The Pioneers of the Marist Project Chavoin 1786 Colin 1790 Champagnat 1789 Perroton 1796
A COMMON ORIGIN The Marist Project Has its origins in France, at the Marian shrines of Le Puy and Lyon
LE PUY- THE BEGINNING The Origins of the Marist Project can be traced back to the Marian shrine at Le Puy and a man know as COURVEILLE
Le Puy is an unusual place with many shrines and Churches built on top of ancient volcanic plugs
LE PUY-MARIAN SHRINE Le Puy was a major shrine of Mary and has been a Pilgrimage destination for over 1000 years. Thousands of visitors still come to Le Puy each year to visit the Marian shrine.
JEAN-CLAUDE COURVEILLE Born: just before the French Revolution Contracted the Smallpox disease which affected his vision His vision was getting worse- he was becoming blind He wanted to become a priest but his bad eyesight was a problem
At MARY’S SHRINE Aged 22, Courveille was inspired to make a pilgrimage to Our Lady of Le Puy to ask a cure for his near-blindness
THE SANCTUARY LAMPS He took some oil from a lamp which burns before the statue of Mary and rubbed it on his eyes
INSTANT CURE His prayer was answered. As soon as he wiped the oil from his eyes he could see things very distinctly in the Cathedral.
GRATEFUL COURVEILLE In the same Church, before the same miraculous statue, he promised Mary he would devote himself entirely to her, and to do whatever she wanted.
REVELATION OF LE PUY August 15 th, Feast of the Assumption of Mary, Courveille returned to Mary’s shrine. There he ‘heard’ the “Revelation of Le Puy”, calling him to found a Religious Society in honor of Mary.
MARY’S REQUEST This is what I desire…a Society consecrated to me, which will bear my name, being called the Society of Mary. It’s members will be known as Marists..
STUDY FOR THE PRIESTHOOD November 1 st (All Saints Day), Courveille joined the philosophy class at the Le Puy Seminary He later transferred to the Lyon Seminary in 1814
THE CITY OF LYON The Modern City Today The old streets are still an important part of life in the city of Lyon today
LYON- THE ROMAN CITY From 43BC Lyon (then Lugdunum) was the capital of Gaul- an important Roman city
LYON- CITY OF CHRISTIAN MARTYRDOM Saint Pothin was the first Bishop of Lyon. He established the city’s first shrine to Mary, and the first Christian Church, in 175AD Pothin was martyred in 177AD along with 18,000 Christians
LYON-CITY OF TWO RIVERS The turbulent Rhone, from Geneva The placid Saone from the East of France Lyon stands on one of the natural crossroads of the continent
LYON- FOURVIERE Fourviere is the hill which overlooks the whole city of Lyon The Chapel of Our Lady was restored in 1751 The Basilica was built in 1896
LYON- SHRINE OF MARY a shrine to ‘Our Lady of Good Counsel’ was erected on the site of the old ‘Roman Forum’ This became a place of ‘pilgrimage’ to ask Mary for special favours
SHRINE OF MARY The original shrine was destroyed in 1562 but was rebuilt as the church of the Assumption. This shrine of Mary became famous during the plague of 1628 It was restored in 1751
LYON-SEMINARY November 1 st, All Saints Day, Courveille entered the seminary of St. Irenaeus. The old streets of Lyon remain but the seminary has gone.
FIRST RECRUIT At the seminary, below the hill of Fourviere, Courveille first spoke of his plan to Etienne Declas, a fellow seminarian. “I have a plan…to go to the poor people in country parishes who have greater need than those in the big towns or cities”.
THE PROJECT TAKES SHAPE Declas approved of Courveille’s idea which was based on the work of St Francis Regis. It was not until later that year, that Courveille mentioned the idea of a new Order devoted to Mary.
DEVOTED TO MARY Courveille and Declas looked for other suitable seminarians to join this new order in the Church devoted to Mary.
