The Church celebrates the feast of the Assumption of Mary on 15 August. This day is also the patronal feast of the Institute. The Constitutions of the Marist Brothers remind us as follows:
Like Father Champagnat, we go to Mary as a child to its mother. By prayer, and by studying what the Church is saying about Mary, we seek to deepen our relationship with her. Her great feast days, especially the Assumption, which is the patronal feast of the Institute, are special times for intensifying our devotion to this Good Mother (Const. 74).
Our Superior General, Brother Ernesto Sánchez, has recorded a series of videos for the Province of Brazil Centro-Sur, which broadcasts them monthly on its YouTube channel. The video for August deals with the patronal feast of the Institute. And these are his Ernesto’s words:
In this month of August, let us focus on the fifteenth, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This is a very special day for Marists, a feast in which we see Mary’s plenitude. This plenitude fullness results from her spirit of acceptance .
When we celebrate Mary’s feast, we celebrate our feast as Marists, as Marists of Champagnat. You are very aware that the group of Marists was created 200 years ago. For many years this vocation was lived by us, the Brothers. As time went by, more and more people became enchanted with the charism of Champagnat. As a result the group became a larger family – a family where all relationships were renewed – among brothers and laypersons, old and young people, among everyone who is part of this family.
I wish all of us Marists to discover and deepen, both from our personal experiences and from our state of life, how to live out this “Marist identity”. And I hope this discovery enriches one another, not by comparing, but rather by complementing one another.
I wish all of you a happy feast-day and I hope the celebration can strengthen both our “Marian identity” and our “Marist identity”.