It is good to explore the depth of spirituality that enlivened Louis Even, founder of the Pilgrims of St. Michael. Without his solid faith in God and an immense love for his neighbour, Louis Even would never have undertaken the work of educating the population in order to free them from the tentacles of financial dictatorship.
Clifford Hugh Douglas, the Scottish engineer who conceived the principles of Social Credit, reasoned logically. He saw the problem — the chronic shortage of purchasing power in the hands of consumers — and developed a solution and remedy. Louis Even similarly had a logical mind and ability to reason. He immediately understood Douglas'formulation and expressed the problem and remedy in simple comprehensible terms.
Louis Even saw the differences between ends and means and understood that money is not an end but only a symbol: a means which allows one to obtain products. Similarly, employment is not an end, but a means to produce goods (and If goods can be made with less human labour, so much the better!).
Louis Even continued to apply logic to the most fundamental questions, such as: "What is the goal and purpose of life?" The answer is obvious for those with faith; it is stated in catechisms from the past:
Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.
Some people would like the journal, MICHAEL, to discuss monetary reform without any mention of religion, and others would prefer that the magazine addressed matters of religion, without reference to monetary reform.
Yet, we all possess both a body and a soul and are on earth only a short time. While on earth we are pilgrims moving toward a spiritual destiny, that is, to live in union with God in Heaven forever. Material goods are indeed an end, but the ultimate end is God. The reason for the existence of all of creation is to glorify God.
Besides, the term "social credit" means that one has confidence that one can live in society; that there can be mutual trust and a social order that permits not only the exchange of goods but also free circulation without fear of being attacked on the street or robbed by one's neighbour. Without respect for the moral order — in other words, without religion — any life in society would be impossible: disorder, revolution, and anarchy would follow.
However, even though our ultimate end is spiritual, we must remember we will be judged based on love of our neighbour and on what we have done for our brothers and sisters on earth:
"Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was hungry, and you did not give Me to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me no drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me not in... Truly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it not to one of these least, you did it not to Me" (Matthew 25: 31-40).
Social Credit, with a monthly Dividend furnished to every citizen, justified by the common inheritance of progress and natural resources, would be an eminently efficacious way to assist one's neighbour, since it would help every person, particularly the poorest amongst our neighbours.
Louis Even not only had a genius for explaining Social Credit, but also had the great heart to make it known to others. In fact, Louis Even was already putting into practice the teachings of the Church on the role of the faithful thirty years before the role was articulated by the Second Vatican Council: to renew the entire temporal order so it was in conformity with the Gospel and the order desired by God.
Louis Even was a great Catholic who came from an exceptional family; he was the 14th of a family of 16 children. Six of his brothers and sisters entered religious communities and he became a Brother of Christian Instruction at the age of 17, taking the name of Brother Amaury Joseph (photo left).
Louis Even arrived in Canada in 1903, when religious were forced out of France by an anticlerical government. He taught in the state of Montana in the U.S.A., then in the Montreal area. In 1920, at the age of 35, he was released from his vows because he had become deaf and could no longer teach. (At that time, the modern hearing aid did not exist.)
God had plans for Louis Even. He was to launch a movement unique in the world, with a mission to overcome financial dictatorship, the Pilgrims of St. Michael. From this mission, Louis Even's teachings are now spread throughout the world, through the magazines, MICHAEL and VERS DEMAIN. Millions of booklets, translated into more than ten different languages and distributed free of charge, also disseminate his teachings.
Louis Even died on September 27, 1974, the Feast of French priest, St. Vincent de Paul, the patron saint of charitable works. His writings are so brilliant that they remain topical more than thirty years after his death. They will always remain relevant since Social Credit principles will forever remain valid and applicable to every economic situation.
This is why we do not hesitate to publish Louis Even's articles and essays in the journal, MICHAEL. Even though written decades ago, one would swear they were written recently because they reflect the present situation so well. This is indeed proof that Social Credit is a truth that transcends every era. In the forty years between 1934 and 1974, Louis Even wrote an extensive and general survey of Social Credit that would require an entire encyclopedia to reproduce!
God created man with material needs, and He also put on earth all that we require to satisfy these needs. If millions of people are without food, clothing or shelter it is certainly not the fault of God! It is the fault of the defective financial system — and of those who control it — that has interfered with a just distribution of the goods God created for the satisfaction of all human beings.
