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St. Louis Grignion de Monfort, April 28

Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Biographical selection:

When St. Louis Grignion (1673-1716) was in Poitiers preaching spiritual exercises to the Sisters of St. Catherine, the Bishop, influenced by Jansenism, sent him an order to immediately leave the Diocese. The saint obeyed. At his leave-taking, since he could no longer speak to the inhabitants of Montbernage, he directed to them a letter worthy of the zeal of St. Paul.
“Remember, then, my dear children, my joy, my glory, and my crown, to have an ardent love for Jesus Christ and to love Him through Mary. Let true devotion to our loving Mother be manifest everywhere and to everyone, so that you may spread everywhere the good fragrance of Jesus Christ. Carrying your cross with constancy following the steps of this good Master, thus gain the crown and the kingdom that await you. Do not fail to faithfully fulfill your baptismal promises and all that they entail, pray your Rosary every day either in private or in public, and receive the Sacraments at least once a month.

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St. Louis de Monfort

“I beg my cherished friends of Montbernage, who possess the statue of Our Lady, my good Mother, and my heart, to continue praying even more fervently, and not to tolerate in their company those who swear and blaspheme, sing immoral songs, and become drunk…

“I stand in face of many enemies. All those who love and esteem transitory and perishable things of this world treat me with contempt, mock and persecute me, and the powers of evil have conspired together to incite against me everywhere all those powerful ones in authority. Surrounded by all this I am very weak, even weakness itself. I am ignorant, even ignorance itself, and even worse that I do not dare to speak of. Being so alone and poor, I would certainly perish were I not supported by Our Lady and the prayers of good people, especially your own. These are obtaining for me from God the gift of speech or Divine Wisdom, which will be the remedy for all my ills and a powerful weapon against all my enemies.

“With Mary everything is easy. I place all my confidence in her, despite the snarls of the world and thunders of hell. I say with St. Bernard: ‘In her I have placed unbounded confidence; she is the whole reason for my hope.’ …. Through Mary I will seek and find Jesus; I will crush the serpent’s head and overcome all my enemies as well as myself for the greater glory of God.

“Farewell then but not goodbye, for if God spares me, I will pass this way again.”
Comments of Prof. Plinio:

These words of St. Louis Grignion are magnificent because they show us some facets that deeply correspond to our counter-revolutionary vocation.

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The wooden carved statue of Our Lady that St. Louis carried with him everywhere

First, almost superfluous to mention, is his devotion to Our Lady which perfumes the whole of his letter, as everything he writes, which is his great glory.

Second, he had the gift to attract many enmities, to inspire the hatred of so many who joined forces against him. The powerful ones of this earth - the ones who should be the most interested in his preaching - by an aberration and a paradox were the ones who combated him the most. For he said that it was these powerful ones who joined together to conspire against him. Those powerful men represented the royalty, the aristocracy, the ecclesiastical Hierarchy and the Clergy. That is, they were persons who thus showed their hatred for the very principles of the institutions that supported them.

Because St. Louis Grignion defended those principles, because he expounded them in their most profound points combating pride and sensuality, because he preached and presented true devotion to Our Lady, the powerful of this earth hated him. You know the result. The places where the preaching of St. Louis Grignion was well received - the Vendée and Bretagne – were the only two places that rose up to defend the altar and the throne some generations later in the French Revolution. The only defenders of the altar and throne were the spiritual sons of that man whom the altar and the throne had so cruelly persecuted. You can see how a nation can run madly toward its own destruction. That is what happened with France.

The most profound explanation for the French Revolution is not the strength of its partisans, but the weakness of those who should have combated it. That weakness resulted from not having listened to St. Louis Grignion de Monfort; from not having listened to the message of the Sacred Heart transmitted by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who asked that the Heart of Jesus be placed on the French flag, and that the King Louis XIV consecrate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The result was the French Revolution. It was the internal infidelity of the good that led to it.

Third, you can understand the mission of St. Louis as a rejected prophet. He raised high the standard of the fight, but at the same time he was rejected, hatred, and persecuted - just as the true counter-revolutionaries are today. The bad people laughed at him and despised him just as they laughed and despised Our Lord Jesus Christ. He received an order to stop preaching and leave the district, and he obeyed. He did not become discouraged. He was forbidden to speak publicly, and he obeyed.

However he wrote. And what did he recommend? He recommended the fight: to not accept passively those who blaspheme and curse, those who sing immoral songs and become drunk. He instructed his disciples to react, to protest and stand up to those bad people. You can see, therefore, that he was a fighter.

Let us ask St. Louis Grignion de Monfort to increase our devotion to Our Lady, to make us fighters against the evil, and to give us the strength of soul to follow in his footsteps, to take the counter-revolutionary course, and to never be defeated by sarcasm, hatred or persecution.

Read the Fire Prayer of St. Louis in which he pleads for
apostles to remedy the present-day crisis of the Church that he foresaw.

Tradition in Action

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Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
The Saint of the Day features highlights from the lives of saints based on comments made by the late Prof. Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira. Following the example of St. John Bosco who used to make similar talks for the boys of his College, each evening it was Prof. Plinio’s custom to make a short commentary on the lives of the next day’s saint in a meeting for youth in order to encourage them in the practice of virtue and love for the Catholic Church. TIA thought that its readers could profit from these valuable commentaries.

The texts of both the biographical data and the comments come from personal notes taken by Atila S. Guimarães from 1964 to 1995. Given the fact that the source is a personal notebook, it is possible that at times the biographic notes transcribed here will not rigorously follow the original text read by Prof. Plinio. The commentaries have also been adapted and translated for TIA’s site.

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