Circular n. 4 – 25 May 2014 I Have Called You, and You Are Mine



Circular n. 4 – 25 May 2014 I Have Called You, and You Are Mine
The Mother General
Via Edoardo Jenner,10 - 00151 ROMA
Telefono 06.58230994 - 06.5376320 – [email protected];
Circular n. 4 – 25 May 2014
I can tell you that we chose our names in religion. We gave you that of Sister
Louise de Saint Joseph, which I think you will like.1
Dear Sisters,
4.1 So this is how Adele announces to her friend Amélie De Rissan the big
step taken by Little Association at its meeting of June 13, 1814, at Lompian.
It is a Happy and Holy journey!2 that fills Adele and her friends with joy and
hope. With her heart still singing and rejoicing, Adele will write different
letters, in the days following that historic meeting, to communicate with those
who were absent the details of the meeting, and especially to transmit the
name chosen and given to each, including those absent.
We left at four o’clock in the morning, having slept hardly a wink. We spoke at
length of our cher projet, and went into the smallest details; we assumed
names. Yours is Sister Marie du Sacré Coeur.3
Adele also received hers: Sister Mary of the Immaculate Conception, a name
with which she will gradually begin to sign her letters, adding later, according
to the instructions of the Rev. Laumont, servant of the servants of Jesus
Christ4; while her friends should sign “Sister … , lover of the poor of Jesus
It is the beginning of the novitiate; each one lived at home waiting for religious
orders to be re-established. At the suggestion of the Rev. Laumont, Adele
wrote to Father Chaminade to ask him specifically what practices should be
follow by those intending to begin religious life and to tell him that they
wished to begin their novitiate on the day of the Immaculate Conception of
Mary. 6
Dear friend, I took a firm resolution to abandon everything, and especially that
“self” that is in me. We strongly agree on the need for a novitiate.7
L.AT. 233,8 (Adèle Letters)
L.AT. 233,2
L.AT. 233,3.7; 234,5
See L.AT. 252, 253, 255, 256, 257, 258, 260, 261, 262, 263, 266, 267
L.AT. 249,7
See L.AT. 250,5
L.AT. 251,9
The Mother General
Via Edoardo Jenner,10 - 00151 ROMA
Telefono 06.58230994 - 06.5376320 – [email protected];
There is an intense crescendo, a torrent of emotions, desires, dreams, that
drives these young people towards a project, “the dear project”, which will be
realized two years later, but already in 1814 significant steps were being
accomplished: the assuming of a new name, the beginning of the novitiate.
The new name
4.2 In all cultures the taking of a name is of fundamental importance.
"Naming", to name things and people is equivalent, shall we say, to creating
them, to giving them life. No name will be chosen randomly. The choice of the
name, even in our day, is preceded by intense discussion, research, and
reflection. We all love to know why it was that we were given a certain name,
what it holds, what it expresses.
"To call by name" is one of the first powers that God gives to man, a sign of
the greatness and the power that man has over all the rest of creation. So the
man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air and all the beasts of the
earth (Gen 2:20).
To call someone by name, to know his name, means to have power over him,
signifying dominance, ownership.
There are cultures where the real name of the infant was hidden. In the
Egyptian culture, the use of a second name existed; each infant received two
names: the real name and the good name. The first, real name, was secret,
known only by parents and used for acts or important rites such as the
wedding; the second, the good name, was public and used in daily life. This
was done to protect the person from magic, from the spells that could only be
effective if you knew the real name.
The Name in the Bible
4.3 The Bible is full of symbolic names and rich in meaning.
Names that remind one of a circumstance: we remember the name Isaac
and the laughter of Sarah (Gen 17:17); ... and Jacob, so named because he
was holding the heel of his twin brother Esau (Gen 25:26); Moses, whose
name will be remembered because he was saved from waters (Gen 2:10);
Samuel, the result of intense prayer of his mother (1 Sam 1:20).
Names that describe an event: Babel always means the confusion of
languages, when men wanted to make a name for themselves, and become
famous all over the world by building something great, the expression of
insatiable lust for power and greatness inherent in man (Gen 11:9).
Names that contain a prediction or a warning: the children of Isaiah are an
example (Isa 7:3; 8:1; 4:18).
The Mother General
Via Edoardo Jenner,10 - 00151 ROMA
Telefono 06.58230994 - 06.5376320 – [email protected];
Names that express supplication: Ezekiel; may God strengthen; Isaiah: may
God save.
Names that are theophoric: such as Israel, Joel, Daniel, Gabriel, Michael,
Raphael... or Emmanuel, God with us.
I have called you by name, and you are mine (Isa 43:1)
4.4 Each name contains a program, a declaration, a project. This is all the
more true when you are looking for names to be given to movements,
associations, schools, buildings, churches ... It is a means to send a message.
One carefully chooses the name to be given according to the message that one
want to send, to transmit. With equal care one avoids some names that might
awaken memories and negative references.8
Choosing a name is therefore linked to the identity, to the project, to the
To choose a name, such as Institute of Mary, Family of Mary, contained for
Father Chaminade the identity of the Institute itself, and of each of its
Being called by name means above all to be loved, to be in someone's heart.
