On the feast day of St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, we wish to share an excerpt from a letter he wrote in 1715, the year before he died. He is exhorting his spiritual daughter and the co-foundress of the Daughters of Wisdom, Blessed Marie Louise of Jesus (Trichet), to step out without fear to the new mission.
For our small Religious Family, we have always sought to learn from St. Louis de Montfort not only the great love for Mary (which forms the model of our Fourth Marian Vow), but also his missionary zeal and great trust in God. Accompanying the Montfort letter below are images from the IVE Seminary in Argentina where the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word was born, founded by Fr. Carlos Miguel Buela, IVE in 1984, first the IVE priests and then our sisters in 1988. The stained glass image of Montfort is the central panel in the church of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores at the Major Seminary of Mother of the Incarnate Word in San Rafael, Argentina where our community was born.
To: Mother Marie-Louise de Jésus & Sr. Conception (Catherine Brunet) [beginning of 1715]
My dear daughters in Jesus Christ, Marie Trichet and Catherine Brunet,
May Jesus and his Cross reign forever!
You have not answered my last letter and I wonder why. I have spoken several times to his Lordship, the Bishop of La Rochelle, about you and about our plans and he thinks you ought to come here and begin the work we want so much. He has rented a house for the purpose until another house can be bought and suitably furnished.
I know you are doing a great deal of good where you are, but you will do infinitely more away from home and we know that since the time of Abraham right up to the time of our Lord and even to our own day, God sends his greatest servants out of their own country because, as our Lord himself says, no prophet is accepted among his own people.
I know you will have many difficulties to overcome but an enterprise which is going to do so much for the glory of God and the salvation of men will have its way strewn with thorns and crosses.
If you don’t take risks for God, you won’t give anything worthwhile. I am writing to you on behalf of the Bishop, so keep this confidential.
I will send you Brother John with some money and a horse to accompany you. Travel as best you can; take a coach or hire a horse. If you have no money, we will try to cover the cost for you.
Please reply as soon as you can as I am leaving here to preach a mission at La Rochelle.
Totally yours in God alone,
excerpt from “The Letters of St. Louis Marie de Montfort” (PDF)
Text copyright © Montfort Publications 1987 / This version for Internet publication © Copyright Montfort Missionaries 2002