Letters of Marcellin – 066

Marcellin Champagnat


On the same sheet, after Fr. Champagnats text, copied by a careful secretary, there is a second text, drawn up by Fr. Colin, which can be found in OM, IV, doc. 905, pp. 49-50. This can be explained as follows: as a result of the postcript of the preceding letter, Fr. Mazelier must have written to Fr. Colin. The latter did not want to answer him without consulting Fr.
Champagnat, so he went to the Hermitage at the beginning of July to confer with him. There, each of them drew up his own reply, and on his way home, Fr. Colin must have mailed the letter in Rive-de-Gier, as the postmark indicates. Doubtless out of deference to his superior, Fr. Champagnat did not date his letter, but the former dated his: 7th July 1836.


The Superior General of the Society has told me of the plans for union about which you spoke with him and which I myself had been thinking about for a long time. After discussing it together, we believed that this union would be for the glory of God and the good of religion.

On both sides, we have the same aim, which is the Christian education of children, and the means we use to accomplish it are the same, apart from some minor differences.

Article 8 of your prospectus, in which you suspend the assignment of a single brother, and give no hope of that happening in the future except in places very close to a major house of your congregation, seems to us to be in agreement with this statement of our statutes: Although the brothers do not go less than two together, a central house may be established, from which they can go one by one to nearby towns. Since this major obstacle has been just about eliminated, I believe we will agree easily enough on the other articles of your prospectus which we have read very attentively. But I will not go into detail since I am counting on an interview which will make explanations easier.

As for the difficulty you foresee in supporting our establishment with the minimal salary we ask for, I believe that has already been resolved by the experience of nearly eighteen years which, as you well know, have not been the easiest. Besides, over and above the great resources of Providence which has never failed us, we find in the money which the fairly numerous boarders in several of our establishments bring in, resources for those which are less well off, an advantage which the Brothers of the Christian Schools do not have. On the other hand, the small amounts which the brothers contribute to the motherhouse out of their patrimony are a supplement which just about covers the deficit created by the subjects who cannot pay for their novitiate.

I will leave it at that for the moment. I intend to leave for Lyons tomorrow. I will be delighted to do the errand you entrusted to me.

Please accept the assurance of the respectful sentiments with which I have the honor, Father, to be your most humble and 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 lexpédition, AFM, 112.2; éditée dans AAA pp. 192-193, et dans Bulletin de lInstitut, t.22, pp. 529-531


Letters of Marcellin - 065...


Letters of Marcellin - 095...