Letters of Marcellin – 027

Marcellin Champagnat

1833

As is well known, Father Champagnat took in a number of elderly persons at the Hermitage (cf. Life, pp. 515-516; Avit, AA, p. 132; Fr. Sylvestre, p. 100). He received contributions for this good work from a charitable lady who was especially dedicated to social work, Miss Marie Fournas (cf. biographical sketch). In the register of those admitted to the house (AFM, RE. 1, p. 45), he notes: Today, Saturday, 1st December 1832, a happy and blessed day, we contributed to a good work performed by Miss Fournas, by receiving two incurably ill persons.

As for the place mentioned in this letter, where these elderly persons could be housed, it is likely that Father Champagnat had a separate house built. Since we have no conclusive proof, we put forward that opinion with some hesitation (cf. Bro.
A. Balko, La bâtisse des infirmes, in FMS, 1975, No. 16, p. 205). None the less, the sum of seven to eight thousand francs would have been enough to build a small house, presuming a masons daily wages did not exceed 45 francs. (Quid, 1978, p. 29).

Mademoiselle,

Here we are again in this beautiful season. It is time to prepare a place to continue the good work you have begun, to which we will gladly devote ourselves. Our good will is limited only by our lack of resources and space. Since our house is becoming more crowded, we need a separate location for this good work, which means an outlay of seven or eight thousand francs; otherwise we will be obliged to give up this good work, in which we want to become involved, but without interfering with our main purpose.

I await your reply.

We are pleased with little Luc.

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, 132,3 bis, p. 51

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