– Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.
Biographical and historical background. Blessed William Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850), founder of the Society of Mary (1817) and the Daughters of Mary Immaculate (1816), in post-revolutionary France was the only noteworthy Mariologist of the first half of the nineteenth century.1 Considering the tenor of the times, his contribution to Marian theology is remarkable. Commenting on those times, Monsignor George Shea observes that:
Their devotional works not only nourished Marian piety, but at the same time broadened and deepened its doctrinal basis, particularly in connection with the mediational role of our Blessed Mother, a crucial issue in the Jansenist controversy.
To these doctrinally significant spiritual writers, mostly of the Berullian school, one must add the last disciple of that school, William Chaminade (d. 1850), founder of the Marianists, whose published and unpublished writings are now being increasingly explored and appreciated.
If we assign Cardinal Newman to the latter half of the nineteenth century, Chaminade is the sole Mariologist worthy of note in the preceding fifty years.2
Despite the defeat of Jansenism, Mariology was in low estate in the early decades of the nineteenth century. Jansenism and rationalism had left their marks on all theology and on the science of Mary in particular.3
Father Cole, commenting in some detail on the sad state of Mariology in that period marvels that Father Chaminade was able to develop his doctrine in such impoverished and adverse conditions.4 To appreciate the modernity and completeness of his doctrine, especially on Mary's Spiritual Maternity and it consequences, it is necessary to see the work of Father Chaminade in the context of his own times. Evidently he had extensive knowledge of the writings of his great predecessors as well as the genius to extend and enrich the traditional teachings by his study and meditation.
While in exile at Saragossa, Spain, 1787 -1800, he was enlightened at the shrine of Our Lady of the Pillar with new insights. Here his new approaches and distinctive characteristics began to jell.
Characteristic elements of his spiritual doctrine. From his apostolic Marian sodalities established for young adults and married people, Father Chaminade founded the Marianists (the Daughters of Mary and the Society of Mary) to be the "undying moderator" completely dedicated to perpetuate cooperation with Mary in her Apostolic Mission.
Some of the main influences that shaped his thinking were the Johannine and Pauline scriptures and the French School of Spirituality.
It was the intimate conviction of Father Chaminade that our relation to Mary must be a participation in that which exists between Jesus and Mary. For him "devotion" means devotedness - an enduring attitude and disposition; not a single action, but a commitment. Because of our oneness with Christ in His Mystical Body, we are really but one child of Mary with Jesus Christ. The core of this child-like devotedness to Mary, generally termed filial piety to Mary, was Father Chaminade's insistence on her Spiritual Maternity.
From spiritual infancy to spiritual maturity, Father Chaminade intended the members of his religious families and their lay collaborators "to live and work by the spiritual help of Mary , that is, to have them brought up by her as Jesus was brought up by the care of this good Mother after having been formed in her womb."5 To become "another Christ" is the goal of every member of the Mystical Body. This is accomplished, taught Father Chaminade, not by becoming children of Mary , but by becoming "other children of Mary."
Article six of the 1937 Constitutions of the Society of Mary epitomizes the spiritual doctrine of its Founder and states the raison d'être of his religious families as "the most faithful imitation of Jesus Christ, Son of God, become Son of Mary for the salvation of mankind."6 All Marianists (religious and lay) were to become one with the Son of Mary for the same reason that Christ became her Son: to work at the salvation of all her other children.
Father Chaminade's extensive development of the doctrine of Mary's Spiritual Maternity resulted in the foundation of two religious families to assist Mary in her Apostolic Mission in modern times, which means bringing divine life to all her children - a particular aspect of her Spiritual Maternity.7 It was the conviction of her Apostolic Mission that inspired these foundations.
Father Chaminade made the Marianist profession of vows definitely a total consecration to Mary .The originality of his concept is that the consecration to Mary is not added to the religious profession, but the profession itself is a consecration to her. The two are identical. For him "The religious state is only a more perfect manner of fulfilling the scope of one's consecration to Mary."9 To make this perfectly clear he joined to the three regular vows of religion a vow of stability, which has the special Marian sense of perseverance in her service."10 "This vow is, in reality, a consecration to the Blessed Virgin."11
Father Chaminade's doctrine of apostolic filial piety, then, is not an act or series of acts of devotion to Mary , but a dynamic way of life a participation in the state of Jesus, Son of Mary, to aid her in multiplying Christians. As Jesus was nursed and reared by Mary, so, taught Father Chaminade, should Christians be formed in His likeness by her care. As Jesus associated Mary in all the mysteries of His life, so Christians should associate her in all their works, for their apostolate is but a participation in hers as Mother of all mankind. 12
On at least five solemn occasions this Venerable Servant of God and nineteenth century apostle of Mary announced Mary's apostolic triumph in modem times and foretold the Age of Mary. 13 Many noted writers of our times have been impressed by his far-reaching vision and by the apostolic orientation of his doctrine. We cite the Capuchin Father James O'Mahony as an example.
