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25 May 1836. — Dominique Meynis to François Pompallier, Lyon

From a photocopy of the original sent, conserved in the archives of the Diocese of Auckland; the original seems to consist of a leaf of two pages.

Translation by Frs Anthony Ward SM and Gaston Lessard SM

Text of the Letter

P. C.
Lyons. 25th May. 1836.
Very Reverend and dear Father in Our Divine Lord,
I would well and truly deserve to be severely reprimanded if, in the midst of all my multifarious occupations, I had not an excuse lined up, for it is a fortnight and more[1] since you left us and up till now I have shown no sign of life. To tell you the truth, I do not quite know how I have been living since your departure, and the little leisure I have, being taken up my work (which I dare not call charitable), I have scarcely time to breathe, that is literally the case.
However, I had to tell you that the Paris Council, prompted (to use its own phraseology) by the weight of your reasons etc. was of the same mind as the Lyons Council: this then will be a sum of twenty-five francs that will be allotted out of the 1836 funds to the mission of Western Oceania when you leave for those distant lands. I trust that you were good enough to hand our letters sealed to H(is) (E)minence the Card(inal) Prefect of Propaganda, and also that on your return you will be willing to attend to the letters, printed matter and other which the Sacred Congregation may choose to send us in response to our requests, in addition to the relic which I am anxiously awaiting to receive.[2]
I rejoice and I think [p. 2] that we all likewise rejoice at the pleasure of meeting you again when you return from Rome. The good Lord has put us through a painful ordeal and has required of me in particular a great sacrifice. To me it seems so great that I am orphaned, that I feel very much inclined to ask Our Divine Lord the why and the wherefore. I am not strong enough to go it practically alone; I am lacking in confidence or at any rate it is coming only by slow degrees. Well, God's h(oly) will before all else.
I am not going into more detail, because the few lines I have written suffice to convey what I had to say to you, and if I were to embark on a certain subject I would be much longer perhaps than your time and mine call for. For the present therefore, it is better to say nothing and to stay within the arms of divine mercy.
Farewell, Reverend and dear Father, think of me often in the presence of the good Lord (when you), I make bold to ask this of you because of my great need. You know what our respectful feelings/ are (my feelings for you) and the filial affection that we bear you, and what I am to you in my own mind, I dare not say in the love of Our Lord because my soul is too sullied to use these terms, but at least in the h(oly) communion of a common faith, and the desire of His love.
Your very devoted servant and respectful son
Dominique Meynis
rue de la Préfecture No. 7


  1. Pompallier left Lyon on May 12, the Feast of the Ascension (OM, doc. 395, § 2).
  2. Space left blank, presumably with the intention of identifying the relic in question.

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