The Council General International is extremely pleased to announce that has been discovered a treasure: a copy of the book Impressions, Memories and Regrets, written in 1836 by co-founder Pierre-Emmanuel-Félix Clavé (1811-1853).
The publication was found by sister Pattie Hughes, while researching Clavé in the library of the State University of New York at Stony Brook (United States). Pattie is a member of the United Nations Department within the Council General and became more interested in Clavé’s life and work when an international essay contest about him was held in 2020.
“From the moment the President General asked me, I started looking for possible references of this book in American universities. For several months, I made frequent contact with numerous libraries. And God heard our prayers! With the help of friends working in Stony Brook, we were able to locate Clavé’s book of poems, a true rarity and, above all, a historical document for our beloved SSVP,” stressed sister Pattie.
The book of poems has 180 pages and was printed in Paris on January 20, 1836. With 17 chapters, the work portrays remarkable moments in Clavé’s life, such as his first communion, childhood and youth memories, sentimental affairs, bitterness and hopes, besides a part dedicated especially to the Virgin Mary and faith in Christ.
Clavé’s book of poetry was highly praised by Ozanam, and also by an academic critic who expressed himself thus in the magazine “Catholic University”, published by the Catholic Institute of Paris in 1836: “The book before us gives us more than hope. Few hands have offered such a brilliant literary beginning. This little book will be reread at various times, and many of its verses will remain in the memory of the heart”.
Besides this publication, Clavé is the author of several other books, among which we can highlight: The Question of Mexico (1845), The Island of Cuba and Commercial Freedom in the Colonies (1847) and The Extraordinary History of Pope Pius IX (1848). Clavé was also a collaborator to the Paris-based “Two Worlds” Magazine, one of France’s most famous publications, which exists to this day.
“Clavé was a very cultured, studious and polyglot man. The more we know his biography, the more we discover the virtues of this man of God, who founded the Conference of Charity in 1833 with Ozanam and other friends. Clavé was an honorable person who never renounced his faith, despite all the insults and calumnies he suffered. He was a man of great valor, full of the Holy Spirit. Without him, the SSVP would not be the same,” emphasized the 16th President General, brother Renato Lima de Oliveira.
The copy of the book found in New York has already been sent to the international headquarters in Paris (France), and another one to the Council General’s office in Brasilia (Brazil). There is also another copy available at the National Library in Paris. As there is no copyright on this work, everyone can read this very interesting book of poems written in French by cofounder brother Félix Clavé. Just click below:
Source: SSVP Global Website