Few men have contributed so much to spread Marian devotion as Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. He was a popular and vigorous missionary from the west of France, who died at the age of 43 in 1716, exhausted by his sermons and his penances. His famous books such as Mary’s Secret or The Treaty of True Devotion, which became known a long time after his death, had a considerable influence. “It is also through Mary that we must approach God and unite ourselves perfectly and strictly to his Majesty, without fearing rejection”.
“Only God!” is one of Grignion’s key formulas. For him, everything comes from the Father and everything returns to the Father. Mary is at the heart of this and rightly so: “When someone has once found Mary, and through Mary, Jesus and through Jesus, God the Father, he has found all that is good…all of God’s grace and friendship, all truth against lies, all ease and victory against lies, all ease and victory against difficulties of salvation, all sweetness and all joy in the bitterness of life”.
The fact of serving Mary does not lessen the importance of the Cross but it presents it in a totally different way. “Since Mary is the mother of the living, she gives all her children pieces of the Tree of Life, which is Jesus’ cross.
In the very many talks he gave during his lifetime, right up to shortly before his death in 1980, a theme he returned to often was that of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
He had studied everything written about her that he could get hold of. Not content with that he enriched us in those talks by sharing his knowledge with us, most especially the role she plays in bringing us to her Son.
Indeed a couple of his talks on Our Blessed Lady, I believe, give an insight into Our Lady as yet not fully realised by the Church at large. Such was the intimacy, knowledge and love he had of her.