His writings. Father Thomas Stanley gives us the most detailed classification and evaluation of Father Chaminade's writings. 15 Father Chaminade was an eclectic, but with an original approach.16 In addition, he enlisted the assistance of a large number of secretaries and collaborators. After proposing fundamental ideas and basic outlines, he delegated the writing to his disciples, then edited and approved their work. Father Chaminade was a man of action discharging the manifold duties of a founder and of the apostolate; he was not a writer. The genius of his organization is at the same time a source of his obscurity in the history of spirituality .He embodied his ideas in a living organization rather than in the printed page. 17 For, while he wrote much, Father Chaminade published little. In fact, he never wrote directly for publication in general.
Because of his absorbing activities, Father Chaminade published for his two religious congregations few works: several circular letters, their respective Constitutions, and several editions of the Manuel du Serviteur de Marie. Yet we have a plethora of autographic manuscripts, official manuscripts produced under his direction, manuscripts copied by early Marianists, and manuscript notes taken by those who heard his instruction, discussions and sermons.18
With several exceptions, the documents containing Father Chaminade's Mariology remained unpublished for many years.19 Recently a number of translations, syntheses and analytical studies have appeared in published form.
The exceptions in earlier times were the following.20 Manuel du Servitetir de Marie was published by Father Chaminade in 1801 and went through six different editions in French during his lifetime. The Constitutions of the two religious congregations he founded (Daughters of Mary and the Society of Mary - both known as Marianists) were among the first works published. The Lettre aux Predicateurs de Retraites de 1839 contains the clearest expression of his doctrine on the apostolic role of the Immaculate Virgin and on the Marianist vow of Stability, which is in reality a total consecration to Mary.
Seventy years after the death of this Venerable Servant of God, highlights from many of his principal documents and spiritual writings were edited and published by the Society of Mary at Nivelles, Belgium, through Imprimerie Havaux in several volumes entitled L 'Esprit de Notre Fondation.21 Five volumes of the Lettres de M. Chaminade were published in 1930 by Imprirnerie Havaux, Nivelles, Belgium. But in the Marianist General Administration's archives in Rome, many more letters and writings of Father Chaminade and his first disciples await editing and publication. The Petit Traité de la Connaissance de Marie saw publication in 1927 by Tequi of Paris.22 This is an extract from the sixth edition (1841-1844) of the Manuel du Serviteur de Marie. The Petit Traité was actually composed by Father John B. Fontaine, S.M., one of Father Chaminade's most faithful disciples, in accord with Father Chaminade's ideas and often using expressions furnished by Father Chaminade.23 It contains the authentic Marian theology of Father Chaminade because he approved and published it. Of it one reviewer says:
His Marian doctrine: The sources of Father Chaminade's spirituality and Mariology , and his identification with the French School, are examined in some detail by Father Cole and Father Stanley in their excellent studies, which we have already cited. The influence of the French School, especially of Father Olier, is marked in the teaching of Father Chaminade, whose doctrine represents a resurgence and development of Berullian spirituality.25
Father Chaminade's deep conviction of the conquering role of the Virgin Mary in these latter times was expressed often and energetically, and in a manner which bears striking resemblance to St. Louis de Montfort's Treatise on True Devotion to Mary. The similarity of their teachings and of their foretelling Mary's role in our times, doubtlessly drawn from common sources, indicates, however, no dependence of Father Chaminade on his predecessor. In fact, comparative study of the two doctrines reveals real differences.26 Father Chaminade could not have been influenced by the prophetic teaching of St. Louis de Montfort's presaging the Age of Mary because the Treatise on True Devotion to Mary was not discovered until 1842. The doctrine and declarations of Father Chaminade, then eighty-one years old, all antedate 1842. Furthermore, de Montfort's prediction of the Age of Mary speaks of unknown times; Father Chaminade's, of current times.27 Father Chaminade's inspiration regarding Mary's apostolic role in our time was from Our Lady of the Pillar at Saragossa, not from any predecessor or contemporary .28
The originality of the Mariology of this Venerable Servant of God rests more in the practical consequences of that doctrine than in its speculative development. For this doctor of sacred theology always attaches extreme importance to doctrine as the foundation of practice. He always maintains the unceasing study of Mary as a serious obligation of devotion to her.29
Father Chaminade studied thoroughly the whole of Marian theology. He had clear ideas on 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, Father Chaminade 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 Spiritual Maternity of Mary and the Apostolic Mission of Mary in the world. Upon these doctrines he based the special way of life he taught his disciples. His 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.30
Quite clearly, as we shall see, Father Chaminade did not speculate for the sake of speculation. Learning, as he understood it, is not sterile knowledge, for learning converts itself plainly to love. Father Chaminade's objective was an applied Mariology, a lived doctrine. For him, doctrine leads to cult, to apostolic action. Though he is directing most teachings to the Society of Mary and the Daughters of Mary, he is not excluding the many lay apostles associated with him and his religious congregations. The social and apostolic character of his Marian doctrine and cult is unmistakable, a trend not clearly evident in the spirituality of his predecessors. Solidly rooted in the Mystical Body of Christ, his teaching emphasizes participation and sharing in the mysteries of Jesus and Mary .