SECRET MEETINGS During 1815 and the first part of 1816 the number of seminarians interested in the Marist Project grew to 15. “Wherever Jesus has an altar, Mary also has hers at the side. Jesus has his society (Jesuits) so Mary should have hers”.
FORMULATING PLANS Under the leadership of Courveille, the group met frequently to encourage each other and formulate plans for the future Society of Mary. “Our model will be that of the early Church- with the disciples gathered around Mary”.
THE SOCIETY OF MARY Within sight of Mary’s shrine on the hill of Fourviere, the pioneer Marists prepared for their day of Ordination and continued to talk about plans for the new society of Mary.
THE PIONEER MARISTS The seminarians who became key people: Jean-Claude Colin, founder of the Marist Fathers and Marist Sisters Marcellin Champagnat, founder of the Marist Brothers and Marist Fathers Terraillon assisted Champagnat at L’Hermitage, and Declas joined the first community of priests at Cerdon.
“WE NEED BROTHERS” Marcellin Champagnat convinced the group that another branch was needed- that of teaching Brothers for children in rural areas. The Society of Mary was to be like a tree consisting of 3 branches- Priests, Sisters and Lay people.
ORDINATION July 22 nd, 1816 The Church was that of St. Jean, which was close to the seminary 8 members of the Society of Mary group were ordained
“FOURVIERE” DAY July 23 rd, the day after their ordination, 8 new priests and 4 seminarians climbed the 800 steps from the church of St Jean to the Marian shrine on Fourviere.
THE FOURVIERE MASS At the shrine of Mary on the hill of Fourviere, the 12 new Apostles of Mary attended Mass. Courveille presided and gave Communion to the other members
THE FOURVIERE PLEDGE At the conclusion of Mass, and before the image of the ‘Black Virgin’, the pioneer Marists made their special pledge to God and Mary.
“WE THE UNDERSIGNED…. Striving to work together for the greater glory of God and the honor of Mary, Mother of the Lord Jesus, assert and declare our sincere intention and firm will, of consecrating ourselves at the first opportunity to founding the pious congregation of Marists..
THE DISPERSAL They promised to work at beginning a new Order for Mary-but only 3 did, and they were in different parts of the Diocese Courveille Champagnat Colin Cerdon
LAVALLA Champagnat arrived at his first parish on August 13 th. It was a rural parish in the foothills of Mt. Pilat, with a population of around 2000
CHAMPAGNAT at LAVALLA After an incident with a dying boy, Champagnat decided to act. He made an appointment with a young man from the parish to meet at the local bridge Here Champagnat outlined his vision for teaching brothers.
FIRST ‘MARIST’ HOUSE Fr. Courveille paid half of the cost of the house to help get the Marist Project under way. Champagnat decided to buy a small house near the presbytery, then spent two months renovating it.
THE MARIST BROTHERS Jan 2 nd, 1817, less than six months after ordination, Champagnat had the first two recruits move into a house near the presbytery. They made nails to earn some money, while Champagnat taught them to read and write
LAVALLA PRESBYTERY Champagnat initially lived in the Priest’s house, but later moved to the poorer house to join the growing number of Brothers. Champagnat was at Lavalla for eight years where he attended to both his priestly duties and the formation of his Brothers
FIRST ‘MARIST’ SCHOOL Within two years of arriving at Lavalla, Champagnat had his first recruit in charge of a school in the Brother’s house. First School, 1818The School today
COURVEILLE RETURNS With Courveille’s help, Champagnat purchased land and began building a five storey house for the growing number of Brothers The foundations In 1824 the Bishop sent Courveille to help Champagnat at Lavalla
AMAZING GROWTH L’Hermitage today While Champagnat was busy building the Hermitage, Courveille was in charge of the Brothers formation at Lavalla
16 YEARS LATER… Champagnat died on June 6 th 1840 leaving 280 Marist Brothers in 48 schools throughout France and the Missions In Oct. 1839, Br. Francois Rivat was elected to take over the Brother’s leadership
JEAN-CLAUDE COLIN Following Ordination in 1816, Jean- Claude Colin was sent to the small village of Cerdon
THE COLIN BROTHERS Jean-Claude lived with his brother Pierre who was parish Priest of Cerdon Cerdon- priests house today and as it was in 1816
COLIN THE LEADER During the next 20 years, Jean- Claude Colin was to become the leader of the Marist Priests and instrumental in founding the Marist Sisters Colin shared his vision of the ‘Marist Project’ with his brother Pierre.
