Our Lady of the Way: an interdisciplinary conference, August 2016

Conference PosterThe Chavagnes Great Books Weeks began in August 2009, launched by Professor Anthony O’Hear of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. Their essential premise is that a knowledge and appreciation for the literature and ideas of past centuries will help modern man to a stronger sense of himself, his identity and his place in the cosmos.

This year our conference has a much more theological theme, because we are taking as our starting point the 300th anniversary of the death of St Louis Grignon de Montfort who was an extremely active popular preacher (name ‘Missionary Apostolic’ by Pope Clement XI) in our part of France until his death at the age of 43 in 1716. St Louis de Montfort’s missions had an enormous impact on the ordinary laity of his day, especially in the Vendée region which at the end end of the 18th century mounted a counter-revolution to defend Altar and Throne. Montfort’s teachings on the Virgin Mary have since had an impact on a great many spiritual writers and leaders, including Pope Leo XIII, Pope Pius X, Pope Pius XII and Pope John Paul II.

Our conference this year is not a conference just about Montfort, but we will be placing it under his patronage and that of the Virgin Mary, as Ὁδηγήτρια (‘Hodegetria ‘) : Our Lady of the Way. This ancient devotion is to Mary, who points us to her son; for in St Louis de Montfort’s words: “We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”

Here are the details, so far. More information will be forthcoming soon:

Ὁδηγήτρια : Our Lady of the Way

The Virgin Mary in liturgy, literature and life

2nd, 3rd and 4th August 2016,
Chavagnes International College, Chavagnes en Paillers, France.

A conference on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the death of
St Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort

“When will souls breathe Mary, as much as bodies breathe air?” (St Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort)

Speakers include:

Professor David W. Fagerberg

Mary, the Church and the World

Ferdi McDermott

Mary in 19th century English literature

Father Mark Lawler

G.K. Chesterton on Mary and the Church

Further speakers to be confirmed shortly.