Monday, April 28, 2008

St. Louis Marie de Monfort, Apostle of Devotion to Our Holy Mother

Totus Tuus Totus tuus ego sum, et omnia meatua sunt, O Virgo, super omnia benedicta.

Translates as: I am all yours, and all that is mine is yours, O Virgin, blessed above all.

Louis de Montfort's life is inseparable from his efforts to promote genuine devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus and mother of the church. Totus tuus was Louis's personal motto; Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul the Great) chose it as his episcopal motto.

Born to a poor family in 1673 in the Breton village of Montfort, as an adult, Louis identified himself by the place of his baptism instead of his family name, Grignion. After being educated by the Jesuits and the Sulpicians, he was ordained as a diocesan priest in 1700.

He preached parish missions throughout western France, walking from city to city. His years of ministering to the poor prompted him to travel and live very 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 the custom then!) and imitation of the Virgin Mary's ongoing acceptance of God's will for her life.

Louis 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, has become a classic explanation of Marian devotion. He also wrote The Secret of the Rosary, which is the first work to describe the method by which the Rosary is prayed today. Louis died in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sevre, where a basilica has been erected in his honor. He was canonized in 1947.

Read more about his life here and in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

A Few of My Favorite St. St. Louis de Montfort Quotes:

"Pray with great confidence, with confidence based on the goodness and infinite generosity of God and upon the promises of Jesus Christ. God is a spring of living water which flows unceasingly into the hearts of those who pray."

“We fasten our souls to Your hope, as to an abiding anchor. It is to Her that the saints who have saved themselves have been the most attached and have done their best to attach others, in order to persevere in virtue. Happy, then, a thousand times happy, are the Christians who are now fastened faithfully and entirely to Her, as to a firm anchor!” (Treatise on True Devotion, n. 175).

"The cross is the greatest gift God could bestow on His Elect on earth. There is nothing so necessary, so beneficial, so sweet, or so glorious as to suffer something for Jesus. If you suffer as you ought, the cross will become a precious yoke that Jesus will carry with you."

"Mary alone gives to the unfortunate children of unfaithful Eve entry into that earthly paradise where they may walk pleasantly with God and be safely hidden from their enemies. There they can feed without fear of death on the delicious fruit of the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They can drink copiously the heavenly waters of that beauteous fountain which gushes forth in such abundance."

"She [Mother Mary] is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say "Mary" she says 'God'."

"If you put all the love of all the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children."

Hymns in the Life and Writings of Montfort

Litany to St. Louis de Montfort

Read the Fire Prayer of St. Louis in which St. Louis de Montfort pleads for apostles to remedy the present-day crisis of the Church that he foresaw.

Why St. Louis Marie de Montfort is so Special to me

About ten years ago on the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes I made my Consecration to Jesus through Mary via the St. Louis de Montfort method. I can't even begin to tell you about all the graces I have received since then. A few years later, when I renewed my consecration, my husband Bill, also made his consecration via this method. When I presented a talk to our parish on the Blessed Virgin Mary and her various apparitions, I shared the deep love Karol Wojtyla had for our dear Mother as a result of consecrating himself to her as a young factory worker in Krakow during World War II and how this love and devotion effected him his entire life and his teachings as Pope John Paul II. In my research for this presentation, I also discovered that St. Louis preached in the same area of France where my ancestors lived, and, although I don't know how he interacted with them, I would like to think that his teachings and his great love and devotion for Our Blessed Mother impacted them in a powerful way and that they, too, shared this love of Our Lady, surrendering their hearts totally to her.

Why not consider making your consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary? To learn more, go here.

To read the works of St. Louis de Montfort, go here.

A must read biography is St. Louis de Montfort Apostle of Mary for Today by Father John A. Hardon, S.J. Archives.

1 comment:

frival said...

I'll be making my own Consecration this year, if it please the Lord, on the Feast of the Visitation. I'd been hemming and hawing (where did that saying come from anyway?) about doing it for some time, but the confluence of St. Louis de Montfort's Memorial landing on the day to start the preparation period was just too much to deny.

In just my now two days of preparation I've already been graced. And out of the clear blue as if in confirmation I got a phone call from my paternal grandmother who did her very best impression of St. Monica and prayed me into the Church. It's a long road - pray for me that I may not falter!