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I cannot see a child without telling him how much God loves him

 

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Meeting of teachers and brothers in Viterbo

17/05/2006: Italy

Marcellin has not finished giving surprises even for those who have been teaching in a Marist school for many years.
We came together in Viterbo from the different Marist schools in Italy, about twenty teachers (brothers and laypeople – even though I hope this distinction will soon disappear) for a “distinct” course of spirituality concerning our Founder, Marcellin Champagnat. These were teachers who more or less knew the life of the Founder so as to be able to live these days with Marcellin. Living with Marcellin is the correct definition, not only because in this way you can be a Marist teacher, but also because in these few hours we lived everything that he lived from his birth until his death.
Marcellin encourages us to pass this on and to experience this with our students and our companions.
Various feelings were experienced in this time, in these games, in these meditations, in this atmosphere of Marist fraternity that was created. Together we sought (with the help of three Marist Brothers, one Italian and two Spanish, though one is an adopted Italian) to penetrate into Marcellin, to pray as he prayed with his first brothers, trying to experience the atmosphere surrounding his table, his nails, his simple objects: Marist simplicity appeared in these days, the simplicity of a constant man, confident in Jesus and in his Good Mother, and sure of the work that he was about to accomplish for young people.

Our students were not physically present in Viterbo, but they were present spiritually at all times: in the reflections, in the fraternal meals together, in the prayers. As Marcellin has taught us: “I cannot see a child without wanting to tell him how much God loves him.”
We remembered with heightened emotion those people whom Marcellin has allowed us to know; people who have taught us who Marcellin is and who are now in heaven together with Marcellin, at the feet of Mary contemplating God.

During these days, we experienced times of games, of jokes, of discovering new friendships; times of intense spirituality with fraternal joy with the simplicity that Marcellin transmitted to the first brothers and has continued to do so until our own time.

We returned to our homes and to our schools with the desire to communicate to our companions the love that Marcellin had given to his brothers and young people, hoping that the spirit will live in our schools that lived in the schools at the time of the Founder.

We said goodbye, wanting to meet in the Hermitage, in Marcellin’s house so as to continue to discover him, his days, his things, his words, his first brothers. Together with the help of Mary, we will be able to make Marcellin’s dream come true, in a new and great Hermitage, built by the hands of children, adolescents, young people and new Champagnats.

Francesco Loretti
Teacher at San Leone Magno College

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