Morning Prayer

1 Mary of the Annunciation  

Mary of the Annunciation (Luke 1: 26-38), we are open to the movement of God in our lives, of God for whom nothing is impossible.  Despite our doubts, fears and feelings of inadequacy, we accept in faith God’s invitation to participate in the work of spreading the Good News.  In an age of independence, we make room for God.

Hope: To become more aware of God’s presence in my life.


Marial Greeting  

Mary our Good Mother, trusting in God alone 
and in the midst of a world in turmoil 
you courageously uttered your full-throated, “YES”.

Encourage us to have such nerve, that for all the uncertainty of the times, 
we may go forward with hopeful and daring hearts, 
convinced of our vocations and that we are doing your work. 
Good Mother, who gave birth to life, stand with us. Amen.


The Annunciation


she had not stilled her own soul

like a weaned child

on the breast of God



she had not learned

to touch presence

in emptiness



she had not attuned her

inner ear

to the heartbeat of God

or the whir of wings


Would she have even noticed the angel?  


Champagnat Marist Reading | He Gave us the name of Mary, p. 63

Mary in the Annunciation is our model of openness to the Spirit, to whom she listens attentively in silence and to whose action she abandons herself.  Like her, who treasured these things and pondered them in her heart, we seek to be contemplatives in action.  Our prayer, faithful to Marist tradition, is simple, inserted into everyday life, but also with specific times of contemplation.  We educate ourselves and others interiority, by cultivating sensitivity and promoting and openness to beauty.



We rejoice in the call and response of Mary, woman of faith.  We celebrate the power of the Divine Presence in the many forms in which God comes to us.  As we join in gratitude for the faith of Mary, Servant of the Holy One, we pray to renew our commitment to this unending love.  We now offer the following prayers to the One who unceasingly woos us into deeper faith.


Spirit of Love, linger long at the door of our hearts.  Call to us time and again until we hear your voice and respond to you.


Teach us to listen for you in every corner of our lives and to await your messengers in the most unexpected situations and conditions.


Open our minds and our hearts so that we will respond as your servant Mary did.  Help us to give our "yes" to you even though our faith groans and wobbles with doubts and concerns.


Encourage us to recognize our fears when they rise up.  Give us the strength we need.  Let us not give in to anxious trepidations when they bombard us with negativity.


Keep nudging us to move toward growth when our resistance holds us back.  When we question the impracticality or the seeming impossibility of these nudges, give us wisdom and courage to let go of what restrains us.


Still and quiet our souls.  May we hear the whisper of your divine call, asking us each day to accept the treasure of your life within us.


May the music of Mary's own trustful response sing in our spirits.  Gift us with the ability to move forward into the unknown, confident that you will guide and direct us.


Mary, thank you for your attentive receptivity.  We, too, are not alone in the call to face an unknown future.  May we trust that the Holy One will shelter us and accompany us on our spiritual journey.  May the spirit of your child, Jesus, live on in us.  May we, too, be men and women of great love, carrying the Divine Presence in the womb of our hearts.  We pray, as always, in Jesus' name.  Amen.


2  Mary of the Visitation  

Like Mary of the Visitation (Luke 1: 39-45), we go out from our communion with the Lord full of faith and hope. We go to meet young people in their places of need, offering them our love. In an age of individualism, we put others first.


Hope: To grow in awareness that I am loved unconditionally by God.


Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, praised be your holy name! 
You inspired the Virgin Mary, mother of your Son, 
to visit Elizabeth and assist in her need. 

Keep us open to the working of your Holy Spirit,
and with Mary may we praise you forever. 

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
your Son who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever.  Amen.


Champagnat Marist Reading 1 | Water from the Rock, #133-134

Mary, as a sensitive and compassionate disciple, goes “in haste,” responding quickly to those who need her.  She goes “in haste” to joyfully announce the news of a God who loves, and the sure promise that a reign of justice and faithfulness is at hand. She brings to Elizabeth both her hands for service and her experience of the Spirit.


