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Mary, the Support of the Church


Jean-Claude Colin often spoke of Mary as the support of the Church at the beginning and at the end. This seems to be his way of referring to the inspiration Courveille experienced at Le Puy. Presented here is the dossier of texts gathered by J. Coste, S.M., in Acta Societatis Mariae, vol. 5, pp. 264-271. In several cases a wider context is offered than was needed for Coste’s purposes. These are marked with a (+) in the apparatus. At the end of the dossier is added a text of Fr. Peter Julian Eymard that also speaks of Mary as the support of the Church.

The support of the Church at all times

Text 19

February 8, 1846. Eymard. Extract from a letter to M. Frédéric Salvioni, professor at the major seminary of Milan. [Archivio Istituto Missioni Estere, t. 28, Corrispondenza, Religiosi, pp. 747-750, § 15f; for another extract from this letter, see OM 908]:


The blessed Virgin has been at all times the support and the protectress of the Church, but one might be tempted to say that perhaps never have her maternal feelings been more in favor of men than in the 19th century. What works of zeal and of salvation have appeared everywhere under her auspices! Not to mention many others, is it not a new proof of her tenderness, I dare say, toward the men of our unfortunate times that there appears in our days a society of Marist priests, that is, a society under the name of Mary, and of a third order of the same society that counts already more than 800 lay brothers who take vows approved by the bishops, have their own government, live in community and devote themselves, like the Brothers of Christian Schools, to the education of children, especially in rural parishes.
And there is also a Marist third order for people who live in the world, and this third order itself has been enriched with indulgences by the Sovereign Pontiff.

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