Incessantly he insists on a sound doctrinal foundation for cult and service in a framework of Mystical Body consciousness:
In his mind, our fIrst duty toward Mary is to learn the relation of Mary to God and to ourselves.32
Father Chaminade's frame of reference is a Christocentric, or Christological, theocentrism woven into the context of salvation history.34 His approach at all times is intrinsically, primarily and essentially apostolic.35 For him the most salient point in following Christ is the mystery of the Son of God, become Son of Mary for the salvation of all. This is the mystery of Christ which includes all other mysteries, which presents the Christus totus.36
Father Cole outlines five related working principles of Mariology evident in the doctrine of Father Chaminade: (I) Mary's supreme dignity is the Divine Maternity; (2) the unsurpassed intimacy of the spiritual union between Jesus and Mary; (3) inseparably united with Christ, Mary is associated in all his mysteries; (4) Mary is to the Mystical Body what she is to Christ; (5) Mary must be known in order to be loved and served.37The fourth principle, Mary's relation to the whole Christ, is of special importance to our topic.
Father Neubert observes that Father Chaminade attached great importance to the Spiritual Maternity because of the intrinsic importance of this function.38 Prior to Father Chaminade's time many Mariological treatises gave only summary treatment of the Spiritual Maternity in the fashion of an appended corollary. Father Chaminade realized that Mary's Spiritual Maternity should be placed not at the end of the study of Mary's grandeurs but very close to the beginning; that is, immediately following the Divine Maternity, which it complements. Other prerogatives of the Virgin he recognized as requirements or consequences of her twofold Maternity.
The motives prompting his spirituality of dedication to Mary and determination to assist her in her apostolic role may be reduced to two: her relations to the Incarnation and the Redemption.39
Father Chaminade's view was the following: 40 in the actual order of things, the Incarnation of Christ had for its end the Redemption, our supernatural birth. To Christ's Incarnation there corresponds in Mary the Divine Maternity. Hence, the Incarnation leads to the Redemption; the Divine Maternity, to the Spiritual Maternity.The intimate ties relating these two functions of Mary are clearer yet if considered in the light of our incorporation with Christ. We form with Christ but one body, the Mystical Body of Christ. He is Head; we are members.
Seen in the fullness which marks all the works of God, Mary , who was predestined to be the Mother of Christ, ought to be the Mother of both Head and members. The Divine Maternity necessitates the Spiritual Maternity; the Spiritual Maternity completes the Divine Maternity; and both constitute a single Maternity, the Maternity uniting the Whole Christ. For Father Chaminade, a disciple of Father Olier, our incorporation in Christ constitutes a central doctrine. When mentioning Mary's Spiritual Maternity he seldom fails to repeat that she is our Mother because she is the Mother of Christ and that we are one with Him but one Son of Mary, one Son of God.
Several citations from the writings of Father Chaminade will illustrate in a general way the points posited in the last few paragraphs and the mode by which he bases Mary's Apostolic Mission on the related doctrines of Mary's Spiritual Maternity, Co-redemption and Distribution of all graces.
Mary's role in the divine plan is clearly focused in a balanced manner devoid of extremism or sentimentality. Father Chaminade sanely and frequently indicates that not to recognize Mary in the whole economy of salvation is to betray our ignorance of the mystery of Jesus Christ.43
More pointedly central to the doctrine of Mary's Apostolic Mission to complete the Whole Chris, which is axiomatic to her Spiritual Maternity , are these several texts chosen from Father Chaminade's various writings. It should be especially noted that Father Chaminade was a precursor in expounding this doctrine.44 In this area he was even more a pioneer than in the field of the Spiritual Maternity, which had been defined before his time, though not with the same breadth of view and cogency. But prior to the Marian Congress. in Rome in 1950, no other theologian had treated Mary's Apostolic Mission.45
Mary is truly the "Co-redemptrix of the human race" and the "Cooperatrix in the great mystery of the Redemption." "Consummati in unum. Cum Christo unus Christus.... "
And he continues by quoting from St. John's Gospel Christ's prayer for unity.49 Mary's motherhood of all Christians was to be a continuous mission.
In the brief treatise on Our Knowledge of Mary, which he commissioned Father Fontaine to compose and which was intended primarily for lay apostles, Father Chaminade teaches that:
But his message is not concluded. An important and essential element remains:
"On this point," explains Father Chaminade, "the doctrine of the Church leaves no room for doubt. We have the testimony of her accepted oracles Sacred Scripture, the Fathers, selections in the Divine Office and in the public prayer and song of the faithful, the solemn pronouncement of a General Council presenting her to us as the New Eve and exclaiming with filial love: 'Rejoice, O Virgin Mary, for you alone have destroyed all heresies'".53
The mission of making us live the life of Christ belongs to her who gave Christ to us. In becoming the Mother of Jesus she became our Mother. It is precisely her maternal mission, then, to continue our education by fashioning our mentality according to our Model, Christ. Evidently the Virgin Mother must exercise a primary influence in our spiritual transformation. Father Chaminade affirms :
With unmistakable evidence Father Chaminade was convinced while in exile at Saragossa that Mary Immaculate was the irreconcilable enemy of Satan to the end of time. An unidentified disciple observes:
Her influence continues to increase from century to century. And new ages, Father Chaminade thought, would become, more than ever, the ages of Mary's power. The greater and more exasperating t
he malice of Satan, the stronger and more extensive is the power of the august Virgin Mary.
