2022-08-14 GENERAL HOUSE

August 15: Patronal Feast of the Institute

The Church celebrates the feast of the Assumption of Mary on 15 August. This day is also the patronal feast of the Institute. For Marcellin Champagnat, Mary, the Good Mother, was his constant inspiration. And he wanted his holy ministry to begin on the feast of the Assumption.

In the book “Life of Father Champagnat”, p. 332-334. we read that Marcellin Champagnat “faithful to his resolution of always going to Jesus through Mary, on leaving the seminary after ordination, he made his way to Fourvières in order to consecrate his ministry to the Blessed Virgin; and each time that business took him to Lyon, he visited the shrine of Fourvières to renew that offering and that consecration, at Mary’s feet.

When he was appointed curate of La Valla, he went there on a Saturday and wanted his holy ministry to begin on the feast of the Assumption so that Mary might bless its first fruits and herself present them to her divine Son. That is the way he acted all his life, offering and entrusting to Mary all his plans and works, and he would begin them only after prolonged prayer for her blessing. Every day, during his visits to the Blessed Sacrament he would go and pay homage to the Blessed Virgin. Yet that wasn’t enough to satisfy his piety. In his own room, he erected a small altar on which he placed her statue. There, at all hours of the day, he sent up fervent prayers to her, and often remained long hours prostrate at her feet.”


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