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Dispositions for a Good Death

St. Louis Grignion de Montfort
These dispositions are believed to be written by St. Louis Marie de Montfort. On the eve of his death, a copy was found among the effects of the missionaries accompanying the Saint. It is preserved in the general archives of the Company of Mary.


Remote Dispositions
  1. Think of death every day.

    1. Death is certain.
    2. It is near.
    3. It is deceptive.
    4. It is awe-inspiring.
    5. It is painful.
    6. It follows the pattern of life.

  2. Live a good life.

    1. Avoid grave sin and deliberate venial sin.
    2. Combat your dominant fault.
    3. Love the cross.
    4. Receive the sacraments frequently.
    5. Practice mental prayer and obedience.
    6. Have a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

  3. Make your Will as soon as you can.

    1. Have Masses said before you die.
    2. Present your Will in proper form.
    3. Return everything wrongfully acquired.
    4. Pay your debts.

  4. Follow the practices of the Saints to remind you of death & prepare for it

    1. When you go to bed, take the position of a dead person.
    2. At every meal remember that one day your body will be the food of worms.
    3. Consider sickness as the companion of death.
    4. Keep a skull in your room and meditate on what that person, was, what he did, said and thought. Think of what this skull is now and what will become of it, and then reflect on your own life.
    5. Prepare your coffin and your grave, and embrace them in spirit every day.
Proximate Dispositions
  1. Endure sickness patiently for these reasons:

    1. God sends it to you.
    2. It can free you from this exile on earth.
    3. It helps you to expiate your sins.
    4. Firmly believe that you will die of this illness.

  2. Receive the Sacraments of Penance, Holy Eucharist & Extreme Unction.

    1. Receive them as soon as possible, and sooner than your friends and relatives want you to.
    2. Receive them with contrition, humility and gratitude.
    3. Receive them with fervor.

  3. Choose two good friends to help you.

    1. They can keep out of your room relatives, friends and other persons who can be of no help to you.
    2. They will help you to make acts of faith, hope and love.
    3. They will help you to receive the Sacraments.
    4. They will help you to withstand temptation.

  4. Resist the temptations of the Devil.

    1. If you are tempted against Faith say simply, "I believe in God" or "I believe everything that the Catholic Church teaches.
    2. If you are tempted to despair, put all your trust in the infinite merits of Our Lord and the all-powerful intercession of Our Lady.
    3. If you are tempted to impatience, think of the sufferings of Jesus, the reward he promises, the sufferings of the next life, the seriousness of your sins.

  5. Resist any temptations to vainglory and presumption

    1. By considering the number and gravity of your past sins in themselves.
    2. By considering them in the face of the infinite holiness of God.

  6. Do not be misled by friends and relatives.

    1. Do not believe the comforting words of your friends and relatives and keep them away from you as much as you can.
    2. Do not share their natural grief; do not listen to their anxious advice or their deceptive reassurances.
Final Dispositions
  1. Follow the example of Jesus and forgive all your enemies from the depths of your heart.

  2. Ask pardon of those you have offended, and of those you caused to offend God.

  3. Commit your souls into the hands of God.

  4. Commit your body to the earth, and willingly accept that it become the food of worms.

  5. Pray to God for yourself and for others.

  6. Commit all your relatives and friends to the care of the Blessed Virgin.

  7. Exhort your whole family to true devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

  8. Renew your baptismal promises, and bid farewell to everyone here below.

  9. Thank God for His infinite mercy and for all His benefits, and then rely on Him alone.

  10. Adore God's judgment of you, no matter what it may be.

  11. Offer yourself to the Justice of God in union with Our Lord Jesus Christ, no matter where He may put you, provided that there you may be able to love God.

  12. Ardently desire the joyous possession of Jesus and of His Kingdom.

  13. Have the prayers for the dying said and give the responses yourself. Have the Passion of Our Lord read or the Prayer He offered before He died. (John 17)

  14. Recite, if you can, the Magnifcat and the Psalm, "I rejoiced because they said me, We shall go up into the house of the Lord." (Ps 122:1)

  15. Finally, in union with Jesus and Mary, with nothing more to worry about, with no one near you but your two friends, wait for the hour of death with joy. Often repeat the words, "Jesus, Mary, Joseph," to gain the indulgences of the confraternities you belong to, kiss your crucifix, look at the image of the Blessed Virgin, make the Sign of the Cross, and sprinkle your bed with holy water.

Posted August 15, 2022