Brief history of the places of the General Administration

Long history by Br. Juan Moral – 2012 (Spanish: WORD | PDF)

La Valla and the Hermitage near Saint-Chamond, France
On 2 February 1817, in the little village of La Valla, Saint Marcellin Champagnat founded the Congregation of religious called the Little Brothers of Mary or Marist Brothers as a congregation dedicated to evangelization especially by the education of youth and more especially the least favoured.

In 1825 Saint Marcellin moved his community and headquarters to the new property and into buildings that he himself built with his brothers.  This house is called Notre Dame de l’Hermitage and is located between La Valla and Saint-Chamond.

On 12 October 1839, a few months before the death of the Founder, all the professed brothers elected Brother François (Gabriel Rivat) first Superior General of the Institute.  Two brothers were also chosen to assist him: Brothers Louis Marie and Jean Baptiste.

Saint-Genis-Laval, France
In 1858, faced with the rapid growth of the number of brothers, houses and schools in the Institute, the Superior General and his Council, transferred the General Administration to Saint-Genis-Laval in the southwest suburb of Lyons.   The General House was built especially for this purpose.  Saint-Genis became the General Headquarters and the Hermitage became known as the Motherhouse of the Institute.

Grugliasco, Italy
In 1903 an anti-clerical government came to power in France.  Many religious congregations were suppressed and the Marist Brothers were forced to leave France to found missions in other countries.  The General Administration was also driven out of France and established its residence in Grugliasco, a suburb of Turin in Italy.

Return to Saint-Genis, France
In 1939, just before World War II, the Marist Brothers re-established their Generalate in Saint-Genis in the same house, which they bought back in 1926.

Rome, Italy
On 24 May 1961, the General Administration moved to its present location in a vast house built for this purpose in the district of EUR. Since the General Chapter of 1967, the work of animation by the General Council has demanded a prolonged absence from Rome for its members. As well, the growing complexity of the service of government of the Institute in a more complicated world demands a constant updating of the General Administration.