True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is a spiritual classic written by St. Louis de Montfort in the early 1700’s. It is thought to be one of the quintessential works on Mary and after reading it, I understand why! I have to say, I did drag my feet on reading this book. I’ve had it on my shelf for MONTHS longer than I usually do–reading books by saints is so intimidating to me. Numbered paragraphs and people a millions times smarter and holier than I… Anyway, I decided to bring it out for Lent and didn’t quite make that goal but I did finally get it out right after Easter.
I read the whole book in a matter of days. It’s not a large book. It’s about 4×5 and the main text is only 153 pages. The first chapter gives a primer of Mary’s importance and so is an excellent introductory resource to understanding why. The next few chapters talks about what having a Devotion to Mary means and how to differentiate between false devotion (initiated by the devil) and true Devotion. Essentially, true devotion takes you TO Jesus, not distracts you from him. St. Louis de Montfort then goes into how it is better to go to Jesus through Mary. I was particularly struck by paragraph 147:
She enriches our good works by adorning them with her own merits and virtues. It is as if a poor peasant, wishing to win the friendship and favours of the king, were to go to the queen and give her an apple — his only possession – for her to offer it to the king. The queen, accepting the peasant’s humble gift, puts it on a beautiful golden dish and present it to the king on behalf of the peasant. The apple in itself would not be a gift worthy of a king, but presented by the queen in person on a dish of gold, it becomes fit for any king.
If the whole rest of the book did not convince me that I needed to devote myself to Mary, this paragraph did. The next chapters discuss benefits of devoting yourself to Mary and how to do it. The last twenty pages are how to prepare for consecration to our lady. After reading this book, I feel sure that this is something that can only add to your spiritual growth and help your meager gifts of service to multiply in heaven. I strongly advise everyone to read this book!