In seventeenth-century France, Cardinal Pierre de Bérulle founded what is called the French School of Spirituality, a spiritual current, well known in the Christocentric XVIIth century, but with a mystical side particular to this School.
This path and spiritual experience emphasized that Christ is not only the model, the goal and the invisible drive of our spiritual life; and that we are not only in contact with Him, but that we are one with Him and that with Him we are one mystical person. From then on, the secret of perfection will be to "live" and "abide in Christ" according to the formula dear to St. Paul and St. John.
Because of our vital adherence to Jesus Christ, we become partakers of "what has been done through Him": his actions, his mysteries, his dispositions are ours by virtue of the bond that unites the members with the head and to the degree of our union with Him. In order to progress in life and acquire supernatural virtues, the surest way is therefore to remain closely connected to the source of life: to adhere to the states of being of the Incarnate Word.
The four masters of the French School - Bérullian School are: Pierre de Bérulle, Charles de Condren, Jean-Jacques Olier and John Eudes. Not only were they disciples of the French School but also its masters because of the contribution each brought to “this Great All who is Jesus” an expression of John Eudes.
Disciples and masters will make the mystery of Christ the center of their spiritual experience, of their thoughts and of their apostolic mission: for Bérulle, Jesus is All, for Condren the Eternal High Priest, for Olier the Eucharistic mystery, for John Eudes Love is his deepest reality expressed through the language of the heart.
Today the heirs of the members of this Bérullian Spiritual Family congregate in different societies of apostolic life developing the charism received by its founders and carrying out its mission in the world, in various cultures and the Church, boldly opening new avenues to propagate the kingdom of Jesus.
The Congregations who, today, are part of the French School of Spirituality are:
- The Oratorians: www.oratoire.org
- The Vincentians Lazarists: www.cmglobal.org
- The Eudists: www.cjm.org
- The Sulpicians: www.sulpiciens.org
- The Foreign Missions of París: www.mepasie.org