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Anniversary of the death of Brother François Rivat

22/01/2016: General House

Today, January 22nd, we celebrate the anniversary of the death of Br. François Rivat, Champagnat's successor as Superior General from 1839 to 1860. Born in 1808 in La Valla, he died in 1881 at the Hermitage.

Brother François received from Marcellin a Congregation of 280 brothers and 48 schools; he placed in the hands of Brother Louis Marie a Congregation of 2086 brothers and 379 schools. With these numbers, we must consider the new houses of formation that had to be opened, the formators to be prepared, the young brothers to follow, a dense correspondence and formalities for the foundation of each new school and with what prudence he would have to advance. Under Brother François our Congregation covered all of France and overlapped into Belgium and England with the missions in Oceania continuing. He submitted his resignation in 1860 because he had exhausted all his strength in this astonishing growth of the Congregation. He would often end his letters with words of affection such as, “You know well brothers that I have always loved you tenderly!”

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