, so universaQy received and 
recited in the Church ; or the Little Psalter of the 
holy Virgin, which St. Bonaventure has com- 
posed in her honour, and which is so tender and 
so devout that one cannot say it without being 
melted by it ; or fourteen Our Fathers and Hail 
Marys in honour of her fourteen joys ; or some 
other prayers, hymns, and canticles of the 
Church, such as the Salve Regina^ the Almaj 
the Ave Regina ccehrum^ or the Regina cceli, 
according to the diffisrent seasons ; or the Ave 
Maris Stella^ the gloriosa Domina, the Magni- 
ficat, or some other practices of devotion of which 
books are ftJl ; (7) to sing or have sung spi- 
ritual canticles in her honour ; (8) to make her 
a number of genuflexions or reverences, while 
saying, for example, every morning, sixty or a 
hundred times Ave Maria, Virgojidelis, to obtain 
from God the grace by her to be faithful to the 
graces of God during the day ; and then again 
in the evening, Ave Maria, Mater misericordicBy 
to ask pardon of God by her for the sins that 
we have committed during the day ; (9) to take 
care of her confraternities, to adorn her altars, 
to crown and ornament her images; (10) to 
carry her images, or to have them carried, in 



68 TRUE DEVOnOK TO 

crime^ and assisting to crucify and outrage her 
Son, Who would dare to think such a ihought 
as that? 

I say, that thus to abuse devotion to our 
Lady, which, after devotion to our Lord in the 
Blessed Sacrament, is the holiest and solidest of 
all devotions, is to be guilty of a horrible sacri- 
lege, which, after the sacrilege of an unworthy 
Communion, is the greatest and the least pardon- 
able of all sacrileges. 

I confess that, in order to be truly devout to 
our Blessed Lady, it is not absolutely necessary 
to be so holy as to avoid every sin, though ^tna 
were to be wished; but so much at least is 
necessary, and I beg you to lay it well to 
heart: — 

1. To have a sincere resolution to avoid, at 
least, all mortal sin, which outrages the Moib^r 
as well as the Son. 2. I would add abo that to 
do violence to ourselves to avoid sin, to enrol 
ourselves in confraternities, to say the Bosary or 
otiber prayers, to fast on Saturdays, and the like, 
is wonderftdly useftil to the conversion of a sin- 
ner, however hardened ; and if my read^ is sudi 
a one, even if he has his foot in the abyss, I 
would counsel these things to him. Nevertheless 
it must be on the condition that he will only 
practise these good works with the intention of 
obtaining from Grod, by the intercession of the 
Blessed Virgin, the grace of contrition and the 



THE BUB3SSD YISaiN. 69 

pardon of his sins, to conquer liis evil habits^ 
and not to remain quietly in the state of sin^ in 
spite of the remorse of his conscience, the ex- 
ample of Jesus Christ and the Saints, and the 
maxims of the holy GospeL 

The inconstant devotees are those who are 
devout to our Blessed Lady by intervals and 
whims. Sometimes they are fervent and some- 
times lukewarm. Sometimes they seem ready 
to do any thing for her, and then, a little after- 
wards, they are not like the same people. They 
begin by taking up all the devotions to her, and 
enrolling themselves in the confraternities ; and 
then they do not practise the rules with fidelity. 
They change like the moon; and Mary puts 
them under her feet with the crescent, because 
they are mutable, and unworthy to be reckoned 
among the servants of that faithftd Virgin, whose 
clients have for their special graces fidelity and 
constancy. It were better for such persons to 
load themselves with fewer prayers and prac- 
tices, and to fiilfil them with faithfulness and 
love, in spite of the world, the devil, and the 
flesh. 

We have still to mention the &lse devotees 
to our Blessed Lady, who are the hypocribioal 
devotees ; who doke their sins and sinM habits 
und^ her mantle, in order to pass in the eyes of 
men for what they are not 

There are also the interested devotees, who 

G 



70 TBUB DEVOTION TO 

have recourse to oiir Lady only to gain some 
lawsuit, or to avoid some danger, or to be cured 
of some illness, or for some other similar ne- 
cessiiy, without which they would forget her 
altogether. Both, however, of these two last 
classes are false devotees, and neither of them 
pass current before Grod and His holy Mother. 

Let us, then, take great care not to be of the 
number of the critical devotees, who believe 
nothing and criticise every thing ; nor of the 
scrupulous devotees, who are afraid of being too 
devout to our Lady, out of respect to our Lord ; 
nor of the exterior devotees, who make all their 
devotion consist in outward practices ; nor of the 
presumptuous devotees, who, under the pretext 
of their false devotion to the Blessed Virgin, 
wallow in their sins ; nor of the inconstant de* 
votees, who by levity change their practices of 
devotion, or throw them up altogether on the 
least temptation; nor of the Aj/pom^icaZ devotees, 
who put themselves into confraternities, and wear 
the liveries of the Blessed Virgin, in order to 
pass for good people ; nor, finally, of the interested 
devotees, who only have recourse to our Lady to 
be dehvered firom bodily evils, or to obtain tem- 
poral goods, 

2, On tlie Characters of True Devotion to our 
Blessed Lady. 
After having laid bare and condemned the 



THE BLESSED VIBOIN. 71 

fiJse devotions to the most holy Virgin, we must, 
in a few words, characterise the true devotion. 
It must be (1) interior^ (2) tender^ (3) Jiolyy 
(4) constant^ and (5) disinterested, 

1. True devotion to our Lady is interior; 
that is to say, it comes from the spirit and the 
heart. It flows from the esteem we have of her, 
the high idea we have formed of her great- 
ness, and the love which we liave for her. 

2. It is tender ; that is to say, ftdl of confi- 
dence in her, like a child's confidence in his 
loving mother. This confidence makes the soul 
have recourse to her in all its bodily or mental 
necessities, with much simplicity, trust, and 
tenderness. It implores the aid of its good 
Mother, at all times, in all places, and about all 
things ; in its doubts, that it may be enlightened ; 
in its wanderings, that it may be brought into 
the right path ; in its temptations, that it may 
be supported ; in its weaknesses, that it may be 
strengthened ; in its falls, that it may be lifted 
up; in its discouragements, that it may be 
cheered ; in its scruples, that they may be taken 
away ; in its crosses, toils, and disappointments 
of Hfe, that it may be consoled under them. In 
a word, in all its evils of body and mind, the 
soul's ordinary reftige is in Mary, without fear- 
ing to be importunate to her or to displease 
Jesus Christ 

3. True devotion to our Lady is holy; that 



J3 TRXJB DETOnOK TO 

is to say, it leads the soul to avoid sin, and to 
imitate in the Blessed Virgin particularly her 
profound humility , her lively faith, her continnal 
prayer, her universal mortification, her divine 
purity, her ardent chariiy, her heroic patience, 
her angelical sweetness, and her divine wisdom. 
These are the ten principal virtues of the most 
holy Virgin. 

4. True devotion to our Lady is constant 
It confirms the soul in good, and it does not 
let it easily abandon its spiritual exerdses. It 
makes it courageous in opposing the world in 
its fashions and maxims, the flesh in its weari- 
nesses and passions, and the devil in his temp- 
tations. So that a person truly devout to our 
Blessed Lady is neither changeable, irritable, 
scrupulous, nor timid. It is not that such a 
person does not fall, or change sometimes in the 
sensible feeling of devotion, or in the amount 
of devotion itself. But when he falls, he rises 
again by stretching out his hand to his good 
Mother. If he loses the taste and relish of de- 
votion, he does not disturb himself because of 
that ; for the just and &ithful client of Mary 
lives on the faith of Jesus and Mary, and not 
on sentiments and sensibilities. 

5. Lastiy, true devotion to our Blessed Lady 
is disinterested ; that is to say, it inspires the soul 
not to seek itself but God only, and God in His 
holy Mother. A true client of Maiy does not 



THS BLXBSBD YIBGIH. 73 

serve that august Queen from a spirit of lucre 
and interest, nor for its own good, whether 
t^nporal, corporal, or spiritual ; but exclusively 
because she merits to be served, and Qtod alone 
in her. He does not love Mary precisely be- 
cause she does him good, or because he hopes 
in her ; but because she is so worthy of love. 
It is on this account that he loves and serves 
her as faithftdly in his disgusts and drynesses, 
as in his sweetnesses and sensible fervours. He 
loves her as much on Calvary, as at the marriage 
of Cana. Oh I how such a client of our Blessed 
Lady, who has no self-seeking in his service of 
her, is agreeable and precious in the eyes of 
Ghxi and of His holy Mother I But in these 
days how rare is sudb a sight I It is that it 
may be less rare that I have taken my pen to 
put on paper what I have taught, in public and 
in private, during my missions for many years. 

I have now said many things about the most 
holy Virgin ; but I have many more to say, and 
there are infinitely more which I shall omit, 
whether from ignorance, inabiUty, or want of 
time, in the design which I have to form a true 
client of Mary, and a true disciple of Jesus 
Christ. 

Oh 1 but my labour will have been well ex- 
pended if this little Writing, Ming into the 
hands of a soul of good dispositions, a soul well 
bom, — ^bom of God and of Mary, and not of 



74 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will 
of man, — should unfold to him, and should, bythe 
grace of the Holy Ghost, inspire him with, the 
excellence and the price of that true and solid 
devotion to our Blessed Lady, which I am going 
presently to describe. If I knew that my guiliy 
blood could serve in engraving upon any one's 
heart the truths which I am writing in honour 
of my true Mother and sovereign Mistress, I 
would use my blood instead of ink to form the 
letters, in the hope to find some good souls who, 
by their fidelity to the practice which I teach, 
shall compensate to my dear Mother and Mis- 
tress for the losses which she has suffered 
through my ingratitude and infideUties. I feel 
myself more than ever animated to believe and 
to hope all which I have had deeply engraven 
upon my heart, and have asked of Grod these 
many years, namely, that sooner or later the 
Blessed Virgin shall have more children, ser- 
vants, and slaves of love than ever ; and that, 
by this means, Jesus Christ, my dear Master, 
shall reign more in hearts than ever. 

I clearly foresee that raging beasts shall come 
in fiiry to tear with their diabolical teeth this 
little Writing and him whom the Holy Ghost 
has made use of to write it, or at least to smother 
it in the silence of a coffer, that it may not 
appear. They shall even attack and persecute 
those who shall read it and carry it out in prac- 



THE BLESSED VIBOIK. 



75 



tioe. But what matter ? On the contrary, so 
mnch the better I This very foresight encourages 
me, and makes me hope for a great success ; that 
is to say, for a great squadron of brave and va- 
liant soldiers of Jesus and Mary, of both sexes, 
to combat the world, the devil, and corrupted 
nature in those more than ever perilous times 
which are about to come I Qui legit^ intelligat. 
Qui potest capere^ capiat. 



12€ TBUS BKTOTUmr fO 

tdts berself be overcome in love and libenfi^ 
As a holy man said of her, For an egg, she gives 
an ox; that is to say, for a little that is gtveo <Jo 
her, the gives much of what she has received 
from God. Hence, if a soul gives itself to hot 
without reserve, she gives herself to that sool 
without reserve, if only we put our eonfidencs 
in her without presumption, and labour on am 
side to acquire virtues, and to bridle our p«8w 
rnxms. 

Let, then, the faithful servants of the Blessed 
Virgin say hardily with St John Damascene^ 
** Having confidence in you, O Mother of Qoi^ 
I shall be saved ; being under your protectioB, i 
shall fear nothing ; with youi; succour, I shall 
give battle to my enemies, and put them to flight ; 
for devotion to you is an arm c^ salvation, whidi 
Qod gives to those whom it is His will to sava** 
i^[>em titam habens, O Deipara^ servabor ; deftf^ 
monem ttuim possideHSj rum timebo ; persequem 
inimiooe meos et iufngam vertam^ haiben^ protto^ 
ti&nem et auxHimn tuum ; nam iSn decotum esm 
48i arma qucBctam sahitis qtuB Deas his dot qmea 
vuU sahx>8 fieri (Joan. Damasc.). 

