Sunday, April 15, 2018

Marianist Three O'Clock Prayer 2

Fr. William Joseph Chaminade, founder of the Marianists, encouraged his spiritual followers to interrupt at three o'clock all professional endeavor and to pause for contemplation. One of the earliest texts (Regulations for the Religious of Mary, 1819) defines this spiritual practice as follows: Every day at three o'clock in the afternoon each one makes a short ejaculatory prayer, each one remains standing wherever he may be; only on Friday does he kneel.

The classical form of the Three O'Clock Prayer was fashioned by Father Simler for the 1885 edition of the "Marianist Prayer Book". For practical reasons, the prayer was shortened and the exact time no longer strictly observed. A special invocation to St. John was added and spiritual identification with the apostle as patron and model was encouraged.

Beginning in 1857, efforts were made to acquaint Marianist students with the three o'clock devotion. This venture, although blessed with modest success, shows that Chaminade's followers were eager to share with others what was dear to their own hearts. The suggestion of the 1928 General Chapter of the Society of Mary, to print the Three O'Clock Prayer on the back of holy cards and to distribute them in classrooms and elsewhere, illustrates a long- standing tradition which until this day has not been interrupted.

This passage was taken from Deep Memories: A Marianist Icon by the Rev. Johann G. Roten, S.M.


"Our hope as Christians is strong, secure, solid in this land, where God has called us to walk, and is open to eternity, because it is founded on God, who is always faithful. We must not forget: God is faithful."

- Pope Francis