Letters of Marcellin – 172

Marcellin Champagnat


We saw from the Journal (cf. introduction to L. 171) that the Founder had received Bro. François reply to his letter of 2nd February, with the copies of the prospectus he had requested. Unfortunately, that letter has not been preserved, nor for that matter any of those which Bro. François wrote to Fr. Champagnat in Paris, which makes it difficult to understand all the allusions the latter makes to them.


Paris, 4th February 1838, Rue du Bac NÂş 120, Foreign Missions

My very dear brother,

I received your answer and the prospectuses you sent us. I see from your reply that you are all well. As for Bro. Adjuteur , it seems that God wants to reward him for his virtues and good dispositions. Let us adore his plans once again here, and let us never argue with him. Do all you can to help him die a holy death; tell him that I will not forget him.

I am very happy with the good news you sent me about the mother-house and the establishments. Since Bro. Cassiens trip to Millery was so successful, send him to spend a week in Valbenoîte and in Neuville. Tell him how pleased I am with his good will. Tell him to take good care of his health on his little trips.

You did not tell me if Bro. Pie has been changed; what effect has the change had? Do you have much snow? Is it very cold at the Hermitage? Has the farmer decided to leave once and for all? And has Poncet cut away much rock? How are Fathers Matricon and Besson, and Brothers Jean-Marie, Stanislas, Jean-Baptiste, Pierre, JĂ©rĂ´me, Pierre-Joseph, etc….

Send me Bro. Martins ten-year commitment and those of the others whose cases we may have reason to be concerned about; we hope that once we have obtained the ordinance, we will get the commitments accepted without any trouble. We are still visiting this one or that one. We have just come from Mr. Lachaises. We went back there at noon and he still was not up. We are still not sure of the success of our business, but we are counting on the good prayers being said. Mary our good Mother will back us up; pray to her through the intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Every day here in Paris we say the rosary of the dead.

We have been waiting for several days for the answers of Our Lords the bishops of Belley and Lyon. It appears that Mr. De Salvandy wrote to them, and we have written ourselves on our own behalf.

This morning the cold is more biting than usual; we have seen hardly any snow in Paris, but our cloaks are always very useful. What am I saying? They are very necessary!

We are being strongly pressured for an establishment in St-Pol, a small city near Arras. The salary is guaranteed; 40,000 have been given for that purpose. We have almost made up our mind to go there to see it, especially if Mr. Delebecque asks us to, as we are told he will. They asked him to. It seems he comes from that area.

Dont worry about us, we are in very good health, but our lodgings are cold. The good clergymen of the Foreign Missions who are giving us hospitality edify us a great deal by their virtue and their dedication to spreading the Church among the pagans.

Last week I saw the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and I asked them to let us sell their textbooks at the same price at which they sell them in their own establishments. Here is what they answered after discussing it in council:

I hope, Father Superior, that these prices will seem very reasonable to you, since they are nearly the same as those at which our students receive them from our brothers.

Grammars .68 Geometric drawing 1.05
Dictations .88 Duties of a Christian .85
Exercises .68 History of France .98
Arithmetics .78 Geography .83
Answers .50

Decide among yourselves if these prices are suitable, and let me know when you answer this letter; since I dont know their prices, I couldnt say anything.

If the mayor of Lavalla is coming to Paris, ask him to bring us one or two copies of the Rule and of the Principles , which we might need.

I have the honor to be your most devoted and loving servant and father,

Sup. of Bros.

P.S. Bro. Marie-Jubin was pretty bewildered at first, but he is starting to do better and seems to be adapting.
Best wishes from Fr. Chanut.

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 autographe AFM 111.32, éditée en CSG 1, p. 247 et AAA p. 232-234


Letters of Marcellin - 169...


Letters of Marcellin - 174...