FRAGMENTS OF 34 LETTERS
OF ST. LOUIS DE MONTFORT

St. Louis de Montfort


##L1
LETTER 1 (Fragment) [To his parents or Fr. Alain Robert, date 
uncertain]
 
Tell my brother Joseph that I beg him to work hard at his studies and 
he will be one of the best in his class. Tell him that to achieve this 
he must seek the help of the Blessed Virgin, who is his good mother. If 
he continues to show devotion to her she will not fail to supply all 
his needs. I recommend my sisters to do the same.

##L2.1
LETTER 2 [To Fr. Alain Robert, 20 September 1694]
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
It was with great pleasure that I received your letter, coming as it 
did from one who has great affection for me.
 
##L2.2
Your letter brought me news of a death and in return I too have to tell 
you of a death. It is that of Fr. de la Barmondi Šre, my superior and 
director, who has done so much for me here. He was buried last Sunday, 
mourned by the whole parish and by everyone who knew him. He lived a 
saintly life and died a holy death. It was he who founded the seminary 
here and had the kindness to receive me for nothing. I do not know yet 
how things will go, whether I shall stay or leave, as his will has not 
yet been made known. Whatever happens I shall not be worried. I have a 
Father in heaven who will never fail me. He brought me here, he has 
kept me here until now and he will continue to treat me with his usual 
kindness.  Although I deserve only punishment for my sins, I never stop 
praying to him and rely completely on his providence.
 
##L2.3
I was not able to reply to your letter as soon as I wished because I 
was making a retreat at St. Sulpice in preparation for the reception of 
minor orders which, thanks be to God, I have now received.
 

L3.1##
LETTER 3 [To Fr. Alain Robert, 11 July 1695]
 
11th of July, 1695
 
My dear uncle,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
This letter brings you my very best wishes and is to let you know that 
Providence has placed me in the Little Seminary of St. Sulpice through 
the kindness of Madame d'AlŠgre. She is the lady Mademoiselle de 
Montigny told you about, and Mademoiselle Le Breton lives with her.
 
##L3.2
This lady has given 160 livres a year for the maintenance of a student 
for the priesthood. After the death of Fr. de la BarmondiŠre the sum 
was passed on to the Little Seminary of St. Sulpice where, however, the 
fee is 260 livres. Madame d'AlŠgre told Mademoiselle Le Breton and the 
superior of the Little Seminary that she wanted me to have the place 
she was helping to provide. Madame d'AlŠgre heard Mademoiselle Le 
Breton talking about you and asks you to offer Mass for her at our 
Lady's altar. I would heartily beg you to do so.
 
##L3.3
As this money is not enough to cover the fees at the Little Seminary, 
God in his loving Providence, without my ever having thought of it, has 
provided me with a benefice of about 100 livres, a few miles from 
Nantes, from which I will also be provided with a title.
 
Please in my name thank almighty God for the graces he has given me, 
not just for the temporal blessings, which are not important, but for 
the eternal ones. May he not enter into judgement with me, for I do not 
do justice to his graces; I do nothing but offend him day after day.
 

##L4.1
LETTER 4 [To Fr. Alain Robert, 6 March 1699]
 
Please be kind enough to tell Madame B. that I have received her packet
of letters for the Bishop of St. Malo.
 
I must admit, my dear uncle, that these various errands distress me and 
make me feel that I am still living in the world. Would to God that I 
could be left in peace as the dead are left in their tombs, or the 
snail in its shell, which, when it is hidden, seems to be something of 
value, but when it comes out is wretched and disgusting, - which is 
what I am.  Indeed I am worse, for I only spoil things whenever I get 
involved in them.
 
##L4.2
So, please, uncle, I beg you to remember me only in your prayers to 
God. "Let man not prevail against me; from the unjust and deceitful man 
deliver me."
 
Ever yours in our Lord and in our holy Mother, in time and in eternity.

##L5.1
LETTER 5 [To Fr. Leschassier, 6 December 1700]
 
To Reverend Fr. Leschassier,
Superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice,
Paris.
 
6th of December, 1700
 
Dear Reverend Father,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
I cannot tell you how much pleasure your short letter gave me. It shows 
the bond of charity which unites you and my unworthy self, a bond God 
has established and wishes to maintain. It is with this in mind that I 
am writing to tell you briefly about my state of mind at the moment. I 
have not found here what I had hoped for and what led me to leave such 
a holy place as St. Sulpice, almost against my better judgement.
 
##L5.2
My intention was, as yours was too, to prepare for mission-work and 
especially for teaching catechism to the poor, since this is what 
attracts me most. But I am not doing that at all and I do not think 
that I shall ever do it here, for there are very few people in the 
house and no one has any experience except Fr. L‚vˆque. He is unable to 
undertake missions now because of his age and even if his great zeal 
impelled him to undertake them, Fr. DesjonchŠres would not allow it as 
he told me himself. There is not even half the organisation and 
observance here as there was at St. Sulpice and it seems that as things 
are, there could never be any improvement. It seems to me that there 
are four types of people here, whose aims and intentions are quite 
different:-
 
##L5.3
(1) There are five people in the community proper of whom two are 
incapable of any active work.
 
(2) There are the parish priests, curates, ordinary priests and laymen 
who come occasionally for retreats.
 
(3) There are a few priests and canons who reside here just for a quiet 
life.
 
(4) There are some priests and a great number of young students who go 
out for theology and philosophy courses – most of them are dressed in 
lay clothes or without full clerical dress.
 
##L5.4
All these different people have their own rule which they have made up 
by taking what suits them from the common rule.  I must admit that it 
is not Fr. L‚vˆque's fault that the rule is not kept. He does what he 
can and not what he would like to do, especially with regard to certain 
members of the community who dislike his simple, saintly ways.
 
##L5.5
With conditions as they are, I find myself, as time goes on, torn by 
two apparently contradictory feelings. On one hand, I feel a secret 
attraction for a hidden life in which I can efface myself and combat my 
natural tendency to show off.  On the other hand, I feel a tremendous 
urge to make our Lord and his holy Mother loved, to go in a humble and 
simple way to teach catechism to the poor in country places and to 
arouse in sinners a devotion to our Blessed Lady. This was the work 
done by a good priest who died a holy death here recently. He used to 
go about from parish to parish teaching the people catechism and 
relying only on what Providence provided for him. I know very well, my 
dear Father, that I am not worthy to do such honourable work, but when 
I see the needs of the Church I cannot help pleading continually for a 
small and poor band of good priests to do this work under the banner 
and protection of the Blessed Virgin. Though I find it difficult, I try 
to suppress these desires, good and persistent though they may be. I 
strive to forget them and self-effacingly place myself in the hands of 
divine Providence and submit entirely to your advice which will always 
have the force of law for me.
 
##L5.6
I still harbour the desire I had in Paris to join Fr. Leuduger, a 
student of Fr. de St. Brieuc. He is a great missionary and a man of 
wide experience. Another of my wishes would be to go to Rennes and, 
with a good priest I know there, work in seclusion at the general 
hospital, performing charitable services for the poor. But I put aside 
all these ideas, and always in submission to God's good pleasure I 
await your advice on whether I should stay here, in spite of having no 
inclination to do so, or go elsewhere. In the peace of Christ and his 
holy Mother I am completely at your command.
 
