Louis Marie Grignion was born January 31, 1673 in the small village of Montfort, France. He discovered early in his life that devoting himself to the Blessed Virgin was the surest way to reach Jesus and practice his faith. Although his hope was to do missionary work in foreign missions, he was assigned to remain in France. Louis was inspired to carry out his missionary work with apostolic zeal and became a vagabond preacher, traveling many miles on foot throughout his lifetime to become one of the greatest missionaries of the Church. He wrote several books, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Secret of the Rosary, and Preparation for Total Consecration. Early in his Christian walk he was reprimanded by priests and other influential people for his outspoken condemnation and firm opposition to erroneous doctrines of his day and was asked to leave several dioceses during his travels. Questioning the path on which God had set him, Louis de Montfort decided to walk to Rome to speak with Pope Clement XI. The Holy Father encouraged him in his missionary work and endowed him with the title "apostolic missionary".
He returned to France to continue to serve the sick, poor, disabled and illiterate. In 1947 Louis Marie de Montfor was canonized a saint. Three religious orders have developed from the fruits of his work: the Montfort Missionaries, the Daughters of Wisdom, and the Brothers of St. Gabriel. In the small village of St. Lourent-sur-Sevre, near Cholet, lies his shrine and tomb and near the basilica is the home of the Montfort Missionaries. For more information on St. Louis de Montfort, his Marian spirituality and his writings, contact Montfort Publications, Bay Shore, NY 11706. Louis de Montfort predicted that his book True Devotion to Mary would one day be discovered in a buried chest; this proved to be true when it was found in 1842 after it had been hidden away during the French Revolution.
Location: St. Lourent-sur-Sevre is 230 miles southwest of Paris. Can be reached by car (Paris A11 west to Angers, N160 south to Cholet, D752 south); No train; No bus.