Mary and the Holy Spirit By Father Francis J. Peffley
I wonder how many legionaries know that their founder, Servant of God Frank
Duff, will probably be known as one of the two greatest Marian apostles of the
twentieth century – the other being St. Maximilian Kolbe. Their writings and
conferences on Our Lady are numerous, and both authors feature the proper and
exalted place which Mary holds in the plan of redemption and salvation. As far
as we know, these two never met, and yet their Marian teachings are almost
identical. I believe one reason for this is that they were influenced by similar
authors, especially by the works of St. Louis Marie de Montfort. Though their
emphases of Our Lady’s role may vary, their basic doctrines do not differ on any
major point. For example, most of Fr. Kolbe’s writings on the Blessed Virgin deal
primarily with her Immaculate Conception, while those of Frank Duff emphasize
Mary’s role in Redemption, her Mediation of Graces and her Spiritual
Motherhood. But both authors hold that there cannot be a proper knowledge of
Our Lady without an appreciation of her unique relationship to the Holy Spirit.
For example, St. Maximilian said that Mary, the Immaculata, as he called her, is
someone so sublime, so close to the Most Holy Trinity, that one of the Church
Fathers did not hesitate to call her the Complement of the Most Holy Trinity,
while Frank Duff has stated that Mary was exalted by God to the very “borders of
Divinity.” They both attempt to define and explain Mary’s intimate union with the
Third Divine Person and show a remarkable similarity in their theological thought.
I am convinced that those who work and live for Mary will benefit from an
introduction to the thought and devotion of these two servants of Mary, and I
would like to share their vision of her with her legionaries.
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