St. Louis de Montfort, the Holy Family, St. Maximilian Kolbe
by Jayson M. Brunelle, M.Ed., C.A.G.S | HPR
St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maximillian Kolbe, … have consistently taught that the most appropriate response on our part to Mary’s role as spiritual mother is filial entrustment, or “total consecration” to her. This perfect devotion of total consecration to Jesus through Mary is truly the most sanctifying of all devotions.
So very few persons, pious Catholic Christians included, realize the tremendous role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the sanctification of souls. Being spiritual mother of the Mystical Body, she, along with the Holy Spirit, has the tasks of forming Christ in souls, and nourishing her children with the milk of divine grace. St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maximillian Kolbe, two of the most outstanding Marian saints, along with a significant number of other great Marian saints and popes, have consistently taught that the most appropriate response on our part to Mary’s role as spiritual mother is filial entrustment, or “total consecration” to her. This perfect devotion of total consecration to Jesus through Mary is truly the most sanctifying of all devotions. It is the purpose of this essay to study the essence of this devotion. We will begin with an exploration of the image of Mary as the Mediatrix of all grace, the firm theological foundation for Marian consecration. Next, we will study St. Louis de Montfort’s explanation of the nature and motives of the devotion. Finally, we will turn our attention to St. Joseph’s role in this devotion, focusing first on his spousal union with Mary as the ultimate model of total consecration; secondly, on his role as “spiritual father” and protector of the mystical body; and, finally, on the universality of Joseph as a model of holiness.
Mary, Mediatrix of all Grace
To understand the logic of total consecration to Jesus through Mary, we must first grasp Mary’s role as Mediatrix of all graces. This is the Church’s doctrine that every grace that comes to us from God comes through the willed intercession of Mary. But this role of Mary as Mediatrix of all grace is really the completion of her role as Spiritual Mother, and follows from her unique cooperation in the redemption of humanity with Christ on Calvary. So let us first review these two concepts of Mary as Spiritual Mother, the Mediatrix of all grace.