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23 September

Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina

Marist Calendar - September

Champagnat Day



Collège Champagnat of l’Arbresle (Lyon)

20/07/2009: France

On 29 June, twenty fifth class pupils from the Collège Champagnat of L’Arbresle (near Lyon-France), toured the Marist places with their pastoral animator. The visit was the conclusion to a programme of familiarization with and information about Marcellin Champagnat, which started in November 2008. When one is in a Champagnat college, moreover, it is natural to find out about the one who has given his name to the establishment, and a visit to the places where he lived is a rite of passage.

The tour began at the very place where Marcellin began his life, the hamlet of Le Rosey at Marlhes. Everyone found the explanations of the guide, Br. Jean Claude, very clear and interesting. And the video brought back to mind many facts that were half forgotten. The whole site, house and bedroom in particular, the first « authentic documents », impressed the minds of the young visitors. In the same way, at La Valla, they were very conscious of the rough life of the first Brothers in Marcellin’s room, with the table made by his hands and the stone anvil for nail making.

The day ended in the chapel of Notre-Dame de L’Hermitage with a short service around the reliquary containing Father Champagnat’s remains. All felt his posthumous presence. « One had the impression of being with Champagnat himself » (Apolline) « He was really there! » (Marion). Arthur noticed the motto inscribed on the reliquary « All to Jesus through Mary » and Guilhem added « I was very happy to see the reliquary. I felt good seeing it ». The final word was left to Florian « I will not be looking at Champagnat college in the same way as before. »

The word of the animator: “Every educator, teacher, believer or not, can come and listen to the story of Marcellin Champagnat. Moreover, he is an ancestor for our profession, a model, a source of hope for our « non academic » students.”
Bernard Viricel and Muriel Morissot, accompaniers of the group.

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