Letters of Marcellin – 057

Marcellin Champagnat


Father Champagnat, eager to see all his business with the government terminated, did not want it to get bogged down or lost in bureaucratic quicksand. After three or four months of silence, he started in again, by writing first to Mr. Ardaillon, then to other persons as we shall soon see.

As soon as he received this letter, Mr. Ardaillon quickly wrote to the Minister, on 6th May 1835: I think, Mr. Minister, that perhaps it is time to settle once and for all the situation of this establishment, by some sort of decision. The minister answered him the following 3rd June, saying literally the same thing he would say directly to Fr. Champagnat on 4th September (see below, at the end of L. 59).

30th April 1835

Dear Mr. Deputy,

Several months have already passed since I had to honor to send you a letter regarding our authorization, but having had no reply whatever, I fear that it did not reach you. So I am taking the liberty of sending you its contents once again.

I know I am very late in expressing to you the gratitude which you deserve for the important favor you requested and obtained for me and my entire house, but at least I am doing so as soon as I heard about it. Our statutes were approved by the Royal Council on 28th February 1834, and placed in the general handbook of primary instruction, NÂş 6, for the month of April.
What an important service you have done us! His Lordship the archbishop and all our friends are overwhelmed with joy. I had the honor of seeing Mrs.
Ardaillon on that occasion, to tell her how obliged we are to you. I also saw several outstanding citizens of St. Chamond: Mr. Victor Dugas, Mr. Richard, etc….
all of them are very much involved in our efforts.

You are certainly aware, Sir, that to put the final touch to this important favor, His Majesty Louis-Philippe must sanction this authorization by a royal ordinance. If there are still some steps that need to be taken, please inform me as to what they are, and I will immediately put my hand to the task, so that you will be able, during your stay in Paris, to speed up this last formality, which is all the more necessary for us now since four of our subjects, who have already been in the house for a while, are eligible for conscription this year, and this is the only way we can save them.

Please accept the assurance of the eternal gratitude with which I have the honor to be, dear Sir and most worthy deputy of our district, with respect, 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 une copie de lexpédition. Archives Nationales F.17. PFM


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