Of all the truths which I have be^i puttbig 
forward with regard to our Blessed Lady asd 
her children and servants, the Holy Ghost gives 
us an admirable figure in tiie Scriptures. It im 
in the history of Jacob, who received the bene* 
diction of his father Isaac, by the skill and p«iaB 



TBS mjasMD vmam. 137 



of &^coa, his mother. This is the histcoy, aa 
ii» Holj Ghost relates it I will afterwards add 
ike explanati^m of it 

Esau having sold Jacob his birthri^t, Be^. 
becca, the mother of the two brothers, who loved 
Jhoob tenderly, secured this advantage to him 
BMOiy years afterwards- by an address most holy 
fent mostftillof mystery. Isaac, feeling himself 
wry cidy and wishing to bless his children before 
he died, called his son Esau, who was his favour- 
ite, and commancbd him to go out hunting, to 
get him something to eat, in order tliat he mighit 
Idesa him afterwards. Sebeeea promptiy iuf- 
formed Jacob of what had passed, aitd ordered 
}mn to go and take two kids firom the flook. 
When he had given them to his modier, she pre^ 
pored for Isaac what she knew he liked. She 
dothed Jacob in the garments of Esau, which 
Ae kept, and covered his hands and his neok 
irkh the skin of the kids, so that his father, who 
WAS blind, might, in hearing Jacob's voice, think 
«t least by the i^in of his hands that it was 
&au his brother. Isaac, having been surprised 
by the voice, which he thought was Jacob's 
foice, made him come near him. Having touched 
file skins with which his hands were covered, ha 
WBoA that the voice truly was the voice of Jacob, 
but tiiat the hands were the hands of Esan. 
After he had eaten, and, in kissing Jacob, had 
nnelt the odour of his perfttmed garm^its^ he 



128 TBUS DBVOTIOK TO 

blessed him, and wished for him the dew ofi 
heaven and the fiiiitfidness of eartL He made 
him lord over all his brethren, and finished his 
blessing with these words, " Cursed be he thafc 
curseth thee, and let him that blesseth thee btf 
filled with blessings," Isaac had hardly finished 
these words when Esau entered, and brought with 
him what he had captured while out hunting, id 
order that his father might eat it, and then bless 
him. The holy patriarch was surprised with an 
incredible astonishment when he imderstood 
what had happened. But, far fi'om retracting 
what he had done, on the contrary he confirmed 
it, for he saw too plainly that the finger of Gtod 
was in the matter. Esau then uttered great 
cries, as the holy Scripture remarks, and loudly 
accusing the deceitfulness of his brother, he asked 
his father if he had but one benediction; being 
in this point, as the holy Fathers remark, the 
image of those who are too glad to ally God 
with the world, and are fain to enjoy the con- 
solations of heaven and the consolations of earth 
both together. At last Isaac, touched with the 
cries of Esau, blessed him, but with a blessii^ 
of the eartli, subjecting him to his brother. This* 
made him conceive such an envenomed hatred 
to Jacob, that he waited only for }ns fatherV 
death, in order to kill him. Neither would: 
Jacob have escaped death, if his dear mother 
Bebecca had not saved him from it by her in** 



THE BLESSED VIBGIK. 129 

dostries, and by the good counsels which she 
gave him, and which he followed. 

Before explaining this beautiAil history, we 
must observe that, according to the holy Fathers 
and the interpreters of Scripture, Jacob is the 
figure of Jesus Christ and the predestinate, and 
Esau that of the reprobate. We have but got 
to examine the actions and conduct of the one 
and the other to form our judgment about this. 

1. Esau, the elder, was strong and robust 
of body, adroit and skilfiil in drawing the bow, 
and in taking much game in the chase. 2. He 
hardly ever stayed in the house; and putting no 
confidence in any thing but his own strength 
and address, he only worked out of doors. 3. 
He took very little pains to please his mother 
Bebecca, and indeed did nothing for that end. 
4. He was such a glutton, and loved eating so 
much, that he sold his birthright for a mess of 
pottage. 5. He was, like Cain, fiill of envy 
agunst his brother Jacob, and persecuted him 
beyond measure. 

Now this is the daily conduct of the repro- 
bate. 1. They trust in their own strength and 
afytitude for temporal afiairs. They are very 
strong, very able, and very enlightened in 
earthly business ; but very weak and very igno- 
taut in heavenly things, — In terrenia fortes^ in 
ecelestibus debiles. 2. It is on this account that 
tiiey are hardly at all, or at least very little, at 



130 TRUE T>EVt)WOS TO 

their own bomes^ — thsA is to say, m tt^ir owM 
interior, which is ihe inward and essential bousi 
which God has given to every man, to live theife 
9£b&r His example ; for Gt>d always rests in Him** 
edf. The reprobate do not love retirement, nor 
spiritnality, nor inward devotion ; and they tredl 
as little, or as bigots, or as savages, those who 
are interior or retired from the world, and wbir 
work more within than without 3. TherqpOTH 
bate care next to no&ing tat devotion to otu^ 
Blessed Lady, the Mother of the predestinate 
It is true that ibey do not bate her formal!;^ 
Indeed, they sometimes praise her, and say tiiey 
love her, and even practise some devotion in hei^ 
honour. Nevertheless they cannot bear that w« 
should love her tenderly, because they have boI 
ihe tendernesses of Jacob fear her. They &rf 
much to say again^ the practices of devotion, ^ 
which her good children and servants &ithfi]lfy 
employ themselves in order to gain her affectiiH^' 
because they do not think that devotion neooB* 
sary to salvation ; and they consid^, that pre^' 
vided they do not hate our Lady formally, ch^ 
openly despise her devotion, it is enough. Mosl^ 
over, ^y imagine that they are already in her 
good graces, and that, in fine, they are her ser*' 
vants, inasmuch as they recite and mmnble eer^ 
tain prayers in her honour, withcmt tendemMjj 
for her, or amendment in themselves. 4. Tlie 
reprobate jsell their birthisght ; that is to 8ay^ 



TKS llJifligl YIBQitf. 181 



iim {ddasares of paradise. They sell it for a 
pottage of lentils ; that is to say, for the pleasures 
of the earth. They laugh, they drink, they eat, 
tJmy amuse themselves, they gamble, they dancei 
nod take no more pains than Esau did to render 
^imiselves worthy of the benediction of their 
Qeavenly Father. In a word, they think only 
of earth, and they love earth only ; and they 
qpeak and act only for earth and for its pleasures, 
a^Uing for one moment of enjoyment, for one 
^mB puff of honour, and for a morsd of hard 
o»6tal, yellow or white, their baptismal gracOi 
Hkeir robe of innocence, and their heavenly in- 
Wstitanoe. 5. Finally, the reprobate daily hate 
aad persecute the predestinate openly and se- 
foatly. They feel the predestinate as a burden 
^ &em, they despise them, they criticise them, 
tibey counterwork them, they abuse them, thc^ 
i^idk them, they cheat them, they impoverish themi 
i&ey drive them away, they bring them low into 
ili^doBt ; while they themselves are making for- 
tooes, are taking their pleasures, getting them* 
sf^ves into good positions, enriching themselves, 
ajfgprandishig themselves, and living at their ease. 
'*' As to Jacob, the younger; 1. He was of 
ai&eUe ocmstitution, meek and peaceful. He 
Hmd for the most part at home, in order to 
ffm ihe good graces of his mother Bebeccai 
wiiom he loved tenderly. If he went abroad| 
i^ was not of bis own will, nor through any 



132 TRUE DEYOnOH TO 

confidence in his own industry, but to obey bis 
mother. 

2. He loved and honoured his mother. It 
was on this accoimt that he kept at home. He 
avoided every thing which could displease her, 
and did every thing which he thought would 
please her; and this increased the love whioh 
Bebecca already had for him. 

3. He was subject in all things to his dear 
mother. He obeyed her entirely in all matters, 
— ^promptly, without delaying, and lovingly, 
without complaining. At the least token of 
her will, the little Jacob ran and worked ; and 
he believed every thing she said to him. For 
example: when she told him to fetch two kids, 
and that he should fetch them in order that she 
should prepare something for his father Isaac 
to eat, Jacob did not reply that one was enough 
to make a dish for a single man, but without 
reasoning he did what she told him to do. 

4. He had a great confidence in his dear mo^ 
ther. As he did not lean in the least on his o^^ 
ability, he leant exclusively on the care and pro«- 
tection of his mother. He appealed to her in aH 
his necessities, and consulted her in all his doubti. 
For example : when he asked if instead of a blesfti- 
ing, he should not receive a curse from his fathec, 
he believed her and trusted her, when she said 
that she would take the curse upon herself. 

5 Lastly, he imitated as far as he could the 



THE BLMSBSD YEBGOK. 133 

virtues he saw in his moiher. It seems as if 
one of his reasons for leading suoh a sedentary 
life at home was to imitate his dear mother, 
who was virtuous, and kept herself removed 
from bad companies, which corrupt the morals. 
By this means he made himself worthy to re- 
o^ve the double benediction of his beloved father. 

Such also is the conduct which the predes- 
tinate daily observe. 

1. They are sedentary^ and home • keepers, 
with their Mother. In other words, they love 
retirement, and are interior. They give them- 
selves to prayer; but it is after the example 
and in the company of their Mother the holy 
Virgin, the whole of whose glory is within, and 
who, during her whole life, so much loved retire^ 
ment and prayer. It is true that they sometimes 
sippeax without, in the world ; but it is in obedi- 
ence to the will of God, and that of their dear 
Mother, to fulfil the duties of their state. How- 
ever apparently important their outward works 
ipay be, they esteem still more highly those 
which they do within themselves, in their in- 
ierioTj in the company of the Blessed Virgin. 
For it is within that tibey accomplish the great 
woark of their perfection, compared with which 
all their other works are but infant sports. It 
jft on this account that, while sometimes their 
brothers and sisters are working outwardly with 
much energy, success, and skill, in the praise 

L 



134 TBUE DEVOTION TO 

and with the approbation of the world, thqr, 
on the contrary, know by the light of the Holy 
Ghost that there is far more glory, more good, 
and more pleasure, in remaining hidden in re* 
treat with Jesus Christ their Model, in an 
entire and perfect subjection to their Mother^ 
than to do of themselves wonders of nature and 
grace in the world, as so many Esaus and re- 
probates do. Gloria et diviiioB in domo eptSy-^ 
" Glory for G^ and riches for men are to be 
found in the house of Mary." 

Lord Jesus, how sweet are Thy tabernacles I 
The sparrow has found a house to lodge in, and 
the turtle-dove a nest for her little ones. Oh, 
happy is the man who dwells in the house of 
Mary, where Thou wert the first to make Thy 
dwelling ! It is in this house of the predestinate 
that he receives succour jGrom Thee alone, and 
that he has disposed the steps and ascents of aU 
the virtues, to raise himself in his heart to per- 
fection in this vale of tears. Quam dilecta taber^ 
nacula tua ! 

2. The predestinate tenderly love and truly 
honour our Blessed Lady as their good Mother 
and Mistress. They love her not only by month, 
but in trutL They honour her not only out* 
wardly , but in the bottom of their hearts. They 
avoid, like Jacob, every thing which can dis«r 
please her ; and they practise with fervour what- 
ever they think will make them find favour with 



THE BLEBSED VIRGIK. 135 

betr. They bring to her, and give her, not two 
Mds, as Jacob did to Bebeoca, but their body 
and their soul, with all that depends on them, 
figured by the two kids of Jacob. They bring 
them to her, (1) that she may receive them as 
thmgs which belong to her ; (2) that she may 
kill them, and make them die to sin and self, in 
stripping them of their own skin, and their own 
self-love, and by this means to please Jesus her 
Son, who wills not to have any for His disciples 
and firiends but those who are dead to them- 
selves ; (3) that she may prepare them for the 
taste of our Heavenly Father, and for His great- 
est glory, which she knows better than any other 
creature ; and (4) that by her cares and inter- 
cessions this body and soul, thoroughly purified 
from every stain, thoroughly dead, thoroughly 
stripped, and well prepared, may be a delicate 
meat, worthy of the moutii and the blessing 
of our Heavenly Father. Is not this what the 
predestinate do, who relish and practise the per- 
fect consecration to Jesus Christ by the hands 
of Mary, which we are now teaching them, by 
v^y of testifying to Jesus and Mary an efiective 
stfui courageous love? 

The reprobate tell us loudly enough that 
they love Jesus, and that they love and honour 
Mary; but it is not with their substance, it is 
not up to the point of sacrificing to them their 
body witii its senses, their soul with its passions, 



136 TBUE DBYOnOK TO 

as the predestinate do. These last are subject and 
obedient to our Blessed Lady^ as to their good 
Mother; after the example of Jesus Christ, who^ 
of the three-and-thirty years He lived on earib> 
employed thirty to glorify God His Father, by a 
perfect and entire subjection to His holy Mother; 

3. The predestinate obey Mary in following 
exactiy her counsels, as the littie Jacob did those 
of Bebecca, who said to him, Acquiesce cansUiis 
meisj — " My son, follow my coimsels ;" or like 
the people at the marriage of Cana, to whom our 
Lady said, Quodcumque dixerit vobisj facHiej-^r 
" Whatever my Son shall say to you, that do," 
Jacob, for having obeyed his mother, received 
the blessing, as it were, miraculously, although 
naturally he would not have had it. The people 
at the marriage of Cana, for having followed our 
Lady's counsel, were honoured with our Lord's 
first miracle, who there changed the water inie 
wine at the prayer of His holy Mother. La like 
manner, all those who, to the end of time, shaU 
receive the benediction of our Heavenly Father, 
and shall be honoured by the wonders of Go^ 
shall only receive their graces in consequence 4rf 
their perfect obedience to Mary- The Esaus, xa 
the contrary^ lose their blessing through their 
want of subjection to the Blessed Virgin. 

