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Marist Bulletin - Number 80


The marist calendar for July and Br. François year

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

1994: Brs. C. Mannion, C. Nyilinkindi, E. Rwesa, F. Bisengimana, G. Gatali and J. Rushgajiki were murdered in Rwanda – 1899: the first brothers left for Mexico – World Day of Architecture

From 6 June 2003 until6 June 2004 there will be a years dedicated to Ven. Brother Francois, first Superior General, whose causeof canonization has been introduced in Rome.

1951: Start of the beatification process for Br. Alfano – who died in Italy in 1943

1903: The General Administration moved from France to Italy – 1968: Decree on the Heroic Practice of Virtue by Br. François

International Day of Cooperatives – Marist Saturday: day specially dedicated to praying for the Marist Family

“Our 20th Marist General Chapter invited us all to join in a revolution of the heart” (Bro. Seán, Message 32)

First Monday in July: remembrance of deceased Marists. – “The important thing is to do everything we possible can to have a significant impact in educating the new generation”. (Bro. Luis G. Sobrado, Message 32)

“Jesus Christ is at the center of everything we do. Without Him our Marist Institute wouldd be just a multinational education service or an NGO with extensive influence” (Bro. Lluis Serra, Message 32)

“Our apostolic action indicates the special mark of our identity. It consistes in seeing the world as Mary did, with a renewed vision, through the eyes of Jesus.” (Br Théoneste Kalisa. Message 32)

“To live out one’s consecration with passion and enthusiasm is not just a naïve and romantic illusion. It is much more an arduous struggle lived in the humble realization of our weakness and the mercy of God”(Bro. Antonio Ramalho, Message 32)

St. Benedict, Abbot – 1920: Decree on the Heroic Practice of Virtue by Marcellin Champagnat – World Population Day

Marist Saturday: day especially dedicated to praying for the Marist Family

15 Sunday in Ordinary Time – “We do not allow our schools and ministries to remain fixed in the routines and curricula of last year, of last decade” (Bro. Peter Rodney, Message 32)

“Lay Marists will be derive the character of their own identity, from the roots of the Marian and apostolic spirituality that Marcellin Champagnat bequeathed to us” (Bro. Pedro Herreros, Message 32)

“Marcellin Chmpagnat was not exactly a person who gave great speeches, but someone who, fired by the love of God, was capable, in His name, of great boldness” (Bro. Emili Turú, Message 32)

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel – Day of Seafarers – 1755; Birth of Jean Baptiste Champagnat, father of Marcellin.

To love one’s brother requires courage sometimes to help him grow in his vocation. That also is pastoral governance” (Bro. Maurice Berquet, Message 32)

1860: Br. François submits his resignation to the General Chapter – “What does it mean to choose life in the way that we pray?” (Bro. Ronnie McEwan, Message 32)

Marist Saturday: day especially dedicated to praying for the Marist Family – “The vitality of the Institute will be enriched accordin to the drive with which each of us takes up these choices of the 20th General Chapter” (Bro. Libardo Garzón, Message 32)

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – “All Brothers are responsible for implementing the decisions of the Chapter” (Br Michael Hill, Message 32)

1951: The first brothers left for Japan. “The exercise of personal discernment will generate confidence in God, freedom of spirit, simplicity, and the determination to be filled with passion for Jesus Christ” (Bro. Joaquim Clotet, Message 32)

1816: Marcellin Champagnat was ordained a priest in Lyons – “The process calls for accompanimente; allows for stops and starts along the way, even backing up; heals wounds, creates opportunities” (Bro. José Luis Ampudia, Message 32)

1816: Marcellin and his companions consecrated themselves to Our Lady of Fourvière – 1st brothers left for the Congo (1911) and the Solomon Is. (1938)

1816 in Fourvière, at the feet of the Virgin, Marcellin received the inspiration to found the Marist Brothers. A plaque there commemorates this event.

St. James, Apostle – “We have been graced with a charism calling us to be present with the young” (Bro. Robert Clark, Message 32).

Sts. Joachim and Ann, Mary’s parents – Marist Saturday: especially dedicated to praying for the Marist Family - Day of Grandparents

1909: Br. Lycarion was murdered in Barcelona – 1958 the first Marist foundation in the Republic of Central Africa

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time – “We need to be with young people to be fully sensitive to life” (Br Raul Figuera. Message 32)

“The Community of the Brothers is indispensable for the young man. He comes to see how the Brothers live” (Bro. Lawrence Ndawala, Message 32)

“It’s a risk based on the Gospel, in the sense that it introduces insecurity and demands faith in Him who risked everything on our behalf” (Bro. Bernard Beaudin, Message 32)

