PROVINCE OF SPAIN – 2nd Shared Mission Formation Session for Brothers, Associates and Partners

 

THREE DECISIVE MOMENTS IN THE LIFE OF MARY LOUISE THAT CHALLENGE US

 

On 17 April, we held in the Province of Spain the meeting of the second training session for associates and collaborators for the MCG of this year, which of course was also attended by the Brothers.

Our motivation for our chosen topic?

  1.  The words of Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation GAUDETE ET EXULTATE: “I wish to evoke so many unknown or forgotten women who have sustained and transformed families and communities by the power of their witness. This should inspire and encourage all of us to do our best to progress towards this unique and inimitable project that God has willed from all eternity for each of us.
  2. And of course, the tercentenary of the arrival of Marie-Louise of Jesus in Saint Laurent sur Sèvre. A turning point for the Daughters of Wisdom and for the whole Montfortian Family.

At what three points did we stop?

 

 

Her meeting with Father de Montfort,1701 and her admission to the General Hospital of Poitiers,1703.

 

 When Louis Grignion de Montfort came to Poitiers for the first time, Marie-Louise was 17 years old. This encounter of grace was decisive for Marie-Louise, who chose the direction of that priest and remained faithful to him at the cost of innumerable difficulties. Marie-Louise continually insisted on obtaining entrance to a convent from her director. The answer was always vague: “Yes, you will be a religious”, without any further explanation, and without revealing anything of the project he had in mind for her. One day, Mary Louise returned to the charge with particular eagerness. The priest replied: “Good, come and live in the hospital!” She joined the small group of “La Sagesse” formed by Montfort, who made her take the habit of dressing of the poor. She stayed there for ten years and lived the “God alone” dear to Louis-Marie. Active, silent, giving herself entirely to the poor and abandoned.

 

Marie-Louise leaves Poitiers for La Rochelle, 1715

 

After ten years, Marie-Louise received a letter from Father de Montfort asking her to leave Poitiers for La Rochelle. With Sister Catherine Brunet, she arrived in La Rochelle to teach the children. Marie-Louise consecrated there her qualities of tranquility, gentleness and psychology. Soon, the classes successfully welcomed the poor children.

 

The arrival of Marie-Louise in Saint Laurent –sur-Sèvre, June 1720

 

 

What to do after the death of the spiritual guide? As a disciple of Montfort, she trusted in Providence. She expected a sign from Providence. She went to pray to Mary, Queen of Hearts, in the little chapel at Montbernage. The sign came in the form of a meeting with Jacques Goudeau, to whom Montfort had entrusted the daily prayer. He pointed out Saint Laurent, where Montfort’s tomb was located. Madame Bouillé offered Marie-Louise an empty house, the “Maison Longue”. For several years they lived in conditions of extreme poverty, but by this bold gesture, Marie-Louise de Jésus is at the origin of the foundation of the cradle of the three Montfortian Institutes.

The meeting was attended by 27 people from the area of Catalonia and about 30 from the area of Madrid and La Aguilera. As always, the dialogue established by the participants enriched us all, although we concluded that it is necessary to widen the information on Marie Louise of Jesus, for all that she can contribute to us and for the importance she had for the whole Montfortian family. So, when we are able to hold a more extensive session in person, we will do so.