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St. Louis Marie de Montfort
on the devil

Excerpts from the book: Jesus Living in Mary — Handbook of the Spirituality of St. Louis Marie de Montfort published by Montfort Publications in Bayshore, NY, 1994) (Reprinted with permission of the publisher)

Montfort often links together the devil and the world (e.g., LEW [The Love of Eternal Wisdom] 199), for he understands the world to be creation not yet turned to God. Anything, therefore, that is not motivated by an authentic religious purpose, whether it be theater, science, art, literature, etc., Montfort considers to be at best a waste of time and a possible means of distancing us from God. The "world," therefore, and "demons" are joined together in opposing the reign of Jesus Christ. The world in this sense is "the synagogue of Satan" (H [Hymns] 29:6) and "the infamous Babylon" (H 107:12). The missionary’s interest in demons is not for the sake of increasing his knowledge; rather, he sees devils as a hindrance to his apostolate of reform and renewal…

The devil, humiliated in seeing that human beings are called to take his place in heaven (H 127:74; LEW 43), tries to separate people from God. He attempts to drag as many as possible toward all sorts of sin in order to make them the reprobate, i.e., radically turned against the Lord. Montfort echoes the words of 1 Pet 5:8: "Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, prowls round looking for someone to devour."

Our Lady is the antithesis of Lucifer: "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" (TD [True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin] 53). Satan has been conquered by Mary’s "Yes," and therefore, she is the enemy of the devil: "The magnificence of the devil is even more humbled to see himself under the feet of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the most humble person who has ever been, than to feel crushed by the arms of the Almighty" (N [Notebook] 70; cf. TD 52). The devil also tries to fool people by leading them into false devotions to Our Lady (TD 90). But "when the Hail Mary is well said, that is, with attention, devotion and humility, it is, according to the saints, the enemy of Satan, putting him to flight; it is the hammer that crushes him (TD 253). Devotion to Our Lady is, therefore, a powerful means of conquering any and all temptations of the devil. St. Louis Marie’s doctrine reminds us that, like the angels, we are destined for service to God, not like the fallen angels, who fell from service to pride.

Rev. Stefano De Fiores, S.M.M.


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