2024-04-19 GENERAL HOUSE

25th anniversary of the canonization of St. Marcellin Champagnat


On April 18, the entire Institute celebrated the 25th anniversary of the canonization of Saint Marcellin Champagnat. Many activities were promoted in different communities and the various posts on social networks, using the hashtag #Champagnat25, testify to the involvement of the Marist family in celebrating the charism that Saint Marcellin left for the Church.

A special celebration was also held at the General House, presided over by Father John Larsen, Superior General of the Marist Fathers, and attended by many Marists, Brothers from all over the world, Sisters from Marist congregations and other guests. The group of formators taking part in the formation program in Manziana led the liturgical celebration. A group of Marist pilgrims from Australia was also present.

The celebration concluded with the words of Brother Ernesto Sánchez, Superior General, which we transcribe below.

I thank Fr. John Larsen for his presence, as well as the Marist Sisters and Marist Missionary Sisters, and all the Brothers and Lay Marists of Champagnat.

It is a pleasure to celebrate together the 25th anniversary of the canonization of St. Marcellin Champagnat.

We have received the gift of the Marist charism and we are invited to keep it alive and up to date in our time. 

We are encouraged by the life of Marcellin, a simple man, who lived with great trust in God and in Mary our Good Mother.  He was a man attentive to the needs of children and young people. Pope John Paul II said on the day of his canonization:

“St Marcellin proclaimed the Gospel with a burning heart. He was sensitive to the spiritual and educational needs of his time, especially to religious ignorance and the situations of neglect experienced in a particular way by the young”.

Marcellin had the ability to “look beyond” because he was able to listen in his heart to the intuitions of the Spirit. This year we celebrate the 200th anniversary of the beginning of the construction of the house of N. D. de l’Hermitage.

In what way are we encouraged today by the example of his life and holiness?    

Twenty-five years ago he was declared a saint for the Church and for the world. Like him, we are invited to follow Jesus, like Mary, living fraternity and giving ourselves to the service of children and young people, particularly those most in need. The Pope also said that day:

Let us ask the Lord to give us a heart that burns like that of Marcellin Champagnat, to recognize him and to be his witnesses”.

Champagnat, “A heart that knows no bounds” continues to encourage us to walk together as a global Marist family.


Br. Ernesto Sánchez Barba, Superior General
18 April 2024


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