The Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel

The Montfort Brothers, have their origins nearly 300 years ago, when Louis Marie de Montfort gathered disciples around him and formed them into the “Community of the Holy Spirit” in 1715 A.D.

Apr 06, 2015

Leading towards the Tercentenary (300 years) Celebration

1715 – The Founding of The First Brothers
2016 – The Anniversary Holy Death of Montfort, Apr 28


The Montfort Brothers, have their origins nearly 300 years ago, when Louis Marie de Montfort gathered disciples around him and formed them into the “Community of the Holy Spirit” in 1715 A.D. Montfortian way of consecrated life has become the object of special attention now as they have taken upon themselves the responsibility of being authentic leaders for greater brotherhood. This shows that not only the Church is fond of this form of consecrated life but the world itself is aspiring to achieve greater brother/sisterhood. Becoming an authentic Montfortian Brother of St Gabriel places a lot of responsibility and tasks on them and invites them to realize and imbibe the necessary qualities.


Montfort was the kind man who does everything superbly well. He was an artist, a sculptor, a singer and a poet. He wrote hymns and set them to popular tunes, so catchy that a listener simply had to sing with him. He wrote books that will never die. He had such strength you wouldn’t believe it.

He had a very big nose, long hair, dimples in his cheeks, and a pair of eyes that is full of compassionate love. When he smiled, he had you…..fall in love with him. His clothings,
was little more than a sack, his shoes were never good enough for the roads he travelled, nor for the climates he encountered.
He left “bloody footprints” wherever he walked. Yet always, even when he was weary or suffering from heat or rain…..he would lift up his heart and sing to the Lord.

Montfort was the beggar of beggars, the poorest of the poor. He lived, through most of his life, on what Divine Providence gave him to the way of alms. He walked farther, worked harder and longer, endured more punishment and abuse, ate less and slept less, than any other man of his time. His only luxury was the bit of straw he put into his mattress. No man can find clean straw every day while he is travelling; and sometimes a wanderer has to sleep where he can, indoors or out. But always Montfort could find a suitable rock for a pillow. He usually walked wherever he was going. He usually carried a crucifix and a small statue of Mary, both of which he had carved. He had an intense love for the Cross. He never sought one, for he wanted to do not his own will but God’s; yet he knew there was great joy in the acceptance of all crosses. He used to say to people…..”May God bless you and give you many little crosses…..”; “If we do not risk anything for God, we will never do anything great for Him.”


LOUIS MARIE DE MONTFORT had such a strong desire to be in communion with the poor, he gave the first beggar he met all his money and even exchanged clothes with him. He wanted to become a missionary and to go about his work in a poor and simple way.

Most of all, he loved to proclaim the Good News to outcasts and to catechize poor children. This desire was to culminate in the founding of the Congregation of the Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel (in 1715, tercentenary (300 years) celebration – in 2015). Montfort organized classes for common-folk children and homes for the poor. He preached simply and courageously, and opposed the enemies of the Church, who repeatedly attempted to kill him.


The spirituality of Montfort is one of a preacher, for whom the spiritual life cannot be separated from the ministry. A spirituality in the service of restoring the spirit of Christianity in the heart of the baptized and in human societies.

The essence of Montfort’s spirituality, which the Brothers inherited from our Founder, is:

2.Jesus Incarnate Wisdom
3.The Care for the Poor
4.The Cross
5.The Baptismal Promises
6.Mary – the Consecration to Jesus through Mary


The Spirituality of St Louis Marie de Montfort is nourished by the great spiritual masters of the 16-17th centuries. Following St Ignatius of Loyola — Ad majorem Dei gloriam — St Teresa of Avila — Solo Dios basta. St John of the Cross — “GOD ALONE”. Montfort made this his own motto.

Everything is measured according to the absolute and the greatness of God. And for Montfort, it is not just words. It’s the only acceptable explanation for his lifestyle choices and behaviour, what were confusing, even for his family, colleagues and friends.

To a friend, who questioned his conduct and manners, he replied: An apostolic man has to provide glory of God. The apostolic missionary must be centred on GOD ALONE. God’s glory must be his sole preoccupation.

GOD ALONE is the sole reason for his desire to go for distant missions and the unique motivation for ten years as parish missions. At the request of Pope Clement XI, the apostolic missionary will get exhausted in preaching popular missions for children and adults, to free the minds and hearts from the attractions of the world and directed them to God.


