St Louis Marie was born in Brittany in 1673. He studied in Paris and was ordained to the priesthood in 1700. He died at the age of 43 years in St Laurent sur Sevres, after a life as an itinerant preacher, devoted to the poor and to preaching against the errors of Jansenism, which did not make him popular with some of the bishops of his time. Pope Clement XI conferred on him the title and authority of Missionary Apostolic, confirming him in his mission .
As a student, he took great delight in researching the writings of the Church Fathers, Doctors and Saints as they related to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom he was singularly devoted. Under her inspiration, he founded the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, who were committed to the care of the destitute and in 1715, a year before his death, founded a missionary band known as the Company or Mary. A member of the Third Order of St Dominic, he was one of the greatest apostles of the Rosary in his day, promoting authentic Marian devotion wherever he went.
His greatest contribution to the Church and the world is Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin. Among his most influential writings were: The Secret of Mary, The Secret of the Rosary, True Devotion to Mary which has influenced countless people since, including Pope John Paul II, Frank Duff, founder of the Legion of Mary and Matt Talbot, to name but a few.
The cause for his declaration as a Doctor of the Church is now being pursued. Although St Louis is perhaps best known for his Mariology and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, his spirituality is founded on the mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and is centred on Christ.
Hail, then, O immaculate Mary,
living tabernacle of the Divinity,
where the Eternal Wisdom
willed to be hidden and to be adored
by angels and by men!
Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth,
to whose empire everything is subject which is under God.
Hail, O sure refuge of sinners,
whose mercy fails no one.
Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.
St Louis Marie, from “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary”