Joseph Verrier, SM
Joseph Stefanelli, SM
A four-volume work that presents the life of William Joseph Chaminade from 1761 to 1816, ending with the foundation of the Society of Mary.

Joseph Verrier, SM, Translated by Joseph Stefanelli, SM,
4 volumes (Vol.1 = 492 pgs.; Vol. 2 = 635 pgs.; Vol. 3 = 422 pgs.; Vol. 4 = 89 pgs.)
Monograph #46


(Note: Jalons is only sold as a 4-volume set.)


This four-volume work by Joseph Verrier, SM, presents the life of William Joseph Chaminade from 1761 to 1816, ending with the foundation of the Society of Mary. The French title images “following the guide markers along the road which William Joseph Chaminade has taken.” We see the early influences of Chaminade, his courage during the French Revolution and exile to Spain. We witness his enduring belief in his work as a missionary to young and old alike, men and women, in the Sodality, in the religious orders, in schools and cities throughout France.

Father Chaminade wrote, “You are all missionaries.” The scholarship and dedication of Father Verrier provide us with this detailed biography, which is based on original sources and includes detailed notes. This book is for the serious reader, someone willing to follow the path of Chaminade step by step.

How could a writer stop in the middle of a story? Jalons ends with a beginning!

(pp. 632-33)

So it was that the Society of Mary was born, without much to-do and with no great publicity. It took birth in a supernatural atmosphere of faith, generosity, and Marian devotedness. . . .

That same day, after having shared it contents with the retreatants, the Founder had sent Archbishop d’Aviau the following letter: “Today we are bringing our private retreat to a close. Sixteen people made it. If the good spirit which animates our retreats lasts, they all can be considered founders of the Institute of Mary. All seem entirely devoted to its support for life, although all are not bound by vows. We would have greatly desired your blessings.”

They received that blessing the following day, Sunday, in a meeting granted them by the archbishop at his residence.

What more could Chaminade have wished? He was supremely happy, and he made no attempt to hide it. On September 15, after another retreat, this one especially for the Young Women sodalists of the Madeleine, he wrote to M. Changeur: “Our two consecutive retreats have given me more satisfaction than work.”

Even more. A week later, in a letter to Bishop Jacoupy, he already anticipated a development of the seed just planted. He credits the bishop with the merit and honor:

Your very kind letter of August 22 has had an effect, since God has been good enough to grant the wishes expressed there. The bountiful harvest which your piety was asking of him in favor of his servants has come because of your prayers. The excellent priests, Fathers Mouran and Laumont, whom you were kind enough to send, have powerfully cooperated. These worthy priests will tell you, far better than I am able to, everything that happened.

The first retreat, the one intended for those destined for the Institute, was filled, in solitude, with a fervor men can hardly imagine. As a result, we have seen the most solid direction, from many points of view—a new constancy in work is but one example—the glory of God has not been neglected for a minute. These young men breathe only the spirit of holy things. Real workmen will be found among them. These are those he is pleased to advance to the front line. They in turn are surrounded by others who long for the same happiness. In the entire multitude there will be a few missed steps. But the fire having been continued, it will not lessen the total effect.

(Volume 1)


Series One
1 Early Years (1761-1771)
2 A Student at Mussidan (1771-1776)
3 A Time of Transition (1776-1785)
4 Years of Prosperity (1783-1789)
5 Elections to the Estates General (January to March, 1789)
6 Crisis, and Death of a Collège (1789-1791)
7 Final Days at Mussidan (May to October, 1791)
8 Saint Laurent (1791-1792)
9 In Hiding (September 1792 to May 1795)
10 An Intermission (May to November, 1795)
11 Under Threat of Deportation (November 1795 to September 1797)

Series Two
1 Saragossa (1791-1800)
2 Return to Bordeaux
3 Beginnings of the Sodality
4 The Atmosphere in Bordeaux, Year IX
5 The Religious Situation in Bordeaux, Year IX
6 The Sodality, a Permanent Mission
7 Amid Clerical Squabbles . . . The Sodality Continues to Grow (1)
8 Amid Clerical Squabbles . . . The Sodality Continues to Grow (2)
9 Amid Clerical Squabbles . . . The Sodality Continues to Grow (3)
10 Amid Clerical Squabbles . . . The Sodality Continues to Grow (4)
11 First Fruits, and a Look Ahead

(Volume 2)

Series Three  
1 A Crisis and New Rules
2 Three Wonderful Years
3 Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon
4 Clerical Conspiracies (1)
5 Clerical Conspiracies (2)
6 Clerical Conspiracies (3)
7 Though With Difficulty . . .
8 Under the White Flag (1)
9 Under the White Flag (2)
10 The Hundred Days in Bordeaux (1)
11 The Hundred Days in Bordeaux (2)
12 The Hundred Days in Bordeaux (3)
13 The Hundred Days in Bordeaux (4)   

Series Four
1 Long Live the King! Long Live Religion!
2 From Château to Refuge (1)
3 From Château to Refuge (2)
4 From Château to Refuge (3)
5 The Patient Stream and the Obstacle (1)
6 The Patient Stream and the Obstacle (2)
7 Poor François!
8 Toward another Foundation
9 The Retreat of August 31 to September 5, 1818 (1)
10 The Retreat of August 31 to September 5, 1818 (2)


(Volume 3)

1 The Chaminade House at Périgueux
2 List of Non-juring Priests
3 A Letter: Guyenne under the Terror
4 Inventory of Furnishings, Saint Laurent
5 Letter of Father Joseph Boyer—January 20,1800
6 Letter of Archbishop de Cicé to Father Boyer—May 7, 1800
7 The Revolutionary Calendar
8 Letter of Commissioner General Pierre Pierre to the Minister of National Police
9 Official Record of the Installation of Archbishop d’Aviau
10 Report on the Proclamation at Bordeaux of the Consultative Senate’s Declaration that Napoleon Bonaparte Is First Consul for Life
11 Two Letters of Partarrieu, First Judge of the Criminal Tribunal
To Archbishop d’Aviau of Bordeaux
To Fouché, Minister of National Police
12 Letter of Pierre Pierre, Commissioner General, to Councilor of State Portalis
13 Two Documents Relative to the Title of “Missionary Apostolic”
Decree of the Sacred Congregation
Statement of Faculties Given
14 Circular Letter of Portalis to the Prefects
15 Circular Letter of Portalis to the Bishops
16 Communication of Cardinal Caprara to the Bishops
17 Two Letters of Archbishop d’Aviau
To a correspondent at Lyons, most probably Father Cartal, a Sulpician
Perhaps to the same person
18 Taking of the Oath of Fidelity
Discourse of the Citizen Prefect
Discourse of M. Archbishop
19 Genealogy from Saint Louis IX, King of France, to Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon
20 Police Interrogation of David Monier
21 Excerpts from Bernadau’s Tablettes Cryptographiques
22 An Important Biographical Notice (Joseph Boyer)
23 Regarding Jean Daries
24 The Procession from Agen to Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Encontre, August 8, 1816
25 Mirror Image
26 The Institute of Mary
27 Explanations Provided by the Founder on the Institute of Mary
28 Archival Note
29 Taking of Vows
Perpetual Vows of M. Lalanne — September 5, 1818
Annual Vows of Jean Armenaud—October 22, 1819
The Vow of Stability among the Brothers of the Christian Schools
30 Three Letters
Concerning Louis Chaminade
Concerning Blaise Elie Chaminade
Concerning Henri Moze

Reference Key
Series 1
Series 2
Series 3
Series 4

(Volume 4)

Index to volumes 1, 2, 3