Blessed William Joseph Chaminade was born in France to a large Catholic family. In 1785 he was ordained a diocesan priest, then in 1790 came the French Revolution. He was considered an enemy of the state but clandestinely continued to minister to the faithful. Fr. Chaminade had to flee to Spain where his devotion to Mary grew stronger. Three years later he returned to France and formed small faith communities called sodalities to restore the faith. From this, the Marian Sisters, the Marianite priests, and the Society of Mary began. During his life, he was a teacher, reformer, and evangelizer. After a lifetime of health and financial difficulties, he died a natural death.