Rome, June 15, 2020
Brothers and partners,
As part of the preparations for the Bicentenary of the Foundation of our Institute, many projects have been suggested by the Commission for the Promotion of the Charism of Foundation (CPCF). Among the many in process, the General Council recently commissioned an image of Our Lady of Fourvière.
As you may recall, it was before the “Black Virgin” of Fourvière, that our first brothers consecrated themselves and made their private vows on September 30, 1821. For us, and for many Institutes, that chapel holds a unique place in our history.
To commemorate that experience, the General Council commissioned a French artist, Augustin Frison-Roche, to craft a new image incorporating elements of the Virgin, and of Fourvière.
In this new image, the Virgin tenderly holds the child Jesus. In the background, atop the hill, is the outline of the chapel of Fourvière as the Brothers would have encountered it in 1821.
Within the robes of the Virgin is the lion, the symbol of the city of Lyon, and of the great martyrs of Lyon whose blood nourished the Church in its infancy in France.
May the Virgin, through this image filled with her maternal tenderness, call us to hope, to faith, to compassion, and always to the following of her Son, Jesus.
Your brothers of the General Council