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Team Aleteia


And today we celebrate...

Tuesday, January 22
Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

Founder of the Marianists



Priest (1761-1850)

His life

+ The man who would come to be known simply as “Father Chaminade” was born in Périgueux, France, and was ordained a priest in 1785.

+ In 1790, at the outbreak of the French Revolution, he moved to Bordeaux. After he refused to take the oath of fidelity to the French Republic required by the Civil Constitution on the Clergy, he was forced into hiding and ministered in secret. Following a three-year exile in Spain, during which he developed a unique doctrinal appreciation for Mary, he returned to Bordeaux and began the formation of what is now known as the Marianist Family.

+ Chaminade saw the period of restoration following the Revolution as an opportunity to “re-Christianize” France. He was appointed Missionary Apostolic by the Holy See and his communities of religious brothers and sisters spread throughout France and beyond. His vision for an active laity was generations ahead of its time.

+ Never faltering in his devotion to Mary, whom he recognized as standing at the right side of her Son, working for the salvation of all, William Joseph Chaminade died on January 22, 1850. He was beatified in 2000.

For reflection

“His concern for human, moral and religious education calls the entire Church to renew her attention to the young.”—Pope Saint John Paul II


To learn about the Marianist Brothers and Priests, visit:

To learn about the Marianist Sisters, visit:


O God, who gave increase to your Church through the zeal for religion and apostolic labors of blessed William Joseph Chaminade, grant, through his intercession, that she may always receive new growth in faith and in holiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors—For Missionaries)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
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