Open House… Conversations with … St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)

Open House… Conversations with …
St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)

On The Memorial of St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624) known as “Father Ave Maria” and the “Apostle of the Ave Maria”, we learn a little from St Louis.

How do I find the Grace of God?

(Excerpt from The Secret of Mary by St Louis Marie de Montfort)

The difficulty, then, is how to arrive at the true knowledge of the most holy Virgin and so find grace in abundance through her.   God, as the absolute Master, can give directly Hhat he ordinarily dispenses only through Mary and it would be rash to deny that He sometimes does so.   However, St Thomas assures us that, following the order established by His divine Wisdom, God ordinarily imparts His graces to men through Mary  . Therefore, if we wish to go to Him, seeking union with Him, we must use the same means which He used in coming down from heaven to assume our human nature and to impart His graces to us.   That means was a complete dependence on Mary His Mother, which is true devotion to her.

28. Chosen soul, this devotion consists in surrendering oneself in the manner of a slave to Mary and to Jesus through her and then performing all our actions with Mary, in Mary, through Mary and for Mary.   Let me explain this statement further.

29. We should choose a special feast day on which to give ourselves.   Then, willingly and lovingly and under no constraint, we consecrate and sacrifice to her unreservedly our body and soul.   We give to her our material possessions, such as house, family, income, and even the inner possessions of our soul, namely, our merits, graces, virtues and atonements.   Notice that in this devotion we sacrifice to Jesus through Mary all that is most dear to us, that is, the right to dispose of ourselves, of the value of our prayers and alms, of our acts of self- denial and atonements.   This is a sacrifice which no religious order would require of its members.   We leave everything to the free disposal of our Lady, for her to use as she wills for the greater glory of God, of which she alone is perfectly aware.

30. We leave to her the right to dispose of all the satisfactory and prayer value of our good deeds, so that, after having done so and without going so far as making a vow, we cease to be master over any good we do.   Our Lady may use our good deeds either to bring relief or deliverance to a soul in purgatory, or perhaps to bring a change of heart to a poor sinner.

31. By this devotion we place our merits in the hands of our Lady but only that she may preserve, increase and embellish them, since merit for increase of grace and glory cannot be handed over to any other person.   But we give to her all our prayers and good works, inasmuch as they have intercessory and atonement value, for her to distribute and apply to whom she pleases.   If, after having thus consecrated ourselves to our Lady, we wish to help a soul in purgatory, rescue a sinner, or assist a friend by a prayer, an alms, an act of self-denial or an act of self-sacrifice, we must humbly request it of our Lady, abiding always by her decision, which of course remains unknown to us.   We can be fully convinced that the value of our actions, being dispensed by that same hand which God himself uses to distribute His gifts and graces to us, cannot fail to be applied for His greatest glory.

Act of Consecration to Mary
By St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)

I, N…., a faithless sinner-
renew and ratify today in thy hands,
Immaculate Mother, the vows of my Baptism;
I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works,
and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom,
to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life
and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.
In the presence of all the heavenly court,
I choose thee this day, for my Mother and Mistress.
I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave,
my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior
and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future,
leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me
and all that belongs to me, without exception,
according to thy good pleasure,
for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity.
Amenact of consecration to mary by st louis de montfort - open house conversations with - how to become a slave of mary - 28 sept 2018

“One cannot contemplate Mary
without being attracted by Christ
and one cannot look at Christ
without immediately perceiving
the presence of Mary.”

Pope Benedict XVIone cannot contemplate mary - pope benedict - open house conversations with st louis de montfort - the secret of mary - 28 sept 2018

“Those who would receive Christ and bring Him forth must become like her . . .
her soul was virginal, so well cut loose from everything of earth,
so humble before God, that He could wholly fill her.”

