Saint of the Day

April 28

Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort

Born in Saint-Malo, France, Louis-Marie Grignion (1673-1716) was the founder of the Company of Mary, the Daughters of Wisdom and the Brothers of Saint Gabriel. Ordained in 1700, he was first appointed chaplain to a hospital in Poitiers. While his introduction of much needed reforms led to the beginning of a congregation for women staff members, it also stirred up resentment and he was forced to leave. He began instead to preach missions for the poor and again, his success caused resentment and he was forced to stop.

He left on foot for Rome and received from the pope the title of "missionary apostolic," and for the rest of his life he preached and gave missions. He died at the age of forty-three, having just begun to form his association of ordained men, the Missionaries of the Company of Mary.

Saint Peter Mary Chanel

Peter Mary Chanel lived from 1803 to 1841. Born near Belley, France, he was, from the age of seven, a shepherd of his father's flock. He made an impression on a local priest who obtained parental permission for the boy to attend school. Peter proceeded to the seminary and was ordained. A year later, he was sent to a dissolute parish where he stayed for three years, during which time the parish experienced a great religious revival.

In 1831, he joined the Marists hoping to fulfill his desire for missionary work, but was asked to teach in the seminary for five years. Finally, in 1836, Peter and several others set sail for the Pacific Islands. They landed on an island a few miles north of Fiji and were well received. But as their influence grew, the local chief became suspicious and in 1841, on hearing that his son desired baptism, the chief sent warriors to assassinate the priest. Peter was canonized as a martyr in 1954.

©2011 Living with Christ, Novalis - Bayard Press Canada Inc., Reprinted with permission.