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Reflection on the Feast of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, January 22.

Let us reflect and pray to Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Founder of the Marianist Family, on his feast day, January 22.

Introduction                                                                    William Joseph Chaminade,

On January 22, we celebrate the feast of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, Founder of the Society of Mary (SM) and Co-Founder of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate-Filles de Marie Immaculée (FMI), with Blessed Adèle de Batz. Blessed Chaminade was born in Périgueux, France, in 1761. He lived and established his missionary work during the trials and tribulations of the French Revolution of 1789. He formed Marian Sodalities of youth and adults that led to the formation of the two religious orders and the Marianist Lay Communities of today. He died in Bordeaux, France, in 1850, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 3, 2000. Let us pray to Blessed Chaminade for the mission and works of the Marianist Family in making the name of Mary, Mother of God, known, loved, and served.

Opening Prayer                                Prayer adapted from the Liturgical Mass of Blessed Chaminade

O God, you chose to build your Church through the apostolic labors of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.  Grant, through his intercession, that we may always receive new growth in faith and holiness. We pray for your peace, mercy, and truth to spread throughout the world. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading                                                                                            John 2: 1-11, RSCVE

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Silent Introspection                                  Marian Writings, Vol 2, 833-834, William Joseph Chaminade

Let us contemplate the following text from Blessed William Joseph Chaminade on the Virgin Mary’s words to the servants at the wedding feast at Cana:

Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). These words were addressed by the Blessed Virgin to the servants at the wedding in Cana of Galilee, to which she and her Son had been invited. The Blessed Virgin noticed that the wine was all finished; she alerted her Son and then said to the servants; “Do whatever he tells you,” that is, whatever he asks you to do, don’t reason it out, do it, even if it appears unreasonable. It is as if she had said: put your faith in him. The very same words are addressed to us who are her children. Do whatever my Son tells you, she says. But how can Jesus Christ speak to you? Through faith. Listen with faith, call on faith for help and put its teaching into practice. We will then be doing what Jesus tells us…we must go to God by faith. “This is the victory over the world – our faith” (Jn 5:4) …

Personal/ Group Reflection

How does the following excerpt from Pope John Paul II’s homily on the occasion of the beatification of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade speak to me, today?

The beatification during the Jubilee Year [2000] of William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Marianists, reminds the faithful that it is their task to find ever new ways of bearing witness to the faith, especially in order to reach those who are far from the Church and who do not have the usual means of knowing Christ. William Joseph Chaminade invites each Christian to be rooted in his Baptism, which conforms him to the Lord Jesus and communicates the Holy Spirit to him.

Fr Chaminade's love for Christ, in keeping with the French school of spirituality, spurred him to pursue his tireless work by founding spiritual families in a troubled period of France's religious history. His filial attachment to Mary maintained his inner peace on all occasions, helping him to do Christ's will. His concern for human, moral and religious education calls the entire Church to renew her attention to young people, who need both teachers and witnesses in order to turn to the Lord and take their part in the Church's mission.

Closing Prayer

Prayer for the Canonization of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

O Lord, you are constantly at work in your Church, and through individuals and communities you manifest your Spirit for the good of your people. In a special way you bestowed your Spirit on your servant Blessed William Joseph Chaminade, so that he might live fully according to the Gospel and with love devote himself to Your saving work.

You have inspired communities of men and women to follow his example by consecrating themselves to you to serve the Church under the leadership of Mary.

We now pray to you to give us signs of your grace and holiness in his life by granting us the special favors we ask through his intercession, especially (mention your petition).

May the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be glorified in all places through the Immaculate Virgin Mary. Amen

Would you like to use the above-mentioned reflection in your community? Click here to download the pdf.


Reflection prepared by Hazel Franco

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