In some countries of the world searching family history has become popular. I’ve watched a couple of television programs that have researched the family history of some well know personalities, and even the personalities have been surprised to discover who was in their family tree.
I was moved by a local story of a state politician who knew he was adopted but never knew his birth mother until allowed access to confidential information. His adoption was a complicated situation involving a very young mother, of which more details were revealed to him. The reunion was a rebirth for him, his birth mother, and a host of new brothers and sisters.
It was thrilling to hear how the Holy Spirit opened up the mind and heart of Peter to embrace brothers and sisters who were gentiles, and did not observe rigorous Jewish religious practices. Then there was Paul and Barnabas, and details about their missionary exploits. Our early ancestors were filled with Jesus and his words in John’s gospel when he said, "I came into the world as light, so that everyone who believes in me might not remain in darkness."
Our ancestors brought the light of Christ to peoples in darkness. They spoke words to them that we heard spoken today: "that whoever believes in Jesus Christ believes in the Father who sent him and whoever sees Jesus sees the father."
The warmth those early ancestors of the faith conveyed to people they met changed hearts and minds. They left deep prints for others to follow and today we celebrate one of them, St. Louis de Montfort
What do we know about St. Louise de Montfort who brought light to peoples in France and throughout the world?
He was born in 1673, he died in 1716 at the age of 43, and he was only a priest for sixteen years. Yet the warmth of his life and his ministry inspired other men to join him in the Company of Mary; as well as women who were inspired and called to become members of the Daughters of Wisdom.
Pope John Paul ll, in his encyclical 'Redemptoris Mater,' singled out the writings of Louise de Montfort as a distinct witness of Marian spirituality in the Roman Catholic Tradition.
According to Louis de Montfort, "the strongest inclination of Mary is to unite us to Jesus Christ, her son; and the strongest inclination of the Son is that we should come to him through his mother."
How many of our ancestors in the faith since Peter, Paul, and Barnabas have been bringing the light of Christ to places where there is only darkness; to lives that long to emerge from the shadow of hopelessness and despair? Their number is legion.
The Light of Christ has come into our lives and the lives of families, with the invitation to pass it on. Our day will come when we too will join the ranks of our ancestors in the faith.
Hopefully someone looking back on our lives will discover how we passed the light of Christ on to them.
To view Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live,please visit our Facebook pageat 11:30 am EST, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
About Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C.
Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C. is Chaplain at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA. Before coming to Holy Cross Family Ministries he served as a teacher and a parish priest. He also served for six years as a General Assistant of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Originally from Fall River, MA, Father Leo grew up with eight siblings. Gifted with several languages, he is able to serve the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian communities. When he's not greeting everyone who comes to the Father Peyton Center, you can find him regularly reading newspapers!