Saint Louis de Montfort, His Life and Work – The Missioner of the Dioceses of La Rochelle and Luqon

cover of the ebook 'Saint Louis de Montfort: His Life and Work', by Georges RigaultThe Bishops of La Rochelle and Lugon had in July, 1710, condemned the Reflections on the New Testament of Father Quesnel as a book full of impious dogma. This statement had been privately fastened to the gates of the Archbishop’s palace in Paris, and as a result Cardinal de Noailles had forbidden the publication of it in his diocese. The two bishops complained to the King and asked his leave to appeal to the Pope. “If the King,” they insisted, “does not wish to be troubled with our differences, he must permit us to appeal to the natural judge of bishops.”

Some months later, Bishop Etienne de Champflour invited Father De Montfort to come and preach in the diocese of La Rochelle. Bishop Francois de Lescure also threw open the diocese of Lugon to the missioner. It amounted to offering a shelter to one whom the Jansenists persecuted. They wanted his assistance against the enemies of Rome. They showed the saint the splendid field where his greatest battles would be fought, where he would die fighting.

At that time the diocese of La Rochelle extended beyond the Sevre to Cholet. It included the wooded districts of Anjou as well as those of Poitou. The diocese of Lugon comprised the coast lands of Lower Poitou, the Challans Marshes to the east of the islands of Yeu and Noirmoutier forming its principal part. This was the Vendee of the subsequent war. Montfort’s preaching did not entirely cover it; but in the south it went beyond its boundary, crossing another branch of the Sevre to Aunis and part of Saintonge. His successors, with Saint-Laurent sur Sevre as their headquarters, were known as “Mulotins” after the founder’s spiritual heir, and they it was who gave to La Vendee its special character. But Louis-Marie Grignion had given the land its soul.