4. The predestina,te have also a great confix 
denoe in.the .goodness and power of our Blessed 
Lady, their good Moither^ They call incessanfly 



THE BLI!SSEI) VIRGDT. 137 

fia* her help. They look upon her as their polar 
tetar, to lead them to a good port. They lay 
bare to her their pains and their necessities with 
much openness of heart They attach themselves 
to her mercy and her sweetness, in order to get 
tiie pardon of their sins by her intercession, or 
to taste her maternal sweetnesses in their pains 
9md wearinesses. 

They even throw themselves, hide themselves, 
and lose themselves in an admirable manner in 
b^ loving and virginal bosom, that they may be 
9ei on fire there of pure love, that they may be 
cleansed there fix)m their least stain, and fully to 
£nd Jesus, who dwells there, as on His most 
glorious throne. what happiness I "Think 
not," says the Abbot Gueric, "that it is happier 
to dwell in Abraham's bosom than in Mary's i 
for it is in this last that our Lord has placed His 
Ihrone," — Ife credideris majoris esse felidtatis 
habitare in sinu Abrahce quam in sinu MaricBj ciim 
w» eo Dominits posuerit ihronum suum. 

The reprobate, on the contrary, putting all 
.&eir trust in themselves, only eat with the pro- 
idigal what the swine eat. They eat earth hke 
tile toads, and, like the children of the world, 
'^ey love only visible and external things. They 
have no relish for the sweetnesses of Mary's 
bosom. They have not that feeling of a cer- 
jtoin resting-place, and a sure confidence, which 
tiie predestinate feel in the holy Virgin, their 



138 TBUB DEYOnOK TO 

good Mother. They are miserably attached to 
their outward hunger, as St Gregory says, and 
make not so much as a pretence of having acgr 
taste for the sweetness which is prepared withki 
themselves, and within Jesus and Mary. 

5. Lastly, the predestinate keep the ways of 
our Blessed Lady, their good Mother; that is to 
say, they imitate her. It is in this point that 
they are truly happy and truly devout, and carry 
more especially tibe mark of their predestination* 
This good Mother says to them, Beati qui cusUh- 
diuntviasmeas; that is to say, " Blessed are they 
who practise my virtues, and with the help of 
divine grace walk in the footsteps of my life. 
During life they are happy in this world, through 
the abundance of graces and sweetnesses which 
I impart to them from my fulness, and more 
abundantly than to others, who do not imitate 
me so closely. They are happy in their death, 
which is mUd and tranquil, and at which I am 
ordinarily present myself, that I myself may 
conduct them to the joys of eternity ; and, lastly, 
they shall be happy in eternity ; for never luis 
any one of my good servants been lost, who imi- 
tated my virtues during Hfe." 

The reprobate, on the contrary, are unhappy 
during their life, at their death, andforetemUgr, 
because they do not imitate our Lady in her vir- 
tues, but content themselves with sometimes be- 
ing enrolled in her confraternities, reciting some 



THE BLESSED VIBOnr. 139 

prayers in her honour, or going through some 
other exterior devotion. holy Virgin, my 
good Mother, how happy are those (I repeat it 
with the transports of my heart), — ^how happy 
are those who, not letting themselyes be seduced 
by a false devotion towards you, faithfully keep 
your ways, your counsels, and your orders I 
But how unhappy ajid accursed are those who 
nboae your devotion, and keep not the command- 
ments of your Son, — Maledicti crmiea qui decli" 
nant a mandatis tuis I 

Let us now turn to look at the charitable 
duties which our Blessed Lady, as the best of all 
Mothers, ftdfils for the &ithfiil servants who have 
given themselves to her after the manner I have 
described, and according to the figure of Jacob. 

L She loves them : Ego diligentea me diligoj — 
** I love those who love me." She loves them 
(1) because she is their true Mother; and a mo- 
tiier loves her child, the fruit of her entrails ; (2) 
she loves them out of gratitude, because they 
. effectively love her as their good Mother ; (3) she 
loves them because, being predestinate, God loves 
-ihem, — Jacob diieaiy JEsau aiUem odio hdbui; 
(4) she loves them because they are all conse- 
erated to her, and are her possession and her 
. inheritance, — In Israel hcereditare. 

She loves them tenderly, and more tenderly 
than all other mothers put together. Throw, if 
yon can, all the natural love which all the mothers 



140 TEUB DBVonoir to 

of the world have for their children, into the ooff 
heart of one mother for one only child. Sordy 
that mother will love that child immensely,^ 
Nevertheless it is true that Mary loves her chil** 
dren yet more tenderly than that mother would 
love that child of hers. 

She does not love them only with affection, 
but with efficacy. Her love for them is aetivQ 
and effective, equal to that of Bebecca for Jacob, 
and fer beyond it. 

See what this good Mother, of whom Be- 
becca was but the type, does to obtain for her 
children the blessing of our Heavenly Father. 

1. She is on the look-out, as Bebecca was, 
for favourable occasions to do them good, to 
aggrandise and enrich them. She sees clearly 
in Gtod all goods and evils, all prosperous and 
adverse fortunes, the blessings 'and the cursings 
of God ; and then she so disposes things from 
afar, that she may exempt her servants from aD 
sorts of evils, and heap upon them all sorts of 
goods ; so that if there is a good fortune to make 
in God by the fidelity of a creature to any high 
employment, it is certain that Mary will pro-t 
cure that good fortune for some of her true chil- 
dren and servants, and will give them the grace 
to go through it with fideliiy. It is a Saint who 
says. Ipsa procurat negotia Tbostrtu 

2. She also gives her clients good counsels, as 
Bebecca did to Jacob, FUi mij acquiesce consiliig^ 



THE BLESSED YIBQIN. 141 

BW^ — *^ My son, follow my counsels." Among 
odier comisels, she inspires them to bring her 
the two kids ; that is to say, their body and soul, 
in order to consecrate them, to make a pottage 
agreeable to Qod, and to do every thing which 
Jesus Christ her Son has taught by His words 
and His examples. K it is not by herself that she 
gives these counsels, it is by the ministry of the 
Angels, who have no greater honour or pleasure 
than to descend to earth to obey any of her com- 
mandments, and to succour any of her servants. 
3. When they have brought to her and con- 
secrated to her their body and soul, and all that 
depends on them, without excepting any thing, 
what does that good Mother do? Just what 
Rebecca did of old with the two kids Jacob 
brought her. (1) She kills them, and makes 
them die to the old Adam. (2) She flays, and 
strips them of their natural skin, their natural 
inclinations, self-love, their own will, and all 
attachment to creatures. (3) She cleanses them 
of their spots, their vilenesses, and their sins* 
(4) She dresses them to the taste of God, and 
to His greatest glory; and as it is Mary alone 
who knows perfectly what that divine taste is, 
and what that greatest glory of the Most High, 
it is Mary alone who, without making any mis- 
take, can accommodate and dress our body and 
soul for that taste infinitely exalted, and for that 
glory, infinitely hidden. 



142 TBUB DEVOTION TO 

4. This good Mother, having received the 
perfect oflFering which we make to her of oms 
selves, our own merits and satisfactions, by the 
devotion I am describing, strips us of our old 
garments ; she makes us her own, and so makes 
us worthy to appear before our heavenly Faih^. 

(1) She clothes us in the clean, new, pre- 
cious, and perfomed garments of Esau the elder, 
—that is, of Jesus Christ her Son, — ^whom she 
keeps in her house, — ^that is to say, whom she has 
in her own power. She is the treasurer and eter- 
nal dispenser of the merits and virtues of her Son, 
which she gives and communicates to whom she 
wills, when she wills, as she wills, and in such 
quantiiy as she wills ; as we have seen before. 

(2) She covers the neck and hands of her 
servants with the skins of the kids she Mlled; 
that is to say, she adorns them with the merits 
and value of her own proper actions. She kills 
and mortifies, it is true, all that is impure and 
imperfect in them, but she neither loses nor dis- 
sipates one atom of the good which grace has 
done there. On the contrary, she preserves and 
augments it, to make it the ornament and the 
strength of their neck and their hands; thai 
is to say, to fortify them, and to help them to 
carry the yoke of tiie Lord, which is worn upon 
the neck, and to work great things for the glory 
of Qt)d, and the salvation of their poor brethren. 

(3) She bestows a new perfume and a new 



THE BI1E88BD YIBOIK. 143 

grace upon their garmentB and adommentB^ in 
eommunioating to them her own garments, 
nerits, and virtues, which she bequeathed to 
them by her testament, when she died ; as said 
a holy religious of the last century, who died in 
the odour of sanetiiy, and learnt this by revela- 
tion. Thus all her domestics, faith&l servants 
and slaves, are doubly clad in the garments of 
her Son and in her own, — Omnea domestici 
vestiti sunt dvplicibua. It is on this account 
that they have nothing to fear from the cold of 
Jesus Christ, who is white as snow, — a cold 
which the reprobate, all naked, and stripped of 
the merits of Jesus and Mary, cannot for one 
moment bear. 

(4) Finally, she enables them to obtain the 
blessing of our Heavenly Father, though, being 
but the youngest bom and indeed only adopted 
children, they have no natural right to have it. 
With these garments all new, most precious, 
and of most fragrant odour, and with their body 
and soul well prepared and dressed, they draw 
near with confidence to the Father's bed of re- 
pose. He understands and distinguishes their 
voice, which is the voice of the sinner; He 
touches their hands, covered with skins; He 
smells the good odour of their clothes ; He eats 
with joy of that which Mary their Mother has 
dressed for Him, recognising in them the merits 
and the good odour of His Son and of His holy 



144 TBXJB DEVOTION TO 

Mother. 1. First, then, He gives them His 
double benediction, the benediction of the dew 
of Heaven, De rore coelestij — ^that is to say, of 
divine grace, which is the seed of glory ; Bene^ 
diant nos in omni benedictione spiritali in Chrikto 
Jesu ; and then the benediction of the fat of the 
earth, De pinguedine terrcBj — ^that is to say, tlie 
good Father gives them their daily bread, and 
a sufficient abundance of the goods of this world; 
2. Secondly, He makes them masters of their 
other brethren, the reprobate. But this primacy 
is not always apparent in the world, which passes 
in an instant, and where the reprobate are often 
masters, — Peccatores effcibuntur et gloriolbuntur ; 
vidi impium supereaaltatum et elevatum. But it 
is nevertheless a true primacy; and it will 
appear manifestly in the other world for all 
eternity, where the just, as the Holy Ghost says, 
shall reign over the nations, and command them, 
— Dondnabuntur populis. 3, Thirdly, His Ma- 
jesiy, not content with blessing them in their 
persons and their goods, blesses also those who 
«hall bless them, and curses those who shall 
curse and persecute them. 

n. The second duly which our Blessed Lady 
ftdfils towards her faithful servants is, that shd 
furnishes them with every thing, both for their 
body and their soul. She gives them double 
clothing, as we have just seen. She gives than 
to eat the most exquisite meats of the table of 



THI BLISBBD VIBQIlf. 145 

€kld; for she gives them to eat the bread of 
Itfe, which she herself has formed, A genera^ 
tionibm meis impleminij — My dear children, she 
says, under the name of divine Wisdom, be filled 
with my generations ; that is to say, with Jesos, 
the fruit of life, whom I have brought into the 
world for you. Venitey comedite panem meum et 
hibite xmum quod miscui vdbis; comedite^ et bSritey 
et inebriaminiy carissimiy — Come, she repeats to 
&em in another place, eat my bread, which is 
Jesus, and drink the wine of His love, which I 
have mixed for jon. As it is Maiy who is the 
treasurer and dispenser of the gifts and graces 
of the Most High, she gives a good portion, and 
indeed the best portion, to nourish and maintain 
her children and her servants. They are fattened 
cm the Living Bread. They are inebriated on 
the wine which brings forth virgins. They are 
borne at the bosom of Mary, — Ad vbera porta^ 
KmvnL They have such fecility in carrying the 
yoke of Jesus Christ, that they feel nothing of 
its weight, because of the oil of devotion which 
has made it soften and decay, — Jugum eorum 
puirescere fadet a fade oleL 

IIL The third good which oui' JJady does to 
her servants is, that she conducts and directs 
Ihem according to the will of her Son. Bebecca 
guided her little Jacob, and gave him good ad- 
vice firom time to time; either to draw upon 
himself the blessing of his father, or to avert 



146 TBUB DSVOnOK TO 

from himself the hatred and persecation of his 
brother. Esau. Mary^ who is the Star of the Sea, 
leads all her faithftd servants to a good port 
She shows them the paths of eternal life, ^e 
makes them avoid the dangerous places. She 
conducts them by her hand along the paths of 
justice. She steadies them when they are about 
to fall ; she lifts them up when they have fallen. 
She reproves them like a charitable mother when 
they fail; and sometimes she even lovingly 
chastises them. Can a child obedient to Mary, 
his foster-mother and his enlightened guide, go 
astray in the paths of etemiiy ? Ipsam aequens 
rum demos J — " If you follow her," says Si Ber- 
nard, "you cannot wander from the road." Fear 
not, therefore, that a true child of Mary can be 
deceived by the evil one, or fell into any formal 
heresy. Tliere where the guidance of Mary is, 
neither the evil spirit with his illusions, nor the 
heretics with their subtleties, can ever come, — 
Ipsd tenentej non corruis. 

