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7 February 1842 — Br Florentin (Jean-Baptiste Françon) to Fr Jean-Claude Colin, Akaroa

Translated by Fr Brian Quin SM, December 2007

Father Colin, Superior of the Marists, Montée St Barthelémy, Lyon (France)
Jesus Mary Joseph
Akaroa 7 February 1842

Very Reverend Father
For a long time I have been wanting to give you news about myself, but my lack of facility at expressing my thoughts with a pen has always prevented me[1] but, as a good, tender Father can tell from the cries of his child what he wants, I hope that you also will understand what my heart wants to say in these poorly arranged lines. I enjoy good health, especially at sea. Very Reverend Father, I would have many things to tell you but I am afraid that you might not be able to understand me. I had an opportunity to see several Brothers in a journey that I have just made with the Bishop. They are almost all in a sort of continual anxiety. I have just heard read a letter from your pen which leads me to hope for an improvement in the position of the Brothers, because up till now it has been more dangerous than the Chinese persecution. They are without a rule, normally dispensed from meditation and seen by some Fathers as thieves[2] and worthless. The Bishop loves the Brothers very much. It would be very good if all the Fathers were of the same mind.
Goodbye, very Reverend Father,
Your totally devoted servant
I commend myself to your prayers
Brother Florentin


  1. Brother Florentin’s spelling is certainly "creative" e.g. De pui long temps for Depuis longemps -- translator’s note
  2. malfaiteurs