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17 July

Saint Marcellina

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Letters of Marcellin - 259

 

Br. Marcellin Champagnat
20/07/1839


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Since the second sheet of this letter has been torn off, we do not know to whom it was addressed. One tradition says it was Bro. Alexandre, simply because in one of his notebooks Fr. Champagnat had written, Bro. Alexandre is getting too familiar with a child (AFM 132.4, p. 33). This argument is not totally convincing, since Bro. Alexandre had made perpetual profession on 10th October 1836, and this letter is a reply to a young brother who has confided to Fr. Champagnat his hesitation about making or renewing his profession. Since there is not the slightest indication, any attribution one might try to make would be nothing but pure conjecture, since 48 brothers made temporary profession and 19 made perpetual profession at the 1839 retreat. Comparing this letter with that of 10th March 1839, to Bro. Avit (L. 247), and the fact that the latter is on the list of the perpetually professed of 1839 does not constitute a sufficient reason for making a connection.

20th July 1839

Dear brother,

The good fortune of being a child of Mary certainly demands some struggle and sacrifices. Besides what we can say to Jesus, what do we not have the right to say to Mary: why should I be the first to have invoked you; more than that, to have been your child. So tell Mary that the honor of her society requires her to keep you as chaste as an angel. The means you are using, thinking about the passion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Keep busy. Obey wholeheartedly; it is Jesus and Mary you are obeying. Otherwise you would be nothing more than a very bad religious all your life; or rather, you would not be a religious very long. Obedience makes a soul very holy and faultless and


inseparable from its God. The only way I could withdraw from God would be by withdrawing from obedience. This virtue will prepare you wonderfully well to make your vows.

A Dieu, dear brother,

Champagnat

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