Home - Jean-Claude Coilin

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His Life

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. 
 The life story of Jean-Claude Colin is told in a variety of ways on this site:
Official biography     |     Founder and Father     |     'On whatever distant shore'     |     Pictorial life     |     Resources for children
The village of Cerdon, in the northern Bugey mountains
Detail: Official icon of Jean-Claude Colin, with Blessed Virgin and Child
Barbery: Cross on the site of the Colin home
Forest of Barbery: hiding place for priests during Revolutionaries' raids - and of quiet for the young Jean-Claude
St Bonnet-le-Troncy, boyhood home of Jean-Claude Colin
River Loire, which flows past the minor seminary of St Jodard
Lyon, Fourvière: ancient chapel of the Blessed Virgin and Basilica
Fourvière: sanctuary of the ancient chapel of the Blessed Virgin.
Cerdon: Fr Colin's first appointment as assistant to his brother, Pierre.
Cerdon: statue in the church of St John the Baptist
Presbytery at Cerdon: home for the first nine years of Jean-Claude's priestly life.
Belley: Minor seminary high school where pioneer Bugey missioners lived
Bugey mountains: village of Lacoux
Bugey mountains: church at Innimont
Bugey mountains: church at Innimont
Bugey mountains: statue at Arandas
Rome: The Quirinale, residence of the Popes at the time of Fr Colin's first visits
Rome: Odescalchi Palace, from the church of the Apostles where Fr Colin stayed in 1833
Belley: Chapel of La Capucinière, first Marist professions, 1836
Lyon, Puylata: General House of the Society of Mary from 1838
Rochefort du Gard: one of the shrines undertaken by Fr Colin and the Marists
Toulon, La Seyne: One of the first high schools established by the Marist Fathers
Marcellange: established by Fr Colin as a place of retreat for his missioners
Trappist monastery at Aiguebelle: Fr Colin would make private retreats here
La Neylière: planned by Fr Colin to be a place of silence and retreat
La Neylière: book belonging to Fr Colin
La Neylière: Fr Colin's study
La Neylière: winter sunset, from the room of Fr Colin
La Neylière: bedroom of Fr Colin
La Neylière: crucifix laid in the hands of Fr Colin upon his death
La Neylière: resting place of Fr Colin

Biographies of Jean-Claude Colin

The life story of Jean-Claude Colin is told in a variety of ways on this site...
See below, or go to: Official biography     |     Pictorial life     |     Fr Colin leaflet     |     'On whatever distant shore'     |     Resources for children
 Reluctant Founder
'Jean-Claude Colin, Reluctant Founder'
Definitive biography by Fr Justin Taylor SM. 
Go to: Official biography
 Pictorial life
Pictorial life of Jean-Claude Colin
Short descriptions of the 'slider' images you see at the top of these pages.
Go to:   Pictorial life
Fr Colin Leaflet
(150 words, in multiple languages, with intercession prayer).
Go to:   Resources / Leaflet
 0719 OWDS cover
'On whatever distant shore'
(1,500 words, also in leaflet form). 
Go to:   'On whatever distant shore'
 Childrens resources
Resources for children
Go to:   Resources / Children