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Seasonal Reflection

Venerable Colin, however, always loved to recall to mind, that he had done nothing in the foundation of the Society and, at the most, was only a passive instrument. If his word is to be taken in the matter, the real Foundress was the Blessed Virgin.

How is that? Had the Blessed Virgin appeared to him as she had to St. Simon Stock, St. Dominic and the Seven Founders of the Servites?  Had she intimated to him, the organisation and the rules of the future institute as she had dictated to Catherine Laboure the figure and inspiration on the Miraculous Medal or that message to Bernadette? This suggestion does not seem to lack foundation, though, in this matter there is nothing very tangible.  What is certain, is, that Venerable Colin because of his immovable faith, would never attempt or undertake anything which was not evidently in accordance with the will of God. This had become with him a firmly fixed habit, and in order to know the will of God he would at times go all the way to Rome, despite the difficulties of the journey.

As long as he remained without this knowledge, with the ways and means of which men of God are acquainted, he would wait, pray and beg. His prayers and supplications were addressed to God through the intercession of Mary, in whom he possessed unshakable confidence, with absolutely child-like abandon. Thus, Mary, who obtained the graces he needed, was an important factor in his spiritual life, but incomparably more so, as Foundress of the Society. Deprived of her intercession and direction, without the encouragement he drew from his continual contemplation of her virtues, timid and retiring, as he was, he would never have had any idea or desire of founding a religious society, specially devoted to the imitation of the life of the Blessed Virgin at Nazareth.

He considered God also as Founder, but infinitely above Mary."If you take my advice," he used to say, with feeling, "not a line on the pioneers of the Society will be written. God accomplished everything". From these facts, it is not hard to understand in their literal sense, a few thoughts of Father Colin on Mary, Foundress of the humble Society bearing her name, - whose members are called "Marists ".

"Ours alone", he used to say, among so many Societies consecrated to the Blessed Virgin, ours alone, by a high privilege, have been given the beautiful name of Mary-"Marists."

"The Society has as its real Founder, the Most Blessed Virgin.  She, it is who has always been its real Superior."

"Yes, I repeat, Mary it was who did everything.  She is our Foundress.  We depend upon her as upon our first and perpetual Superior."

From The Society of Mary First Centenary 1836 – 1936: Origin-Spirit-Organization-Works pp. 9-11. (entire text available on homepage as pdf)




Jean-Claude Colin

The scroll which forms a link
with the two realms of
heaven and earth
carries the Latin motto
of the Society of Mary:
Sub Mariae Nomine
(Under the Name of Mary).
Jean-Claude believed that
in the Divine Providence
the name of Mary had been
kept for his little Society.

Enjoy this reflective version of the Magnificat by Bernard Reichel (August 3, 1901 – December 10, 1992) a 20th-century classical composer from the French-speaking part of Switzerland: (click red title)

Magnificat - Bernard Reichel - YouTube


Magnificat anima mea Dominum, et exsultavit spiritus meus in Deo, salutari meo.


My soul magnifies my Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God, my savior.


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