Our Patron Saint
Saint Paul's School
January 22, 1850, the news quickly travelled through the streets of Bordeaux; “The saint is dead. The Saint is dead. ” For many is Bordeaux, Good Father Chaminade had been a beloved and familiar figure. His Preaching, and especially the influence of his apostolic works coming from the Madeleine, had made” him a legend among the people. The younger folks, unaware that Chaminade had not been born in Bordeaux, thought this priest had never left the city. At family gathering, people talked about his pert in the underground during the Great Revolution. At that time, he used all kinds of disguises. The people especially admired the fervor of his priestly heart and his fidelity’s to Rome. People spoke of him as a man who was unshakable in his conviction and loyal to his friend.
Born under Louis XV, when wigs were commonly worn, he experienced several revolutions and a forced exite. Formed as an educator, he left his mark on the first part of the nineteenth century by his missionary fervor and his foundations. He began several communities of lay people, called Sodalities. He developed a method of evangelization in which fait and charity were spread by personal contact.
Under the banner of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, he enrolled hundreds of young people and adults, men and women, to make Christ and his Churck known loved and served. At the time Napoleon’s empire, the results of his ministry were already evident. Sodalists were the leaders in the seminary in Bordeaux. Other become the pioneers of a renewed among the Christian Brothers, after the return of the Bourbon King in 1814, a group of young women from agen became the core of a new religious order, founded in 1816, the Daughters of Mary Immaculate. In 1817 in Bordeaux, the Society of Mary was born Chaminade was a founder of religious order, and he also encouraged the founding of the work of a Misericord, and institute to provide shelter and assistance to repentant prostitutes in the Bordeaux religion.
The poorest we touched by his sodalists, such as the prisoners at the Fort du Ha and the little chimney sweeps left to their own devices more significantly, he introduced through our France new approaches in teaching – education through example and through good book – and in the formation of primary school through appropriate retreats. In addition to southwest France, the regions of Alsace and France – Comte were the first to benefit from this man’s zeal, which was animated by a bold and enlightened faith, Near the beginning of the twentieth century, the arch bishop of Bordeaux, Cardinal Ferdinand Donnette, acknowledge that all the good works of this diocese have had their root in the work of the sodality of Father Chaminade.”
The “Saint of Bordeaux” (William Joseph Chaminade) still has a great deal to us, we who are passing through times no less trouble than his. This is the conviction of the Marianist Family today. Lay people (some with private vows), religious woman and men, and priest on five continents belong to this family. They proclaim themselves followers of Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.