Sixteenth Day: May 13, 2020
Treatise of True Devotion to the Virgin Mary [115-119]
Principal Practices of Devotion to Mary
In this chapter, St. Louis presents various forms of devotion to Mary, divided into two main groups:
1) Interior Practices
Honoring her, as the worthy Mother of God, esteeming and honoring her more than all the other saints, insofar as she is the masterpiece of grace. Meditate on her virtues, her privileges and her actions. Contemplating her greatness. Offering to her acts of love, praise and gratitude. Invoking her with a joyful heart. Offering ourselves to her and uniting ourselves to her. Doing everything to please her. Beginning, carrying out and completing our actions through her, in her, with her and for her, to do everything through Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ and for Jesus Christ, our ultimate goal.
2) Exterior Practices
There are many external practices. Saint Louis makes a list of some:
“Enrolling in her confraternities and congregations; joining religious orders founded in her honor; proclaiming her praises; giving alms, fasting and spiritual and corporal mortifications; carrying such signs of devotion to her, such as the Holy Rosary, the scapular or a little chain; reciting with attention, devotion and modesty: the Holy Rosary, or the Office of the Blessed Virgin, so universally approved and recited in the Church, or the little Psalter of the Blessed Virgin, which Saint Bonaventure composed in her honor and which is inspires devout affections, or other prayers; Hymns and chants of the Church, such as the Salve Regina, etc.; singing hymns in her honor; making in her honor a certain number of genuflections or bows, saying, for example: “Hail Mary, Virgin most faithful”; to reach God through her mediation, fidelity to grace throughout the day, and at night: “Hail Mary, Mother of Mercy”; to implore from God, through her, the forgiveness of sins committed during the day. Decorating your altars, crown and embellish your images. Organizing processions and carrying her images with you, as a powerful weapon against the devil. Having her images or monogram painted or engraved and placed in the churches, houses or lintels of the doors and entrance of the cities; consecrating oneself to her in a special and solemn way.”
There are many other devotions that can be directed to Mary Most Holy. The most important thing is that they serve to sanctify the soul, provided they are fulfilled in the proper manner, that is:
1. With the right intention of pleasing God alone, seeking union with Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate goal, and to edify our neighbor.
2. With attention, without voluntary distractions.
3. With mercy, without haste and not reluctantly.
4. With modesty and composure of respectful bodily posture.
The Perfect Practice
St. Louis describes the characteristics of True Devotion:
“After these considerations, I declare openly that I have not been able to know or learn a practice of devotion to Mary similar to the one I am going to explain to you, that requires more sacrifices for God, frees you more from yourself and from your selfishness, keeps you more easily in the grace of God, that you more perfectly and easily join Jesus Christ and gives more glory to God, is more sanctifying for yourself and more helpful for your neighbor.”
1) Place yourself in the presence of God.
2) Ask for the grace of a deep self-knowledge. “Lord, let me know myself.”
3) Read the text below and then spend a brief period of time reflecting on it.
Sin denies obedience to God. (From St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Way of Salvation)
When Moses announced to Pharaoh God’s order to release his people, the reckless one answered: Who is the Lord so that I have to obey his voice? I do not know the Lord (Ex 5:2). The same goes for the sinner, when the conscience intimately reminds him of the divine precept and forbids him from committing that sin, and he replies: Now, in this fact, I do not know God: I know that he is my Lord, but I do not want to obey him.
The voice of God is made to listen to the sinner when he is tempted, saying: “Son, this does not suit you, do not give yourself this infamous pleasure, leave this; that is not your thing.” But the sinner answers: “Lord, I do not want to serve you. You do not want me to realize this sin, and I want to commit it.” Thus I have told you many times, my God, when I have sinned. If you had not died for me, my Redeemer, I would not even have the courage to ask your forgiveness; but you yourself from the Cross offer me this forgiveness, yes, I want it, yes I want it! I regret having despised you. O my God, I would rather die than offend you.
Mary, my refuge, I ask you the grace to be faithful to God until death.
Litany of the Holy Spirit
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy, Christ have mercy
Lord have mercy, Lord have mercy
Christ hear us, Christ hear us
Christ graciously hear us, Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.
(Repeat after each invocation: Have mercy on us)
Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son, have mercy on us.
Spirit of the Lord, who at the beginning of creation, breathed over the waters, made them fertile.
Spirit under whose inspiration God’s saints spoke.
Spirit whose unction teaches us everything.
Spirit who gives testimony of Jesus Christ.
Spirit of truth who inspires everything.
Spirit who descended upon Mary.
Spirit of the Lord who fills all the earth.
Spirit of God who dwells in us.
Spirit of wisdom and understanding.
Spirit of counsel and fortitude.
Spirit of knowledge and piety.
Spirit of fear of the Lord.
Spirit of grace and mercy.
Spirit of virtue, esteem and sobriety.
Spirit of faith, hope, love and peace.
Spirit of humility and chastity.
Spirit of goodness and meekness.
Spirit of all the forms of grace.
Spirit who scrutinizes the divine depths.
Spirit who prays for us with inexpressible pleading.
Spirit who descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove.
Spirit by whom we receive new birth.
Spirit who fills hearts with charity.
Spirit of adoption of the sons of God.
Spirit who appeared over the Disciples in the form of tongues of fire.
Spirit with which the Apostles were filled.
Spirit who gives to each one according to His will.
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
May Jesus Christ reign through the Virgin Mary!
Religious Family of the Incarnate Word
Province of the Immaculate Conception, USA
 This is called “hyperdulia.” Since she is the Mother of God, Mary deserves the highest esteem. The highest respect is due to her—more than all other saints who receive “dulia.”
Download the meditation in PDF here.