Champagnat Marist Reading 2 | A New La Valla, pp. 10-11

The icon of the Visitation shows two extraordinary examples of maternity.  The philosopher Antonella Lumini, who describes herself as a hermit in the city, expresses this beautifully: Mary reveals the awakening of original innocence, which, from the very beginning, has remained uncontaminated and preserved in the intimacy of humanity […].  Elizabeth, on the other hand, is the barren old woman who, beyond all possibility, becomes a mother through grace.  She presents as the figure of a barren and tired humanity, whose unexpected fruit comes to fruition as if distilled from the final pressing, and so becomes the living cell on which something new may be established.  

For the maternity of these two women to become a reality, both the YES of Mary, an expression of her openness to the gift of the Spirit, as well as the NO of Elizabeth (No!  He is to be called John), a break with the tradition of ‘but it has always been like that’, were necessary in order to be faithful to the will of God. In fact, John means he who is faithful.  

Let us allow ourselves to be inspired by the courage of these two women of faith, Mary and Elizabeth.  May they walk with us in our discernment, and may they give us something of their courage, …, that we may all learn to say yes or no, under the inspiration of the Spirit, and so bring forth new life.


Prayers for Others' Needs

Remembering the great things God has done for us in Christ, let us pray in the Spirit that marked the lives of Mary and Elizabeth, and so with joy we call out: Redeeming God, hear us.


We ask God's blessing upon all who carry the good news throughout the world.  May the church's work of evangelization flower to God's honour and glory.  With joy we call out:  Redeeming God, hear us.


We ask God's blessing upon all who place their lives in service of others.  May those who are generous with their love be fortified by grace.  With joy we call out: Redeeming God, hear us.


We ask God's blessing upon all pregnant women.  May the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life, safeguard them and the new life they carry.  With joy we call out: Redeeming God, hear us.


We ask God's blessing upon all Catholic health-care ministries, chaplaincies and social services.  May these works be instruments of God's love in the lives of others.  With joy we call out:  Redeeming God, hear us.


We ask God's blessing upon mothers.  May the love they give to their households be a sign of God's love for the household of the church.  With joy we call out: Redeeming God, hear us.


We ask God's blessing upon the church as it receives Christ, the Word of Life, in the Eucharist.  May we experience the strength of the Spirit's grace as did Mary and Elizabeth.  With joy we call out:Redeeming God, hear us.

Other prayers…

Let us pray:  Loving and faithful God, truly your works are wonderful and great.  Receive our prayers and praise on this joyful feast of the Visitation, through Christ, our Redeemer.  Amen.


3  Mary of the Magnificat

Like Mary of the Magnificat (Luke 1: 46-55), we praise the Lord for the gift of life. In an age of concern over public morality, we side with the lowly.


Hope:  To be aware of God’s grace in my life.


Champagnat Marist Reading | Water from the Rock

103. Marist spirituality inspires our understanding of how we are to live what Jesus commands us and what Champagnat dreams for us. At the same time it grows and develops as we love one another, honestly and simply, in our families and communities.


104. Living the Eucharist is at the heart of our community life and our way of relating. In many different places and with many different people we find ourselves, throughout our days gathered, blessed, broken and shared.


105. Our spirituality is communal, best expressed and lived when we are gathered as family and community. We develop meaningful relationships and assure our consistent presence within our communities and families. Thus the experience of loving and being loved become part of our life in the ordinary moments of our day.


106. Whatever the members of a community do - working, struggling for justice, serving society, praying or sharing meals and relaxation together - we recognise the blessings of God. We are blessed with the gift of life and with companions for our mission and our life’s journey. We proclaim, not just what God has done for each one of us, but what God is doing for us together, as family and community.


107. Life together supports and challenges us to be a community of mission. We listen to the invitations of God that flow through our shared life and discern our shared response. Based on a common trust in God, we offer our lives in service. In ministry we find ourselves, like Jesus, broken open for our brothers and sisters. Truly, we are bread of life for others as Jesus has been for us.

 Pause for reflection. 



