April 27, 2017

Optional Memorial of Saint Louis-Marie De Montfort

Saint Louis-Marie De Montfort

April 28th, is the optional memorial of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion De Montfort (1673 – 1716). De Montfort's life is inseparable from his prodigious efforts to promote genuine devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Mother of the Church. "Totus tuus" (completely yours) was De Montfort's personal motto; Karol Wojtyla chose it as his episcopal motto. Born in the Breton village of Montfort, close to Rennes (France), as an adult Louis identified himself by the place of his baptism instead of his family name, Grignion. Educated by both the Jesuits and the Sulpicians, he was ordained a diocesan priest in 1700.

Soon he began preaching parish missions throughout western France. His years of ministering to the poor prompted him to travel and live simply, sometimes getting him into trouble with church authorities. In his preaching, which attracted thousands of people back to the faith, Father Louis recommended frequent, even daily, Holy Communion (not customary for that time) and imitation of the Virgin Mary's acceptance of God's will. He also greatly extolled praying the holy Rosary.

De Montfort founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (for priests and brothers) and the Daughters of Wisdom, who cared especially for the sick. His book True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, is a classic volume of Marian devotion. This and his work, The Secret of Mary, have been translated and read worldwide.

Saint Louis-Marie De Montfort, died in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre, where a basilica has been erected in his honor. He was canonized by Pope Pius XII on July 20, 1947. A founders statue by Giacomo Parisini is located in an upper niche of the south nave of Saint Peter's Basilica. Almighty God, who willed to direct the steps of the Priest Saint Louis De Montfort along the way of salvation and of the love of Christ, in the company of the Blessed Virgin, grant us, by his intercession that, meditating on the mysteries of your love, we may strive tirelessly for the building up of your most holy Church. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Adapted excerpt from Saint of the Day, Leonard Foley, O.F.M.

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