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Br Francois to Br Basile, (Our Lady of the Hermitage), 9 Jan 1857

LFF 295 - 6

Introduction and translation by Br Edward Clisby FMS


Basile had been assigned to Hawkes Bay with Lampila (followed by Reignier) and Florentin in 1850. His work here was a bit different from that he had written about to Francois thirteen years earlier from Kororareka (rf L 40). Thanks to his and Florentin's efforts, the mission at Pakowhai was largely self-supporting, but the work had taken its toll. Reignier complained to Viard that it was too much for so small a group, and reports had reached Forest in the Hutt Valley that the three were thinking of returning to France (Forest to Favre, 1 January 1857, APM). All three, however, soldiered on and died in the missions.

Text of the Letter

Your memory is always very dear to me, and I love to recall the happy and edifying days you spent among us. I was also very interested in your letter from Kororareka where you told me about your different occupations, the good state of your health, and the good dispositions of the natives and their pitiful superstitions. You have so much good to say about the children that one wants to see them and listen to them.
But, at the same time, we realise that you have your periods of trial, of suffering, and of danger, and that you need to arm yourself with courage, patience, strength, and constancy in these times of crisis. What we find reassuring and edifying is your confidence in the good Master you are working for, the one for whom you have made, and are still making, many sacrifices. It is your filial recourse to Mary, your tender Mother, whom you love to invoke at every opportunity and who gives you so many tokens of kindness and protection.
Let us unite ourselves with you in all these situations to pray to Jesus and Mary, and to thank them for all the benefits they shower upon you. Since we all comprise one body, as members of a single Society, we feel everything which affects an individual personally, and we share in his sorrows and his joys.

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