IV. The fourth good office which our Lady 
renders to her children and feithftd servants is, 
to protect ajid defend them. Rebecca, by her 
cares and artifices, delivered Jacob from all 
the dangers in which he found himself, and par- 
ticularly from the death which his brother Esaa 
would have inflicted on him, because of the 
envy and hatred which he bore him; as Cain 
did of old to his brother Abel. Mary, the good 



THE BiiESSBD VIBGIN. 147 

Mother of the predestinate, hides them under 
the wings of her protection, as a hen hides her 
chickens. She speaks, she hmnbles herself, she 
condescends to all their weaknesses, to secure 
iixem from the hawk and the vulture* She puts 
herself round about them, and she accompanies 
th^n, like an army in battle array, tU castrorum 
aoks ordinatcu Shall a man, who has an army 
(^ a hundred thousand soldiers around him, fear 
his enemies ? A faithful servant of Mary, sur-* 
rounded by her protection and her imperial 
power, has still less to fear. This good Mother 
and powerful princess of the heavens would 
rather despatch battalions of millions of angels 
to succour one of her servants than that it should 
ever be said that a faithful servant of Mary, who 
trusted in her, had had to succumb to the malice, 
the number, and the vehemence of his enemies. 

Y. Lastly, the fifth and the greatest good 
which the sweet Mary procures for her faithftJ 
clients is, to intercede for them with her Son, 
and to appease Him by her prayers. She unites 
them to Him with a most intimate union, and 
she keeps them unshaken in that union. 

Bebecca made Jacob come near to his father's 
bed. The good man touched him, embraced 
him, and even kissed him with joy, being con- 
tent and satisfied with the well-dressed viands 
which he had brought him ; and having smelt 
with much contentment the exquisite perfimie of 



148 TRUE lonroTxair to 

his garments, he cried out, Ecce odor jilii mei 
iicut odor agn pleni^ cui benediwit Dominus,-^ 
^'Behold the odour of my son, which is like the 
odour of a ftdl field that the Lord hath blest.'* 
This odour of the fidl field which charms the 
heart of the Father is nothing else than the 
odour of the virtues and merits of Mary, who is 
a field ftdl of grace, where God the Father has 
sown His only Son, as a grain of the wheat of 
the elect Oh, how a child, perfimied with the 
good odour of Mary, is welcome with Jesus 
Christ, who is the Father of the world to come ! 
Oh, how promptly and how perfectly is such a 
child united to his Lord I But we have shown 
this at length already. 

Furthermore, after Mary has heaped her fisi- 
vours upon her children and faithftd servants, 
and has obtained for them the benediction of her 
Heavenly Father, and union with Jesus Christ, 
she preserves them in Jesus, and Jesus in them: 
She takes care of them, watches over them 
always, for fear they should lose the grace cf 
God, and fall back into the snares of their ene^ 
mies. In plenitudine detinet^ — she detains the 
fiaints in their ftilness, and makes them perse- 
vere to the end, as we have seen. 

This is the interpretation of [the history of 
Jacob and Esau] that great and ancient figure 
of predestination and reprobation, so unknown, 
and so ftill of mysteries. 



TKB BLBBSSD TIBGm. 149 

nL THE WONDERFUL EFFECTS WHICH THIS DE- 
VOTION PRODUCES IN THE SOUL WHICH IS 
FAITHFUL TO IT. 

My dear brother, be sure that, if you are 
&ithful to the interior and exterior practices of 
lius devotion, which I will point out, the follow-' 
iBg effects will take place in your soul : 

1. By the light which the Holy Ghost will 
give you by His dear Spouse, Mary, you will 
understand your own evil, your corruption, and 
your ineapaeity for any thing good, which is 
fiot (}od's free gift to us, rither as Author 
«f nature or of grace. In consequence of this 
knowledge, you will despise yourself. You 
will only iiiink of yourself with horror. You 
will regard yoursdf as a snail, that spoila 
every thing with its slime; or a toad, that 
peisons every thing with its venom ; or as a 
apiteAil serpent, only seeking to deceive. In 
dOaer words^ the humUe Mary will communi- 
cate to you a portion of her profound humiliiy , 
wiiieh will make you despise yourself, despise 
aobody else, but love to be despised yourself. 

2. Our Blessed Lady will give you also a 
portion of her &ith, which was the greatest of 
til fiuths that ever were on earth, greater than 
Use &ith of all the Patriarchs, Proph^, Apos- 
tles, and Saints put together. Now that she is 
Deigning in the heavens, she has no longer this 

M 



THE BLESSED YIBGIN. 151 

dead in sin, to teach and overthrow, by your 
meek and powerftd words, the hearts of marble 
and the cedars of Lebanon, and finally, to resist 
the devil and all the enemies of salvation. 

3. This Mother of fair love will take away 
ttom. your heart all scruple and all disorder of 
servile fear. She will open and enlarge it to 
run the way of her Son's commandments with 
the holy liberty of the children of God. She 
will introduce into it pure love, of which she 
has the treasure ; so that you shall no longer be 
guided by fear, as hitherto, in your dealings 
with the Gtod of charity, but by pure love. You 
will look on Him as your good Father, whom 
you will be incessantly trying to please, and 
with whom you will converse confidently, as a 
^Id with its tender father. If unfortunately 
you offend Him, you will at once humble your- 
self before Him. You will ask His pardon with 
great lowliness, but at the same time you will 
stretch your hand out to Him with simplicity ; 
and you will raise yourself up lovingly, without 
trouble or disquietude, and go on your way to 
ffim without discouragement. 

4. Our Blessed Lady will fill you with a 
great confidence. in God and in herself: (1) 
tecause you will not be approaching to Jesus 
Bjr yourself, but always by that good Mother ; 
(2) because, as you have given her all your 
merits, graces, and satisfactions, to dispose of at 



159 TBUB DKVOnOK TO 

her will, she will commtuiicate to you her virtues, 
and will clothe you in her merits, so that jem 
will be able to say to GU)d with eonfidenee, ^ Be* 
hold Mary Thy handmaid ; be it done unto me 
according to Thy word,'* — Ecee ancUla Dcmmiy 
jwt mihi secundum verbum tuum; (3) because^ 
as you have given yourself entirely to her, body 
and soul, she, who is liberal with the liberal^ 
and more liberal even than the Uberal, will ia 
return give herself to you in a marvellous but 
real manner, so that you may say to her witib 
assurance, Tuus sum ego^ salvummefacf^^^ I aaa 
thine, holy Virgin ; save me:" or, as I have said 
before, .with the Beloved Disciple, Accepi te in 
mea, — '' I have taken thee, holy Mother, ibr all 
my goods." You may also say with St. Bonar 
venture, Ecce^ Dominay sahatrix meoy^ueiaiU 
ter ogam el non timeioy quia fortiiudo mea^ et lems 
mea in Domino es tu; and in anotherplace, 7\^|w 
totus ego sum^ et omnia mea tua sunt; ffitgo 
gloriosay super omnia benediatay ponam te tfit siff^ 
naculum super cor meumiy quia fortis est ut mma 
dilectio tua. " My dear Mistress, who savea m^ 
I will have confidence and will not fear, beeaiMe 
you are my strength and my praise in Hbe Loi^ 
... I am altogether yours, and all that I hiife 
belongs to you; glorious Virgin, blessod 
above all created things! I will put you aa a 
seal upon my heart, because your love ia «b 
strong as death." 



THB BLC88BI) VlfiatK. 153 

You may say to God, in the sentiments of 
tiiB proj^et^ Dcmme^ non est eaaltatum cor meunij 
mqus elati atmt ocuU mei; neque ambulcm in 
magnUj neque in mirabiMms super me^ si non 
hundliter senHebam; sed eaxiltavi animam meant : 
mcmt ablacia6us est super matre tua^ ita retrHmtio 
iat eawma mea^^-^^^ Lord, my heart and my eyes 
iMfcve no right to extol themselves, or to be 
jnxmd, or to seek great and wonderftd things. 
Yet even in this I am not humbler but I have 
fitted up and enoouraged my soul by confidence : 
J am like a child, weaned from the pleasures of 
earth, and resting on its mother's lap ; and it is 
^n that lap that all good things come to me'' 
(flee Psalm oxxx.). (4) What will still farther 
iwsroase your confidence in her is, that you will 
bave less confidence in yourself. You have 
^T6n her, in trust, all you have of good about 
jou, that she may have it and keep it; and so all 
: ib^ trust you once had in yourself has become 
an increase of confidence in her, who is your 
traasure. Oh, what confidence and what conso- 
. linlifm is this for a soul, who can say that tiie 
ctoeasure of Gbd, where He has been pleased to 
.^fiit all He had most precious, is his own trea- 
^ fore also I Ipsa est thesaurus Domini It was a 
^ Saint who said she was the treasure of the Lord* 
5. The soul of our Blessed Lady wiU com- 
municate itself to you, to glorify the Lord. 
Her 9fwi will enter into the place of yours, to 



154 TBUE DEYOTIOK TO 

rejoice in Qod her salvation, provided only ^baA 
jou are faithM to the practices of this devoticHu 
Sit in singulis anima Maricey vt magni/icet D<ynA* 
nam : sit in singulis spiritus Marice^ ut eandtet tA 
Deo (Si Ambrose), — " Let the soul of Mary be 
in each of us to glorify the Lord : let the spirit 
of Mary be in each of us to rejoice in God." 
Ah! when will the happy time come, said a 
holy man of our own days, who was all ab^ 
sorbed in Mary,- — ah! when will the happy 
time come, when the divine Mary will be estab- 
lished mistress and queen of hearts, in order 
that she may subject them ftdly to the empire 
of her great and holy Jesus ? When will souls 
breathe Mary, as the body breathes air ? When 
that time comes, wonderful things will happen 
in those lowly places, where the Holy Ghost, 
finding His dear Spouse as it were reproduced 
in souls, shall come in with abundance, and fill 
them fiill to overflowing with His gifls, and 
particularly with the gift of wisdom, to wcark 
the miracles of grace. My dear brother, when 
will that happy time, that age of Mary, come, 
when souls, losing themselves in the abyss of 
her interior, shall become living copies of Maiy, 
to love and glorify Jesus ? That time wiU not 
come until men shall know and practise tins 
devotion which I am teaching. Ut adveniat 
Tegnvjm tuum^ adveniat regnum MaricB, 

6. K Mary, who is the tree of life, is wall 



THE BLBBSED VIBOIN. 155 

iSDitiyated in our soul by fidelity to the praotioes 
of this devotion, she will bear her fi:tiit in her 
own time, and her fi:tiit is none other than Jesus 
CSnrist. How many devout souls do I see who 
seek Jesus Christ, some by one way or by one 
practice, and others by otiier ways and other 
praddces; and after they have toiled much 
throughout the night, liiey say. Per totam 
noetem laborantes nihil cepimua^ — " We have 
toiled all night, and have taken nothing" I We 
may say to them, Laborastia multum^ et intulis^ 
tis paruniy — " You have laboured much, and 
gained little :" Jesus Christ is yet feeble in you. 
But by that immaculate way of Mary, and that 
divine practice which I am teaching, we toil 
during the day; we toil in a holy place; we 
toil but little. There is no night in Mary, be- 
cause there is no sin, nor even the slightest 
shade. Mary is a holy place, and the holy of 
holies where Saints are formed and moulded. 
Take notice, if you please, that I say the Saints 
are moulded in Mary. There is a great differ- 
ence between making a figure in relief by blows 
of hammer and chisel, and making a figure by 
iinrowing it into a mould. Statuaries and sculp- 
tors labour much to make figures in the first 
manner ; but to make them in the second man- 
ner, they work little, and do their work quickly. 
St. Augustin calls our Blessed Lady forma 
Deiy — " the mould of Gk)d :" Si formam Dei te 



156 TBUB DSYOnON TO 

€^ppeUemj digna eaistis, — ^^ The mould fit to eaat 
«nd mould gods." He who is cast in iUtt 
mould is presently formed and moulded in Jesus 
Christy and Jesus Christ in him. At a aUghl 
expense and in a short time he will become Q^^ 
hecause he has been cast in the sama mould 
which has formed a Qod. 

