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Witness 16 - Isabelle of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.

 

Mother Isabelle of the Sacred Heart didn’t know Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, but her testimony assumes particular importance in that it allows us to appreciate more fully how the Saint’s influence grew in the ten years following her death.

Yvonne-Ernestine Daurelle was born in Epinac (Saône-et-Loire) on 29th January 1882. She imagined entering one of the Spanish Carmelite convents founded by Saint Teresa of Avila, but then, following her discovery of Story of a Soul, entered the Lisieux monastery on 13th January 1904. She received the Habit on 21st January 1905 and made her Profession on 19th March 1906. As she had to endure both health problems and inner difficulties, she accepted them in a spirit of faith, with immense courage, in humble and generous faithfulness, following in Thérèse’s footsteps. She was quite quickly tasked with assisting in the novitiate, was elected Sub-prioress in 1909, and was then shortly afterwards nominated Novice Mistress. She wrote “la Vie abrégée de Soeur Thérèse” (“The Abridged Life of Sister Thérèse”) which was translated into over twenty languages. She prepared volumes 3 and 4 of Shower of Roses (1913, 1914) and wrote “La Fondation du Carmel de Lisieux et sa fondatrice, la Révérende Mère Geneviève de Saint Thérèse” (“Foundation of the Carmel of Lisieux and its Founder, Reverend Mother Geneviève of Saint Teresa”) (Bar-le-Duc, 1912; 2nd edition, Lisieux 1924). Struck down with pulmonary tuberculosis, she died on 31st July 1914, and therefore had the joy of witnessing the Introduction of the Beatification of Thérèse (10.Vl.1914) *.

Mother Isabelle of the Sacred Heart studied and catalogued the voluminous correspondence concerning Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus that had been kept in the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux. She wanted faithful copies of this documentation to be sent to the Trial. For this reason, extracts of typewritten letters can be read from pp. 652r to 1064r of our Public Copy. Mother Isabelle’s testimony represents a very good synthesis of these. We didn’t think it was necessary to publish them in their entirety. They are simply listed at the end of the deposition.  

The witness testified on 20th and 21st February 1911, during sessions 52-53, pp. 634v-650r of our Public Copy.

WITNESS 16: Isabelle of the Sacred Heart O.C.D.

[Session 62: - 20th February 1911, at 8:30am and at 2pm]

[634v] [The witness answers the first question correctly].

[Answer to the second question]:

My name is Yvonne-Ernestine Daurelle, in religion Sister Marie-Thérèse Isabelle of the Sacred Heart. I was born in Epinac (diocese of Autun) on 29th January 1882, of the legitimate marriage between Ferdinand Daurelle and Louise Marie Marguerite Falque. I am a professed nun of the Carmelite convent of Lisieux, which I entered on 13th January 1904 and where I made my Profession on 19th March 1906. I have been Sub-prioress of the monastery since 27th November 1909.

[The witness answers questions three to six correctly].

[Answer to the seventh question]:

I am not guided by any human sentiment in this testimony, but only by love of the truth and the glory [635r] of God.

[Answer to the eighth question]:

I didn’t know the Servant of God personally. What I know about her I learnt from reading the “Story of her life” and also from the verbal testimonies of the nuns of the Lisieux monastery. Yet in my deposition I don’t intend to relate the details of Sister Thérèse’s life that direct testimonies can provide. I have made a specific study of the very numerous letters that the monastery receives every day from all over the world, with the view of establishing precisely what the Servant of God’s reputation is. I will also relate what I have observed of her influence in the monastery and in myself.  

[Answer to the ninth question]:

I have a very great devotion to the Servant of God. This devotion results from all the good she has done to my soul and is growing as I learn about the good she is doing to so many others throughout the world. I desire and hope that [635v] the Servant of God will be beatified. With that in view, I offer my prayers and sacrifices to God. I’m confident that once venerated by the Universal Church, Sister Thérèse will be called to save a whole host of souls, to lead a host of others to the lofty heights of divine love, and to renew the clergy, which she protects in a very specific way.  

