Letters of Marcellin – 185

Marcellin Champagnat


Since we do not have Brother François letter to which this is the reply, we have no way of knowing whether Fr. Champagnat himself had decided to return or whether Bro. François asked him to do so to settle whatever matters were pending. In any case, the matter of the authorization seemed to be slowly following its course, and the Founder could not continue ceaselessly pestering people who were helping his cause along. As for Bro. François, he could not indefinitely keep telling people who were requesting brothers that they would have to wait because the Superior was away. Besides, if travel had been easier, Fr. Champagnat would certainly not have stayed away so long without returning, even if he had to go back several times, which in fact he did, around the middle of May. As for the exact date of his return, Bro. Avit notes simply (AA, p. 241) that, Father returned to the Hermitage as he had promised; that would mean 28th April, having left Paris three or four days earlier, the normal time it took to make the trip.

12th April 1838, Paris, Foreign Missions, Rue du Bac NÂş 120

My very dear brother,

I received your letter yesterday evening and I am hurrying to answer it. Mr. Ardaillon has just arrived. I am thinking of returning to the Hermitage the 28th of this month, unless some unforeseen obstacle delays me, in which case I will write you again. These next few days I am going to do the errands you gave me and finish the others I already have.

The business concerning our authorization is still moving along; I mean it has not run into any other difficulties apart from an oppressive slowness in spite of everything we can do. Let us continue our prayers; that is the only way.

I presume, my very dear brother, that when I reach home, you will not be satisfied with telling me from memory the different incidents which may have taken place during my absence. It is very important that I be well informed about everything, so that I can continue to govern the house with the help of your advice and that of the other members. It is important that you have a written day by day account, since my departure. Discuss it with Brothers Stanislas, Jean-Marie, and the other brothers who have employment ; Bro. Bonaventure, a memorandum also about what concerns him. I do not mean just the brothers who are in the house, but even those in the establishments: the requests made, in a word, everything which concerns or should concern the superior of a community.

My health is still good, I have had hardly any stomach aches. If I did not feel that my presence is required for several matters, I would not speed up my departure so much. Besides, I hope that our important business will not suffer because of it, since it is so far advanced. Bro. Jean-Marie will show me the accounts, I hope, also in good order.

My letter will not leave until 13th April. Adieu, my very dear brother, I very much share your sorrow at the death of your brother. Best regards to Frs. Matricon, Besson, and all the brothers who have made perpetual vows , and the others whom I embrace in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, while waiting to embrace them bodily. You will still have time to write to me here in Paris, if necessary.

It is cold in Paris today.

Your most devoted,


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 autographe AFM 111.41


Letters of Marcellin - 182...


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