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  In his now famous book called True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, Louis Marie Grignion (St. Louis Marie) wrote the following beautiful words about the Blessed Virgin Mary:


  “It was through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus Christ came into the world, and it is also through her that he must reign in the world. Because Mary remained hidden during her life she is called by the Holy Spirit and the Church, Alma Mater, Mother hidden and unknown. So great was her humility that she desired nothing more upon earth than to remain unknown to herself and to others, and to be known only to God.


  In answer to her prayers to remain hidden, poor and lowly, God was pleased to conceal her from nearly every other human creature in her conception, her birth, her life, her mysteries, her resurrection and assumption. Her own parents did not really know her; and the angels would often ask one another, ‘Who can she possibly be?, for God had hidden her from them, or if he did reveal anything to them, it was nothing compared with what he withheld.


  God the Father willed that she should perform no miracle during her life, at least no public one, although he had given her the power to do so. God the Son willed that she should speak very little although he had imparted his wisdom to her.


  Even though Mary was His faithful spouse, God the Holy Spirit willed that His apostles and evangelists should say very little about her and then only as much as was necessary to make Jesus known.


  Mary is the supreme masterpiece of Almighty God and He has reserved the knowledge and possession of her for Himself. She is the glorious Mother of God the Son who chose to humble and conceal her during her lifetime in order to foster her humility. He called her ‘Woman’ as if she were a stranger, although in His heart He esteemed and loved her above all men and angels. Mary is the sealed fountain and the faithful spouse of the Holy Spirit where only He may enter. She is the sanctuary and resting place of the Blessed Trinity where God dwells in greater and more divine splendor than anywhere else in the universe, not excluding his dwelling above the cherubim and seraphim. No creature, however pure, may enter there without being specially privileged."


Mary’s part in the Incarnation


  "With the whole Church I acknowledge that Mary, being a mere creature fashioned by the hands of God is, compared to His infinite majesty, less than an atom, or rather is simply nothing, since He alone can say, ‘I am He who is’. Consequently, this great Lord, who is ever independent and self-sufficient, never had and does not now have any absolute need of the Blessed Virgin for the accomplishment of His will and the manifestation of His glory. To do all things He has only to will them.


  However, I declare that, considering things as they are, because God has decided to begin and accomplish His greatest works through the Blessed Virgin ever since He created her, we can safely believe that He will not change His plan in the time to come, for He is God and therefore does not change in His thoughts or His way of acting.


  God the Father gave His only Son to the world only through Mary. Whatever desires the patriarchs may have cherished, whatever entreaties the prophets and saints of the Old Law may have made for 4,000 years to obtain that treasure, it was Mary alone who merited it and found grace before God by the power of her prayers and the perfection of her virtues. ‘The world being unworthy,’ said St. Augustine, ‘to receive the Son of God directly from the hands of the Father, He gave His Son to Mary for the world to receive Him from her.’


  The Son of God became man for our salvation but only in Mary and through Mary.


  God the Holy Spirit formed Jesus Christ in Mary but only after having asked her consent through one of the chief ministers of His court.


  God the Father imparted to Mary His fruitfulness as far as a mere creature was capable of receiving it, to enable her to bring forth His Son and all the members of His mystical body.


  God the Son came down into her virginal womb as a new Adam into His earthly paradise, to take His delight there and produce hidden wonders of grace.


  God made-man found freedom in imprisoning Himself in her womb. He displayed power in allowing Himself to be borne by this young maiden. He found His glory and that of His Father in hiding His splendors from all creatures here below and revealing them only to Mary. He glorified His independence and His majesty in depending upon the lovable virgin in His conception, His birth, His presentation in the temple, and in the thirty years of His hidden life. Even at His death she had to be present so that He might be united with her in one sacrifice and be immolated with her consent to the eternal Father, just as formerly Isaac was offered in sacrifice by Abraham when he accepted the will of God. It was Mary who nursed Him, fed Him, cared for Him, reared Him, and sacrificed Him for us.

  The Holy Spirit could not leave such wonderful and inconceivable dependence of God unmentioned in the Gospel, though He concealed almost all the wonderful things that Wisdom Incarnate did during His hidden life in order to bring home to us its infinite value and glory. Jesus gave more glory to God His Father by submitting to His Mother for thirty years than He would have given Him had He converted the whole world by working the great miracles. How highly then do we glorify God when to please him we submit ourselves to Mary, taking Jesus as our sole model!


  If we examine closely the remainder of the life of Jesus Christ, we see that He chose to begin His miracles through Mary. It was by her word that He sanctified St. John the Baptist in the womb of his mother, St. Elizabeth; no sooner had Mary spoken than John was sanctified. This was His first and greatest miracle of grace. At the wedding in Cana He changed water into wine at her humble prayer, and this was His first miracle in the order of nature. He began and continued His miracles through Mary and He will continue them through her until the end of time.


  God the Holy Spirit, who does not produce any divine person, became fruitful through Mary whom He espoused. It was with her, in her and of her that He produces every day until the end of the world the members of the body of this adorable Head. For this reason the more He finds Mary, His dear and inseparable spouse, in a soul the more powerful and effective he becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul and that soul in Jesus Christ.


  This does not mean that the Blessed Virgin confers on the Holy Spirit a fruitfulness which He does not already possess. Being God, He has the ability to produce just like the Father and the Son, although He does not use this power and so does not produce another divine person. But it does mean that the Holy Spirit chose to make use of our Blessed Lady, although He had no absolute need of her, in order to become actively fruitful in producing Jesus Christ and His members in her and by her. This is a mystery of grace unknown even to many of the most learned and spiritual of Christians."


