Family tree of SAINT MARCELLIN


FrenchBorn Marcellin CHAMPAGNAT

Founder of the Marist Brothers, a religious congregation of men in the Roman Catholic Church

Born on May 20, 1789 in Marlhes, France , France

Died on June 06, 1840 in Saint-Chamond, France

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Marcellin Champagnat was born the ninth of ten children at Le Rosey, a hamlet in the Rhône-Alpes region (Loire Département, Saint-Étienne Arrondissement, Mahrles commune). He spent his childhood years in this area amidst the turmoil of the French Revolution where he witnessed the atrocities of civil war.

Marcellin's character was influenced by three people in his family. His father Jean Baptiste, an intelligent, hard-working, enterprising man, contributed to his formation as a citizen. His mother, Marie Therese, and his aunt Louise (from the Sisters of St. Joseph) served as models and guides to strengthen his steps as a believer and to deepen his faith.


The area of Marlhes in which Champagnat lived and worked had been badly affected by the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, and the local community was poor and very uneducated.

From 1805 to 1813, Marcellin attended the minor seminary in Verrieres. At one stage, quite discouraged, he overcame the temptation to leave religious life. He then attended the major seminary in [Lyon] for his spiritual and theological formation as a priest.

It was here that the idea for the Society of Mary was conceived and promoted by a group of seminarians, including Marcellin. From the start, he announced the Society should include Teaching Brothers to work with children deprived of Christian education in remote rural areas because others were not going to them.

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Geographical origins

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