(D Aemiliana Löhr, The Mass Through the Year)


Thought for the Day – 28 September – The Memorial of St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624) known as “Father Ave Maria” and the “Apostle of the Ave Maria”

Thought for the Day – 28 September – The Memorial of St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624) known as “Father Ave Maria” and the “Apostle of the Ave Maria”

The subject of this article lived in a time of great saints, great Spanish saints, so it is not surprising that he is little known.   St Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) who founded the Jesuits and wrote the Spiritual Exercises, St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) who reformed the Carmelites and wrote The Interior Castle and St John of the Cross who wrote The Ascent of Mount Carmel and The Dark Night of the Soul (1542-1591), all lived during the lifetime of St Simon de Rojas.   While they focused on the spiritual formation of souls, St Simon focused on organising the laity to play a more active role in performing the corporal works of mercy.
In the year 1552 there was a Catholic couple deeply devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary: Constanza and Gregorio.   They lived in Valladolid about 100 miles north of Avila in the kingdom of Castile.   On 28 October 1552, they welcomed their son, Simon de Rojas, into the world and had him baptised.

The boy, a slow learner, also had a speech impediment but at the age of only 14 months he spoke his first two words.   Not surprisingly they were “Ave Maria.”   Eventually this boy would become a priest and become known as “Fr Ave Maria” because he repeated those words so frequently throughout the day.

His studies and activities revolved around Mary, the Mother of God.   He frequently visited Marian shrines, making his life’s goal to imitate her virtues and to sing her praises and to contemplate the Virgin’s mysterious relationship with the Triune God.
While at the University of Salamanca, about 60 miles southwest of Valladolid, he studied the life of Mary and her cooperation with the Blessed Trinity in order to save humanity through her beloved Son.

Like many saints who lived before him and after him, Simon realised the important role that Mary played and continues to play in salvation history.   He, like Pope St John Paul II (1920-2005), held up the motto, Totus Tuus, as a model for giving oneself totally to Mary for the greater glory of God.   Only then could a person be intimately close to Christ and through Him be close to God the Holy Spirit and God the Father.
Nearly 100 years before the time of St Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716), Simon taught that for anyone to be surrendered to God, he must first become a slave of Mary.   Hence, on 14 April 1612, he founded the Congregation of the Slaves of the Sweet Name of Mary. Their mission was to praise the Blessed Virgin Mary by their service to the poor.
Centuries before the Second Vatican Council encouraged the participation of the laity in the work of the Church, this congregation was for the laity.   Any person regardless of wealth, education, or social standing was welcome to join the congregation.   Persons from all walks of life joined in this work, including the king and his children who consecrated themselves to serving the poor.
To assist the members of the congregation in their spiritual formation, he wrote The Greatness of Prayer.   Being a great contemplative, he deeply yearned to have others join this dimension of the spiritual life which is the foundation of any works of mercy.   Such works of the congregation included helping the poor, ransoming captive, and nursing the sick.   In short, the members were dedicated to assisting any marginalised members of society and thereby bringing them closer to Christ by being channels of His grace.

Dear St Simon de Rojas, help us by your intercession to obtain the divine graces of Marian contemplation.   May we imitate her love, prayer, and devotion to the Blessed and Holy Trinity.   By the merits of these graces may we also love our neighbour, especially the most destitute by not only giving alms but also giving our love, sharing our faith and lifting them up. Amen.

Ave Maria, Pray for Us!ave maria pray for us - 28 sept 2018

St Simon de Rojas, Pray for Us!st simon de rojas - pray for us no 2 - 28 sept 2018


Quote/s of the Day – 28 September – Today’s Gospel: Luke 9:18-22

Quote/s of the Day – 28 September – Today’s Gospel:  Luke 9:18-22

“With regard to doing the will of the Lord,
even if someone should be scandalised by what we do,
we must not let that hamper our freedom of action.”

St Basil the Great (329-379) Father & Doctor of the Churchwith regard to doing the will of god - st basil the great - 28 sept 2018

“We are not drawn to God
by iron chains
but by sweet attractions
and holy inspirations.”

St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Churchwe are not drawn to god - st francis de sales - 28 sept 2018

“If we follow, the Voice of God,
we shall be brought on,
step by step,
into a new world,
of which, before,
we had no idea.”

Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)if we follow the voice of god - bl john henry newman - 28 sept 2018


One Minute Reflection – 28 September – Today’s Gospel: Luke 9:18-22

One Minute Reflection – 28 September – Today’s Gospel: Luke 9:18-22 – Friday of the Twenty-fifth week in Ordinary Time and the Memorial of St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624) known as “Father Ave Maria” and the “Apostle of the Ave Maria”

And he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”   And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”...Luke 9:20but who do you say - luke 9 20 - 28 sept 2018

REFLECTION – “In fact, there are two ways of “seeing” and “knowing” Jesus one – that of the crowd – is more superficial, the other – that of the disciples – more penetrating and genuine.   With His twofold question:  “What do the people say?” and “who do you say that I am?”, Jesus invited the disciples to become aware of this different perspective.   The people thought that Jesus was a prophet.   This was not wrong but it does not suffice, it is inadequate.   In fact, it was a matter of delving deep, of recognising the uniqueness of the person of Jesus of Nazareth and His newness.   This is how it still is today, many people draw near to Jesus, as it were, from the outside….Let us make Peter’s answer our own…..
Today too, as in Jesus’ day, it does not suffice to possess the proper confession of faith – it is always necessary to learn anew from the Lord the actual way in which He is Saviour and the path on which we must follow Him.   Indeed, we have to recognise that even for believers, the Cross is always hard to accept.”…Pope Benedict XVI – 29 June 2007today too, as in Jesus' day - pope benedict - 28 sept 2018

PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the Light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us and the Credo we profess, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled in us.   May the intercession of St Simon de Rojas, grant us the grace of following the way of the Cross, to stand beneath it with our Mother, the Mother of God, Ave Maria!   We make our prayer through Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit, one God forever, amen.hail mary pray for us - 28 sept 2018st simon de rojas pray for us - 28 sept 2018


Our Morning Offering – 28 September – The Memorial of St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624) known as “Father Ave Maria” and the “Apostle of the Ave Maria”

Our Morning Offering – 28 September – The Memorial of St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624) known as “Father Ave Maria” and the “Apostle of the Ave Maria”

The Hail Mary/Ave Maria

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou amongst women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.

Áve María, grátia pléna,
Dóminus técum.
Benedícta tū in muliéribus,
et benedíctus frúctus véntris túi, Iésus.
Sáncta María, Máter Déi,
óra pro nóbis peccatóribus,
nunc et in hóra mórtis nóstrae. Ámen.hail mary and ave maria -28 september 2018 st simon de rojas Fr ave Maria - no 2

Our petitionary payer to the Holy Mother of God, was commonly added to the prayers of the Church, around the time of the Council of Trent.   The Dutch Jesuit, St Petrus Canisius (1521-1597) Doctor of the Church, is credited with adding in 1555 in his Catechism the sentence:

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death,

Eleven years later, the sentence was included in the Catechism of the Council of Trent of 1566. The “Catechism of the Council of Trent” says that to the first part of the Hail Mary, by which “we render to God the highest praise and return Him most gracious thanks, because He has bestowed all His heavenly gifts on the most holy Virgin … the Church of God has wisely added prayers and an invocation addressed to the most holy Mother of God … we should earnestly implore her help and assistance, for that she possesses exalted merits with God and that she is most desirous to assist us by her prayers, no one can doubt without impiety and wickedness.”

The Hail Mary is the central part of the Angelus, a devotion generally recited thrice daily by Catholics, at 06.00, 12.00 and 18.00.
On account of its connection with the Angelus, the Ave Maria was often inscribed on bells.

The Hail Mary is the essential element of the Rosary, of course, for those followers who are not yet Catholics:

The Rosary consists traditionally of three sets of five Mysteries, each mystery consisting of one “decade” or ten Ave Marias.   The 150 Ave Marias of the Rosary thus echo the 150 psalms.   These meditate upon events of Jesus’ life during his childhood (Joyful Mysteries), Passion (Sorrowful Mysteries), and from his Resurrection onwards (Glorious Mysteries).   Another set, the Luminous Mysteries, is of comparatively recent origin, having been proposed by St Pope John Paul II in 2002.

Each of these Mysteries is prayed as a decade (a unit of ten), consisting of one Our Father (Pater Noster or The Lord’s Prayer), ten Hail Marys, and one ‘Glory Be’ (Gloria Patri) (Doxology) and the Fatima Prayer “O My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell and lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy.”
The restatement of the prayers locks one into fixed language, having the effect of freeing the conscious mind so that the recitation may come more from the heart and not the head.
Pope Paul V (1550-1621) said that “the Rosary is a treasure of graces … Even for those souls who pray without meditating, the simple act of taking the beads in hand to pray is already a remembrance of God – of the supernatural”.


