John Paul II’s strong Marian devotion was highly influenced by the Mariology of Saint Louis de Montfort. According to his Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, the pontiff’s personal motto “Totus Tuus” was inspired by St. Louis’ doctrine on total consecration to the Virgin Mary, which he quoted:
- “Our entire perfection consists in being conformed, united and consecrated to Jesus Christ. Hence the most perfect of all devotions is undoubtedly that which conforms, unites and consecrates us most perfectly to Jesus Christ.
- Now, since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary, his Holy Mother, and that the more a soul is consecrated to her the more will it be consecrated to Jesus Christ.”
In an address to the Montfortian Fathers, the pontiff also said that his reading Saint Louis de Montfort‘s work The True Devotion to Mary was a “decisive turning point” in his life. On September 19, 1996, Pope John-Paul II made a papal trip to Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre to meditate and pray on the adjacent tombs of Saint Louis de Montfort and Blessed Marie Louise Trichet, whom he beatified himself.