The thousands of titles given to Mary by
So what exactly is devotion to Mary among Catholics? Perhaps the best way to find a quick and accurate answer is to consult the Catholic book, True Devotion To Mary by St. Louis De Montfort, one of the aforementioned men. [All emphasis in quotes from that book are mine.]
In the beginning of his book, various Popes have endorsed and praised it proving its accuracy. In fact, Pope John Paul II himself was so greatly influenced by Montfort's book that he took Totus tuus as his personal motto because of it. Pope John Paul II said this, when referring to Mary:
It is from Montfort that I have taken my motto: ‘Totus tuus' (‘I am all thine'). (St. Louis-Marie Grignion De Montfort, True Devotion To Mary, Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., Rockford, Illinois 61105, 1941, p. vi)
Pope John Paul II gave himself entirely to Mary and the book quoted from here helped to bring that about. Hence, this highly endorsed Catholic book will give us important details and facts about devotion to Mary, which will not be easily found elsewhere. It is a Catholic classic, but has also adversely influenced many over the years. Let's learn what this trusted authority and Catholic saint says devotion to Mary is and why it is important. Then we'll compare that to God's word, the Bible. You may be quite surprised.
There are several interior practices of true devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Here are the principal ones, stated compendiously: (1) to honor her as the worthy Mother of God, with the worship of hyperdulia; that is to say, to esteem her and honor her above all the other saints, as the masterpiece of grace, and the first after Jesus Christ, true God and true Man; (2) to meditate on her virtues, her privileges and her actions; (3) to contemplate her grandeurs;
(4) to make acts of love, of praise, of gratitude to her; (5) to invoke her cordially; (6) to offer ourselves to her and unite ourselves with her; (7) to do all our actions with the view of pleasing her; (8) to begin, to continue and to finish all our actions by her, in her, with her and for her, in order that we may do them by Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ, our Last End. We will presently explain this last practice. (True Devotion To Mary, pp. 69,70)
As would be expected, the focus is on Mary and not on Jesus. While the Bible magnifies devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ and focusing on Jesus, such has been virtually reduced to insignificance and overshadowed by Mary's mythological importance. Catholics who accept Montfort's guide to devotion to Mary are being adversely consumed with Mary in thought, word and deed to their own harm.
True devotion to Our Lady also has several exterior practices, of which the following are the principal ones:
(1) to enroll ourselves in her confraternities and enter her congregations; (2) to join the religious orders instituted in her honor; (3) to proclaim her praises; (4) to give alms, to fast and to undergo outward and inward mortifications in her honor; (5) to wear her liveries, such as the Rosary, the Scapular or the little chain; (6) to recite with attention, devotion and modesty the holy Rosary ....
(7) to sing, or have sung, spiritual canticles in her honor;
(8) to make a number of genuflections or reverences, while saying, for example, every morning, sixty or a hundred times, Ave Maria, Virgo Fidelis ("Hail Mary, Faithful Virgin"), to obtain from God through her the grace to be faithful to the graces of God during the day; and then again in the evening, Ave Maria, Mater Misericordiae ("Hail Mary, Mother of Mercy") to ask pardon of God through her for the sins that we have committed during the day;
(9) to take care of her confraternities, to adorn her altars, to crown and ornament her images; (10) to carry her images, or to have them carried, in procession, and to carry a picture or an image of her about our own persons, as a mighty arm against the evil spirit; (11) to have copies of her name or picture made and placed in churches, or in houses, or on the gates and entrances into cities, churches and houses; (12) to consecrate ourselves to her in a special and solemn manner. (True Devotion To Mary, pp. 70-72)
The learned and pious Jesuit, Suarez, the erudite and devout Justus Lipsius, doctor of Louvain, and many others have proved invincibly, from the sentiments of the Fathers (among others, St. Augustine, St. Ephrem, deacon of Edessa, St. Cyril of Jerusalem, St. Germanus of Constantinople, St. John Damascene, St Anselm, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure), that devotion to our Blessed Lady is necessary for salvation, and that (even in the opinion of Oecolampadius and some other heretics) it is an infallible mark of reprobation to have no esteem and love for the holy Virgin; while on the other hand, it is an infallible mark of predestination to be entirely and truly devoted to her. (True Devotion To Mary, p. 23)
Did you notice the name St. Augustine? This is the same man who is the exalted hero and great theologian, according to the Calvinists! John Calvin repeatedly praised Augustine and drew his basic doctrines from him! That's right! Calvin got his doctrines from Augustine, who thought devotion to Mary is necessary for salvation! How great of a spiritual light do you think John Calvin is now?
Last but not least is the method Montfort recommends for praying the concluding prayer of the Rosary. It is his revision of the Hail Holy Queen. This is important, for he is openly asking Mary to save him, as you will read. She is not being asked to intercede for him, but he is asking her to save him!
Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father, admirable Mother of the Son, faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost, august Temple of the most Holy Trinity! Hail, sovereign princess, to whom all owe subjection in Heaven and on earth! Hail, sure refuge of sinners, Our Lady of Mercy, who hast never refused any request.
All sinful though I am, I cast myself at thy feet and beseech thee to obtain from Jesus, thy beloved Son,
contrition and pardon for all my sins, as well as the gift of divine wisdom. I consecrate myself entirely to thee with all that I have. I choose thee today for my Mother and Mistress. Treat me, then, as the least of thy children and the most obedient of thy servants.
Listen, my princess, listen to the sighs of a heart that desires to love and serve thee faithfully. Let it never be said that of all those who have had recourse to thee, I was the first to be abandoned. O my hope, O my life, O my faithful and Immaculate Virgin Mary, defend me, nourish me, hear me, teach me and save me. Amen. (True Devotion To Mary. p. 210)
Here is even more proof, regarding how far from reality Catholicism has exalted their fabricated Mary. Please ponder this Catholic list of Mary titles, again showing the extreme view Catholicism has placed on their fabricated Mary. I also submit as proof Jesus or Mary. Decide for yourself which you will entrust your SOUL to, but remember this: NOWHERE in the entire Bible is the real mother of Jesus viewed as Popes, Catholic saints and other Catholic authorities have stated.
If you follow their example, you are DISobeying the message of God, as stated in the Bible. Hence, for your own SOUL'S sake, stop immediately your devotion to Mary and shift all of your TRUST and DEVOTION to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is most worthy of it all. The true Biblical plan of salvation excludes Mary and the Bible is final authority. What you do with the Biblical message will decide your eternity and that message excludes devotion to Mary!