Letters of Marcellin – 021

Marcellin Champagnat


This text gives no indication of either the addressee or the date. However, the contents leave no doubt as to the former: the mayor of Feurs, who at the time was Mr. Jean-Baptiste Mondon, a notary, born on 28th November 1759. He was named mayor on 1st September 1830, but held office only until 2nd May 1832; he died the following year, on 19th June 1833. We can establish the date with some precision from Bro. Jean-Baptistes statement in the Life of the Founder: ...the brothers were withdrawn from Feurs during the Holy Week of 1831 (p. 177). In addition, the first volume of the collected letters of the Superiors General (RCLA 1, p. 5), where this text is found, bears this marginal note: April 1831, Mr. Mondon, mayor of Feurs. Its presence in that volume may prove that the letter was ultimately drafted and sent. For the reasons behind this closing, cf. Life of M.J.B.
Champagnat, pp. 177Bro. Avit, Abrégé des Annales, pp. 102-
103; minutes of the meeting of the town council, note 1, below.

Thank you for informing me about the decision of your council. I accept the destruction of your establishment of our brothers with resignation and calm. I have taken all the steps I should have, to save a school which was steadily improving. The rector of the university, as I had the honor to tell you, promised me his help in legalizing the Christian education of the young people of Feurs. I proved to you, by the reduction I made in the fees, that the only goal of all our efforts was the good of the children of your town. You mentioned to me that the city could not pay three brothers twelve hundred francs per year. I told you that I would be satisfied with four hundred, and under those conditions, all the poor would still be taught free of charge.

Therefore, having received your deliberation concerning the dismissal of our three brothers, independently of all the sacrifices I offered to make for you, and not wishing to upset your administration, I told them to return all the furniture which belongs to the town, to whomever should receive it, and to leave Feurs immediately.

Please accept, Mr. Mayor, the respect of him who has the honor to be your most devoted servant,


Edition: Translation from: Lettres de Marcellin J. B. Champagnat (1789-1840) Fondateur de l?Institut des Frères Maristes, présentés par Frère Paul Sester,1985.

fonte: Daprès un brouillon AFM, LC, 1, p. 189


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