Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort was a French Roman Catholic priest, known for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and his writings on spirituality and prayer. Born on January 31, 1673, in Montfort-sur-Meu, Brittany, he was the eldest son of a noble family. He received his education at the Jesuit College of St. Thomas Becket in Rennes, where he was known for his piety and devotion.
After completing his studies, Montfort traveled to Paris, where he attended the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice. It was there that he began to develop a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which would shape his spiritual life and his ministry. Montfort was ordained a priest in 1700 and began his ministry in Nantes, where he preached missions and founded the Company of Mary.
The Company of Mary was a religious congregation dedicated to the education of the poor and the sick. Montfort’s vision was to establish a community of priests and laypeople who would work together to spread the Gospel and promote the reign of Christ through devotion to Mary. The Company of Mary would later merge with the Daughters of Wisdom, a congregation of religious sisters founded by Blessed Marie-Louise Trichet, to form the Montfort Missionaries.
Montfort is perhaps best known for his writing, particularly his Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin. This work, which he wrote in 1712, presents a unique and profound approach to Marian devotion. Montfort emphasizes the role of Mary in leading us to Jesus, and he encourages us to entrust ourselves completely to her, as our spiritual mother and guide. His writing has had a profound influence on the Church, and his teachings on Mary have been embraced by countless Catholics around the world.
In addition to his writing and his work with the Company of Mary, Montfort was also known for his holiness of life. He lived a life of poverty and simplicity, and he was known for his deep prayer life and his love for the Eucharist. He was tireless in his efforts to preach the Gospel and to serve the poor and the sick.
Montfort died on April 28, 1716, at the age of 43. His legacy, however, has endured through the centuries. He was beatified by Pope Pius X in 1909, and he was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1947. His feast day is celebrated on April 28.
Today, the Montfortian Family, which includes the Montfort Missionaries, the Daughters of Wisdom, and the Brothers of Saint Gabriel, continues to carry on the work of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. Through their ministry of education, evangelization, and service, they strive to promote the reign of Christ through devotion to Mary, just as Montfort did over three centuries ago.