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Marist Bulletin - Number 22

 

Feast of St. Marcellin Champagnat
06.06.2002

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JUNE 6TH, FEAST OF ST. MARCELLIN CHAMPAGNAT
Champagnat never out of date, his image ever-renewed in the young

A little before dawn on Saturday, June 6, 1840, the Vigil of Pentecost, Marcellin delivered up his soul to God at the Hermitage in France at the age of 51. 162 years ago today. Pope John Paul II picked June 6th as the day for the universal Church to celebrate the liturgical feast of St. Marcellin.
Marcellin once said “We have all the dioceses in the world in our sights.” Today almost 4600 Marist brothers and thousands of men and women personify Marcellin’s charism in 76 countries. Theirs is an ambitious worldwide project serving children and young people, especially the poorest. One of our online friends in Peru puts it this way: “Champagnat never goes out of style, his image is ever-recreated in the young whom we serve.”
Marcellin’s spirituality was both simple and profound, with Jesus as the foundation of his faith. Through the prism of that faith, he interpreted the events of his time. He sought creative and imaginative ways to care for the needs of the young, especially the poor. Today, faithfulness to Marcellin as a brother or lay Marist means nourishing ourselves with his Marian spirituality, using it to fortify our commitments to our family, communities, work…, and searching for innovative ways to take care of the new needs of children and young people. It all boils down to Choosing LIFE!
Congratulations to all the men and women who share in the spirituality and mission of Marcellin and to the hundreds of thousands of students and young people – in schools, social centers, wherever… – who are experiencing the support and encouragement of the brothers and lay teachers in their lives. May all of us today enjoy celebrating this feast day of the Founder of the Marist Brothers.

SPIRITUAL TESTAMENT OF MARCELLIN CHAMPAGNAT. EXCERPTS
Y beg of you, my dear brothers, with all the affection of my soul, and by all the love you have for me, do all you can to ensure that charity is always maintained among you. Love one another as Jesus Christ has loved you. Be of one heart and one mind. May it be said of the Little Brothers of Mary as of the first Christians: “See how they love one another”. This is the most ardent desire of my heart at this, the last moment of my life. Yes, my very dear brothers, listen to the words of your Father; they are the words of our loving Savior: “love one another”.
Let only the glory of God and the honor of Mary be your one aim and ambition.
May a tender and filial love of that good Mother animate you at all times and in every circumstance. Do all that you can to make her loved everywhere. She is the First Superior of the whole Society.
There are difficulties in leading the life of a good religious, but grace makes all things easy. How consoling it is, when one has to appear before God, to know that one has lived under the protection of Mary and in her Society! May that good Mothers keep you safe, give you increase and bring you to holiness.
I leave you all with confidence in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary until we be all united again in a happy eternity.
Such is my last and express wish for the glory of Jesus and Mary.

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