Friday, January 13, 2017

The Bicentennial Letter - Blessed William Joseph Chaminade

The icon and its pilgrimage

As a special celebration of our charism during the bicentennial, a uniquely Marianist icon is traveling the Marianist world.

The icon triptych includes a depiction of the wedding feast at Cana created by an Italian Marianist, Bro. Salvatore Santacroce. Flanking the art are original letters penned by Venerable Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon and Blessed William Joseph Chaminade.

The Blessed Chaminade letter and translation is printed below.

The Chaminade letter



Agen, December 14, 1832

I hope, my dear son, that all the letters that I have written to St. Remy have reached their proper addresses and that you have seen that I profited by the various observations that you made to me.

How much the style, or, I should rather say, the tone of Father Lalanne’s letters has changed! It is that of submission and modesty in place of etc … I hope very much that we shall come to a solid peace and that I shall be able to occupy myself with the inner life of the two Communities.

Brother Clouzet appears to be making a good comeback, but the natural sentiments seem to dominate a lot more than those of grace. Perhaps, and it must be assumed that these first are a preparation for the second and for the complete triumph of grace? Consult him often, even if there is no real need for it. Make yourself, as it were, necessary to him, without, however, detracting from anything essential to your office. Wisdom knows how to follow middle courses.

I am answering Father Rollinet. After having read the letter and sealed it, will you please give it to him.

Father Lalanne has just asked me to forget about sending Father Meyer to Courtefontaine. Profit by the time during which you have such intimate relations with the latter to reanimate yourself in the service of our divine Master and of our august Mother. May nothing in the world be able to weaken in you the real spirit of the Society of Mary: Ego servus tuus sum et filius ancillae tuae … Oportet ut eveniant scandala …

Oh, my dear son, if we remain firmly united by the direction of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, under the auspices of Mary, we shall be very strong and all hell will be capable of nothing against us. Inimictial ponamiter te et Mulierem, etc., et ipsa conteret, etc.

Do not be surprised at difficulties. I do not yet write to Father Meyer in any other vein. Let him take good care of our four young postulants who are studying at the château. They concern us more than the novices.

I am stopping here and embracing you tenderly,

G. Joseph Chaminade