[Answer to questions ten to twenty-five]:

Not having known the Servant of God either in her youth, or during her time in the Carmelite convent, I can only give an indirect testimony on these points, which would be of no benefit to a Cause that a host of eye witnesses can shed light on.

[Answer to the twenty-sixth question]:

I learnt from our Extern Sisters, who often go to the cemetery, that the Servant of God’s grave is visited by a large number of pilgrims. The cemetery guardian told them that several hundred people go there, and Thursdays and [636r] Sundays are particularly busy. I heard it said, to people who came to see me in the visiting room after having been to the cemetery, that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus’ grave is constantly being ravaged by pilgrims who take flowers and even earth away. The cross that was on the first grave and which we now keep at the monastery is completely covered with inscriptions and messages of thanksgiving. I was informed that even the new cross, which replaced the old one five months ago, is already coated with similar inscriptions. We also receive a great many letters from abroad asking us to put messages requesting various graces on her grave. The other day we received an envelope from England containing about eighty of these messages from different people.

[Answer to the twenty-seventh question]:

I’ve drawn up a special study concerning the Servant of God’s reputation for holiness. It entailed collecting together the most striking testimonies from the numerous letters that have been sent to the Carmel since the Servant of God’s death. I made copies of these letters, and attributed a number to each one. [636v] As a result of this work, I now have a document to which I will refer in this deposition, and which I would like the court to add to the pieces of evidence relevant to the trial. The original letters I copied are kept in the archives of our monastery, and it will be easy to check whether or not the copies I made are perfectly accurate.

[By order of the judges, and with the Promoter of the Faith’s consent, the two notaries Eucher Deslandes and Charles Marie will check whether the letters copied by Mother Marie-Thérèse Isabelle of the Sacred Heart are indeed exact replicas of the originals kept in the archives of the monastery. If so, they will be able to authenticate them in writing and place them in the present deposition file].

[The witness continues her testimony and supports her claims by indicating the numbers of the respective documents]:

“Story of a Soul” was met with general enthusiasm in the Carmelite convents, not only because of the work’s literary [637r] charm, but above all because of the author’s holiness. In letters written at the time, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus is described as “an angelic soul”, “a seraphic soul”, “saintly soul”, “little saint”, and “saintly”. People ask for her relics, ask her Sisters in Lisieux to pray to her, and talk of “praying novenas to her”. There is already talk of graces that have either been granted or that people hope to obtain through her intercession (see letters no. 1 to 4 inclusive).

The Carmel of Lisieux frequently corresponds with the majority of other Carmelite monasteries, both in France and abroad, on the subject of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. The other monasteries unceasingly send requests for relics, pictures, books and prayers; and at the same time recount stories of graces that have been granted, either within the monastery, or outside. The letters reveal the way in which devotion to the Servant of God is spreading throughout the country; they relate healings and conversions that have taken place outside the monastery; inside the monasteries, it’s mostly a question of graces for renewal of fervour in the community, and specific inner graces that are granted on an individual level. Extracts from letters no. 5 to no. 17 inclusive [637v] prove what I put forward. I chose a few letters amid an infinite number of others. The Servant of God is not only known and loved in Carmelite convents. All Orders and Religious Congregations for women testify in turn to their veneration and love for her. Most women discover particular affinities between the spirit of the Servant of God and that of their Institute. They appropriate her for themselves, claiming that the Carmel cannot have exclusive prerogative of her, all of them saying: “She is my little saint” (see, among others, letters no. 18 to 30 inclusive). Many of these Institutes, like the Carmels, have a substantial correspondence with us, and endeavour to immerse themselves in the spirit of the Servant of God.

