This is the Time That God Has Chosen
The roads leading from the village church were thronged! The French countryside was being wrapped in darkness as thirty thousand sorrowing peasants were quietly making their way back to their small farms or cottages.
There had been a funeral in the town of St. Lawrence that day of April 29, 1716 – the mortal remains of the “Holy Priest with the Big Rosary“, had been laid to rest. Father Louis de Montfort, the saintly missionary of Mary, was dead!!
The news of Montfort’s death spread like a fire in a dry field. Within a few short years, several biographies of the holy missionary of Vendee appeared, many hymns were composed in his honor, favors that fill volumes were granted through his intercession. “Surely“, said his countrymen, “He will soon be declared a saint!”
God’s ways, however, do not always conform to the wishes of men. Slowly — so very slowly did Montfort’s cause for canonization proceed that it appeared that he himself was trying to postpone the day of his earthly glorification.
Why did two centuries elapse between the time of Montfort’s death and his canonization? The Little Flower was declared a saint in 1925 although she had dices only twenty-eight years before. The bells of Rome rang out in honor of St. Anthony of Padua, only one year after his death! Yet the cause of Montfort’s canonization, who was the founder of two religious congregations, writer of the best selling Marian work, the tutor of the Legion of Mary, a man of outstanding spiritual heroism — took over two hundred years. Why?
Years ago, this same question was asked by the small band of Montfort’s followers. They solved the problem by saying: “God must have a reason for it!”
God surely did have a reason for it! He wished to hide Father de Montfort from the world as He did His Holy Mother. This man who saw prophetic visions of future persecutions, this man who prophesized the battles waged against Satan waged by other Apostles of Mary, this Holy priest of Montfort was not known for so many years–because God wished him to influence, in particular, the age in which we live!!!
Montfort’s canonization has come at last—now when new wars are already projecting their somber shadows on the future; now when nations pride themselves on the fact that they can make a bomb which could destroy a country and massacre millions; now when forty-nine percent of the people of our country do not attend any church whatsoever; now when atheistic communism openly flaunts itself…
This is the time that God has chosen for the canonization of Blessed Louis de Montfort, the saint who led millions to Christ, the soldier of Christ who fought the heresies of his day, the missionary who made western France a country of Christian heroes, the prophet who foretold the triumph of the Church, the inspired writer who teaches us that if we become true slaves of Mary we become true children of God. It is this man whom the Church now exalts, to whom we should pray so that the ills of the present age may be cured!!
Not only does God now exalt Montfort because the present problems of the world can be solved by his teaching and example, but also because the glorification of Montfort will hasten the reign of the Blessed Mother. The canonization of this great apostle of Mary is the threshold leading to the age of Mary. It is the will of Almighty God that souls know, love and honor Mary more than ever before; that they realize that she is as necessary for our salvation as the air we breathe is for our life. Montfort’s canonization will help to make this known. The raising of Montfort to the altars sanctions not only the man himself, but also his writings and his foundations. It therefore proves that Montfort’s “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin” should become better known and that his congregations will increase, that his doctrines of Holy Slavery will spread throughout the earth.
St. Louis de Montfort, therefore, must become our model. He is our saint!!! From him we learn to esteem poverty and humility, we learn to courageously carry our cross, we learn to be faithful to our faith, we learn the incomparable benefits of devotion to Mary.
Take St. Louis as your model, Oh Christians!! Go to this powerful intercessor with all your spiritual and temporal necessities as well as those of your family, your country and your friends. With more confidence than ever seek his aid in all necessity; with more power than ever he will intercede for you. You, who are proud of your faith, glorify him whom God has so exalted!! Study his life, his teachings! Follow his path of sanctity! Let Saint Louis de Montfort escort you to the palace of his Heavenly Queen, who clasps in her loving arms, Almighty God!!
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April 29, 1716 — The streets of St. Lawrence are thronged. Thirty thousand sorrowing pilgrims wearily make their way through the narrow roads of the town and into the small church to view the mortal remains of the “Holy Priest with the big rosary”.
Thousands remain faithful to him after his death but with the passage of time his popularity waned and all too soon, outside of his native Vendee, his name was almost forgotten; he dropped into comparative oblivion.
July 20, 1947 — The streets of St. Lawrence are thronged. Two hundred and thirty years after his death, the “holy man of Vendee” is to be hailed as Saint Louis de Mont fort!!
Indeed the little city of St. Lawrence is mobbed — but look at the rest of the world! Forty thousand crowd St. Peter’s Basilica; thousands more march in triumphant procession throughout the Eternal City.
This scene is oft-duplicated around the globe. In the great cities of the world, London, Paris, Rotterdam, Louvain, Montreal, and New York, bells ring out the glad tidings.
The “forgotten man of Vendee” has come into his own!!! St. Louis de Montfort, intercede for us!!