Tuesday 16th July 2024

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort

May 21, 2020 saints No Comments

By DEB PIROCH

During the month of Mary, we turn to St. Louis Marie de Montfort (1673-1716), a saint inseparable in devotion to Christ’s Blessed Mother. His feast falls on the anniversary of his death, April 28, as if he is joyfully pointing us to the Marian month ahead.
Many are familiar with Pope St. John Paul’s personal motto, “Totus tuus,” or “totally yours,” meaning to Christ through Mary. Many are unaware this was shortened from St. Louis de Montfort’s own motto, “Totus tuus ergo sum.” So inspired was John Paul II by the works of St. Louis de Montfort that he read and reread them during the dark days of Nazi-occupied Poland. Around the same time, Pope Pius XII made the consecration himself, before canonizing St. Louis in 1947.
Mary is the key to understanding the saintliness of St. Louis Marie de Montfort. Even now, centuries later, many still make his “Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin” and are influenced by his enormous love of the rosary. But first to his beginnings.
“De Montfort” refers not to his surname — Grignion — but rather to his French birthplace, Montfort-le-Cane. Today, the town is named Montfort-sur-Meu. The eldest of eight, he also had an additional seven or eight siblings who did not reach adulthood. Of these surviving siblings, half would enter religious life. At 12 he began his Jesuit schooling in nearby Rennes. He added “Marie” to Louis as his Confirmation name, and his spiritual director at the school for 3,000 was Fr. Philippe Descartes, nephew of the philosopher. Louis soon dreamt of the priesthood.

Radical Evangelism

We see already how overwhelmingly the future saint would not hesitate to make himself “a fool” for Christ. The journey to Paris, to the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice, was almost 200 miles. Though Louis was energetic at 19, it was still a long journey. He rejected a horse offered for half the journey and walked instead. Meeting a pauper along the journey, he gave him everything, arriving in the beggar’s clothes with empty pockets. He could not begin his studies thus, and his penury became so extreme that he became ill and was hospitalized.
Admitted afterward, he was blessed with revenues from a chaplaincy, with his parents helping later financially, as well. But his own spiritual adviser, Fr. Leschassier, was often at a loss to comprehend him and would later publicly reject him. Like him, many were at a loss at the wholehearted radical embrace of Christ that characterized Louis his entire life.
A priest friend from Rennes once asked Louis how he expected others to ever follow his example. “Fr. Louis showed me his New Testament and asked me if I could improve on what Jesus Christ had said and done. Could I show him a better life than that of His apostles, one of poverty and mortification based on abandonment to Providence?” (Montfort Fathers, EWTN).
As Fr. Leschassier rejected Louis’ request to become a missionary to Quebec, he was directed next to Nantes to train for the missions. When he found he would have to wait five months to begin, a friend suggested he visit the bishop of Poitiers, only to find him absent, too. At a loss, he entered a church to pray. The poor who saw him found him so pitiable in his poverty, even more beggarly than themselves, that they gathered a collection together to get him better clothes! After prayers he went to ask next door if he might help feed and wait on the poor. Those in charge also mistook him for a poor soul with nothing and insisted he remain so they could feed him.
These patterns would repeat themselves. Caring for the poor created problems, he left, the poor asked for him back. The bishop of Poitiers once returned assigned him as a hospital chaplain. Fr. Louis instituted needed reforms, came under attack, and was forced to resign. He began missions, some successful, wrote, started the beginnings of two orders, but in the end was banned from the diocese.
He paid a visit to Pope Clement XI in Rome, feeling God was again urging him to missions in other countries. The Pope told him there was plenty for him to do in France and promptly made him a “missionary apostolic” and sent him back. Louis returned to France finding his bishop still forbade him to preach in his own diocese. Roughly the age of Christ, this was already older than the average lifespan of a Frenchman at that time, age 30.
But Louis’ humility and seeming happiness at his crosses removed barriers to the immense missions he would continue, the books he would write, the countless souls he influenced. It was at this time his gift of speaking revealed itself, and today he is the patron saint of preaching!
“What can I say to you, my dear mother, in reply to your letter except to repeat what the Holy Spirit tells you every day. Love to be humbled and being given scant respect, love the hidden life, love silence, be the silent one who offers Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, love divine Wisdom, love the Cross. I am opposed and restricted in everything I do. Thank God in my name for the crosses He has given” (Letter fragment to a sister, date unknown/EWTN).
St. Teresa of Calcutta once said God does not ask us to be successful, He asks us to be faithful. Louis founded an order, the Daughters of Wisdom, to care for sick and destitute girls and women. When Fr. Louis died, the order had only four sisters. Was this “failure”? Today the order numbers over 5,000 in multiple countries.
And less than a hundred years after Louis’ death, the Daughters of Wisdom shed martyrs’ blood during the French Revolution. Author/translator Fr. Faber shares that the manuscripts for the True Devotion to Mary were then secreted at farmhouses, to preserve them from certain destruction. Many years later a priest discovered them “by accident” returned and misfiled in the library. The priest was astonished by what he believed was their founder’s handwriting. Confirmation revealed that over a century after Louis’ death the book that led to the Total Consecration to Mary was unknown, hidden under dust, waiting….We can only conclude that God’s timing in its unveiling may be a mystery but as such, ever perfect.
“Montfort’s spiritual path was centered on a passionate search for Wisdom. Wisdom, for him, was Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word made incarnate for our salvation. It was also to live for Him, and with Him to enter into the depths of God’s design of love for the world. This design was expressed in the folly of the Cross, because the Wisdom of God was contrary to the wisdom of the world” (Montfort Fathers/EWTN).

