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

LFF 296

Introduction and translation by Br Edward Clisby FMS


After a year in Samoa, Sorlin was appointed to Fiji in 1851. He helped Breheret and Michel attempt to found a station on Taveuni in September. They had to withdraw at the beginning of the following year and succeeded Mathieu and Marie-Augustin at Levuka on Ovalau. When the rest of the Fiji stations were closed in August 1855, Sorlin was one of the small group chosen to continue on at Levuka. His principal work was building - houses, boats, churches. Sorlin's letter to Francois has not survived.

Text of the Letter

Dear Br Charise has mentioned you several times in his letters. I heard with much pleasure that you were fortunate in your crossing and that you arrived in good health. But I don't doubt that you have also had your trials and afflictions. You were expecting them, anyway, and you offered them up with the other sacrifices you had to make.
Carry on, then, my dear Brother, showing yourself worthy of the beautiful vocation the Lord has given you, by the constant practice of all the virtues of your state, especially piety, humility, obedience. That is the way to make yourself pleasing to God, to make great progress in perfection, and to work efficaciously for the salvation of souls.
Say this prayer often: 'Lord, I want all that you want, as you want it, and because you want it. I submit myself entirely to your will. Do with me whatever you please. Provided I have your grace and your love, I have riches enough.'
Adopt the holy habit of frequently recalling the presence of God and of offering him all your actions during the day. In this way you will alleviate your sufferings and make them every moment useful. Your letter from Fiji gave me much pleasure. You show clearly the differences between the Catholic religion and paganism or heresy. There is much food for thought in that.

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