Joseph Stefanelli, SM
Volume seven of The Chaminade Legacy completes the documents of the growth and development of the Society of Mary and the Daughters of Mary. The Constitutions of the Society of Mary (1839) and the Daughters of Mary (1839) are in this volume.

708 pgs. 

Development of the Religious Institutes

Volume Seven, The Times of the Religious. Growth and Expansion

Jean-Baptiste Armbruster SM, José María Khasa Beya Mayela, SM under the direction of Ambrogio Albano

Volume seven of The Chaminade Legacy completes the documents of the growth and development of the Society of Mary and the Daughters of Mary. The Constitutions of the Society of Mary (1839) and the Daughters of Mary (1839) are in this volume; the Society of Mary Constitutions of 1829 are found in volume six, and Father Stefanelli has developed a comparison of the two that is in the NACMS library.

Other documents of great interest are a lengthy survey of Organization and Structure of Schools of the Society, and the “New Method of Teaching. General Regulations for the Schools of the Society of Mary” (1831); the “Letters to a Master of Novices” (1835); “The Practice of Mental Prayer” and “Method of Mental Prayer on the Creed”; the foundation of the Third Order Regular of the Daughters of Mary at Auch; notes from the Retreat of 1832 and the Retreat at Saint-Remy in 1834; the instructions on the vow of poverty, on obedience, and on chastity and several other documents on direction; and the “Manual of the Servant of Mary.”

As Father Manuel Cortez writes in the epilogue to this volume, “we now have a precise and precious instrument which not only will keep us from hearing what Father Chaminade did not say, but also will permit us to more clearly understand what he did say and what he wished to say.”

[1] You will love the Lord your God with your whole heart
and with your whole soul and with your whole mind and with your
whole strength
(Mk 12:30; Deut 6:5).

Our Lord repeats to the scribe what he had already
revealed to Moses.

The commandment to love God is not so much a precept
by virtue of which we are obliged to love, but rather an observation
by which we are reminded that it is impossible to go to God except
by loving him. For if God is the only happiness of human beings
and we cannot not love what we consider as our happiness, it is not
because we are commanded to love God that we are obliged to do
so. Rather, we are so ordered to love God because we are obliged
to do so. And we are so obliged by all the laws of nature. They do
not allow us not to love ourselves, [2] nor do they allow us not
to love our true good, which is God. We cannot consider God as
our true good without loving God, for the desire to be happy will
make us desire to possess God from the moment we are persuaded
that God is our happiness. And to desire to possess God as our
sovereign happiness is to love God.

We do not desire a good except to the extent that we
are persuaded that we will be happy with its possession. If we
believe we will be supremely happy in possessing it, we desire
it supremely. God is supreme happiness; then we must love God
supremely and above everything else.

If God alone is our happiness we should love only God,
for we love only what makes us happy. If we do not experience
happiness here below, however much [3] we love God, we will
love only what leads to God; thus we will love something only
for its relationship to God. We will love God for himself, as the
supreme good, and we will love a creature for him because it will
be a good for us only to the extent that it leads us to God. It is good
in itself because it comes from God, but it is not good for us unless
it leads us to God.

If we love only God because God alone is the true good,
we will love God in keeping with the precept of Jesus Christ—with
all our heart, with all our mind, with all our soul, and with all our
strength (Mk 12:30).

We will love God with all our heart. The heart will not be
divided by different affections [4] because it considered different
things as its good. If then it perceives only one good, it will love
that one and will tend entirely toward it.

The strength with which we move toward a thing is more
or less great, depending on the force which moves us toward it.
Love is the force of the heart. If the love of God is sovereign, as it
should be because it is love of the sovereign good, the force of this
love will drive the soul to God with all its strength.
The sovereign good must please supremely. When there
is only one sovereign good, it is the only thing that can please by
itself. Anything else would please only by relationship to that one.
What pleases most is what most [5] occupies the mind. God alone
should please supremely; God alone, then, should occupy all the
mind of a person. This is what is meant by loving God with all our
mind—that is, to make God the only and supreme object of all our

The mind makes known to the will the good which it
should love, and the will applies the mind to the thought of what it
loves. The heart fully possessed by the love of God applies all the
mind to the thought of God. If some other thoughts present itself
which has no relationship to God, it will not please; to the best
of its ability, the heart will recall the thought of the object which

pleases it. We will therefore love God [6] with all our mind and all
our thoughts.