My soul proclaims your greatness, 
O God, my spirit rejoices in you, my Saviour, 
for you have looked with favour on your lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed: 
you, the Almighty, have done great things for me, and holy is your name.  

You have mercy on those who fear you from generation to generation. 
You, O God have shown strength with your arm 
and scattered the proud in their conceit, 
Casting down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly.

You have filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. 
You have come to the help of your servant Israel, 
for you have remembered your promise of mercy, 
The promise made to our forebears, to Abraham, Sarah, and their children for ever.



Let us pray for a sense of community, that we may retain in our living, working and playing a real empathy and concern for those with who we live and work.  Give us, Creating God, a living sense of community.


For a spirit of honestly, that we are able to recognise the truth of a situation and speak this truth in love to each other.  Give us, Creating God, a living sense of community.


For an ability to inspire, that we may be challenged to dream, think, create and share new projects.  Help us, Empowering God to make our dreams a reality.


For an attitude of reflection, that we may be able to ponder the words and realities in which we find ourselves.  Make us, Envisioning God, a reflective people.


For a spirit of persistence, that we may persevere in our efforts to empower and challenge each other to ensure that the our dreams become reality.  God of perseverance, may we be dogged in our pursuit of our shared dream.


For an awareness of our need for reconciliation and forgiveness that we may constantly redeem the vision of shared leadership to which Jesus challenged us.  God of life, may we be summoned again and again by your word to redemption.


4  Mary of Bethlehem

Like Mary of Bethlehem (Luke 2: 1-20), we bring Jesus to birth in the hearts of others.  We are ready to do so in the most unlikely and inhospitable of places. In an age of consumerism, we make do with simple comforts.


Hope: To open my heart to Jesus.


Marial Greeting

Gracious God, as we enter into this moment of prayer, 
we enter it best by imitating the example of Mary as God-bearer. 
Like her, we seek to bring the presence of Christ to others.

Mary gave birth to Christ in her heart before she did so from her womb. 
With Mary as our companion in the faith, 
we pray that the word might become flesh in our own words 
and deeds of justice and peace. 

Mary, like you at Bethlehem, 
we seek to bring Jesus to birth in the hearts of others. 
In our daily living, show us your Son, who lives in us.

Help us to listen to him, to act on his Word,
and to do our part in building the Kingdom
of justice and peace.  Amen. 


Champagnat Marist Reading | A Path to Education and Maturity in Faith

40. The Jews believed that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Mt 2,1-6).  Jesus, in fact, was born there and was placed in a manger for two reasons: historically, because there was no room in the inns; symbolically, because the child is born as the “bread of life” (manger = place to eat).


41. Bethlehem is recognized deep in humanity’s psyche as a place of welcome.  God made his dwelling there, incarnated in the everyday lives of the people.  He did not choose palaces; he preferred to stay with the poor.  This is a place of encounter with nature, reflected in the warmth of the cave, in his mother’s lap, the welcome of a family born in simplicity and detachment. In Bethlehem, we find wonderful characters such as Mary, who kept everything in her heart, Joseph, the man who agreed to be the father of a son filled with mystery, the shepherds who were the first ones to receive the news of the birth of the awaited Messiah.  Bethlehem also brings to mind the characters of the kings who came in search of the Star, following it to learn the meaning of that special event.


42. Bethlehem is on the peripheries and it is there that salvation was born. In people’s imagination there is no Bethlehem without the star: the star of hope, of the way, of the meaning.  In Bethlehem, the angels sing the good news of the arrival of the child. News of peace would cross the centuries. Bethlehem is a cave and a way, at the same time.  That is where the blessed couple arrived.  Bethlehem reminds us of Roman control through the census, to guarantee oppression.  At the same time, it is lodging, welcome, news of something very good. Bethlehem is rejection since “there was no room for them in the inn” (Lk2,7).  It is in Bethlehem where the Lord’s epiphany occurred.  There, God was revealed to the world. There, the piety of the Magi offered gold, frankincense and myrrh.  The “child” is born into reality, wrapped in mystery.  The experience of faith is also a grace that is born within reality.


