To introduce this argument it is necessary to make a premise: however perfect, Mary is still a creature and God, sufficient for Himself, could have done without it to realize his plan of salvation of men. However, He has decided to involve her and since God is immutable, Mary will always have a central role in the economy of redemption. Jesus is the only mediator between man and God, but reaching directly to Christ is not easy for us, we need mediation between us and Jesus. Here, then, is the Virgin Mary, mediator of all graces by the Lord’s own will. Jesus gave Mary all His goods, virtues and merits of His Sacrifice and made it a channel through which he grants them to the souls who seek them. No gift from Heaven is granted to men who do not pass through the hands and for the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Mary is the safest, easiest and shortest way to get to Jesus.
St. Louis Maria Grignion de Montfort, one of our Patron Saints, from whom we drew prayer for our project with which we begin the recitation of the Hour of The Guard of the Holy Rosary, enters the heart of the matter: “It is my personal conviction that no one can come to an intimate union with Our Lord and to a perfect fidelity to the Holy Spirit without a great union with SS.ma Virgin (…) Only Mary has found grace with God without the help of any creature (…) Already full of grace when she was greeted by the Archangel Gabriel (…) the Most High has constituted her only treasurer of Her treasures and the sole dispenser of Her graces (…) Everywhere and always Jesus is the fruit and son of Mary, the true Mother who generates it (…) Only to Mary God has he given the keys they introduce into the intimacy of His love, with the power to enter the most sublime and secret ways of perfection and to let others in” (from the Treaty of True Devotion to Mary No. 43-45). There are therefore many reasons why Marian devotion is necessary.
The end of our lives, whatever the state of life, is holiness: to participate in divine life, that our soul is intimately conformed to Jesus, that Jesus is born and dwells in our soul. If Christ, in his humanity, came into the world through Mary, He can “be born” spiritually in us and the Holy Spirit can work wonders of grace, the more he will find in our soul the Virgin Mary, His Bride.
Moreover, as in the natural order (of human life) to be born we need a father and a mother, so even in the order of grace (of supernatural life) we need a father and a mother. But when did Mary become our mother? Jesus from the Cross not only in words forgave his executioners (including us with our sins!) but, in addition to His own life, he wanted to give them, as help, the dearest thing he had on this earth: His Mother! It is on Calvary, therefore, that Our Lady has “given birth” to us, through a birth that, unlike the virginal birth of Her divine Son, was very painful: it is not possible even to imagine the pain of Mary at the foot of the Cross! But if we were born there, it means that She was already carrying us in Her womb. S. Alfonso Maria De Liguori teaches that since the Annunciation she had understood that she would become not only Mother of God but also Our Mother. Let us therefore consider how much Mary loves us: after the fiat of the Annunciation, Jesus now asks her another yes, much more difficult and painful, to become Mother of the crucifixors of Her Son, to give His divine Son in exchange for each of us, children so often ungrateful! Quoting St. Augustine, Montfort writes that on this earth when a child is in the womb of the mother he does not see his mother but is inside her and receives from her everything he needs to live. This is how it is for us devotees of Mary: in this life she carries us in Her womb, our spiritual life depends on her, but we cannot see her; the day of our death, will be the day when she will give birth to true life, eternal life, and at last we will see her!
Marian devotion is not a purely sentimental or emotional fact. In general faith cannot be based on feelings (which come and go even if at certain times they can help us and give us some consolation). Rather, we need the will, the right reason, as well as, of course, God’s grace. All this gives us the necessary perseverance to overcome the moments of aridity that can also serve us because of them the Lord serves to test our faith and make us deserve Paradise. Marian devotion has theological foundations in divine Revelation itself, therefore in the Tradition of the Church and in Sacred Scripture. Let us remember that Mary’s Faith is the constitutive of the Church: His Faith on Holy Saturday (the only one that preserved it when even the apostles were lost after the sad “spectacle” of Calvary) is what kept the nascent Church united with His Founder Jesus Christ. The Church, through the teaching of the Popes and the greatest Saints from her fathers, has always taught the importance of devotion to Our Lady and in particular of the Holy Rosary, christological prayer par excellence, as it makes us meditate on the mysteries of Jesus’ life with the eyes and heart of Mary.
Again, we must love Our Lady because she is our Co-Redeemer having lived in Her soul the same Passion that Jesus suffered in her body. St. Alfonso M. De Liguori reminds us that at the moment of our death, every time we have recited in the Hail Mary: ” prayfor us sinners nowand at the hour of our death ” will cause the Immaculate Conception to be there to defend us. In fact, witnessing to the death of Jesus, Mary has acquired the privilege of witnessing the death of all her children.
Mary is also a model of every virtue, and therefore a reference to be imitated for the Christian. In Her Immaculate Conception, she reminds us how we were, just as God had created us before we were corrupted by original sin. Mary is the greatest masterpiece among God’s creatures: she is a creature, but Her heights touch heaven; it is very humble, but His greatness cannot be measured; it is hidden, but Its beauty is unspeakable; she is a Virgin, but she is the Mother of Jesus Man-God; it is Immaculate and merciful with sinners; it is the sigh of saints and joy of angels; delight of the Most Holy Trinity; precious pearl and scale of Paradise.
Another very important reason to consider in order to understand the importance of loving Our Lady is that Jesus first loved her and we must imitate him in this too: we must love her as He himself loved her. Of course we can never achieve this degree of love, but for this very reason it will never be possible to say that we are “too” Marian, as if giving something to Mary, we take something away from Christ. In fact, she holds nothing for herself and, like a pure mirror, everything reflects on God (as we clearly see in the episode of the Visitation to Elizabeth, in which, to her cousin’s greeting, she responds with the prayer of the Magnificat). Jesus and Mary cannot be separated:Mary’swill is perfectly identified with that of Jesus, which is why we should not be surprised if some Saints, such as St. Maximilian M. Kolbe, speak of ” doing the Will of the Immaculate “. Jesus wanted to glorify His freedom and his power in seeing himself “enclosed” in the bosom of the purest Virgin, in depending on her in everything: in the conception, in birth, in childhood, in the hidden life of His first thirty years, even in His death when, deposed by the Cross, he will be placed once again in the mother’s arms. From her he was nursed, fed, raised, raised and offered as a sacrifice for us.
Finally, thinking of the reasons for Marian devotion, how can we forget that it is the Virgin herself who, in Her many apparitions, stopping at those recognized by the Church, asks us to consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart. Let us think, on all of them, of the apparitions of Fatima.
In conclusion, the presence of Marian devotion in a soul is always a sign that one is on the right track: as the dawn precedes the rising of the sun, so Marian devotion in a soul foretells conversion, the birth of the Sun of justice: Jesus Christ! In his book “The Secret of Mary“, St. Louis M. Grignion de Montfort makes this beautiful analogy: our heart is like a garden in which we must plant the plant of devotion to Our Lady, defend it from the weed of vices and sins and irrigate it with daily prayer. Thus this plant will bear as fruit Jesus (“the blessed fruit of his bosom”): Our Lady is the flower and Jesus is the fruit of this immaculate flower.