In the designs of Father Chaminade devotion to Mary was not merely a matter of the heart or a refuge in time of need. It was to be the offensive and defensive weapon of his followers in their combats. Their watchword would be Maria duce! In confiding to the young Jean-Philippe Lalanne his plan of action for the Society of Mary, he exclaimed with clear determination, "Let us entrust all to...Mary to whom her Divine Son has reserved the last victories over hell. Let us, in all humility, ...be the heel of the Woman."56 The apostolate should be exercised entirely under the auspices of Mary, "the key of our success." And for the Society of Mary, participation in her Apostolic Mission is the very reason for its existence.57
A full comprehension of Father Chaminade's teaching of Mary's Apostolic Mission in modern times and our part in assisting her comes from a careful study of the famed letter he addressed on August 24, 1839, to the priests who would preach the annual retreats that year.58 This forceful and eloquent message expounding the germinal idea of the Marianist vocation to assist Mary in her Apostolic Mission is regarded as the charter of the Society of Mary. Because half the letter deals with the distinctive Marianist traits, it has been called the "Circular on the Vow of Stability."59
The occasion of this letter was Father Chaminade's receipt of the papal "Decree of Commendation" for his Constitutions of the Society of Mary. He chose the annual retreats as the opportunity to renew the primitive spirit and fervor, and to promulgate the Constitutions. To guide the three retreat preachers, Father Chaminade addressed to them this magnificent letter explaining the true Marianist spirit with the great and unifying ideas underlying the two religious congregations he founded. The "nineteenth-century apostle of Mary" was seventy-eight years old at the time of its composition, yet more powerful and dynamic than before. This letter, then, contains his official teaching epitomizing more clearly and fully the many remarks scattered throughout his voluminous notes and correspondence.
Speaking of Mary's apostolic role in all centuries, he declares:
After indicating the prevailing dangers of his day, he foresees Mary's victorious role in modern times:
Again he insists that the Marianist vocation, as well as that of every Christian, is to offer our services to our Supernatural Mother and to cooperate as her auxiliaries. This aspect of assistance and active benevolence is the most strongly emphasized effect of our filial love for her. The separate vow of Stability binds one to Mary as a child to a loving mother to stress and to give perpetuity to our devotedness in her service.62 He directs and urges all Marianists to hasten "to labor under her orders and to combat at her side... bound...by a special vow...to assist her with all our strength...in her noble struggle against the powers of hell."63
Continuing in this vein, Father Chaminade launches into a statement presaging the monumental instruction of Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis regarding the "deep" and "inexhaustible" mystery of God's dependence on human instruments to complete the Redemption of mankind, in cooperation with our Blessed Mother, Mother of the Whole Christ.64 After explaining that this essentially apostolic spirit is the distinguishing character and family trait of his religious congregations, he stirringly proclaims that
He goes on to express "...the intimate conviction that we shall not bring men back to Jesus except through His most holy Mother..."66 For "...we have been called by Mary herself to help her...in the struggle against the great heresy of our times [philosophism, secularism, religious indifference]..."67
Conclusion. While this dynamic instruction is addressed to the Marianists, who consecrate their lives to assisting in Mary's Apostolic Mission, the message certainly applies to the whole of Christianity. The social orientation of Father Chaminade's teaching his Mystical Body franiework and social consciousness focuses on the Church at large and all society.
The noted Flemish Mariologist, Father Godfried Geenen, O.P., has expressed the opinion that
Father Chaminade's teaching on this point presents nothing radically new and different, except for his clarity and amplification, from what was held by the early Fathers from the second century at least. But his originality and development are manifested in the consequences he draws from this doctrine of Mary's Spiritual Maternity regarding her present role in the world.70 He clearly establishes Mary's Apostolic Mission as a corollary of her Spiritual Maternity.
Did the function of the New Eve end with her earthly life? Here lies a key question in regard to our topic. And the Venerable Servant of God would delight in replying with St. Paul that, "The gifts of God are without repentance."71 Father Chaminade employed this Pauline text to enlighten us concerning the divine plan in God's conduct with the human race. Therefore, if Mary has become Mother and Coredemptrix, she will not cease to be so. If she has already crushed the head of the serpent, she will continue to crush it always. 72
Father Neubert summarizes the broad outlines of the Marian doctrine of Father Chaminade, his master, in a few pithy paragraphs digested here.73
To be really and completely our mother, it was not sufficient that Mary conceive us all in general at the Incarnation and give birth to us on Calvary at Christ's death. It is also necessary that to each one of us she communicate the life of grace at baptism, and renew and intensify this "newness of life" until the end of time.
In union with her Son, Mary redeems all on Calvary in principle. To be our true Co-redemptrix, she must yet apply to each of us in fact the fruits of the Redemption by wresting us from sin and hell.
Without this course of continued action God would have made Mary an imperfect Mother and Co-redemptrix. Such an incomplete view regarding the divine plan for Mary may be likened to a man who began to build a tower and could not complete it. Jesus, therefore, entrusted to her the mission of our salvation until the consummation of the world.
