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.
Two Marist Sisters and one Marist Missionary Sister are amongst the participants of programs at Marymount Mercy Centre, Castle Hill, NSW.
Sr Mariana Tevurega SM and Sr Petra Mario SMSM are close to completing the‘New Life’ renewal program, while Sr Titilia Tupou SM, in preparation for final vows, will graduate on Nov 29 from the program inspired by T.S. Eliot’s ‘Costing nothing less than everything’. Prior to completing the programs the sisters will be on retreat from 11th to 19th November. Our prayers are with them over these days.
The three sisters, all Fijian, join a succession of members of the Marist family who have enjoyed Marymount’s programs.
In this Year of Consecrated Life, Sr Lilibeth Cajes sm made her Perpetual Profession as a Marist Sister in Davao, the Philippines. In a simple and beautiful celebration on July 23, Lilibeth vowed chastity, poverty and obedience for life in the Congregation of Mary. Her vows were received by Sr Grace Ellul sm, Congregational Leader of the Marist Sisters. The Profession Mass took place in Immaculate Conception Parish, Mintal. The main celebrant was Bishop Guillermo Afable, the bishop of Digos, Lilibeth’s hometown.
Almost 200 people attended the celebration. All branches of the Marist Family were present. Lilibeth’s family came all the way from Digos with some of their relatives and friends. The Marist Laity were present in full force even though it was a work day.
A large number of Mintal parishioners attended and expressed their gratefulness at witnessing a Perpetual Profession of a sister for the first time. They spoke of how touched they were by the whole celebration, and especially when all the Marist Sisters present embraced Lilibeth as a sign of peace and welcome to her. The reception that followed was held in the Parish Hall. Entertainment was provided by the various branches of the Marist Family. Hazel and Terube were joined by the Marist Missionary Sisters to perform a dance from Kiribati while the Marist Fathers’ novices sang a song they had specially composed for Lilibeth. See more photos…
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.
Marist Sisters in the Sydney area, along with representative of the Marist Missionary Sisters and Marist Fathers, gathered to hear Paul Power, CEO of the Refugee Council of Australia. He spoke on the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia and comparisons with treatment in other countries of the world’s 42 million displaced persons.
Paul indicated that Australia is presently 43rd in the order of countries accepting refugees internationally, but is setting a wholesome trend in developing community housing models as an alternative to secure detention.
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.