Chaminade Legacy, Volume 5

Chaminade Legacy, Volume 5
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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.

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  • Read an excerpt

    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.

  • Read the Table of Contents

    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

    21. Delegation from Father Chaminade
    22. Another Method of Prayer
    23. Spiritual Exercises

    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

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

    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

    34. Letter to the King, Paris
    35. Letter to the Minister

    36. Contract for Renovations to the Madeleine
    37. Indebtedness to M. Judath

    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

    41. Provisional Regulations for the Business Manager
    42. Regulations for the Prefect of Police

    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

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