Lay people received her book with the same warm reception as the Carmelite convents and other religious communities, and this, right from the beginning, as the two letters no. 39 and 40 show. My general impression on reading these letters, and also from talking to people in the visiting room, is this: I was extremely struck [638r] by the universal trust that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus inspires. We speak about her to people who, the day before, didn’t even know she existed and here they are praying to her, convinced that she’ll help them; and it’s like this no matter what their social background, or whether they are small folk, poor and uneducated, or wealthy, great and literate. No age or position in life is exempt from her conquest. Everyone loves her as if she had been made especially for them (see letters no. 31 to 63 inclusive). Two of these extracts were written by people who knew the Servant of God when she was alive: Mrs. Desrosiers (letter no. 31) and Victoire Pasquer (letter no. 44).  

Devotion to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus is also immense in seminaries, where she was welcomed very early on, as these letters from seminarians (letters no. 64 to 68) and other letters from professors (no. 81 and 89) prove. Those aspiring to the priesthood write that they have been enlightened and transformed by the Servant of God, and that by praying to her they more fully understand the obligations and the holiness of the priesthood, for which their passion has grown from lukewarm to fervent. The Major Seminary in Nancy addressed in about 1900 a petition to Mgr. Amette, who was then Bishop of Bayeux, to ask him to submit her Cause to the Church. In the seminaries she has reached, [638v] Sister Thérèse influences not only a few individuals, but also the body of students as a whole (see letters no. 78, 89 and 64 and 68). Finally we can see from letters no. 64 to 76, which were selected among many others, how well-known she is, how often she is prayed to, and how much good she does in senior and junior seminaries alike.

[Continuation of the answer to the twenty-seventh question]:

As for priests, the devotion that the Servant of God inspires in them is marvelous. It is certainly priests that she draws and benefits the most. [639r] Many go so far as to say they feel her tangible presence around them. The help she gives them in their ministries is remarkable. I’ve chosen just a few letters among many similar ones that give an idea of her influence on them (see letters no. 77 to 130 inclusive). I am talking about both regular and secular members of the clergy, for all men’s Orders and Congregations, especially the Jesuits, venerate her like a saint (see letters no. 84 to 87, and no. 101).  

Countless religious reviews and newspapers have talked about the Servant of God’s surprising holiness. I’ve quoted an article by the Marchioness of Auray as an example (no. 378). Mgr. Polite [sic], the Bishop of Cuenca (Equador), ends his preface to the new translation of the Works of Saint Teresa of Avila, by the Carmelite nuns of Paris, by expressing his desire to see the Servant of God beatified. The Life of Sister Elizabeth of the Trinity, of the Carmel of Dijon, which was written by her Mother Prioress, includes many quotations from Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus’ writings. Those like myself, who know the Servant of God’s writings practically by heart, can so to speak find her thoughts on every page of Sister Elizabeth’s Life. This nun, who died in the odour of sanctity, must have fed a great deal on the Servant of God’s works.    

The Servant of God is widely known in Italy. There have been two translations of the Story of her Life. The author of one of these translations is a Carmelite nun of the monastery of Saint Mary Magdalene of Pazzi in Florence. The Mother Prioress of this Carmel sent copies of this translation to many bishops in Italy and in return received letters testifying to a great devotion towards the Servant of God. But of all these letters, the most precious is the one that the Sovereign Pontiff himself sent to the Mother Prioress of the Carmel of Florence. Here is the letter: “Suavissimum jucunditatis fructum Nobis peperit volumen, in quo lexoviensis Virginis nitent virtutes et fere spirat anima. Vere floruit quasi lilium, et dedit odorem, et fronduit in gratiam: collaudavit canticum et benedixit Dominum in operibus suis. Dilectae in Christo Filiae Aloysiae J. a Sacris Cordibus, florentini Carmeli Moderatrici, cujus pietate id Nobis affulsit solatii, caeterisque reli-[640r]giosis Feminis ejusdem disciplinae Alumnis peramanter benedicimus, hortantes insimul ne imitari pigeat quam celebrare delectat. Datum ex Aedibus Vaticanis die l° Novembris MCMX. Pius PP. X.

