Letter To The Friends of The Cross
by St. Louis Grignion de Monfort
St. Louis Mary De Montfort (1673–1716), author of this “Letter,” is widely known through his treatise on “The True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary” and its abridgment “The Secret of Mary.” Well has he merited the title of “Apostle of Mary” and deservedly he is called “Tutor of the Legion of Mary.” Addressing the many pilgrims at the canonization of St. De Montfort, July 1947, the Holy Father calls him “the guide who leads you to Mary and from Mary to Jesus.” Speaking of St. Louis’ “Prayer for Missionaries,” Father Faber says:
“Since the Apostolical Epistles, it would be hard to find words that burn so marvelously.” He has founded two religious congregations: the priests and the brothers of the Company of Mary (Montfort Fathers) and the Daughters of Wisdom. To his sons and daughters he has left a rich heritage of doctrinal writings.
In this “Letter” St. Louis manifests his passionate love for the Cross and pours forth the noble sentiments of his ardent soul. Like St. Paul, he is “determined to know nothing except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2–2); “indeed a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles, but to those who are called, the Wisdom of God” (1 Cor 1–23, 24).
While giving missions in the city of Nantes in 1708, this eloquent preacher of the Cross and devout slave of Jesus in Mary formed, from the most fervent souls among his audiences, an association of “The Friends of the Cross.” This fraternity or association was established .in the localities evangelized by the holy Missionary to fight against the many disorders and vices of the times and to make reparation for the outrages perpetrated against the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Each time he visited these places he exhorted the members to persevere in their first fervour. Alas! Suddenly he was forbidden to preach to them. Through intrigues, machinations and calumny his arch enemies, the Jansenists, prevailed to have their redoubtable adversary silenced.
During the summer of 1714 Father De Montfort stopped at Rennes. Here, too, with diabolical hate and fury, the Jansenists succeeded in having the saintly Missionary silenced. Welcoming this added humiliation—for his heaviest cross was to be without a cross—he took refuge at his alma mater, the Jesuit College at Rennes, where he was warmly received. Here he buried himself in an eight day retreat meditating on the mystery of Calvary. From an incessant heart-to-heart talk with the Man of Sorrows and His Blessed Mother he received a new light and a more ardent love for the Crucified Saviour.
On the last day of the retreat St. Louis, always eager to lead the faithful souls on the Royal Road of the Cross, desired to communicate to his fervent followers the fruits of his sublime meditation and poured forth the burning sentiments of his apostolic soul in the following “Letter.”
Size: 14/21 cm
Pages : 36
weight 0.1 kg
Price USD 5