It seems to me that I can very aptly ocun^ 
pare directors and devout persons^ who wish to 
form Jesus Christ in themselves or others by 
different practices &om this, to sculptors wfa» 
trust in their own professional skill, ingenuity^ 
or art, and so give an infinity of hammerings 
and chisellings to a hard stone or a piece of badly 
polished wood, to make an image of Jesus Christ 
out of it. Sometimes they do not succeed in 
giving any thing like the natural expression of 
Jesus, either fi*om having no knowledge or exA 
perience of the Person of Jesus, or fi-om scnne 
blow awkwardly given, which has spoiled tlie 
work. But for those who embrace the aeciot 
of grace which I am revealing to th^n, I rxus^ 
reasonably compare them to founders and eastp* 
ers, who have discovered tJie beautiftd mould d 
Mary, where Jesus was naturally and diviirafy. 
formed; and without trusting to their own skiH^ 
but only in the goodness of the mould, they eaafe 
themselves and lose themselves in Maiy, to b^ 
come the portraits of Jesus Christ after nature. 

Oh, beautiful and true comparison I but who 



THX BLEflfiED YHUHK. 157 

w31 c(»npreh^id it ? I deeire that you may, my 
dear brother. But remember that we only cast 
m a mould what is melted and liquid ; iiiat ia 
to say, you must destroy and melt down in 
yourself the old Adam to become the new one 
in Mary. 

7. By this practiee, faithftdly observed, you 
will give Jesus more glory in a month than by 
any other practice, however difficult, in many 
years ; and I give the following reasons for it. 

(1) Because, doingyour actions by our Blessed 
Lady, as this practice teaches you, you abandon 
your own intentions and operations, although 
good and known, to lose yourself, so to speak, 
in the intentions of the Blessed Virgin, altliough 
fliey are unknown. Thus you enter by partici- 
pation into the sublimity of her intentions, which 
az6 so pure, that she gives more glory to God by 
the least of her actions— for example, in twirling 
her distaff or pointing her needle-— than St. Law- 
Teao& by his cruel martyrdom on his gridiron^ 
or ev^i all the Saints by all their heroic actions 
put together. It was thus that, during her so- 
jDum here below, she acquired such an unspeak- 
aide aggregate of graces and merits, that it were 
^asi^ to count the stars of the firmament, the 
diops of water in the sea, or the grains of sand 
Bpon its shore, than her merits and graces. Thus 
it was that she gave more glory to Qod than all 
the Angels and Saints have given Him, or ev^ 



158 THUE DEVOnON TO 

will give Him. prodigy of a Mary! thou catist 
not help but do prodigies of grace in souls that 
wish to lose themselves altogether in thee I 

(2) Because the soul in this practice counts 
as nothing whatever it thinks or does of itself; 
and only puts its trust, and takes its pleasure, 
in the dispositions of Mary, when it approaches 
Jesus, or even speaks to Him. Thus it practises 
humiliiy far more than the souls who act of 
themselves, and lean, with however impercep- 
tible a complacency, on their own dispositions. 
But if the soul acts more humbly, it therefore 
glorifies God more highly ; and He is only per- 
fectly glorified by the himible, and those that are 
little and lowly in heart 

(3) Because our Blessed Lady, wishing by 
her great chariiy to receive the present of our 
actions in her virginal hands, gives them an 
admirable beauiy and splendour. Moreover, 
she offers them herself to Jesus Christ, and with- 
out difficuliy ; and our Lord is thus more glori- 
fied by them than if we offered them by our 
own criminal hands. 

(4) Lastly, because you never think of Mary 
without Mary, in your place, thinking of Otod, 
You never praise or honour Mary without Mary 
praising and honouring God. Mary is altch* 
gether relative to Gt)d; and, indeed, I mighi 
well call her the relation to GoA. She only 
exists vdtfa reference to God She is the echo 



THE BLESSED YISGIN. 159 

o£ Ckxi, who says nothing, repeats nothing, but 
Glod. If you say * Mary,' she says * GkxL' St. 
Elizabeth praised Mary, and called her blessed, 
because she had believed. Mary, the faithful 
echo of Grod, at once intoned Magnificat anima 
mea JDominum, — " My soul doth magnify the 
Lead." That which Mary did then, she does 
daily now. When we praise her, love her, honour 
her, or give any thing to her, it is Grod who is 
praised, Gfod who is loved, Gtxi who is glorified. 
We give then to Qt)d by Mary and in Mary. 

IV. PABTICULAB PRACTICES OF THIS 
DEVOTION. 

1. External Practices. 
Although what is essential in this devotion 
consists in the interior, we must not fail to unite 
to the inward practice certain external observ- 
ances. Hcec oportet facerey et Ula nan omittere. 
We must do the one, yet not leave the other 
undone, both because the outward practices 
well performed aid the inward ones, and be- 
cause they make a man remember, by remind- 
ing has senses, what he has done or ought to do j 
and also because they are suitable to edify our 
neighbour, who sees them, which inward prac- 
tices cannot do. Let no worldling then or critic 
sneer at this. Let them not say that because 
true devotion is in the heart, we must avoid 



160 i»T7B imwcinoiK TO 

exteraal deyotion ; or that devotion ought to he 
bidden, and that tibere may be vanity in showing 
it. Z answer with my Master, that men shouM 
see our good works, that they may glorify our 
^Father, who is in Heav^i ; not, as St. Gtregory 
says, that wo ought to perform our actions and 
axterior devotions to please men and to get 
ja^aise, — ihat would be vanity, — but that w© 
should som^mes do them before men, wxdi 
the view of pleasing Qodj and glorifying Him 
thereby, without caring either for the contempt 
or the praise of men. 

I will only allude briefly to some exterior 
practices, which I do not call ' exterior' because 
we do them without any interior, but because 
they have something outward about them, to 
distinguish them &om those which are purely 
inward. 

First Practice. Those who wish to enter into 
this particular devoti<m, which is not at presort 
erected into a confraternity, though that wei^ 
to be wished, — ^after having, as I said in ifad 
first part of this pareparation for the reign of 
Jesus Christ, employed twelve days, at least, m 
emptying themselves of the spirit of the wcndd^ 
which is contrary to the spirit of Jesus Ghro^ 
• — should employ three weeks in filling thent- 
selves with Jesus Christ by the holy Yir^i. 
They should pursue the following order : 

During the first week they should employ 



THE WiTOIWlP YIBOiQl. 161 

dd ^ir porayers and pious actions in adking 
lior ft knowledge of tbemselyes^ and for eontri- 
tion of their sins ; and they should do this in a 
qpirit of humiliiy. For that end they can, if 
they choose, meditate on what Ihaye said hefare 
of our inward oorruption. They can look upon 
themselves during the six days of this week wa 
snails, crawling things, toads, swine, serpents, 
and unelean animals; or they can reflect on 
ihoise three oon^derations of Si Bernard, the 
Yileness of our origin, the dishonours of our pre- 
sent state, and our ending as the food of worms. 
They should pray our Lord and the Holy Ghost 
to enlighten them ; and for that end they might 
use the ejaculations, Domme^ ut xideam^ or N(h 
verim me^ or Veni Sande Spiritua; and iiiey may 
say daily the Ave Tncms steUa, and the liteny ci 
the Holy Ghost. 

During the second week they should apply 

themselves, during all their prayers and works 

jQ9^ day, to know the Blessed Virgin. They 

Aould ask this knowledge of the Holy Ghost; 

tii^ should read and meditate what we have 

iBaid about it. They should recite, as in the first 

-iweek, the litany of the Holy Ghost and the Ave 

maris Stella^ and in addition a Bosary daily, or, 

\£ not a whole Bosary, at least a chaplet, fixr 

ihe intention of impetrating more knowledge of 

Mary. 

They should apply themselves in the third 



162 TBUB DEVOTION TO 

^eek to know Jesus Christ. They can meditate 
upon what we have said about Him, and say the 
prayer of Si Augustine, which they will find in 
the first part of this treatise. They can, with 
the same Saint, repeat a hundred times a day, 
Naoerim te^ — "Lord, that I might know Thee 1" 
or Dominey ut videamj — "Lord, that I might 
see who Thou art!" They shall recite, as in the ' 
preceding weeks, the litany of the Holy Ghost 
and the Ave maris steUa^ and they shall add 
<iaily the litany of the Holy Name of Jesus. At 
the end of the three weeks they shall confess 
and communicate, with the intention of giving 
themselves to Jesus Christ, in the quality of 
•slaves of love, by the hands of Mary. After 
communion, whidhi they should try to make ac- 
cording to the method given farther on, they 
should recite the formula of their consecration, 
which they will find afterwards. They ought to 
write it, or have it written, unless it is printed; 
and they should sign it the same day they have 
made it It would be well also that on that 
day they should pay some tribute to Jesus Christ 
and our Blessed Lady, either as a penance fer 
their past imfaithftilness to the vows of their- 
Baptism, or in testimony of their dependence 
and allegiance to tiie domain of Jesus and*' 
Mary. This tribute ought to be according to 
the devotion and capacity of eveiy one, as a 
fast, a mortification, an alms, or a candle. IP 



THE BLESSED YntGIV. 163 

they iiad but a pin to give in homage, yet gave 
it with a good heart, it would be enough for 
Jesus, who looks only at the good-will. Once a 
year at least, on the same day, they should renew 
the same consecration, observing the same prac- 
tices during the three weeks. They might also 
once a month, or even once a day, renew what 
they have done by these few words : Turn totus 
ego mm J et omnia mea tua sunt^ — ^^ I am all for 
Thee, and all I have belongs to Thee, my 
sweet Jesus, by Mary Thy holy Mother." 

Second Practice. They may recite every day 
of their life, without however making any bur- 
den of it, the Little Corona of the Blessed Virgin, 
composed of three Our Fathers and twelve 
Hail Marys, in honour of our Lady's twelve 
privileges and grandeurs. This is a very ancient 
practice, for it has its foundation in the holy 
Scriptures. St. John saw a woman crowned 
with twelve stars, clothed with the sun, and 
htdding the moon under her feet; and this 
woman, according to the interpreters, was the 
most holy Virgin. There are many ways of 
saying this Corona well ; but it would be too 
Icmg to enter upon them. The Holy Ghost will 
teach them to those who are the most faithM 
to this devotion. Nevertheless, to say it quite 
dimply we should begin by saying, Dignare me 
Icmdare te^ Virgo sacrataj da mihi virtutem contra 
ho8te8 tuo8. After that we should say the Credo, 



164 TRux Dsvonov to 

and then a Pater with four Aves^ and th^i one 
Gloria Patri ; then another Pater^ four Aves, and 
one Gloria Patri, and so on with the rest; and 
at the end we should say the Sub tuum preemlium. 
Third Practice. It is a most gloriooi and 
praiseworthy thing, and very useful to those who 
have thus made themselves slaves of Jesi» and 
Mary, that they should wear, as a badge of their 
loving slavery, little iron chains, blessed with 
the proper benediction.* 

* Note from the French. It may be thought that, 
since the time of the venerable servant of God, cer- 
tain decrees of the Congregation of the Index have ab- 
soltttely condemned this usage ; but whatever may be 
the precise extent of the prohibition intended by these 
decrees, there seems to be nothing in them formally 
interdicting the using of little chains io private persons. 
We may see at the end of Collet's 'Life of Boudonthe 
remarks of that theologian, justifying the pious Ardi* 
deacon of Evreux from the criticisms of which he 
was the object, by the occasion of his treatise Le 
saint Esclavage de la Sainte Vierge. He cites the de- 
crees which he read in the edition of the Index of 
1758, and which have been repeated in the subset 
quent editions. The words of the Index are as fol> 
lows : " Prohibentur imagines, numismata insculpta 
pro confratemitatibus mancipiorum Matris Dei, ita- 
lice schiavi della Madre di Dio, sodales catenates 
exprimentia. Item libelli in quibus eisdem conftar> 
temitatibus regulse prsescribentur. Confratemitatei 
autem quse catenulas distribuunt confratribus et con- 
sororibus, brachiis et collo circumponendas atque geft- 
tandas, ut eo signo beatissimse Virgini mancipatos se 
esse profiteantur, et quainim institutum in eo manol* 



TBE BLBS8BD YimiN. 165 

; It is perfectly trae that these external badges 
lire not essential, and a person who has embraced 
this devotion may very well go without them; 
nevertheless, I cannot refrain from warmly 
praising those who, after having shaken off the 
shamefrd chains of the slavery of the devil, in 
which original sin, and perhaps actual sins, 
had engaged them, have voluntarily surrendered 
themselves to the glorious slavery of Jesus Christ, 
and glory with St. Paul in being in chains for 
Jesus ; chains a thousand times more glorious 
and precious, though of iron, than all ihe golden 
collars of emperors. 

