We prayed this November 30, feast of the apostle Andrew, for our Superior General, Father André Fétis. We begin the novena which prepares us for the celebration of the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, patronal feast of the Marianist Sisters and of the MLC.
We say goodbye to this month of November in which we have prayed particularly through the intercession of the Saints for our brothers and sisters, as well as the members of our deceased families.
In particular, during this month I have thought of the Marianist brothers and sisters whom I have known and who have passed away. I would like to pay special tribute to the brothers Hermann Huber and Karl Greiner with whom I lived in Freiburg over 20 years ago. The first died on May 10, 2008, the second, recently, swept away by the Covid at almost 100 years old; by this departure of Mr. Greiner, I lose the last of the Swiss elderly brothers that I knew when I joined to the Swiss Province of the Society of Mary. The two “garden brothers” particularly impressed me during my studies in Switzerland. As a student, I have experienced that it is not always easy to combine study and life of prayer. Fortunately God put these two brothers on my path to serve me as teachers through their testimony: they were the first in the chapel every day; prayed on their knees, despite the age and fatigue of manual labor. They made me understand that as a Marianist, I must put God and prayer at the center of my life.
In chapter 4 of Gaudete et Exultate, 2018, Pope Francis talks about 5 great manifestations of love for God and for neighbor that characterizes the saint of today. The last relates precisely to what my two colleagues have experienced before my eyes: constant prayer. “The saint is a person with a spirit of prayer, who needs to communicate with God. They are someone who cannot bear to be asphyxiated in the closed immanence of this world, and in the midst of their efforts and their commitments, they sigh for God”, writes the Pope. May God welcome his servants and may they intercede for us. Thank you to all the brothers who continue to give us the testimony of a life rooted in prayer.
Fr. Ignace Pagnan, sm