There, like in France, the Servant of God is known, prayed to, and loved, irrespective of peoples’ condition, social class, and age (no. 131-148). People in Italy report healings and remarkable wonders. Several of these favours have been related in the collection entitled “Shower of Roses” and annexed to the large edition of “Story of a Soul” (no. 38, 39, 40, 53, 112, 120, etc.). In Belgium she is, I believe, almost as well-known and prayed to as in France, as a host of letters from this country indicates. Most of them are messages of thanksgiving for gifts received (letters no. 149-184). I would like to draw your attention to the report that Reverend Father Robert, of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, wrote with meticulous care. This young friar is highly esteemed by his Superiors (see letter no. 184). Healings and other graces are related in the opuscule “Shower of Roses” no. 12, 26, 49, 85, 102, 144. [640v] In Spain, the Carmelite convents founded by our Mother Saint Teresa hold the Servant of God in great devotion, especially the monastery of Saint Joseph of Avila, the birthplace of our Order. The new edition of “Shower of Roses” that is consulted in this trial relates healings that are considered miraculous. See also the letters quoted below (no. 185 to 200). Many of these letters request a Spanish translation of “Story of a Soul”. We receive fewer letters from Portugal. I nevertheless quote many (no. 203 to 219) ascertaining that the Servant of God’s holiness is also appreciated in that country. The Portuguese edition, written by Father de Santanna, who is a Jesuit and is very well-known in his country for his knowledge and eloquence, was officially endorsed by 13 bishops and archbishops (letters no. 208 to 216). In Germany, as early as 1899 or 1900, Princess Arnulphe of Bavaria pleaded to us for permission to have the life story of Sister Thérèse translated into German, and others asked for the same authorization. We can see their insistence and how the Servant of God was already venerated in Germany from letters numbered 220 to 228. A selection [641r] of letters received since then demonstrates that her reputation continues to grow. There also, graces and healings have taken place (Shower of Roses no. 23, 34 and 44). In Switzerland, she is similarly well-known and prayed to with confidence (letters no. 241 to 245 inclusive). A translation into the Polish language was long-awaited and has been reprinted many times (letters no. 246 to 251). In Austria-Hungary, people have also reported healings and conversions (Shower of Roses no. 1 and 8 and 78). Her reputation for holiness is visible in letters numbered 252 to 261. The letters from Holland attesting to the same reputation for holiness are numbered 262 to 269. In Engelen in particular there is a community of nuns of Our Lady of Lourdes with whom we have been corresponding for several years, and who inform us of how the Servant of God’s souvenirs and pictures and so on are proliferating throughout the country. In Constantinople, the Servant of God’s holiness and powers of intercession are also appreciated (letters no. 270 to 277 inclusive). Africa (letters no. 278 to 300 and Shower of Roses, no. 97 and 135). [641v] The Missionaries of Our Lady of Africa have a special devotion for Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. We know that the Servant of God prayed for one of them in particular, Reverend Father Bellière, whom she considered as her spiritual brother. I have annexed one of his letters to no. 356. Reverend Father Hugueny O.P., of the Biblical School of Jerusalem, describes in letter no. 302 his esteem for the Servant of God. Letters no. 301 to 306 show that the Servant of God’s reputation has become established in many of the Carmelite convents in the country: in the Indies (no. 307 to 314); Tonkin; China (no. 315 to 322); Japan (no. 323 to 325 inclusive); Canada (no. 326 to 331); North America (no. 332 to 335); Central and Southern America (no. 336 to 343); Oceania (no. 344 to 349); England. This country esteems and prays to the Servant of God with very great fervour. I mentioned, when I spoke about what takes place at her grave, that we received [642r] messages from England containing prayers to put in the cemetery. I have added a selection of these to the testimony (no. 357 to 376).  

Lastly, I’ve added a few letters from various other countries.

