Florilegium Sancti Ludovici Mariae

In medieval Latin, a florilegium (literally, a “gathering of flowers”) is a systematic collection of writings from larger works. Its literal Greek equivalent gives us the word anthology. In the Ages of Faith, works of the Church Fathers and other authors were compiled into florilegia for the purposes of study, meditation, and the like. What follows is a brief gathering of Marian flowers from the works of St. Louis Marie de Montfort. The “flower-picker” was not I, but our Brother Louis Marie, who, among other duties, trains altar servers, serves as Scout Master for our BSA Troop 775 (Mt. Monadnock District of the Daniel Webster Counicil), travels around distributing our books and sacramentals, and acts as nurse and caretaker for our 92-year-old chaplain.

He prepared this for the feast of his patron, last week (April 28), and I thought I would share his work of the heart with our readers.

  • God having willed to commence and to complete His greatest works by the most holy Virgin ever since He created her – we may well think He will not change His conduct in the eternal ages; for He is God and He changes not, either in His sentiments or in His conduct.

  • Oh, admirable and incomprehensible dependence of God…. Jesus Christ gave more glory to God the Father by submission to His mother during those thirty years than He would have given Him in converting the whole world by the working of the most stupendous miracles.

  • After Mary has heaped her favors upon her children and faithful servants, and has obtained for them the blessing of the heavenly Father and union with Jesus Christ, she preserves them in Jesus and Jesus in them.

  • Keep me, Lord, keep me from their sentiments [minimalist Catholics] and their practices, and give me some share of the sentiments of gratitude, esteem, respect and love, which Thou hast in regard to Thy holy Mother, so that the more I imitate and follow her, the more I may love and glorify Thee.

  • God made His omnipotence shine forth in letting Himself be carried by that humble maiden. He found His glory and His Father’s in hiding His splendors from all creatures here below, and revealing them to Mary only.

  • Mary, being altogether transformed into God by grace and by the glory which transforms all the saints into Him, asks nothing, wishes nothing, does nothing contrary to the eternal and immutable will of God.

  • It all comes to this, then: we must become holy. It is precisely this that I wish to teach you. My contention is that you must first discover Mary, if you would obtain this grace from God.

  • Mary is the great mold of God. No godly feature is missing form this mold. Everyone who casts himself into it and allows himself to be molded, will acquire every feature of Jesus Christ. He will take on a faithful likeness to Jesus with no possibility of distortion.

  • Let us not imagine, then, as some misguided teachers do, that Mary, being simply a creature, would be a hindrance to union with the Creator. Far from it, for it is no longer Mary who lives but Jesus Christ Himself. God alone, who lives in her.

  • It was through the most holy Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world, and it is also through her that He has to reign in the world…. Mary is the excellent masterpiece of the Most High, the knowledge and possession of which He has reserved to Himself.

  • Mary is the admirable Mother of the Son… the faithful spouse of the Holy Ghost… Mary is the sanctuary and the repose of the Holy Trinity, where God dwells more magnificently and more divinely than in any other place in the universe, not excepting His dwelling between the Cherubim and Seraphim.

  • She is the magnificence of the most High, where He hid, as in her bosom, His only Son, and in Him all that is most excellent and most precious.

  • Oh, what grand and hidden things that mighty God has wrought in this admirable creature, as she herself had to acknowledge, in spite of her profound humility: “He that is mighty hath done great things to me.”

  • There is not a little child who, as it lisps the Hail Mary, does not praise her. There is scarcely a sinner who, even in his obduracy, has not some spark of confidence in her. Nay, the very devils in hell respect her while they fear her.

  • She deserves still more praise, still more respect, still more love, and still more service. After that, we must cry out with the Apostle, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor man’s heart comprehended” (1Cor. 2:9) the beauties, the grandeur, the excellence of Mary.