The three brothers – part 1


It was market day in Marvejols, a small town in the middle of France, when I came across an old peasant who told me this story. It all happened a long time ago in a very small village on the plateau of the Margerides, called Serverette. The story revolves around three young brothers with an unusual fate. The little Canfield brothers, Polo, 8 years old, Jack, 10 years old, and Danny, 12 years old, were orphans. After having lost their father and mother in a car accident, the three orphans were adopted by a small congregation of Catholic sisters called the Daughters of the Heart of Mary.

The sisters ran a small school that welcomed orphans and abandoned children. These sisters lived very poorly. They had very few resources and their daily life was simple and frugal. Food was hard to come by but they ensured that each child got at least a bowl of vegetable broth and some black bread. The atmosphere of the house was cheerful and warm. The sisters laughed a great deal, and passed on their joy of living to the children. The three brothers soon took to this simple life in that place full of love, in the small village.


The atmosphere at the school, which was now the brothers’, was joyous, yet there was an underlying sense of doom for the resources of the sisters were limited. They could not keep children after the age of twelve, neither could they feed them nor could they support their basic education. The nearest high school was far away. So, when the oldest brother Danny turned twelve years old, Sister Marie Madeleine, the mother superior, assembled the three brothers to tell them that she could no longer keep Danny at school. She had found a place for him in a school of Dominican friars in Montpellier. Polo, the youngest, threw himself into the arms of his older brother Danny, weeping bitterly. After a few hugs and soft words of consolation, Sister Marie Madeleine spoke again, “I know how hard it is for you my children. May the will of God be fulfilled and may the best happen to you. Your brother will have to leave in three days. I will meet you all tomorrow. Sleep well my dears.”

Read the complete article in Volume 2, Issue 3




Illustrations by JULIETTE ALAY



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