In our soul there is a mind which knows and a will which
loves. Truth is the object of the mind, as the good is the object
of the will. If the supreme good should entirely fi ll the heart and
become the object of all its desires, sovereign truth should fi ll the
entire mind and be the object of all its thoughts. Now, God is this
supreme good and truth. We must then love God with all our heart
and with all our mind.

What is God? What is the idea which God has placed
into our reason? In itself, among the pagans as well as among
Christians, the idea of God contains in itself the idea of a fi rst
author of all types of good. Not only to Moses has God said,
[7] “I am the one who is; I am all good.” God also caused the
Platonists to know through reason that God is good, goodness,
and even beauty. (Ex 3:14; 33:29. Aug., Bk. 1)135 It is evident and
certain that the good—that is, goodness and beauty—are the only
objects capable of touching and attracting our hearts; God merits
our affection in preference to all the goods and all the beauties of
the world.


135 The reference to Aug. lib. 1 is not clear. Another document has: Aug. lib. de cogn. Dei et animae, 1.1. {The reference 33:29 is uncertain.}

1. Organization and Structure of the Schools of the Society of Mary

1. Particular Regulations for Primary School Communities

2. Presentation on Teaching

3. Observations on the Perfected Method of Primary Teaching

4. Regulations for Primary Schools of the Society of Mary

5. Prospectus for the Normal School of Saint-Remy (April 6, 1829)

6. Normal Schools Directed by the Society of Mary

7. Brief Survey on Normal Schools of the Society of Mary,

To Be Presented to the Minister of Public Instruction (January 1830)

8. New Method of Teaching. General Regulations for the Schools

of the Society of Mary


2. Deepening Spirituality. Directives for Formation

9. Retreat of 1832. Notes of François-Auguste Bonnet

10. Arrangement with Auguste Brougnon-Perrière

11. The Practice of Mental Prayer. The Purgative Way

12. Instructions of Father Chaminade on the Hail Mary

13. Resolution to be Made for a Person Troubled by Scruples

14. Debt of 3,000 Francs to Madame Leberton


Retreat at Saint-Remy, October 15, 1834

15. Autograph notes of Father Chaminade

16. Autograph notes of Father Jean Chevaux


Letters to a Master of Novices

17. Letters to a Master of Novices

.......... First Letter

.......... Second Letter

.......... Third Letter

.......... Fourth Letter

.......... Fifth Letter

.......... Sixth Letter

.......... Seventh Letter

.......... Eighth Letter

.......... Ninth Letter

.......... Tenth Letter


Foundation of the Third Order Regular of the Daughters of Mary at Auch, July 1, 1836


3. Notebook “D.” The Preliminary Texts for the Constitutions

18. The Institute of the Society of Mary

19. The Society of Mary Considered as a Religious Order

20. The Society of Mary. Principle of Its Constitutions and Its Regulations

21. Manual of Direction for Life and Religious Virtues

in the Society of Mary

22. Manual of Direction

23. Principles of Direction

24. Thoughts on Directing the Society of Mary in

The Ways of Religious Perfection

25. Summary of the Principles of Direction

26. Agreement between Bro. David Monier and Father Chaminade

27. Direction in the Society of Mary. First Draft of the Initial Exercises


4. Progressive Development of The Constitutions of The Society of Mary and The Daughters of Mary

28. Constitutions of the Society of Mary, 1839

29. Constitutions of the Daughters of Mary, 1839


5. Practical Religious Requirements Of the Constitutions

30. Practical Instruction on the Vow of Poverty

31. Instruction on Obedience

32. Instruction on Chastity

33. General Regulations for the Reopening of the Novitiate

(December 8, 1841)

34. Method of Mental Prayer on the Creed

35. Note on the Conferences of Father Chaminade

36. Notes on the Love of God

37. Manual of the Servant of Mary

38. Third Will and Testament of Father Chaminade


Appendix One. Father Chaminade’s Secretaries

Biblical Index

Index of Proper Names