At the heart of the 350th anniversary year of the birth of Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, from August 6 to 13, I had the immense privilege of taking part in a unique experience: the “Rencontre Internationale Montfortaine”. This exceptional event brought together over 120 participants from more than 20 countries around the world to celebrate the memory of the man who breathed life into our congregations. This unforgettable experience took place in the heart of the emblematic town of Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, a veritable sanctuary of Montfortian heritage.
The three great Montfortian families – the Brothers of Saint Gabriel, the Daughters of Wisdom and the Montfortian Fathers – worked together to orchestrate this unique seminar, accompanied by the Friends of Wisdom and many dedicated volunteers. Throughout the seminar, each participant proudly wore a scarf in the color of his or her respective “family”, a vibrant symbol of belonging.
The universal scope of this event was clear from the outset. People from the four corners of the globe gathered to pay homage to Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort, bringing with them the unique stories of their spiritual journeys. From this diversity of backgrounds emerged stories, expressions of faith and profound testimonies, weaving a multicolored tapestry of convictions.
More than a simple sharing of ideas, this seminar was an invitation to explore the key places in the life of Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort. Starting with his final resting place in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, where he was laid to rest alongside Marie Louise Trichet, then on to emblematic sites such as Monfort-sur-Meu, witness to his birth, Cesson, Poitiers and Pontchâteau. Each of these stops immersed me in the historical significance of these places, allowing me to explore more closely the contours of his exceptional life.
Despite the vagaries of the weather, our enthusiasm remained intact, nourished by warm exchanges and Masses imbued with the Montfortian faith, consolidating our unity and common commitment.
Throughout the seminar, Montfortian spirituality, founded on love for the Virgin Mary and devotion to the most vulnerable, was the common thread running through our discussions and sharing. Each participant embodied this spirituality, reflecting through gesture and word a deep faith and a sincere attachment to the values cherished by Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort.
This intense experience went beyond words to become profoundly human. It allowed me to fully immerse myself in the world of the congregation, where I met and made friends with exceptional people. United in their desire to celebrate, learn and live their faith with authentic ‘Wisdom’. It also awakened in me a new curiosity about the legacy of Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, which will remain a source of inspiration.
I would like to extend my warmest thanks to all those who helped make this experience an exceptional reality. Your dedication and passion made this encounter unforgettable, and left me with precious memories that will continue to guide me in my discovery of Montfortian spirituality.
You can see the photos I took during my journey.
Xavier Le Roux