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Be Ambassadors For Jesus and Mary:

A Tribute to St Louis Marie de Montfort.

Saint Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort [1673-1716] is seen by many as having had a prophetic insight into what were then the fast approaching last times of the world. And as to how this combined with his understanding of the enhanced role of the Blessed Virgin as our Mother and our powerful Advocate and Mediator with Her Son. Many popes have extolled Louis Marie's work; Pope Leo XIII honoured him by beatifying him on his own golden jubilee to the priesthood.

Fr/St Louis Marie was very fortunate to have been born into a strong faith environment, and thus given a strong formation in the Faith; by far the greatest gift to any child. He was also aware, at close hand, of the great works and legacies of others around him, close to or at this time; St John Eudes, St Francis de Sales, St Jane de Chantalle, St Vincent de Paul, St Louise de Marillac, St Margaret Mary, to name just a few. These would have been a great inspiration for the young Louis Marie.

Educated by the Jesuits, Louis Marie was a great priestly/ saintly character. At an early age (aged sixteen) he had joyfully set off for seminary exclaiming that he had found Eternal Wisdom “wherein are all of my treasures.”

He had no sooner crossed the bridge from his local town and waved goodbye to family and friends when he promptly exchanged his clothes with a beggar. Perhaps his enthusiasm too much for some, on reaching the seminary he found that his funding had been cancelled.

Undettered, Louis Marie carried on and spent much time himself with the beggars of Paris (this also a part of his training for the priesthood.) He especially loved to work amongst the poor, to whom he was devoted. He longed for them to know how much God loved them. And he provided practical help for them as and when he could.

All perhaps with Our Lord's parable of the rich man and Lazarus in mind (Lk 16:19-31) and Our Lord's Words:

“For what does it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?[Mk 8:36-37, Mt 16:26.] And that the words of the Blessed Virgin in Her Magnificat are: “He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.”[Lk 1:53]

At all times earnestly seeking the salvation of souls. Fr Louis Marie was set on parish missions as a way of strengthening the faith, especially amongst the poor. He carried out more than two hundred parish missions across Western France.

And this may also have been down to the prophetic insight of Pope Clement XI. On finding himself blocked by some (for not all in the church were as enthusiastic for his parish missions as he was) Louis Marie had set off on foot to ask the Pope in person if he should carry on his work in France or join the Canadian missions. He begged for food and shelter along the way. Pope Clement told him to return to France and to carry on with his parish missions. The resistance to the French revolution and its effects, shown by the brave Catholics of Western France, steadfast in their Faith, has been attributed to the work of many but very especially to the work of Fr/St Louis Marie.

Fr/St Louis Marie's parish missions saw a teaching of the catechism, a focus on the sacraments and devotions, and activities that reflected his always wanting to include as many parishioners in as many ways as possible, for example, their involvement in building a monument as a focus for and a reminder of the mission itself; one of his favourites was the building of a life size Calvary.

The mission culminated with each parishioner renewing their baptismal promises. St Louis Marie taught a total consecration to Jesus Christ, Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom, through the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
He would also lead a parish flock in procession singing his favourite hymns. And this was one of his favourite tunes:

“When I go on my way, / my staff in my hand, / barefoot
and without any carriage, / but also without any worries,/
I march along in great state, / like a King with his court,/
to the sound of the trumpet.” (H 144:1)

His enthusiasm and character often shone through, when asked as to his work, he would simply explain that he was an ambassador for Jesus and Mary.

This great priest and saint indeed cared very greatly for souls and their salvation.

St Louis Marie founded religious Orders of both men and women 1, and he prayed earnestly for the coming of those whom he described as "the apostles of the last times." The Legion of Mary takes many of its inspirations from his works.

1842 saw the providential finding of his treatise: True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary (written c.1710) which had lay hidden, just as he predicted it would do [TD114.]

The work was recognized immediately for its insights and prophetic content. Fr Faber's quote, from 1868, is a reflection of an experience of the reading St Louis Marie's writings, he states:

"..if I may dare say so, there is a growing feeling of something
inspired and supernatural about it as we go on studying it;
and with that we cannot help experiencing after repeated
readings of it, that its novelty never wears off, nor its fullness
to be diminished nor the fresh fragrance fire of its unction
abate"2

Many who have read True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin have said that it has changed their lives. St Louis Marie wrote extensively of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of Her powerful roles, given by God and very much including Her role in these last times of the world. St Louis Marie sees the Blessed Virgin Mary's powerful roles as being in place in the most enhanced ways; as our Queen, our Mother.

