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Let’s dare to be Champagnat today!



Ten years on from the Canonization (V)

10/04/2009: General House

I believe that many of us, beyond the strong emotions of the moment, have undertaken the effort to rediscover the Founder, an effort which continues still, now that Sean invites us to recover the spirit of the Hermitage, or to live this revolution of the heart which makes us more like Saint Marcellin. This re-appropriation is the audacity to act like Champagnat, the audacity to give life anew to his dream with the same determination in the world that is ours.

A few days from the canonization, Br. Benito invited us to enrich ourselves by coming to a new knowledge of the Founder : « I mean by that a knowledge acquired by mind and heart, by letting ourselves be challenged by our beloved Founder. It is a question of knowledge which seeks clarification and which opens up the heart to conversion. » (Letter before the canonization, 07 April 1999)

When, in October 1998, the canonization became a certainty, Benito wrote: «Every human or religious group needs “ models to refer to ». We feel compelled to place ourselves, like Marcellin and with him, before a world presenting itself to us as « an abundant harvest » and waiting for the harvesters. A world of young people waiting to meet the « brother »: friend, present and close to reality, travelling companion with whom they would be able to share their search for God, the «brother» who loves like Marcellin… We are inspired by the hope «of re-reading the Marist charism, of looking through the eyes of Champagnat, of making his heart our own.» (Canonization very near… Rome, 24 October 1998).

One sentence sums up powerfully the thought of Br. Benito:
« Be Champagnat today!
Dare to be Champagnat, today.»

(Benito, Letter of 07 April 1999)

Br. Giovanni Bigotto

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