ST. LOUIS MARIE DE MONFORT
St. Louis Marie De Montfort was born on 31st January 1673 in a small village called Montfort, Brittany in western France. His father was a nobleman and a lawyer, but the large family was poor as France was going through a grave economic and social crisis in the 17th century. The wars among the European countries had depleted the national treasury. Poverty and disease became endemic. According to this, 95% of the population was illiterate. The French revolution which was to come almost a century later, was already brewing.
It was in the atmosphere, charged with tension that St. Louis Marie De Montfort founded the Brother's congregation to impart education to an illiterate France. Not many were willing to follow this stern, austere and maverick saint. When the revolutions brake out in the 1790s Monfortian institutions were only a handful and limited to western France. The French revolution wiped out the royalty and established a secular state, but there was anarchy until Napoleon came to rescue. They decided to launch outside France to Belgium, Switzerland and Italy. In 1886, they crossed the Atlantic and established institutions in Canada.
The Monfortian saga in India begun, when on 11th September 1903, three brothers landed in the French colony, Pondicherry. The first Montfortian institution was started in Tindivanam, now in Tamil Nadu. The first English medium school, namely Montfort school was started on the shivery hills Yercaud.
From 1918 to 2011, Monfortian institution grew in India from one to nearly 200 and are spread over 20 states and union territories, literally from north to south and East to west.
The Monfortian institutions are spread over thirty countries from Canada, Columbia and Peru in Fiji and the Tonga islands in the Pacific. St. Louis Marie de Montfort was an extremely versatile man. He was a physiologist, writer, poet, musician, artist, sculptor, choreographer, builder and social reformer. The Montfort philosophy therefore is one of totality, globality and universality in terms of values which are very relevant in today's world, which in a state of flux. The Montfortian system therefore, aims at “Total education” the development of body, mind and spirit so that a Montfortian student can have fullness in life and be a useful citizen to the country, a faithful and loving person to his family and friends and a fulfilled and contented human being.
May we be imbibed with the Montfortian spirit and may we be successful Montfortians.
THE MAN WHO WALKED WITH GOD
If the journey of thousands years miles begins with one step, for Montfortians, it was on 9th June 1715 at La Seguiniere where Montfort along with Brothers. Nicolas, Phillip, Louis and Gabrial, took the Religious Vows at the feet of Mother Mary- Our lady of all patience!! The death of St. Louis Marie de Montfort on 28th April in 1716 was not an end but was the beginning of a new era in our history. For the Montfortian family, the span of three centuries is a long period of time filled with memorable footprints of God's interventions. As we commemorate the long journey of 300 years from 1716 to 2016, it calls for reflections and introspection, particularly during these years, 2017 and 2018 and thereafter.
St. Montfort continues to live among us, as our inspiration and guiding star of hope. Though we cannot see him with our external eyes, we can continue to see him with our inner eyes among the poor, the sick and those rejected by the society. He has a ‘New message’ for every one of us if only we make sufficient effort to discover the heart and soul of this saint who always walked with God. Irrespective of different religion, age and status in society, we can find a reliable friend in him.