founder of the Marist Congregation. In the troubled times during and after the French Revolution, he wanted to be a priest, but was considered unfit for the necessary study. He persevered and entered the seminary of Lyons. After his ordination in 1816, he joined a group of priests who wished to found a congregation, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, and consisting of both priests and nuns. Marcellin insisted that there should also be a section for laymen, dedicated to education. After various attempts to join themselves to other organizations, they voted to remain under his leadership as a separate order.
His determination succeeded, and the Marist congregation established excellent work in the foreign missions. By the time of his death, there were 48 houses and around 280 brothers. After his early death at the age of 51, the order expanded prodigiously to over 5,000 brothers, one of whom set up Celtic Football Club in Glasgow.
Champagnat was recognized for his holiness and miraculous cures, and was canonized in 1999. Marist brothers are currently to be found in 76 countries across five continents. Feast: 6 June.
Life by Bako, R.M. s.d. 6 June;B.L.S. (Concise edn.) 260–2.
http://www.champagnat.org Site dedicated to the Marist Brothers