Throughout the month of May, we will be sharing posts focused on journeying alongside the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Share your experiences in the comments or on social media using #praywithmary.
Last fall, Olivia of To The Heights presented a series about the Ten Virtues of Mary, where this post originally appeared.
One of the reasons I love the WWW so much is because of the potential for community between people who live far and wide. I find this especially true with our community here. I love hearing from you about your struggles, your desires, and your efforts to live a full life. I love it because I’m right there with you, trying to find the beauty among the chaos of each day, seeking the lessons to be learned in our various states in life, and looking to others for guidance and encouragement.
You, dear readers and fellow bloggers, make me want to be better. By the witness of your life you call me to be a better Christian, wife, mother, and friend. I am grateful that we are able to learn from one another, to provide fresh perspectives for one another, and to be companions to one another on our journey to the heights.
Which is why I was so elated to share a series last fall on the Ten Virtues of Mary.
What are the ten virtues of Mary?
St. Louis de Montfort, a 17th century French priest, had a passion for Mary, the Mother of God, and how she unceasingly leads us to Jesus. He was certain that loving Mary would lead us to a greater love for Jesus, and that our desire to be close to Him would be ignited by her (You can read more about why Christians love Mary here, but in short, we love her because Jesus did). So de Montfort wrote a preparation for and prayer of consecration to Jesus through Mary, in order to solidify our commitment to Our Lord. In this document, de Montfort highlights what he calls “the ten principal virtues of Mary”. He strongly suggests that we commit these virtues to memory and strive to imitate them in our daily lives.
So what are the virtues of Mary? Her Angelic Sweetness, Ardent Charity, Blind Obedience, Constant Mental Prayer, Divine Purity, Divine Wisdom, Heroic Patience, Lively Faith, Profound Humility, and Universal Mortification.
Why do these virtues matter?
It’s sometimes hard to be a virtuous Christian, especially in today’s world when we are constantly being bombarded with messages that are contrary to the gospel. Life gets messy and work needs to get done and kids need to be fed and marriages need to be nurtured and health needs to be fostered and laundry needs to be folded and and and … the list goes on. There is so much stuff that makes up the structure of our life that sometimes we can grow weary and confused at the foundation.
As women especially, we have a desire and a call to imitate Mary. She was the epitome of femininity, and had this whole marriage and motherhood thing down pat, despite the difficulties she encountered. Mary knew how trying womanhood, marriage, and motherhood could be, yet she shone with the love of God and her virtue was undeniable.
For me, in the face of life’s ordinary circumstances, I find it inexplicable helpful to have the ten virtues of Mary at hand. They are concrete. They are simple. They are effective. They are easy to pray for. For example, when I’m in the heat of being really annoyed or aggravated, it is simple for me to pray quickly for heroic patience. Then, I call to mind what that virtue entails and it helps me to handle frustrating issues with more grace. I like to think of these virtues as tools in my Christian-life toolbox that I am able to utilize in a pinch. These tools allow me to more closely imitate Mary while catering to my simple mind. Recalling these virtues helps me to be a better Christian, wife, mom, and friend. These virtues remind me of the purpose of community, of being a woman, and of striving to be like Our Lady in the first place.
I can honestly tell you that studying and applying the ten virtues of Mary to my daily life has been one of the most spiritually fruitful things I’ve ever done. Ever.
Learn more about these virtues and check out the whole series here.