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Letters of Marcellin - 024

 

Br. Marcellin Champagnat
01/11/1831


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We cannot be certain as to Bro. Barthélemys residence, because there is no address on this letter and we do not have the list of assignments for that year. It is certainly not Ampuis (cf. LL. 14 and 19), since there is every indication that Brother Barthélemy had just been transferred from there, to take over the school in Saint-Symphorien dOzon. The account book lists, under date of 16th September 1832: Received from Bro. Barthélemy for St-Symphorien, 43.80 francs. This would correspond with the text of the
letter, which indicates he was somewhere near Lyons.

J.M.

My very dear Brother Barthélemy,

May Jesus and Mary always be with you! I give you permission, dear friend, to receive Holy Communion on Sundays and Thursdays as your rule provides, and on Tuesdays as you requested; but this last permission is only for three months. I grant the same permission to Brother Isidore, but only for the first Tuesday of each month.

I promise that the very next trip I make to Lyons, I will come to see you. Be brave, good friend; it is enough that you and your co-worker are willing to teach many children. Even if you had no students at all, your reward would still be the same. Dont get upset over the small number you now have. God holds the hearts of everyone in his hands; he will send you students when he sees fit; all you have to do is be sure that no infidelity of yours stands in the way. You are where God wanted you to be, since you are where your superiors wanted you to be. I have no doubt that the Lord is rewarding you with many graces.

Never stop telling your children that they are the friends of the saints in heaven, of the Blessed Virgin, and especially of Jesus Christ; that he wants their young hearts, that he loves them jealously, and that he is terribly hurt to see the devil take control of them; that he would be ready, if necessary, to die on the cross again, even right there in St. Symphorien, for them, poor children.

Tell them, God loves you, and I also love you, because Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin and the saints love you so much. Then tell them, Do you know why God loves you so much? It is because you were purchased with his blood, and you can become great saints, and with very little difficulty, if you really want to. Jesus promises to carry you on his shoulders to spare you the effort of walking. How sad it is, children, that we do not know him well, especially those of you who dont like to learn your catechism.

Make a little novena with your children in honor of the Blessed Virgin: five Our Fathers and [...]. We are starting one today at the Hermitage for the same intention, that is, for the success of all the establishments of the Society. Write in all your childrens copybooks: Mary was conceived without sin.

I embrace you and leave you in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

My best wishes to your parish priest and his assistant,

Champagnat, superior

Notre Dame de lHermitage, 1st November 1831

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