Marist Founder: Jean Claude Colin
The Society of Mary began in the Chapel of Our Lady at Fourvière in
Jean Claude Colin
John-Claude Colin was born at Les Barbery, a small settlement close to the town of St Bonnet-le-Troncy. This was the time of the French Revolution – a time of turmoil and a split between the Church and French Society. The Revolution also divided the Church, some priests being faithful to
Jean-Claude was looked after by Marie Echallier, a person for whom religion and guilt tended to go hand in hand. Jean-Claude developed scruples.
Strongly influenced by these events, Jean-Claude Colin realised that the people had great needs. He believed that the best way to help them was to be a source of compassion, a gentle presence, hidden in the world but not hidden from the world, just as Mary had been for the early church.
Although he was a reluctant leader Jean-Claude Colin was called to develop the vision of the Society of Mary.