Letters of Marcellin – 278

Marcellin Champagnat


We do not know if the arrangements mentioned in L. 268 were finally made. In any case, the Founder must have understood that the bishop wanted to move up the opening of the novitiate in Vauban, as Fr. Beurrier made very clear to him in a letter he wrote on 5th September 1839: His Lordship is so eager to see this establishment that he will make every possible sacrifice. If Fr. Superior thinks as we do, that is, that it is much better for him to take charge of the project himself, we will try to meet all his requirements.... (Annales de Vauban, AFM, 212.54, p. 2). Another letter from the bishop arrived, no doubt reinforcing the same argument, and suggesting a contract to cover the details of the arrangement within the château of Vauban, which the bishop was putting at their disposition. As we can see from this letter, the Founder follows Fr. Beurriers lead and requests complete autonomy for the brothers.

My Lord,

I can only rejoice in your ongoing good will toward the Society of Mary and express to you once again our deep and respectful gratitude. I hope that the holy union which Your Grandeur wants to contract in the heart of our Good Mother with the society of her brothers and her children, will be entirely for her glory and for the salvation of souls. You wish to know the basis of the arrangement which ought to cement and assure this union. I am completely in agreement: it is good for both sides to come to an understanding in advance on the essential conditions, so that when we meet we will have only the details to work out.

For us, My Lord, in taking on the direction of the novitiate of Vauban and in committing ourselves to making specific establishments in your diocese in proportion to the number of capable subjects we will be able to form there, it seems proper to us, in line with the offers you were good enough to make us, to set as the first condition that the novitiate be put purely and simply at the disposition of the Society and become its inalienable property. However, in the event that, because of unforeseen developments, the said Society should be dissolved, the house of Vauban would again fall under Your Grandeurs disposition, and a compensation established by experts would be granted to those responsible, for the improvements made during the period of the Societys use of the building.

I hope, My Lord, that you will be good enough to let me know your main intentions, and as soon as I have received your letter, I will come to Autun for a definitive meeting of the minds.

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. 139, nº 175, éditée dans CSG, 1, 288 et dans AAA pp. 293-294


Letters of Marcellin - 277...


Letters of Marcellin - 280...