Once thwe was nothing more infamous on 
earth than the Cross, and now that wood is the 
most glorious boast of Christianity. Let us say 
the same of the irons of slavery. There was 
nothing more ignominious among the ancients ; 
notiiing more shameM even now among the 
heathen. But among Christians there is nothing 
more illustrious iJian the chains of Jesus ; for 
they unchain us, and preserve us from the in* 
famous fetters of sin and ihe deviL They set us 
at liberty, and chain us to Jesus and Mary ; not 
by compulsion and constraint, like galley-slaves, 

pflta prsBcipue yersatur, damnantur et €xsiinguuntur. 
Societatibus vero quas ritum aliquem aut quodcumque 
aliud ad mancipatum ejusmodi pertinens adhibent, 
prsBoipitur ut id statim rejiciant" (Index, Decreta ge- 
neralia, § 8, n. 3). 

N 



166 TRUE DEVOTIOH TO 

but by charity and love, like children. Traham 
€08 in vinculis cJiaritatisy — " I will draw them to 
Me," said Grod by the mouth of the prophet, "by 
the chains of love." These chains are as strong 
as death, and they are in a certain sense strongest 
in those who are faithM in carrying these glo- 
rious badges to their death. For, though death 
destroys their bodies in bringing them to cor- 
ruption, it does not destroy the chains of their 
slavery, which, being of iron, do not corrupt so 
easily. Perhaps, at the day of the resurrection 
of the body, the grand last judgment, these 
chains shall still be round their bones, and shall 
make a part of their glory, and be transmuted 
into chains of light and splendour. Happy, then, 
a thousand times happy, the illustrious slaves 
of Jesus, who wear their chains even to the 
tomb! 

The following are the reasons for wearing 
these little chains : 

First, it is to remind the Christian of the 
vows and engagements of his Baptism, of the 
perfect renewal he has made of them by this de- 
votion, and of the strict obligation under which 
he is to be faithM to them. As the man who 
shapes his course more often by the senses than 
by pure faith easily forgets his obligations to- 
wards God, unless he has some outward thing to 
remind him of them, these little chains serve 
marvellously to remind the Christian of the 



THE BLESSED TIRGIN. 167 

Cumins of sin, and of the slavery of the devil, 
from which Baptism has delivered him, and of 
the dependence on Jesus which he has vowed 
to Him in Baptism, and of the ratification of it 
which he has made by the renewal of his vows. 
One of the reasons why so few Christians think 
of their baptismal vows, and live with as much 
license as if they had promised no more to Grod 
than the heathen, is because they do not wear 
any external badge to make them remember 
it. 

Secondly, it is to show that we are not 
ashamed of the servitude and slavery of Jesus 
Christ, and that we renounce the slavery of the 
world, sin, and the devil. 

Thirdly, it is to guarantee ourselves from the 
chains of sin and the devil, and to be beforehand 
with them ; for we must wear either the chains 
of iniquiiy, or the chains of charity and salva- 
tion : Vincula peccatorum aut vincula cliarUatis* 
O my dear brother, let us break the chains of 
sin and of sinners, of the world and of worldli- 
ness, of the devil and his ministers ; and let us 
cast far from us their depressing yoke : Dirum- 
parrvas vincula eorumj et projiciamui a nobis ju^ 
gum ipsorum. Let us put our feet, to use the 
terms of the Holy Ghost, into His glorious irons, 
and our neck into His collars: Injice pedem 
tuum in compedes illiusy et in torques illius collum 
timm; suijice humerum tuum et porta illam^ et ne 



168 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

acedieris vinculis ejus. You will remark that 
the Holy Ghost, before saying these words, pre- 
pares a soul for them, lest it should reject His 
important counsel. See His words: Attdi^JUiy 
et accipe consilium intellectuSy et ne ahjidas consUia 
mea^ — " Hearken, My son, and receive a counsel 
of understanding, and reject not My counseL" 

You would wish, my very dear friend, that 
I should here unite myself to the Holy Ghost to 
give you the same counsel with Him. Vinatda 
Ulius alligatura salutisj — His chains are chains of 
salvation. As Jesus Christ on the cross ought 
to draw all things to Him, with their will or 
against it. He will draw the reprobate by the 
chains of their sins, that He may chain them like 
galley-slaves and devils to His eternal anger and 
revengefiil justice. But He will, and partioa* 
larly in these latter times, draw the predestinate 
by the chains of charity. Omnia trdham ad me* 
ipsum^ Traham eos in vinculis charitatis. These 
loving slaves of Jesus Christ, " the chained of 
Christ,"— FiTzo^i Christij — can wear their chains 
either on their neck or on their feet. Father 
Vincent Caraffa, seventh general of the Jesuits, 
who died in the odour of sanctity, in the year 
1643, used to wear a circle of iron round his 
feet as a mark of his servitude ; and said that his 
only pain was that he could not publicly drag 
a chain. 

The Mother Agnes of Jesus, of whom we 



THB BLESSED VIBQIN. 169 

have spoken before, used to wear an iron chain 
round her body. Others have worn it round 
their neck, in penance for the collars of pearls 
which they have worn in the world ; while other j 
have worn it round their arms, to remind them- 
selves, in their manual labours, that they were 
slaves of Jesus Christ. 

Fourth Practice. Those who undertake this 
holy slavery should have a very special devotion to 
the great mystery of the Incarnation of the Word 
on the 25th of March. Indeed, the Incarnation 
is the proper mystery of this practice, inasmuch 
as it was a devotion inspired by the Holy Ghost, 
first, to honour and imitate the ineffable de- 
pendence which Grod the Son has been pleased 
to have on Mary, for His Father's glory and 
our salvation; which dependence particularly ap- 
pears in this mystery, where Jesus is a captive 
and a slave in the bosom of the divine Mary, 
and depends upon her for all things ; secondly, 
to thank God for the incomparable graces He 
has given Mary, and particularly for having 
chosen her to be His most holy Mother, which 
choice was made in this mystery. These are the 
two principal ends of the slavery of Jesus in 
Mary. 

Have the goodness to observe that I gene- 
rally say ' the slave of Jesus in Mary,' ^ the sla- 
very of Mary in Jesus.' I might, in good truth, 
as many have done before, say ^the slave of 



170 TECTB DEVOnOV TO 

Mary/ ^ flie slavery of the holy Virgin ; huk I 
think it is better to say ' the slave of Jesos in 
Mary/ as Mr. Tronson, superior general of the 
seminary in St. Snlpice, renowned for his rare 
prudence and eonsommate piety, eonnselled to 
an ecclesiastic who consulted him on the subject. 
The following were the reasons : 

1. As we are living in an age of intellectual 
pride, and there are all round us numbers of 
puffed-up scholars and conceited and critical spi* 
rits, who have plenty to say against the best esta- 
blished and most solid practices of piety, it is bet- 
ter for us not to give them any needless occasion 
of criticism. Hence it is better for us to say ' the 
slavery of Jesus in Mary,' and to call ourselves 
the slaves of Jesus Christ rather than the slaves of 
Mary, taking the denomination of our devotion 
rather from its last end, which is Jesus Christ, 
than from the road and the means to the end, 
which Mary is ; though I repeat that in truth 
we may do either, as I have done myself. For 
example : a man who goes from Orleans to Tours 
by way of Amboise may very well say that he is 
going to Amboise, or that he is going to Tours ; 
that he is a traveller to Amboise, and a trav^er 
to Tours ; with this difference however, that Ai&- 
boise is but his straight road to Tours, and that 
Tours only is the last end and term of }m 
voyage. 

2. A second reason is because the principal 



THS BUSSED VIBGIK. 171 

myBtery we celebrate in honour of this devotion 
i» the mystery of the Incarnation, where we can 
<mly see Jesus in Mary, and incarnate in her 
bosom. Hence it is more to the purpose to 
speak of the slavery of Jesus in Mary, and of 
Jesus residing and reigning in Mary, according 
to that beautiftd prayer of so many great men, 
" O Jesus, living in Mary, come and live in us, 
in Thy spirit of sanctity," Ac 

3. Another reason is because this maimer of 
speaking sets forth still more the intimate union 
which there is between Jesus and Mary. They 
are so intimately united, that the one is altogether 
in the other. Jesus is altogether in Mary, and 
Mary is altogether in Jesus ; or rather, she exists 
no more, but Jesus is all alone in her, and it were 
easier to separate the light from the sun than 
Mary from Jesus. So that we might call om* 
Lord Jesus of Mary ^ and our Blessed Lady Jl/oty 
of Jesus, 

The time would not permit me to stop now 
to explain the excellences and grandeurs of the 
mysteries of Jesus Uving and reigning in Mary, 
in other words, of the Incarnation of the Word, 
I will content myself with saying these three 
words : We have here the first mystery of Jesus 
Oirist, — the most hidden, the most exalted, 
and the least known. It is in this mystery that 
Jesus, in His Mother's womb, which is for that 
very reason called by the Saints the cabinet of 



172 TRUE DEVOTIOK TO 

the secrets of Gtxl, has, in concert with Mary, 
chosen all the elect It is in this mystery that 
He has wrought all the other mysteries of His 
life by the acceptance which He made of thenu 
Jesus ingrediens mundum didtj Ecce venioj vtfa" 
dam voluntatem tuam. Consequently this mys- 
tery is an abridgment of all mysteries, and 
contains the will and grace of all. Finally, 
this mystery is the throne of the mercy, of the 
liberality, and of the glory of God. It is the 
throne of His mercy for us, because, as we can- 
not approach Jesus but by Mary, we can only 
see Jesus and speak to Him by her intercession. 
Jesus, who always hears His dear Mother, al- 
ways grants His grace and mercy to poor sinners. 
Adeamus ergo cumfiducid ad thronum gratioe. It 
is the throne of His liberality for Mary, because, 
while the new Adam dwelt in that true ter- 
restrial Paradise, He worked so many miracles 
in secret, that neither Angels nor men can com- 
prehend them. It is on this account that the 
Saints call Mary the magnificence of God, — 
Magni/icentia Deiy — as if God were only mag- 
nificent in Mary : solummodb ibi magnificus Do^ 
minus. It is the throne of His glory for His 
Father, because it is in Mary that Jesus Christ 
has calmed His Father, irritated against men, 
and that He has made restitution of the glory 
which sin ravished from Him, and that, by the 
sacrifice He made of His own will and of Him« 



THE BLESSED VIBGIN. 173 

self, He has given Him more glory than ever 
the sacrifices of the Ancient Law could do, and 
He gives Him now an infinite glorj^, which He 
never could have received from man. 

Fifth Practice, Those who adopt this sla- 
very ought also to have a great devotion to 
saying the Hail Mary (the Angelical Salutation). 
Few Christians, however enlightened, know the 
real price, merit, excellence, and necessity of 
the Hail Mary. It was necessary for the Blessed 
Virgin to appear several times to great and en- 
lightened Saints, to show them the merit of it. 
She did so to St. Dominic, St. John Capistran, 
and the Blessed Alan de la Roche. They have 
composed entire works on the wonders and effi- 
cacy of that prayer for converting souls. They 
have loudly published and openly preached that, 
salvation having begun with the Hail Mary, the 
salvation of each one of us in particular is attached 
to that prayer. They tell us that it is that prayer 
which made the dry and barren earth bring 
forth the fruit of life; and that it is that prayer 
well said which makes the Word of God germi- 
nate in our souls, and bring forth Jesus Christ, 
the Fruit of Ufe. They tell us that the Hail Mary 
is a heavenly dew for watering the earth, which 
is the soul, to make it bring forth its fruit in 
season ; and that a soul which is not watered by 
that prayer bears no fruit, and brings forth only 
thorns and brambles, and is ready to be cursed. 



