Br Augule to Fr Poupinel, Villa Maria, 22 March 1872
Augule was in the first group to arrive at the procure after Poupinel had established himself in Sydney and thus had had a long association with him. Moreover, in his work as bootmaker, he had been stationed all the time at Villa Maria, though at least one trip away is recorded, to New Caledonia in 1866. This would explain the real affection evident in the references in paragraphs 3 to 5. From the references to Jean-Baptiste and Padel, it would also seem that the brother was of quite an affectionate disposition. The brothers’ assistant general had, in fact, already died in February after a long illness. Louis-Marie devoted two circulars to him, 8 April 1872 and 24 May 1873, under the title: ‘Brother Jean-Baptiste or the fervent vocation’ (CSG 4: 239-313, 349-435).
Augule was to write or, more accurately, have written for him two further letters from Villa Maria, one to Poupinel on 25 May 1880, giving some general news, the other to his superior general, Theophane, on 18 May 1898, on the death of Gennade. Neither are included in this series. He himself died there on 9 April 1907, the last of the pioneer brothers to the Pacific between 1836 and 1860. In 1914 his remains were reinterred with those of the other early Marists in the new cemetery in the grounds of Villa Maria.
The translation was made from a photocopy of the original in the APM.
Text of the Letter
- Reverend Father,
- You advise me through Brother Joseph of the arrival of the book I was waiting for with keen impatience. I thank you for thus putting an end to a distraction which has kept coming back too often.
- It is true it will just be replaced by another, for you should remember that when I asked for the History of Louis XVII (by the Comte de Montalembert), I sent you 25 francs so that you could include with it The Language of Flowers. You sent the request to Rev Fr Yardin, but the work has not been sent to me. I hope you will be kind enough to send me this work, if it can be obtained, or any other of your choice which might be useful and instructive for me.
- Your leaving Villa Maria has keenly affected us all. For myself, I find a void which nothing can fill. It is the absence of a Father whom we loved and who loved us much more. It is the loneliness of a family which has, in some sense, been orphaned.
- Truly, we are separated only in body, seeing that we are always turned towards you in spirit. Everything here recalls your tender memory; your virtue and your example are imprinted on the rooms of our dear house.
- One thing consoles us. That is the thought that, although separated from us, you are still working for Villa Maria, in that we ourselves are the main objects of your labours and your solicitude.
- Dear Brother Marie-Nizier tells me that you informed him that our dear Brother Jean-Baptiste was dangerously ill. The news did not surprise me, but it greatly saddened me. When this letter reaches you, I beg you to kindly pass on to our good Brother Assistant my most sincere and affectionate respects, if he has not yet received his very justly merited reward.
- The Rev Fr Padel left again for his beloved Wallis. His departure deprives us of a perfect model of humility, simplicity, and all the Marist virtues, and leads to the loss of those consoling times when we had the most agreeable conversations. Fr Padel spread joy and contentment wherever he went.
- In closing this letter, I pray you, my reverend Father, to be pleased to remember at the altar,
- Your very humble servant,
- Br Augule.
- Your very humble servant,
- You will greatly oblige me by writing my name on the book or books you are sending me so that there are no misunderstandings.
- name crossed out in the original. Charles de Montalembert (1810-1870) was a noted defender of liberal Catholicism.
|Previous Letter||Letters from Oceania: 1872-3||Next letter|