Letters of Marcellin – 051

Marcellin Champagnat


Father Champagnat seized every opportunity to have his brothers exempted from military service. A young man whose fractured leg had never healed properly did, in fact, stand a good chance of being exempted. From the information given in this letter it is very difficult to discover his name. To the extent that our archives have preserved the names of all the brothers of the Institute, the list can be reduced to three or four, and finally to one who fits the description well enough: Brother Jean (Claude Dumaître), a native of Charlieu, who received the habit on 15th August 1829 at the age of fifteen. As for the addressee, from the very tone of this letter, one would presume it is someone known by the writer; therefore, the prefect of the Loire. The date can be roughly calculated from the letters preceding this one in the notebook from which we have taken it.

Mister Prefect,

The bearer of this letter has been in our house for five years. He has made his ten-year commitment, but he still has no certificate attesting to his acceptance of that document. It seems to me he could be exempted because of a fractured leg which makes it extremely painful, even impossible, for him to travel on foot.

Please accept the assurance of the respectful submission with which I have the honor to be, Mr. Prefect, your very respectful 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 la minute autographe, AFM, 132.1, p. 45


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