COUTOUVRE Pierre was enthused by the ‘Marist Project’ and informed his brother of two young women from his previous parish- Coutouvre The two young women he mentioned were: Jeanne-Marie Chavoin Marie Jotillon
JEANNE-MARIE CHAVOIN Born at Coutouvre in 1786 She had a deeply religious disposition which was developed through: Assisting the parish priest Being an active member of the parish Association of Divine Love Making retreats at a Lyon convent Looking for a new way to serve God
CHAVOIN AT CERDON At the invitation of Colin, Chavoin came for a meeting at the Cerdon Presbytery Jeanne-Marie was instantly impressed with Colin’s vision of the ‘Marist Project’ and hurried home to share her news with her friend.
MARIST PROJECT GROWS Towards the end of 1817 both women came to live at Cerdon. Two years later Jeanne-Marie lived and worked in the presbytery with the Colin brothers to develop plans for the ‘Marist Project’ Cerdon Church
SLOW PROGRESS Church approval for the Marist Project was very slow. In 1820 Chavoin traveled to LePuy to seek approval for the Marists to be located there, but had no success. Bishops did not want a new Religious Group with an independent organisation.
DAUGHTERS OF MARY Finally, Bishop Devie gave permission, and on Sept. 8 th 1823, the first community of ‘Marist’ sisters came together. On Dec. 8 th 1824, in the Church at Cerdon, the first ‘Clothing Ceremony’ took place- the first ceremony of the ‘Society of Mary’.
MOVE TO BELLEY Bishop Devie invited the three ‘Marist’ priests to Belley so they could conduct missions in the mountain hamlets. The Colin brothers arrived in June Five days later (June 29 th ) the Sisters arrived-15 in all- (10 Novices and 5 Postulants)
MARIST SISTERS When Jeanne-Marie and the other sisters arrived at ‘Bon Repos’, they found a small house, a barn and a disused field Jeanne-Marie lost no time in adding an extra storey to the house and in transforming the barn into a chapel.
SISTERS FIRST VOWS It was here on Sept 6 th 1826 that the Sisters made their first vows to Bishop Devie Sister’s Chapel Jeanne-Marie Chavoin
‘BON REPOS’ TODAY The ‘Mother house’ still has a community of sisters who look after a retirement home for women
CONFLICT OF VIEWS Relations between Colin and Chavoin became strained between 1839 and 1852 Colin wanted the sisters to lead an enclosed ‘monastic’ life which included singing the Office in choir. Chavoin wanted them to be free to respond to the needs of people The ‘Choir Stalls’ can be seen to the right of photo
CHAVOIN’S RESIGNATION Chavoin resigned and went to live with the community at Meximieux. Here, her inactivity and isolation were a great suffering. Colin resigned in 1854 and his successor, Fr Favre and the Superior General of the Sisters, invited Chavoin to open a new house in the small village of Jarnosse. Better things were ahead.
MIRACLE AT JARNOSSE At Jarnosse the community was able to live the kind of Marist life that Jean-Marie had always intended for the sisters. They were known and loved by the local people. They taught in the local school, performed parish work and helped adults in need.
CHAVOIN’S DEATH Jean-Marie died at Jarnosse in June 1858 at the age of 72. Her last years were spent supervising the construction of the convent, borrowing money to pay bills and seeing her dream for the sisters come true Jean-Marie’s body was moved to the chapel at Bon Repos in 1962 where it resides, out of sight, behind the choir stall.
