St. Louis Marie Grignion de la Bacheleraie, who abandoned his family name for that
his birthplace, was born on January 31, 1673 in the little town of Montfort-la-Canne,
which is located in Brittany, France. He studied for the priesthood at St. Sulpice in
Paris, having made the 200-mile journey there on foot. He was ordained a priest in
1700, at the age of 27.
He founded two religious orders: the Daughters of Wisdom, begun in 1703 from a
number of poor and afflicted girls at the Hospital of Poiters, where he was temporary
chaplain, and the Missionaries of the Company of Mary, founded in 1715.
St. Louis de Montfort left several writings, the
most famous being The Secret of the
Rosary, True Devotion to Mary, and The
Secret of Mary. These books were based
on sermons he had given when traveling
around France. By spreading devotion to
the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Louis was
teaching souls to love the devil's great enemy.
At the Saint's beatification investigation, many
witnesses testified that during his life they
had heard struggles between him and the
devil including the sound of fist blows and the
swish of whips.
St. Louis de Montfort exhausted his great physical strength by his apostolic labors.
On his deathbed in Sainte-Laurent-sur-Sévre, at age 43, he kissed the crucifix and
a statue of the Blessed Mother. Apparently speaking to the devil, he exclaimed: "In
vain do you attack me; I am between Jesus and Mary! I have finished my course:
All is over. I shall sin no more!" Then he died peacefully on April 28, 1716. His feast
day is April 28, the day of his birth in Heaven. St. Louis' writings were examined by
the Holy See, which pronounced that there was nothing in them to hinder his
beatification and canonization. He was canonized a Saint in 1947.