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Frescoes in the chapel of the Marist Brothers of Château-Richer

10/03/2005: Canada

To highlight the canonisation of Saint Marcellin Champagnat on the 18th April 1999 in a tangible and visible way, the Marist Brothers of Quebec decided to entrust to Father Sylvain Lalande, iconographer, the painting of two large frescoes in the choir of the chapel of Château-Richer near Quebec. Father Lalande took four months to realise these two Byzantine-style frescoes.
The fresco on the left side of the choir of the chapel represents Saint Marcellin Champagnat. His witness is grounded in the immoveable rock that is his faith in Jesus Christ, the rock on which he stands. There is the Lord whom he had sought to know, to love and to serve in children, in young people, through religious education. There are the children – such as were sent, as angels of God – who bring him closer to the Spirit of Jesus. They are holding violets in the hands, symbolising the three Marist virtues of simplicity, modesty and humility.
The fresco on the right reproduces the spiritual ascension on a base of crystalline mountain representing the ladder to heaven. Here is found a group of holy people from the spiritual family of the Marist Brothers: above the group is Venerable Brother François, encouraging the fervour of all by the reminder written on parchment: All to Jesus through Mary; all to Mary for Jesus.
Throughout this group of Marist Brothers that includes hidden faces at the back in memory of all those who have contributed, hidden and unknown, to the expansion, blossoming and livelihood of the Institute, we can see emerging faces that are more well known: Father Colin and some Marist martyrs surrounding Brother Benito Arbués who was the Superior General at the time of the canonisation.

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