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Priest and founder of the Marist Brothers, Saint Marcellin Champagnat (1789-1840) dedicated himself to the instruction of children and youth during the harsh aftermath of the French Revolution. He renewed the classroom setting and formed thousands of Christian teachers both from among his own religious brothers and the many who would later follow his method of education. This collection of the works of Father Champagnat offers a rare combination: mature theological instruction integrated into a practical how-to manual of holiness full of concrete examples. Champagnat brings the wisdom of the cloister into the classroom. To prepare holy and effective religious, he develops the essential link between authentic personal holiness and subsequent effectiveness in our work, ministries, and households all without watering down the demands of the Gospel. Anyone working with youth today will find his advice relevant and piercing as he zealously promotes a sanctity that is contagious. Father Champagnat s teaching leaves no stone unturned, touching on everything from community life, effective leadership and obedience, mental and vocal prayer, fasting and other disciplines, how to work with young people, and most of all, how to keep a burning love for Jesus Christ and His Passion as the fount and foundation of all religious life. For more info see ivepress.org
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Marcellin Champagnat was born in 1789 in France into a devout Catholic family. His seminary days were spent in sanctified company, including fellow students Saint Jean-Marie Vianney and Jean-Claude Colin who would later found the Marist Fathers. He and his seminary friends were inspired to develop congregations of priests, brothers, sisters and laity bearing the name of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the goal of re-evangelizing the world for Christ. Ordained a priest in 1816, Father Champagnat served as a parish priest in the difficult decades following the French Revolution and was beloved by his parishioners for his holy zeal and concern for the young people and the poor. He was only 27 years old when his concern led him to found an order of teaching brothers to address the desperate need for the Christian education of young people amid the rapidly secularizing European society. I cannot see a child without wanting to tell him how much Jesus loves him. The brothers were quickly in demand. They grew both in vocations and in the numbers of new schools they opened. Father Champagnat shepherded his flock of brother teachers in the imitation of and submission to Mary in their personal, community and apostolic work. Saint Marcellin Champagnat died at the age of 51 in 1840 after a lengthy illness and was canonized in 1999 by Pope John Paul II.
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