Note: Selected draft chapters of Fr Justin Taylor's official biography of Jean-Claude Colin are downloadable from Resources / Official biography of Jean-Claude Colin
Jean-Claude Colin was born and baptised at St Bonnet-le-Troncy, France, Aug 07, 1790, as the French Revolution began its reign of terror. His quiet ambition was to be a priest amongst the neglected Catholic people of his nation abandoned in their faith during and after the Revolution. He was ordained in the city of Lyons on Jul 22, 1816. The next day he was one of twelve young men promising to found a religious family bearing the name of Mary - 'Marists'. There would be branches of priests, sisters, brothers and laity.
The young Colin became the founder of the Marist Fathers and worked tirelessly to promote the Marist Family. In 1836 the priests' branch was approved by the Holy See as Fr Colin offered to send missionaries 'to whatever distant shore' including the remote missions of the south-west Pacific. As the father of the blossoming group of missionaries Fr Colin won the affection and respect of the pioneer Marists as the infant Society of Mary, under his leadership as superior general, expanded in numbers, ministries and extraordinary missionary influence.
In the latter years of his life he perfected the rule and constitutions of the Marist Fathers. He died at La Neylière, France, on Nov 15, 1875. As Jean-Claude Colin's Cause for Beatification unfolds his story is being told to the whole world.