Dear Friends and Benefactors,
We are speaking about the manner and living of the Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary according to the spirit of St. Louis de Montfort and according to the message of Our Lady of Fatima. Montfort describes at length the condition, activity, and spirituality of these apostles of the end of times.
Who are they? Montfort speaks first of “great saints” (TD 47), “great souls filled with grace and zeal” (TD 48). He then refers to them as “the valiant soldiers and loyal servants of Jesus Christ . . . the true children and servants of the Blessed Virgin” (TD 50,6; 52; 54), “the elect” (TD 55), “these servants, these slaves, these children of Mary” (TD 56). Finally, he refers to their sacerdotal character: “ministers of the Lord . . . the children of Levi” (TD 56), “true apostles of the end times . . . amid other (novus ordo) priests, ecclesiastics and clerics” (TD 58).
In his ardent prayer for vocations to the Company of Mary, he speaks of “missionaries” (PM 3, 20, 21, 25) and of “priests” (PM 2, 18, 25, 29). His proposed congregation of missionary priests forms the core of these apostles. But the activity and the mighty battles of the end times must not be reserved to them alone. In two other prophetic texts, Montfort speaks more generally of “chosen souls” in whom Mary will reign sovereign (TD 217), and he enlarges the horizon to embrace “a mighty legion of brave and valiant soldiers of Jesus and Mary, both men and women” (TD 114).
The work of the apostles of the end times swings essentially around two poles, one negative, the other positive: “destroying sin and establishing the reign of Jesus Christ” (SM 59).
The first (negative) pole involves a series of aggressive actions against the forces of evil: they “will give battle, overthrowing and crushing” (TD 48), they “will thunder against sin, they will storm against the world, they will strike down the devil and his followers” (TD 57), they “will be the odor of death to the great, the rich and the proud of this world” (TD 56). Montfort foresees missionaries who will attack and overthrow the “enemies of God” (PM 8, 29), who will “crush the head of the serpent” (PM 12), “address their ardent prayers to heaven, turning them into the weapons which will overcome or convert their enemies” (PM 25).
The second positive pole, which is described in more detail, consists of actions directed at the reform of the Church and its extension into the world: their “ministry will renew the face of the earth and reform your Church” (PM 17). With this objective, the apostles of the end times will carry out sanctifying apostolic work: they “will enkindle everywhere the fires of divine love” (TD 56); “wherever they preach, they will leave behind them nothing but the gold of love” (TD 58); they will be the “sweet fragrance of Jesus” (TD 56). They will “build the temple of the true Solomon and the mystical city of God” (TD 48), and they will “shower down the rain of God’s word and of eternal life” (TD 57). Moreover, they will work to extend the Lord’s empire “over the impious, the idolaters and Muslims” (TD 49), receiving the deluge of fire that will empower them to convert “Muslims, idolaters and even Jews” (PM 17).
Their spirituality: The Marian experience. Montfort describes this with enthusiasm: “these great souls . . . will be exceptionally devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Illumined by her light, nourished at her breast, guided by her spirit, supported by her arm, sheltered under her protection” (TD 48; cf. also 55). They are “those who belong to the Blessed Virgin,” her “true children and servants,” “her humble slaves and children,” “her heel,” who will crush the head of the serpent (TD54).
The experience of the Cross. There are various reasons for this experience: the need to be “thoroughly purified by the fire of Great Tribulations” and to carry “the myrrh of mortification in their body” (TD 56); the fact that they will be preaching devotion to Mary, which “will make many enemies” (TD 48); the description of the “heel” of Mary, which implies that they will be “down-trodden and crushed” (TD 54).
These elements are found in the spirituality of the apostolic men whom Montfort describes in the PM. These apostles will be united with God, because they are “enriched by the dew of heaven and the fat of the earth” (PM 25); “entirely dependent on Providence, who will feast to their heart’s content on the spiritual delights” (PM 21); and endowed with “their great love for Jesus Christ which enables them to carry his cross” (PM 24); uniquely preoccupied with the “glory” of the Holy Spirit (PM 23), whose breath urges them forward to their mission (PM 9). In addition, they will burn with “holy anger” and “ardent zeal” (PM 21), because the Holy Spirit will create “priests who burn with the same fire” (PM 17) and who will have a “perfect love . . . for their neighbor” (PM 24). They will do battle against the enemies of God “with the Cross for their staff and the Rosary for their sling” (PM 8) and with an irresistible wisdom (PM 22, 25), and “they will crush the head of the serpent wherever they go” (PM 12). They will thus become the “true children . . . true servants of the Blessed Virgin” (PM 11, 12), characterized by “their true devotion to Mary” (PM 12) and her maternal solicitude (PM 11, 25). Finally, they will experience persecutions and crosses, because “the devil will lie in wait to attack the heel of this mysterious woman, that is, the little company of her children” (PM 13).
These are the condition, activity, and spirituality of these apostles of the end times.
Let us become slaves of Mary, that we may become great saints!
Fr. Pancras Raja
June 3, 2020