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2 July 1848 — Brother Jean Raynaud to Father Jean-Claude Colin, Tonga

Translated by Mary Williamson, August 2017.

Based on the document sent, APM OC 208 (Tonga) Raynaud.

Sheet of paper forming four pages, two of which are written on, the third remains blank and the fourth has only the address and Poupinel’s annotation.

[p.4] [Address]
To Mr Colin in Lyon / Saint Barthelemy Rise No.4 / France.
[in Poupinel’s handwriting]
Brother Reynaud, Tonga.
Tonga Tapu 2nd July 1848

My Very Reverend Father,

I ask you to please accept my excuses for having been so long in not writing to you. I have written to you one other time, but when I had the chance to send it my letter was not finished, I was not able to send it, as it is a struggle for me every time that I have to write a letter.
So I am profiting from the Bishop’s schooner, that is going to leave for Sydney some time soon.
My Very Reverend Father, thanks be to God, I am keeping fairly well at the moment. I was very ill last year, with dysentery. I thought I was going to follow after poor Brother Atale. The good Lord decided otherwise. May his blessed will be done.
My Very Reverend Father, it is very necessary that I inform you of my position and where I am up to in matters of my conscience. Alas, my religious spirit is far removed from my spirit of obedience, meditation, fervour and devotion by distractions during my exercises of piety. I feel strong temptations against the noble virtues. Pray to the good Lord for me so that I do not lose courage, intercede for me with the queen and mother of Marists, and pray for me as I have [1] a great need of it.
I have a lot of work. I am the lone worker for two establishments, sometimes with one, sometimes with the other, with three or four leagues walk between them.
During the six years that I have been with the missions I have not had any problems [2] but I do not know exactly how things will go [3] from now on, how Bishop Bataillon will treat me. This brings to my mind the memory of Bishop Douarre, and I wonder when divine providence will put me back in his care. Up till now I have not had any cause to complain. This does not surprise me, from what I have heard and heard recounted of the way in which he treats his followers, amongst others Father Chevron, who had done his noviciate under his care during a fortnight that he passed with us. I have not received any word of the Father, always a watchful eye of God for me, My Reverend Father.
Once again, pray to the good Lord and the holy Virgin for me, so that I may become a true imitator [4] of their virtues and when the Bishop comes back to pay us a visit, he [5] will not have cause to complain about me. You know that I am one of your youngest children in Oceania and that it is in these young hearts that passions are more violent than at other times. [6] Pray to our holy Mother. I will not talk to you about our way of going about things; it is always the same.
My Very Reverend Father, I finish by embracing you with all my heart and am for life your devoted child,
Brother Raynaud, Marist.


  1. Read: J’en aie.
  2. Read: Je n’ai éprouvé aucun ennui
  3. Read: ça ira.
  4. Read Imitator
  5. Read: n’en ait
  6. Read: qu’ailleurs

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