In the context of our Blessed Mother's universal mediation, a doctrine especially dear to Father Chaminade, Father Neubert draws a resume of his master's Mariology in precise theological terms.74 We borrow these terms to specify that Mary exercises her Apostolic Mission by means of her function of Distributrix, that is, her Spiritual Maternity. If, in fact, all graces come to through her, it will be through her that we receive all graces of conversion and sanctification. And isn't all apostolic action reduced to these two graces?
Hence, Mary's actual mission in the world is more than a consequence a priori, more than a logical right deduced from her function as Mother and Co-redemptrix. It is a fact, a constant and universal fact for anyone who admits the doctrine of her universal mediation.75
The Virgin Mother of God pursues her apostolic role by inspiring our consciences. But, as we have already noted, in the vision of Father Chaminade, the work of the apostolate appears as a battle, as conquering souls and snatching them from Satan to present them to Christ. A battle, a warfare this is above all Mary's Apostolic Mission in the world.
Summary: After tracing the development of the notion of Mary's Apostolic Mission in the Mariology of Father Chaminade and seeing its clarification in Catholic teaching, we conclude that it is theologically certain. Sacred Scripture, the Tradition of the Church, reliable theologians, and the ordinary magisterium of the Church witness to the apostolic role of our Blessed Mother to complete the Mystical Body of Christ by bringing the grace of Redemption to each person until the end of time.
Her Divine Maternity and Coredemption her intimate role as Associate of Christ - are functions that lead to her Apostolic Mission.76 Her Spiritual Maternity and her role of Distributrix of all graces are functions that pertain to her Apostolic Mission.77 The Apostolic Mission of Mary is integrally related to her functions as Spiritual Mother, Co-redemptrix, and Distributrix of all graces - all of which are rooted in the Divine Maternity .Her Apostolic Mission is a particular, essential and integral aspect of her social functions.
Recent writings of theologians and popes have stressed the universal role of Mary in the life of the Church. An increasing awareness of the universality of Mary's relation to all persons, to all Christians, to the apostolate of the Church is plainly evident in the teaching of the ordinary magisterium, especially in the documents of recent popes.
Although Mary's Apostolic Mission has not been solemnly defined, it has certainly been stressed implicitly by recent papal pronouncements on Mary's Spiritual Motherhood, Coredemption, Distribution of grace, and Queenship. For it is contained and implied in these other Marian doctrines. Father Chaminade taught the apostolic role of Mary explicitly. Later Marianist writers, notably Father Neubert, expanded his teaching. Theologians and the popes have frequently alluded to it in recent times and taught it implicitly. Most of the non-Marianist writers who have treated the topic do not state clearly that Mary's maternal responsibility is a continuous mission and not a single act which ended on Calvary.The apostolic responsibility of her Spiritual Maternity is part of her vocation. It is a participation and sharing in the apostolate of Christ our Redeemer .
The social and apostolic dimensions of Marian doctrine and cult are being developed only in modern times. The dynamic relations of Mary to us are both, personal and communitarian; that is, she concerns herself with the welfare of individuals and also of social institutions. Mary's place in Christian spirituality and in the Christian apostolate regarding all members of the Mystical Body clergy , religious, and laity is coming more plainly to the fore.
Accepting the pronouncements of the ordinary magisterium, applying Father Neubert's Mariological principle of analogy,78 and employing the regular criteria for orthodoxy, 79 we may conclude that the Apostolic Mission of Mary is a doctrine which is theologically certain. We conclude that Mary's Apostolic Mission to recapitulate all in Christ is identified with her other functions.
We must affirm, then, as a doctrine based upon Holy Scripture, contained in Tradition, and taught by the ordinary magisterium of the Church, that the Apostolic Mission of Mary, viewed in relation to her other functions and bound with them, is theologically certain.
In a general and implicit sense a teaching may be considered a part of the deposit of faith if it means the same as a particular doctrine of Catholic faith. Presently recognized as theologically certain, the Apostolic Mission of Mary may become a doctrine of faith if it is explicitly declared the equivalent of her Divine Maternity and her role of Associate in the Redemption.
A cogent conclusion is formulated for us by Father Neubert, who treats the topic as an integral aspect ofMary's other functions:
While correct in its view, Father Neubert's conclusion is not the explicit teaching of the magisterium. The Apostolic Mission of Mary needs ecclesial identification to be a part of the deposit of Catholic faith.
Of course, this exalted Apostolic Mission of Mary to complete the Redemption and the formation of Christ's Mystical Body must always be viewed in the context of the redemptive Incarnation.
De Maria numquam satis: Father Chaminade insisted on this proper perspective in the study of Marian theology and a sound balance in the practice of Marian cult. In an instruction he answers ", the blindness and illusion of Christians who give to Mary what does not belong to her" and "those who frown on honoring her."
Father Chaminade offers this beautiful summary of the doctrine examined in this presentation:
SUMMARY RESUME RESUMEN
Venerable Father Chaminade's teaching on the concept of Mary's Apostolic Mission presents nothing radically new and different, except for his clarity and amplification, than what was held by the early Fathers from the second century at least. But his originality and development are manifested in the consequences he draws from the doctrine of Mary's Spiritual Maternity re-garding her present role in the world. He clearly establishes Mary's Apostolic Mission as a corollary of her Spiritual Maternity.