THE MARIST FATHERS Events moved more slowly in the establishment of the Marist Fathers: A letter to Rome in 1819 failed to elicit a reply from the Church authorities. The request to move to the Diocese of LePuy in 1820 was not successful. Authorities were opposed to a community of Marist priests in the diocese of Lyon.
SEEKING APPROVAL Fr. Declas asked permission to go to Rome to present their cause, but this was refused. Courveille drafted a letter to be sent to the Pope- but it was considered unsuitable. The Colin brothers composed another letter for Rome, which Courveille signed. This letter received a response- the first positive sign from the authorities (1822)
COLIN OFF TO PARIS Jean-Claude Colin was chosen to represent the Marists and to present their cause in Paris. He presented the Rule he had been working on for the previous five years. He had to make a second visit in 1823 with a revised Rule.
1823: ANOTHER SETBACK In 1823 Rome changed the diocesan boundaries in France, affecting Lyon. As a result, the Marist priests at Cerdon were in a different diocese to those at Lavalla. They could no longer meet together. The authorities in Paris gave Colin’s Marist dossier to the new Bishop of Belley- at first a problem….later a blessing.
1824: A BEGINNING May: the archbishop’s council in Lyon decided to transfer Courveille to Lavalla to help Champagnat. October: Fr. Declas was allowed to leave his parish to join the Colin brothers at Cerdon. This was the first real community of Marist priests. The “Project” had begun. Marist priests were now at Lavalla and at Cerdon.
1825: MOVE TO BELLEY Bishop Devie called the three Marist priests from Cerdon to Belley in June He provided lodging for them in the minor seminary and had them conduct parish missions in the country regions of the diocese The minor seminary
1826: MORE PROBLEMS Fr. Courveille had not endeared himself to the Marist Brothers at Lavalla or L’Hermitage and left Champagnat in May. He had also upset Colin and the other Marists. Fr Terraillon wanted to join the trio of Marist priests at Belley, instead of staying with Champagnat at L’Hermitage. He left L’Hermitage in October to preach a series of ‘Jubilee sermons’
1830- SECRET ELECTION In October, the Lyon Marists journeyed to Belley for a meeting. They elected Colin as “Central Superior” and Champagnat as ‘Provincial-Rector’ of L’Hermitage. The town of Belley
PROGRESS CONTINUES 1832:- a THIRD Marist community was established at Valbenoite 1833:- Colin and two companions went to Rome to seek papal approval for the ‘Marist Project’ 1834:- Letter of approval for the ‘Third Order’ (lay people) and for the Priests to elect a ‘Superior’. No approval for the Marist Priests, Sisters or Brothers.
1836-VICTORY AT LAST 20 Years after their pledge at Fourviere, the Marist priests won approval from Rome:-Not for the Sisters or Brothers! The Papal decree “Omnium Gentium” recognised the Marist Fathers and entrusted them with the mission area of Western Oceania
BELLEY GATHERING September priests gathered at the Belley seminary to discuss the election of a Superior and to select the new missionaries. On September 24 th in the Chapel at La Capuciniere, Colin was elected Superior General
PRIESTS- FIRST VOWS Twenty Marists knelt at these steps on Sept 24th 1836 to make their vows
MARIST MISSIONARIES Dec 24 th 1836, eight Marists left France for the missions of the Pacific: Bishop Pompallier Four Marist Priests (including St Peter Chanel) Three Marist Brothers (though still not officially approved or recognised)
BACK TO LYON Colin purchased ‘Puylata’(in Lyon) in 1838, and moved there himself in It was to be the General House of the Marist priests for some time. Puylata was just down the hill from the Fourviere shrine and not far from the Marist Sisters convent.
COLIN AT ‘La NEYLIERE’ La Neyliere was purchased in 1852 and Colin spent his last years there writing the Marist Rule. It was accepted by the Priests in 1870 and approved by Rome in 1873.
