On this day St. Louis de Montfort, one of the most prominent priests to promote the worship of the Virgin Mary and praying the rosary, died. St. Louis was born under the name of Louis-Marie Grignion in the town of Montfort in the French region of Brittany. He was born in 1673, at a time when France was ruled by the famous King Louis XIV (also known as the “Sun King”). St. Louis de Montfort was ordained a priest in 1700. He joined the Third Order of the Dominicans, and in 1705 he founded the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (Latin: Societas Mariae).
The members of that congregation are today also called the Montfortians in his honor. Together with the Blessed Marie-Louise Trichet, he founded a women’s religious community called the Daughters of Wisdom. This community remains active to this day. St. Louis de Montfort in particular stood out with his Marian devotion and the veneration he had towards the guardian angels. He promoted praying the rosary, and wrote several books on these topics (including the important “True Devotion to Mary”). St. Louis de Montfort died on this day at the age of only 43 years. The last sermon he gave before his death was reportedly on the gentleness of Jesus Christ and the Incarnate Wisdom of the Father.
It is interesting that St. Louis de Montfort was especially revered by Pope Saint John Paul II. Indeed, the Pope took his famous motto “Totus Tuus” – “totally yours” from the teachings of St. Louis de Montfort. Pope Saint John Paul II stated that he had read the “True Devotion to Mary” by St. Louis de Montfort as a young seminarian and worker many times and with a great spiritual benefit. Moreover, he said that the reading of this work was a decisive turning point in his life.