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Document Details :
Title: The Mystical Experience of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort
Author(s): RAJA RAO, Thelagathoti J.
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 17 Date: 2007
This article is a synthesis of a doctoral thesis submitted by the author to the Gregorian University, Rome. In the catholic tradition world over, St. Louis-Marie de Montfort is known as the apostle of Mary and it is generally accepted that he is the last stalwart of the French School of Spirituality. As a missionary in Brittany, he not only preached the simple people the baptismal spirituality imbedded in the true devotion to Mary, but also lived it himself seriously and became a mystic in the ordinary sense of the word. This article is developed in four parts, namely, his childhood and adolescent experiences (an Ignatian orientation), his seminary itinerary (a Sulpician formation), early priestly ministry (in search of identity) and the final ascent. Retaining the characteristics of the French school of spirituality which are very evident in his life, the article also uses insights of the mystical itinerary suggested by St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross and attempts to bring out the true mystical identity of Montfort. His life was marked by a total renunciation which he learnt in his early days from the Jesuits, and continued to follow the Gospel to the letter. His efforts of active purification, coupled with a tender love for the poor and love of the Cross lead him to a comment made by his own sceptical and unfavourable spiritual director François Leschassier, that ‘Louis-Marie reached a high degree of union with God’. His passive purification consisted in surrendering his own will to the will of the Father just as Jesus did, which is evident in the fact of accepting the destruction of a huge project by his rivals and the powerful of the society, just on the eve of its inauguration. Finally he breathes his last placing himself in the midst of Jesus and his Mother saying that ‘he will never sin again’. Montfort advocated the ordinary mysticism, with an itinerary of ‘Consecration to Jesus through Mary’ that is followed by people all over including John Paul II.