Psalm Prayer based on Psalm 96

Sing to the God a new song; 
sing to the God, all you lands. 
Sing to the God; bless God’s holy name. 
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!


Announce God’s salvation, day after day. 
Let us tell God’s glory among the nations; 
among all peoples, tell of God’s wondrous deeds. 
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!


God made the heavens. 
Splendour and majesty go before God; 
Praise and grandeur are in God‘s sanctuary. 
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!


Concluding Prayer

Loving God, may my faith in you enable me to give birth to you in my words and actions. 
In imitation of Jesus you ask me to do your will. 
May I do so knowing that my call as a Champagnat Marist is to be a ‘Bearer of God’ 
to our families, to our students, in my relationships, 
in my work places, and in my time and in my culture.

Mary our Good Mother, 
help me to bring God to birth in my own life
and in the lives of all who I encounter. 
In making Jesus “known and loved” 
may I see the face of God in all whom I meet.  Amen.


5  Mary of Nazareth

Like Mary of Nazareth (Luke 2: 39-52), we nurture, guide and care for the young, developing in them a knowledge and love of the God who is active in their lives, and a respect for all God has created. Like her, we accept them as they are even when we don’t fully understand their decisions. In an age of self-gratification, we give our love generously.


Hope: To deepen my love for Jesus and his way of living the ordinary days of his life.


Offering the day

God, we greet you in peace. 
We wish, today, to bring peace to those whom we meet. 
May our actions bring peace to others; 
may we add a little peace to our world.

May we keep in mind the peace of your holy family 
in Nazareth with Mary for guide, leading Jesus into a life of peace. 
Jesus, Mary and Joseph bring peace to our hearts.  Amen.



Loving God, you call us into community around Mary and Marcellin. 
Like the home of Nazareth, may our families and communities 
be places where we experience your love and forgiveness.

May we find and offer support and help. 
May we practice forgetfulness of self and an openness to others, 
as we deepen our Marist spirituality gifted to us by Marcellin and the early brothers.


Mary, like you in Nazareth, 
we wish to nurture and guide the young people confided to our care. 
Enable us to develop in them a knowledge and love 
of the God who is active in their lives. 
And a respect for all that God has created.


Mary, your home at Nazareth is the model for our family spirit, 
with its love and forgiveness, support and help, joy, 
forgetfulness of self and openness to others.

Help us to focus our lives on Jesus, as you did, 
so that in whatever we do, we may act as you did, 
with discretion, sensitivity and respect for each person.  Amen.


Champagnat Marist Reading | The Champagnat Movement of the Marist Family p. 389

To this spirituality of daily living the charism brings the insights and the emphases which come to us from Champagnat: seeing the love that God has for us in the events of life, truth and simplicity which make our relationships authentic, living in the spirit of family, with Mary as our mother and model, being enthusiastic about our work and concerned for the needs of others, especially the young.


Father Ed Keel SM suggests that our theology and spirituality of Mary might take fuller account of the facts that Mary was a lay woman, married, and a parent. She engaged in loving service to others, sometimes at great cost to herself (Visitation, Cana). She was present in a significant way when the Church launched its mission to the world (Pentecost); she gives a clear expression to her faith and her hope in the face of an oppressive political situation (Magnificat); Mary the lay woman, not Peter the cleric, is both the perfect disciple of Jesus and the comprehensive archetype of the Church. We keep in mind too, the family life of Nazareth, the years of love, the shared hope, the joy and the grief, and busy round of daily work; our lay members know that experience very well.


Marial Prayer | Litany of Mary of Nazareth

Widowed mother - Pray for us

Unwed mother - Pray for us

Mother of a political prisoner - Pray for us

Mother of the condemned - Pray for us

Mother of the executed criminal - Pray for us             


Breaker of bondage - Lead us to life

Political refugee - Lead us to life

Seeker of sanctuary - Lead us to life

First disciple - Lead us to life

Sharer of Christ’s passion - Lead us to life

Seeker of God’s will - Lead us to life

Witness to Christ’s resurrection - Lead us to life


Woman of grace and truth - Empower us

Woman of wisdom and understanding - Empower us

Woman, pregnant with hope - Empower us

Woman, centred in God - Empower us


6  Mary of Cana

Like Mary of Cana (John 2:1-11), we are sensitive to the needs of others.  We invite the young to do whatever Jesus bids. In an age of self-centredness, we feel for others.


