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St Louis de Montfort

Louis de Montfort

Born at Montfort (France) on 31 Jan 1673, died at Saint Laurent sur Sevre 28 April 1716 - only 43 years of age.

From early childhood he had a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and as a 12 year-old student at the Jesuit College of Rennes, he visited the church before and after lessons to pray before the Tabernacle.

At the age of 19 he went on foot to Paris to study a course in Theology. On the journey he gave away all his money to the poor, and vowed to live from then on only on alms.

He was ordained a priest in 1700, and became chaplain to a hospital. He later found his true vocation as a preacher, and he was a very gifted preacher, able to move his congragations.

His whole life was one of constant prayer, love of the poor and personal poverty. The Jansenists, upset with his successes in preaching, often had him banished from the places where he was giving a mission. On a couple of occasions he narrowly avoided assassination attempts.

His great love of Mary, the Blessed Virgin, inspired him to write several books, including "True Devotion to Mary" and "The Secret of the Rosary", both of which books some 300 years after his death are still in print.

St Louis was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1888, and canonised by Pope Pius XII in 1947.

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