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Marist Calendar - December

Letters of Marcellin - 170

 

Br. Marcellin Champagnat
25/01/1838


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In our archives (AFM 137.4), we have a Journal de notre séjour à Paris, which was probably written by Fr. Chanut from 15th January until 5th March and then by Fr. Champagnat from the 13th to the 19th; it spells out their day by day doings in the capital. Before each of the following letters we will quote the corresponding entries, which will make it easier for us to put things in their specific context.

January 15 Departure from Lyons.

Thursday 18 Arrival in Paris; staying Hôtel du Bon Lafon-
taine, rue Grenelle, (St-Germain).

Friday 19 Visit to the Picpus Fathers, where Bro. Marie-
Jubin remained.

20 Visit to Mr. Ardaillon, rue de Provence, nº 22, he made an appointment to see us at his home on Monday at 9 a.m.
Visit to Fr. J[ammes], Vicar-General, rue Princesse.

Sunday 21 Visit to Mr. Sauzet, Quai des Grands-Augustins, Hotel Bisson.
Visit to Fr. D., presbytery, St-Roch, nº 8.
Visit to Fr. Miollan, Seminary of the Foreign Missions, Rue du Bac, nº 120.

22 Visit to Minister of Public Instruction De Salvandy, with Mr. Ardaillon. We left with him: 1º the Statutes of the Society; 2º the request for authorization drawn up for the committee of public instruction of the arrondissement of St-Etienne. This latter request had already been presented to Mr. Delebecque (4th September 1836), department head at the Ministry of Public Instruction, along with other documents. The minister gave his approval to the documents, telling us that they would go before the Council of State.
Visit to Mr. Delebecque, division chief at the Ministry of Public Instruction. He promised to lend a hand in the completion of our business.
Visit to the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Faubourg St-Martin, nº 55.
Visit to Mr. Millan and to...for, etc.


23 Visit to Mr. Sauzet, promise on his part to speak to the minister; urged us to keep him informed of our affair.
Visit to the Count de Bastard, rue des Saints-Pères, nº 13; he made an appointment with us for the next day at noon, at the Grand Luxembourg, Palace of the Peers, with the aim of gaining us an interview with Mr. De Gérando, member of the Council of State.
Visit with Mr. J[ammes], who advised us to see Mr. Schemitte, division chief at the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Visite to Mr. De Jussieux, deputy for the Seine, first secretary of the prefecture, at City Hall, Place de Grève; he asked us for a detailed account of the matter in question, so that he could get more directly involved.

24 Visit from Mr. de Reneville, former state councillor; request for brothers; promise on his part to speak to a friend of Mr. Delebecque, and then to take whatever action would be in keeping with the progress of our business.
Interview at the Luxembourg with Mr. De Gérando, who told us to see him tomorrow at his lodgings at 5 p.m., Rue Vaugirard, nº 52 bis.....

So Fr. Champagnat had made a good dozen visits in five days, to various important people, which explains the wording of this letter.

J.M.J.

from the Seminary of the Foreign Missions, Paris, 25th January 1838

My very dear brother,

We arrived here eight days ago, but not without having suffered in various ways, as you can well imagine. We have already covered a lot of ground in Paris and made many visits, and the end is still not in sight. May God be blessed a thousand times. Everyone we have seen appears very interested in our affair. I do not believe Mr. Ardaillon would have done very much if we had not come. Continue to recommend the matter urgently to God and his holy Mother; without that, what can we do? We hope to succeed.

Send me at once two dozen copies of the prospectus. You know how to wrap them so that the postage will not be too high.

I am well, as is Fr. Chanut. The cold is the only thing that bothers us, since fuel is so dear.

We keep warm by running from one person to another. We have not stopped running since we got here. We have no snow, but there is no lack of ice. The water in our rooms is frozen night and day. The cold set in again a few days ago.

We are firmly resolved not to loosen our grip until we have got what we want. We were told by the minister that the matter must go before the Council of State, and that that would take a long time, three weeks. Even if it takes three months, we are determined to push on to our goal.

I am writing things as they come to me. I am extremely busy. In a few days I will tell you how things stand.

Take care of everything just as I told you. Consult Frs. Matricon and Terraillon in difficult cases.

We are leaving the Hotel du Bon Lafontaine to go to the seminary of the Foreign Missions, Rue du Bac, N
....

We are saying our Masses on behalf of the house. A Dieu, dear brother; best regards to Fr. Besson, Fr. Matricon, the priests who ask about us, Bros. Jean-Baptiste, Stanislas, Jean-Marie and the whole community.

Champagnat
sup. of bros.

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