When in 1935 Louis Even discovered what he called the "great light" of Social Credit he immediately recognized that the Dividend was the mechanism to incarnate the Christian principles of social justice in the realm of economics, particularly relevant to each person's right to the use of material goods and the distribution of daily bread to all. He made it his duty to make this known to all people.
Clifford Hugh Douglas once said that Social Credit could be defined by two words: applied Christianity. As has been discussed in previous issues of MICHAEL on Social Credit and papal teachings, a comparative study of Social Credit and the social doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church shows how well Douglas'financial proposals would apply the Church's teachings on social justice.
Louis Even knew the Church's social teachings and never missed an opportunity to comment on them in the light of the Social Credit proposals. We Social Crediters know that money should be an instrument of service, but the bankers, in appropriating control over its creation, have made it an instrument of domination. The most striking commentary on this matter was by Pope Pius XI who wrote in his Encyclical Letter, Quadragesimo Anno, in 1931:
"This power becomes particularly irresistible when exercised by those who, because they hold and control money, are able also to govern credit and determine its allotment, for that reason supplying, so to speak, the lifeblood to the entire economic body, and grasping, as it were, in their hands the very soul of production, so that no one dare breathe against their will."
Saints Louis-Marie de Montfort and Maximilian Kolbe were important to the life and work of Louis Even.
Louis Even, born in Montfort-sur-Meu, France, on March 23, 1885, was christened Louis-Marie in honour of St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, who was also born in Montfort-sur-Meu. In his book, True Devotion to Mary, St. Louis de Montfort, born in 1673, says that Marian devotion, far from removing us from Christ, brings us closer to Him; far from being a detour it is a short cut. Louis Even inherited from his patron saint this devotion to the Virgin Mary, and the consecration to the Mother of God marked his entire life.
Another saint important to Louis Even was Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest, who also had a great devotion to Mary. In 1917, the same year as the Apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima and also the creation of Social Credit by Clifford Hugh Douglas, St. Kolbe founded the Militia of the Immaculata to convert the Freemasons.
St. Maximilian founded a monthly review, The Knight of the Immaculata, which was published until September, 1939 when Hitler's armies invaded Poland. The same month, the first issue of VERS DEMAIN (the French-language version of the English language magazine, MICHAEL) was published in Canada, as though to take over the battle for the triumph of the Immaculata from Kolbe's periodical. Louis Even's motto was "To build the Kingdom of the Immaculate".
Father Kolbe, who died a martyr in 1941 in the concentration camp of Oswiecim, Poland had founded Niepokalanow, the "City of the Immaculata", where over 600 brothers worked to disseminate various publications intended to make Our Lady known and loved. Father Kolbe strived to instill a belief in the importance of soliciting subscriptions to these publications, and increased the paper's circulation to over one million copies, when the City of the Immaculata was forced to close in 1939.
In December, 1964, at the age of 79, Louis Even became seriously ill but recovered against all expectations. He said:
"I have obtained a reprieve. I have loved the Blessed Virgin much in my life, but perhaps I have not made her loved enough."
Since the beginning, every meeting of the movement began with the recitation of the Rosary. But during the last ten years of his life, from 1964 to 1974, Louis Even did even more: besides continuing to write on Social Credit, he wrote articles on the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin throughout the world, sharing the Virgin Mother's insistence on the urgency for all her children to repent and return to God through the recitation of the Rosary.
In 1968, Mr. Even and the directors of MICHAEL travelled to San Damiano, Italy, to meet visionary, Rosa Quattrini, to whom the Virgin Mother had appeared since 1964. Our Lady delivered the following message to the directors.
"Apostles of right thinking, pray a lot to Saint Michael to defend you with his sword. Make me known and loved by everyone through the recitation of the Rosary."
It was after receiving this message that the Pilgrims of St. Michael added the Rosary Crusade to their apostolate work, which consisted of reciting the Rosary with families they visited when spreading the Social Credit message.
Louis Even left a tremendous spiritual inheritance to the Pilgrims of St. Michael, the "apostles of right thinking" and "pilgrim-warriors". Let us become worthy of this legacy by soliciting subscriptions to our publication, MICHAEL, in order to make known the exceptional Social Credit message.