July 9 – MONTFORT REDISCOVERED
Council Vatican II, the chapter on aggiomamento in 1969-1971 and the gesture of reconciliation in the Montfortian Family have all contributed to the efforts aimed at rediscovering the founder’s charism. It started with some inter-montfortian seminars at the initiative of Fr. Perouas SMM, historian and research specialist at the National Centre for Scientific Research. The first two seminars were held at Poitiers in 1969 and 1970, and the two that followed at Avrille near Angers, in 1971 and 1972. These were very long seminars (one and a half months), international (thirteen nationalities in 1971) and well attended (about fifty participants each time). A fifth seminar at Saint-Laurent in May 1973 was reserved to 54 Superiors (both men and women) of the Central Administrations and Provinces. In 1974, on the request of the General Councils, a seminar of three and a half months was held at Limoges.
The first seminar in 1969 gave birth to the bilingual periodical Rencontres montfortaines, Montfortian Encounters, which was a fusion of three separate reviews: that of the Fathers, Documentation montfortaine (45 issues since 1956), that of the Sisters, Montfortaines dans l’Eglise (11 issues since 1966) and that of the Brothers, Perspectives montfortaines (12 issues since 1966). All these reviews were more or less of the same period as a big work published in 1966 by the Editions of Seuil: CEuvres completes de saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (The Collected Writings).
The year 1995 marked one other editorial event: the publication of the dictionnary of Montfortian spirituality, Jesus Living in Mary. It was as desired by Fr. Lemire, Superior General, in full accord with the other Superiors General: Brother Jean Friant and Sister lnes. It was entrusted to a specialist, Fr. Stefano de Fiores, professor of Mariology at the Gregorian and Salesian pontifical universities (Rome) and the Marianum (Rome). He worked with a huge team: two montfortian scientific advisers, Fr. Bossard of France and Fr. Gaffney of the United States; 70 authors of articles (40 priests, about ten Brothers, about ten Sisters and many others); about a dozen translators. Each article was based on the life of the saint, explored his teaching and appealed to current interest. The French edition was slightly different from the English entrusted to Fr. Gaffney. The first with 1360 pages had 87 articles including 5 proper to
- Out of the 88 articles of the second (1380 pages), 6 belonged entirely to it. In 1999 . the Spanish and Italian editions· came out, similar to the French edition.
More accessible to the larger public than the voluminous dictionary was Prier 15 jours avec L-M Grignion de Montfort, by Br. Jean Bulteau and Sr. Veronique Pinardon, published in 1997 and since translated in several languages, including Polish.
The year 1997-1998 of the centenary of the canonisation, was a new occasion to discover through congresses, sessions and retreats the wealth of the founder (See 19 July). ·
Towards the end of the year, on 15 October 1998, a session of formation in Montfortian spirituality started in Rome in the General House of the Brothers; something unique. It brought together 11 Fathers, 10 Brothers and 9 Sisters, born in 17 different countries. Animated by ·a team of several speakers, it concluded in France and had lasted for a total of five months