Born in St. Malo on September 8 1780, Jean-Marie de la Mennais has been marked by the context of the French Revolution, during which he has helped the persecuted priests. After being ordained, he acts as a teacher at brother Félicité publishing some books and founding a society of priests, aiming at strengthening intellectual skills.
Capitular vicar in the Saint-Brieuc diocese, he is moved by the children’s distress, boys and girls who are left to themselves without any possible education, especially in the rural communes.
At that time, he founds two congregations: The daughters of Providence, at Saint-Brieuc, in 1818, and the Brothers of Christian Instruction in 1819, with Father Gabriel Deshayes. Their objective: To save children by educating them totally, that is in all its dimensions.
The Brothers of Christian Instruction wish to follow in the footsteps of Christ, and this radically. Living with a community, the Brothers choose a lifestyle as a road to happiness: Poverty, chastety and obedience. Their preoccupation? The youth. Their raison d’etre? To be a sign of Christ while educating in schools and educational centers. Their secret? To live intimately with Christ in prayer and fraternity.
150 communities of Brothers are present today in 25 countries, on the five continents. To read more on the situations, working grounds and projects of the Mennaisian family, go to www.lamennais.org.