St. Louis De Montfort’s definitive work, True Devotion to Mary contains a great number of priceless gems. Included is a key teaching about the “Providential function of Mary in the latter times.” This prophecy about Mary’s role is relevant to arming ourselves with the truth of God’s provision for us in the daily spiritual battle against the flesh, the world, and the devil.
De Montfort’s use of the term “latter times” refers to what scripture teaches, “God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Heb 1:1-2). At Pentecost Peter preached that the last days had arrived, “‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, “that I will pour forth my spirit on all mankind . . .” (Acts 2:15-17; cf. Joel 2:28-32). The “end times” are now (cf. CCC 686).
De Montfort’s key points on Mary’s function in the latter days:
- It was through Mary that the salvation of the world was begun, and it is through Mary that it must be consummated. (49.)
- Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, in might and in grace, in these latter times (49:6.):
- In mercy, to bring back and lovingly receive the poor, strayed sinner who shall be converted and shall return to the Catholic Church;
- In might, against the enemies of God, idolaters, schismatics, Muslims, and souls hardened in impiety, who shall rise in terrible revolt against God to seduce all those who shall oppose them and to make them fall by promises and threats;
- She must shine forth in grace, in order to animate and sustain the valiant soldiers and faithful servants of Jesus Christ, who shall battle of His interests.
- 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 cruel persecutions and will put terrible snares before the faithful servants and true children of Mary, whom it give him more trouble to conquer than it does to conquer others (49:7)
In De Montfort’s Marian treatise under the section (51.) entitled “Exercise of This Function, (Mary) in the Struggle against Satan” he writes, “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 confusion of the devil: “I will put enmities between thee and the woman and thy seed, she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel” (Gen. 3:15).
- God had never made and formed but one enmity; but it is an irreconcilable one, which shall endure and grow even to the end.
- It is between Mary, His worthy Mother, and the devil—between the children, and the servants of the Blessed Virgin, and the children and tools of Lucifer.
- This most terrible of all the enemies which God has set up against the devil is His holy Mother Mary.
- He has inspired her—with so much hatred against that cursed enemy of God, with so much ingenuity in unveiling the malice of that ancient 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 in a sense more than God Himself.
- Satan, being proud, suffers infinitely more from being beaten and punished by a little and humble handmaid of God, and Her humility has humbled him the more than the divine power; and secondly,
- Because God has given Mary such great power against the devils that—as they have often been obliged to confess, by the mouths of the possessed—that they fear one of her sighs for a soul more than the prayer of all the saints, and one of her threats against them more than all other torments.
- What Lucifer has lost by pride, Mary has gained by humility. What Eve has damned and lost by disobedience, Mary has saved by obedience. Eve, in obeying the serpent, has destroyed all her children together with herself, and has delivered them to him;
- Mary, in being perfectly faithful to God, has saved all her children and servants together with herself, and has consecrated them to His Majesty.
- God has not only set an enmity, but enmities, not simply between Mary and the devil, but between the race of the holy Virgin and the race of the devil’ that is to say, God has set enmities, antipathies and secret hatreds between the true children and servants of Mary and the children and slaves of the devil. They have no love for each other. They have no sympathy for 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 the future persecute them more than ever; just as Cain, of old, persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob, who are the figures of the reprobate and the predestined.
- But the humble Mary will always have the victory over that proud spirit, and so great a victory that she will go so far as to crush his head, where his pride dwells. She will always discover the malice of the serpent. She will always lay bare his infernal plots and dissipate his diabolical councils, and even to the end of time guard her faithful servants from his cruel claw.
Next our Marian saint offers a powerful prophecy about Mary’s children, the Church in the trenches with her fighting the good fight and proclaiming God’s victory.
…But the power of Mary over all the devils will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lay his snares against her heel; that is to say, her humble slaves, and her poor children, whom she will raise up to make war against him.
Next De Montfort describes the children of Mary in the latter times:
- 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 members of the body.
He continues, “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 lively zeal, and
- So well sustained with God’s assistance that, with the humility of their heel, in union with Mary, they shall crush the head of the devil and cause Jesus Christ to triumph.
De Montfort’s prophecy on “the formation of the apostles of the latter times”
- God wishes that His holy Mother should be at present more known, more loved, more honored than she has ever been. This, no doubt, will take place if the predestined (enter, with the grace and light of the Holy Ghost, into the interior and perfect practice (Marian Consecration) which I will disclose to them shortly.
- The servants, slaves and children of Mary shall be, “the ministers of the Lord, who, like a burning fire, shall kindle the fire of divine love everywhere.”
- They shall be “like sharp arrows in the hand of the powerful” Mary to pierce her enemies (Ps 126:4).
- They shall be the sons of Levi, well purified by the fire of great tribulation, and closely adhering to God (1 Cor. 6:17), who shall carry:
- The gold of love in their heart
- The incense of prayer in their spirit, and
- The myrrh of mortification in their body
- They shall be everywhere the good odor of Jesus Christ to the poor and to the little.
- While at the same time, they shall be an odor of death to the great, to the rich and to the proud worldlings.
- They shall be clouds thundering, and flying through the air at the least breath of the Holy Ghost; who, detaching themselves from everything and troubling themselves with nothing, shall shower forth the rain of the Word of God 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 pierce through and through, for life or for death, with their two-edged sword of the Word of God (Eph 6:17).
- They shall sleep without gold or sliver, and what is more, without care, in the midst of the other priests, ecclesiastics, and clerics (Ps. 67:14); and yet they shall have the silvered wings of the dove to go, with the pure intention of the glory of God and the salvation of souls, where so ever the Holy Ghost shall call them.
- Nor shall they leave behind them, in the places where they have preached anything but the gold of charity, which is the fulfillment of the whole law. (Rom 13:10).
- We know that they shall be true disciples of Jesus Christ, walking in the footsteps of His poverty, humility, contempt of the world, charity; teaching he narrow way of God in pure truth, according to the holy Gospel and not according to the maxims of the world…
- 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 on their right hand and Rosary in their left, the sacred Name of Jesus and Mary in their hearts, and the modesty and mortification of Jesus Christ in their own behavior.
I compiled the above text directly from True Devotion to Mary to shine a spotlight on a most relevant prophecy that is a call to arms for those of us who believe in the wisdom of the saints, the power of God’s Holy Spirit and the role of the Mary in our lives. Probably most readers of this article are already consecrated to Mary as I am also. The challenge remains for us to live our Marian consecration in authenticity. De Montfort’s prophecy can help us to live our life in union with Mary, with openness to her divine Spouse, the Holy Spirit, and with deeper understanding of the consequences of our yes to God—through Mary.
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