1964: First Marist apostolate begun in Puerto Rico – “We can achieve this with the mind and heart of Mary who enlivened Champagnat’s vision” (Bro. Ted Fernández, Message 32)

6 june 2003 – 6 june 2004


Brother François received the title of Venerable on 4 July 1968.
This title indicates two things:

a) A long presentation of evidence work that was recognised by the Congregation for the Saints in Rome.
- This work started on 10 May 1912 at Lyon and this diocesan phase closed in 1938 with the publication of four thick volumes of testimonies.
- The Roman phase began in 1938 and was concluded on 4 July 1968 with a production of twelve volumes – two thirds of them being the ‘Positio’ on the heroicity of the virtues.

b) The title ‘Venerable’ recognises that Brother François practised the
Christian virtues in a heroic manner. Hence, he became for all Christians a model in their efforts to give themselves to God and to men. He became a path of life. This title should be very dear to us, Marist Brothers : François is one of us; he lived our charism, our mission and our spirituality. He loved our family and dedicated his whole life for the Brothers. He is related to us by his whole life, by all his love and his complete labour. In the Marist life, he is a trail blazer – in heaven, he is our intercessor.

Brother François’ thirteen notebooks of writings were published into eight volumes.
During the first retreat he attended under Father Champagnat in 1819, he wrote,

«I will remember to live in the presence of God
while praying or teaching, while walking,
recreating myself, during my meals; etc.
I will try and do all this with holy modesty
for God’s glory, Mary’s honour
and for the good of Christianity.»

François was only 11 years old and yet he had been with Father Champagnat at the Hermitage for one year already. Marcellin’s influence on him was manifest. Very possibly, François put all his efforts to imitate him. There was a soul in its first steps on the road to the Marist holiness, this road on which we walk today.

Here are a few testimonies from people who knew Brother François and who were called to witness at Lyon’s diocesan tribunal from 1910 to 1912. There were ninety-five witnesses. These testimonies were found in the book on the heroicity of Brother François’ virtues, ‘La Positio super Virtutibus’. We will offer a page on each of the following: his faith, his hope and his charity. These readings will allow us a look at Brother François’ heart, a direct contact with his holiness that will warm ours up. We will meet a saint.

Faith (The Positio consecrated twenty pages of testimonies on Brother François’ faith.)
«To me, he always seemed to be penetrated by God’s presence.» (Witness 70)
«Brother François was constantly in God.» (W. 68)
«He loved solitude and silence because of the need his soul had to talk with God.» (W. 16)
«He possessed a great spirit of faith and saw God’s hands in everything. He often said, ‘All that happens to us is wanted and allowed by God’.»(V.P.O.)
«I remember his remaining motionless in the chapel, full of God’s presence, edifying.» (W. 32)
The recollected posture of this servant of God revealed a lot of piety.» (W. 33)
«His living faith manifested itself during the common prayers! When he recited the prayers with the community, it was always in an extraordinary way.» (W. 43)
«How beautiful it was to see him pray, preside prayer or meditation! His attitude, standing or kneeling inspired us to pray well: everything in him was praying! His posture, during mass was in itself a prayer.» (W. 17)
«Brother François made his meditation among us and in the same way: kneeling on the floor. I knelt next to him many times: he seemed penetrated with God’s love.» (W. 32)
«His bearing was so edifying that I said to myself, ‘He speaks to the Lord, he minds God only, we must avoid disturbing him.’ Prayer seemed to be his element and to be so natural to him. Thus, his circulars often spoke of prayer, a proof that this action made his joy. We always saw him in a deep recollection.» (W. 7)
«It was easy to recognise in him a man or prayer, a man of God, a saint. We called him the Grand Father or Moses who kept raising his hands towards the Lord.» (W. 32)
«He traced the sign of the cross perfectly and he insisted that we did the same; he corrected those who were careless and showed them how to do the sign in a wide gesture, with faith, reminding them that it was a prayer to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.» (W. 1)
«He displayed his faith in a singular way towards the Eucharist.» (W. 5)
«We must enter our chapels and churches with the utmost respect, worship the Holy Sacrament with very strong feelings of faith in the real presence of Jesus Christ. Accordingly, we will make a deep genuflection, we will walk with dignity, with our eyes modestly cast down. In this way, we will show our deep faith in the presence of the Incarnate Word by our whole external behaviour.» (W. 8)
«His marial devotion was remarkable. That was one of the outstanding characteristics of his holiness. I never saw any Christian, priest, or religious bring to such a high degree this trust, this filial love for the ‘Good Mother’, his regular expression.» (W. 26)

François, you lived your gift to God and to your brothers and sisters in an exemplary way; we beg you to help us on this same gift and love journey, so that Jesus may become the centre of our lives and may be recognised as the Lord by those who daily meet us.

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