Being called by name by God, is to be in his heart; to rest our fragile love on
the rock of a Love that knows only faithfulness and eternity. I have loved you
with an everlasting love (Jer 31:3); You are precious in my eyes and I love you
(Isa 43:4).
Being called by name by God is letting this name, the new name, be engraved
in our flesh, in our hearts. (see Ap 3:12)
Which name? Servant lover of the poor ... as dreamed by Adele and her first
Servant Lover of the Poor of Jesus Christ
4.5 This will be the signature of future Daughters of Mary, decided in
September of that unforgettable 1814.9
It is a name that sends a message, that expresses a project: to love the poor!
Lover: that is, as the dictionary says, the one who loves, the one whose
activity consists essentially in loving, in favor of someone or something, to
love passionately. The one who loves, thinks, acts, designs, walks with the
mind and heart fixed on the loved, be it a person or a thing.
Just think of the movie, “What’s in a Name” (The Prénom), a 2012 film directed by
Alexandre de La Patellière and Matthieu Delaporte. The film expresses in a funny,
but very effective way, what choosing a name for a baby is capable of arousing in a
See L.AT. 249,7
The Mother General
Via Edoardo Jenner,10 - 00151 ROMA
Telefono 06.58230994 - 06.5376320 – [email protected];
In common parlance we use expressions such as music lover, lover of art,
lover of reading, sports lover, etc.
Even the Daughters of Mary must be distinguished by a preferred love. They
are called to be lovers of the poor.
How the poor existed in the heart of Adele is known. We can therefore imagine
how this name was able to vibrate through and give joy to the heart of Adele.
Lover of the poor
The vocation can only be understood in a context of love, a gift. The emphasis
is not on renouncing, on making less of, on leaving ... but on loving! It is a
love that has its preferences: the poor.
They should sign: Sister ... lover of the poor of Jesus Christ10
Signing is an important act, a document without signature has no value. We
live in the world of signed works which raise or lower the financial markets,
often deciding the fate of millions of people, the nameless, the ones who do
not matter, many of whom are experiencing at their own expense what it
means to not even be able at times to sign, not to be able to sign one’s name,
and that is precisely why they are struggling to ensure that their children are
given the opportunity to learn.
Lover of the Poor of Jesus Christ
Here is the signature of every Daughter of Mary; here is the fingerprint that
every Marianist should leave on the passport of history. Here is the brand, the
Marianist logo; here is the signed work listed in the Wall Street of our
Pope Francis, whose name traces a way, a path, an ideal of life and mission
on several occasions and in different ways, invites us to go to the suburbs, to
the meeting of the poor of our time. Go out! To go out of ourselves to join the
other, to reach those of society who are relegated to the sidelines, whom we
often ourselves forget and degrade. In a world always on the run, the risk it to
not take the time to reach out to others, to those you might consider a
burden, an obstacle to the progress of society, a society which has the aim of
profit, income, welfare, the accumulation of assets, with the sad and
problematic record: becoming the society of waste, discarding.
Open to the hope to see that there are more and more people who are raising
their voices for a fairer world, a world more just, more humane and less
L.AT. 249,7
JOSE PEPE MUJICA, for instance, the President of Uruguay considered the most
poor President of the world; or SUSAN V.VOGT, of the Marianist Family, whose book
Blessed by Less, Loyola Press 2013, offers precious and practical ideas for our daily
The Mother General
Via Edoardo Jenner,10 - 00151 ROMA
Telefono 06.58230994 - 06.5376320 – [email protected];
The saints and founders of every age time, are those who were able to go in
search of those who were on the periphery. So were Adele and her first
companions: Lovers of the Poor of Jesus Christ.
4.6. At “I have called you by name”, I thought while in silence, of the small
cemetery of Terrebusque, near Auch (France), skimming the names of the
many sisters who have gone before us.
With difficulty I have silenced the desire that invited me to stay there for a
long time, in the silence of that blessed place, simply to read slowly, one by
one those names: Sr. Marie ... Sr. Marie… and mentally adding, lover of the
poor of Jesus Christ.
We might ask ourselves:
- What love dwells my heart? Who or what do I prefer in my everyday life?
- What suburbs are reached or could be reached by my community?
- Are there sisters in my community who are left marginalized, on the
outskirts of the community life?
- What name would the Foundress give to me today? What name could be
more appropriate, suitable, to express what I live, what I feel, and the mission
entrusted to me?
- Which signature, or logo, do I wish the Marianist Sisters would leave today?
I invite you, as already some communities are doing, to take up again,
personally and communally, the letters of Adele which prepared the
foundation: No. 233 - 343. Certainly they will give rise to a fruitful community
As for me, let me also express a wish: to replace the common expression of
Superior General with what I feel more in keeping with my mission and in line
with the Marianist tradition: Mother.
And pray for me that strengthened by the example of those who have gone
before us, I be truly a Good Mother.
With deep affection, I wish you all a joyous Anniversary of the Foundation.
Sr. M. Franca Zonta, FMI
Mother General

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