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The three Marial virtues of humility, simplicity, and modesty come to us from Marcellin Champagnat1. They are traditionally expressed by the symbol of the three violets.

Simplicity is a virtue at the heart of our Founder and the first Brothers. The first generation of brothers was made up of young people coming from backgrounds similar to Marcellin Champagnat. All these providential circumstances developed a spirituality that was uncomplicated and down-to-earth. It expresses itself in simplicity of behaviour, especially in our way of relating to God and to others. We strive to be persons of integrity – truthful, open-hearted and transparent in our relationships2.

In today’s materialistic and consumer-oriented world, this virtue is viewed as a sign of weakness, as a failing on the part of people not inclined to race after fame and power3.
However, for us brothers and lay people, who are available to share the Marist spirituality, it is a sign of identity. Infinitely loved by Him, we want to be transparent: we know our weaknesses and we accept ourselves with them. For that reason, our human relationships tend to be fraternal and welcoming4.  

Simplicity is the source of our sense of humour that does not offend but rather transforms the mundane into a celebration. It helps us to overcome difficulties and confront life from a new wider perspective, the perspective of God. Also born of simplicity is the love of work. Like Marcellin, we show our availability to roll up our sleeves, to take up the pick and shovel5

We look to the future with simplicity when we manifest willingness to collaborate on new projects that give greater vitality of the Marist charism and mission. This attitude can be specified in daily life when we dream of new models of encouragement, governance and management. With another language, the II Mission Assembly asks us to go out to the peripheries and to promote and defend the rights of boys, girls and youth; to cultivate the contemplative dimension and interiority that sustains and nourishes the life and mission.

Simplicity reveals a wider attitude in the heart of the Marist, a lifestyle that encompasses the values of making do, frugality, service, industriousness, and devotedness. This manner of living comes from a Marist tradition that seeks to live from the work of our hands. This chosen simplicity of life creates a greater capacity to minister with the poor6.

1 Cf. Constitutions, 5.

2 Cf. Water from the Rock, 33 and 34

3 Cf. Evangelizers in the Midst of the Youth, 126

4 Cf. Gathered Around the Same Table, 117

5 Cf. Gathered Around the Same Table, 118 and 119.

6 Cf. Water from the Rock, 40


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