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Founded in 1817 in Bordeaux by William Joseph Chaminade (1761-1850), known as the Society of Mary, and distinguished from the Marists.* The Marianist Order introduced an original note in that priests and lay members have equal rights and privileges, except for those relating to administration of the sacraments. Members consecrate themselves irrevocably to the Blessed Virgin and wear a gold ring on the right hand as a token of this fact. Chaminade established the order as a cooperative effort between clergy and laity in fighting religious indifference, especially by means of educational works. The order was recognized by the pope in 1865, and in 1963 had 2,900 members throughout Europe, America, and Asia.