Saint of the Day – 28 September – St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624)   “Father Ave Maria”/”Apostle of the Ave Maria”

Saint of the Day – 28 September – St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624)   “Father Ave Maria”/ “Apostle of the Ave Maria”, Religious Priest of the Trinitarian Order, Founder of the Lay Apostolate of the Congregation of the Slaves of the Sweet Name of Mary, Marian Devotee, Theologian, Philosopher, Spiritual Writer, Apostle of Charity, Apostolic Visitor – born on 28 October 1552 in Valladolid, Spain and died on 28 September 1624 in Madrid, Spain of natural causes.   He was Beatified on 19 March 1766 by Pope Clement XIII and Canonised on 3 July 1988 by St Pope John Paul simon de rojas full

ave maria - for the memorial of st simon de rojas - 28 sept 2018

Father SIMON DE ROJAS of the Trinitarian Order was born at Valladolid, Castilla, Spain, 28 October, 1552.   At twelve years of age, he entered the Trinitarian monastery of the city where he was born and there made his religious profession on 28 October 1572.   He studied at the University of Salamanca from 1573 to 1579 and was ordained a priest in 1577.   Thereafter, he taught philosophy and theology at Toledo from 1581 to 1587 and from 1588 until his death he fulfilled with much prudence the office of superior in various monasteries of his province and was sent as apostolic visitor twice to his own province of Castilla and once to that of Andalusia.

On 14 April 1612 he founded the Congregation of the Slaves of the Sweet Name of Mary and in  1619 he was named tutor to the royal princes of Spain and in 1621 he was elected Provincial of Castilla and the following year he was chosen confessor of Queen Isabel of Borbon.01-st-simon-de-rojas.2

His Canonisation during this Marian year (1988), worthily rewards him for his tender devotion to Mary.    He has been a compared to St Bernard of Clairvaux and to St Ildefonso of Toledo, for this immense understanding and devotion of the role of the Blessed Virgin Mother.

It was his mother, the virtuous Constanza, who instilled and helped grow in the soul of Simon the love of Mary.   The veneration that she and her husband Gregorio constantly gave to Mary, makes it easily understandable why the first words that Simon, who had been a slow learner and stuttered, said at the age of fourteen months, were “Ave, Maria”. He was only repeating the prayer so frequently recited by his parents.

His greatest joy was to visit Marian shrines, to pray to Mary and with Mary, to imitate her virtues, to sing her praises, to acknowledge her importance in the mystery of God and of the Church.   Through profound theological studies, he came to understand even better the mission of Mary in cooperation with the Trinity for the salvation of the human race and the sanctification of the Church.   He lived his religious vows in the imitation of Mary. He held that, for everyone to be completely of God, as Mary had been, it was necessary to become her slaves, or better, slaves of God in Mary;  for this reason he established the Congregation of the Slaves of Mary for the greater glory of the Trinity, in praise of the Virgin, in the service of the poor.   For him, to be a slave of Mary meant belonging totally to her:  “Totus tuus” in order to unite oneself more intimately to Christ and in Him through the Spirit, to the Father.

The Congregation founded by him was intended for the laity, persons of every social class could join.   The members, who included the King and his children, dedicated themselves to honour Mary by giving maternal help to her favourite children – the poor. This work still continues in Spain.   Fr Simon, who is held to be one of the greatest contemplatives of his time and who in his work, “The Greatness of Prayer” is clearly a great instructor of prayerful souls, wanted the contemplative dimension joined to the active through works of mercy.

Faithful to the Trinitarian charism, he promoted the ransom of captives, he helped relieve the many needs of the poor, he consoled the sick, the destitute and the left-out of every kind.   He accepted duties at the Court, only on the condition that he be able to continue his work with the poor, whom he helped in a thousand ways, always with a smile on his face and at any hour of the day or night.San_Simon_de_Rojas

The expressions of his love of Mary are manifold.   The painters who depicted him, put the greeting “Ave Maria” on his lips, words he uttered so frequently that he was familiarly called:  “Father Ave Maria”.

