Hymns of Montfort
Apart from his major works (True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, The Secret of Mary, The Love of Eternal Wisdom, Letter to the Friends of the Cross, and The Secret of the Rosary), for which he is best-known, and several shorter works, St Louis Marie de Montfort is credited with the authorship of a large number of Hymns or Canticles, which take up more than 800 pages in the definitive French edition of his Complete Works – almost half of the total. According to the most authoritative study of them, there are 164 hymns in all, most of which have 30 or more multi-lined verses, giving a total of some 24,000 lines.
The purpose of the Hymns was not simply to provide musical interludes, or even accompaniment of important sections of the Divine Liturgy; but rather they were intended as a teaching vehicle, adapted to the level of education and the understanding of the ordinary townsfolk and country people to whom St Louis Marie preached in his Parish Missions.
To make them more memorable and attractive to the ordinary people, St Louis Marie deliberately set them to catchy and memorable tunes already familiar to his audience – often the dance-tunes popular in his day – a surprisingly modern touch for one who was not exactly in favour of dances and balls!