Madonna House

The Secret of Mary

by Catherine Doherty

Do you want to know the secret of Mary? The first step is the consecration to Mary according to the Act of Total Consecration of St. Louis de Montfort.

To quote from St. Louis himself:

“A sculptor has two ways of making a statue. He may carve it out of wood or stone or some other suitable material, or he may cast it in a mold.

“An unhappy blow of the hammer or a slip of the chisel or any other accident may destroy the carver’s work even before it has well begun. And even when the process is successful, it takes much time to complete the figure.

“Casting it in a mold requires but little work, little time, little expense. And, if the mold is perfect and capable of reproducing the statue wanted, it forms the desired figure quickly, easily, and gently—provided the material used does not resist the operation.

“Mary, the great and unique mold of God, was made by the Holy Spirit to form the God-Man, the Man-God. In this mold none of the features of the Godhead is missing.

“Therefore, whosoever is cast into it and yields himself to the molding receives all the features of Jesus Christ, our true God!

“What a difference there is between a soul formed in Christ by the ordinary ways of those who, like the sculptor, trust in their own ingenuity and skill, and a soul which, without trusting itself, is molded by the Holy Spirit in the mold of Mary!

“How many defects and imperfections one will show! How pure and heavenly will be the other and how Christ-like!”

From The Secret of Mary, by St. Louis de Montfort, adapted by Eddie Doherty, pp. 15-16)


If you want to know Our Lady’s secret, you must enter her great silence. The door to this great silence is very small and narrow, and before you can enter you have to become small yourself. Small, humble, and simple, as a little child is small, humble, and simple. Then the door will seem big to you, and you will enter with ease.

Once you have entered, be silent yourself. Just sit down comfortably at Mary’s feet and be silent with her. Let your silence have that quality of listening recollection that is so necessary for hearing her silence speak.

Forget the cares of the day, bend down, and collect or recollect all the pieces of yourself that the day in the market place and its heat have scattered all over the place.

When you are “whole” again, and silent—reverently yet simply so, with the silence of a great love for Mary the Mother of God—she will arise and, taking you by the hand, lead you into the inner chamber of her Immaculate Heart. There all the words of her Son are still kept, as fresh and alive as when he spoke them.

Still silently, she will take each word, each familiar and dear word from this, her greatest treasure, and show it to you. In her hands each word will glow and open as a flower opens to the sun and will reveal many a hidden or unclear meaning to you. And you will marvel that you did not see before.

Looking over the words of Christ with Mary is the first part of her great secret. The next will be her leading you through another door to her Spouse, the Holy Spirit, the Crimson Dove. Gently she will lift you up into his blinding light.

Then, if you lie still in her arms, as her small divine Son once did, you will begin to see life with the eyes of God. All things will come together for you and make marvelous and holy sense, and you will lose all fears, for you will enter onto the first step of perfect love that casts out all fear.

Sickness or health, joy or sorrow, wealth or poverty, loneliness or the happiness of having many friends and loved ones around you. All will be accepted by you gladly with that inner glow and joy that comes from seeing in each the most holy will of God and desiring nothing but what he desires for you.

Then you will begin to know a little more of her great secret—but not all of it. That will come later, if, content and at peace, you remain with her and the Holy Spirit and begin to live your life as God wishes you to.

There will come a day when Our Lady will slowly arise, and moving gracefully yet slowly, lead you in the dark afternoon to a hill on which three crosses stand. There she will ask you to look and see the price her Son paid for your soul.

Be not afraid to weep that day. Weep for your sins and mine and for all the sins of those born of woman. These will be good tears. She will mingle hers with yours.

Then the hill will vanish. So will the cross. And she will lead you into her Son’s heart, the immense glowing furnace of love. You will understand how he loved you, and you will love him in return, utterly, passionately, completely.

You will live just for that loving and for that burning that will kindle you and make you a flame of zeal, and you will bring him other souls who will love him as he should be loved.

God the Father will behold your love for his Son. And through Christ’s heart, through understanding a little better his love and loving him back more, you will slowly come to the bosom of the Father. For this you were created.

Thus Mary, the gate, will lead you to Jesus, the Way—and from there to the Father.

That is the secret of Mary of which the first step is your total consecration, according to de Montfort, to holy slavery to Mary. She desires greatly to reveal her secret. The price is simplicity, humility, smallness. It is little to give for such a treasure.

Mary is the gate through which salvation came to us; we must walk through her to find the Triune God and make our life a participation in their life—a holocaust of love.

From Bogoroditza, (2001), pp. 44-47, available from MH Publications

Editor’s Note: Catherine Doherty and her husband Eddie (later Fr. Eddie) made this act of consecration on February 2, 1951. Since then, the members of Madonna House and many of our visitors, one by one, have done the same, entrusting our whole lives and beings to Jesus through Mary.