He had thousands of images of the Most Holy Virgin printed with the inscription:  “Ave Maria”, which he also sent abroad.   He had rosaries made with seventy-two blue beads on a white cord, symbols of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception and also a reminder that Mary, according to the belief of the time, lived to the age of 72 years.   He sent these rosaries everywhere, even to England.   Using his influence at Court, he had the angelic greeting so dear to him, “Ave Maria”, engraved in letters of gold on the facade of the royal palace in Madrid.   On June 5th, 1622, he petitioned the Holy See for the approval of his liturgical text composed in honour of the Sweet Name of Mary, which later, Pope Innocent XI extended to the universal Church.PWOL0815_ave_maria_gratia_mexico_front_l

After his death on 29 September 1624, the honours bestowed on him at his funeral, took on the aspect of an anticipated canonisation.   For twelve days, the most re-known preachers of Madrid exalted his virtues and his holiness.   Impressed with this unanimous veneration, on 8 October shortly after Fr Simon’s death, the Papal Nuncio ordered the beginning of the process leading to his glorification by the Church.   His heroic virtues were recognised by PopeClement XII on 25 March 1735 and he was beatified on 19 March 1766.   And today, 3 July, 1988, just before the close of the Marian Year, Pope John Paul II, enters the name of this great servant of Mary and Father of the poor on the list of the Saints.”…Vatican.vadeath of st simon de rojas

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Memorials of the Saints – 28 September

St Lorenzo Ruiz (1600-1637) First Saint and Protomartyr of the Philippines (Optional Memorial)

St Wenceslaus of Bohemia (907-935) King of Bohemia, Martyr (Optional Memorial)
About St Wenceslaus here:

Msgr Charles Pope – My recitation of the old carol:

Bl Aaron of Auxerre
St Alodius of Auxerre
St Annemond of Lyons
St Bardomianus
Bl Bernardine of Feltre
St Chariton of Palestine
Bl Christian Franco
St Conval of Strathclyde
St Eucarpus
St Eustochium
St Exuperius of Toulouse
St Faustus of Riez
St John of Dukla
St Laurence of North Africa
St Lioba of Bischofsheim
St Machan
St Martial of North Africa
St Martin of Moyenmoutier
St Paternus of Auch
St Privatus of Rome
St Salonius of Geneva
St Silvinus of Brescia
St Simón de Rojas O.SS. (1552-1624)
St Solomon of Genoa
St Stacteus
St Tetta of Wimborne
Bl Thiemo
St Willigod of Moyenmoutier
St Zama of Bologna

Augustinian Martyrs of Japan: The first Augustinian missionaries arrived in Japan in 1602 and met with immediate success; many were brought to the faith; many of them became Augustinians; and many of them were martyred in the periodic persecutions of Christians. This memorial commemorates all of them, whether they have a sanctioned Cause for Canonisation or not. They include:
• Blessed Bartolomé Gutiérrez Rodríguez
• Blessed Ferdinand Ayala
• Blessed Francisco Terrero de Ortega Pérez
• Blessed Ioannes Mukuno Chozaburo
• Blessed Laurentius Kaida Hachizo
• Blessed Mancius Yukimoto Ichizaemon
• Blessed Martín Lumbreras Peralta
• Blessed Melchor Sánchez Pérez
• Blessed Michaël Ichinose Sukezaemon
• Blessed Pedro de Zúñiga
• Blessed Petrus Sawaguchi Kuhyoe
• Blessed Thomas Jihyoe of Saint Augustine
• Blessed Thomas Terai Kahyoe
• Blessed Vicente Simões de Carvalho
• Saint Magdalena of Nagasaki

Martyrs of Antioch – 37 saints: A group of 30 soldiers and 7 civilians who were murdered together for their faith. The names that have come down to us are – Alexander, Alphinus, Heliodorus, Mark, Neon, Nicon and Zosumus. c 303 at Antioch, Pisidia (in modern Turkey).

Martyrs of China – 120 saints: A common memorial for the hundreds of the faithful, lay and clergy, who have died for their faith in the last couple of centuries in China. They were Canonised on 1 October 2000 by Pope John Paul II.

Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Francesc Xavier Ponsa Casallach
• Blessed Josep Casas Juliá
• Blessed Josep Casas Ros
• Blessed Josep Tarrats Comaposada
• Blessed María Fenollosa Alcaina
• Blessed Santiago Mestre Iborra