Letters of Marcellin – 197

Marcellin Champagnat


According to Bro. Avit (AA, p. 251), It seems that Bro. François asked to be relieved of the burdens of government. But it is less the encouragement which he certainly needed which occasions this letter, than the fact that the Founder is about to leave Paris for Saint-Pol-en-Artois, and then return to the Hermitage. Then there is no doubt his visit to the minister, at which he hints. The latter appears to have been more disappointing than encouraging. This time, the Founder is convinced that Mr. De Salvandy is constantly looking for new ways to drag out the process because, in the final analysis, he does not want to give him the requested authorization. So Fr. Champagnat leaves Paris disappointed but resigned, realizing that staying there would not speed matters up sufficiently to accomplish his goal.


Paris, 23rd June 1838, Foreign Missions, Rue du Bac, NÂş 120.

My very dear brother,

Your position at the Hermitage is perhaps not so enviable as some might think. What could you do about it anyway? You did not go looking for that position. Just try to do your duty well and God will do what you cannot.

I am leaving tomorrow for Saint-Pol, to visit the place being prepared for the brothers, at the request of the parish priest and the mayor. We are condemned to make this establishment. I really thought I could get out of it, but it is not possible, given the position in which we find ourselves.

I imagine you want to know how our business is going. Sad to say, I know practically nothing about it, or if you prefer, I know everything. What was simply my suspicion has today become certitude. I am very annoyed, but not upset; I still have great confidence in Jesus and Mary. We will obtain what we want, I have no doubt; only I do not know when. What is really important is that we do nothing on our side except what God wants us to do; I mean do our best and then let Providence take over. God knows better than we do what suits us and what is good for us. I am very sure that a little delay will not hurt us.

I was very saddened by the death of Brother Fabien and the fact that Brother Justin is not recovering. May God be blessed! May Jesus and Mary help him more and more.

You are as well aware as I that far from being able to make any new establishments this coming year, we will be obliged to drop one. Do not promise anything to anyone. Accept the novices you mentioned, from Marlhes. You know that those who are finished with their conscription are precious; you must accept what they give or can give.

As for the repairs in La Grange-Payre, I have confidence in whatever Philippe will do. But I would still prefer to see for myself first the wall they want to take down. What bothers me is that this wall will still be too damp for anyone to be able to live there right away. It would be much better if we could do without it.

As for Marcellin Lachal, I do not know what to tell you. I am not sure enough about his character. He was very wrong to leave his employer.

I have good reasons for listing Brother François-Régis for the next departure. Brother Marie-Augustin will go some other time. Do not admit Jutier and Blanchon before I arrive. As for my nephew, he must come willingly and with the full consent of his parents.

Do not give Brother Marie-Théodose a minutes rest until he does what he has to do; I mean, go to confession, and give you a note saying he has been to confession, at least every week.

My health has been rather poor for the last few days. I find the traveling painful. When I return I will send you a letter via Fr. Bati , who has been in Paris for a week, unless I return with him myself. In any case, I expect to be at the Hermitage within a fortnight.

Do not forget to tell all the brothers how much I love them, and how much I suffer from being separated from them,


Frs. Matricon, Besson, etc….

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 111.45, éditée dans CSG 1, p. 266 et partiellement dans AAA pp. 251


Letters of Marcellin - 196...


Letters of Marcellin - 205...