Province of Spain – Pilgrimage to the montfortian sites

Province of Spain – Pilgrimage to the montfortian sites

The joy of a family trip!

 From the 1st to the 5th of May, the members of the Leadership Teams of the Province of Spain went on a pilgrimage to Montfortian places.

After two years of formation, getting closer to the charism, spirituality and educational tradition of our Institution, we thought that a more lively way to connect with it and to complete the formation was to immerse ourselves in some significant places of our history.

On Wednesday 1 May, Brothers and lay people took the plane to Nantes and, once we landed, we went to the Calvary of Pontchâteau. Brother Jean Friant, Brother Michel Le Gal and the Montfortian associate Josiane Peltier were waiting for us there. After a warm welcome in the Saint Gabriel room, we celebrated the Eucharist in the Calvary Chapel. We then walked around part of the 14 hectares of Calvary, stopping at the Chapel of Nazareth, La Scala Santa, the Temple of Jerusalem and the ancient chapel with the Christ of Father de Montfort. Finally we walked along the long Way of the Cross until we reached the Calvary. 

On Thursday 2 May, accompanied by Associate Pierrette, after a Eucharist in the parish church of Montfort-sur-Meu, presided over by three Montfortian Fathers, we visited the birthplace of St Louis Marie, Le Bois Marquer in Iffendic and its church. In the afternoon we went to the hermitage of Saint-Lazare – a mission where Louis Marie stayed for a year – and had our photograph taken next to the oak tree where he used to meet those who came to talk to them about Jesus and Mary.

On Friday, May 3rd, Marie-Laure, Sister of Wisdom, was waiting for us in Poitiers to show us the General Hospital, the church where the family of Marie-Louise de Jésus used to go and the Montbernage district. He spoke to us of the mission carried out there by Father de Montfort in 1705, of Jacques Goudeau and of the mission carried out by the Daughters of Wisdom a few years later. What an impact was made on us by the small premises in which they started their mission there?

After a pleasant meal, we enjoyed the visit to the Cathedral of Poitiers and the Baptistery of St John.

We had only one day left and we devoted it to the cradle of the Montfortian family in St-Laurent-sur-Sèvre. We cannot explain in words the emotion that overwhelmed us as we felt that we were at the origin of our educational mission…

We stayed at the Spiritual Center of the Daughters of Wisdom. The community and the sister Consuelo, who acted like a mother and who was both firm and tender, welcomed us warmly. We had the privilege of celebrating the Eucharist under the ciborium which houses the tombs of Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort and Marie-Louise of Jesus, together with the Brothers of the International Community of Saint-Laurent. We shared the morning and afternoon with all of them and with the Sister Provincial of the Daughters of Wisdom in France, Lourdes Alonso, who came especially to be with us. This day we could contemplate and admire the marvel of the Chapel of Wisdom. Brother Jean-Marie Ndour explained to us the history and work of Gabriel Deshayes and then we toured the Saint-Gabriel complex.

We finished our pilgrimage with a manifesto of commitment to our mission as leaders of educational communities. And we toasted with an amaretto brought from Rome, where the General Chapter had been held.

It is not the same to know as to live; it is not the same to know as to breathe, to see, to be moved by the spaces that bear witness to a history and a tradition… These are unique moments of shared experience, of creating bonds, of personal growth, of interiority, of reflection, of spirituality… We carry in our backpack and above all, in our heart, energy, boost and courage to continue the beautiful journey on our Montfortian-Gabrielite mission.

Thank you, Brothers! We will always be with you, together in a shared mission!

The Gabrielite Shared Mission Formation Team

Content of the manifesto:

We have come to drink from our source and, after this pilgrimage experience, we declare:

  • That the knowledge of our roots impels us to bear witness to the Montfortian and Gabrielite values, loving and serving the other, with special attention to the most vulnerable.
  • That passion must be part of our lives in order to move, lead and joyfully carry out our educational mission.
  • That it is necessary to weave authentic relationships in order to build together a true fraternal community.

Therefore, it is our desire to be continuers of our charism and spirituality in shared mission, religious and laity.

Curia Generalizia dei Fratelli di S. Gabriele - Via Trionfale n. 12840 - 00135 ROMA -