[Session 63: - 21st February 1911, at 8:30am and at 2pm]

[644r] [Answer to the twenty-ninth question]:

The letters I’ve presented to the tribunal in order to substantiate the Servant of God’s renown for holiness very often mention the various graces that have been received through her intercession. As to my personal observations concerning the favours that have been granted, I noticed firstly a definite growth of fervour in our community. I’m convinced that this is above all attributable to the Servant of God’s invisible protection and to the effect that the wonders we [644v] hear about have on nuns’ souls. One Sister, who when I joined  the convent, still shared the opinion of those who said: “What will we be able to say about Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus after her death?” etc. - SS ch.12 -, has been obliged to accept the factual evidence. She now demonstrates real trust in the Servant of God’s intercession and, not content with simply praying to her, she continues to act as her apostle with members of her family.  

[Who is the nun you have just mentioned?]:

Her name is Sister Aimée of Jesus.

[Continuation of the answer]:

Among my most edifying memories over which hovers the invisible yet tangible presence of the Servant of God, the death of Sister Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guérin, the Servant of God’s first cousin) holds first place. She was the first “little victim of Merciful Love”, out of many “little souls following the way of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus” to die in the Carmelite convent. It is impossible to imagine anything more ideal, more gracious, or more consoling than her death. [645r] Sister Marie of the Eucharist looked like she was already immersed in heavenly peace. Her death has remained in my memory as an example of a death that is reserved for souls who have followed the way of spiritual childhood taught by the Servant of God. Those who die after her may well not have this gracious exterior, but I’m confident that the feelings of peace, joy, and unlimited surrender will fill the hearts of all the “little victims of Merciful Love”. Mother Marie Ange, our Prioress, was in turn the second “little victim” harvested by “Merciful Love” in November 1909. In her I saw Sister Marie of the Eucharist’s same serenity, but with something more grandiose, for Mother Marie Ange represents perhaps Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus’ finest achievement. Under her influence, and by walking in her “little way”, she ascended to the most sublime of heights. I see her as a saint. She gave her life for the Servant of God’s Cause. On her deathbed she asserted that the way along which Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had guided her was indeed the way to heaven and holiness, and that for her the proof was in the joy and peace that flooded her soul at that supreme moment when so many righteous individuals are gripped with terror.

[645v] About four years ago, I was tasked to look after one of my novitiate companions, then several others, and now, although I don’t hold the title of Novice Mistress, I perform her duties. Some of these souls therefore open up their hearts to me. I’ve guessed a great many other things that they didn’t tell me, and I can confirm that the Servant of God continues, from heaven, to be the Novice Mistress of the Carmel of Lisieux. Outwardly, she is the example we unceasingly put before the novices’ eyes; inwardly, she is the example they seek to reproduce. They all want to be “little Thérèses”. On 29th July 1910 one of them was granted a truly extraordinary grace. Her name is Sister Marie of the Child Jesus. She took the Habit on 16th July 1910. This child had already been sent away after two years of postulancy due to her bad health. She now felt that she was again coming down with pneumonia, which had made her seriously ill the year before. Her back, side and chest were very painful, she found breathing extremely difficult, had a temperature and generally felt very poorly. During the night of 28th to 29th July, she didn’t stop coughing and couldn’t sleep for even a moment. Upon hearing she hadn’t slept, our Mother sent her to get some rest on the [646r] morning of the 29th. The novice went upstairs to her cell, completely disheartened and said to herself: “This time I’m lost; I’ll be sent away, or I’ll fall very ill indeed, and will die.” She fell headlong onto her mattress, and began to plead Mother Marie Ange to come and heal her together with Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. She then fell into a sort of spiritual sleep, and felt the Servant of God and her companion next to her, so clearly that she said to herself: “If I open my eyes, I’ll see them.” Yet she didn’t dare open them. Meanwhile she felt as if a refreshing dew was alleviating her temperature, and the pain she felt in her back immediately disappeared. She told herself: “It’s my imagination perhaps, for my side and chest are still sore.” She continued to pray and the two pains subsided. Meanwhile, her soul was flooded with light and delights; it felt as though the Servant of God was showing her all her imperfections, teaching her so well that she had never seen her inner self so clearly. As a sign that all this was real, she prayed that she would stop coughing that day, which she did. This impression of grace stayed with her for several days, and she told me several times that light continued to flow [646v] into her soul. I really do believe that the Servant of God intervened on this occasion to prevent Sister Marie of the Child Jesus from being sent away, and I believe this not only because the novice is a child of sound and good judgment, but also because, in the days that followed, her attitude revealed her special care to practice perfection; and because her habitual dryness of soul had disappeared.    