In union with her Son, Mary redeems all on Calvary in principle. To be the true Associate of the Redeemer she must yet apply to each of us in fact the fruits of the Redemption.
After tracing the development of this notion in the Mariology of Venerable Father Chaminade and its clarification in Catholic teaching, we realize it as theologically certain. Provided the idea has been revealed, the name need not be.
Mary's Apostolic Mission is a particular, essential, and integral aspect of her social functions as Spiritual Mother and Associate of the Redeemer.
This concept is the keystone of the Marianist charism. While Chaminade' s instruction is addressed to those who follow the Marianist vocation to assist Mary in her Apostolic Mission, the message certainly applies to the whole of Christianity.The social orientation of his teaching his Mystical Body framework and social consciousness focuses on the Church at large and on all society .
L 'enseignement du Vénérable Père Chaminade sur la notion de mission apostolique de Marie ne presente rien qui soit radicalement nouveau et different de ce qui a été développ par les Pères de l 'Eglise au moins á partir du 2e siècle, excepté pour ce qui est de la clarté et du développement de cette notion. Mais son originalité et son développement sont manifestes précisément dans les conclusions qu' il tire de la doctrine de la matemité spirituelle de Marie á propos de son role actuel dans le monde. II établit avec netteté la mission apostolique de Marie comme corollaire de sa maternité spirituelle.
En union avec son Fils, Marie participe au rachat de tous sur le Calvaire dans le principe. Pour être véritablement associée au Redempteur elle doit encore appliquer á chacun d' entre nous dans les faits les fruits de la redemption.
Après avoir suivi le dévelopement de cette notion dans la mariologie du Vénérable Père Chaminade et sa clarification dans la doctrine catholique, on réalise á quel point cela est théologiquement sûr. Si l'idée apparait clairement, il importe moins que sa formulation apparaisse.
La mission apostolique de Marie est un aspect particulier, essentiel, et intégral de ses fonctions sociales comme mère spirituelle et associée du Rédempteur .
Ce concept est la pierre d'angle du charisme marianiste. Bien que le Père Chaminaqe adresse ses instructions á ceux qui suivent la vocation marianiste pour assister Marie dans sa mission apostolique, le message s 'applique certainement a l'ensemble de la chrétienté. L'orientation sociale de son enseignement sa notion de corps mystique et sa conscience sociale s'applique á l'ensemble de l'Eglise et á toute la société.
La doctrina del Venerable P. Chaminade sobre el concepto de la Misión Apostólica de María no presenta nada radicalmente nuevo y diferente, excepto por su claridad y amplitud de 10 que fue sostenido por los Santos Padres desde el s. II en adelante. Pero su originalidad y desarrollo son evidentes en las consecuencias que saca de la doctrina de la Maternidad Espiritual de María respecto a su rol actual en el mundo. Establece claramente la Misión Apostólica de María como un corolario de su Maternidad Espiritual.
En unión con su Hijo, en principio María redime a todos en el Calvario. Para ser la verrladera colaboradora del Redentor debe todavía aplicar a carla uno de nosotros de facto los frutos de la Redención.
Después de trazar el desarrollo de esta noción en la Mariologia del Venerable P. Chaminade y su clarificación en la enseñanza cató1ica, descubrimos que es teológicamente cierta. Asegurada la idea como revelada, el nombre no necesita serlo.
La Misión Apostó1ica de María es un aspecto particular, esencial y integral de su funci6n social como Madre Espiritual y Colaboradora del Redentor .
Esto concepto es la clave del Carisma Marianista. Desde que esta enseñanza del P. Chaminade está dirigida a aquellos que siguen la vocación marianista para asistir a Maria en su Misión Apostó1ic, el mensaje afecta a todo el Cristianismo. La orientación social de dicha enseñanza, su estructura del Cuerpo Mistico y su conciencia social, se enfoca a la Iglesia en general y a toda la sociedad.
Ad majorem Dei gloriam Virginisque Deiparae, Matris nostrae!
This study was completed as the Second Vatican Council convened, but did not appear in print until January 1993 in Marianist International Review (14: 1-2).
The author is deeply grateful to Father Joseph Stefanelli, S.M., for his expert assistance given so generously.
This essay is presented as a souvenir of the fiftieth anniversary of the Pacific Province to be a continuing and concrete expression of our Marianist vow of stability and a tribute to our Founder as we approach the 150 anniversary of his entrance into eternity.
1. For biographical information about Father Chaminade see the following Thomas A. Stanley, S.M., The Mystical Body of Christ According to the Writings of Father William Joseph Chaminade (Fribourg, Switzerland. St. Paul's Press, 1952), pp. 1-4. John Harrington, S.M., Mental Prayer According to the Writing of William Joseph Chaminade, (Dayton, Ohio: Marianist Publications, 1955), Introduction, Katherine Burton, Chaminade: Apostle of Mary (Milwaukee' Bruce Publishing Co., 1949). William J. Cole, S.M., The Spiritual Maternity of Mary According to the Writings of Father William Joseph Chaminade (Dayton, Ohio: Marianist Publications, 1958)), pp. 1-11 William Joseph Chaminade, Our Knowledge of Mary, comp. John B Fontaine, S.M., trans. Louis A. Tragesser, SM., (Milwaukee. Bruce Publishing Co., 1938), pp 1-9.