Hope: To hear God’s call and to be willing to respond generously.


Offering our Day

Loving God, may all that I am called to this day in community, ministry and service, 
help to show the face of Jesus to our sisters and brothers. 
Give me a greater awareness of your engagement with our world
and in my life so that I may come to know your call to an ever-deeper pondering in my heart. 
May Mary our Good Mother encourage me always to “do whatever He tells you”.  Amen.


Marial Prayer

Mary, handmaid of the Lord, 
deepen in us the sense of loving concern for the poor, 
the needy and those in difficulty. 
This same sense which prompted you to go to Elizabeth in her pregnancy, 
and to come to the help of the family at Cana.

You inspired Marcellin with a lively urgency 
to help young people whom he found to be at risk. 
Help us, who share his charism, to feel the same compassion for the poor, 
and the same skill in finding ways to meet their needs.  Amen.


Champagnat Marist Reading 1 | In the Footsteps of Marcellin Champagnat

113. As for Marcellin and the first Brothers so also for us, Mary inspires the style of our fraternal relationships.  At the marriage of Cana, Mary is sensitive to the need that has arisen, and with discretion arranges what is required.  She encourages us to exercise authority in a spirit of service to our community, and demonstrates that our actions can spark an increase in the faith of others.  At the same time, her words to her Son, “They have no wine”, show her desire to bring those in need to the attention of her Son.


Champagnat Marist Reading 2 | II Marist International Mission Assembly

We have experienced the centrality of Jesus Christ in our lives and have felt how he is sending us out as missionaries and evangelizers.  We have welcomed Mary’s invitation: “Do whatever He tells you” (John 2: 5).  Walking with her, we have heeded God calling us in the depth of our hearts with an invitation to respond as she did, to proclaim wholeheartedly the prophetic words of her Magnificat.  As Mary, we want to develop a disposition of openness to the new situations emerging in our ever-evolving world.


Prayer Response

O God, you are the source of love. 
At the dawn of creation you placed 
a hunger and a thirst for love within the human heart. 
Open my heart to your Word.


You did not desire us to be lonely 
but gave us to one another as a gift and image 
of the divine life you know within yourself. 
Open my heart to your Word.


Born into our flesh, reared in a human family, 
Jesus walked among us as a loved one 
and taught us your ways of tenderness and compassion. 
Open my heart to your Word.


We thank you, loving God, 
for the love that has come to us from you in our 
family, friends and faith. 
Open my heart to your Word.


Stir up in us the power of your loving 
so that we may burn with the same love for one another. 
We hear Jesus prompting us to love others 
as you have loved us. 
Let your love be seen among us. 
Open my heart to your Word.



Father, give me eyes to see and ears to hear what Jesus tells me to do. 
I want to be courageous enough to live up to what he asks of me. 
I want to be willing to do WHATEVER he tells me, even if I don't understand it. 
Empower me with your Spirit to that kind of faith and courage. 
In Jesus' name. Amen.


7  Mary of Calvary

Like Mary of Calvary (John 19: 25-27), we recognise Jesus in the face of the broken and suffering, aching for them with a mother’s heart and believing in them with a mother’s passion. In an age in which hope struggles with despair, we stand by those who are dying or grieving.


Hope: To deepen my faith in God’s redeeming love in the midst of human suffering.


Marial Greeting

Mary, you are our Good Mother. 
We recall your memory and thank you for showing 
us how the bring Christ into our world, 
and how to be able to accept and recognize him in ourselves and in others. 
You show us Jesus in the faces of the broken and suffering. 
May our hearts ache like yours.  Amen.


