St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was a French Roman Catholic priest who founded the religious congregations of the Daughters of Wisdom and the Company of Mary (Montfort Fathers).
He was born on January 31 1673 in Montfort-sur-Meu, France and died on April 28 1716 in St Laurent-sur-Sèvre, France.
We celebrate his feast day on April 28 every year in the Catholic Church.
St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort is the patron saint of Heralds of the Gospel.
|St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort Biography
|Date of Birth
|January 31 1673
|Place of Birth
|Roman Catholic priest
|Place of Work
|Date of Death
|April 28 1716
|Place of Death
|St Laurent-sur-Sèvre, France
|Beatified in 1888 by Pope Leo XIII
|Canonized on July 20 1947 by Pope Pius XII
|Patron Saint of
|Heralds of the Gospel
St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort Life History
St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, who lived from January 31, 1673 to April 28, 1716, was a well-known French Catholic priest and confessor.
Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was the firstborn and only surviving child out of eighteen born to Jean-Baptiste and Jeanne Robert Grignion. Jean-Baptiste was a notary.
During his early childhood and infancy, Louis-Marie lived mostly in Iffendic, a town close to Montfort where his father had purchased a farm.
When he was 12 years old, Louis-Marie went to the Jesuit College of St Thomas Becket in Rennes. His uncle was a parish priest there.
While studying philosophy and theology at St Thomas in Rennes, Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was influenced by the stories of Abbé Julien Bellier, a local priest who shared his experiences as a wandering missionary.
These stories inspired Louis-Marie to become a preacher and to carry out missions for the most impoverished people.
St Louis Grignon de Montfort was particularly devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and promoted the practice of praying the rosary. His special devotion to Mary and advocacy for the rosary are well recognized.
Towards the end of 1693, Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was offered a chance to study at the esteemed Seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris with the help of a sponsor.
However, upon his arrival in Paris, he discovered that his sponsor had not provided him with enough funds.
As a result, he had to reside in a series of cheap boarding houses and live among the impoverished. Meanwhile, he attended the Sorbonne University for theology lectures.
Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort fell seriously ill within two years of his arrival in Paris and had to be admitted to a hospital.
Despite undergoing bloodletting as a form of treatment that was common at the time, he managed to survive his illness and hospital stay.
When he was discharged from the hospital, he was surprised to find out that a place had been reserved for him at Little Saint-Sulpice. In July 1695, he joined the institution.
During his tenure as the librarian at Saint-Sulpice, Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort had the chance to read and study numerous books on spirituality, with a particular focus on the role of the Virgin Mary in the Christian faith.
This ultimately led him to concentrate on the Holy Rosary and to author his famous book, the Secret of the Rosary.
Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was renowned for his great admiration of the angels. He encouraged his colleagues to demonstrate reverence and affection towards their guardian angels.
Louis-Marie Grignion received his ordination as a priest in June 1700 and was subsequently assigned to Nantes.
Although he had a strong desire to serve as a missionary in foreign lands, specifically in the newly-established French colony of Canada, his spiritual advisor cautioned him against doing so.
His correspondence from this time period reveals his frustration at being unable to preach as he believed he was called to do.
Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort became a member of the Third Order of the Dominicans in November 1700, and sought permission to establish rosary confraternities in addition to preaching the rosary.
He entertained the idea of forming a small group of priests who would conduct missions and retreats under the protection of the Blessed Virgin, which eventually led to the establishment of the Company of Mary.
During this period, he was appointed as the chaplain of the hospital in Poitiers, where he first encountered Marie Louise Trichet. This meeting marked the beginning of her 34-year service to the impoverished.
With the aspiration of becoming a missionary, Louis embarked on a pilgrimage to Rome seeking counsel from Pope Clement XI.
The Pope acknowledged his true calling and advised him that there was enough opportunity to serve as a missionary in France.
He sent Louis back with the designation of Apostolic Missionary. Upon his return from the pilgrimage, Louis retreated to Mount Saint Michael to seek the intercession of the archangel in winning souls for God, strengthening those already in His grace, and combating Satan and sin.
These moments gave him the chance to reflect, meditate, and write. These books later became famous Catholic works. These books influenced several popes.
St Louis Grignon de Montfort is widely regarded as a significant figure in the field of Mariology, especially due to his written contributions.
His most notable works on the subject of Marian devotions are found in “Secret of the Rosary” and “True Devotion to Mary”.
He was famous for his preaching and gained popularity during his lifetime. Louis traveled around preaching missions from Brittany to Nantes and became known as “the good Father from Montfort” due to his reputation as a missionary.
After departing from Nantes, Louis’s life became very busy for the following years. He spent most of his time preaching missions, walking from one place to another.
Nevertheless, he managed to find time to write several works, including “True Devotion to Mary”, “The Secret of Mary”, “The Secret of the Rosary”, and the rules for both the Company of Mary and the Daughters of Wisdom.
Louis’s preaching style was considered by some as passionate to the point of being peculiar, and he even fell victim to poisoning at one point, which negatively affected his health.
Despite this setback, he persisted in his preaching and also founded schools that were free for impoverished boys and girls.
After experiencing exhaustion from his tireless work and illness, he arrived at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre in April 1716 to conduct his final mission.
Unfortunately, Louis fell ill during the mission and died on April 28 of the same year, at the age of 43. Despite being a priest for only 16 years, he had already made a lasting impact.
His funeral at the parish church was attended by thousands, and soon after, reports of miraculous occurrences at his tomb began to circulate.
On July 20 1947, during the papacy of Pope Pius XII, the Roman Catholic Church declared Louis a saint.
A “founders statue” designed by Giacomo Parisini is situated in an elevated niche of the south nave of St. Peter’s Basilica.
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