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Letters of Marcellin - 158


Br. Marcellin Champagnat

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Bro. Sylvester has just been assigned to La-Côte-St-André (cf. biographical sketch). This letter is certainly the reply to one of those which the Rule prescribed should be written to the superior. It lets the Founders preoccupations of the moment show through: only four lines to encourage the brother to be open with his superiors; eight to talk about the missionaries, as if he wanted to console himself for not having been able to go with them; then four about his preparations for his trip to Paris. And then, as he often does, he slips in a brief message for one of the confrères of the community, in this case the Bro. Director. The overall impression is of a man trying to handle a thousand things at the same time.

Notre Dame de lHermitage, 25th November 1837

My very dear brother Sylvestre,

I very much hope, dear friend, that Jesus and Mary will bless your good dispositions. Your openness cannot fail to be blessed; you will win the victory; be brave! Just be always willing to make your superiors and directors very aware of your feelings.

We have received a letter from our missionaries en route to Oceania. We will send you a copy of it in a few days. Fr. Bret died during the crossing to Valparaiso; the others are all well and very happy in their vocation. They are very eager to reach their destination. Zeal for the salvation of the people of those islands is one of their most outstanding qualities. Let us pray, dear brothers, let us pray for their salvation and that of those who are entrusted to us. The souls of Frenchmen are just as much the price of the blood of God as those of pagans.

Tell Bro. Louis-Marie that his situation will not be lacking in blessings.

We have not forgot any of you. We are getting ready for Paris. Recommend this matter urgently to God, so that what may happen will be what God wills and nothing more; his holy will is all that matters. It would be useless for us to think otherwise, or to get all upset; nothing but the will of God.

Adieu, dear friend, I leave you all in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

I have the honor to be your most devoted Father in Jesus and Mary,

Sup. of the M.B.

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