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Pascal's "Memorial"


The story of this exceptional document is told by Father Guerrier: "A few days after the death of M. Pascal, a servant of the house happened to notice that in the lining of the farsetto of the illustrious deceased there was something that seemed thicker than the rest, and having unbuttoned this point to see what it was, he found there a small parchment folded and written by Pascal's hand, and in this parchment a paper written by the same hand: the one was a faithful copy of the other. These two documents were immediately placed in the hands of Mme Périer, who showed them to several of her friends. They all agreed that it could not be doubted that that parchment, written with such care and in such remarkable characters, was not a kind of memorial that he kept with every care, to preserve the memory of something that he wished to be ever present to his eyes and to his spirit, since for eight years he had been concerned to sew and unsew it every time he changed his dress."

 The parchment has been lost, not so the sheet of paper; (sheet D of the Recueil original); there is also a "figured" copy by Louis Périer.

 Here the text is given, according to the sheet that constituted a faithful copy of the parchment.



The year of grace 1654.
Monday, 23 November, feast of Saint Clement, Pope and Martyr,
and of others in the Martyrology.
Eve of Saint Chrysogonus, Martyr and others.
From about half past ten in the evening until half past midnight.


"God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob! [Exodus III. 6], not
of philosophers and scholars.
Certainty, certainty, heartfelt joy, peace,
God of Jesus Christ.
God of Jesus Christ
"My God and your God" [John XX. 71].
"Thy God shall be my God" [Ruth I. 16].
The world forgotten, and everything except God.
He can only be found by the ways taught in the Gospels.
Greatness of the human soul.
"0 righteous Father, the world had not known thee, but I have
known thee" [John XVII. 25].
Joy, joy, joy, tears of joy.
I have cut myself off from him.
"They have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters" [Jeremiah II.13].
"My God wilt thou forsake me?" [Matthew XXVII. 46].
Let me not be cut off from him for ever!
"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true
God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent" [John XVII. 3].
Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ.
I have cut myself off from him, shunned him, denied him, crucified him.
Let me never be cut off from him!
He can only be kept by the ways taught in the Gospel.
Sweet and total renunciation.
Total submission to Jesus Christ and my director.
Everlasting joy in return for one day's effort on earth.
"I will not forget thy word" [Psalm CXIX. 16]. Amen. 

French version: 

L’an de grâce 1654.
Lundi 23 novembre, jour de saint Clément
Pape et m. et autres au martyrologe romain
veille de saint Chrysogone m. et autres, etc.
Depuis environ dix heures et demi du soir
jusques environ minuit et demi.


Dieu d’Abraham. Dieu d’Isaac. Dieu de Jacob
non des philosophes et savants.
Certitude, joie, certitude, sentiment, vue, joie
Dieu de Jésus‑Christ.
Deum meum et Deum vestrum.
Jean 20. 17.
Ton Dieu sera mon Dieu. Ruth.
Oubli du monde et de Tout hormis DIEU
Il ne se trouve que par les voies enseignées
dans l’Évangile. Grandeur de l’âme humaine.
Père juste, le monde ne t’a point
connu, mais je t’ai connu. Jean 17.
Joie, joie, joie et pleurs de joie 
Je m’en suis séparé 
Dereliquerunt me fontem
mon Dieu, me quitterez‑vous
que je n’en sois pas séparé éternellement.
Cette est la vie éternelle, qu’ils te connaissent
seul vrai Dieu et celui que tu as envoyé
je l’ai fui, renoncé, crucifié
je m’en suis séparé,
que je n’en sois jamais séparé
il ne se conserve que par les voies enseignées
dans l’Évangile.
Renonciation totale et douce 
Soumission totale à Jésus-Christ et à mon directeur.
Éternellement en joie pour un jour d’exercice sur la terre.

Non obliviscar sermones tuos. Amen.

Source of the french text is offerd by the official Pascal website "".

The English text is translated by W.R. Shea, Designing Experiments & Games of Chance (Canton, MA: Science History Publications, 2003), p. 195.