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The General House of the Marist Brothers



On May 24, the headquarters of the Government of the Institute transferred officially to Rome

23/05/2019: General House - Photo gallery

May 24th celebrates the official arrival of the Brothers to the new General House.  On that day, in 1961, the Superior General, Br. Charles-Rafaël, expressed his desire "that the spirit of La Valla should reign over the house in EUR - Rome - as it had reigned over Saint-Genis and Grugliasco. And he proposed this motto: "the new General House will be a house of work, work filled with Marial and supernatural spirit " (Brother Juan Jesús Moral Barrio, History of the General House,2011).


The history of the General Houses

Father Marcellin Champagnat founded the congregation of the Marist Brothers on the 2nd of January 1817, in La Valla, treasured today as the Cradle of the Institute. La Valla was the centre of the congregation until 1825, the year in which Marcellin decided to transfer the community to l'Hermitage, as the Mother House of the Institute.  

In 1858, when the number of Brothers had increased and the l'Hermitage house was too small to accommodate everyone, the General House was transferred to Saint-Genis-Laval.  

In 1903, when the persecution of secularism reached the Institute, the Brothers transferred the house from Saint-Genis-Laval to Grugliasco, near Turin. But this only lasted for 36 years, before returning to Saint-Genis.  

After a century of permanence in this place, the Provinces and the Districts increased, and the Institute had then to look for a much larger house, from where to administer all the communities and their works.  

And so, in February 1958, following the decision adopted at the meeting of the 31st of May 1957 and authorized by indult No. 853-57, the General Council decided to purchase a parcel of land in Rome, for 55.000 m2, located in a quiet area of EUR (Universal Exhibition of Rome), for 500 million liras.

Months later, on the 27th of October 1958, the president of the Italian Republic signed the ordinance authorising the Brothers to purchase the land. And on the 30th of December 1958, Cardinal Micara granted permission for the Brothers to transfer the General House from Saint-Genis-Laval to Rome. 

The following year, on the 18th of February 1959, the definitive contract for sale of the property was signed.

On the 24th of May 1961, after several months of arduous work and expectation, the Brothers arrived officially at the new General House. On that day, Brother Vicente Lorenzo, the man behind the construction work, made the presentation of the new house to the Superior and offered him the symbolic key. The Superior General, Br. Charles-Rafaël,then said: "if Divine Providence has brought us to Rome and prepared us for such a pleasant stay, we should not forget the simplicity and the harshnessof La Valla, the humility and the wildness of the l'Hermitage valley, but constantly return to its spirit".   

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