Marist Tradition

An international religious community, the Marists convey the love of Jesus through the spirit of Mary. All Marists are missionary in character, desiring to serve God and bear the love of God for others. Their spirituality touches deeply on people’s hunger for authentic living and sees Mary, the mother of Jesus, as key to experiencing God’s dream and hope expressed through Jesus.

The Marists began in France in 1816, just following the French Revolution, when 12 newly ordained young men pledged their lives to the service of others in the spirit of Mary. In 1863, during the Civil War, the Marists came to the U.S. to serve the needs of French-speaking people in Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota and California.

Marists reach out to all people, placing a special emphasis on those who feel alienated. Today they encourage the Church to unify in its diversity and to be transformed by the spirit of Mary from coast to coast – in 79 countries. Marists work in parishes, schools, prisons, hospitals, colleges and missions.

St. Peter Chanel

St. Peter Chanel, S.M. joined the Society of Mary (Marists) in 1831 as it was beginning in France. He went to Rome in 1833 with the Society Founder, Fr. Jean Claude Colin seeking approval from Pope Gregory XVI for the Society to be recognized. The Society was recognized by Pope Gregory XVI when the Marists were asked to send missionaries to the southwest Pacific. Peter Chanel was one of the first to travel there where he served from 1837 until his death in 1841. He was murdered by associates of the King of the Futuna who feared that conversion to Christianity by his subjects would undermine his power. After Peter Chanel’s death, the islands of Wallis and Futuna where he had been working became 100% Catholic.

Year of Marist Vocation. Pray for an increase for vocations. The Prayer card can be found by clicking on the link below:

Marist Vocation Prayer Card

For more information about the Marists, we recommend the following websites:

The Story of the Society of Mary: Early History of the Marists

Article 35: Leaving for Oceania
Article 34: The Birth of the Society of Mary
Article 33: An End and A Beginning
Article 32: For The Salvation of All Peoples
Article 31: Approbation at Last
Article 30: Entrusted with a Mission
Article 29: Providence Steps In
Article 28:The Western Pacific
Article 27: Behind the Scenes
Article 26: Dealing with the Curia
Article 25:  Audience with the Pope
Article 24: The Scope of the Marist Project
Article 23: Heading for Rome
Article 22: Getting Organized
Article 21: Election of a Central Superior
Article 20: Instructions to the Staff of the Seminary
Article 19: The Minor Seminary in Belley
Article 18: The Missions in the Bugey
Article 17: The Archdiocese of Lyon
Article 16: In the Diocese of Belley
Article 15: Colin in Paris
Article 14: Pondering the Original Inspiration
Article 13: The Constitutions
Article 12: Appealing to the Pope
Article 11: Jeanne-Marie Chavoin
Article 10:  Assignment to Cerdon
Article 9: Jean-Claude Colin
Article 8: Marcellin Champagnat
Article 7: Jean-Claude Courveille
Article 6:  The Dispersion
Article 5: Pondering the Pledge
Article 4:  The Commitment
Article 3:   The First Steps
Article 2:  The Inspiration
Article 1:  The Climb to Fourviere