Champagnat Marist Reading |Water from the rock, par. 22

At the foot of the Cross, we are in awe of a God who loves us without reserve. We find a God who shares the physical and psychological suffering, betrayal, abandonment and violence experienced by humanity, and transforms these experiences. There we enter the mystery of redemptive suffering and learn humble fidelity in love. The crucified Christ is the sign and deepest expression of a God who is love.


Prayer Response based on four of the last four of the Seven Sorrows

Sorrow 4 - Witnessing Jesus carrying his cross | Matthew 27:32-33

On their way out they met a Cyrenian named Simon.  This man they pressed into service to carry the cross.  Upon arriving at a site called Golgotha they gave him a drink of wine flavoured with gall, which he tasted but refused to drink.


Can a human heart refrain

From partaking in her pain

In that mother's pain untold?


Sorrow 5 - The Crucifixion of Jesus | John 19:25-27

Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother's sister Mary, and Mary of Magdala.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple, he said to his mother: "Woman, this is your son."  Then he said to the disciple: "There is your mother."  And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home.


Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled

She beheld her tender child

All with bloody scourges rent.


Sorrow 6 - Taking Jesus down from the cross | Mark 15:42-45

As it grew dark, it was Preparation Day, that is, the eve of the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea arrived—a distinguished member of the Sanhedrin.  He was another who looked forward to the reign of God.  He was bold enough to seek an audience with Pilate and urgently requested the body of Jesus.  Learning that Jesus had died, Pilate released the corpse to Joseph.


Holy Mother, pierce me through

In my heart each wound renew

Of my Saviour crucified.


Sorrow 7 - The Burial of Jesus | Mark 15:46

Having brought a linen shroud, Joseph took Jesus down, wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of rock.  Finally, he rolled a stone across the entrance to the tomb.


By the cross with you to stay

There with you to weep and pray

All I ask of you to give.



Let us praise God the Father who chose Mary as the mother of his Son and wanted all generations to call her blessed. With confidence we pray:  May the Virgin Mary intercede for us!


Father, you did great things for the Virgin Mary and brought her, body and soul, to the glory of heaven; fill the hearts of your people with the hope of Christ's glory.  We pray: May the Virgin Mary intercede for us!


Through the prayers of Mary, our Good Mother, heal the sick, comfort the sorrowful, pardon sinners; grant peace and salvation to all.  We pray:  May the Virgin Mary intercede for us!


You favoured Mary with the fullness of grace; bestow on all people your overflowing blessings.  We pray:  May the Virgin Mary intercede for us!


May your church be united heart and soul, held fast by love, and may your faithful be joined in continuous prayer, with Mary the mother of Jesus.  We pray:  May the Virgin Mary intercede for us!


Father, you exalted the Virgin Mary and crowned her queen of heaven; may the dead enter your kingdom and rejoice with your saints forever.  We pray:  May the Virgin Mary intercede for us!


Other prayers...

Concluding Prayer

Loving God, when Jesus, your Son, was raised up on the cross,
it was your will that Mary, his mother, should stand there and suffer with him in her heart. 
Grant that in union with her, the Church may share in the passion of Christ,
and so be brought to the glory of his resurrection. 
We pray in Jesus' name, as always.  Amen.


8  Mary of the Cenacle

Like Mary of the Cenacle (Acts 1:12-2:4), we build community around us. In an age that is adrift spiritually, we bring the belief and vision of a new and Spirit-filled Church.


Hope: To be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit in my life.


Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Lord and life-giving Spirit, you brooded over the primeval waters. Come, fill our hearts.

You led your people out of slavery and into the freedom of the children of God.  Come, fill our hearts.

You overshadowed Mary of Nazareth and made her the Mother of God.  Come, fill our hearts.

You anointed Jesus as Messiah when he was baptized by John in the Jordan.  Come, fill our hearts.

You appeared in tongues of fire at Pentecost and endowed your Church with your charismatic gifts.  Come, fill our hearts.

You send us out to testify to the Good News about Jesus Christ.

Come, Holy Spirit fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in us the fire of your love.



