Oh, If Mary Were But Known
St. Albert the Great was born of a noble family but he had serious challenges with his education. He was seen as being naturally dull and incapable of learning. This led to embarrassment and confusion. Despite these challenges, he made remarkable progress in the science of holiness through prayers and meditation with the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He almost gave up his vocation but when his heavenly Mother visited him and assisted him in a prophetic dream, his dullness was transformed and he became a guru (his darkness was dispelling with divine illumination) in the sciences, philosophy, and theology. “Today he is honoured by the Church as the ‘Universal doctor of the Church’, ‘patron of science and peace’. He was indeed a great bishop in the Catholic Church, a teacher and a scholar.”
Devotion is a sign of love especially for somebody. One of the special ways to show love to the Blessed Virgin Mary is through sincere and committed devotion to her. “Devotion to Mary has always been regarded by the saints as a sure sign of predestination.” Little wonder all the saints were devout clients of Mary and remain so in heaven.
There is a myriad of reasons given for devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, but the classical form of St. Louis Marie De Montfort in his book True Devotion to Mary remains laudable. In his masterpiece, he identifies three necessities for devotion to the Blessed Virgin. They include: “Mary was necessary to God in the Incarnation of the Word”; “Mary is necessary to God in the Sanctification of Souls” and “Providential function of Mary in the Latter Times.” The foregoing display the fact that Mary was, is and will be necessary to God. Whatever was, is and will be good for God equally was, is and will be for us.
Quickly, note that God is the first to honour Mary through the angelic salutation: “Hail full of grace! The Lord is with you….” (Lk. 1: 28ff). God is truth per excellence and Mary as a creature of God is part of God’s truth that should be appreciated reverentially. Therefore, to honour Mary with a conscious effort is invariably a significant form of revering God’s work and appreciating His goodness for us. It is a special way of imitating God who first honoured Mary. Consequently, a committed devotion to Mary does not confer on God and Mary any favour but shows how we have allowed the grace of God to bear fruits in our lives. St. Louis De Montfort maintains that those who have devotion to Mary are endowed with Divine Wisdom. He calls it a secret! Therefore, “Marian devotion is … not an option for the Christian, but an obligation in keeping with the Fourth Commandment. If we are to have God as Father in Christ, we must have Mary as mother.”
The signs of a devout client of Mary or a devotee of Mary are the fact that such a person thinks of Mary, reads about her, talks about Mary and speaks to Mary, invokes Mary, and imitates her. On the other hand, she is available to us and “If then you listen faithfully to the most holy Virgin, you will hear in your heart those very words addressed to you: ‘Do whatever my Son tells you.’”
No one does the aforementioned and remain the same. Your knowledge and dependence on Jesus will increase, because you have submitted yourself into His mold (Mary) where He was formed. Sainthood becomes possible because you have gained admission into the University of God (Our Lady Seat of Wisdom). Heresies and heretics are conquered because you learn from the citadel of knowledge called the Conqueror of all heresies. Souls are easily evangelised and converted because you use the first instrument of evangelization that God used to bring Jesus Christ the goal of our evangelization to reach people. Note, Mary is highly affable and willing to see her Son’s mandate achieved or fulfilled in the lives of people.
Are you aware that “The devils are powerless once Mary is approached? Oh, when will people ever learn that they have in Mary a Mother and a protector who can overcome all the powers of hell and who can protect the Church in all dangers!” More so, “The very name of Mary strikes terror into the heart of the infernal abyss because the devils know that Mary robs them of more souls than all the saints in Heaven…. Devotion to Mary is what the devil and his agents hate most.”
It is worthy to recall the teachings of our spiritual mentor, St Louis de Montfort on the work of Mary against the devil. He says, “God has established only one enmity – but it is an irreconcilable one – which will last and even go on increasing to the end of time. That enmity is between Mary, his worthy Mother, and the devil, between the children and the servants of the Blessed Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer. Thus, the most fearful enemy that God has set up against the devil is Mary, his holy Mother.”
What is your relationship with the Blessed Virgin Mary?
How often do you remember Mary interiorly, say the Hail Mary and the Holy Rosary?
When last did you constructively defended the course of Mary before those who don’t know and appreciate her?
Uninformed people and those guided by the evil one rebel against the Virgin Mary. You are not to be part of them. Courage! For Jesus says, “In the world you will have troubles, but take courage, I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).
Fr. John-Mary Atep