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Letters of Marcellin - 181


Br. Marcellin Champagnat

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Despite its almost impersonal tone, we may suppose that this letter is actually a reply. Brother Hilarion, who according to Bro. Avit (AFM 213.6, p. 13) was an avid writer, could well have written a letter of filial affection to Fr. Champagnat, for no other reason than to express his interest in the business at hand. The Founder, taking advantage of the occasion, answers him in such a way as to share his news with all the brothers and even with his friends in the area. The letter of the 24th addressed to Brother Antoine (L. 183) is much the same. There is nothing to prevent us from thinking that he did the same thing for other sectors of the congregation, for as we can see from this letter, he was thinking more than ever about his brothers.


Paris, 18th March 1838, Foreign Missions, Rue du Bac,
Nº 120.

My very dear brother,

As you can see, I am still in Paris, seeing this one and that one, but my errands still do very little to speed up our major business. Everyone in Paris who is interested in our success tells me that I must be patient. I am counting a great deal on the prayers of good people; they will do more than all our other possible precautions. But in spite of that, I still do not neglect the latter, for God wants us to use human means. All the reports presented concerning our authorization are favorable, thank God. What a thorn would be extracted, my dear friend, if we could shield our brothers from conscription. Let us hope strongly and pray unceasingly; there is nothing which fervent and persevering prayer cannot obtain. Let us tell Mary that this is far more her work than ours. It appears that we cannot give any guarantees to those who are called up this year.

How anxious I am! Will I be staying much longer in Paris? Unfortunately, I have no idea. I do not have much hope of being able to return to the Hermitage before Easter.

I am feeling fine, and time hangs heavy only because I am not with all of you. I find greater solitude in the middle of Paris than at the Hermitage. I can assure you that if God so willed, I would be very happy in solitude. Tell Fr. Dumas, the parish priest of Boulieu, how things stand with our affairs; tell him that I am still relying on his good prayers and those of his community, and of Fr. Aron, the chaplain.

A Dieu, dear brother; I do not forget you or the others. Tell Bro. Maurice how attached I am to him as well as to his fellow workers; Bro. Nilamon and those who are with him, Bro. Adelphe. I do not need to recommend that you pray for me; I know you do. Do not forget the brothers in St-Sauveur. I carry you all very dearly in my heart.

Try to see the brothers of Bourg-Argental and the others as soon as possible. Bro. Marie-Jubin is succeeding very well.

I have the honor to be your most affectionate servant in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,


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