False Devotion to Mary – (3)

According to Saint Louis de Montfort, there are seven false devotions to Mary.  In two of my previous posts I talked about the critical devotees and the scrupulous devotees.  In this post I will talk about the third false devotion to Mary which is that of the superficial devotees.  We have to keep in mind that all of these false devotions come from the evil one, Satan, who is like a thief, waiting for the opportune moment to catch us off guard and poison our minds with his lies and deceitful ways.  As St. Louis de Montfort wrote: “People, richer in grace and virtue, more experienced and advanced in holiness than we are, have been caught off their guard and robbed and stripped of everything.”

We live in a world full of spiritual contamination and moral corruption.  It is a constant challenge trying to keep our faith intact without being led astray by the evil spirits who are always on the prowl for some unsuspecting soul.  St. Louis de Montfort referred to these evil spirits as “cunning thieves” and said that they wait for the perfect moment to catch us in a sin and rob us of all the grace and merit we’ve taken years to acquire.  We must always be alert and ready for spiritual challengesOur Blessed Mother can help us and does help us, especially when we ask for her intercession; she is always there for us, guiding and protecting us from the evil one.  False devotion to Mary is one of Satan’s ways of attacking God because in doing so, he is striking out at Mary, the Mother of God.

False Devotion to Mary – Superficial Devotees

Superficial devotees are people who have no interior spirit and therefore, their entire devotion to Mary consists of a shallow, exterior sort of practice.  For example, they will say the Rosary in a mechanical manner, rushing through it just to prove that they said it.  They will assist in Masses without paying full attention to what they are doing and why they are there.  They participate in processions of the Blessed Mother with no inner joy, zeal or passion for what they are doing.  They join her confraternities without reforming their lives, controlling their earthly desires or imitating Our Lady’s virtues.  Basically, these people have a shallow-minded idea of what it is to honor Mary and therefore, are considered superficial in their devotion.  Superficial devotees are drawn to the emotional aspect of the devotion to Mary, but this devotion lacks substance.  The lack of substance and warmth in their devotions causes them to feel as if they are doing nothing.  They become frustrated and give up, or else they do things only when the timing is just right and they happen to be in the right mood.

In my opinion, there is hope for these superficial people who have this false devotion of Mary.  I don’t view them in the same way that I view the critical and the scrupulous devotees.  I almost feel as if this particular group of people just hasn’t yet fully embraced the whole concept of what it is to be truly devoted to Our Lady; it’s as if they are in Stage One and haven’t yet advanced to Stage Two, maybe because of lack of full spiritual knowledge and/or because they have newly discovered the Catholic faith.  I may be way too on the optimistic side here, but I always believe in every human being’s fullest potential, and I can’t help but wonder when St. Louis de Montfort spoke of these superficial devotees if maybe there are people within that group who are innocently clueless and just need to be shown the correct way.

False Devotion to Mary and the Spiritually Elect

According to St. Louis de Montfort, the elect love and honor the Blessed Mother as their Mother and Queen, and their love for her is not only through words, but also through the things they do.  Their devotion is from within their hearts and not just through outward means.  With open hearts, they constantly implore Mary’s help, telling her their troubles and needs, fully confident that her goodness and power will lead them safely into harbor.  Through her intercession, the elect rely on her mercy and kindness to receive forgiveness for their sins and to experience her motherly comfort in times of trouble and anxiety.

On the other hand, those who show false devotion to Mary put all of their confidence in themselves.  They do not place confidence in the Blessed Mother or rely on her goodness and power and they lose their blessing because they do not submit to her.  They go through their lives in a state of unhappiness and this extends to their death and throughout eternity because they do not imitate Our Lady’s virtues.  They go no further than joining her confraternities, saying some prayers in her honor or performing exterior devotional practices.

We need to pray for these false devotees and one of our best spiritual weapons is the Holy Rosary.  Through the power of the Rosary, all things that are pleasing to God are possible.  And I have to end with my favorite quote; something I’ve held close to my heart through times of endless doubt, pessimistic thinking and worldly cynicism:

“If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible.”  – Soren Kierkegaard


  1. Hate to say it, but Mel Gibson and his recent rants really something has got a hold of him. All of this hate coming from him after his greatest success was released, “The Passion” I guess some demon(s) really went to work on destroying him after completed such a great film. I could be wrong, just a thought.

  2. @Kim – I never thought of it like that, but you just may have a point! Of course, there are so many tragic Hollywood cases; even those people who never had any faith in God to begin with. But you are right, very strange situation and strange timing. It’s so sad and unfortunate about Mel Gibson and who would’ve thought?

  3. Hi, Margo – I followed your link from Conversion Diary – you write so beautifully and thoughtfully. I’m happy to meet you, and I’m looking forward to reading more here.

  4. @the cottage child – Thank you, and I’m so glad you stopped by!

  5. Jeannette of Nazareth says:

    Dear sister in Jesus of Nazareth, our Lord and Saviour,

    Yes, if I may say, I agree that there are less fervent devotee to Mary, and Satan plays a big role in this to prevent Mary showering heavenly graces on her beloved children. However, I think we should not judge people fast; for God alone knows ours thoughts. I understand the importance coming from the message delivered through the article. For example, a few days ago and for the first time, I got up and put kindly my shoulder on a sister who was conducting the rosary, unaware, as she was rolling her words so quickly that I lost concentration. I whispered in her ear and asked her to slow down a bit. She said, if the group does not finish on time, there will be no Mass. So, I apologize to our Heavenly Mother as I saw this a bit offending to God and Mary, and her beloved children were under time pressure.

    Sometimes I hear devotee saying prayers so fast as if they had a contract and are in a big rush… I guess the world is pushing us to run fast in all things as if we are going to die tomorrow… If I may say, I too agree a bit with the author of this article. I find that less individual who take their time saying the rosary with devotion while others, unfortunately, tend to do the opposite to a point that I often fail to follow with them. While some people’s prayers sound as sweet as honey to the ear others tend to put less emotional expression in their tonality. Being slow by nature in thinking, many times, I fall so much behind to the point I lose track. Yes, you may say I get disconnected from the group of prayers. So, I end up meditating on my own. Yet I know God prefers when we say prayers in unison.

    We know that God is full of compassion and very patient towards his beloved children. All prayers lifted up to Heaven can also have two results and effects think of what happens in an orchestra:

    *** Everyone does his part and share of prayers either in a group of individually. God is able to listen to our prayers and supplications simultaneously individually and in unity as a group. And all these parts of prayers is transformed into a beautiful harmonic melody production and a great grandiose symphony as good as that of Mozart, Beethoven, and Hayden! ***

    United in prayers for the advance of Faith and Peace,

    Jeannette of Nazareth

    • Helen L Valentino says:

      That IA beautiful and astute commentary. May we all, be blessed with but a miniscule portion of the patience Our Blessed Mother has with Her children.In so much we may pray in earnest and adoration.
      May God Bless ,Love and keep you,

    • Helen L Valentino says:

      That is a beautiful and astute commentary. May we all, be blessed with but a miniscule portion of the patience Our Blessed Mother has with Her children.In so much we may pray in earnest and adoration.
      May God Bless ,Love and keep you,

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