In the history of the Catholic Church, She has recognized and honored various types of saints…There are those saints who lived quietly for the Lord, never creating waves…they had a subtle servitude for God as they eked out their way to heaven. Then there are those, who while in their lifetime, developed a spiritual life that was in fact a ‘spiritual road’ they paved as a pathway to heaven… a road that served not only themselves…but others as well...These are the saints whose very existence needs to be celebrated and remembered by the faithful, not merely for the inspirational way they lived their lives, but for the trail towards heaven they have left for us. These saints created a way of life … developed a means of devotion, which when followed by others, have benefited many souls, enabling others to attain their ultimate goal of heaven. One such Saint was St. Louis de Montfort.
Louis de Monfort was a pious child who was devoted to his prayer life and to the Blessed Sacrament. When he was nineteen years old, he gave away all of his possessions, choosing to live on alms and the charity of others. In Paris, he was ordained a priest and served as hospital Chaplin for some time, but his heart belonged to preaching... and more especially, to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek Jesus, her Son.”- St. Louis de Monfort
As writing was another of his loves, he penned a number of books that have become classic Catholic titles. Louis de Monfort is considered one of the early writers in the field of Mariology, which is the systematic studying of the Blessed Mother, Mary, and her role in the salvation of mankind, within Catholic theology. Several of his books include: “Love of the Eternal Wisdom”, “True Devotion To The Blessed Virgin”, “The Secret of Mary“, and “The Secret of the Rosary.” Georges Rigault aptly summarized the works of Monfort, observing “Three words cover the gist of his teaching: Wisdom, the Cross, the Virgin – words which belong to each other : No Wisdom outside of the Cross and without the aid of the Virgin.”
According to St. Louis de Monfort, Wisdom here means “Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Who took flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary.” He also wrote: “To know Jesus Christ, the Eternal Wisdom, is to know enough. To know everything and not know Him is to know nothing. . . . A thousand times happier is the man into whose soul Wisdom has come to dwell. . . . To acquire Wisdom we must seek Him ardently, that is, we must be willing to abandon all, to suffer all, and to undertake all things in order to possess Him. There are but few who find Him because there are but few who seek Him in a manner worthy of Him.”
So as we celebrate the life of this great saint, we must remember how important his life was for his time…but also, for our time. Louis de Monfort lived during a time when France was in great turmoil and he was able to convert many people to the faith by the holy way he lived. As you read about the life of St. Louis de Monfort, you will find that he encountered one obstacle after another.
It seemed that the devil was constantly trying to prohibit this great saint from doing the Lord’s Will. But through it all, he remained steadfast and he continually shouldered his share of crosses for God, for the Faith….for the Holy Mother Church…He developed devotions that all men could easily understand and follow, because they are so easy to understand, his books have remained popular and are still widely distributed today. They are especially useful in gaining a deeper understanding of the vital role of the Blessed Mother in the salvation of man…We have a wonderful opportunity to unite ourselves with this great Saint and follow his path…his spiritual ways of holiness…
Our world is in turmoil, souls are falling away from the Truth at an alarming rate…the devil is running wild on the earth…we must follow this great saint’s example and unite ourselves to the Truth…to Christ Jesus through His Most Blessed Mother. And as St. Louis de Monfort wrote: ”
“It is through the most holy Virgin Mary that Jesus came into the world, and it is also through her that he has to reign in the world. . . . It was through Mary that the salvation of the world was begun, and it is through Mary that it must be consummated. . . . Devotion to Our Blessed Lady is necessary for salvation. . . . He who has not Mary for his Mother has not God for his Father.”
As we make our way in this corrupt world we will encounter the snares of the devil…of that you can be certain….But remember, St. Louis de Monfort also said :
“But the power of Mary over all the devils will especially shine forth in the latter times, when Satan will lay his snares against her heel: that is to say, her humble slaves and her poor children, whom she will raise up to make war against him. They shall be little and poor in the world’s esteem . . . and persecuted as the heel is by other members of the body. But in return for this, they shall be rich in the grace of God, which Mary shall distribute to them abundantly.”
Will you join in this army of servants for the Blessed Mother? Will you consecrate yourself for the Lord? God is calling you…He is calling each of us…All the Faithful of the Holy Church…to become saints for our own time…the path to sainthood is a road that beckons each of us…and like Louis de Monfort said of those who will heed this calling:
“They shall be the ministers of the Lord who, like a burning fire, shall kindle the fire of divine love everywhere.” And “they shall be ‘like sharp arrows in the hand of the powerful’ Mary to pierce her enemies.”
The Blessed Mother is calling….What are we waiting for? It is time to answer the call…