Vignettes and Cameos
Vignette 10

The sources of Blessed Father Chaminade's spirituality and Mariology, and his identification with the French School, are examined in detail by Father Thomas Stanley and Father William Cole in their excellent studies done as doctoral dissertations: (Stanley, The Mystical Body of Christ according to the Writings of W. J. Chaminade; Cole, The Spiritual Maternity of Mary according to the Writings of W. J. Chaminade).

The influence of the French School of Spirituality, especially of Father J. J. Olier, is marked in the teaching of Father Chaminade, whose doctrine represents a resurgence and development of Berullian spirituality.

Chaminade studied thoroughly the whole of Marian theology. He had clear ideas on all the privileges and functions of Mary, not only on those openly professed by the Church for many centuries, but also on those not yet generally held in terms of a definite and explicit teaching. For example, he resolutely advocated the universal mediation of Mary.

Moreover, he was in advance of most Marian authors of his day even from a speculative point of view regarding two particular doctrines: the Spritual Maternity of Mary and the ApostoIic Mission of Mary in the world. Upon these doctrines he based the special way of life he taught his disciples. His full development of these two doctrines is clearly his distinctive contribution to Mariology in his era. His treatment of these two points manifests in him a stamp of undeniable originality. Even other Marian teachings held in common with his contemporaries are distinguished by his own particular stamp.

Cameo 10

In the mind of Father Chaminade, our first duty is to learn the relation of Mary to God and to ourselves.

As it is through our knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ that we have come to know the most Blessed Virgin Mary, so also may we say that it is our knowledge of Mary that leads us to know our Lord Jesus Christ.

For Marianists, then, to study and to know Mary are of prime importance.

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