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Marist Bulletin - Number 128

 

THE MARIST CALENDAR FOR MARCH
27/02/2004

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THE MARIST CALENDAR FOR MARCH

In this Marist Bulletin we are publishing the Marist Calendar for March, which appears each day on our web site www.champagnat.org

1 1858: Pope Pius IX gave an audience to Brothers. François and Louis-Marie – 1943: Brother Alfano died in Ventimiglia, Italy – 1954: Marist work began in Angola – International Day for abolishing capital punishment – 1st Monday of the month: devoted to prayer for deceased Marists
2 World Day of Prayer – This month’s calendar will feature quotes from the Plan of Life used by the Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family
3 1911: first Marist brothers departed for Sri Lanka
4 “People closely associated with the Marist Brothers around the world asked the Brothers to help them make their personal, daily commitment more profound and concrete.” (I, 1)
5 Friday in Lent - “St. Marcellin’s spirituality can be a source of grace and guidance for lay persons whose mission is to help build the Kingdom of God among the people with whom they happen to live and work.” (II, 7)
6 Saturday, dedicated to praying for the Marist Family - “Marcellin was a man with a powerful sense of God’s love for him, of being personally loved by Jesus and Mary. He was also very open to people and their needs.” (I, 2)
7 2nd Sunday in Lent – 1851: Brother Antoine, 4th member of the Institute, died in Ampuis, France – 1926: Br. Stratonique, 5th Superior General, died in Grugliasco, Italy
8 United Nations Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace – International Day of Working Women – 1891: first Marist brothers departed for China
9 “Every time I see a child, I long to teach him his catechism, and help him know how much Jesus loves him.” (I, 2)
10 “The Champagnat Movement is ‘an extension of the Marist Brothers’ Institute. It is a movement for people attracted to the spirituality of Father Marcellin Champagnat.’” (I, 4; Constitutions, Article 164.4)
11 1836: The Vatican recognized the Marist Fathers as an international order – 1981: 1st Marist foundation in Algeria
12 1808: Br. François (Gabriel Rivat), 1st Superior General, was born in Maisonette, France - Friday in Lent
13 Saturday, dedicated to praying for the Marist Family - “The Movement is open to any individual Christian who feels called to commit himself or herself to a closer following of Jesus, according to the spirituality of St. Marcellin.” (I,6)
14 3rd Sunday in Lent – “Like Marcellin Champagnat’s own lifelong spirituality, the Movement’s spirituality is rooted in God’s love for all men and women.” (II, 7)
15 World Day of Consumer Rights
16 “Our spirituality is also Marial as well as apostolic.” (II, 7)
17 St. Patrick’s Day - 1984: Br. Charles Raphael, 8th Superior General, died in Sant-Guilbert, Belgium - World day of the sea
18 International Day for overcoming social discrimination – “All to Jesus through Mary; all to Mary for Jesus.” (II, 7)
19 St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church – Day to pray for fathers and seminarians - Friday in Lent
20 Saturday, dedicated to praying for the Marist Family - 1924: The remains of Br. François, 1st Superior General, were disinterred
21 4th Sunday in Lent – Arbor Day – World Day of Forests - Poetry Day – International Day for banning all forms of racial discrimination
22 World Day of Water – 1988: The remains of Brother Alfano were transferred to San Leone Magno Institute in Rome.
23 World Day of Meteorology – “Time is neither gained nor wasted; it’s lived.” Aranguren
24 World Day for overcoming Tuberculosis – 1980: San Salvador’s Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated
25 Feast of the Annunciation – “Following Marcellin’s way, members recognize Mary as the perfect disciple of Christ, the woman of faith.” (II, 8)
26 Friday in Lent - World Day of the Theater – “From Mary also, members learn simplicity of heart in their relations with God.” (II, 9)
27 Saturday, dedicated to praying for the Marist Family - Brother John Baptist, the first biographer of St. Marcellin, entered the novitiate with seven other postulants.
28 5th Sunday in Lent - “Members of the Groups strive to do good quietly, and always rely on the constant help of her whom St. Marcellin called ‘our Ordinary Resource.’” (II, 9)
29 1825: Br. Jean-Pierre died, the 1st brother to die in the Institute – 1954: Marist brothers began work in Zambia – Saturday, dedicated to praying for the Marist Family
30 “It is important, for the ongoing vitality of the spiritual life and mission of the Group, that members be nourished by regularly sharing the Word of God together.” (II, 11)
31 1842: The Brothers of St-Paul-Trois-Chateau became part of the Marist Brothers Institute - “Father Champagnat saw simplicity, humility, and modesty as the three characteristic ways for his followers to be like Mary.” (II, 9)


