The founder of the Institute of the Brothers of St.Gabriel, St. Louis Grignion of Montfort, is also called Montfort.
- Birth and Studies
- A Missionary
- Death & Sainthood
Childhood, Youth and Studies
Louis was born on January 31, 1673 at Montfort-sur-Meu (25 km from Rennes) and baptized the next day. His father, Jean-Baptiste Grignion, was a lawyer and his mother, daughter of a magistrate in Rennes. Louis would later add the name of Mary to his because of his great love for the Virgin. The addition “of Montfort” is not a title of nobility, but just the name of the place of his baptism.
From his early years he exhibited great qualities: keen intelligence, deep piety, facility to share what he learned in Sunday school with his brothers, sisters and comrades.
At 12, he was a student at the Jesuit College in Rennes. He proved to be a brilliant student of philosophy, very conscientious in his work. He liked to take time to help his brothers and sisters in their studies.
His Life in Rennes opened to him a world he did not know: the poor. Guided by a priest, he visited the poor in hospitals. Following the example of his mother, he helped those who dared not show themselves up.
One incident, among others: A schoolboy was badly dressed and everyone made fun of him. Louis-Marie felt bad about this and made a collection among his companions. He brought him to a tailor and said: “Sir, this is my brother and yours. I collected this amount in the class in order to get him a proper dress. If this amount is not enough, you please add the rest!” The latter carried out the job.
On the advice of his teachers, he joined the Congregation of the Blessed Virgin, which was an opportunity for him to enlighten his faith and his Marian devotion.
In these times of prayer and reflection, a thought struck his mind: to become a priest. He shared about this inner call to his parents, who were very happy about it.
In September 1693 he left his native place, on foot, to join the Seminary of St Sulpice in Paris.