##L5.7
I take the liberty of asking you to greet Fr. Brenier for me. If you 
think it useful, I will tell him what I have told you.
 
Grignion, priest and unworthy slave of Jesus in Mary.
 

##L6.1
LETTER 6 [To Fr. Leschassier, 4 May 1701]
 
To Reverend Fr. Leschassier,
Superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice,
Paris.
 
Poitiers, 4th of May, 1701
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
His Lordship the Bishop of Poitiers has ordered me to write to you as 
follows.
 
On the fourth Sunday in April, I received a letter written at the 
request of Madame de Montespan, from my sister at Fontevrault, inviting 
me to be present when she received the Religious habit which was to 
take place the following Tuesday. I left the same day on foot and 
arrived at Fontevrault on Wednesday morning, the day after the 
ceremony.
 
##L6.2
During the two days I spent at Fontevrault I was privileged to have 
several private conversations with Madame de Montespan. She asked me 
about many things, especially about myself. She asked me what I wanted 
to do. I answered very simply telling her about the attraction you know 
I feel to work for my brothers, the poor. She told me that she very 
much approved of my plans, the more so that she knew from her own 
experience that instruction of the poor on the personal level was much 
neglected. She was prepared to give me, if I would accept it, a canonry 
which was under her authority. I thanked her humbly but promptly 
assured her that I would never exchange divine providence for a canonry 
or a benefice. On my refusal, she told me to go and see the Bishop of 
Poitiers and tell him my plans. Although I had no inclination whatever 
to satisfy Madame de Montespan's wishes, as much because of the twenty-
eight leagues that I should have to travel as for many other reasons, I 
obeyed her blindly believing this was God's holy will, which was all I 
wanted.
 
##L6.3
I arrived at Poitiers the day before the feast of SS. Philip and James 
and I had to wait four days to see the bishop who was due to return 
from Niort.
 
During this time I made a short retreat in a little room where I 
enclosed myself, in the middle of a large town where I knew nobody. I 
took it into my head however to go to the poorhouse [the general 
hospital] where I could serve the poor physically even if I could not 
serve them spiritually. I went into their little church to pray and the 
four hours I spent there waiting for the evening meal-time seemed all 
too short.  However it seemed so long to some of the poor, who saw me 
kneeling there dressed in clothes very much like their own, that they 
went off to tell the others and they all agreed to take up a collection 
for me. Some gave more, some gave less; the poorer ones a denier, the 
richer ones a sou. All this went on without my knowing anything about 
it. Eventually I left the church to ask the time of supper and at the 
same time to ask permission to serve the poor at table. But I 
misconceived the situation for I discovered that they did not eat 
together and I was surprised to find out that they wanted to make me an 
offering and had told the doorkeeper not to let me go away. I blessed 
God that I had been taken for a poor man wearing the glorious livery of 
the poor and I thanked my brothers and sisters for their kindness.
 
##L6.4
Since then they have become so attached to me that they are going about 
saying openly that I am to be their priest, that is, their director, 
for there has not been a regular director in the poorhouse for a 
considerable time, so abandoned has it become.
 
When the bishop of Poitiers returned, I went to greet him, and I told 
him briefly what Madame had ordered me to say.  He listened to me and 
thanked me rather coldly, which was all I asked.
 
##L6.5
But the poorhouse authorities, in the name of all the inmates, 
presented a petition to Reverend Fr. de la Bournat, the bishop's 
brother, which impressed both him and the bishop.
 
So when the bishop spoke to me again, more cordially this time, he 
ordered me to write telling you this before I returned to Nantes, so 
that you can judge what I ought to do.  I must tell you, Father, that I 
do wish most sincerely to work for the spiritual welfare of the poor in 
general but I am not particularly anxious to settle down and be 
attached to a poorhouse. However I will remain quite open-minded as I 
only want to do God's holy will. I am ready to sacrifice my time, my 
health and my life for the souls of the poor in this neglected house, 
if you think it the right thing for me to do.
 
##L6.6
I leave tomorrow, the feast of the Ascension, for Nantes, and trust 
that I shall never act without your guidance nor ever be without your 
friendship in Jesus and his holy Mother.  In their name I am completely 
at your disposition.
 
Grignion, priest and unworthy slave of Jesus in Mary.
 
P.S. Please allow me to greet Fr. Brenier, Fr. LefŠvre, Fr. Repars and 
the whole seminary. I have several times been urged to ask your leave 
to apply for approval for confessions, but I have been most unwilling 
to do so, because this difficult and dangerous work requires a special 
calling.
 

##L7
LETTER 7 [To Guyonne-Jeanne Grignion, 1701]
 
My dear sister in Jesus Christ,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
Even though we are far from each other, we are together in spirit 
because you are so close to Jesus Christ and his holy Mother, and both 
you and I are children of divine Providence though I am unworthy to be 
so called. It would be better to call you a novice of divine Providence 
because you are just beginning to practise the trust and perfect 
abandonment which God asks of you. You will be a professed Daughter of 
Providence only when your abandonment is perfect and your sacrifice 
complete. God wants you, my dear sister, he wants you to be separated 
from everything that is not himself, even if it means being deserted by 
everyone. But be glad and rejoice, you who are the servant and the 
spouse of Jesus, when you resemble your master and spouse. Jesus is 
poor; Jesus is abandoned; Jesus is despised and rejected as the refuse 
of the world. You are indeed happy, Louise Grignion, if you are poor in 
spirit, abandoned, despised and like refuse cast out from the house of 
St. Joseph. It is then that you will be truly the servant and spouse of 
Christ and a truly professed daughter of divine Providence, even if not 
professed as a religious. What God wants of you, my dear sister, is 
that you should live each day as it comes, like a bird in the trees, 
without worrying about tomorrow. Be at peace and trust in divine 
Providence and the Blessed Virgin, and do not seek anything else but to 
please God and love him.  There is an unshakeable truth, a divine and 
eternal axiom, as true as the existence of one God (would to God I 
could engrave it on your mind and heart!): "Seek first the kingdom of 
God and his justice and all the rest will be added unto you." If you 
fulfil the first part of this declaration, God, who is infinitely 
faithful, will carry out the second; i.e. if you serve God and his holy 
Mother faithfully you will want for nothing in this world or the next. 
You will not even lack a brother-priest for I will always be with you 
in my sacrifices so that you may more fully belong to Christ in your 
sacrifice.
 
I greet your Guardian Angel. 1701
 

#L8.1
LETTER 8 [To Fr. Leschassier, 5 July 1701]
 
5th July 1701
 
To Reverend Father Leschassier,
Superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice,
Paris.
 
Dear Reverend Father,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
As I must be faithful in telling you everything if you are to arrive at 
a definite decision, you must know that Fr. (Ren‚) L‚vˆque and Fr. des 
JonchŠres sent me to a very neglected parish in the country. I stayed 
there for ten days taking the children for catechism twice a day and 
giving three sermons. God in his goodness and his holy Mother blessed 
my work.
 
