June 25 – 12th Sunday in ordinary time

Melchior de Marion Brésillac day

Melchior Marie Joseph de Marion Brésillac was born on the 2nd December 1813, in Castelnaudary, France.  Brésillac believed that the inspiration to priesthood was in him from his very early age. He was admitted in the seminary of the diocese of Carcassonne. On the 22 December 1838 Brésillac was ordained as a presbyter for the diocese of Carcassonne.

From his very young age Brésillac had a great passion for local clergy. Regarding this writing to his friend Luquet he said, “It is a long time since the good God (for I cannot believe there is any other origin) gave me the sentiment of the native clergy: I may say that it was born with me, and I remember that still quite young, when I heard people speak of the works of the missionaries, and that, quite naturally, I compared them to what I found in my summary of saintly life or of the acts of the apostolic centuries, I wondered why we do not do as they did at that time.”

From the beginning of his call to the priesthood Brésillac had a great desire to become a missionary. Brésillac’s passion for a local Clergy developed simultaneously as a vision for mission. Therefore, he joined the Foreign Missions of Paris (MEP) which had the same goal.

In his resolution regarding local clergy, we find his mission statement, which he made before going to India: “To use every means I have, all my strength, all my study and effort to contribute towards the formation of a native clergy. And it is there that I implore your blessings especially, O my God.” Brésillac saw a missionary as an Apostle and missionary activity as building local church. In another passage we read what Brésillac really saw as the true mission of an Apostle; “A mission is not a Constituted church. The missionary is not a pastor. To make priests, to make bishops, to plant real churches- this then is the true mission of the Apostle.”

Brésillac accomplished this goal in a particular way as the superior of the Seminary College of Pondicherry and as the Vicar Apostolic of Coimbatore. In a very notable way he contributed to the establishment of local clergy as a father of the Pondicherry Synod which in its turn made a great effect in the universal Church through the instruction Neminem Profecto given by Propaganda on the 23rd November 1845.  Brésillac never gave up his goal regarding the formation of local clergy even when he had to resign his office as the Vicar Apostolic of Coimbatore and leave India. He

continued his missionary journey in Africa as the Founder of the Society of African Missions. Unfortunately, he died in Freetown on the 25th June 1859, within few weeks of his arrival in Africa. However, the mission the Lord started in him continues through SMA to this day.

On May 27, 2020 Pope Francis signed a decree on the ‘Heroic Virtues’ of Brésillac. Therefore, now our founder is Venerable Brésillac. We pray that the Lord may hear the intercessions presented through him and grant a miracle which would help in the process of Brésillac’s beatification. 

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