Pope John Paul II marked the 160th anniversary of the publication of "True devotion to Our Lady" by St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, the book he said inspired his Mariology.
The Holy Father wrote a letter to the religious men and women of the Montfort families on the Marian doctrine of their founder.
In the letter dated December 8, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, the Pope recalls that despite the fact that St. Louis-Marie wrote the treatise at the beginning of 1700, the manuscript was "virtually unknown for more than a century," until it was "discovered by chance in 1842 and published in 1843."
"I myself, in the years of my youth, received great help from the letter in this book in which I 'found the response to my questions' due to fear that devotion to Mary 'would end up compromising the supremacy of worship due to Christ'.
My motto, 'Totus tuus,' is inspired by the doctrine of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Monfort. These two words express total abandonment to Jesus through Mary."
St. Louis-Marie, he affirms, "contemplates all the mysteries starting with the Incarnation, which occurred at the moment of the Annunciation." The Holy Father indicates that "in the Monfort spirituality the dynamism of charity is expressed in a special way through the symbol of the 'slavery of love for Jesus,' following the example and maternal aid of Mary."
"Like St. John of the Cross, St. Louis Marie insists especially on the purity of faith and on its fundamental and often painful obscurity."
Referring then to Our Lady as a sign of hope, John Paul concludes: "The Church awaits the glorious coming of Jesus at the end of the world. Like Mary and with Mary, the saints are in the Church in order to make its holiness radiate and to extend the work of Christ, one and only Savior, to the ends of the earth and till the end of the world."