##L8.2
Because of this work, Fr. des JonchŠres and Fr. L‚vˆque who know of the 
Poitiers affair told me to write to you and they have offered to give 
me material help and use their influence to have me sent to the most 
neglected parishes of the diocese to carry on the work I began so well 
at Grandchamps (that is the name of the parish) or rather, to carry on 
the work that divine Providence and the Blessed Virgin began despite my 
weakness. Dear Father, I find so much wealth in Providence and so much 
strength in the Blessed Virgin that my poverty is amply enriched and my 
weakness strengthened. Without these two supports I could do nothing.
 
Obediently yours in Jesus and Mary,
Grignion, priest and unworthy slave of Jesus in Mary.
 

##L9.1
LETTER 9 [To Fr. Leschassier, 16 September 1701]
 
16th of September, 1701
 
To Reverend Father Leschassier,
Superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice,
Paris.
 
Reverend and dear Father in Jesus Christ,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
The pressing and the repeated requests of the inmates of the poorhouse 
in Poitiers and the wishes of the Bishop of Poitiers and of Madame de 
Montespan, upon whom my sisters depend so much, oblige me to trouble 
you again and express my feelings to you in all simplicity and without 
any prejudice, as I wish to remain completely impartial to everything 
except what obedience requires of me.
 
##L9.2
I have been working without a break for the last three months in the 
parishes to which Fr. L‚vˆque and Fr. Des JonchŠres sent me. At the 
moment I am writing to you from the parish of Le Pellerin. God and his 
holy Mother have condescended to use my ministry to do some good. There 
is a lot to be done here, as indeed there is everywhere, but there are 
also plenty of workers, besides two retreat houses, one for men and one 
for women, and three, if not four, missionary societies.
 
##L9.3
As you know, I have not the slightest inclination to stay in the St. 
Cl‚ment community. Only obedience keeps me here.  Fr. (Ren‚) L‚vˆque, 
who knows this very well for after you I follow his guidance in all I 
do, has pointed out to me that since God in his goodness has not called 
me to be a permanent member of a community which works for priests, I 
should look for a little place to which I can retire from time to time 
after the short missions which are assigned to me by obedience. He said 
at the time that he would willingly give me a small room, but I doubt 
whether this comes from the heart.
 
Meanwhile the Bishop, like the poor of Poitiers, has written to ask me 
to work in his poorhouse. But I have no inclination at all to lead an 
enclosed life.
 
##L9.4
The diocese of Poitiers needs workers much more than this one does. I 
have seen this for myself and it has surprised me. But I am not being 
asked to help in general ministry but only to do a specific work. The 
only thing that would make me want to go to the poorhouse at all would 
be the hope of being able to extend my work later into the town and the 
countryside and so be able to help more people. When I am teaching 
catechism to the poor in town and country, I am in my element.
 
##L9.5
Since I have been here, divine Providence has asked me to find a place 
for another of my poor sisters and has established spiritual ties 
between me and several other persons who are sinners like myself, as 
well as with a number of devout souls. This then is the state of my 
affairs but I consider blind obedience to your wishes as my greatest 
duty and my greatest desire.
 
May I assure you, dear Father in Jesus Christ, that I am completely at 
your command, and entirely yours.
 
Grignion, priest and unworthy slave of Jesus in Mary.
 

##L10.1
LETTER 10 [To Fr. Leschassier, 3 November 1701]
 
Poitiers, 3rd of November, 1701.
 
To Reverend Father Leschassier,
Superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice,
Paris.
 
Reverend and dear Father in Jesus Christ,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
I am in the junior seminary at Poitiers where the Bishop has found me a 
place while waiting for the poorhouse authorities to receive me. For 
almost a fortnight I have been teaching catechism to the beggars of the 
town with the approval and help of the Bishop. I visit the inmates of 
the prisons and the sick in the hospitals preaching to them as well as 
sharing with them the alms I receive.
 
##L10.2
The poorhouse for which I am destined is a house of discord where there 
is no peace whatever. It is also a house of privations, lacking 
temporal and spiritual goods. But I trust that our Lord, through the 
intercession of my good Mother Mary, will turn it into a holy place, 
one that will become rich and peaceful. So you see I am in great need 
of your help.
 
##L10.3
The matrons of the poorhouse want me to have my meals with them as some 
of my predecessors did. But I won't hear of it. Am I doing the right 
thing?
 
I explained to the Bishop that even in the poorhouse I do not want to 
be separated from my mother, divine Providence, and with this in mind I 
am happy to share the meals of the poor and to have no fixed salary. 
The Bishop agreed heartily to this and offered to act as a father to 
me. Have I done the right thing?
 
##L10.4
I am continuing here several things I did at Nantes. I am sleeping on 
straw; I do not have any lunch and I do not eat much in the evening. I 
am keeping very well. Am I doing the right thing? May I take an extra 
discipline once a week besides the usual three times, or alternatively, 
may I wear a horsehair belt one or twice?
 
I take the liberty of greeting Fr. Brenier and humbly thank him. Only 
God knows all the good he has done for me, and all you have done for me 
too. I am always your obedient servant in Jesus and Mary.
 
Grignion, priest and unworthy slave of Jesus in Mary.
I greet your Guardian Angel.
 

##L11.1
LETTER 11 [To Fr. Leschassier, 4 July 1702]
 
To Fr. Leschassier,
Superior of the Seminary of St. Sulpice,
Paris.
 
General Hospital, Poitiers, 4th of July, 1702.
 
Dear Reverend Father in Jesus Christ,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
##L11.2
If I have not written to you for such a long time, it is not because I 
have forgotten how good you have always been to me nor is it through 
lack of obedience to the advice I am given here by the priest who takes 
your place as my spiritual director. The reason is that I was afraid of 
troubling you, dear Father. I now want to let you know about some of 
the difficulties and disagreements which are a daily occurrence since I 
arrived here. Here is a short but truthful account of my conduct and 
actions. Fr. L‚vˆque, who is a spiritual father to me, second only to 
yourself, had given me some extra money to cover the expenses of my 
journey to Poitiers. This I gave away to the poor before I left Saumur 
where I stayed to make a novena, and consequently I arrived at Poitiers 
without a penny. The late Bishop gave me a hearty welcome and arranged 
board and lodging for me in the seminary until he could get me admitted 
into the poorhouse. In the meantime, for about two months, I gave 
instructions to the beggars that I encountered in the town and lived 
entirely at his Lordship's expense. First I taught them in the church 
of St. Nicholas and then, as their numbers increased, I gathered them 
every day in the market hall and heard the confessions of many of them 
in the church of St. Porchaire.
 
##L11.3
The bishop, unable to resist the insistent appeals of the poor any 
longer, allowed me to go to them shortly after All Saints Day. I 
entered this poorhouse, or rather this poor Babylon, quite determined 
to bear in union with Jesus Christ my Saviour the cross that would not 
fail to fall to me if this work was really God's work. All that I had 
been told by a number of experienced priests of the town to dissuade me 
from going to this ill-regulated house only increased my determination 
to undertake this work despite my own inclinations which have always 
been and still are for mission work.
 
