On this feast day of the Immaculate Conception, we would like to share with you a treasure from our collection. It is the first processional banner of the Children of Mary Immaculate of the General Hospital.
“The association of the Children of Mary Immaculate is a confraternity for girls. Its origin is linked to the apparitions of the Virgin to Saint Catherine Labouré in 1830 in the Chapel of the Mother House of the Daughters of Charity in Paris. The story goes that the Virgin asked Catherine to found a confraternity of the Children of Mary, that is to say, a group of young girls whose souls would be consecrated to her service and love. First known as the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, it was established in 1847 in schools run by the Daughters of Charity.
The goal is to lead members to a generous Christian life under the patronage of the Virgin Mary. “The special purpose of the association is to honor and have honored Mary Immaculate by the imitation of her virtues, especially her purity, humility, obedience and charity” (Manual of My Marian Consecration, 1956: 21). The Children of Mary must submit to the rules of the association and regularly attend the meetings and ceremonies dedicated to Mary. Religious practice goes hand in hand with the models that the association wants to advocate: it encourages monthly confession, weekly communion, daily rosary, and prayer meetings. The patronal feast of the Children of Mary is December 8, the same day as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The association is divided into sections according to age. The young cadets (from the age of solemn communion), the cadets of the Virgin (14 year old group), the aspirants as a sort of novitiate of the Children of Mary (from 15 years old), the Children of Mary (general group from 16 to 30 years old), the Marian Friendships (single women over 30 years old) and the Marian Friendships (group for married women). Each parish has its own Children of Mary association, however grouped by the Diocesan Union. Upon joining, the Child of Mary receives as a badge the medal of the Immaculate Conception, known as the Miraculous Medal, which she must wear at all times. A blue ribbon, the colour of the Virgin, is another sign of belonging to the association. The ribbon is optional and is mostly used during ceremonies, especially on Marian days, as well as the blue and white uniform. The badge or pin allows the Children of Mary to recognize each other.” (source: http://rdaq.banq.qc.ca/…/regro…/clin_oeil_tradition.html)