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18 Oct 1836 — Colin to François Pompallier, Belley

From a photocopy of the original sent, conserved in the archives of the Diocese of Auckland. Page 4 not photocopied.

Pompallier acknowledges reception of this letter in LRO, doc. 3, § 3.

Text of the letter

[p. 1]
Belley, 18th October 1836.
We are with you in mind and heart on your travels and we shall, I hope, do so in a more beneficial way by our prayers. At present Fr. Champagnat's Brothers as well as the priests of the Society offer to God all their actions one day a week, to ask Him to bless you. The Sisters, for their part, have recently begun a daily offering of all their prayers and actions to God for the same intention of all their prayers and actions to God for the same intention, and will continue to do so until we hear that you have reached your destination. So you see, you will not be short of prayers. I hope that Heaven will listen to them. Be courageous then, all of you. I have sent Fr. Chanel, in Lyons, the excerpt of the rule, with a letter for you all; I do not know whether he has received it, so in your next letter be good enough to acknowledge the receipt of it. If this letter reaches you in time, I shall be very pleased if you ask Fr. Coudrin, Sup(erior) of the Picpus Fathers, to allow me to keep in touch with him by letter, so that he can pass on to me the news coming to him from Polynesia, and inform me of the opportunities for sending you news of us; he is within easier reach of the ports than we are here in Lyons.
In your letters[1] Monsignor, I beg you never to conceal from me your dangers, difficulties and other inconveniences that crop up on the part of the infidels and other people. I shall need all this information for the choice of missionaries to be sent to you.
See to it that your missionaries faithfully observe the advice I gave them in my letter to Fr. Chanel; above all, do not let them go out unless accompanied by a Brother or a confrère. Remember that this advice is not from me; that it has cost me several days of prayer. Try by all possible means to maintain among them unity, peace and a h(oly) gaiety cheerfulness; wherever you are you will find your native country, because you will find God there who alone will take the place of father, mother, brothers and sisters, and will never fail you. Be pleased to take advice from your missionaries; this will make them interested in your undertakings and will be conducive to unity. Have for each one of them a father and mother's compassion and love. You are their Bishop and Superior; you have a right to their obedience and respect because of this twofold claim.
Always keep in mind the poverty and simplicity of the Apostles; they too were bishops, and yet they often laboured with their hands to provide the necessities of life. Simplicity, poverty, a spirit of zeal must always accompany the [p. 3] missionaries of Mary; that sweet name will be a constant reminder that you are setting out under her banner, that she is walking by your side, that she is the star of the sea, the terror of devils, that under her protection you have nothing to fear. In your needs, in all your hazardous enterprises, look only to J(esus) and M(ary), seek help from them alone, rely for help on them alone; do not reason even with yourself, but always set your eyes on J(esus) and Mary.
Finally, be well behaved, behave in such a way that by your exterior conduct you will be known and recognized everywhere as Mary's children and also that the missionaries we send out to you will find among you all the spirit of the Society, which is the spirit of poverty, humility and simplicity.
I hope, Monsignor, that you will receive this letter with[2] kindness, considering it as proof of my ardent wish to contribute to the success of your Apostolate. I embrace all the confrères and Brothers along with yourself, and place you all in the hearts of Jesus and Mary.
I have the honour to be with respect, Monsignor,
the most humble and obedient servant of your grace
Colin. Superior.


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