What is the Fraternity of Montligeon ?

19 January 2021

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The Fraternity is at the core of the Work of Montligeon.  It brings together all the people recommended to the prayer of the shrine. Moreover, it represents an apostolate for all engaged in the Montligeon Prayer Groups. Landmarks by Rev. Fr. Martin Vivies, chaplain at the shrine of Montligeon, interview by Guillaume Desanges for RCF-Orne.

Once a year the doors of the obituary is unlocked and opened. The cabinet located in the basilica shelters 135 registers listing names of people who have been recommended to the Fraternity ever since the creation of the charitable work in 1884.

At the end of last November, the chaplains came in procession and placed in it the 136th register. It gathered all the names of people enrolled during the year.

Every day at the shrine the perpetual Mass is celebrated for them and for the intention of the fifteen to twenty billion people enrolled.  

15 to 20 billion people, living or deceased, are enrolled in the Fraternity of Montligeon

The Fraternity gathers together the enrolees but furthermore its associate members, who are the people committed to an apostolate of prayer for the deceased.

Full interview with the Rev. Fr. Martin Vivies and Guillaume Desanges

This apostolate is one of the seven works of mercy which Pope Francis brought back to light in 2005, which is to “bury the dead”.  This apostolate is one of the seven works of mercy which Pope Francis brought back to light in 2005, which is to “bury the dead”.  Alike all works of mercy, it embraces both a tangible element and a spiritual part: here, it is the prayer for the deceased.

The deceased do not merely need the offering of one Mass, but that their fate should become a concern in one’s Christian life; that one should have the desire to make reparation for them, and to diffuse their need of prayer known.

Actually, it means joining a prayer group which meets on a regular basis to pray the Rosary and meditate together some doctrinal topic. Furthermore, it entails to accomplish some charitable endeavor in the parish, under the approval of its priest.

Nowadays, the Fraternity of Montligeon prayer groups account to over 1250 in 180 countries.  

The Fraternity, a valued inkling of Father Buguet 

The tradition of having several Masses in a row celebrated for the dead was upheld by Gregory the Great, in the sixth century. Subsequently to the death of a monk, he learned that several coins of gold had been found in the monk’s cell. It was all but according to the vow of poverty that had undertaken the monk!

Jesus appeared to Pope Gregory who had just finished celebrating the thirtieth Mass for the repose of the monk’s soul. The Lord pledged that any soul for whom thirty Masses would be offered in a row would be immediately delivered from purgatory.  

Much later, Fr. Buguet, the founder of the Work of Montligeon, was most impressed by the proficiency of the apostolate developed by the various fraternities in which he was himself enrolled and where he formed deep friendships.

Overwhelmed by the tragic accidental death of his sole brother and of his nieces in the aftermath of their father’s death, he got into the habit of celebrating on Mondays a Mass for the most neglected soul in purgatory. In 1884, the parish priest of Montligeon, Fr. Buguet, naturally created a new “association for the deliverance of the most forsaken souls in purgatory“.  Hence he opens the celebration of a perpetual Mass for all the people recommended to the charitable Work.   

Endorsed by the Bishop, the pious union was established in 1893 by Pope Leo XIII as    “Arch-Confraternity” of pontifical right upholding relevant indulgences.

To enroll someone, living or deceased, in the Fraternity is easy: either write the name of the person you wish to enrol, together with the suggested offering, and send them by postal mail to the shrine, or use our fully secured enrollment form on our website, and follow the straightforward indications.

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