2. Jesus Incarnate Wisdom
In his missions, Montfort experimented how a thousand desires could deviate the ordinary parishioners out of the way that leads to GOD ALONE. Therefore, the challenge is of importance; the conversion from a merely human way of life to God’s way of life; a conversion to a new wisdom, God’s Wisdom.

Rereading the Bible in his own way, Montfort, sees God’s Wisdom friendly to men. The work of personal conversion and change of behaviour is performed during the time of one doing mission – is an appropriation of the Wisdom of God. But the Divine Wisdom “is not found in the soul of those who live in comfort.” Monfortorians should desire it and ask for it day and night, without wearying tirelessly or becoming disheartened.

3. The Care for the Poor

Searching for the poor, having poor people around him, serving the poor, is not a psychological or social compensation for a man born in a family of lower middle class. To the disciples of John the Baptist, who was asking about Him, Jesus replied, “…..The poor have good news preached to them.” The Kingdom has arrived! Jesus makes of the care for the poor, the sign that the Kingdom is coming; that is there, at the door. For Montfort, it is the touchstone of conversion.

Like Jesus, from his young age, Montfort makes the Kingdom of God happen by healing the sick, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, rescuing the distressed, opening the minds, reconciling people. Throughout his life, he makes real the situations found in chapter 25 of Matthew’s Gospel: the genuine poor is Jesus, and where Jesus is, there is the Kingdom. When, in the dark, he carries a bedridden on his shoulders, Montfort shouts: Open to Jesus Christ, he also shouts: Open your hearts to the Kingdom that is coming!

During his missions, he prepared the people to such works of mercy by the catechism, small schools, preaching, but above all, by the establishment of shelters called PROVIDENCE, where the people were invited to provide the poor with food and clothing.

It has been said that the fruits of the mission could be measured by the commitment of the people in the PROVIDENCE.

4. The Cross

The Cross is a mystery / most secret here below / without abundant lights / its meaning is not known.

Montfort desires the Cross. He kisses it as a sign of communion with the Crucified and Incarnate Wisdom. Throughout his life he witnessed the struggle of the worldly wisdom rejecting God’s Wisdom. The most symbolic day of this struggle was on September 13, 1710, when Montfort was forbidden to bless the monumental Calvary that he had built on the moor of Pontchateau, where thousands of people of all walks of life, worked for a whole year.

The Calvary blessed on the last day of each mission, showed the victory of the Cross and also the continuity of the struggle between the two wisdoms: victory is there, but not complete. When the Cross was not present in the missionary’s life, it would be the sign that the Kingdom of God was put on hold. Great pain for Montfort, and cause for anguish! Never the Cross without Jesus or Jesus without the Cross. Hence his well-known phrase: No Cross, what a Cross! when the mission was going on too smoothly.

5. The Baptismal Promises

On June 6, 1706, during the audience granted by Pope Clement XI, Montfort got a roadmap: To renew the spirit of Christianity by the renewal of baptismal promises.

To remind himself that his life, as a baptised person, should be a continuous conversion from worldly wisdom to the Wisdom of God, ‘JESUS’. Unaware that his vocabulary could be irritating to future generations, the missionary articulates his spirituality and his preaching around a strong word: slavery. At baptism, the Christian has chosen Jesus as his Master and sovereign and undertaken to depend upon him as a slave of love. But this dependence, in freedom and love, must be renewed daily and in a permanent struggle. The mission are a preparation to renew the baptismal promises. And those who can write sing taking the Church a witness, a covenant with God.

6. Mary – ‘The Consecration to Jesus through Mary’

St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort does not exclude the expressions of affection and trust in Mary, which his biographers like to report and were acknowledged by the crowds who called him, the Father with the huge rosary. In this, he is not really a pioneer. This devotion is not new. It is so ancient that we do not know when it began.”

The Marian devotion is a spiritual path to bring about the Reign of Jesus– Wisdom. The spirit of this devotion is to make a soul inwardly dependent of Mary “and of Jesus through her.”

The argument, all centred on God, is simple in its biblical and theological support. The implementation is wonderful.

