Letters of Marcellin – 277

Marcellin Champagnat


As the text tells us, this letter is a copy of a preceding one which did not reach its destination. It is transcribed from a register which is not the one from which we have drawn our present text. We therefore do not know what register Fr. Champagnat is referring to. We have his notebooks with rough drafts of letters, but none of them contains the original of this one. Should we conclude from this that not all his business letters were copied? At this period, the Founder wrote only his strictly personal letters himself. He had the others written by a secretary, as is evident, for example, from his last letters to Fr. Mazelier, the originals of which are in our possession. They were apparently first written in rough draft and then a good copy was made. The drafts were kept to be transcribed later into the register by any secretary, as we can see from the variety in the handwritings. So it is possible that before this one was copied, it was learned that the original had not been delivered, and what was finally copied was the second version. We note, in fact, the absence of the reference which in similar cases (LL. 179, 258, et al.) is given in the text of the letter itself.


We were very surprised to learn from the parish priest of Izieux that our answer had not reached you. We have quickly transcribed it from the copy in our register.

We can only congratulate you for the excellent dispositions of your parishioners concerning the pious project you have drawn up for the instruction of your beloved young people. Our greatest pleasure would be to help you immediately in such an excellent plan, but the establishments we are able to make this year have all been promised and it would be difficult for me even to set a precise date for you, when I will be able to give you our brothers, in view of the number of requests anterior to yours. In any case, we will take in to consideration the ongoing efforts of your parishioners to consolidate and prepare this good work, and if you wish we will enter the request you sent us, in its proper order.

I profit by this occasion to thank you again for all the good things you did for our brothers while they were privileged to be with you in Charlieu; they still feel very grateful….

Please accept….

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, AFM, RCLA 1, p. 137-138, nº 172


Letters of Marcellin - 274...


Letters of Marcellin - 278...