LOUIS – MARIE GRIGNION DE MONTFORT
“The Man Who Walked with God”
(January 31, 1673 – April 28, 1716)
St. Louis de Montfort was born on January 1673 in a small hamlet called Montfort. His parents named him ‘Louis’ His mother was a pious woman who worked hard to educate and bring up the large family/ from his early age he was devoted to Blessed Virgin Mary. Montfort’s devotion to the Mother of Lord Jesus was an integral part of his spiritual life. At the age of eleven he went to Rennes to study un Jesuit Institution. After 8 years of study, he left for Paris to study at St. Sulpice seminary to become a priest. On his way he crossed a bridge called ‘Cesson’ and took a radical decision never to be attached to any wordily possessions or material goods and to live a life of total dependence on God. He gave away everything to the poor and even exchanged his clothes with a beggar. He felt that ‘God alone’ was his father and Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother. He paid his fees by watching over dead bodies at night. He was ordained a priest in 1700 overcoming a lot of difficulties and problems.
Throughout his life he worked with the poor, orphans, destitute, widows, lepers and the sick. He lived the Gospel radically and challenged the rich who refused to share their wealth with the poor and the needy. He went from parish to parish as a vagabond preaching numerous missions and bringing people back to God. In many places he constructed Calvaries and statues to facilitate people to reflect on the mystery of the cross and salvation. He wrote many books and poems. Due to his prophetic role in the society and radical life as a true disciple of Christ, he had many enemies. He walked all the way to Rome covering nearly 1200 kms to meet Pope Clement XI, in 1706. His love for the cross and his absolute trust in God made him declare “No Cross what a cross”, which ultimately became his philosophy and watchword.
He started many schools for the poor and the youth. Worn out by his apostolate, weakened by his life of poverty and attempts of his life, he collapsed during a mission at Saint – Laurent – Sur – Serve and died on April 28, 1716 at the age of 43. People acclaimed Montfort a Saint followed by the church. Pope Pius XII canonized Montfort of July 27, 1947. Three congregations trace their foundation to St. Louis de Montfort. They are: Daughters of Wisdom, Company of Mary, Brothers of St. Gabriel. They continue the work and mission of Montfort all over the world.
In the beginning of 19th Century Fr. Gabriel Deshayes re-founded and gave a new impetus to the Brothers of St. Gabriel.
Words of Wisdom
- if we do not risk anything for God, we will never do anything great for Him – to Mary Louise Trichet, the first Daughter of Wisdom.
- Whatever happens I shall not be worried. I have a Father in heaven who will not fail me(1.2)
- To know Jesus Christ Wisdom is carnate is to know enough and not to know anything.
- Never the Cross without Jesus, of Jesus without the Cross.
- Whoever wants to have Jesus must have Mary. Jesus came into this world through Mary. Through her, he will regain over the world and lead souls to heaven. Mary is the wonderful echo of God ( SM 21)
- Christ is the answer to all our questions.
- If you put all the love of all the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love the Heart of Mary for her children.
- A poor person is a great mystery. One must be able to penetrate it.
- Mary is a mould capable of forming people into the image of the God – Man.
- It would be easier to separate light from the sun than Mary from Jesus.
- If Christians only new the value of the cross, they would walk a hundred miles to obtain it, because enclosed in the beloved cross is true wisdom. (L 13)