Mary’s part in the latter times


  “The salvation of the world began through Mary and through her it must be accomplished. Mary scarcely appeared in the first coming of Jesus Christ so that Men, as yet insufficiently instructed and enlightened concerning the person of her Son, might not wander from the truth be becoming too strongly attached to her. This would apparently have happened if she had been known, on account of the wondrous charms with which the Almighty had endowed even her outward appearance. So true is this that St. Denis the Areopagite tells us in his writings that when he saw her he would have taken her for a goddess, because of her incomparable beauty, had not his well-grounded faith taught him otherwise. But in the second coming of Jesus Christ, Mary must be known and openly revealed by the Holy Spirit so that Jesus may be known, loved and served through her. The reasons which moved the Holy Spirit to hide His spouse during her life and to reveal but very little of her since the first preaching of the gospel exist no longer.


  God wishes therefore to reveal Mary, his masterpiece, and make her more known in these latter times:


(a) Because she kept herself hidden in this world and in her great humility considered herself lower than dust, having obtained from God, his apostles and evangelists the favor of not being made known.

(b) Because, as Mary is not only God’s masterpiece of glory in heaven, but also His masterpiece of grace on earth, he wishes to be glorified and praised because of her by those living upon earth.


(c) Since she is the dawn which precedes and discloses the Sun of Justice, Jesus Christ, she must be known and acknowledged so that Jesus may be known and acknowledged.


(d) As she was the way by which Jesus first came to us, she will again be the way by which he will come to us the second time though not in the same.


(e) Since she is the sure means, the direct and immaculate way to Jesus and the perfect guide to Him, it is through her that souls who are to shine forth in sanctity, must find Him. He who finds Mary finds life, that is Jesus Christ who is the way, the truth and the life. But no one can find Mary who does not look for her. No one can look for her who does not know her, for no one seeks or desires something unknown. Mary then must be better known than ever for the deeper understanding and the greater glory of the Blessed Trinity.


(f) In these latter times Mary must shine forth more than ever in mercy, power and grace; in mercy, to bring back and welcome lovingly the poor sinners and wanderers who are to be converted and return to the Catholic Church; in power, to combat the enemies of God who will rise up menacingly to seduce and crush by promises and threats all those who oppose them; finally, she must shine forth in grace to inspire and support the valiant soldiers and loyal servants of Jesus Christ who are fighting for His cause.


(g) Lastly, Mary must become as terrible as an army in battle array to the devil and his followers, especially in these latter times. For Satan, knowing that he has little time - even less that ever - to destroy souls, intensifies his efforts and his onslaughts every day. He will not hesitate to stir up savage persecutions and set treacherous snares for Mary’s faithful servants and children whom he finds more difficult to overcome than others.


  It is chiefly in reference to these last wicked persecutions of the devil, daily increasing until the advent of anti-Christ, that we should understand that first and well-known prophecy and curse of God uttered against the serpent in the garden of paradise. It is opportune to explain it here for the glory of the Blessed Virgin, the salvation of her children and the confusion of the devil: ‘I will place enmities between you and the woman, between your race and her race, she will crush your head and you will lie in wait for her heel’.


  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. From the time of the earthly paradise, although she existed then only in his mind, he gave her such a hatred for his accursed enemy, such ingenuity in exposing the wickedness of the ancient serpent and such power to defeat, overthrow and crush this proud rebel, that Satan fears her not only more than angels and men but in a certain sense more than God Himself. This does not mean that the anger, hatred and power of God are not infinitely greater than the Blessed Virgin’s, since her attributes are limited. It simply means that Satan, being so proud, suffers infinitely more in being vanquished and punished by a lowly and humble servant of God, for her humility humiliates him more than the power of God. Moreover, God has given Mary such great power over the evil spirits that, as they have often been forced unwillingly to admit through the lips of possessed persons, they fear one of her pleadings for a soul more than the prayers of all the saints, and one of her threats more than all their other torments.


  What Lucifer lost by pride Mary won by humility. What Eve ruined and lost by disobedience Mary saved by obedience. By obeying the serpent, Eve ruined her children as well as herself and delivered them up to Him. Mary, by her perfect fidelity to God, saved her children with herself and consecrated them to His divine majesty.


  God has established not just one enmity but ‘enmities’, and not only between Mary and Satan but between her race and his race. That is, God has put enmities, antipathies and hatreds between the true children of the Blessed Virgin and the children and slaves of the devil. They have no love and no sympathy for each other. The children of Belial, the slaves of Satan, the friends of the world - for they are all one and the same - have always persecuted and will persecute more than ever in the future those who belong to the Blessed Virgin, just as Cain of old persecuted his brother Abel, and Esau his brother Jacob. These are the types of the wicked and of the just. But the humble Mary will always triumph over Satan, the proud one, and so great will be her victory that she will crush his head, the very seat of his pride. She will always unmask his serpent’s cunning and expose his wicked plots. She will scatter to the winds his devilish plans and to the end of time keep her faithful servants from his cruel claws.


  But Mary’s power over the evil spirits will especially shine forth in these latter times, when Satan will lie in wait for her heel, that is, for her humble servants and her poor children whom she will rouse to fight against him. In the eyes of the world they will be little and poor and, like the heel, lowly in the eyes of all, downtrodden and crushed, as is the heel by the other parts of the body. But in compensation for this they will be rich in God’s graces, which will be abundantly bestowed on them by Mary. They will be superior to all creatures by their great zeal so strongly will they be supported by divine assistance that, in union with Mary, they will crush the head of Satan with their heel, that is, their humility, and bring victory to Jesus Christ.“

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