God of life, you continually call us to the fullness of life, 
revealed to us in the person of Jesus. 
Through Marcellin Champagnat you have gifted your Church and the world 
with a vibrant vision for your human family.


In Marcellin, we see an audacious man, zealous about making Jesus know and loved, 
and passionate about young people, especially those most in need.  
At this time, you call us forth in faith, hope and love 
to be attentive to the signs of your Spirit in our world; 
to widen the space of our tent, to build bridges, 
to be beacons of hope in this turbulent world.


We ask your blessing as we reflect on your dream for humanity; 
reaffirm our desire to evangelise through education; 
and to discern new ways of being Marist together.


We ask this through Mary, mother of Jesus and our mother, 
who was present with the Church at Pentecost. 
Be present among us at this Pentecost of our Institute.  Bless us Good Mother.


Champagnat Marist Reading 1 | Evangelisers in the midst of youth, #97

Just as she did for Marcellin Champagnat and the first brothers, Mary inspires the model of the Church that we offer youth, a Church modeled on that of the first Christians, “This Marian Church has the heart of a mother: no one is abandoned.  A mother believes in the goodness at the core of a person, and forgives readily.  We are respectful of each one’s personal journey.  There is a place for those with doubts and spiritual uncertainty, a place for all.  There is listening and dialogue.  Challenge and confrontation are done with honesty and openness.”


Champagnat Marist Reading 2 | Burning Embers: Witnesses to the Faith, p. 7

The table of La Valla reminds us, even today, that Father Champagnat made of the community of his first disciples a real family.  Gathered around Mary in imitation of the apostles, united in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, we recognize that our way of living the faith is to live it in community.  It is a gift, a task and the first place where that universal love to which we have committed ourselves is expressed.


Champagnat Marist Reading 3 | In Her Arms or in Her Heart, pp. 43-44

Mary sets out “at once and in haste” to visit her cousin Elizabeth, makes the definitive pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and at Pentecost is part of the believing community into whom the Spirit of God breathes life and sends forth on mission.  Yes, Mary’s story is characterized by movement, by passages from one moment of meaning to another.  Such an outlook is essential for anyone who claims membership in an apostolic Institute that bears her name.  


Unfortunately, some of us have come to resemble more the members of monastic congregations, with their commitment to a specific monastery and place.  In contrast, we are meant to be itinerant, to move to those places where the need for evangelization is most urgent.


Prayer Response

Hail Mary, Mother of the Church, at the message of the angel you received the Word in your heart and in your body, and gave Life to the world – may we be open to the Word in our hearts.


Hail Mary, Mother of the Church, you are our mother because you cooperated out of love so that the Word might become flesh – may others experience God’s love through our actions.


Hail Mary, Mother of the Church, you are an example of faith, of hope, of love, – may we become more like you and continually progress in faith, hope and love.


Hail Mary, Mother of the Church, you are an example for us of obedience to the Word of God, – may we continually search out and do the will of God in all things.


Marial Prayer

Mary, our Good Mother, 
in your Immaculate Conception, 
by the power of the Holy Spirit, 
you became the tabernacle of God. 
Pray that the Spirit hasten to us and renew the face of the earth!


Mary, our Good Mother, 
in the mystery of the Incarnation, 
by the power of the Holy Spirit, 
you became the Mother of God. 
Pray that the Spirit hasten to us and renew the face of the earth!


Mary, our Good Mother, at the foot of the Cross, 
by the will of the Father and the Son and by the work of the Holy Spirit, 
you became the mother of humanity. 
Pray that the Spirit hasten to us and renew the face of the earth!


Mary, our Good Mother, while you were at prayer with the Apostles in the Cenacle, 
you were clothed anew in the Holy Spirit and became Mother of the Church. 
Pray that the Spirit hasten to us and renew the face of the earth!


Mary, our Good Mother, 
we pray you to ask the Holy Spirit to infuse in our hearts 
the gifts of wisdom, understanding and counsel, 
of fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord, 
so that we may be drawn ever deeper into God’s love. 
May the Spirit hasten to us and renew the face of the earth!