I think they will be grateful
Over the long period of 17 years during which Mayet kept his notes, he employed 17 known and named copyists, as well as 22 others who are unknown, but whose hand-writing is distinguishable in the Memoirs. The nine volumes are agoldmineof information and inspiration on the origins, history and spirit of the Marist enterprise. Most of what we can put together of the human stuff of Marist spirituality comes from the Memoirs of Mayet. Even though he considered his work done in 1854, nevertheless from then till his death in 1894 he did all he could to ensure that the original events and the primitive spirit of the Marist enterprise were preserved in their integrity. Mayet has a touchingly modest conclusion to one of the entries he wrote in the Memoirs:
It can be seen clearly from my notes that a host of extremely interesting articles were collected by me on these occasions…. I think that our successors will be grateful to me for it some day.
Mayet’s hope that his successors would be grateful to him some day was fulfilled even in his own day.
One of his contemporaries wrote of his Memoirs:
The more I read these notes, the more I am utterly convinced that it is one of the most worthwhile and fortunate services which anyone could render the Society. Far from thinking that I am wasting my time when I read them, I seem to feel the true spirit of the Society penetrating me as I read on…. These notes are the spring to which Marists will come to draw on the true character and spirit of the Society.
Father Mayet is without doubt one of the greatest and noblest figures of the first generation of Marists. What might the future have been for the seminarian who wrote the most delightful letters to his family, and the excellent teacher who was beginning to develop at the College of Notre-Dame-des-Minimes, if illness had not roughly pushed him to one side? No doubt, it is pointless speculating….More than many another contemporary, he possessed a flair for the facts, for the exact detail, and a respect for history that one can admire on making a close examination of his notes from the period before 1854… Rarely would you find a sick person exploiting his limitations so generously and effectively and finding there in a fillip towards the perfection of charity.