Thanks to the hospitality of the Marist Fathers Community Maryvale/Montbel a number of Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, Marist Missionary Sisters and Marist Brothers were able to gather to celebrate the beginning of 2023 at Montbel on 5th January. The level of chatter and laughter signified a good time was had by all.
We, the undersigned, striving to work together for the greater Glory of God and the honour of Mary, Mother of the Lord Jesus, assert and declare our sincere intention and firm will of consecrating ourselves, at the first opportunity, to founding the pious congregation of Marists.
That is why by the present act and our signatures, in so far as we can, we irrevocably dedicate ourselves and all our goods to the Society of the Blessed Virgin. (Pledge of Fourvière, 23rd July 1816)
The anniversary of the Pledge of Fourvière each year is a time for Marist throughout the world to recall with gratitude the beginnings of the Marist Family. On 23rd July 1816 twelve seminarians climbed the 800 steep steps from the City of Lyon to the Chapel of Our Lady of Fourvière. Here they committed themselves to the Marist project.
The Marist project has grown to be a family of five branches – Marist Father, Marist Sisters, Marist Brothers, Marist Missionary Sisters and Marist laity – with a presence throughout the world.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions it will not be possible in some countries for Marist to come together physically for prayer and celebration this year. This will not dampen our enthusiasm to recall the Fourvière event and to renew our own commitment to the Marist project. Online opportunities are being provided for Marists to connect, give thanks, recommit and celebrate. One such opportunity has been prepared by Marist Laity Australia. For information on how you can connect with Marist in Australia click here. All are welcome to join with Marists in prayer and thanksgiving on this day.
Members of the Marist Family gathered in Sydney to recall the Fourviere Pledge made by twelve seminarians 202 years ago. In the chapel of Our Lady of Fourviere they pledged to begin the congregation of Marists. Mass was celebrated in Holy Name of Mary Church Hunters Hill. During the offertory Procession hearts containing the names of those who followed those early Marists were brought forward and placed on the altar. The afternoon tea which followed provided an opportunity to experience the bonds of unity and friendship we experience as Marists. Today Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, Marist Missionary Sisters, Marist Laity and Marist Brothers are found throughout the world. Like the twelve men of Fourviere, Marists today believe that
“we belong by a gracious choice to the family of blessed Mary, Mother of God, from whose name we are called Marists.”
In 1816, in the chapel of Our Lady of Fourvière, twelve seminarians dared to dream that they could make a difference in the world by beginning a congregation in Mary’s name. Today, two hundred years later, Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, Marist Brothers, Marist Missionary Sisters and Marist Laity are spread throughout the world. We ask you to join with us in celebrating the Pledge of Fourvière on 23rd July. We pray that like the men of Fourvière we will be fired with zeal as we strive to “work together for the greater glory of God and the honour of Mary.”
Mary, of Fourvière, show us what love is
and from where it draws its origin
and its constantly renewed power.
Holy Mary, good Mother of Fourvière,
you have given the world its true light,
Jesus, your Son ‐ the Son of God.
You abandoned yourself completely to God’s call
and this became a wellspring of the goodness
which flows forth from him.
You inspired the first Marists to create a Society
dedicated to showing the Marian face of the Church.
Show us Jesus. Lead us to him.
Teach us to know and love him,
so that we too can become capable of true love
and be fountains of living water
in the midst of a thirsting world. Amen.
On 23rd July 1816 twelve seminarians climbed 800 steps to the chapel of Fourvière. There before the statue of Our Lady they pledged themselves to begin the Society of Mary. They declared:
“We, the undersigned, striving to work together for the greater Glory of God and the honour of Mary, Mother of the Lord Jesus, assert and declare our sincere intention and firm will of consecrating ourselves, at the first opportunity, to founding the pious congregation of Marists.”
On this day we pray that all members of the Marist Family – Marist Sisters, Marist Fathers, Marist Missionary Sisters, Marist Laity and Marist Brothers – will be inspired anew by the enthusiasm and commitment of the men of Fourvière who promised to spend themselves and all they had for the sake of the Kingdom.
On Sunday 21st July members of the Marist Sisters, Marist Fathers, Marist Missionary Sisters, Marist Laity and Marist Brothers gathered at Villa Maria Hall in Hunters Hill to celebrate the anniversay of the Fourvière Pledge. Fr Ron Nissan sm was the celebrant and he was assisted by newly ordained Deacon Willy Melteras sm.
Recalling the tradition of our Marist Founders of placing names into a heart and placing it on the altar, the names of all present were placed in a heart and carried to the altar at the beginning of the Mass. The Fourvière Pledge was renewed by all present.
Afternoon tea was a great opportunity for renewing and deepening Marist Family bonds. thank you to the Marist Brothers for preparing this year’s Fourvière celebration.
On 23rd July 1816 twelve seminarians in Lyon climbed the steep steps to the Fourvière chapel and there pledged themselves to “as soon as possible, establish a most holy congregation of Marists.” As we once again celebrate this foundational event in Marist history, Marist Fathers, Marist Sisters, Marist Missionary Sisters, Marist Laity and Marist Brothers will reflect on the Fourvière event and be inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of the early Marists.
If you would like to join us in prayer and reflection on the anniversary of Fourvière download a prayer reflection prepared by Sr Lorraine Canmpbell sm here.