From Marist Studies
Yvert to Poupinel, Caen, 1 June 1840
Translation, Jessie Munro, 14 March 2005; checked Madeleine le Jeune, 8/12/06.
- Dear Father,
- I was not expecting the precious gift my good Mother had ready for me for last Saturday, the day when I made my communion for the month of Mary; so I offered to her the Sunday one for her dear Marist Mission. The goodness with which you open your heart to me fills me throughout with gratitude, but I feel at the same time overcome with confusion, thinking of the importance that you attach to the works of an unworthy wretch such as I. I return all this honour to Mary, my powerful Protector, and thus am no longer astonished by the revelation of our Queen who places above and beyond all the titles that are given to her that of Mater admirabilis.
- My two letters addressed to Very Reverend Father Colin, which I confirm in all their content, seem to have guessed intuitively the innumerable needs of the Missions of Oceania. It is a broad tableau calling for very varied shades of distinction, where the dark colours have to cast into relief the bright ones. So, Father, if the pressing interest of Religion can have use in its faraway places for a poor soul who puts all his trust in the most Holy Virgin, you have but to say the word and at the sound of the voice of the man he regards as his Superior, you will see him speed not only to a temperate and healthy climate, but also wherever the perils of the Mission might summon him.
- Monsieur Roulleaux, whom I mentioned in my second letter, did not dare reply to Reverend Father Colin’s invitation, as he does not want to be separated from me for an undertaking where he does not believe he alone is called; he is now filled with joy and fully disposed to share the labours of the Mission. It would not be impossible even that a third teacher, in minor orders like Monsieur Roulleaux and who is not yet thirty years old, might come to swell the number of labourers in Oceania. But since the Most Holy Virgin knows more on this matter than we, we leave it to her to draw together once more all these broken threads.
- Father, if on the one hand a little zealousness seems to want to march forth to battle, on the other hand my many wretched drawbacks knock it back greatly. I hand the decision to our good Mother: consult her, weigh the matter in your spirit of charity. As for me, I esteem myself happy to have always followed the inspirational call of Mary, who is all and everything to me in the world.
- Whatever may be the will of your worthy Superior, would you kindly let me know at the earliest opportunity; for it is important that my affairs be settled in time, if I must undertake the voyage in October. The idea I am developing a little would perhaps not be inappropriate/appropriate? [paper torn here] for a college in New Zealand.
- Please pass on, Father, my respectful regards to our good Superior and also the venerable priest who received me with such cordiality on my arrival in Lyon. Do not forget, please, to tell Very Reverend Father Colin that he has always been allotted a decade of my rosary in company with Mr Leherpeur [?], missionary in our diocese, Mr Montargis, who is like a father to me, and Mr Varin [?], his first curate, my benefactor and the friend close to my heart.
- I have the honour to be, with the deepest of respect, Sir, your most humble and obedient servant,
- Caen, 1 June 1840
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