Letters of Marcellin – 140

Marcellin Champagnat

1837-09-26

The copy places the addressee in Saint-Etienne, no doubt because he was involved in the armaments industry there. But he lived in St-Jean-Bonnefonds, very near St-Chamond. By a royal ordinance of 22nd August 1837, he had been named mayor of St-Jean-Bonnefonds, so it was at the very outset of his term of office that he sought to endow his town with a brothers school. Fr. Champagnat, no doubt aware of the mans importance, could hardly refuse his request. In addition, he seized the opportunity to make contact with Mr. Jovin Deshayes, foreseeing already the help he could give him in the business of the legal recognition of the Institute. He was not mistaken, as subsequent events would demonstrate: cf. LL. 174, 227 and 228. As for the school, it would be founded only in 1844, but not through the agency of Mr. Jovin Deshayes, who was named mayor of St-Etienne by a royal ordinance on 29th July 1840, and who died on 18th April 1844, before the school was opened.

Dear Sir,

I read your esteemed letter with very special interest. We are too tightly pressed to be able to send you brothers this year, but your request has been taken under consideration, and we will try, as soon as possible, to respond to your zeal for the Christian education of youth. I hope to have the privilege of meeting you after All Saints. The retreat of our brothers who are coming on vacation prevents me from doing so before that time.

I have the honor to be, with the greatest respect, your very devoted servant,

Champagnat

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, AFM, RCLA 1, p. 60, nº 62

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