2. George W Shea, "Outline History of Mariology in the Middle Ages and Modem Times," Mariology, ed. Juniper B. Carol, OF .M., I (Milwaukee. Bruce Publishing Co., 1955), pp 313-314.
3. Shea p. 314. Rene Laurentin, Court Traité de Théologie Mariale (Paris, 1953), p. 59. Emil Neubert, S.M., Our Gift from God, trans. Sylvester P. Juergens, S.M. ([St. Louis, Missouri], privately published, , p. 96.
4. Cole, pp. ix, 19-20.
5. Constitutions de la Société de Marie (1820), (Rome: Archives of the Society ofMary, Box 61), pp. 2-3, quoted in Stanley, p. 148.
6. Constitutions of the Society of Mary (Dayton, Ohio, 1937), p. 3, Neubert, Our Gift from God. p.225.
7. Cole, pp. x.
8. Emil Neubert, S.M., Mary in Doctrine, trans. 3rd ed. Marie dans le Dogme (Paris Editions Spes, 1953), Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Company, 1954, p. 135.
9. Neubert, Our Gift.from God, p.37.
10. Emil Neubert, S.M., La Mission Apostolique de Marie et la Nôtre, (Paris: Editions Alsatia, 1956), p. 95.
11. Constitutions of the Society of Mary (Dayton, Ohio, 1937), p 15, art. 55. For a complete explanation, see Emil Neubert, S.M., Our Gift from God, and Joseph Schellhorn, S.M, The Little Treatise on Mariology, trans. from the French (Dayton, Ohio. Marianist Publications, n.d. ).
12. Cole, p. 9. Stanley, pp. 148, 150-152. Constitutions of the Society of Mary (1937), p. 2, art.
13. Joseph Simler, SM, Guillaume-Joseph Chaminade, (Paris, 1901), p. 373; and Henri Rousseau, SM, William Joseph Chaminade, trans. John Garvin, S.M., (Dayton, 1916), p. 281. Lettres de M. Chaminade Tome II (Nivelles, Belgique. Imprimerie Havaux, n.d. (), p. 179 (15 fevrier 1826). Lettres de M. Chaminade, Tome IV, p. 376 ( 16 Septembre 1836). Lettres de M L.Chaminade, pp. 72- 73 (24 août 1839); and W. Joseph Chaminade, Letter to the Retreatmasters of 1839, trans. Carl Dreisoerner, S.M. (Kirkwood, Missouri: Maryhurst Press, 1937), pp. 8-10. Lettres de M. Chaminade, Tome V pp. 124-125.(31 octobre 1839). See also Emil Neubert, S.M., La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chammade, (n.p. [Paris): Editions du Cerf, n.d (19371), pp. 29-32; and Neubert, Our Gift fromm God: pp.27-29.
14.James E O'Mahony, O.F.M. Cap., '.Sign in the Heavens," Orate Fratres, XXV (October-November 1951), p. 532.
15. Stanley, pp. 4-19. General problems concerning Father Chaminade's writings, pp 4-8; published works, pp. 8-19; manuscripts, pp. 19-54
16. Stanley, p. 7. Cole, pp. 245, 290.
17.Stanley, pp. 258-259.
18.Stanley, pp. 8-54. Cole, p. 11.
19. These unpublished documents consist of letters, notes and outlines of instructions, conferences, sermons and manuals.
20. Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M, Chaminade, p, xii. Stanley, pp. 8-19.
21. English edition: Spirit of Our Foundation (Dayton, Ohio: Volume I, 1911; Volume II, 1916; Volume III, 1920).
22. English edition: Our Knowledge of Mary (Milwaukee' Bruce Publishilig Co., 1938).
23. Cole, pp. 28-29, n. 58. Stanley, pp. 11-13.
24. A. de Becdelievre, S.l., "Le Père Chaminade et son Petit Traite de Connaissance de Marie," Les Cahiers Notre Dame, X (April 1934), 117, quoted in Stanley, p. 11.
25.Stanley, p 249 ff. Cole, pp. 244 ff., 320 ff.
26. Stanley, p 148-155 Neubert, Our Gift.from God. pp 82-90
27. Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chaminade. p. 32. Neubert, La Mission Apostolique de Marie et la Môtre. p. 95. n. 28.
28. Spirit of Our Foundation 1, pp. 8-17. Neubert, Our Gift from God, pp. 96-97. Neubert, La Mission Apotolique de Marie et la Noûre, pp. 94-95.
29. Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chaminade. p. x.
30. Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chaminade, p. xi.
31. Chaminade, "Memoranda of Instructions on the Blessed Virgin," quoted in Spirit of Our Foundation, Vol. I. p. 134.
32. Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chaminade. pp, 78-83, Cole, pp, 18-19, Neubert, Our Gift from God, pp 154-161, Emil Neubert, S,M., La Devotion a Marie (Le Puy, France. Editions Xavier Mappus, n.d.), pp, 56-63. Schellhom, Little Treatise on Mariology, Part II, -pp. 3-4.