--The Kingdom of God, that is Jesus-Wisdom, entered the history of humanity through Mary;
--The Father’s will to give Jesus to the world by Mary does not change;
--The Kingdom of Jesus – the conversion from the slavery of evil to the total belonging to Jesus, which is the perfect fulfilment of baptism – hence will come through Mary as well.

At this point, Montfort wants to reveal his secret as a missionary: The Secret of Mary, which “the Most High God taught him”, according to his own words: “the Kingdom of Jesus in the hearts and in society, depends directly on the Reign of Mary. So there is no better way to bring the Kingdom of Jesus that the consecration of oneself to Mary.” – “I surrender and consecrate myself to you, body and soul, with all that I possess, both spiritual and material, even including the value of all my good actions, past, and to come…”

This consecration of oneself to Mary is the privileged gateway to enter in relation with Jesus. Virgin most faithful, make me in everything so committed a disciple, imitator of Jesus, your Son, Incarnate Wisdom. So there is correspondence between the consecration and the renewal of the baptismal promises. The rites and formulae but they say the same theological and spiritual reality.

Religious life in the Church is indeed a gift from God to the Church. It is a sign and symbol of the Kingdom. The Religious life of the Brothers is first and foremost a call to live radically the Gospel in the community, in practising the evangelical counsels. It is the life based on the words and examples of Jesus Christ.

The Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel had our origins nearly 300 years ago, when Louis Marie de Montfort gathered disciples around him and formed them into the Community of the Holy Spirit in 1715 A.D. Our way of consecrated life has become the object of special attention now as we have taken upon ourselves the responsibility of being authentic leaders for greater brotherhood.

The call of Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel is a call to a prophetic witness, bearing the Spirit who is attentive to the signs of the times and sensitive to the task of human liberation. Through its specific Charism the Brothers share the mission of the Church, exercised primarily in the education of the young particularly of the marginalized.

Our identity of Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel is rooted in the spiritual and apostolic experience of Saint Louis Marie de Montfort, of Gabriel Deshayes and the generations of Brothers who lived before us. Our Rule of Life, our Constitutions express our specific way of living the Montfortian spirituality and charism following Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, with Mary.

The Brothers of St Gabriel arrived in Singapore at the end of 1936. They took over the running of Holy Innocent English School (later on known as Montfort School) in 1937 at the invitation of the late Bishop Deval. The mission in Singapore grew and flourished and today we have the Montfort Junior and Secondary Schools; the Boys’ Town, which include the Boys’ Town Home, the Assumption Pathway School and the Assumption English School; and the St Gabriel’s Primary and Secondary Schools. Today there are no longer any Brothers directly teaching in the school but the spirit of the founder continues among the many lay personnel of the schools and institution. The St Gabriel’s Foundation established in 2001 constituting of lay members and Brothers now governs the schools and institution in the spirit of the founder St. Louis Marie de Montfort as emulated by the early founding Brothers.

The Brothers of St Gabriel arrived in Johor Bahru in 1955 and took over the St Joseph’s Schools. In 1957 they took over the Serendah Boys Home for some two years and thereafter started the Montfort Boys’ Town in 1959 in Shah Alam. Today the Brothers in Malaysia are mainly engaged in running institutions for the needy youths. They run the Montfort Boys Town in Shah Alam (, the Montfort Youth Training Centre ( in Sabah and the Montfort Youth Centre ( in Melaka. Those institutions cater to those youths who have dropped out of school, and provide them with vocational skills training and character formation. In Sabah, the Brothers also embarked into Montfort Hostel Programme, namely in Kiulu – San Damiano (Boys) Hostel, and Sandakan – St Mary’s Youth Hostel. Lately, the Brothers had embarked into Twantay, Myanmar to establish a new mission in collaboration with the Archdiocese of Yangon.

To those young men, who wish to know more about the Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel, we will be having our VOCATION AWARENESS WEEKEND at these dates and venues:

Montfort Youth Centre, Melaka – May 29-31, 2015
Montfort Boys Town, Shah Alam, Selangor – June 5-7, 2015
Montfort Youth Training Centre, Kinarut, Sabah – July 31 – Aug 2, 2015


Peninsular Malaysia
Brother Robin Devasagayam sg, +6-012-2822966, [email protected]

Brother Stephen Tee sg, +6-016-6337130, [email protected]

Brother Dominic Yeo-Koh sg, +65-91914607, [email protected]

Total Comments:0