Letters of Marcellin – 173

Marcellin Champagnat


Fr. Champagnat is becoming more and more aware that his business is dragging on despite the many visits he is constantly making, as can be seen again from the continuation of the Journal.

February 4 Letter to Mr. Chavane.
5 Visit to Mr. Delebecque who put us off until tomorrow.
6 Visit to Mr. Tavernier, deputy from Ardèche, rue Rivoli
nÂş 6.
Visit to Mr. Delebecque.
7 In the morning I went to visit the Père Lachaise Cemetery.
In the evening I went to see the Champ de Mars.
8 Received a letter from the Archbishop of Lyons telling us that the letter from the minister of which we told him has not yet arrived.
9 Visit to Mr. Lachaise who promised us that he would inquire about the reason for this delay and that he would speed up the mailing if it had not yet been sent.
Visit to Mr. Lachaise who told us that he had learned that the letters from the minister had been sent just recently.
Visit to Mr. Ardaillon.
10 Visit to Mr. Jovin, who told us he would do all he could to further the success of our business.
Visit to Bishop Forbin-Janson of Annecy.
13 Visit to Mr. Laurent Humblot, Deputy from Villefranche, Place St-Sulpice, nÂş 6.
14 Letter sent to the Minster of Public Instruction, and another to Mr. Delebecque.
Received a letter from Mr. Chavane....

The letter to the minister was written on 14th February but not stamped in the Bureau of Public Instruction until the 20th. The one to Mr. Delebecque has not come down to us. The letter to the minister was not written by Fr. Champagnat, but probably by Fr. Chanut.

Mr. Minister,

Your love for everything concerned with the public welfare, which is so well known, and the protection you extend to those who want to further it, lead me to believe that you will understand the liberty I am taking in reminding you of the request of the Little Brothers of Mary, by pointing out to you the main reasons for prompt action on it.

More than a month has gone by since I left St-Chamond. I have kept contact by letter with the main house, but this sort of supervision does little to reassure me about the consequences of my absence.

The sacrifices which we felt we should make in order to provide more conveniently the benefits of education for the large and deserving rural population allow us to get by, but only by dint of economy. The expenses required by my stay in Paris are being paid out of my own pocket, and I will soon have used up all my money. This year, a number of Little Brothers of Mary are eligible for conscription. The impossibility of getting them exempted before we are legally authorized makes me fear that these will be just so many subjects snatched away from the very important work of public instruction.

Bishop Pompallier, to whom the august royal family has deigned to show its kindness and whom it has honored with the most flattering marks of its goodwill, and who left more than a year ago to bring French civilization and French beliefs to the many islands of Western Oceania, has just reached his destination safely. He is urgently requesting that I send him more brothers, according to the promise I made him, to share in the dangerous work of the four others whom I sent with him when he left. I know how much hope this mission, opened in such a vast territory, has to offer to religion and to our France, but how can I further this generous undertaking strongly enough, if I do not quickly obtain the means to attract new subjects and to keep those who have been trained?

And there, Mr. Minister, are the main reasons which lead me to ask you humbly to please hasten the success of my request. I am happy that, in calling them to your attention, I can submit them to the wisdom of your judgment. To multiply them still more would be to forget the importance and multiplicty of your duties; to explain them in greater detail would be to underrate the eminent qualities which make you so worthy of the position which you honor as much as it honors you.

Please, I beg you, accept the profound respect with which I have the honor to be, Mister Minister, Your Excellencys most humble and most obedient servant,

Sup. of M.B.

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, A.N. (F. 17, PFM), photocopie AFM, 113.29


Letters of Marcellin - 171...


Letters of Marcellin - 180...