Letters of Marcellin – 175

Marcellin Champagnat


It would seem that there has been no progress since the preceding letter. The Journal lists practically nothing but visits, which are sometimes very frustrating, since the officials are not there.

February 25 Received a letter from Fr. SĂ©on.
26 Visit to Mr. Baude.
28 Visit to Mr. Baude; he was out.
March 1st Visit to Mr. Baude; he was out.
2 Visit to Mr. Baude; he had not learned anything new about our business (he told us to give him the ten-year commitments of the brothers eligible for conscription, and that he would send them to the local prefects).
3 Sent the commitments to Mr. Baude.
Visit to Mr. Rendu; he was out.
Visit to Mr. Baude.
4 Visit to Mr. Ardaillon.
Visit to Mr. Deshayes.
Visit to Mr. Deshayes.
5 Visit to Mr. Pillet.
Visit to Mr. Schmitz; he was out.

Fr. Chanuts Journal stops here; Fr. Champagnat jotted down a few entries for the following week, but nothing beyond the 19th. It is true that the whole affair was moving with discouraging slowness; the letters from the bishops, both mailed on 13th February, were registered in the ministry, one on the 17th and the other on the 20th, but it was 13th March before a secretary drew up a report on them for the minister. Without knowing for sure, the Founder suspects that no one is in any hurry to satisfy him.


Paris, 7th March 1838, Foreign Missions, Rue du Bac NÂş 120

My very dear brother,

The other day I received the three copies of the Rule with your letter enclosed. I would have a hard time even today to tell you how things are going with our authorization. There is no other solid reason against it except for the overwhelming stagnation of the bureaucracy. They keep telling us that the ordinance will not run into any difficulty. I just received a note from Mr. Ardaillon who tells me that it will go before the council tomorrow. He tells me nothing more than that. I think he means the answer from one of the two bishops, and that this council is the university council, whose president we know, and he is an excellent Christian. We still have to go through the Council of State, several of whose members we know. But when will we get there! My God, what slowness; time hangs heavy, and its such a nuisance to run from one office to the next. But this isnt the time to go into that. All the glory goes to God alone. A few days ago I handed in the four commitments I had in hand. I still dont know what will come of it all. Keep praying and let us keep praying together; God never refuses anything to persevering prayer.

You certainly cannot transfer Bro. Alipuis; so Bro. Gonzague will have to be patient, if you cannot give him someone else for the moment. I do not remember who it was you sent him. Do what you can under the circumstances, but without moving Bro. Alipius out of Charlieu.

As for promises regarding new establishments: we have already made far too many; let us first get our authorization and then we will see what we can promise. I fear that if we succeed, we will have to send several subjects to Africa; that is what one of the members of the Council of State wants us to do. I dont need to tell you what answer I give him every time.

You know the regulations of the code. I dont know the laws very well. If the farmer stays another year, he will stay two, no matter what we do. If Mr. Finas is reluctant to take action, you must remind him of what he told me when I consulted him on this matter, and that I asked him to give him a warning.

When am I leaving Paris? I have no idea; whenever God wills. If it is for Gods glory that I should die in Paris, may his holy will be done and not mine. I am still determined to see it through to the end. Fr. Chanut is leaving; here I am all alone with my dreams…what am I talking about? One is never alone when one is with God.

I finally bought a lithograph with which Bro. Jubin is now working. It cost 400, and I think with all the accessories it will come to 500. We will send it to St-Chamond, but not until a few days before we leave. I also bought some holy pictures, some cards for good points, etc., etc…. I already told you I had bought a very lovely ciborium.

You know that I think Mr. Vieno is counting on our taking a hundred barrels of his wine. Bro. Stanislas will have to work out the details with the railroad to bring them from Perrache to St-Chamond. So Bro. Stanislas will have to go to Lyons and arrange with Mr. Vieno to have them brought to Perrache for us. As you well realize, you must not forget to do that.

And then Bro. JĂ©rĂ´me will have to think about where to store it all, whether at La Grange-Payre or at lHermitage. This is the time to take care of all that. Consult Fr. Matricon and etc…

A Dieu, my very dear brothers, may Jesus and Mary be with you all.


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 111.37, éditée partiellement dans AAA pp. 238-239


Letters of Marcellin - 172...


Letters of Marcellin - 176...