##L11.4
When I got there, all those connected with the house from the director 
down to the most humble worker and the entire town rejoiced and looked 
upon me as a man sent by God to put an end to the prevailing abuses. 
The directors with whom I was working, not indeed as an equal but as an 
inferior, gave me full liberty in the drawing up and the observance of 
the rules I wanted to introduce. Even the Bishop and the committee 
allowed me to serve the poor in the refectory and to go round the town 
begging for something extra for them to eat with the dry bread they 
were usually given. I did this for three months, enduring opposition 
and snubs, which went on increasing day after day to such an extent 
that ultimately through the disapproval of a certain gentleman and the 
matron of the workhouse I was obliged to give up providing food for the 
dining-room of the poor. In giving this up, I acted in obedience to my 
director (the one replacing you) although the re-organisation of the 
dining-room had been a great help to the administrators of the 
establishment. This particular gentleman, embittered against me without 
any legitimate reason as far as I know, used to snub me and insult me 
in the house and discredit my behaviour in the eyes of the 
administration and even of the townsfolk. His actions drew upon him the 
resentment of the poor, who all loved me with the exception of a few 
perverted ones who backed him against me. During this painful period, I 
kept silent and lived in retirement putting my cause into the hands of 
God and relying on his help, in spite of opposite advice given to me. 
To this end I went for a week's retreat to the Jesuits, confident that 
our Lord and his holy Mother would take my cause in hand. I was not 
wrong in my expectation: when I came back I found this gentleman ill 
and he died a few days later. The matron, a young and sturdy person, 
also died a short time afterwards. More than eighty of the poor inmates 
fell ill and some of them died, and the whole town began to say that 
there was a plague in the poorhouse and that the place was cursed. 
Through all this period of sickness, and in spite of my involvement 
with the dying, I was the only one not to be affected by the disease.
 
##L11.5
Since the death of these two people I have still been subjected to 
cruel persecution. One of the poor inmates, haughty and full of 
arrogance, placed himself at the head of a few perverted characters and 
set himself up in opposition to me, pleading his case with the 
administrators against me, condemning my behaviour because I spoke my 
mind openly but always kindly to them, concerning their drunkenness and 
quarrelling and the scandal they were giving.
 
##L11.6
Though I do not receive anything for my sustenance, not even a piece of 
bread, being fed by the charity of strangers, scarcely any one among 
the administrators takes the trouble to correct the vices and disorders 
in the place. Most of the administrators think of nothing except 
providing for the temporal state of the house and are quite unconcerned 
about the spiritual welfare of the inmates.
 
##L11.7
Yet, to tell the truth, in spite of all these difficulties that I am 
briefly outlining to you, God has deigned to work wonderful conversions 
through me both inside and outside the house. Times set for rising and 
retiring, for prayer together, for Rosary in common, for eating 
together, for singing hymns, even for mental prayer for those wanting 
it: all these still subsist in spite of opposition. Since I arrived 
here it has been like preaching a mission every day.  From morning till 
night I am hearing confessions and giving advice to a constant stream 
of people. Almighty God, my Father, whom I am serving in spite of my 
great unworthiness, has enlightened me to a degree I have never 
experienced before. He has given me the gift of making myself clear, a 
facility for speaking without preparation, a good health and a great 
capacity for sympathizing with everyone. This is why I am so highly 
praised by nearly everyone in the town, which, incidentally, can be a 
very great danger for my own salvation.  I do not allow any woman to 
enter my room, not even the lady administrators of the poorhouse.
 
##L11.8
I nearly forgot to tell you that I give a talk to 13 or 14 schoolboys 
every week for an hour. These boys are the elite of their college. The 
late bishop approved of this.
 
In the poorhouse there is a quick-witted girl who is the craftiest and 
proudest girl I have ever met. She it is who has caused all the 
trouble. I am afraid that Msgr. de la Poype, like his predecessor, has 
been greatly deceived by her, because he was too credulous. If you 
judged it proper you could warn him about this.
 
Dear Father, I beg you to honour me with a letter. I remain always 
submissive to you. If I am deprived of your advice, it is only be force 
of circumstances.
 
I remain,
 
Yours very obediently,
L. Grignion, priest and unworthy slave of Jesus in Mary.
 
##L11.9
P.S. I greet Fr. Brenier and thank him. I greet Frs. Repars, LefŠvre 
and everyone in the seminary, especially Fr. L‚vˆque for whom I have 
the same sentiments as I have for you.
 

##L12.1
LETTER 12 [To Guyonne-Jeanne Grignion, Autumn 1702]
 
My dear sister in Jesus Christ,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
Permit my heart to join yours in a flood of joy and my eyes to shed 
tears of gratitude and my hands to describe on paper the happiness 
which transports me.
 
My last visit to Paris was not fruitless and the crosses and rejection 
you suffered in the past were not in vain for the Lord has been 
merciful to you. You prayed to him and he has heard you. You are now 
immolated, truly, deeply and for ever. Let no day pass without offering 
yourself in sacrifice as a victim. Spend more time before the altar 
praying than in resting and eating, and be brave, my dear.
 
##L12.2
Continue asking pardon of God and of Jesus, the eternal High Priest, 
for the offences I have committed against his divine majesty in the 
Blessed Sacrament.
 
I greet your Guardian Angel who is the only one who has stood by you 
all the way. I am as entirely yours as there are letters in the words I 
write provided you are just as often sacrificed and crucified with 
Jesus Christ, your only love, and with Mary, our good Mother.
 
De Montfort, priest and slave of Jesus in Mary.
 

##L13.1
LETTER 13 [To a Sister of the Blessed Sacrament, Autumn 1702?]
 
What an inspiring letter! It speaks only of happening marked with the 
cross. Whatever human nature and reason may say, without the cross 
there will never be any real happiness nor any lasting good here below 
until judgement day.
 
You are having to bear a large, weighty cross. But what a great 
happiness for you! Have confidence. For if God, who is all goodness, 
continues to make you suffer he will not test you more than you can 
bear. The cross is a sure sign that he loves you. I can assure you of 
this, that the greatest proof that we are loved by God is when we are 
despised by the world and burdened with crosses, i.e., when we are made 
to endure the privation of things we could rightly claim; when our 
holiest wishes meet with opposition; when we are afflicted with 
distressing and hurtful insults; when we are subjected to persecution, 
to having our actions misinterpreted by good people and by those who 
are our best friends; and when we suffer illnesses which are 
particularly repugnant, etc.
 
##L13.2
But why should I tell you things which you know better than I, for you 
understand and experience all of them.
 
If Christians only knew the value of the cross, they would walk a 
hundred miles to obtain it, because enclosed in the beloved cross is 
true wisdom and that is what I am looking for night and day more 
eagerly than ever.
 
O good Cross, come to us for God's greater glory! This is my frequent 
prayer dictated by my heart in spite of my weakness and my many 
infidelities. After Jesus, our only love, I place all my trust in the 
cross.
 
Please tell N. that I adore Christ crucified in her, and I pray God 
that she will think of herself only to offer herself for more painful 
sacrifices.
 

##L14
LETTER 14 [To a religious Sister, date unknown]
 
What can I say to you, my dear mother, in reply to your letter except 
to repeat what the Holy Spirit tells you every day. Love to be humbled 
and being given scant respect, love the hidden life, love silence, be 
the silent one who offers Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, love divine 
Wisdom, love the Cross. I am opposed and restricted in everything I do. 
Thank God in my name for the crosses he has given me and which he keeps 
within limits to suit my weakness, etc.
 