His Legacy

St. Louis Marie de Montfort was a priest for a mere sixteen years. It is astonishing that in so short a time, he gave so much to God. His two most famous works are True Devotion to Mary and The Secret of the Rosary. The former advocates his “enslavement” to Mary, to become “Servi Christi” or “Servants of Christ.” The book is preparation to make the 34-day consecration; resources showing how may be ordered or found online. Meanwhile, let us follow Mary’s example from the Marriage at Cana: “Do as He tells you.”
St. Louis was beatified in 1888 by Pope Leo XIII and canonized in 1947 by Pope Pius XII.

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

Senators Slam Army After Presentation Calls Pro-Life Americans Terrorists

Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Ted Budd (R-NC), along with Representative Richard Hudson (R-NC) and their colleagues, sent a letter to Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth demanding answers after an anti-terrorism training conducted at Fort Liberty, North Carolina depicted Pro-Life Americans as terrorists. “We write regarding social media reports that anti-terrorism training conducted at Ft. Liberty, North Carolina depicts Pro-Life Americans as terrorists. Specifically, the slides identify National Right to Life, ‘Choose Life’ license plate holders, and…Continue Reading

Vatican excommunicates Viganò for schism

The Vatican has officially excommunicated Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith announced Friday. Viganò was found guilty of the canonical crime, or delict, of schism, or the refusal to submit to the pope or the communion of the Church, at the conclusion of the Vatican’s extrajudicial penal process on July 4. The Vatican’s doctrine office announced the “latae sententiae” excommunication (automatic excommunication) on July 5, citing Viganò’s “public statements manifesting his refusal…Continue Reading

Doctors urge U.S. medical groups to ‘immediately stop’ transgender treatments on children

Top medical groups and physicians have signed a “Doctors Protecting Children” declaration that expresses “serious concerns” about the treatment of minors who are uncomfortable with their biological sex, one advocate told EWTN News this week.  Jill Simons, the executive director of the American College of Pediatricians, told “EWTN News Nightly” anchor Tracy Sabol on Thursday that the medical group has been “sounding the alarm” after the recently leaked files from the World Professional Association of Transgender Health in which…Continue Reading

Pedophile advocacy group praises Germany’s new law softening punishment for child pornography

(LifeSiteNews) — In 2010, Jan Flesichhauer and Wiebke Hollersen penned a chilling essay for Der Spiegel titled “How the Left Took Things Too Far.” “One of the goals of the German 1968 movement was the sexual liberation of children,” they wrote. “For some, this meant overcoming all sexual inhibitions, creating a climate in which even pedophilia was considered progressive.”   That climate involved discussions about whether sex with children might be healthy for the children and musings that this could…Continue Reading

Here’s Harrison Butker’s Full Speech Celebrating Pro-Life Christian Values

Some sports stars make headlines for drug abuse or acts of violence, but one football player is taking heat for publicly promoting Christian values. On Saturday, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered the commencement at the Catholic Benedictine College, encouraging young graduates to stand firm in their faith and live out authentic Christian virtues. Now, the National Football League (NFL) is playing defense and condemning Butker’s speech as offensive. The NFL’s senior vice president and top diversity, equity,…Continue Reading

The King of Kings

Cindy Paslawski We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)