“Fidelity to God in the little things of every day”.
On 30 January the Catholic Church celebrates the memory of Saint Brother Mutien-Marie Wiaux.
His Christian name was Louis-Joseph Wiaux. He was born on 20 March 1841 in Mellet, a small village in French-speaking Belgium. He was the third of six children. His father Jean Wiaux was a blacksmith, and his mother Elisabeth Badot combined her children’s education with running a café in part of the family home.
In his youth Louis-Joseph met the Brothers of the Christian Schools working in a school in the nearby village of Gosselies, and decided to enter the novitiate in Namur at the age of fifteen, on 7 April 1856. On 2 July of the same year, he received the habit, and pronounced his first vows on 14 September 1859. Ten years later, on 26 September 1869, he made his perpetual profession.
Before exercising his mission as an educator, Brother Mutien-Marie had to prepare himself and it is here that he encountered a great challenge, to the point that he was on the verge of being removed from the Congregation, because it was believed that he was not suitable for teaching. It was the beginning of a journey marked by humility and the ability to discover God in the small details of each day, in the simple tasks entrusted to him.
For two years he taught primary school in Chimay. He was then sent to boarding school in Malonne, where he would spend the rest of his life: 58 years!
His path to holiness was carved out each day in faithfulness to daily duty, between remedial classes, vigilance and prayer. There he found every day an opportunity to devote himself fully to God, loving his neighbour, and professing a deep devotion to the Eucharist and to the Virgin Mary.
“For him there was nothing more important than doing God’s will, nothing more joyful than poverty, nothing more urgent than the obligations of common life, the welcome of his pupils or of anyone who came to him”.
Mutien-Marie was the Brother who was always present and who always prayed… that is why he is still remembered with immense affection.
He died on 30 January 1917. Since the day of his death, his tomb has been a place of constant pilgrimage.
On 30 October 1977 he was beatified by St. Paul VI, and on 10 December 1989 he was canonised by St. John Paul II.
We give thanks today for the holiness of Brother Mutien-Marie. We ask him to help all Lasallian educators to always accompany the young, to always be with them, not only along their faith journey, but in their life itself, with its lights and shadows. Following the example of Saint Mutien-Marie, may we know how to open them to the beauty of the Gospel message and to know how to find God in the little things and from there find the meaning of their lives.