##L15.1
LETTER 15 [To Marie-Louise Trichet, April/May 1703?]
 
My dear daughter in our Lord Jesus Christ,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts with divine Wisdom.
 
I know from what I am experiencing more than from your letter that you 
are continuing to pray to Jesus, your spouse, for this wretched sinner. 
I can only show my thanks by praying for you in return, especially when 
I hold the Holy of Holies in my unworthy hands each day at the altar. 
Keep on praying, even increase your prayers for me; ask for extreme 
poverty, the weightiest cross, abjection and humiliations. I accept 
them all if only you will beg God to remain with me and not leave me 
for a moment because I am so weak. What wealth, what glory, what 
happiness would be mine if from all this I obtained divine Wisdom, 
which I long for day and night!
 
##L15.2
I will never cease asking for this boundless treasure and I firmly 
believe that I shall obtain it even were angels, men and demons to deny 
it to me. I believe strongly in the efficacy of your prayers, in the 
loving kindness of our God, in the protection of the Blessed Virgin, 
our good Mother; I believe too that the needs of the poor are too 
urgent and the promises of God too explicit for me to be making a 
mistake in seeking Wisdom. For even if the possession of divine Wisdom 
were impossible, according to the ordinary workings of divine grace, 
which is not the case, it would become possible because of the 
insistence with which we ask for it. Is it not an unchangeable truth 
that everything is possible to him who believes?
 
##L15.3
Another thing that makes me say that I shall possess Wisdom is the fact 
that I have encountered and still encounter so much persecution night 
and day.
 
So, my dear daughter, I ask you to enlist some good souls among your 
friends into a campaign of prayer especially from now until Pentecost, 
and to pray together for an hour on Mondays from one to two o'clock. I 
will be praying at the same time. Write and send me their names.
 
##L15.4
I am at the General Hospital where there are five thousand poor people. 
I have to make them live for God and I have to die to myself. Do not 
think that I have become indifferent or grown cold towards the poor of 
Poitiers, for my Master led me there in spite of myself. He has his 
plan in all this and I adore his plan, though I do not understand it.  
Do not think either that material plans or any particular person keep 
me here; no, my only friend here is God. Those friends I once had in 
Paris have deserted me.
 
##L15.5
I have not counted on the goods that were to come to me from Madame de 
Saint Andr‚, nor shall I count on them. I do not even know whether she 
is in Paris, nor where she lives. I am as happy to die to myself here 
as I am happy to die in the minds of some people in Poitiers, as long 
as I find God alone there. I repeat, God alone.
 
I firmly believe that you will be a religious. Trust and pray.
 

##L16.1
LETTER 16 [To Marie-Louise Trichet, 24 October 1703?]
 
24th October 1703
 
My dear daughter,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
Please do not think that the distance between us and my apparent 
silence mean that I have forgotten your charity towards me and the 
charity I owe you. Your letter tells me that your wishes are just as 
strong and eager and as persistent as ever. This is a sure sign that 
they are from God. So you must put your trust in God. Be sure of this, 
that you will obtain from him even more than you think.  Heaven and 
earth would pass away before God would break his promises and allow 
anyone who hoped in him to be frustrated in their hopes.
 
##L16.2
I feel that you are still asking God that by crosses, humiliations and 
poverty I may acquire divine Wisdom. Be brave, my dear daughter, be 
brave. I am grateful to you; I feel the effects of your prayers for I 
am infinitely more impoverished, crucified and humiliated than ever. 
Both men and demons in this great city of Paris are waging against me a 
war that I find sweet and welcome. Let them slander me, scoff at me, 
destroy my good name, put me into prison; these are precious gifts, 
tasty morsels, great and wonderful things.  They form the accoutrements 
and retinue of divine Wisdom which he brings into the lives of those in 
whom he dwells. When shall I possess this lovable and mysterious 
Wisdom? When will Wisdom come to live in me? When shall I be 
sufficiently equipped to serve as a place of rest for Wisdom in a world 
where he is rejected and without a home?
 
##L16.3
Who will give me this bread of understanding with which Wisdom 
nourishes great souls? Who will give to drink of the chalice from which 
Wisdom quenches the thirst of those who serve him? When shall I be 
crucified and lost to the world?
 
My dear child in Jesus Christ, do not fail to reply to my requests and 
fulfil my wishes. You can do it, yes, you can do it, along with some of 
your chosen friends. Nothing can resist your prayers. Even God himself, 
great though he be, cannot resist. Fortunately for us, he has shown 
that he can be moved by a lively faith and a firm hope. So pray, 
entreat God, plead for me to obtain divine Wisdom. You will obtain it 
completely for me; of this I am quite convinced.
 

##L17.1
LETTER 17 [To Sr. Catherine of St. Bernard (Guyonne-Jeanne),
1703?]
 
My dear sister,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
I am delighted to hear about the illness which God has sent you to 
purify you like gold in a furnace. You are to become a victim, offered 
on the altar of the King of Kings for his eternal glory.
 
What a sublime destiny! What a noble calling! I almost envy you your 
good fortune.
 
##L17.2
Now how can this victim be entirely acceptable if it is not completely 
free from every stain, even the smallest? The most Holy One sees stains 
where creatures only see beauty.  His mercy forestalls his justice for 
he purifies us by sickness which acts as a furnace in which he purifies 
his chosen ones. You are indeed blessed if God decides to purify you 
himself, preparing his victim as he himself wishes. Think of the many 
he leaves to themselves or to others to be cleansed. Think of the many 
who are accepted as victims without passing through God's trials and 
his purifying siftings. Be brave then and take courage. Don't be afraid 
of the devil who will often tell you while you are ill that you will 
never be professed because of your indisposition, that you will have to 
leave the monastery and go back to your parents, that you will be left 
without a home and you will be a burden to everyone. Let your body 
suffer but let your heart be firm, for nothing is better for you at the 
moment than sickness. Pray that I may receive divine wisdom and get 
others to pray.
 
I am all yours in Jesus and Mary. Your brother etc.
 

##L18
LETTER 18 [To Sr. Catherine of St. Bernard (Guyonne-Jeanne),
27 October 1703]
 
My dear sister in Jesus Christ,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
I thank God every day for the mercy he shows you. Try to respond to him 
by accepting faithfully what he asks of you.  If God does not open the 
door of the convent for you, then you must not go in, for even if you 
were given a golden key made especially to open the door, it would 
become for you the door of hell.
 
To be a Daughter of the Blessed Sacrament is a special vocation for her 
ideals are very high. The true Sister of the Blessed Sacrament is a 
real victim, body and soul. Continual and total self-sacrifice is her 
food; her body is sacrificed by fasting and watching before the Blessed 
Sacrament and her soul by obedience and self-abandonment. In a word, 
she dies daily as she lives this life, but by dying she acquires true 
life. Do all you are asked to do in this house.
 
All yours. De Montfort.
 

##L19.1
LETTER 19 [To Sr. Catherine of St. Bernard (Guyonne-Jeanne),
mid-March 1704]
 
Dear Victim in Jesus Christ,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
I cannot thank God enough for the grace he has given you in making you 
a perfect victim of Jesus Christ, an adorer of the Blessed Sacrament 
and one who is called to atone for so many bad Christians and 
unfaithful priests.
 
