Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 5 August 2011

True Devotion to Mary

Today being the feast of Our Lady of the Snows and thus a the Blessed Virgin Mary prompts me to post something about St Louis de Montfort's True Devotion to Mary. There is an account of St Louis (1673-1716) and of his spiritual legacy which can be read here.

I have known of the book for a while but only recently got round to reading this classic work on Marian devotion, in the translation by another great devotee of Our Lady, Fr Faber C.O.

An Anglican friend grimaced somehat upon finding me with the book, but I can apprecaite its richness as a spiritual direction finder. One has initially to get used to St Louis' style, and it is, in one way, of its time, yet still highly pertinent. I was struck how, at times, St Louis writes as someone formed in the same culture, but giving very different answers, which produced Jansenism. He has a strong sense of mankind's fallen nature - but he has a very positive answer: the True Devotion he outlines.

From reading it I am aware of how it has encouraged my own prayers to Our Lady and already modified, and indeed expanded, my understanding of Marian devotion.


St Louis de Montfort


I am very grateful for having read True Devotion and I appreciate the point made by Fr Faber in his introduction, and also by Pope John Paul II, extracts from whose letter to the Montfortian family can be read here, that this is a book to return to and re-read and to reflect upon. As the saying goes these days, Highly Recommended.


davidforster said...

Would the culture that produced both Jansenism and True Devotion, and which has a strong sense of mankind's fallen nature, by any chance be called "Catholic" culture?

Once I Was A Clever Boy said...

I think it could.