Monday, April 27, 2009

Totus Tuus

Today is the feast date of St. Louis de Montfort. His book True Devotion to Mary is a must-read for Catholics everywhere. Check the reviews on and you will get an idea of how the timeless message of this book continues to transform lives and hearts hundreds of years after it was written.

In his work as a preacher and author, St. Louis de Montfort spread devotion to the rosary. He knew better than most the incredible power of this glorious prayer. St. Louis de Montfort understood that when the faithful pray the rosary from the heart, miracles happen.

So St. Louis de Monfort wouldn't have been a bit surprised to learn what happened centuries later when the world's super-powers were locked in the global arms and intelligence standoff known as the Cold War.

In response to the escalating tensions between the United States and Russia, Pope John XXIII called for prayers, and a million pilgrims in Fatima held an all-night prayer vigil before the Blessed Sacrament on October 12-13, 1960. On October 24th, a bizarre accident resulted in the explosion of a new Soviet missile, killing many of their top scientists and setting back the Soviet nuclear arms program.

On May 13, 1984, one of the largest crowds in Fatima’s history gathered to pray. On the same day, a series of explosions started at Severomorsk, Russia, the site of the Soviet Union’s northern fleet. The explosions continued for five days and destroyed much of the weaponry that was stored there at the time, but fortunately the nuclear weapons and ships were missed.

Four years later, it happened again. As thousands prayed all night long on May 12, 1988 during the vigil of the anniversary of the apparition at Fatima, another major explosion shut down the Soviet Union’s only missile motor plant.

Did the faithful ask for destruction of Russia's nuclear capabilities? I don't know. But I have no doubt that many people prayed the rosary for peace during those vigils.

A testament to the awesome power of prayer.
Especially prayer of the rosary.

Even if you've never heard of St. Louis de Montfort, his motto may ring a bell. In it's entirety it reads:

Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt, O Virgo, super omnia benedicta.

which translates as:

I am all yours, and all that is mine is yours, O Virgin, blessed above all.

Sound familiar? Pope John Paul II shared St. Louis de Monfort's True Devotion to Mary, and adopted Totus Tuus as the motto of his pontificate.

with appreciation to

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