What an honour it is for your body to be spiritually sacrificed in the 
hour of your adoration before the Blessed Sacrament! What a privilege 
for your soul to do here below what the angels and saints are doing in 
heaven so sweetly and gloriously although you have not their 
understanding nor their light of glory but only the feeble light of 
faith. Faithful adorers give so much glory to God here on earth but 
they are so few, for even the very spiritual want to taste and see, 
otherwise they lose interest and slacken off. But "faith alone 
suffices."
 
##L19.2
But you, faithful child of the Blessed Sacrament, what profit, what 
wealth, what pleasure is yours kneeling at the feet of this generous 
and inestimable Lord of Lords! Be brave, take courage, enrich yourself 
and rejoice as you burn yourself out each day like a lamp. The more you 
give yourself, the more God will give of himself to you. Now that I 
have congratulated you, don't you think that I ought to congratulate 
myself too - if not because I am your brother, then at least because I 
am your priest? It is a source of happiness and a great honour for me 
to have someone so near to me offering loving sacrifices to make up for 
the faults I have, alas, so often committed against Jesus in the 
Blessed Sacrament, by half-hearted communions and the times I have 
forgotten him or neglected him. You and all the good mothers are a 
source of great rejoicing for me because you have obtained graces for 
me and for so many other unworthy priests who through their lack of 
faith have become unworthy to approach the altar.
 
##L19.3
I am leaving at once for the poorhouse at Poitiers. I beg you, my dear 
sister, love Jesus in Mary and love God in Jesus through Mary.
 
Always yours.
 

##L20.1
LETTER 20 [To his mother, 28 August 1704]
 
You must prepare for death which is closing in upon you through all 
your trials. Continue to accept them in a Christian spirit, as you are 
doing. You must suffer and bear your cross every day - this is 
essential. If it is God's will for you to become so poor that you have 
to enter the poorhouse, it will be for your greater good to be so 
despised and to be cast aside by everyone and so to die while still 
living in the body.
 
##L20.2
Although I do not write to you, I never forget you in my prayers and 
sacrifices. I love you and I honour you all the more as flesh and blood 
have no part in it.
 
Please do not burden me with my brothers' and sisters' affairs. I have 
done all God asked me to do for them in a spirit of love. For the 
moment, I have no worldly goods to give them for I am poorer than all 
of them. I place them all and all the family into the hands of him who 
created them.  Let them think of me as dead. Again I say it, so that 
they will remember, - let them think of me as dead. I want to receive 
nothing at all from the family into which God caused me to be born. I 
give up my right to everything except my patrimony which the Church 
does not allow me to renounce. My property, home, father and mother are 
up above. I no longer regard anyone on earth as my kinsfolk.
 
##L20.3
I know that I owe you and my father a great debt of gratitude for 
bringing me into the world, for looking after me, bringing me up in the 
fear of God, and for all the other good things you have done for me. 
For these I thank you over and over again and pray every day for your 
salvation and I will go on doing so all during your life and after your 
death.  But I will do nothing else for you and that applies to the rest 
of the family.
 
In my new family - the one I belong to now - I have chosen to be wedded 
to Wisdom and the Cross for in these I find every good, both earthly 
and heavenly. So precious are these possessions that, if they were but 
known, Montfort would be the envy of the richest and most powerful 
kings on earth.
 
##L20.4
No one knows the secrets I am talking about, or at least very few 
people do. You will understand them in eternity if you have the 
happiness to be saved. It could happen that you will not, so fear and 
love God all the more.
 
Please tell my father, on behalf of my heavenly Father, not to touch 
pitch or else he will be defiled; tell him not to indulge in earthly 
pleasures, for they will suffocate him; and not to be engrossed in 
worldly affairs, for he will be choked by them. Flee the world and hold 
it in contempt; love the Blessed virgin with whom I am all in all to 
you and my father.
 
I greet your Guardian Angel and I am all yours in Jesus and Mary.
 
Montfort, priest and unworthy slave of Jesus living in Mary.

##L21
LETTER 21 [To Fr. Hindr‚, Parish-priest of Br‚al, 17 February
1708]
 
My dear Father and friend,
 
I am very sorry that I cannot do what both you and I would desire. I am 
already booked for three different places on each of these three days 
and I must keep to my commitments.  However, I will send Mathurin to 
you on Tuesday to say the Rosary in public and sing hymns and he will 
bring sixty little crosses of St. Michael for our soldiers. I trust you 
will have the kindness to distribute them after you have told them on 
Sunday to meet on Tuesday. This may help a great deal to restrain them 
from the excesses so frequent during these days.  Please remember me to 
them on Sunday and tell them that I earnestly beg them to be faithful 
to their rule of life, especially next Monday. Tell them I shall come 
and see them on one of the Sundays of Lent.
 
Yours devotedly in Jesus and Mary,
L. Marie de Montfort, priest.
 

##L22
LETTER 22 [To Fr. de la CarriŠre, 29 January 1711]
 
To Fr. de la CarriŠre, most worthy priest,
Pontchƒteau.
Nantes, 29th January 1711
 
Dear Reverend Father,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
Please be kind enough to deliver my statues to the bearer of this 
letter and to Brother Nicholas. It is necessary to move them, both to 
relieve me of anxiety and to show obedience because it is God's will. 
If God did not want them to be moved, he would work a miracle to 
prevent it. Even when they are brought here, it will only be to await 
the time when they can be returned to the Calvary with even greater 
solemnity when the chapel is built. Letters have been sent to Paris 
about their return and I am more hopeful than ever. But ahead of us 
there lies still a great deal of work and patient waiting, and much 
prayer and crosses, for this is destined to be a great work.
 
With heartfelt regards to you and our good friend,
I remain your in Jesus and Mary,
L.M. de Montfort, priest.
 

##L23
LETTER 23 [To the Master-General of the Dominicans, May (?)1712]
 
To the Very Reverend Father General of the Dominican Order,
Minerva,
Rome.
 
Very Reverend Father,
 
May the perfect love of God reign in our hearts!
 
May I, as the least of your children, ask you for a written permission 
to preach the Holy Rosary wherever the Lord calls me and to enrol into 
the Rosary confraternity, with the usual indulgences, as many people as 
I can. I have already been doing this with the permission of the local 
Priors and Provincials, inscribing the names of brothers and sisters in 
the confraternity registers of the places where I have preached 
missions.
 
With deepest respect, this is my request.
 
Your most humble and obedient servant,
Louis Marie de Montfort Grignion,
priest and Apostolic Missionary.
 

##L24
LETTER 24 [To Sr. Catherine of St. Bernard (Guyonne-Jeanne), 
1 January 1713]
 
God takes pleasure, my dear sister, in seeing us both struggle and in 
making us both victorious, you in secret and I in public. Your 
struggles take place within you and are not seen outside your 
community, whereas mine ring out through the whole of France, as I 
fight against the demons of hell or make war on the world and the 
worldly, the enemies of truth. You would be surprised if you knew all 
the details of the precious cross which has been sent to me from heaven 
at the intercession of our good Mother. Please thank my good Lord Jesus 
and ask your dear community, to whom I send my greetings, to obtain 
from Jesus the grace for me to carry the roughest and heaviest crosses 
as I would the light-as-straw ones and to resist with unyielding 
courage the powers of hell.
 

