Letters of Marcellin – 275

Marcellin Champagnat


Brother Apollinaire is still sick (cf. LL. 126, 128, 141, 198), and still without his certificate, therefore still eligible to be called up for military service. Since he has just had another attack, if he has to leave, he will risk losing not only his vocation but also his life, for a further attack may carry him off. In order to protect himself, he has to present a statement
from either the authorities or a doctor. But from which department: the Loire, where he actually is; or the Drôme, where he is registered; or Isère, where he was born?

As for Brother GĂ©rasime, he seems to have obtained his certificate, which means he can return to the Hermitage. But his number has just been called, and to avoid the call-up, he would have to have made the ten-year commitment and have been approved as a town teacher. On the other hand, under Fr. Mazeliers jurisdiction, thanks to the latters royal authorization, he would not need any of that. Consequently, the Founder suggests that Fr. Mazelier send him to teach in one of his own schools (cf. AA, p. 167). He will stay there until 1841 or 1842.

6th October 1839

Father Superior,

Since the Blessed Virgin wanted you to be the recourse of her children, permit me to bother you again. Brother Apollinaire is presently at Notre Dame de lHermitage. He left Marlhes six weeks or two months ago, thinking that he was entirely cured, but a violent recurrence of his illness suddenly struck him with such force that in two or three days he was unrecognizable. He is starting to improve, but he is so pale that I am afraid for him.

I have just learned that people are asking questions about him, on the subject of conscription. I would not want the police to come lay hands on him in our house. What steps should I take, and with whom? The doctor in Saint-Chamond will give all the necessary documents attesting to this brothers condition….

Brother Gérasime, né Terme, is getting ready to leave for Saint-Paul again, since his number has been called. You may use him as a teacher, if you think him suitable; you know how devoted he is.

At the moment we are making our retreat. There are many on it. I earnestly recommend it to your good prayers and those of your brothers.

There are still a good number of vocations coming in. If you were nearer, and if it were possible to set up some sort of affiliation by means of the Third Order which the Sovereign Pontiff has approved, we could let it be known that it is all one society. The subjects could decide more easily. In that case, you could continue directing by yourself a work which is totally for the glory of God.

You do us such great favors. I would give everything in the world to be able to be of some use to you.

Please accept the assurance of the most sincere devotedness with which I have the honor to be, with respect, Father Superior, your most obedient servant.


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 lexpédition autographe, AFM, 112.13


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