The Secret of Mary by St. Louis de Montfort is a short, famous classic on “True devotion to Mary” –an excellent, easy means of attaining holiness and salvation, a way followed by Popes and Saints, but also perfect for lay people. It is at least every bit as good as his True Devotion to Mary! Small but powerful–seems almost divinely inspired!
THE SECRET OF MARY INTRODUCTION
1. Here is a secret, chosen soul, which the most High God taught me and which I have not found in any book, ancient or modern. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, I am confiding it to you, with these conditions:
1. That you share it only with people who deserve to know it because they are prayerful, give alms to the poor, do penance, suffer persecution, are unworldly, and work seriously for the salvation of souls.
2. That you use this secret to become holy and worthy of heaven, for the more you make use of it the more benefit you will derive from it. Under no circumstances must you let this secret make you idle and inactive. It would then become harmful and lead to your ruin.
3. That you thank God every day of your life for the grace he has given you in letting you into a secret that you do not deserve to know. As you go on using this secret in the ordinary actions of your life, you will come to understand its value and its excellent quality. At the beginning, however, your understanding of it will be clouded because of the seriousness and number of your sins, and your unconscious love of self.
4. Before you read any further, in an understandable impatience to learn this truth, kneel down and say devoutly the Ave Maris Stella (“Hail, thou star of ocean”), and the “Come, Holy Spirit”, to ask God to help you understand and appreciate this secret given by him. As I have not much time for writing and you have little time for reading, I will be brief in what I have to say.
SECRET OF MARY TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. NECESSITY OF HAVING A TRUE DEVOTION TO MARY
A. The Grace of God is absolutely necessary
B. To find the Grace of God, we must discover Mary
C. A True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is indispensable
2. WHAT PERFECT DEVOTION TO MARY CONSISTS IN
A. Some True Devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary
B. The Perfect Practice of True Devotion
1. What it consists in
2. The excellence of this practice of devotion
3. The interior constituents of this consecration and its spirit
4. The effects that this devotion produces in a faithful soul
5. Exterior practices
A. Prayer to Jesus
B. Prayer to Mary
4. THE CARE AND GROWTH OF THE TREE OF LIFE
A. The holy slavery of love
B. How to cultivate it
C. Its lasting fruit: Jesus Christ