Serious Theological Errors — Part II

True Devotion to Mary

2. Another reason why Saint Louis de Montfort experienced so much persecution from diocesan authorities and leading theologians comes from Section 50 of his book where he attributes a quote from Proverbs 8:35 to the Blessed Mother by saying, “He who shall find Mary shall find life (Prov. 8:35)...” Although the book of Proverbs uses a female personification of wisdom, it was written hundreds of years before Mary was born, and there is no mention of the Blessed Mother in the book of Proverbs. Other examples from the book of Proverbs that use a female personification of wisdom include Proverbs 8:1, which says, “Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?”

The use of a female personification for wisdom continues throughout the eighth chapter of Proverbs, and includes Proverbs 8:11, which says, “For wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.” According to 1 Corinthians 12:8, wisdom is one of the Holy Spirit’s gifts. Because the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the Holy Spirit as a person in Section 253, it would make sense that the actions of the Holy Spirit (including the gifts of wisdom) would be personified in the Book of Proverbs.

3. Another reason why Saint Louis de Montfort experienced so much persecution from the leading theologians of his day comes from Section 5 in his book where he attributes the Song of Songs to Mary by saying, “Mary is the ‘sealed fountain.’” To support the statement that Mary is the sealed fountain, “Cant. 4:12” is offered as a reference. Although the word canticle may be confusing to some readers, it simply means hymn. In some translations of Sacred Scripture, The Song of Songs is called The Song of Solomon or The Canticle of Canticles.

Regardless of how this book of the Bible has been named, The Song of Songs is a collection of love songs between a man and a woman. A deeper meaning of this book is the poetic portrayal of God’s love for his people. Because The Song of Songs was written hundreds of years before Mary was born, this book has nothing to do with the Blessed Mother. In addition to Cant. 4:12 being attributed to Mary, the publishers or editors have also referenced Cant. 3:6 and Cant. 8:5 in Section 3 as a reference to Mary by saying, “Even her parents did not know her, and the angels often asked one another: ‘Who is that?’ (Cant. 3:6; 8:5).”

4. Another serious theological error comes from Section 29, where Saint Louis de Montfort says, “God the Father wishes to have children by Mary till the consummation of the world; and He speaks to her these words: ‘Dwell in Jacob.’” As a reference for this quote “Ecclus. 24:13” is offered. Because the word consummation means “an act of completing a marriage by sexual intercourse,” what the author is saying is that God wants to have children by Mary until the end of the world; and to justify this statement, Ecclus 24:13 is offered as a reference. Although the word Ecclus may be confusing to some readers, it is an abbreviation for Ecclesiasticus, also known as the Book of Sirach in most Catholic Bibles. Not only is this a false statement about God’s desire to father additional children through the Blessed Mother, but Ecclus. 24:13 does not contain any references to the Blessed Mother. Ecclus. 24:13 says, “I grew tall like a cedar in Lebanon, and like a cypress on the heights of Hermon.”

Another serious theological error occurs when the author (publisher or editor) misquotes “Ecclus. 24:13” three different times, and then places words in parentheses that are not found in Scripture. For example, in Section 29, the words “Dwell in Jacob” is being quoted as coming from Ecclus. 24:13. In Section 31, the words “Take Israel for your inheritance,” is being quoted as coming from Ecclus. 24:13. Then in Section 34, the words “of all your virtues in My elect” are also being quoted as coming from Ecclus. 24:13. Three different sections (29, 31 & 34) that all contain words marked in parentheses from the same source, yet the words dwell in Jacob, take Israel for your inheritance, and all your virtues in My elect do not have the same meaning, and they are not found anywhere in Ecclus. 24:13.

5. Another careless theological error comes from Section 48, where Saint Louis de Montfort mentions Psalm 58 in the text by saying, “This is what the Holy Ghost seems to have prophesied in the Fifty-eighth Psalm: ‘And they shall know that God will rule Jacob and all the ends of the earth; they shall return at evening and shall suffer hunger like dogs and shall go round about the city.’” This is a serious theological error because Psalm 58 only has 11 verses and there is no mention of dogs anywhere in Psalm 58. If there is no mention of dogs anywhere in Psalm 58, why would the author accredit a prophetic statement from the Holy Ghost about a person suffering hunger like dogs, and mention Psalm 58 as the source? Other examples of quotes that do not exist come from Section 70, where the author quotes Psalm 72:26. Apparently no one checked this quote, because Psalm 72 only contains 20 verses.

6. In Section 17, Saint Louis de Montfort says that Mary was given “power to produce His Son and all the members of His Mystical Body.” This statement is false because Mary did not “produce” Jesus. Mary was not given power to produce Jesus, because Jesus existed before Mary was born. According to Sacred Scripture in John 1:2–3, Jesus existed before the creation of the world. “He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being.” The Nicene Creed also affirms this reality by stating, “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made.”1 To say that Mary created Jesus, or that Mary was given power to “produce” Jesus would be a serious theological error.

Another false statement would be to say that God gave Mary power to produce all the members of His Mystical Body. The term, mystical body is a reference to the Church. In the same way that Mary was never given power to produce Jesus, she was also never given the power to produce the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church in section 771, “The one mediator, Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth his holy Church.” Because Jesus established and sustains his Church, it would be wrong to take an honor away from Jesus and place it on one of his servants.2

7. In Section 27, Saint Louis de Montfort makes another false statement by saying, “even God Himself, is subject to the Blessed Virgin…”3 Although Saint Louis de Montfort exhibited a passionate desire to minister to others, making these kinds of statements could mislead his followers into believing that God and Mary are equal, or that God and Mary are subject to one another; both would be a very serious theological error. The best evidence that God is not subject to Mary comes from Mary’s own words in the Magnificat:

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary in Luke 1:30–31, he said, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.” 

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”4

 The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.”5

 Then Mary said, “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.”6

In this situation, Mary refers to herself as a servant (or handmaid) of the Lord. Because Mary is part of God’s creation, and a servant of the Lord, she cannot be equal to or greater than God. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church in section 970, along with the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church in Lumen Gentium section 60, Mary’s role as an intercessor draws all its power from Christ and depends entirely upon Christ. Because Mary’s role as an intercessor draws all its power from Christ and depends entirely upon Christ, Mary is not God and God is not subject to the Blessed Mother.

Continue to Part III