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16 October 1836 – Father Catherin Servant to his parents, Paris

Translated by Fr Brian Quin SM, May 2010

M Servant, living in the village of Grezieux le Marche, Canton of St Symphorien le Chateau, Rhone.

Paris, 16 October 1836

My dear parents
In my last letter, I told you that I was about to leave for Paris and so it wasn’t possible for me to have the pleasure of going to see you. Today, thinking that perhaps you were worried about this voyage, I am going to reassure you by giving you all sorts of good news. I have got to Paris, in full strength and health, already I have seen everything brilliant and magnificent in the capital. But after having wondered at all these beautiful things, I did not find my heart satisfied, all of that is worth very little in the light of the beauties of heaven which the holy gospel shows us as incomparable and beyond understanding! Oh, how much I would prefer a little act of love of God to all the wonders of the world! A little country village pleases me much more in its simplicity of faith than a great city in all its magnificence.
Concerning the goal I have set myself in my voyage, no doubt you already know about it. My current tasks involve organising the supply of the missionaries’ needs; I am carrying out this task with joy. Sometimes I go to one shop, sometimes to another, sometimes I go around the tradesmen looking for master-turners or master-blacksmiths (because I should say that I am dressed as a layman in the streets of Paris). But nothing matters provided you do the will of God! Oh, may I be entirely in the hands of the Providence of this good God! How happy I would be to act like this for his glory, and before dying, offer up some small sacrifices! Pray that it may be so for me.
I would very much like to have news of you as soon as it is possible. Do not fail to tell me how my sister Jeanette is, that would be really delightful for me. From time to time I commend her, this dear sister, to Jesus and Mary.
As I will be some time in Paris, be so good as to address the reply as follows:
To the Foreign Missions Seminary – rue du Bac – No 120, in Paris.
Pray to God for me; commend me often to Mary, for my part it is a pleasure for me to have you in my precious memories.
Your totally devoted son, in the hearts of Jesus and Mary
Servant pr(iest)

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