BROTHER FRANÇOIS’ YEAR (IX)
6 june 2003 – 6 june 2004


HIS STRENGTH

Strength helps one to live his Christian life with energy. It is a sign of our love for God and neighbour to practise integrity, constancy and patience. Besides, this strength is made of serenity, self-control, obedience to God’s will while the one who possesses this virtue keeps a human kindness that allows him to live in communion with those who suffer.

«I once saw the chaplain ask him during recreation time whether he was not tired. Brother François replied, ‘Oh, one never gets tired to work for God.’ I know that when Brother François retired from duty, he promised that he would still do all he could for his Institute. He kept following the rule in spite of his infirmities. That’s another proof of his energy. When his physical strength declined, his moral courage led him to continue doing some work.
Where his mental strength showed most was his constant energy to practise the rule and to lead the brothers to imitate him on that score. Never did I see him discouraged; always energetic he knew how to cheer up the others. What is amazing is that with his weak health he managed to get through so much work! Although suffering and sick, we never heard him complain and he seldom took any medicine. He patiently endured his sufferings and resigned himself to God’s will.»

The Hermitage’s Chaplain testified, «He was so patient during his sickness; he never proffered any complaint. He said, ‘I suffer what God wants.’ He apologised for the work he gave others, ‘I am giving you a lot of trouble.’»
A novice wrote, «I still see this kind old man, calm and happy, always smiling, with his soft but persuasive language. Indeed everyone could see that his conscience was at ease although he was suffering a lot. A part of his body was paralysed and he was still wearing his horrible belt! But all this did not alter his soul’s serenity. Between us, the novices, we used to say, ‘Brother François is a saint.’
Although he was in great pains, he never complained but he felt a great compassion for those who suffered; it was as if he had felt the others’ sufferings.
Another brother saw him this way, «The servant of God never lacked Christian strength nor patience in his various trials, diseases, difficulties and tribulations. By his exterior composure, he gave us all the impression of being in perfect possession of himself. Full of stamina but always dignified. I think Brother François was always energetic, for example, when Father Champagnat passed away everybody felt discouraged whereas Brother François felt revitalised by the Founder’s exemplary life.»

Brother François had to make efforts to acquire this strength. «Brother François restrained himself to be calm. His nervous temperament made him prone to become excited, to make some harsh reprimands when he witnessed any breach of the rules. But he soon controlled himself. He managed to remain unmoved when confronted with annoyances in spite of his sensitive nature. He reprimanded when he had to but softly without ever pouncing on people.»
(Source: Positio super virtutibus: Information, pp. 74-78)

Brother François’ Thought

When it is time for recreation we have to recreate ourselves indeed;
I wish to emphasise this with you,
This is more important than we sometimes imagine it.
And, it was not without reason
that sufficient recreation was inserted among the ways of perfection.
Then, always endeavour that the recreation times
Are always pleasant moments for your brothers.

Do not work as slaves for your pupils!
You do need your recreations.
It is better that your pupils learn less
To love you more
than to hear them complain
that the brothers treat them harshly
and make them work hard.
(Fr. François: 60 ans d’histoire mariste, p. 222)


The blood from Mary’s heart
enlivens Jesus’ heart.
Jesus’ heart,
through its grace
sanctifies Mary’s heart.
(Fr. François: 60 ans d’histoire mariste, p. 341)

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