Where Does the Phrase to Jesus Through Mary Come From?
To understand what the phrase to Jesus through Mary means, it would be wise to look at its origin. Where did the popular phrase come from? Who was the first person to coin it and what did they mean by it?
The creation of the phrase to Jesus through Mary is generally attributed to Saint Louis Marie deMontfort in reference to Marian consecration in his book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. The phrase can be found in its entirety a total of seven times in the book. The following excerpt is the first mention.
“It follows then that anyone who in this way consecrates and sacrifices himself voluntarily to Jesus through Mary may no longer dispose of the value of any of his good actions. All his sufferings, all hisSaint Louis Marie deMontfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin
thoughts, words, and deeds belong to Mary.”
In most cases, Saint Louis deMontfort uses the phrase ‘to Jesus through Mary‘ in reference to total Consecration. Simply, that one should consecrate themselves to Jesus through Mary. However, in his last mention of the phrase, he offers a more specific definition.
“It is the seat of his mercy for us, since we can approach and speak to Jesus through Mary. We need her intervention to see or speak to him. Here, ever responsive to the prayer of his Mother, Jesus unfailingly grants grace and mercy to all poor sinners.”Saint Louis Marie deMontfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin
What then, does to Jesus through Mary Mean?
In short, the phrase to Jesus through Mary can be interpreted to mean two things.
- First, that we should follow Mary’s example and follow in her footsteps to get to her Son, Jesus.
- Second, that we should turn to Mary for her intercession. We should speak to Jesus through Mary.
How Can We Follow Mary’s Example?
It is a wise idea to follow Mary’s example when trying to foster a closer relationship with Our Lord. After all, was Mary not the first person to meet Jesus, to serve Him, and to love him as only she, His loving, adoring Mother could. It is that kind of loving, and serving that we wish to imitate.
We can follow her example by learning more about her and imitating what we learn. If you are interested in reading some food for thought, then consider reading Thomas A Kempis’ The Imitation of Mary. It is a really beautiful piece of work that offers insight into Mary’s relationship with Jesus and how we can imitate it.
We will get closer to Jesus by following Mary’s example and imitating what we learn about her. We can follow in her footsteps to get to Jesus, as she will willingly lead us there.
Why is Marian Intercession Important?
I am a strong advocate of Marian intercession. To me it only makes perfect sense that we should turn to Mary for her help in attaining what we need from Jesus. If Jesus is willing to listen to us and answer our prayers when and how He sees fit, then wouldn’t He be even more willing to listen to His Mother whom He loves very much.
At this point, I usually like to reference the wedding feast at Cana. How it was Mary that was made aware of the lack of wine and not Jesus directly. He was made aware by His Mother who convinced Him to perform His first public miracle. This was a prime example of Marian intercession and it can be found in the Bible.
1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”4 [And] Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”John 2: 1-5
Is It Wrong for Catholics to Pray to Mary?
There is a common misconception among non-Catholics and even some Catholics themselves, that praying to Mary is sacrilegious and even a violation of the first commandment. Catholics don’t worship Mary by praying to her. When we pray to Mary, it is not the same type of prayer that we offer to God.
Would you consider it morally wrong to ask someone you know, maybe even your own Mother to pray for you when you are in need of prayers? So often on social media you will see someone who is going through a difficult time in their life, or about to make a big decision, or some other stressful or worrying thing, and they ask for prayers.
When we pray to Mary, what we are doing is asking our Mother in Heaven to pray for us or to pray with us. It would not be unusual to ask that of someone here on earth, so why should it be if we ask Mary or the Saints. We cannot speak to them the same way that we speak to fellow humans here on earth. When we speak to anyone in Heaven, it is considered praying; but there is more than just one type of praying.
The type of praying that we reserve for Mary and the Saints is the kind that is simply like a conversation with someone. You are not worshiping them, you are not adoring them, you are not idolizing them. You are asking them for help and prayers.
When Should You Pray to Mother Mary?
I think I hardly need to mention that your prayers to Mary asking for her powerful intercession should not replace your prayers to God directly. They are a good supplementary form of prayer, but they should not be the sole form of prayer. That being said, don’t be afraid that praying to Mary is wrong. As Saint Maximilian Kolbe once said:
“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”Saint Maximilian Kolbe
This is another beautiful quote to remember as well:
“We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”Saint Louis Marie deMontfort
Do not be afraid of loving the Blessed Mother. She would not wish us to love her more than her Son. She does not wish to take God’s place in our hearts. She will never allow that to happen.
“It is not I who seek our Mary, but it is God Who offers her to me; it not I who love her, but the Lord Who tells me to love her.”Cardinal Anastasio Ballestrero, Il Mistero di Maria
Encouraging Children to go to Jesus Through Mary
To help children go to Jesus through Mary, we have to help them make it a habit. To make it second-nature to them. The best method of encouraging children to turn to Mother Mary is to lead by example and to pray with them to Mary until they are able to do so themselves. Mary will help protect your children against evil. She will guide them on the right path.
“Men do not fear a powerful hostile army as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary.”Saint Bonaventure
Teach your children some very simple prayers such as the ones below:
A Child’s Prayer to Mary
Holy Mary, mother fair,
Filled with love for God,
Pray for us in all our needs.
Pray for us today.
O my God, I offer Thee through the Immaculate Heart
of Mary, all my thoughts, words, actions, and sufferings of this day, to please Thee, to honour Thee, and to make up
for my sins.
Sweet Mother Mary, keep me in thy care.
O Virgin Mother Mary,
help me to Heaven above.
Mother of Jesus,
keep me always as thy loving child.
You can grab printable prayer cards for those prayers to help you and your children memorize them. Click here to get download and print them for FREE.
The short answer to the question ‘what does to Jesus through Mary mean?’ is that we should use Mary as an example, imitate her relationship with Jesus, and ask for her help to get closer to her Son and eternal life in Heaven. It is not wrong for Catholics to pray to Mary, granted that we turn to her only as a means to get to her Son. We can teach children to turn to Mary by leading them by example and teaching them about Mary.
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