St Louis Marie writes of the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the last days of the world, and in a chapter entitled: Mary's Part In The Latter Times, Part 1 (4) of True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, he writes:

"As She was the way by which Jesus first came to us, She will
again be the way by which He will come to us the second time
though not in the same manner."[TD 50(4)]

"Since She is the sure means, the direct and Immaculate way
to Jesus and the perfect guide to Him, it is through Her that
souls who are to shine forth in sanctity must find Him. He
who finds Mary finds life, that is, Jesus Christ who is the way,
the truth and the life. But no one can find Mary who does not
look for Her. No one can look for Her who does not know Her,
for no one seeks or desires something unknown. Mary then
must be better known than ever for the deeper understanding
and the greater glory of the Blessed Trinity."[TD50 (5)]

"In these latter times Mary must shine forth more than ever in
mercy, power and grace; in mercy, to bring back and welcome
lovingly the poor sinners and wanderers who are to be converted
and return to the Catholic Church; in power, to combat the
enemies of God who will rise up menacingly to seduce and crush
by promises and threats all those who oppose them; finally, She
must shine forth in grace to inspire and support the valiant
soldiers and loyal servants of Jesus Christ who are fighting for
His cause."[TD50(6)]

"Lastly, Mary must become as terrible as an army in battle array
to the devil and his followers, especially in these latter times.
For Satan, knowing that he has little time - even less now than
ever-to destroy souls, intensifies his efforts and his onslaughts
every day. He will not hesitate to stir up savage persecutions
and set more treacherous snares for Mary's faithful servants
and children whom He finds more difficult to overcome than
others."[TD50 (7)]

"It is chiefly in reference to these last wicked persecutions of the
devil, daily increasing until the advent of the reign of the anti-
Christ, that we should understand that first and well-known
prophecy and curse uttered against the serpent in the garden of
paradise. It is opportune to explain it here for the glory of the
Blessed Virgin, the salvation of Her children and the confusion
of the devil. "I will place enmities between you and the woman,
between your race and Her race; She will crush your head and
you will lie in ambush at Her heel."[Gen 3:15] [TD51]

"God has established only one enmity - but it is an irreconcilable
one - which will last and even go on increasing to the end of
time. That enmity is between Mary, His worthy Mother, and
the devil, between the children and followers of the Blessed
Virgin and the children and followers of Lucifer."[TD52]

"What Lucifer lost by pride Mary won by humility. What Eve
ruined and lost by disobedience Mary saved by obedience. By
obeying the serpent, Eve ruined her children as well as herself
and delivered them up to him. Mary, by Her perfect fidelity to
God saved Her children with Herself and consecrated them to
His divine majesty." [TD 53]

"Finally, God in these times wishes His Blessed Mother to be
more known, loved and honoured than She has ever been. This
will certainly come about if the elect, by the grace and light
of the Holy Spirit adopt the interior and perfect practice of the
devotion which I shall later unfold. Then they will clearly see
that beautiful Star of the Sea, as much as faith allows. Under
Her guidance they will perceive the splendours of this Queen
and will consecrate themselves entirely to Her service as
subjects and slaves of love. They will experience Her motherly
kindness and affection for Her children. They will love Her
tenderly and will appreciate how full of compassion She is
and how much they stand in need of Her help. In all circum-
stances they will have recourse to Her as their Advocate
and Mediatrix with Jesus Christ. They will see clearly that She
is the safest and most perfect way of approaching Jesus and
will surrender themselves to Her, body and soul, without
reserve in order to belong entirely to Jesus."[TD55]

St Louis Marie also writes these profound and loving words:

"It is difficult to persevere in holiness because of the excessively
corrupting influence of the world. The world is so corrupt that it
seems almost inevitable that religious hearts will be soiled, if not
by its mud, at least by its dust. It is something of a miracle for
anyone to stand firm in the midst of this raging torrent and not be
swept away; to weather this stormy sea and not be drowned, or
robbed by pirates; to breathe this pestilential air and not be
contaminated by it. It is Mary, the singularly faithful Virgin over
whom Satan had never any power, who works this miracle for
those who truly love Her."[TD.89:3]

An inspirational St Louis Marie and his writings are full of prophecies.

In our era it is humans, ever depleting in numbers, that need to be found and reached as to the absolute necessity of having the goal of salvation. And to be in preparations for the Lord.

O Mary, our Mother. How you would have us prepare in the right way for your Son. Help us to try.

1. The Company of Mary. And the Sisters of Wisdom.
2. Fr Faber quoted in: Fr Patrick Gaffney SMM: An Overview of The Life and Spirituality of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort.

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