2022-08-14 GENERAL HOUSE

Message of the Superior General for the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

On August 15, Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady, we joyfully celebrate Mary’s journey of faith and hope. She continues to be our inspiration, as she has been from the origins of our Institute, and as she has been, indeed, for the whole Church from its very beginning. The life of Jesus himself was influenced by the closeness and tenderness of his mother, Mary, as well as by her spirit of faith, openness and availability to God.

On this day, we join in the Magnificat which she sings eternally: “My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my saviour, for he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness…” (Lk 1:46-48).

Referring to Mary during the Audience held at the end of the General Conference, Pope Francis said to us:

[Marcellin Champagnat] was guided by the example of the Virgin Mary, our “Good Mother”, as he used to say: Mary was an insignificant woman from a remote village, but her heart looked beyond; she looked forward to the Kingdom of God, she was open. And this shines through in the Magnificat, where God’s plan of salvation resounds through the voice of this humble servant. What could be more beautiful and more effective than the Magnificat for educating a girl or boy to be open to God and God’s plan of love? The Magnificat contains a vision of life and history; it is a school of faith and prayer, which frees people from being closed in on themselves and from any spiritualising. It shows the joy of believing, hoping and loving inspired by the Gospel of Christ.

The celebration of 15th August, the patronal feast of the Institute (Const. 50. 3), is a beautiful occasion to contemplate Mary’s heart and to see if we too are opening our hearts to the presence of God and to God’s continual calls: to try to recognise and set aside the attachments of our ego, which often have a hold on us, so as to make room for God; to go beyond our fears and insecurities, throwing ourselves generously into serving those who need it most; to look back over and meditate in our hearts the situations and challenges that we encounter in present-day contexts (cf. Lk 2:19), so as to respond to them in a prophetic and hopeful manner.

She inspires us and walks alongside us on this journey. I wish everyone a happy Marian feast today!

Br. Ernesto Sánchez – Superior General


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