by Michelle Héraud (edited)When Father Chaminade first founded the Sodality at Bordeaux, France, in the early 1800's religious orders were banned in the country. Not until the French Restoration could the Congregation of the Daughters of Mary Immaculate and the Society of Mary be officially born. As early as 1808, however, a few members of the Bordeaux congregation vowed privately to live a religious state in the world. In effect it filled the notion of a secular institute long before the concept actually came into official existence.
In the early 1960s, a group of young Marianist affiliates from France, who shared the will to dedicate their lives to God by taking vows while living in the world, got together and founded the L'Alliance Mariale.
Today the Alliance is self-governed, with a General Directress for a five-year term, assisted by a Council of four elected members. The Directress and the Council have a Priest Advisor, who must be a Marianist chosen jointly by his Provincial and by the Council itself. As a Marianist priest, he is a witness to the founder's charism, and, serves as a token of the ties that bind the organization together with the Marianist Family.
The current General Directress is noted on the Alliance Home Page.
NOTE:The charism that inspired the World Marianist Family today animates the four branches Society of Mary (SM), Daughters of Mary Immaculate (FMI), Alliance Mariale (AM), and Marianist Lay Communities (MLC).
The members of the Alliance are found in France, Switzerland, Chile, and lately in Africa. No common institutional mission is assigned to members of the Alliance Mariale. Each one lives out her mission in her own professional and family sphere, but always in accordance with her alliance with Mary and the Marianist charism..