At our Congress in Rougemont last September, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the creation of the white beret. In 1949, Mr. Louis Even and Mrs. Gilberte Côté-Mercier asked the members of the "Michael" Movement to find a way to identify its members. Mr. and Mrs. Pierre Bouchard, of Arvida, Que., were pioneers of the Movement in their Saguenay area. Pierre Bouchard came to the "Michael" Congress, in Asbestos that year, with a white beret bearing the same symbol as the flag of the Movement, which was conceived by Louis Even in 1941. Mr. Bouchard had brought with him extra berets for the Directors and other apostles. Since that time, the white beret became the "uniform" of the Pilgrims of Saint Michael.
In 1999, Yves Potvin (Pierre Bouchard's grandson), of Guelph, Ont., a lieutenant colonel with 597 subscriptions in 1998-1999, was happy to remind the participants at the Congress of this story. The daughters of Pierre Bouchard are also great apostles of our Movement. Mrs. Marie-Jacqueline Bouchard-Potvin, the daughter of Pierre Bouchard and mother of Yves Potvin, took 1,019 subscriptions in 1998-1999. Mrs. Monique Bouchard-Simard, another daughter of Pierre Bouchard, ranked lieutenant colonel with 507 subscriptions.
In this article, Mrs. Côté-Mercier explains the meaning of the flag of the Pilgrims of Saint Michael and of the beret that reproduces this flag.
One knows that the uniform of the Pilgrims of Saint Michael is the white beret, with the word "Michael" for our English-speaking members, and "Vers Demain" for our French-speaking members. Our beret reproduces our flag, plus the name "Michael" or "Vers Demain", which are not displayed on our flag:
The colors of our beret are therefore the same as those of our flag: white, gold, and red. White means the purity of intention of the apostles, the purity of the aim they pursue, and of the means they use. It means the righteousness of the objectives and methods of the Pilgrims of Saint Michael. These apostles strive to be safe of any stain of pride, selfishness, or betrayal. There is an open golden book to show that our Movement is a work of education, that it is through study and the teaching of the truth that we can work for the salvation of souls and lead them to Heaven, and the liberation on earth of people, institutions, and the whole of society, from the bondage to High Finance, Freemasonry, and Communism. This book is golden, the color of wisdom.
The red flame of our flag represents the fire of the apostolate, which keeps us on the move for our apostolate. This flame symbolizes the great freedom of the apostles, who are accountable to God alone, and who strive to abide by His Commandments, which are taught by the Roman Catholic Church.
Louis Even, the founder of the "Michael" Movement, was a great Catholic. We try to imitate him by following his footsteps. He did not only keep the Commandments of God and of the Church, but he also preached them, through his "Michael" Journal, and his visits to families in towns and the countryside. He preached prayer, the Rosary, purity, modesty in dress, good schools, the giving up the watching of television that corrupts souls. He preached penance and the apostolate.
The white, red, and golden flag, chosen by Louis Even for his Work, corresponds to the three colors of Our Lady's Rosary: white for the five Joyful Mysteries, red for the five Sorrowful Mysteries, and gold for the five Glorious Mysteries. These colors were chosen not by chance, but by an inspiration of Mary, this Queen and Mother that Louis Even venerated so much, and of whom he was a slave on earth for 73 years.
Our white, red, and golden flag was solemnly blessed by the Catholic Church on August 31, 1941, in Sherbrooke, Que., at Christ the King Church, with the permission of Bishop Philippe Desranleau of Sherbrooke. This flag stands for the Kingdom of Christ, through the building of the Kingdom of the Immaculate.
Let us proudly display our flag and wear our white beret.