From Marist Studies
27 August 1845. — The Christians of Futuna to their Catholic brothers of Europe
Translated by Peter McConnell, June 2010
- Letter of the Christians of Futuna
- to their Catholic brothers of Europe
- Our very dear relatives,
- Here is what we are writing to you, to you our beloved brothers in Europe. This letter is a pledge of our friendship, an act of gratitude to you. You were the first to know the true and only God; we congratulate you for that. Thanks to the love of Jesus Christ for mankind and to the love which he put into our hearts and in those of your children in Futuna as well, shadow has yielded place to light, lies to truth. We are Catholics; we will always be so, that’s for sure. Before being baptized, we were quite unhappy. We were always frightened of being taken by the strongest, like the fish by the fisherman who has thrown his hook into the sea. Today we are happy; we love one another and we think only of doing good to others. You are the ones who have given us this happiness in sending us your children, priests of the true God. For that be blessed, our beloved brothers! It’s a fact. We are conscious of your great love for us, and we love you as you love us. Our hearts are nothing else but love; it’s a new life. Such is the will of the living God, who gives us life also. We often say: when will we be able to see our brothers of Europe who are so good for us? Oh, you are in Europe and we are in Futuna, in Oceania. At least we will see you in heaven. Every day we make that petition to God, for you and for us. Our prayer is fixed; we will make it every day, yes every day. Our God is good and true, he will hear the prayer; that’s for sure.
- We still want you to know the pain and trouble we experience for our conduct in regards to Peter ( Father Chanel whom they killed out of hatred for the faith). He was the first to come to us with the commandments of the true God. Our hearts were evil; our hands were cruel; our hearts were false. We made him suffer a lot. Some youths loved him; that was true. He was so gentle, so good. Nothing angered him; we tell you the truth and our shame is great. We mistreated those youths who brought him food; we wanted to make him starve to death. He did not complain. We were truly like a blind man who sees nothing. May our troubles be great! Peter bewailed them in front of Jesus Christ and prayed for us. We shed his blood, you know that. For that our trouble is great and our sorrow is deep.
- Peter loved us; he prayed for us in heaven and we became Christians. Thanks be to Jesus Christ and to Peter! Peter is our father in faith. He asked pardon for us. We were his executioners. Our repentance is great; we are making you aware of that.
- We still have to tell you of our love and gratitude for the head office priest of the faithful who has sent us priests and bishops. The hearts of the new children of Oceania are full of love for him. We would very much like to see him, we would prostrate ourselves at his feet ; we would kiss his gracious steps; he is the vicar of Christ on earth. We would very much like to see as well the holy priest who always thinks of us. The vicar of Jesus Christ has given us to him; he stays in Europe to send us his priests. Tell him that we love him and that we truly love those whom he sends us. Our faith will be their happiness and comfort. They don’t want anything else. They are indeed the envoys of the true God; because of us they put up with all kinds of weariness and shortages and they are always happy and full of love. We are telling you what we witness every day.
- Our land is so poor that we are able to send you nothing precious. We send you our gratitude and our love; that is all we have. Around us there are still islands where the sun of truth has not yet shone. Let’s all utter pleas to our good mother, the most blessed Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, son of God, who became incarnate through the Holy Spirit so that she could have pity on so many wretches who are going to lose their souls to Lucifer. She is good; she is powerful; the priests tell us that; Peter told us such; and we see that it is the truth. Let’s cry out to her; she will sent priests and so we will all love her divine son, in Europe and in Oceania.
- We are not yet good at praying; we don’t know how to love the good and true God. You will ask him for us to have honest hearts and that we may never be weak when confronted by heresy and Lucifer. And we will follow you to heaven; that’s our only wish, our only hope. It is sweet in our heart.
- On behalf of all the Christians of Futuna
- Lusio, Taavino, Apalaamo, Fololito, Ilalione, Antonino, Lovalio, Denisio, Lufino