In 2023, the General Superior and General Council of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools released The Leavening Project, a plan for accompaniment, a “fraternal invitation,” for the Lasallian family to “start a pilgrimage together” over the coming years. In that process, they asked all Lasallians to invoke “Our Lady of the Peripheries.”
To commemorate the 2023 Visitation by the General Superior and General Council to the Lasallian Region of North America, an icon was commissioned of Our Lady.
The icon embodies a call to the Lasallian family, an invitation to be “close to those who live on the social, geographical, existential and educational peripheries.” Lasallians—Brothers and Partners—are educators, and the Lasallian tradition “is rooted in the preferential service of the poor, the excluded, those considered irrelevant, that is to say those children and young people for whom their vulnerable condition is an obstacle to the building up of their dreams for the future and to their having a dignified and happy life.”
St. John Baptist de La Salle calls us to “Recognize Jesus beneath the poor rags of the children whom you have to instruct; adore him in them.” Each person is under the mantle of Mary, recognizing that Mary our Mother sees their dignity and keeps them safe. Each individual, connected to Mary through the yellow rays of light, also has a bit of the yellow in them or something they hold, connecting them directly to Our Lady of the Peripheries. The world becomes clearer when brought under the protection of Mary.
The Leavening Project calls us to ask “Where is my brother? Where is my sister?” Here, each person is shown, with all the dignity that can be given to them, reminding us that everyone on the peripheries is our brother and sister and should be treated that way.
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