Many strange phenomena revealing the Servant of God’s sisterly assistance have taken place in our monastery. Sister St. John the Baptist, who is about 60 years old, would at times of great silence make little envelopes to hold Sister Thérèse’s souvenirs. She realized that her oil lamp was dimming and about to go out, for she had forgotten to fill it up. As we are forbidden from filling lamps in the evening due to the risk of an explosion, Sister St. John the Baptist thought sadly that she wouldn’t be able to spend her hour of free time working. She prayed to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and the flame grew bright again and shone steadily for the whole hour. Here is another similar event. [647r] Two lay sisters, Sister Marie-Madeleine and Sister Jeanne-Marie, were in the kitchen. The kitchen stove contains a reservoir of water large enough to hold four and a half pitchers. Sister Marie-Madeleine had emptied the reservoir and it needed filling up again. Sister Jeanne-Marie, who was working in the next-door room, knew that her companion was tired so offered to do the work with her, thinking that in so doing she would be imitating Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus’ thoughtful charity. Moreover, she was in the habit of praying to Sister Thérèse while performing her duties. Before filling up the reservoir, she carefully emptied it of its remaining water so that she could thoroughly clean the reservoir. She therefore poured the remaining water into the pitcher next to the stove. Then she went to fetch from the water pump a second pitcher that Sister Marie-Madeleine had filled up. She had hardly had time to begin pouring when she realized that the reservoir was full without anybody having entered the kitchen. This event took place in the year 1910, around Lent, I believe. The same year, Sister Jeanne-Marie was busy preparing souvenirs of the Servant of God, on which she had to stick the official stamp of the vice-postulator of the Cause. She noticed that the box containing these [647v] stamps was almost empty, and knowing that the Sisters who were able to cut out more were very busy, she was at a loss as to how she could continue her work. According to her normal practice every time she came across a difficulty, she asked Sister Thérèse to come and help her and when she entered her cell after a moment’s absence, she found the afore-mentioned box filled with official stamps. She asked all the Sisters in the community who had gone into her cell and brought the new stamps, but nobody had.

[Continuation of the answer to the twenty-ninth question]:

[648r] Many people who have come to see me in the visiting room witnessed to having received unique graces through the Servant of God’s intercession. I will mention some of them: 1st. A priest from the diocese of Nantes told me that in La Chevrolière, a town in that diocese where he had just celebrated a first communion, he had seen, amid the communicants, a little girl named Marie Freuchet, who had promptly been cured of coxalgia through the intercession of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. This child had suffered a great deal, and had been completely immobilized by the pain that three doctors had in vain tried to cure. The Servant of God, during a novena that was being said in her honour, appeared to the child and announced that the next day she would be cured, which she was. 2nd. I also saw Mrs. Mallière in the visiting room, from Trouville-sur-Mer in the diocese of Bayeux, accompanied by about eight pilgrims, one of whom was her 11 year old grandchild. Mrs. Mallière told me that her grandchild Thérèse Mallière had, just a few days before her First Communion, contracted acute enteritis, which would have prevented her from taking part in the ceremony with her companions. They prayed to Sister Thérèse; she was instantly healed and the child was able to take part [648v] in all the ceremonies that were taking place that day. 3rd. I also saw the little Reine Fauquet in the visiting room, who was cured of phlyctenular keratitis, as is reported in “Shower of Roses” which is annexed to the 1910 edition of “Story of a Soul” (no. 50). The young Cadieu also came to see me in the visiting room. He’s about eleven, and is the son of a railway employee in Lisieux who now lives in Caen. This child was cured of tuberculosis coxalgia through Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus’ intercession. In short, the Servant of God helps or alleviates all types of spiritual or temporal necessities and all physical or moral pains.

