The Congregation of the Clerics of St. Viator
The Clerics of St. Viator was founded in Vourles, France, in the nineteenth century during the years following the French Revolution. It was a time of political upheaval and social unrest. Christian education, especially in the rural areas, was woefully neglected.
It was within this context that Fr. Louis Querbes (1793-1859) founded the congregation. Realizing the need to provide education for youth, Fr. Querbes’ vision was to send religious brothers and lay catechists of deep faith and competent learning to parish schools in the countryside. In addition, these men assisted country pastors in their parishes.
Episcopal approval of the congregation for vowed members only was granted on November 3, 1831 followed by papal approval on September 21, 1838.
The Congregation of the Clerics of Saint Viator is identified by a seal whose different parts come from Father Querbes. It is the monogram HIS surmounted by a cross, framed by the motto Sinite parvulos venire ad me, centered in a crown of thorns.