“To raise the children properly we should love them, and love them equally”
It was the time of French Revolution . In the village Marhels , by 1789 in the Month of May 20th Mercellin Joseph Benedict Champagnat was born to Mr. John Baptis Champagnat and Mrs. Mary Theresa . This little boy had a very deep devotion to mother Mary. Due to the revolution he had to leave school by the age of 7 and he helped his father. But at the age of 14 he decided his vocation as a priest and he started studying again .He went to the minor Seminary. He was older than his class mates and failed in his first year and he was sent home. He was readmitted with the help of superior , Parish priest and his mother . Though he was a timid person he became happy and enjoyed the company with others. By the second year he settled and there were 2 major incidents to change his behavior . One of them is the sudden death of his friend Denis Duplay and other is the serious conversation with Rev. Fr. Linossier . Then he attended the major Seminary at Saint Irenaeous to become a priest. He was ordained on July 22 1816 , at the age of twenty seven. Then they formed the “Society of Mary” including teaching brother to work with remote rural areas . He witnessed poor treatment for a student by a teacher and decided a lot more need to be done for children.
He became the pastor in La Villa . By 2nd January 1817 he encouraged Jean-Marie Granjon and Jean-Baptiste Audras to form “Marist Brothers” . Later it was a teacher training center for Rev. Brothers. In 1818 he started the first Marist School . Later he decide to build a novitiate which 150 people can accommodate. Since he was sick, Rev. Bro. Francis came on behalf of him .At the age of 51 , of June 06th 1840 he passed away. Marist Brothers institute was approved by Pope Pius iX and the member of the order are identified by the initials “F.M.S”.
At present we as a college stands in Sri Lanka as a part of the great mission of St. Marcellin and his fellow Rev. Brothers.
His Lordship the late Rev. Dr. Anthony de Seram – Bishop of Galle
His Lordship the late Rev. Dr. Frank Marcus – Bishop of Chillaw
His Lordship the late Rev. Dr. Edmund Fernando – Bishop of Badulla