2010-05-28 GENERAL HOUSE

29 May 1955

Marcellin Champagnat, our founder, was beatified in St Peter?s Square on 29 May 1955. The course which led to his beatification and then to his canonisation (18 April 1999) started forty-six years after his death. The diocesan process lasted five years, then in 1896, Pope Leo XIII signed the decree for introducing his cause; it was then that Champagnat became « venerable ». Fifty-nine years later, on the solemnity of Pentecost, he was beatified at a ceremony presided over by Cardinal Tedeschini. To remind us of this date, we reproduce here two texts. The first, taken from the Bulletin de l?Institut, describes the experience of the Brothers in Rome, and the second recalls the historical events leading up to the beatification.

The beatification

On this warm Pentecost morning, 29 May 1955, while the air is not yet heavy with the crippling heat of the Roman summer, groups of Marist Brothers, from all the provinces of the Institute, coming from 35 countries and representing as many nationalities, have been converging from all parts of the city on the basilica of Saint Peter. They are going to assist at the beatification of their Father, the Venerable Marcellin Champagnat. They number 600 chosen to represent their confrères at these grandiose ceremonies, 600 privileged ones, designated by lot or chosen by office because of their functions, or for other reasons which make it a bit confusing for them to find themselves there, in preference to so many others of equal merit. But in the end, someone has designated them and they have come. For once, obedience will have come very easily for them. Since the evening before, one has had the impression that there are Marist Brothers all over the Eternal City, for their white rabat and black habit make them recognizable from afar and, since they have so little time, they have been making the best of their opportunity to see the beautiful monuments of Rome.

So they are hurrying towards the basilica, happy and excited. And why shouldn?t they be? It is for their beloved Father, all this display, those grand banners hung at the entrance to the basilica or in the glory of Bernini, those sumptuous decorations inside Saint Peter?s; for him all the homage paid at the centre of Catholicism. The pilgrims by chance, going to Saint Peter?s to take advantage of a beatification, look on them with gazes of admiration little short of envy.

Bulletin de l?Institu n. 160 ? Tome XXI, page 628

Chronology of the cause of Fr. Founder Marcellin Champagnat

  • 21/07/1888 – 22/12/1891
    Ordinary Processus in the Diocese of Lyons
  • 31/01/1892 – 02/04/1894
    Processus on the writings
  • 20/11/1894 – 11/05/1895
    Processus on non-cultus
  • 12/12/1895
    Approval of his writings
  • 3/07/1897
    Decree of introduction of the Cause
  • 25/05/1896
    Approval of the validation of the non cultus Processus
  • 7/04/1897 – 24/07/1899
    Apostolic Processus on his sanctity
  • 1/12/1900
    Approval of the above Processus
  • 7/04/1897 ? 11/01/1902
    Apostolic Processus on his virtues
  • 12/12/1903
    Presention of the Positio super Virtutes
  • 3/05/1910
    Antepreparatory Congregation
  • 12/03/1912
    Preparatory Congregation
  • 22/06/1920
    General Congregation
  • 11/07/1920
    Publication of the Decree on the Heroicity of Marcellin?s Virtues by Pope Benedict XV
  • 10/1939
    Cure of Mrs Georgina Grondin from a malignant tumor in Waterville, Maine, USA
  • 12/11/1941
    Cure of John Ranaivo from cerebrospinal meningitis, in Antsirabe, Madagascar
  • 03/05/1955
    Decree recognizing these two cures as miraculous
  • 29/05/1955
    Pope Pius XII proclaims Marcellin Champagnat Blessed, in St Peter?s Basilica, Rome
  • 21/06/1957
    The Sacred Congregation of Rites grants the Decree of Renewal of the Cause
  • 07/1976
    Cure of Br Heriberto Weber Nellessen, in Montevideo, Uruguay
  • 26/06/1997
    The medical experts on the consultative committee consider that the illness of Br Heriberto was ?a serious pulmonary affection characterized by bilateral nodular dissemination leading to a marked insufficiency in breathing with serious consequences for his general health/? They also stated that the cure was ?very rapid, complete and lasting, and inexplicable?
  • 20/02/1998
    The theological Consultors in their own Committee recognized the preternatural state of the cure, which they attributed to the intercession of Marcellin Champagnat
  • 3/07/1998
    The Ordinary Congregation of the Cardinals and Bishops decided unanimously that this was an authentic miracle
  • 9/01/1999
    Pope John Paul II promulgated the Decree on the miracle
  • 18/04/1999
    Pope John Paul II convoked the Ordinary Consistory in the Apostolic Palace for the vote on various Causes of Canonization: Marcellin Champagnat, Juan Calabria, and Agustina Livia Pietrantoni, and announced that the Canonization of these three would take place on 18th April 1999

Marcellin 2010_05_28_Marcelino1955 Marcellin Champagnat Champagnat Marcellin

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