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Happy Mother's Day! Blessed are you among women!

Today we celebrate Mother’s Day, a time when we remember mothers everywhere, for being pillars of strength in the family, being teachers and formators to their children, and showing us what patience, love, and at times, courage look like. Blessed indeed are the mothers among us.

St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort loved his mother, Jeanne Robert Grignion, dearly. Growing up in a troubled home with a father known for his fiery temper, Montfort learned to seek solace in God while consoling his mother.

Benedetta Papasogli, in her book ‘The Man Who Came Up From The Wind’, wrote that the young Montfort “gathered eagerly the first elements of his spiritual culture. His childish prayer was spontaneous. He used to withdraw to some nook within that noisy house, or else he took refuge outdoors to some arbour and there he went down on his knees, beads in hand, before an image of Mary.”

In finding herself comforted by the young Montfort’s words of encouragement and prayers, Jeanne Robert was said to have been one of the first to notice, and foster, his love for Mary, the Mass and Catholic beauty that formed important parts of his childhood catechesis. Montfort’s vocation to the priesthood was fostered by both his biological mother and Mary, his spiritual mother.

Even after Montfort renounced the world and gave up the right to his inheritance, he continued to express his love and gratitude for his mother. In one letter in 1704, Montfort wrote, “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.”

It appears that while Montfort was a priest with great missionary zeal who preached missions all over France and was a member and founder of lay associations and religious congregations, he still remembered and loved his Mum deeply in all that he did. May Montfort be an example for us all, even as we cope with our own challenges in family life.

Brian Ooi, Montfortian Gabrielite Associates


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