##L25
LETTER 25 [To Marie-Louise of Jesus (M-L Trichet), 
July/August 1713]
 
My daughter,
 
Providence has recently found a place for a poor girl by providing a 
dowry for her. His time has not yet come for you.  Wait patiently for 
his time and stay at the hospital.
 

##L26.1
LETTER 26 [To Sr. Catherine of St. Bernard (Guyonne-Jeanne),
15 August 1713]
 
May Jesus and his Cross reign for ever!
 
If only you knew the half of the crosses and humiliations I have to 
bear, I don't think you would be so eager to see me; for I never seem 
to go anywhere without bringing something of the Cross to my dearest 
friends without any fault of mine or theirs. Those who befriend me or 
support me suffer for doing so, and sometimes draw down upon themselves 
the wrath of the devil I am fighting against, as well as the world I am 
protesting against and the flesh I am chastising. This veritable ants' 
nest of sinners against whom my preaching is directed cannot leave me 
or my friends in peace. I have forever to be on the alert, treading 
warily as though on thorns or sharp stones. I am like a ball in a game 
of tennis; no sooner am I hurled to one side than I am sent back to the 
other, and the players strike me hard. This is the fate of the poor 
sinner that I am and I have been like this without rest or respite all 
the thirteen years since leaving St. Sulpice.
 
##L26.2
However, my dear sister, thank God for me for I am content and happy in 
all my troubles. I think there is nothing in the whole world so welcome 
as the most bitter cross, when it is steeped in the blood of Christ 
crucified and in the milk of his holy Mother. Besides this inward 
happiness, there is the great merit of carrying the crosses.  I wish 
you could see mine. I have never had more conversions than after the 
most painful and unjust prohibitions. Be brave, my dear sister, all 
three of us must carry our cross to the extreme limits of the kingdom. 
Carry yours well and I will carry mine well too, with the help of God. 
Let us not complain or put the burden aside or make excuses or cry like 
a child who weeps because he is given a load of gold to carry, or a 
farmer who loses heart when his fields are strewn with pieces of gold 
by people wanting to make him rich.
 

##L27.1
LETTER 27 [To Mother Marie-Louise de J‚sus & 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.
 
##L27.2
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.
 
##L27.3
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,
God alone.
 

##L28
LETTER 28 (fragment) [To Marie-Louise of Jesus, March 1715]
 
Leave as soon as possible, my daughter. The day for the establishment 
of the Daughters of Wisdom has at last arrived.  I only wish you were 
already at La Rochelle, where I am at the moment; but if you delay you 
will not find me here as I am in a hurry to leave for a mission.
 

##L29.1
LETTER 29 [To Mother Marie-Louise of Jesus & Sr. Conception, 
4 April 1715]
 
May Jesus and his Cross reign forever!
 
My dear daughters,
 
1.   I think that instead of having a poor sinner like myself as your 
confessor you should choose the senior Canon, provided you keep your 
rules and the others I will give you and that he does not ask you to do 
anything contrary to them.
 
##L29.2
2.   From now on, follow all the little rules I have given you and, 
provided you do not fall into deliberate venial sin, receive holy 
Communion every day for you both need holy Communion very much.
 
##L29.3
3.   I have been told that you have been going around the town. I find 
it hard to believe that Daughters of Wisdom should be guilty of such 
vain curiosity. You ought to be an example of modesty, recollection and 
humble charity to everyone.
 
##L29.4
4.   Call yourselves the "Community of the Daughters of Wisdom for the 
education of children and the care of the poor".
 
5.   I would very much like to go and see you but I do not think I 
shall manage to do so after this mission as the Bishop is anxious for 
me to go on to give another.
 
##L29.5
6.   You may allow the little Geoffroy girl, if she wishes, to follow 
your rule in what concerns getting up, going to bed, meditation, and 
the recitation of the Rosary.
 
7.   Learn good handwriting and anything else that is needful for you. 
Buy some handwriting copy-books to help you.
 
##L29.6
8.   Send me news by Brother John if you cannot manage to come here 
yourselves.
 
9.   The good God wishes Marie Trichet to be the Mother Superior for 
three years at least. She is to be both firm and kind.
 
##L29.7
10.   Marie Reine is not to come into the house right away with her 
apprentices, for they are not at all accustomed to the silence that 
must be observed.
 
11.   From the beginning you can't be too firm about keeping the 
silence and seeing that it is kept in the community and in the school, 
because if you allow talking to go on uncorrected, all will be lost.
 
God alone. This 4th of April, 1715.
 

##L30.1
LETTER 30 [Marie-Anne R‚gnier, 12 August 1715]
 
La Rochelle, 12th of August, 1715
Feast of St. Clare.
 
My dear daughter,
 
May Jesus and his Cross reign forever!
 
##L30.2
The grace of the Holy Spirit does not permit of delay.  When God is 
asking his creatures for anything, he asks gently leaving them entirely 
free. But the longer we delay in responding to his gentle request the 
less we hear his voice, and the longer his voice goes unheeded the more 
his justice is asserted. You must be careful! I spoke to the Bishop a 
few days ago and he wants you to come here and join the Daughters of 
Wisdom. I also want you here and I entreat you to come. I am sending 
this letter by a special messenger who has a means of conveyance for 
you so that nothing can prevent you from following the call of the most 
high God. Bring only what you need and enough material to supply 
yourself with a habit as poor as St. Clare's, or rather as poor as that 
of Christ. The Daughters of Wisdom love you and they are asking for 
you. A thousand and one reasons, both of grace and nature, which I will 
not go into now, make it necessary for you to be here tomorrow. I am 
obliged to leave for a long mission before the feast of the Assumption, 
and I would like to see you here before I leave. The Bishop would like 
to see you and he too is going away, so come quickly. The more you 
delay, the less pleasing your sacrifice and your victory are to God. I 
assure you that if you do not take advantage of this mark of esteem and 
affection which I have shown you and no other, I never want to see you 
again. Your troubles will increase every day and this may well lead to 
the loss of your soul. Don't say:  "I will obey the Lord after the 
grape-gathering," because you will offend this great Lord very much. 
You will be like the young man in the Gospel who lost his vocation 
because he wanted to go and bury his father before coming to follow 
Christ.
 
I am all yours.
 
##L30.3
The following note is for your father:
 
Dear Mr. R‚gnier,
 
I greet you in the name of the Lord. Please do not oppose God's will 
concerning the daughter he has confided to you. She was only given to 
you for you to keep her in baptismal innocence for him and you have 
done that well. But you cannot hold on to her. She belongs to God and 
you cannot deprive him of her without suffering for it. If you are 
ready to offer her to God like those parents we read of in history who 
sacrificed their only child to God as Abraham did, many blessings will 
be showered upon you and yours and I forecast that you will receive a 
glorious crown of honour in eternity.  But...!!
 

##L31
LETTER 31 [To Sr. Conception (Catherine Brunet), 
24 October 1715[
 
May Jesus and his Cross reign forever!
 