COLIN’S DEATH Colin died at La Neyliere on November 15 th 1875 He is buried in the chapel there. The stone at the left covers his grave- a simple monument to this great man. He was leader of the Marists, Founder of the Marist Fathers, and Co-founder of the Marist Sisters
THE ‘THIRD ORDER’ (LAITY) From the beginning, the laity were going to be an integral part of the Marist Project- the THIRD group with the Priests and Religious. The initial Marist Laity group was established at Cerdon. It consisted of a group of 30 men who met together for prayer under the direction of the two Colin brothers.
THIRD ORDER IN BELLEY When the Colin brothers moved to Belley, they established another group of lay Marists, called the “Confraternity of the Mother of God” Rome gave approval to this group in 1834, but Colin later withdrew his support and encouragement. (He thought the Bishop might think he was usurping his authority).
THE LYON ‘LAY’ GROUPS In Lyon, TWO groups were established: A group of men who became known as the “Tertiary Brothers of Mary” (1832) A group of women who were known as the “Association of Christian Virgins” (1836)
THE TERTIARY BROTHERS The Tertiary Brothers of Mary met in this building- just 50m from the shrine of Fourviere In 1832, under the direction of Fr. Pompallier, they became associated with the Marist Project. They made vows but wore no distinctive attire and kept their own employment.
THE CHRISTIAN VIRGINS In 1836, four young women agreed to attend a meeting convened by Pompallier. He invited them to form the “Association of Christian Virgins”. Soon after this, Pompallier was invited to go to the Missions, so this new group was left on their own without a chaplain.
MISSION SUPPORTERS With no Marist Priest to guide them, they continued to meet regularly and felt very much part of the Marist Project. In 1845, this group had 14 members who met at the Marist Sisters house in Lyon. They read letters from the Missionaries, prayed for them and made clothing for them.
Women’s groups expand In 1850 Fr Eymard was appointed by Fr. Colin to look after this group of women. Their numbers increased and new groups were begun for Mothers and Young Girls. These groups became very popular and spread to other regions of France.
FRANCOISE PERROTON She had no direct contact with the Marist pioneers, but she was involved with the” Propagation of the Faith” group in Lyon. In 1843 she read a letter in one of their publications requesting women for the missions of the Pacific. Born in 1796, Perroton lived in Lyon.
OFF TO THE MISSIONS In 1845, at the age of 49, Perroton decided God was calling her to go to the Pacific Missions. She expressed her wish to Fr Eymard, and spoke to the captain of a ship who was taking supplies to the Missions. (He was a member of the Marist ‘Third’ order). After a visit to the shrine of Fourviere (with Fr Eymard) she set off for Wallis Island.
MARIST MISSIONARY SISTERS Perroton was alone on Wallis Island until 1857, when three other women came to join her. In 1858 six more came. Another arrived in These were the Pioneers of the Marist Missionary Sisters This 1890’s photo from Wallis Is. shows Sr. Marie Rose de Lima, a “Pioneer” from 1858 seated in the middle
SMSM SISTERS TODAY Today the Marist Missionary Sisters are very much part of the Marist Family and work to achieve the aims of the Marist Project.
THE MARIST FAMILY The original concept for priests, brothers, sisters and laity, all working under one Superior, was too complicated for the authorities in Rome. A Third Order (Laity) was approved in 1834 The Priests were given approval in 1836 The Brothers group was approved in 1852 The Marist Sisters were approved in 1884 The Marist Missionary Sisters in 1932
WORLDWIDE MARISTS In 2001, the four Marist Orders each had their General Chapters in Rome. They gathered on Sept 12 th to celebrate the feast of The Holy Name of Mary. Marist World Leaders Chapter delegates from the four Marist Orders at a special Papal audience.
THE WORK OF MARY “ To enable Church to happen” may be a useful way of describing the Marist enterprise. The specific task of Marists is to be there- as Mary was at the beginning of the Church.
The Marist Project continues today in the lives of those who make the effort to live the dream of the original Marist Pioneers. Mural near the tomb of Colin, showing Mary and the Pacific missionaries
More information may be found under the heading “Marist Spirituality” on the “Maristoz” website: A Marist Resources Product Produced by Br. Terry Mulligan