33. Chaminade, Our Knowledge of Mary, p iii.
34. Stanley , pp. 58-64.
35. Neubert, Mary in Doctrine, p 135. Neubert, La Mission Apostolique de Marie et la Nótre. p, 223, Cole. pp. 7,9. Stanley, p. 151.
36. Stanley, pp. 144-146. Cole, p. 9.
37. Cole, pp. 12-20.
38. Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chaminade. p 15.
39. Spirit of 0ur Foundation, Vol. I, p.135.
40. Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chaminade, p. 16.
41. Chaminade, Notes d'Instruction, p. 160, quoted in , Spirit of Our Foundation, Vol. 1, P. 150.
42. Chaminade, Notes d 'Instruction, p. 28, quoted in Spirit of Our Foundation, Vol.1,p.161.
43. Chaminade, Notes d'Instruction, p. 160, quoted in Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chaminade, p.21.
44. Peter A Resch, S.M., "Preface," in Neubert, Mary in Doctrine, p. v. Peter A. Resch, S.M., "Filial Piety: ,Mariology, ed. J Carol, O.F.M., Vol 3, p. 166. Father Neubert is referring to Godfried Geenen, De Zending van Maria is Haar Tritif over Alle V'iianden Gods. .Alma Socia Christi (Romae. Academia Mariana, 1953), Vol. XI, pp. 306-333.
45. Neubert, Our Gift from God. p. 24.
46. Chaminade, Memoranda of Instructions on the Blessed Virgin, p 29, quoted in Spirit of Our Foundation, Vol. I, pp. 136-137.
47. Chaminade, Memoranda of Instructions on the Blessed Virgin, p. 57, quoted in Spirit of Our Foundation, Vol. I, pp. 138-139.
48. Chaminade, Memoranda of Instructions on the Blessed Virgin, pp. 158-159, quoted in,Spirit of our Foundation, Vol. I, p. 140.
49. John 17: 20-23.
50. Chaminade, Our Knowledge of Mary, p. 47.
51. Chaminade, Our Knowledge of Mary, pp.49-55.
52. Chaminade, Our Knowledge of Mary, pp. 54-55.
50. Chaminade, Our Knowledge of Mary, pp. 55-56.
54. Charninade, "Society of Mary Considered as a Religious Order," quoted in Spirit of Our Foundation, Vol. 1,p.144.Gal.4:19.
55. Apôtre de Marie (November-December 1904), quoted in Spirit of Our Foundation, Vol. I, p. 175.
56. Simler, Guillaume-Joseph Chaminade. p. 373.
57. Neubert, Our Gift.from God. p.24.
58. "Aux Predicateurs de Retraites," (24 août 1839), Lettres de M Chaminade, Tome V, pp. 69-80 (No 1163) English translation: w. Joseph Chaminade, Letter to the Retreatmasters of 1839, or Circular on the Vow of Stability, trans. Carl Dreisoerner, S.M., (Kirkwood, Missouri: Maryhurst Press, 1937).
59. Dreisoerner, "Preface," in Chaminade, Letter to the Retreatmasters of 1839, p. 3.
60. Chaminade, Letter to the Retreatmasters of 1839, p. 8.
61. Chaminade, Letter to the Retreatmasters of 1839, p. 9.
62. Spirit of Our Foundation, Vol. I, pp. 127-138.
63. Chaminade, Letter to the Retrealmasters of 1839, p. 10.
64. Pius XII, Mystici Corporus (Washington, D.C.: National Catholic Welfare Conference, 1943), Nos. 44, 110, 15.
65. Chaminade, Letter to the Retreatmasters of 1839, p. 10.
66. Chaminade, Letter to the Retreatmasters of 1839, p. 12.
67. Chaminade, Letter to the Retreatmasters of 1839, p. 16.
68. Chaminade, Letter to the Retreatmaster of 1839, p. 17.
69. Godfried Geenen, O.P., "Marie notre Mere," Marianum, X (October 1948), pp. 340, 351-352. Father Geenen refers to citations found in Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chaminade, Chap. 1.
70. Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chaminade, pp. 25-26.
71. Rom,11 29.
72. Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M. Chaminade, p.26.
73. Neubert, La Doctrifle Mariale de M. Chaminade, pp. 26-28.
74. Chaminade, Our Know1edge of Mary, pp. 73- 78, treats Mary's universal mediation, which is theologically founded on her cooperation in the Incarnation.
75. Neubert, La Doctrine Mariale de M Chaminade, p. 27.
76. Neubert, La Mission Apostolique de Marie et la Nôtre (Paris: Editions Alsatia, 1956) pp. 185-187.
77. Neubert, La Mission Apostoliqule de Marie et la Nôtre, pp.189-192.
78. Neubert, Mary in Doctrine (Milwaukee: Bruce Publishing Co., 1954), p. 7.
79. Neubert, Mary in Doctrine, pp. 9-12.
80. Neubert, Mary in Doctrine, p. 129.
81. Chaminade, Notes d'Instruction, quoted in Spirit of Our Foundation, Vol. I, p. 181.
82. Chaminade, Our Knowledge of Mary, p. 84.
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