For growth in the Spirit of Mary

extract from the "Marist prayer texts for special days", 1997
July 23

The anniversary of the Promise to Found a Society of Mary
Made at the Shrine of Fourviere in Lyon in 1816

Reading I:   I Cor 1:26-31

Consider your own calling, brothers. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not  
many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the
world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to
nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. It is due to him that you are in Christ
Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is
written, "Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord."

Reading II:   A Book of Texts for the Study of Marist Spirituality, compiled by Edwin L. Keel, S.M.
            Rome, Center for Marist Studies, 1993,
Doc. 145, pp. 79-80

                                                     The Fourviere Pledge.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

All for the greater glory of God and the greater honor of Mary, Mother of the Lord Jesus.

We the undersigned, striving to work together for the greater glory of God and the honor of Mary, Mother of the Lord
Jesus, assert and declare our sincere intention and firm will of consecrating ourselves at the first opportunity to founding
the pious congregation of Marists. That is why by the present act and our signatures, insofar we can, we irrevocably
dedicate ourselves and all our goods to the Society of the blessed Virgin. We do this not childishly or lightly or for some
human motive or the hope of material benefit, but seriously, maturely, having taken advice, having weighed everything
before God, solely for the greater glory of God and the honor of Mary, Mother of the Lord Jesus.
We pledge ourselves to accept all sufferings, trials, inconveniences and, if need be, torture, because we can do all things in
Christ Jesus who strengthens us and to whom we hereby promise fidelity in the bosom of our holy mother the Roman
catholic church, cleaving with all our strength to its supreme head the Roman pontiff and to our most reverend bishop, the
ordinary, that we may be wholesome teaching which by his grace we have received. We trust that, under the reign of our
most Christian king, the friend of peace and religion, this institute will shortly come to light and we solemnly promise that
we shall spend ourselves and all we have in saving souls in every way under the very august name of the Virgin Mary and
with her help.

All this is subject to the wiser judgement of ours superiors.

May the holy and immaculate conception of the blessed Virgin Mary be praised.


Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, faith on your word is the way to wisdom, and to ponder your
divine plan is to grow in truth. Open our eyes to your deeds, our ears to the sound of your call, so that our every
act may increase our sharing in the life you have offered us. We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord.

                                                               (Marist Celebrations, Pro Manuscripto, 1978, Anthony Ward, p80)