August 12 – STAMP AND MOTTO
STAMP AND MOTTO
It was the 2nd General Chapter in 1862 which decided that the stamp of the Institute would be of the Annunciation. It appeared for the first time on a circular of Br. Eugene-Marie on 1st August 1863 and was preserved as itwas down to the circulars of Br. Benoit-Marie. The stamp disappeared from the circulars ·of Br. Anastase and reappeared with the 3rd circular of Br. Gabriel-Marie (25 October 1953), but sligthly changed. Three words were replaced: “Institute” by “Congregation”, “Saint-Laurent sur-Sevre” by “Dieu Seul”, “Peace and Charity” by “Ave Maria”. On the circulars of Br. Romain Landry and of Br. Jean Bulteau there was only the scene of the Annunciation on the stamp, stylized, and two words.
On the stamp of the Institute adopted in 1862, the words Peace and Charity appear just on top of the Annunciation: it is the motto of the Institute employed for the first time by Br. Augustin in his circular of 6 July 1842. But the spirit of this motto goes back to· Montfort and Gabriel Deshayes themselves. In his Rule of the missionaries of the Company of Mary, Montfort wrote this article, also valid for the Brothers: “They are very considerate towards one another and full of good will, looking for occasions to please one another; full of respect they consider one another with honour; full of patience, they support one another in their shortcomings”. In his Statutes of 1823, Fr. Deshayes wrote: “The spirit of the Congregation is a spirit of peace and charity”. The motto would often be recalled and commented by the Superiors who would sometimes make of it a partial theme or the central topic of their circulars, like that of Br. Benoit Marie on 15 September 1936.
Some Superiors General, without discarding the motto of Peace and Charity, added to it their own. For Br. Eugene-Marie: You have called me, here I am; for Br. Martial: God and souls; for Br. Romain Landry: Our Lady of the Trinity.