Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort
Born poor. Studied in Paris, France, and ordained in 1700. While a seminarian he delighted in researching the writings of Church Fathers, Doctors and Saints as they related to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom he was singularly devoted.
Under Mary’s inspiration, he founded the Congregation of the Daughters of Divine Wisdom, a religious institute of women devoted to the care of the desititute. During this work, he began his apostolate of preaching the Rosary and authentic Marian devotion. He preached so forcefully and effectively against the errors of Jansenism that he was expelled from several dioceses in France. In Rome Pope Clement XI conferred on him the title and authority of Missionary Apostolic, which enabled him to continue his apostolate after returning to France. He preached Mary everywhere and to everyone. A member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, Saint Louis was one of the greatest apostles of the Rosary in his day, and by means his miraculously inspiring book, The Secret of the Rosary, he is still so today; the most common manner of reciting the Rosary is the method that originated with Saint Louis’s preaching. In 1715, he founded a missionary band known as the Company of Mary.
His greatest contribution to the Church and world is Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin. He propagated this in his day by preaching and after his own death by his other famous book True Devotion to Mary. Consecration to Mary is for Saint Louis the perfect manner of renewing one’s baptismal promises. His spirituality has been espoused by millions, especially Pope John Paul II, who has consecrated not only himself but every place he has visited as pope. In True Devotion to Mary, Saint Louis prophesied that the army of souls consecrated to Mary will be Her instrument in defeating the Devil and his Antichrist. As Satan gains power in the world, so much more shall the new Eve triumph over him and crush his head.
The cause for his declaration as a Doctor of the Church is now being pursued.