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Letters of Marcellin - 328

 

H. Marcellin Champagnat
14/03/1840 - Vol. I, n. 20
Circular 20



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This is the third circular in three months. Why does the Founder send this one, simply to announce the death of a brother, something he rarely did? We do not know, but that does not create any problem in understanding the text.

We have five copies of this circular, one addressed to Bougé-
Chambalud, as we will indicate below, which also carries a postscript, in what seems to be the same handwriting as the body of the letter, but whose meaning is not clear. It is addressed to Bro. Siméon, who had just opened the school in Bougé-Chambalud on 2nd January. Bro. Siméon did not have his certificate; he got it the following March, Bro. Avit tells us (Annales de Bougé-
Chambalud, 214.14, p. 6). Perhaps he got it around the time of this circular, before it was sent on the 17th, since the postscript says that Bro. François-Xavier had been asked to pick up his certificate. Therefore it was time for him to take the necessary steps to obtain his authorization as a town teacher. For that purpose, he had to create a file containing his birth certificate, proof that he had obtained his certificate of competence, and a certificate of good morals. Bro. François-
Xavier, director of La Côte-Saint-André, who formerly had Bro. Siméon under his authority, was asked to write this third certificate, which is why Bro. Siméon was asked to send him his biographical data. To save time, Bro. François-Xavier had also been asked to request Bro. Siméons certificate of competence, doubtless because he was so close to Vienne, where the latter must have taken his examination. But since Bro. Siméon still did not have his birth certificate, he would eventually do it all himself.

Our very dear Brothers,

Our Brother Jean-Pierre, more seriously affected these past few weeks by the illness which so much tried his patience for several years, has finally paid to nature the tribute from which no mortal is exempt. He died the eighth of this month in Firminy where he had been director for two years. His funeral was celebrated very solemnly. At the motherhouse we also carried out, as well as we could, what the Holy Rule prescribes for such occasions. Please do the same for the repose of the soul of this good brother, whom we remember lovingly because of his piety and devotedness.


Let us always be ready, Our Very Dear Brothers, and let us live so that death may never take us by surprise. How fortunate and wise is he who tries to become now the way he wants God to find him at his last hour!

I embrace you very affectionately in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Your very devoted Father,

Champagnat

N.D. de lHermitage, 14th March 1840

You will send Bro. François-Xavier the following information:
1º Your family name and first name; 2º Your place of birth, the arrondissement and department; 3º Your date of birth; so that he can fill out the certificate he will then send you for your authorization.

We had asked Bro. François-Xavier to pick up your certificate of competence. Since you will soon be receiving your birth certificate, you will do it yourself and tell him not to bother.

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