Devotion to Mary
often degenerated into supertition
This is quite evident in the sermons of Bernadino of Siena ( d. 1444) one of the most popular Franciscan preachers of the day and later canonized. In a shocking example, Bernadino says:
O the unthinkable power of the Virgin Mary... one Hebrew woman invaded the house of the eternal king; one girl, I do not know by what caresses, pledges or violence, seduced, deceived and I, if i may say so, wounded and enraptured the divine heart.
And Bernadino even attempts to prove that in some respects she is superior to God himself: God, he says, could only generate God ... but the Virgin mad him finite, mortal, poor. Mary actually did more for God that God did for man, he dares to say. If at this level such excesses could occur, one is not surprised at the absurdities that became the common coin of Marianists and led to the Protestant reaction.
This is quite evident in one of the most popular treatises: Louis -Marie Grignion de Monfort's ( d.1716) True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin:
The greatness of her power, he writes, which she exercises even over God himself is incomprehensible. In some way, he says else where, the devils fears her more than God himself
( excerped from Essential Catholicism by Thomas Bokenkotter pages 129,130 )