Reflection: Le Puy

At Le Puy Jean-Claude Courveille “heard” the words of Mary urging that a religious congregation bearing her name be established.

Courveille was convinced that this idea didn’t come from him, but from Our Lady herself.

While Jean-Clade Colin heard of this idea from Courveille, he said, “That suits you!” and committed himself to the project.

From the Mayet Memoirs
“Let the first idea of the Society of Mary come from Our Lady of Le Puy. The first one to whom the dea was given was a M. Courveille. In 1812, while renewing his promise to Mary, he heard, not with his bodily ears, but with those of the heart, interiorly but very distinctly: “Here… is what I want. I have always initiated my Divine Son in everything. I followed him to Calvary itself, standing at the foot of the Cross when He gave His life for man’s salvation. Now, in heaven, sharing His glory, I follow his path still, in the work He does for His Church on earth. Of this Church, I am the Protectress. I am like a powerful army, defending and saving souls. When a fearful heresy threatened of convulse the whole of Europe, my son raised up His servant, Ignatius, to form a Society under His name, calling itself the Society of Jesus, with members called Jesuits, to fight against the hell unleashed against His church. In the same way, in this last age of impiety and unbelief, it is my wish, and the wish of my Son, that there be another Society to battle against hell, one consecrated to me, one which will have my name, which will call itself the Society of Mary, whose members will call themselves Marists.” – OM II doc 718.

The first Marists were deeply affected by the words of Mary: “Here is what I want”. They saw the Marist project as something which seized them and called them. We pray that we will see the Marist project as “the work of Mary” which is bigger than ourselves and as something which calls us beyond ourselves. Hymn: Salve Regina.