Letters of Marcellin – 025

Marcellin Champagnat


Even though this letter is undated, it can be situated with certainty before 30 August 1832, the day when the candidates of whom it speaks were received (Correspondance, p. 75). The three girls had undoubtedly not been recruited by Fr. Champagnat, but by Fr. Fontbonne, who was curate in Saint-Laurent dAgny from 11th July 1832 until December 1830, before going to the Hermitage (cf. OM, I, doc. 223). We do not know how the Founder came into contact with them, but we do know that he worked steadily for the entire Society of Mary: for the Fathers
(cf. Life, p. 199), and also for the Sisters, to whom he sent about ten girls (cf. OM, I, doc. 2, 182.2, 246.4, 255.5, 297.3).


Mother Superior,

I am sending you the three girls about whom I spoke to you, from St. Laurent dAgny. If they cannot bring you as much wealth as they would like, they at least have enough good will to do whatever you may demand of them. I told them that if they did not come to you with perfect self-renunciation, submission in the face of every trial, great openness of heart, a persevering spirit and a real desire to love God as Mary did, they should not go any further. They replied that these were exactly their own sentiments and their hearts desire. I told them that you would keep this letter, to remind them of their promises at the opportune moment; they told me that that is exactly what they want, and that they were ready to sign all of it with their own blood, if necessary.

Each one is bringing four sheets, twelve towels, six washcloths, twenty-four petticoats, eighteen handkerchiefs and all her personal clothing.

The father of Miss Chol will give you 1400 or 1500 francs now, and nothing after that, or 400 now and her inheritance after his death.

Marie Buy , five hundred: 200 when she enters and the rest within a year. After her fathers death, she will have 2000.

Miss Pocachart is bringing 100 when she enters; the remainder for her board and lodging will be paid in installments. After her parents death, she will have 4000 francs.

I can certify that all three have fine parents, who are good Christians.

Please accept the assurance of my devotedness.

Champagnat, S.M., superior of the brothers

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 lexpédition autographe, APM, fonds Champagnat, éditée en OM 249, et en


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