It was a sunny day last July, and we were on Long Island. I was hunting for a baptism gift for our newest niece, and—on our way to our vacation rental a few days earlier—I had spotted a sign for a shrine to Our Lady of the Island.I took one of our boys, and we drove to the shrine. All I knew from the website was that there was a gift shop. We explored it for a while and found baptism gifts for the precious baby girl.
Then we went to visit the chapel and explore the grounds. And we discovered that the order that established the shrine had been founded by St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort.
Do you know much about St. Louis de Montfort? I didn’t at the time, but I was curious to find out who he was. I’ve learned a bit about him since then, including that April 28 happens to be his feast day. I thought you might like to learn a little about him, too.
St. Louis de Montfort was a French priest, an author, and the founder of the Sisters of Divine Wisdom and the Missionaries of the Company of Mary, also known as the Montfort Fathers. He had a great love for the Blessed Mother and for the Rosary—and he apparently helped standardize the Rosary as we pray it today.
He was quite a preacher, but not everyone agreed with what he had to say. He was even poisoned once, though he survived. He founded free schools for the poor, carved a few statues of Mary with the Infant Jesus, and had only been a priest for 16 years before he died at the young age of 43. Learning about him makes me feel I should be making more of my 43 years!
St. Louis de Montfort’s motto was “God alone”—a motto that contains and says so much. He is remembered well for his devotion to Mary and his belief that devotion to her can draw us closer to Jesus.
“To know Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, is to know enough,” he said. “To know everything and not to know him is to know nothing.”
St. Louis also had a great love for angels. He would even sign letters to people, “I salute your guardian angel.”
And today I salute yours. May you have a beautiful day and—especially in this moment—may you find comfort and strength knowing that your guardian angel is at your side.