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Marist Bulletin - Number 94


The Marist Calendar for October - Year of Br. François

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

1 1891, first Marist community began in Switzerland - St Therese of Lisieux – International day of the elderly
2 1986, our first Marist ministry began in Liberia – Remembering our Guardian Angels
3 2001, election of Brother Sean Sammon (12th Superior General) and of Brother Luis García Sobrado (Vicar General)
4 St. Francis of Assisi – Marist Saturday, specially dedicated to prayer for the Marist Family
5 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – 1925, the first Marist school opened in Venezuela
6 First Monday of the month: remembrance of deceased Marists – 1934, Brother Bernardo was martyred in Barruelo, Spain
7 1986, approval of the post-Vatican II Constitutions – Feast of the Holy Rosary – 1985, election of Br. Charles Howard (10th Superior General) - 1993, election of Brother Benito Arbués (11th Superior General) – World day of the environment
8 1936, Brother Laurentino and 45 other Brothers were martyred in Montcada, Spain –
9 World day of postal service
10 1836, first public profession of perpetual vows in the Institute
11 1873, first Marist community began in New Caledonia – Marist Saturday, specially dedicated to prayer for the Marist Family
12 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time - 1839, election of Brother Francois as Superior General – 1899, first exhumation of the remains of St. Marcellin
13 “You always learn from those you love” (Goethe)
14 “Every newborn child conveys the message that God still hasn’t lost hope in people.” (Rabindranath Tagore)
15 St Teresa of Avila - “I’m troubled by people who’ve never dirtied their hands because they’ve never helped anyone” (Péguy)
16 1978, election of Karol Wojtila as Pope John Paul II – World day of nutrition
17 St Ignatius of Antioch - International day for the elimination of poverty
18 St Luke the Evangelist – Marist Saturday, specially dedicated to prayer for the Marist Family
19 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time – World day for the evangelizing of people everywhere
20 1957, the first Marist brothers set out for Ecuador
21 “Being a Christian isn’t easy, but it brings joy” (Pope Paul VI)
22 “Life is only understood when you look back, but you ought to live facing the future” (Kierkegard)
23 “We’re not building a worldwide democracy; it’s more about a worldwide marketplace” (Leonardo Boff)
24 1959, the Brothers of St. Francis Regis joined the Marist Institute – United Nations day – World day for news about development
25 Marist Saturday, specially dedicated to prayer for the Marist Family
26 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time –“When you befriend a cripple, you learn to limp” (Plutarch)
27 1969, the first Marist brothers set out for the D.R. of the Congo –World day of prayer for peace
28 Sts Simon and Jude, Apostles – 1816, St. Marcellin ministered to the dying teenager, John Baptist Montagne
29 “Don’t say something’s impossible; say that it’s never been tried” (Japanese proverb)
30 The visible makes us lose sight of the invisible” (Carlo Carretto)
31 1996, Brothers Miguel Ángel Isla, Servando Mayor, Julio Rodríguez and Fernando de la Fuente were murdered in a refugee camp in Bugobe, D.R. of the Congo – World day for economizing

6 june 2003 – 6 june 2004

There are abundant testimonies that speak of Brother François’ love for everybody. Once more, we notice a resemblance between him and Brother Basilio. As if the latter had known François deeply and was trying to imitating him.

The following testimonies were picked out to illustrate Brother François’ behaviour with the sick and the poor only. Another page is reserved to show the affectionate and responsible ways he treated the brothers.

«I always saw him eager to help his Brothers in all their spiritual or corporal needs.» (W. 11)

«The sick specially appreciated the intensity of his charity. So many times, he was seen lavishing his cares without counting his time nor his fatigue! He visited them every day and always had a cordial word and a smile for them.» (T.V.P.O.)

«The sick considered him like a mother. A visit of Brother François was like a feast. He invited the patients to be holy sick people, to offer their sufferings to the Lord.» (W. 15)

«His faith made his discover Jesus Christ in each of those he treated. Not satisfied to dedicate himself day and night at the service of the sick, he cared to train good infirmarians to whom he revealed the medical knowledge he had acquired.» (W. 16)
«He often visited the sick to give them their medicine and to see that nothing was missing. He knew medicine well and took of lot of pains to treat the bodies; but he took a greater care with the spiritual sick whom he closely followed. He also other authorised people to help him in that line.» (W.22)

«For him, the sick brothers were a blessing from heaven. Besides, he had true medical know-how and treated the sick perfectly.»

«I often saw lots of needy people at his door. My daughter noticed a crowd of miserable peasants benefiting from his generosity specially on Fridays.» (W. 53)

«He cared that the poor were given clean and properly repaired clothes.» (W. 4)

«I always heard through my husband that Brother François was very charitable. He even went to visit the sick of the vicinity and relieved them according the little means he had. He gave sound medical advice; he was skilled in medicine and he supplied the poor with excellent drugs.» (W. 63)

«I never saw Brother François rebuff anybody even those who had been mischievous. On the contrary, I saw him, lavish the brothers with spiritual and temporal help, cheering the disheartened ones and strengthening the strong ones.» (W. 26)

A novena is the nine-day traditional prayer during which we invoke a saint or a servant of God for a person we cherish and who is suffering from health problems. We can also make a novena for other important reasons, e.g. for those who must take important decisions or whenever we want to prepare a feast with solemnity.

This prayer requires certain conditions to assume all its value and to really become a human gesture. Three partnerships seem necessary: the first one with the person for whom we pray; we ought to assure him/her of our affection and prepare him/her to join in this prayer. The second one is the unity of the praying group. The members must be united in faith, in love in the charitable gesture. The third one is the relationship with the servant of God whose intercession we beg:
there must be a friendship between him and ourselves, family ties, personal bonds made by a daily meeting, even a brief one.
A novena increases our faith in God’s kindness and educates our availability to his will.
This prayer must find its own time, its dignity - without being sandwiched between other prayers. One day or another it could become a celebration. A novena is not necessarily an extra prayer, it is another prayer, it is a time where we address ourselves to God to beg him for a favour. No moment is as opportune and powerful to beg God as during the daily Eucharist. Thus, we will enter into the Lord’s great intercession.

«I had contacted typhoid fever. Abandoned, ruled out by the doctor, I was lost. But, Brother François gave me hope by enjoining me to pray to Mary. He also prayed for me and I was healed. I always credited his prayers and his good cares for this cure.» (W. 35)

Venerable Brother François,
The Lord attracted you in your childhood
By asking you to serve Him
In a real holy life.
Grant me to know how to go, like you,
‘to Jesus through Mary’,
willingly, simply and
in a filial abandon.
May your prayer, united to Mary’s intercession
Obtain us the grace….
And the joy to praise the Lord
Who always answers our prayers
In a visible or invisible way. Amen !

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