Take heed, my dear daughter, that you do not lose your vocation and 
allow yourself to be tempted into leaving the hospital. If you do, I 
never want to see you again.
 
If you do not wish to go to confession to Fr. Le Tellier, I give you 
permission to go to the hospital chaplain for three months.
 
Be faithful to the general and particular rules which your dear spouse 
Jesus has given you through me. I ask you again to be careful and not 
to let yourself be led by your own feelings. On my knees I ask Jesus to 
strengthen you against all evil, for the devil is afraid of any reform 
in the hospital.
 
I am all yours, my dear daughter, as long as you remain obedient.
 
This 24th of October, 1715.
 

##L32.1
LETTER 32 [To the community of La Sagesse at La Rochelle, 
31 December 1715]
 
This last day of the year.
 
My dear daughters in Jesus Christ,
 
I am sending you a book written especially for you. Read it both in 
public and in private. What it says is what I have to say to you.
 
Do not lose your patience in my absence. My wicked self-will, though it 
may appear good, and my own person spoil everything. I am quite sure 
that the less I have to do with your foundation, the better it will 
succeed.
 
##L32.2
However, I would like each of you to write to me every month and tell 
me: 1. the main temptations you have had during the month; 2. the main 
crosses you have been able to accept well; 3. your main victories over 
yourselves. I would also like to be informed of the principal changes 
which take place.
 
You are always in my thoughts. Open your hearts to the Mother Superior, 
my dear daughters, and to your confessor, if God inspires you to do so.
 
All yours in God alone.
 
I wish you a year full of struggles, victories, crosses, poverty and 
contempt.
 

##L33.1
LETTER 33 [To Mlle Dauvaise, directress of the house for incurables at 
Nantes, 4 April 1716]
 
From the mission at Saint-Laurent-sur-SŠvre
4th of April, 1716
 
May Jesus and his Cross reign forever!
 
I count on the inexhaustible wealth of the motherly divine Providence 
which has never failed us in all we have undertaken for the glory of 
God and I reply quite frankly that I think you ought to obtain the 
lease for the house in question provided that the persons who are going 
to care for the poor incurables have the following qualities:
 
##L33.2
1   They must rely entirely on the unknown and invisible help of divine 
Providence whether they are rich or poor or whether they have any 
learning or not. They must not rely on any human help or their own 
natural talents.
 
2   They must all follow the same rule in its totality and punctually 
and have the same spiritual director. If any of the ladies has money 
and special qualifications she must not expect any privileges, say, 
exemption from community life or the rule, or the right to choose 
another director.
 
##L33.3
3   Finally, if this is God's work, they must be ready to suffer all 
kinds of crosses cheerfully. For this is the house of the Cross and it 
must not be given any other name. The first thing you must do is to 
erect a cross, with the Bishop's permission, so that the name, the 
grace and the glory of the Cross will always be associated with this 
house. Erect a very simple cross in the middle of the garden or the 
courtyard until funds can be found to provide a better one. This cross 
is the first item to be taken into the new house. Ask our good priest 
friend to bless it or to send someone to bless it.
 
When I heard about this new foundation at Nantes, I considered sending 
you two Daughters of Wisdom who are working among the poor in this 
diocese. One is about forty years of age, I believe, and both are 
suitable for this work. Let us pray that God may make his holy will 
clear to us.
 
##L33.4
Dear Lord, how very few really obedient, prudent and self-sacrificing 
young ladies are to be found today! They are all so self-sufficient, or 
rather each one feels that she is, even if she does not say so openly.
 
I think young women who present themselves to join the two already 
mentioned and have the above-mentioned qualities, should be accepted 
even if they come from other parts of the country. They would be more 
suitable for the beginning of this new foundation, if it is to be 
founded on "living stones".
 
##L33.5
I greet with great respect Monsieur Du Portail and those good people 
who have joined us in this charitable work so dear to the Heart of 
Jesus who suffered more than any of us.
 
If the Bishop of Nantes agrees (and I would not arrive without his 
permission) I will be in Nantes on the evening of the 5th of May. I am 
enclosing a short letter to his Lordship. I send respectful greetings 
to Fr. Barrin and ask him to take my letter to Fr. de Vertamont to 
present it to the Bishop. If the latter refuses to allow me to stay in 
Nantes for two weeks resting from my missionary work - and I will go 
there only if I receive permission to say Mass - then I will know for 
certain that it is not God's holy will that I go. In submitting to a 
prohibition, I truly and firmly believe, as if it were an article of 
faith, that everything will go even better with you than if I were 
present.
 
##L33.6
I beg the prayers of all the "Friends of the Cross" so that God will 
not punish my sins and refuse true conversion of heart to all the poor 
who listen to my preaching.
 
Sincerely yours in Jesus and his holy Mother. I greet all the Guardian 
Angels of the city of Nantes and yours in particular.
 
Humility! Humiliations! Humiliations! Thanks be to God for them.
 
L.M. Grignion
 

##L34.1
LETTER 34 [To Mother Marie-Louise of Jesus, about Easter 1716]
 
My dear daughter in Jesus Christ,
 
May Jesus and his Cross reign forever!
 
I worship the justice and love with which divine Wisdom is treating his 
little flock, allowing you to live in cramped quarters here on earth so 
that later you may find spacious dwelling in his divine heart which was 
pierced for you to enter. How pleasant and safe is this sacred refuge 
for a soul truly possessing Wisdom! Such a soul came forth with the 
blood and water which flowed when the lance pierced the divine heart, 
and it is here that it finds a refuge when persecuted by its enemies. 
Here it can remain hidden with Jesus Christ in God, more victorious 
than any hero, crowned with more laurels than any king, shining with 
greater splendour than the sun and raised higher than the very heavens.
 
##L34.2
If you truly seek to be a disciple of divine Wisdom and one chosen 
among so many, then this unkind treatment you are suffering, the 
contempt, the poverty, the restrictions, all these should be pleasing 
to you since they are the price you have to pay to obtain Wisdom and 
true freedom and become partakers of the divinity of the heart of Jesus 
crucified.
 
##L34.3
If I were to look at these setbacks from a human standpoint, I would be 
tempted, like the foolish people of this corrupt world, to complain and 
be anxious and worried, but that is not how I look at things. Let me 
tell you that I expect more serious setbacks, more painful ones to test 
your faith and confidence. We will then found our community of the 
Daughters of Wisdom, not on quicksands of gold and silver which the 
devil is always using to adorn his house, nor indeed on the strength 
and influence of any human being, for no matter how holy and powerful 
man may be he will always be no more than a wisp of straw. We want to 
found our congregation on the Wisdom of the Cross of Calvary. This 
adorable Cross has been stained with the blood of a God and chosen by 
Jesus to be the spouse of his heart, his heart's only desire and 
inspiration, the only object worth his toil, his only arm in combat, 
his only crown of glory, his only guide in his judgements. It is hard 
to understand that this great Cross was lost, scorned and hidden in the 
earth for more than four hundred years.
 
##L34.4
My dear daughters, apply this to the state in which you find 
yourselves. I think of you always, especially during Holy Mass. I will 
never forget you, provided you love the precious Cross. I am united 
with you in bearing the cross as long as you follow the holy will of 
God and not your own. In this holy will I am all yours...
 

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