174 TRUE PKVOnON TO 

Listen to what our Lady revealed to the 
Blessed Alan de la Soche, as he has recorded 
it in his book on the dignity of the Rosary : 
" Know, my son, and make all others know, 
that it is a probable and proximate sign of eter- 
nal damnation to have an aversion, a Inkewarm- 
ness, or a negligence, in saying the Angelical 
Salutation, which has repaired the whole world.*' 
Sdas enim et aecwrh inteUigaa et inde lath omnibus 
notum facias^ quod videlicet signum probabile est et 
propinquum cBtemoe damnaiionis horrere et acediarij 
ac negligere Salutationem AnffeHcam^ totius mtmdi 
i'eparationem. These are words at once terrible 
and consoling, and which we should find it hard 
to believe, if we had not that holy man for a 
guarantee, and St. Dominic before him, and 
many great men since. But we have also the 
experience of several ages ; for it has always 
been remarked that those who wear the outward 
look of reprobation, like impious heretics and 
proud worldlings, hate or despise the Hail Mary 
or the Bosary. 

Heretics still learn and say the Our Father^ 
but not the Hail Mary, nor the Bosary. That 
is their horror. They would rather wear a ser- 
p^it than a rosary. 

The proud also, although Catholics, have 
the same inclinations as their father, Lucifer; 
and so have only contempt or indifference for 
the Hail Mary^ and look at the Bosary as at a 



THB BLESSED YIBOIK. 175 

derotion which is only good for the ignorant 
and for those who cannot read. On the contrary- 
it is an equally universal experience, that those 
who have otherwise great marks of predestina- 
tion about them love and relish the Hail Mary, 
and delight in saying it. We always see the 
more a man is for God, the more he likes that 
prayer. This is what our Lady said also to the 
Blessed Alan, after the words which I have re- 
cently quoted. I do not know how it is, nor 
why, but nevertheless I well know that it is 
true ; nor have I any better secret of knowing 
whether a person is for God than to examine 
if he likes to say the Hail Mary and the Rosary. 
I say, if he likes; for it may happen that a person 
may be under some natural inability to say it, or 
even a supernatural one; yet nevertheless he likes 
it always, and always inspires the same liking 
into others. predestinate souls ! slaves of Jesus 
in Mary ! learn that the Hail Mary is the most 
beautiful of all prayers after the Our Father. 
It is the most perfect compliment which you 
can make to Mary, because it is the compliment 
which the Most High sent her by an archangel, 
in order to gain her heart ; and it was so power- 
fid over her heart by the secret charms of which 
it is so ftdl, that in spite of her profound humility, 
ahe gave her consent to the Incarnation of the 
Word. It is by this compliment also that you will 
infeUibly gain her heart, if you say it as you ought* 



176 nxTB DBYOTunr to 

Tbe Hail Mary well said, that is, with atten- 
tian, devotion, and modesty, is, aoooiding to the 
Saints, the enemy of the devil, which puts him 
to flight, and the hammer which crashes him. 
It is the sanctification of the sonl, the joy of 
Angels, the melody of the predestinate, the can- 
ticle of die New Testament, the pleasure of Mary, 
and the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. The 
Hail Mary is a heavenly dew which fertilises 
the souL It is the chaste and loving kiss which 
we give to Mary. It is a vermilion rose which 
we present to her; a precious pearl we offer 
her ; a chalice of divine ambrosial nectar which 
we hold to her. All these are comparisons of 
the Saints. 

I pray you urgently, by the love I bear you 
in Jesus and Mary, not to content yourselves 
with saying the Little Corona of the Blessed 
Virgin, but a whole Chaplet ; or even, if you 
have time, the whole Rosary every day. At 
the moment of your death, you will bless the 
day and hour in which you have followed my 
advice. Having thus sown in the benedictions 
of Jesus and Mary, you will reap eternal bene- 
dictions in heaven : qui seminat in benedictiombuSj 
de benedictixmSms et metet. 

Sixth Practice. To thank God for the graces 
He has given to our Lady, those who adopt 
this devotion will often say the Magnificat, as 
the Blessed Mary d'Oignies did, and many other 



THE BLESSED TIBOIN. 177 

Saints. It 18 the only prayer, the only work, 
which the holy Virgin composed, or rather 
which Jesus composed in her ; for He spoke by 
her mouth. It is the greatest sacrifice of praise 
which God ever received from a pure creature in 
the law of grace. It is, on the one hand, the most 
humble andgrateftd, and on the other hand, the 
most sublime and exalted, of all canticles. There 
are in that song mysteries so great and hidden, 
that the Angels do not know ^em. The pious 
and erudite Gerson employed a great part of 
his life in composing works upon most difficult 
subjects ; and yet it was only at the close of his 
career, and even then with trembling, that he 
undertook to comment on the Magnificat, so as 
to crown all his other works. He wrote a folio 
volume on it, and brings forward many admir- 
able things about that beautiftd and divine can- 
ticle. Among other things, he says that our 
Lady often repeated it herself, and especially for 
tiianksgiving after Communion. The learned 
Benzonius, in explaining the same Magnificat, 
rdates many miracles wrought by the virtue of 
it, and says that the devils tremble and fiy when 
fliey hear these words: FecU potentiam inbrac/do 
8UO^ dispersit mperbos mente cordis mi 

Seventh Fractioe. Those faithftd servants of 
Mary, who adopt this devotion, ought always 
greatly to despise, to hate, and to eschew ihe 
corrupted world, and to make use of those prac* 



178 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

tices of the contempt of the world which we 
have given in the first part of this treatise. 

2. Particular and Interior Prax^icesfor those who 
wish to he perfect. 

Besides the external practices of the devotion 
which we have been describing so far, and which 
we must not omit through negligence or con- 
tempt, so far as the state and condition of each 
one will allow him to observe them, there are 
some very sanctifying interior practices for those 
whom the Holy Ghost calls to high perfection. 

These may be expressed in four words : to do 
all our actions hy Mary, icith Mary, in Mary, 
and /or Mary ; so that we may do them all the 
more perfectly hy Jesus, with Jesus, in Jesus, 
and /or Jesus. 

I. We must do our actions hy Mary ; that is 
to say, we must obey her in all things, and in 
aU things conduct ourselves by her spirit, which 
is the Holy Spirit of God. Those who are led 
by the Spirit of God are the children of God, — 
Qui spiritu Dei aguntur^ ii suntfilii DeL Those 
who are led by the spirit of Mary are the children 
of Mary, and consequently the children of God, 
as we have shown ; and among so many clients of 
the Blessed Virgin, none are true or faithM but 
those who are led by her spirit. I have said that 
the spirit of Mary was the Spirit of God, because 
she was never led by her own spirit, but always 



THS BLESSED YXBGIK. 179 

by the Holy Ghost, who has rendered Himself so 
completely master of her, that He has become her 
own proper spirit. It is on this accoimt that St. 
Ambrose says : SU in singulis Marice anima^ vt 
magnijicet Dominum; sit in singulis spiritus Ma^ 
ricBy ut exsuUet in Deo^ — " Let the soul of Mary 
be in each of us to magnify the Lord, and the 
spirit of Mary be in each of us to rejoice in Qt)d." 
A soul is happy indeed, when, like the good Je- 
suit lay broiher, Alphonso Rodriguez, who died 
in the odour of sanctify, it is all possessed and 
over-ruled by the spirit of Mary, a spirit meek 
and strong, zealous and prudent, hinnble and 
courageous, pure and profoimd. Li order that 
the soul may let itself be led by Mary's spirit, 
it must first of aU renoimce its own spirit, and 
its own proper lights and wills, before it does 
any thing. For example : it should do so before 
its prayer, before its saying or hearing Mass^ 
and before communicating; because the darkness 
of our own spirit, and the malice of our own 
will and operation, if we follow them, however 
good they may appear to us, will put an obstacle 
to the spirit of Mary. Secondly, wo must de- 
liver ourselves to the spirit of Mary to be moved 
and influenced by it in the manner she chooses. 
We must put ourselves and leave ourselves in 
her virginal hands, like a tool in the grasp of a 
workman, like a lute in the hands of a skilful 
player. We must lose ourselves, and abandon 



180 TEUB DBVOTICW TO 

ourselves to her, like a stone one throws into the 
sea. This must be done simply and in an in- 
stant, by one glance of the mind, by one little 
movement of the will, or even verbally, in saying, 
for example, I renounce myself; I give myself 
to thee, my dear Mother, We may not, per- 
haps, feel any sensible sweetness in this act of 
union, but it is not on that account the less real* 
It is just as if we were to say with equal sin- 
ceriiy, though without any sensible change in 
ourselves, what, may it please Grod, we never 
shall say, I give myself to the devil; we should 
not the less truly belong to the devil because we 
did not feel we belonged to him. Thirdly, we 
must, from time to time, both during and after 
the action, renew the same act and offering of 
imion. The more we shall do so, the more we 
shall be sanctified ; and we shall all the sooner 
attain to union with Jesus Christ, which always 
follows necessarily on our union with Mary, 
because the spirit of Mary is the spirit of Jesus, 
n. We must do our actions vrith Mary; 
that is to say, we must in all our actions regard 
Mary as an accompUdied model of every vurtae 
aiKl perfection which the Holy Ghost has formed 
in a pure creature, for us to imitate according 
to our litde measure. We nrast therafi»:e in 
every action consider how Mary has done it, or 
how she would have done it, had she been in our 
place* For that end we must examine and 



THB BLB9SED YIBOIN. 181 

meditate the great virtues which she practised 
during her life, and particularly, first of all, her 
lively faith, by which she believed without hesi- 
tation the Angel's word, and beheved it faith- 
ftdly and constantly up to the foot of the Cross; 
2dly, her profound humiliiy, which made her 
hide herself, hold her peace, submit to every 
thing, and put herself the last of all ; and 3dly, 
hetr altogether divine puriiy, which never has 
had, and never can have, its equal under heaven; 
and so on with all her other virtues. Let us 
remember, I repeat it for the second time, that 
Mary is the great and exclusive mould of God, 
proper to make living images of God, at small 
cost and in a little time ; and that a soul which 
has found that mould, and has lost itself in it, 
is presently changed into Jesus Christ, whom 
that mould represents to the life. 

m. We must do our actions in Mary. Tho- 
roughly to understand this practice, we must 
know, first, that our Blessed Lady is the true 
terreBirial paradise of the new Adam, and that 
i^ ancient Paradise was but a figure of her. 
Tbere are, then, in this earthly paradise, riches, 
badfuties, rarities, and inexplicable sweetnesses, 
whidi Jesus Christ, the new Adam, had left 
there $ it was in this paradise that He took His 
complacence for nine months, worked His won- 
ders, and displayed His riches with the magni- 
ficence of a Gbd This most holy place is com- 

O 



182 TBUB DEVOTION TO 

posed only of a virgin and immaculate earth, 
of which the new Adam was formed, and on 
which He was nourished, without any spot or 
stain, by the operation of the Holy Ghost, who 
dwelt there. It is in this earthly paradise that 
there is the true tree of life, which has borne 
Jesus Christ, the Fruit of Kfe, and the tree of 
the knowledge of good and evil, which has given 
light unto the world. There are in this divine 
place trees planted by the hand of God, and 
watered by His Divine unction, which have 
borne and daily bear finiits of a taste divine. 
There are flower-beds, enamelled with beautiftd 
and various blossoms ; virtues, shedding odours 
which embalm the very Angels. There are 
meadows green with hope, impregnable towers 
of strength, and the most enticing houses 
of confidence. . It is but the Holy Ghost who 
can make us know the hidden truth of these 
figures of material things. There are in this plaoe 
an air of perfect purity ; a fair sun, without 
the shadow of the Divinity; a fair day, without 
the night of the Sacred Humanity ; a continual 
burning fiimace of love, where all the iron that 
is cast into it is changed, by excessive heat, 
to gold. There is a river of humility, which 
springs from the earth, and which, dividing it- 
self into four branches, waters all that enchanted 
place ; and these are the four cardinal virtues. 
The Holy Ghost, by the mouth of the Fathers, 



tHE BLESSED VIBGIN. 183 

also styles the Blessed Virgin the Eastern Grate, 
by which the High-Priest, Jesus Christ, enters 
the world and leaves it. By it He came the first 
time, and by it He will come the second. 

In the next place, to comprehend thoroughly 
the practice of doing our actions in Mary, we must 
know that the most holy Virgin is the Sanctuary 
of the Divinity, the repose of the Most Holy 
Trinity, the throne of God, the city of God, the 
altar of God, the temple of God, the world of 
God. All these different epithets and panegyrics 
are most substantially true, with reference to 
the different marvels which the Most High has 
wrought in Mary. Oh, what riches 1 what 
glory I what pleasure I what happiness! to be 
able to enter in and dwell in Mary, where the 
Most High has set up the throne of His supreme 
glory I But how difficult it is for sinners like 
ourselves to have the permission, the capacity, 
and the light, to enter into a place so high and 
so holy, which is guarded not by one of the 
Cherubim, like the old earthly Paradise, but by 
the Holy Ghost Himself, who is its absolute 
master 1 He Himself has said of it, Hortus con- 
clu8ic8y soror mea sponsay hortua corwlususy fom 
aifffiatm; Mary is shut, Mary is sealed. The 
miserable children of Adam and Eve, driven 
from the earthly Paradise, cannot enter into this 
one, except by a particular grace of the Holy 
Ghost, which they ought to merit. 



