The Marists are a community of baptized Christian men, priests and brothers, who, heeding the invitation of Jesus have left all things and follow him. They consecrate all that they are and have to the service of the Gospel wherever they may be sent in the name of the mission entrusted to the Society of Mary. They were founded in 1836 by the Venerable Jean Claude Colin in France.
The lives of Marists are governed by their fundamental charter, the Constitutions – a rule of life approved by the Holy See as an authentic way of living the Christian life.
Marist religious give witness to their following of Christ through their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The serious commitment of the vows helps Marists live the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection and gives concrete witness to a new world initiated by the risen Jesus and frees them to be at the service of people.
Marists, who strive to follow the example of Mary, have an added incentive to pray, for Mary was a woman of prayer. She pondered on life’s events in her heart and, as a member of the first Christian community joined with the apostles in prayer.
The founder, Fr Colin, encouraged Marists to be “men of prayer”, learning in prayer to “taste God”.
Community life is important for Marists. Their founder wanted them to start renewing the Church in and through their own communities. Their only model should be the community of first believers of Jerusalem. Being a religious involves a commitment to the common life – living in community and sharing all things in common.