I first came across St. Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to Mary” when I was in high school. I successfully completed the consecration for the first time about a decade later. In those ten years, I probably attempted the consecration about five times, but I never made it past the first week that you were expected to pray an entire Rosary. I also wasn’t able to finish reading the book until I was in graduate school. “True Devotion to Mary” was just too hard for me to read, and to be honest, the Rosary has never been my favorite prayer. The whole thing was just very overwhelming, and I wish I had had this book back when I was in high school.
Fr. Looney’s “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord” is the perfect bridge for those Catholics trying to get from praying the Hail Mary to successfully completing the consecration to Jesus through Mary. He does a wonderful job making St. Louis de Montfort’s writing accessible to everyone, explaining what he means and making it understandable to the modern Catholic audience.
Fr. Looney’s book is a ten-day personal retreat that uses St. Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to Mary” as its foundation. Each day the reader is invited to reflect on a title for Mary, and each reflection ends with a prayer offered by Fr. Looney and a traditional Marian prayer or hymn. Over the course of ten days, the reader can draw closer to Mary, learning more about her and going deeper with her. By the time those ten days are over, you might just be ready to tackle St. Louis de Montfort’s “True Devotion to Mary” or consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary. If any book is going to help you get to that point, this is it.