The Holiness of the Church in the Nineteenth Century – Louise Therese de Montaignac

Blessed Louise-Thérèse de Montaignac de ChauvanceArticle

With true saints, suffering and sickness are not impediments to their activity. The Servant of God, Louise Therese de Montaignac, was not able to walk during the last thirty-three years of her life, constantly suffering excruciating pain, and yet during this very period accomplishing the chief labor of her life – the establishment, upbuilding, development, and direction of a religious Congregation. God frequently chooses the weak to attain great ends and to manifest the omnipotence of His grace.

The Servant of God was born of a highly respected family at Havre de Grace in Normandy in the year 1820. Under the guidance of her aunt and godmother, who had adopted her, Louise received an excellent education. The aunt was skilled in instilling the old and tried principles of Christian piety and took care, moreover, to train her pupil in all that became a lady of her station and in the duties of housekeeping.

Two devotions guided Louise toward sanctity; viz., devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Mother of God. The latter was fostered and developed chiefly by the young ladies’ sodality, which gave the Servant of God both impulse and opportunity to work for the honor of Mary. When sixteen she made a vow of perpetual virginity. She derived strength for this offering from Holy Communion, which, during the following year, she received every day. Afterward, when unable to walk, she wrote:

“When I recall the past from my sixteenth to my forty-seventh year, memory places before me the joys of my soul in the presence of the Most Blessed Sacrament. It was the most powerful attraction known to me. When I had a minute of time I hurried to the tabernacle. I do not remember ever to have withstood the invitation of my sweet Master. This is to me a consolation that surpasses all.”

It is not surprising, then, that she endeavored to spread devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to the Heart of Jesus. In 1845 she induced the bishop of Nevers, where she lived at the time, to introduce in his diocese daily devotions to the Sacred Heart during the month of June. Father H. Ramiere, S.J., the well-known director of the Apostleship of Prayer, said of her: “I do not know any one who has better conception of the spirit of the devotion to the Sacred Heart than the lady of Montaignac.” The cherished design of the Servant of God was to create a permanent establishment for the propagation of devotion to the Sacred Heart. Several plans failed. Her family had come to reside in Montlucon, and here, while prefect of the young ladies’ sodality, intent on practising charity, she found means after some time to open an orphan asylum. Out of this there gradually developed the Pious Society of the Oblates of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the object of which is propagation of veneration for the Sacred Heart. In later years Louise founded an apostolic school for training candidates to the priesthood. Although after 1852 she was nearly always ill she knew neither rest nor relaxation. When admonished concerning this she answered: “To gain time means to gain souls. I do not believe in saints with folded arms.” Consumed by labor and suffering she died on 27 June 1885. The acts of the process recount almost every sort of ailment cured through her intercession.

MLA Citation

  • Father Constantine Kempf, SJ. “Louise Therese de Montaignac”. The Holiness of the Church in the Nineteenth Century: Saintly Men and Women of Our Own Times, 1916. CatholicSaints.Info. 28 March 2018. Web. 22 September 2018. <>