184 TRUE BEVOnON TO 

After we have obtained this illustrious grace 
by our fidelity, we must remain in the fair in- 
terior of Mary with complacency, repose there 
in peace, lean our weight there in confidence, 
hide ourselves there with assurance, and lose 
ourselves there without reserve. Thus, in that 
virginal bosom, 1, the soul shall be nourished 
wiih the milk of grace and maternal mercy ; 
2, it shall be delivered from its troubles, fears, 
and scruples ; and, 3, it shall be in safety 
against all its enemies, — ^the world, the devil, 
and sin, — ^who never have an entrance there. 
It is on this account that Mary says that 
they who work in her shall not sin : ^t ope- 
rantur in mey non peccabunt; that is to say, 
those who dwell in Mary's spirit shall fall into 
no considerable &uli Lastly, 4, the soul shall 
be formed in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ 
in it, because her bosom is, as the holy Fathers 
say, the chamber of the divine Sacraments, 
where Jesus Christ and all the elect have been 
formed. 

IV. Finally, we must do all our actions /w 
Mary. As we have given ourselves up entirely 
to her service, it is but just to do every thing 
for her, as a servant and a slave. It*is not that 
we. can take her fer ihe last end of our ser- 
vices, for that is Jesus Christ alone; but we 
may take her for our proximate end, our mys- 
terious means, and our easy way to go to Him. 



THE BLESSED YIRGIK. 18^ 

like a good servant and slave, we must not 
remain idle, but, supported by her protection, 
we must undertake and achieve great things for 
this august sovereign. We must defend her pri- 
vileges when they are disputed ; we must stand 
up for her glory when it is attacked ; we must 
entice all the world, if we can, to her service 
and to this true and solid devotion; we must 
speak and cry out against those who abuse her 
devotion to outrage her Son, and we must at 
the same time establish this Veritable Devotion ; 
we must pretend to no recompense for our lit- 
tle services, except the honour of belonging to 
so sweet a Queen, and the happiness of being 
united by her to Jesus her Son by an indissoluble 
tie in time and in eternity. 

Glory to Jesus in Maiy ! 
Glory to Mary in Jesus I 
Glory to God Alone ! 

MANNER OF PRACTISING THIS DEVOTION TO OUR 
LADY, WHEN WE GO TO HOLY COMMUNION. 

1. Before Communimu 

1. You must humble yourself most pro- 
foundly before God. 2. You must renoimce 
your corrupt interior, and your dispositions, 
however good your own self-love may make 
them look. 3. You must renew your conse- 
cration by saying, Tmia toius ego mm^ et omnia 



186 TEUB DEVOTION TO 

mea tua mnty — I am all thine, my dear Mis- 
tress, with all I have. 4. You must implore that 
good Mother to lend you her heart, that you 
may receive her Son there with the same dispo- 
sitions as her own. You will represent to her 
that it touches her Son's glory, to be put into 
a heart so sullied and so inconstant as yours, 
which would not fail either to lessen His Glory 
or to destroy it. But if she will come and dwell 
with you, in order to receive her Son, she can 
do so by the dominion which she has over all 
hearts; and her Son will be well received by 
her, without stains, and without danger of being 
outraged or destroyed. Deits in medio ejiiSy nan 
commovMtur. You will tell her confidently, that 
all you have given her of your good is a little 
matter to honour her ; but that by the Holy Com- 
munion you wish to make her the same present 
as the Eternal Father gave her, and that you 
will honour her more by that than if you gave 
her all the goods in the world ; and, finally, that 
Jesus, who loves her alone, still desires to take 
His pleasure and His repose in her, even in your 
soul, though it be filthier far and poorer than 
the stable where He made no difficulty to come, 
simply because she was there. You will ask her 
for her heart by these tender words : Acdpio te 
in mea omnia^ prcebe mihi cor tuum^ Maria ! 



THE BLESSED YIB6IN. 187 



2. At Communion. 

On the point of receiving Jesus Christ, after 
the Our Father, you say three times, Domine 
non sum dignus. Say the first one to the Eternal 
Father, telling Him you are not worthy, be- 
cause of your evil thoughts and ingratitudes 
towards so good a Father, to receive His only 
Son ; but that He is to behold Mary, His hand- 
maid, — Ecce ancilta Domini^ — who acts for us, 
and who gives us a singular confidence and 
hope with His Majesty : Quoniam singulariter in 
spe constituisti m£. 

You shall say to the Son, Domine non sum 
dignus ; telling Him that you are not worthy to 
receive Him, because of your idle and evil 
words, and your infidelity to His service; but 
that nevertheless you pray Him to have pity 
upon you, that you may introduce Him into the 
house of His Own Mother, and yours, and that 
you will not let Him go, without His coming to 
lodge with her. Tenui eum^ nee dimittam donee 
introducam ilium in domum matris mecBy et in 
cMculum genitrids mece (Cani iii. 4). You 
will pray Him to rise, and come to the place of 
His repose, and into the ark of His Sanctifica- 
tion : Surge^ Domine^ in requiem tuam^ tu et area 
sanctificationis tuce. Tell Him you put no con- 
fidence at all in your own merits, your own 



1 88 TBUB DEVOTION TO 

strength, and your own preparations, as Esau 
did ; but that you trust only in Mary, your dear 
Mother, as the little Jacob did in the cares of 
Bebecca. Tell Him that, sinner and Esau as 
you are, you dare to approach His Sanctity, 
supported and adorned, as you are, with the 
virtues of His holy Mother. 

You shall say to the Holy Ghost, Domine 
lum sum dignm; telling Him that you are not 
worthy to receive this masterpiece of His charity, 
because of the lukewarmness and iniquity of 
your actions, and because of your resistances to 
His inspirations ; but that all your confidence 
is in Mary, His faithfiil Spouse. You shall say 
with St. Bernard, Hcec mea maxima fiduda^ hcec 
tota ratio spei m^ece. You can pray even Him to 
come Himself in Mary, His indissoluble Spouse, 
telling Him that her bosom is as pure, and h^^ 
heart as burning as ever ; and that without His 
descent into your soul neither Jesus nor Mary 
will be formed, nor yet worthily lodged. 

3. After Holy Communion. 
After Holy Communion, while you are in- 
wardly recollected and holding your eyes shut, 
you will introduce Jesus into the heart of Mary. 
You will give Him to His Mother, who will 
receive Him lovingly, will place Him honour- 
ably, will adore Him profomidly, will love Him 
perfectly, will embrace Him closely, and will 



THE BLESSED YIBGIK. 189 

render to Him, in spirit and in trutii, many 
homages which are unknown to us in our thick 
darkness. Or else you will keep yourself pro- 
foundly humbled in your heart, in the presence 
of Jesus residing in Mary. Or you will sit like 
a slave at the gate of the king's palace, where 
he is speaking with the queen ; and while they 
talk one to the other witibout need of you, you 
will go in spirit to heaven and over all the earth, 
praying all creatures to thank, adore, and love 
Jesus and Mary in your place : Venitey adoremus^ 
venite. Or else you shall yourself ask of Jesus, 
in union with Mary, the coming of His kingdom 
on earth, through His holy Mother; or you 
shall sue for the Divine wisdom, or for Divine 
love, or for the pardon of your sins, or for some 
other grace ; but always iy Mary and in Mary, 
saying, while you look aside at yourself, Ne 
respidasy Dominey peccata meay — " Lord, look 
not at my sins ;" Sed oculi tui videant cequitates 
MaricBy — " But let your eyes look at nothing in 
me but the virtues and merits of Mary :" and 
then, remembering your sins, you shall add, 
Inimicus homo hoc fedty — " It is I who have 
committed these sins;" or you shall say, Ab 
homine iniquo et dohso erue me; or else, Te opor- 
tet crescerej ms avtem minuiy — " My Jesus, you 
must increase in my soul, and I must decrease ; 
Haiy, you muat increase within me, and I must 
be still less than I have been." CrescUe et mtd^ 



190 TRUE DEVOTION TO 

tiplicaminiy — " Jesus and Mary, increase in me, 
and multiply yourselves outside in others also." 
There are an infinity of other thoughts wl^ich 
the Holy Ghost furnishes, and will fiimish you, 
if you are thoroughly interior, mortified, and 
faithfiil to this grand and sublime devotion 
which I have been teaching you. But always 
remember that the more you leave Mary to act 
in your Communion, the more Jesus will be 
glorified. The more you leave Mary to act for 
Jesus, and Jesus to act in Mary, the more pro- 
foundly will you humble yourself, and will 
listen to them in peace and silence, without 
putting yourself in trouble about seeing, tast* 
ing, or feeling ; for the just man lives through- 
out on faith, and particularly in Holy Commu- 
nion, which is an action of faith. Justus mens 
ex fide vivit, 

CONSECRATION OF OURSELVES TO JESUS CHRIST, 
THE INCARNATE WISDOM, BY THE HANDS OF 
MARY. 

Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom! O 
sweetest and most Adorable Jesus 1 True God 
and True Man, only Son of the Eternal Father, 
and of Mary always Virgin I I adore Thee pro- 
foundly in the bosom and splendours of Thy 
Father during etemiiy ; and I adore Thee also in 
the Virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy 
Mother, in the time of Thine Incarnation. 



THE BLESSED YIBQIN. 191 

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast 
annihilated Thyself, in taking the form of a 
slave, in order to rescue me from the cruel 
slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee 
for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thy- 
self to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, 
in order to make me Thy faithful slave through 
her. But, alas! imgratefrd and faithless as I 
have been, I have not kept the promises which 
I made so solenmly to Thee in my Baptism ; I 
have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not 
deserve to be called Thy son, nor yet Thy slave; 
and as there is nothing in me which does not 
merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare no 
more come by myself before Thy Most Holy 
and August Majesfy. It is on this account that 
I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most 
holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a 
mediatrix with Thee. It is by her means that 
I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, and the 
pardon of my sins, the acquisition and the pre- 
servation of wisdom. I salute thee, then, 
immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Di- 
vinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be 
hidden, and to be adored by Angels and by men. 
I hail thee, Queen of heaven and earth, to 
whose empire every thing is subject which is 
under Glt)d. 

I salute thee, sure refuge of sinners, 
whose mercy fails to no one. Hear the de- 



1 92 TBUB DEVOTION TO 

sires which I have of the Divine Wisdom ; and 
for that end receive the vows and offeringB 
which my lowness presents to thee. I, N., a 
faithless sinner, — I renew and ratify to-day in 
thy hands the vows of my Baptism ; I renounce 
for ever Satan, his pomps and works ; and I 
give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incar- 
nate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all 
the days of my life, and to be more &ithiul to 
Him than I have ever been before. 

In the presence of aU the heavenly court I 
choose thee this day for my Mother and Mis- 
tress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy 
slave, my body and soul, my goods, both in- 
terior and exterior, and even the value of all my 
good actions, past, present, and ftiture ; leaving 
to you the entire and ftdl right of disposing of 
me, and all that belongs to me, without excep- 
tion, according to thy good pleasure, to the 
greatest glory of God, in time and in eternity. 

Receive, benignant Virgin, this litde 
ofiFering of my slavery, in the honour of, and in 
union with, that subjection which the Et^mal 
Wisdom deigned to have to thy Maternity, in 
homage to the power which both of you have 
over this little worm and miserable dnner, and 
in thanksgiving for the privileges with whidi 
the Holy Trinity hath favoured thee, I protest 
that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to 
seek thy honour and to obey thee in aU things. 



THE BLESSED VIBGIN. 193 

admirable Mother, present me to thy 
dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He 
hath redeemed me by thee, by thee He may 
receive me. Mother of mercy, get me the 
grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God ; and 
for that end put me in the number of those 
whom thou lovest, whom thou teachest, whom 
thou conductest, and whom thou nourishest and 
protectest, as thy children and thy slaves. 

faithful Virgin, make me in all things so 
perfect a disciple, imitator, and slave of the 
Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that 
I may attain, by thy intercession, and by thy 
example, to the fulness of His age on earth, 
and of His glory in the heavens. Amen. 

Qui potest capere, capiat. 
Quis sapiens, et intelliget hsBC ? 



THE END. 



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