In the visiting room, the former Novice Mistress of the Abbaye-aux-Bois, from the Congregation of Our Lady (Paris), told me that a perfume had emanated from the volume of “Story of a Soul” in the monastery. The scent was extremely strong at first, and then died away, lingering on the first engraving representing the Servant of God as a Carmelite nun. This engraving remained scented for about two years, and one Sister who was accompanying our visitor added: “The whole community could [649r] smell it.” Natural explanations were of course sought and couldn’t be found. There are numerous accounts of similar occurrences in the letters we receive. Here at the Carmelite convent of Lisieux, just about all the nuns have noticed perfumes at one time or another, and in circumstances that seem to leave no room for any natural explanation. I have smelt some myself several times when I was least expecting to. These perfumes are usually accompanied by an inner impression of grace and inspire souls to greater fervour.

I would like to end my testimony by reporting the very precious inner graces that I owe to the Servant of God’s protection. I didn’t know Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, but it was reading the “Story of a Soul” that brought me to the Carmelite convent of Lisieux. I read this book at the beginning of Autumn 1901. I was won over by the purity and simplicity of her soul right from the very first pages. What I remember from reading this is heavenly hours full of light, refreshment, and peace. I already wanted to become a Carmelite nun at that time, and I had dreamt of the monasteries in Spain founded by Saint Teresa. This dream gave way to another: becoming a Carmelite nun [649v] in Lisieux. I thought that after a saint like Sister Thérèse had been there, the Carmelite convent of Lisieux had to be the most fervent monastery in the universe. Through her teachings based on trust in God, Sister Thérèse corresponded to my soul’s desire. I listened to all her words as if the Holy Spirit himself had spoken to me; she completely took possession of me and I felt I was being guided to follow her example and make my “offering as a Victim of Holocaust to God’s Merciful Love”. Devotion to the Servant of God is an essential part of my inner life. Due to a providential convergence of circumstances, I entered the Carmelite convent of Lisieux, despite many obstacles. Here, the Servant of God continues to assist my soul, but in another way: the time of spiritual pleasures came to an end and my little Sister Thérèse required me to follow her through the path of abnegation. Her examples were evoked in the novitiate to train us for religious life. We would be told: “Sister Thérèse recommended acting like this in such and such a circumstance”; or, when I was reprimanded: “Sister Thérèse would not have done that”, and so on. My esteem for her doctrine has never stopped growing. Her doctrine is profound and a superficial study of it is not sufficient [650r] to grasp it fully. Yet as my soul delves further into it, I feel the effects of her doctrine convince me that it is true and that her way is holy. Her way and doctrine do indeed bring to the soul that peace and joy that our Lord bequeathed to his Apostles. They put fraternal charity into people’s hearts, serving as a reminder of what Jesus Christ said: “everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (Jn. 13:35). I devote my life to glorifying the Servant of God, and I don’t believe there’s a holier or worthier cause. The glorification of the Servant of God seems to me to be the triumph of the Merciful Love of the Heart of Jesus, and the solemn ratification by the Church of a spiritual doctrine that is capable not only of allowing wonderful flowers of holiness to blossom, but also of populating heaven with many saints.

[Answer to the thirtieth question]:

I haven’t omitted anything.

[Concerning the Articles, the witness says she knows nothing other than what she has already deposed in answer to the preceding questions. – Here ends the interrogation of this witness. The Acts are read out. The witness makes no amendment to them and signs as follows]:

As witness I have deposed as above, according to the truth, I ratify and confirm it.

Signatum. Sister ISABELLE OF THE SACRED HEART, unworthy Carmelite nun.