St.Louis-Marie Grignion De Montfort
The Man Who Walked with God
St. Louis de Montfort was born on January 1673 in a small hamlet called Montfort. His parents named him ‘Louis’. His mother was a pious woman who worked hard to educate and bring up the large family. From his early age he was devoted to Blessed Virgin Mary. Montfort’s devotion to the Mother of Lord Jesus was an integral part of his spiritual life. At the age of eleven he went to Rennes to study in a Jesuit Institution. After 8 years of study, he left for Paris to study at St. Sulpice seminary to become a priest. On his way he crossed a bridge called ‘Cesson’ and took a radical decision never to be attached to any worldly possessions or material goods and to live a life of total dependence to God. He gave away everything to the poor and even exchanged his clothes with a beggar. He felt that ‘God alone’ was his Father and Blessed Virgin Mary, his Mother. He prepared well for his future ministry as a priest by reading most of the books in the library and spending a lot of time in prayer. He paid his fees watching over dead bodies at night.He was ordained a priest in 1700 overcoming a lot of difficulties and problems.
In the Footsteps of Montfort
Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, a Missionary, lived in France, during the 18th Century. From the very beginning of his evangelizing work among the common people, he felt called by the Holy Spirit to surround himself with disciples who should live the Gospel like him “in the footsteps of the Apostles”. To join him in his apostolate, he gathered a few Brothers and asked them to share his way of life, by the ties of obedience and poverty.
At the moment of death, he entrusted them to the Divine Providence in order to carry on his work, particularly through “charitable schools”. In 1722, the community settled at Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, near the community of the Daughters of Wisdom governed by Marie Louise de Jésus. The Brothers lived with the Fathers making up the community of the Missionaries of the Holy Spirit. Besides teaching in charitable schools, the Brothers devoted themselves to the works of the missions and rendering material services.
When Gabriel Deshayes became Superior of the Montfortian communities, in 1821, he gave a new impetus to the Brothers; stressing particularly the importance of the teaching profession. As early as 1824, more than 40 novices took their vows of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience. The rapid growth in the number of the teaching Brothers led him progressively to give them a separate organization and finally to constitute them into an autonomous Institute know as the Brothers of Christian Instruction of the Holy Spirit, which became independent after his death in 1841.
From then onwards, the Institute, which was legally recognized in France in 1853 under the name of the Brothers of Christian Instruction of Saint Gabriel, spread throughout the country, assuming the charge of educating the children of the working classes and undertaking also the education of the deaf and the blind. At the end of the 19th century, the Brothers crossed the frontiers of France to establish themselves in Canada and in several countries of Europe. The Institute became a pontifical congregation in 1910. Today, their missionary activity extends to all the continents in a spirit of fidelity to the Church and to their origins.
Our SpiritualityThe spirituality of St. Louis de Montfort is the one of a preacher of parish missions, for whom the spiritual life cannot be separated from the ministry.A spirituality in the service of restoring the spirit of Christianity in the heart of the baptized and in human societies.
(References: LEW: Love of Eternal Wisdom; RM: Rules of the Missionary; SM: Secret of Mary; TD: Treatise of True Devotion)
The essence of our spirituality, which we inherited from our founder, is:
Jesus Incarnate Wisdom
The Care for the Poor
The Baptismal Promises
Mary; The Consecration to Jesus through Mary
Jesus Christ is our inspiration: our ‘RULE OF LIFE’, our ‘Model’, our our ‘Guide’ and our ‘Goal’. Live in joy our fidelity to Christ. This Consecrated life is lived in special communion with Him.
Lady of Wisdom, is the principal patroness of our Society.
Montfort’s Mariology and Marian spirituality were completely based on the mystery of Incarnation, where Mary had a unique role to play. Montfort insists that all, to the absolute extent possible, must be given to Mary in order to be given to Jesus. Montfort had written a number of books like ‘The True Devotion to Mary’ ‘The Secret of Mary’ ‘The Secret of the Rosary’ etc.
On footsteps of Jesus Christ, we are called to empower the youth, particularly the poor, and all those struggling for justice. This requires transformation of the persons that they may be able to establish just and fraternal relationships, and attain sustainable development of the society.
Brothers witness to the love of Christ in different ways. They regard apostolic educational mission as the normal expression of their life of faith and of their religious commitment.