Today is the Feast of St. Marcellin Champagnat
(1789 – 1840)
St. Marcellin Champagnat was born to a peasant family near Lyons, France, in the same year the French Revolution erupted. He grew up amid the havoc and instability it left in every area of life. Like many other children, St. Marcellin was poor and illiterate due to the collapse of education. Yet a visiting priest encouraged him to enter the seminary, which he did at the age of sixteen despite his poverty. Because of his lack of education he struggled academically, which inspired him to combat the illiteracy and spiritual poverty resulting from the violence and chaos of the French Revolution. With hard work, prayer, and the support of his family, he was ordained in 1816. The following year he bought a simple house, opened a school, and recruited other peasant men to join him in a new community devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and committed to giving young people a proper Christian education. He made his school year flexible with the farming seasons, and the fees were affordable to the poor. His congregation became The Little Brothers of Mary, now called The Marist Brothers. They were dedicated to the education of youth, especially the most neglected. When Marcellin died his order had 48 establishments in France with 278 Brothers. Today there are 5,100 Brothers working in over 80 countries.
To educate children, you must love them and love them all equally.
– St. Marcellin Champagnat
St. Marcellin Champagnat, Educator and Champion of the Poor and Children, pray for us.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family pray for us. Amen.