Wednesday, April 28, 1999
Wednesday, April 28: Fourth Wednesday of Easter and
Feast of Saint Louis de Montfort, priest, religious and messenger and
Feast of Saint Peter Chanel, priest, religious, missionary and martyr
First Reading: Acts 12: 24-25; 13: 1-5
Psalms: Psalm 67: 2-6, 8
Gospel Reading: John 12: 44-50
Saint Louis Mary Grignon de Montfort, priest, religious founder, messenger and writer
Though not officially recognized in the United States as a feast day, we nevertheless celebrate the feast of Saint Louis Mary Grignon de Montfort on April 28. It is an official feast day in Canada. This Dominican, following in the footsteps of his founder Saint Dominic became a great writer, preacher and prophet for the end times. His devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and her Holy Rosary are the substance of his works, including the Total Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary with 33 days of special preparation of prayers and fasting before this Consecration which is professed on the feast of the Purification (February 2), the feast of the Annunciation (March 25), St. Louis de Montfort's feastday (April 28), the feast of the Visitation (May 31), the Solemnities of the Assumption (August 15) and the Immaculate Conception (December 8). Other works of this devoted saint are "How to say your Rosary," "True Devotion to Mary,", "God Alone," "Friends of the Cross," "Reign of Jesus through Mary," "The Secret of Mary," and, of course, "Preparation for Total Consecration." These works are available through Montfort Publications, Queen of
All Hearts Confraternity, Bay Shore, NY 11706.
St. Louis de Montfort was a devoted Dominican Tertiary who was an extraordinary preacher of the Rosary and prophecied many things about Mary's role in our times and of the Second Coming in which he predicted Mary would have a special role saying: "In the Second Coming of the Lord, Mary will be made known in a special way by the Holy Spirit so that through her, Jesus may be better known and served...Mary will shine forth higher than ever in these latter days to bring back poor sinners who have strayed from the Family of God." Well before Fatima, he prophecied that Mary's Heart would triumph and of her role as Co-Redemptrix, Advocate and Mediatrix of all graces. Pope John Paul II has called de Montfort "one of the great doctors of Marian Spirituality." This saint, totally devoted to Mary, founded the Congregations of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (the Montfort Fathers) and the Daughters of Wisdom, an order of nuns devoted to Our Lady and the Holy
Spirit. Born during the reign of Pope Clement X in 1673, St. Louis de Montfort died peacefully in 1716 during the papacy of Pope Clement XI.
Saint Peter Chanel, priest, religious missionary and martyr
Considered the first martyr of Oceania, Saint Peter Chanel was born in Belley, France in 1803 where he was raised as a shepherd boy. While in the fields tending the sheep he heard God's call to shepherd men and became a priest in 1827 where he became a parish priest near Geneva, Switzerland. Nine years later in the year Pope Gregory XVI approved the new Marist Order of Priests - Society of Mary, Peter was assigned to Polynesia as part of the Marists' missionary efforts in Oceania. There he worked tirelessly for Jesus and Mary in spreading the faith. A year later he and a companion sailed to the island of Futana, just west of Tahiti where they began evangelizing and baptizing. When the pagan chief discovered that his own son wanted to be baptized by Peter, he went ballistic and dispatched a band of warriors to massacre the missionary and his companion on April 28, 1841. Shortly after this dastardly deed, the people rebelled against the chief for the saintly priest's murder and the entire population of Futana became Catholic, once again fulfilling Tertian's words, "The blood of marytrs is truly the seed of the Faith." Fr. Peter Chanel was canonized in 1954 by Pope Pius XII as the first Marist martyr.