Translator: 
Joseph Stefanelli, SM
The collection of various texts presented in this volume witnesses to the beginnings of Marianist religious life; they cover the period from 1814 to 1820.

Monograph Series, Document no. 53
Volume 5 - Development of the Religious Institutes. The Beginning

683 pp.

 

As the title indicates, volume five moves to the development of the Daughters of Mary, the Society of Mary, and the Miséricorde. The collection of various texts presented in this volume witnesses to the beginnings of Marianist religious life; they cover the period from 1814 to 1820.

For the Daughters of Mary, the documents include the Statutes of the Daughters of Mary (1814), then the Petit Institute, the Grand Institute, and the General Regulations.

For the Society of Mary, notes taken by Jean Lalanne and Jean-Baptiste Collineau are given from the foundational retreat of 1818; the retreats of 1819 and 1820 are also documented. The text of the Institute de Marie, the first Rule of the Society of Mary presented to Archbishop d’Aviau in 1818, is given in full.

As the Miséricorde moved toward religious life and the profession of vows, Father Chaminade gave a series of conferences there in 1819 and 1820; the notes from these conferences are traditionally attributed to Marie-Thérèse de Lamourous.
 

Selection From Jean Lalanne’s notes on the Retreat of 1818
(August 31 to September 5, 1818)

First Day, August 31, Third Meditation

You will call me, and I will answer you (Job 14:15).

The Lord has called us. We have meditated and considered and tasted the excellence and attractiveness of this vocation. How are we to respond to it? The apostle Saint Paul tells us in these words. The Lord “has chosen us in him . . . that we might be holy and blameless in God’s sight” [Eph 1:4].
    1. Holy. If the Lord has called us to be consecrated [6] to him in a very special way and to be his right-hand men and his servants, his envoys, his children of predilection, for whom other than us has he given this precept: “Be holy, therefore, as your heavenly Father is holy” [Mt 5:48].
    2. Blameless. What does it mean to be holy? It means to have all virtues. But God asks of us even more. God wants us to despoil ourselves of all imperfection, that we may have no more sin at all. God wants us to be blameless. That you may vanquish the world by the integrity of your virtue and that you may force it to respect God in you and God’s holy law. That your irreproachable example may confound the discourses and stop the evil judgments of ignorance and thoughtlessness. In keeping with what Saint Peter says—That by doing right you may put to silence the ignorance of the foolish people [1 Pet 2:15]. That you [7] may at last say to the enemies of God what the apostles said to them, “Receive us. We have injured no one; we have corrupted no one” [2 Cor 7:2]. And again, that you may be able to say as our Divine Master said to the Jews, “Which of you will convict me of sin?” [Jn 8:46]. God has called us to reach this degree of holiness; “God chose us that we might be . . . blameless.”
    3. The holiness to which God calls us has a third mark. God wishes us to be holy not only for ourselves; this is for the edification of the world. God has chosen us that we may be holy in the sight of others, and that our mere example may bring them to the practice of virtue. Let us say to ourselves these words which our Lord addressed to his apostles, for we are destined for an apostolic mission: “You are the salt of the earth” [Mt 5:13].
    “You will call me, and I will answer you.” This is how we respond to our vocation. If this is a great deal, this is because our vocation is grand. The grace of God will supply for our weakness.

The Beginnings of the Daughters of Mary
A. From the Sodality to the Religious State
1. Project for an Institute of Religious Sodalists Under the Title of Daughters of Mary

B. Development of the Petit Institut (Shorter Rule)
2. Rule of the Daughters of Mary [1815]
3. Conferences on the Draft of the Rule of the Daughters of Mary, August 1816
4. Rule of the Daughters of Mary [Petit Institut]

C. Development of the Grand Institut (Longer Rule)
5. Rule of the Daughters of Mary [1816]
6. Rule of the Daughters of Mary [Grand Institut]
7. General Explanation of the First Part of the Rule

D. Regulations for the Daughters of Mary
8. Daily Schedule
9. General Regulations for the Daughters of Mary
10. Regulations for the Mother Superior
11. Rules for the Mistress of Novices and for
The Novitiate of the Daughters of Mary

E. Formation to the Religious Virtues
12. Directives Concerning the Rule of the Daughters of Mary
13. Three Conferences of Father Chaminade to the Daughters of Mary

The Beginnings of the Society of Mary
A. The Chapel of the Madeleine and Its Surroundings
14. Lease Agreement for the Madeleine
15. Lease Agreement for the House, Rue des Carmes
16. Delegation of Powers to M. Pérès

B. Founding of the Society of Mary
17. Meeting of Father Chaminade and Monsieur Lalanne
18. Inter-parochial Accord
19. Retreat of 1817. Father Chaminade’s Notes
20. Retreat of 1817. Lalanne’s Notes

THE FIRST NOVITIATE OF THE SOCIETY OF MARY
21. Delegation from Father Chaminade
22. Another Method of Prayer
23. Spiritual Exercises

THE RETREAT OF 1818
24. Retreat of 1818. Lalanne’s Notes
25. Retreat of 1818. Collineau’s Notes
26. Retreat of 1818. Conferences
27. Institut de Marie
28. Formula of Perpetual Vows in 1818

C. Consolidation of the Foundations

THE FIRST COMMUNITY
29. Rule for the Religious of Mary
30. Discourse to the Council, December 8, 1818

RELATIONSHIP WITH THE HOLY SEE
31. Petition in Favor of the Sodality
32. Petition in Favor of the Society of Mary
33. Petition in Favor of the Daughters of Mary

RELATIONSHIPS WITH CIVIL AUTHORITIES
34. Letter to the King, Paris
35. Letter to the Minister

FATHER CHAMINADE TAKES UP RESIDENCE AT THE MADELEINE
36. Contract for Renovations to the Madeleine
37. Indebtedness to M. Judath

THE RETREAT OF 1819
38. Plan of the Retreat [1819]
39. The Retreat of 1819. Suggested Points

D. The Community at Work
40. Council Meeting of December 2, 1819

REGULATIONS FOR THE OFFICE OF WORK
41. Provisional Regulations for the Business Manager
42. Regulations for the Prefect of Police

THE RETREAT OF 1820
43. Jean-Baptiste Bidon. Summary of the Meditations (Retreat of 1820)
44. Retreat of 1820. Lalanne’s Notes
45. Pierre Bousquet. Growth in the Religious Life (Retreat of 1820)

The Sisters of the Miséricorde. Toward the Religious Life
46. Conferences at the Miséricorde of Bordeaux

Appendices
Statutes of the Community of the Daughters of Mary (1814)
Method of Meditation