Letters of Marcellin – 193

Marcellin Champagnat


Fr. Champagnat left again for Paris, most probably on Monday, 14th May, and arrived, with an intermediate stop in Lyons, on Thursday the 17th, at midnight. His one remaining glimmer of hope was that this whole affair, considering the point it had reached, was going to be settled in just a short time. So this was not the moment to let up on the pressure he was putting on the ministry. With tenacious willpower, despite his fatigue, he carried out what he believed to be his duty. Taking advantage of a Sunday, he shared everything which was bothering him at the moment. For whatever reason, he did not send his letter until he had filled all four pages by adding to it from time to time.

Paris, 20th May 1838, Foreign Missions, Rue du Bac N

My very dear brother,

I arrived in Paris Thursday at midnight. I hardly stayed at all in Lyons. The archbishop gave me no rest, so I had to leave at once. I did not buy anything, neither the lithographic stone nor the flour. But I did speak to Fr. Duplay, the bursar of the seminary, who will place our order whenever we want, at the same time as he orders for the seminary. I do not think there is any hurry. To keep Bro. Marie-Jubin busy, buy him a stone in St-Etienne or Lyons if you have a chance.

I arrived about the same as I left, feeling so-so. Time does not hang heavy on my hands because I am busy with our major project. I have already seen a certain number of people who are lending a hand, and who as usual continue to promise me a great deal. Mr. Ardaillon gave me a bit of false information by informing me that my documents were before the Council of State; I checked up on that immediately and I saw that they were not.

Answer the superior of the seminary in Montpelier, that since I have to visit an establishment in the department of the Var sometime this year, we will try to kill two birds with one stone, and that we definitely intend to open a novitiate in the south of France.

I have once again found Paris very calm. I arrived in my cassock; during the trip, that is to say, in the carriage, I made my May devotions and said my rosary with those who were with me, without any difficulty, or to put it more strongly, to everyones satisfaction. I have not heard a single word which would be contrary to the rules of proper Christian conduct.

If you found any damaged items among the goods you received, let me know as soon as possible. It appears that the prefect of the Loire has still not written. I have just seen Mr. Delebecque who told me that was the only document he was waiting for. I just had someone write him. It is possible that his letter is lying in some office. May the most holy will of God be done; he knows how happy I would be to head for Lyons again if my business was completed. Once again, may the most holy will of God be done.

25th May

Even though I feel fine, time is beginning to drag for me. You must have received a letter from Mr. Delebecque. I would be very glad to know how it is phrased; send me the copy if you have it. Not a day passes without rain.

And here it is the 26th. I hope I will succeed; that is what everyone keeps promising me. I am afraid of wanting it too much. I ask, and you ask for me also, that my will may be totally in conformity with that of God.

Yesterday I received the letter you sent me. I answered and I promised brothers for Pol (Pas de Calais). I could not refuse. With Marys help we will move heaven and earth to keep that promise. The report of the prefect of the Loire has finally arrived, totally in our favor, like the one from the prefect of the RhĂ´ne. I am going to the ministry today. I think there will certainly be some other unpleasantness there. Ad majorem Dei gloriam.

As you can see, I have continued this several times. I have worn out just about everyone, I mean the deputies, by my frequent visits. In a minute I am going to the Ministry of Instruction to see if I can learn anything new.

I am just back from the ministry; they told me to come back tomorrow. I just met an employee of the ministry who comes from Lyons. His name is Mr. Pasqualiny and he arranged our meeting. I dont think he will do much more for me than the others. Blessed Virgin, your month is nearly over….

I really dont want to buy the cope yet, if that doesnt upset Brother Stanislas too much. I will tell him the reason why when I see him.

My troubles are not over yet. Pray for me, I really need it. You are right, I havent forgot a single member of the society, they are all too dear to me for that. Tell all of them how much I am counting on their prayers.

I leave you with God and with Mary, now and for eternity,


P.S. My best wishes to Frs. Matricon and Besson. I can see now that I am needed here in Paris. I will soon know if there is really anything I can do.

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 111.42, éditée dans CSG 1, p. 259 et AAA pp. 246-248


Letters of Marcellin - 182...


Letters of Marcellin - 195...