January 2, 1817 is the anniversary of the official founding of the Marist Brothers in LaValla, France.
Marcellin moved his two recruits into a small house on the parish property. There he taught them how to read and write and to form them in their faith to become the first Marist Brothers and Marist teachers. Ever practical, Marcellin also taught them to make nails, a skill he learned from his father. The sale of the nails to local builders was an early source of income for the soon-to-be religious order.
The LaValla table constructed by Marcellin has come to be an important symbol for all Marists. Today those assembled around the table would include not only Marist Brothers, but also Lay Marists, former students, parents, and friends of the Brothers. This is the Marist world of the 21st century!
May God continue to bless our efforts, and may we, as Marcellin often recommended, place our trust and our work in the sacred hearts of Jesus and Mary.