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Witness 24 - Godefroy Madelaine, o. praem.

 

Victor Madelaine was born in Le Tourneur (Diocese of Bayeux) on 14th November 1842 and entered the Premonstratensian Abbey of Mondaye (Calvados) where he received the name Godefroy and took his Profession on 7th February 1864. Once ordained priest, he became quickly appreciated as a preacher in Normandy. He was Prior of the Abbey from 1879 to 1889, the year in which he was elected Abbot of Saint-Michel-de-Frigolet (Bouches-du-Rhône). Evicted from France with his community in 1903, he took refuge in Belgium in the Abbey of Leffe near Namur. After the First World War, he retired to Mondaye where he died on 22nd September 1931.

When living in Mondaye, Father Godefroy had many opportunities to go the Carmel of Lisieux where he was highly esteemed both as a preacher and director. He gave the annual retreat there in 1890, 1892 and 1896. Mother Marie de Gonzague was able to tell him of her admiration for her “little angel” whose family he knew well, for he was friends with Mr. Martin, and held him in veneration. The Father heard Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus’ confession more than once and in his old age could still admiringly remember the interview he had with her in 1896, when with extraordinary serenity she opened her heart to him and told him of her great trial of faith. He was glad to be able to follow the stages leading to the glorification of the Saint and it was on the order of Mgr. Lemonnier, the Bishop of Bayeux, that he wrote “Mes souvenirs” (“My Memories”) (Annales de Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux, 2 [1926] 16-18, 27-29, 40-42) in which he had the opportunity of confirming some of the points he had made in his testimony.

He was highly esteemed by Mother Marie de Gonzague, whom he thought gifted with “a particularly righteous judgment” (p. 1219r), and it was to him that the newly elected Prioress turned when, less than a month after Thérèse’s death, she wanted to publish her manuscripts. Father Godefroy Madelaine read and reread the text and, assisted by one of his colleagues, Father Norbert Paysant, made some corrections and deletions to it, divided it into chapters and suggested retaining the title “Story of a Soul”, drawing inspiration from Thérèse herself who had written at the beginning of her autobiography: “I come to confide the story of my soul…” (MA “A” 1r).    

It was not without difficulty that he obtained the Imprimatur from the Bishop of Bayeux who was wary “of women’s imaginations”. He even drafted an extremely prophetic introductory letter to the first edition which did her credit.

The witness testified in Lisieux on 23rd and 24th May 1911, in sessions 77-78, pp. 1205r-1223r of our Public Copy.

[Session 77: - 23rd May 1911, at 8:30am and at 2pm]

[1205r] [1205v] [The witness answers the first question correctly].

[Answer to the second question]:

My name is Victor Madelaine, in religion Brother Godefroy, of the Abbey of Saint Michel de Frigolet, in the Diocese of Aix. I was born in Le Tourneur, in the Diocese of Bayeux, on 14th November 1842, of the legitimate marriage between Jean-Baptiste Madelaine, a farmer, and Marie Hamel. I am a professed friar of the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré. I was professed on 7th February 1864 at the Abbey of Mondaye, in the Diocese of Bayeux, where I stayed until 1899. I was elected and blessed Abbot of Saint Michel de Frigolet. Evicted from the abbey in 1903 by the French government, I took refuge with my community in Belgium, at the Abbey of Leffe, in the Diocese of Namur, where I now live.  

[The witness answers questions three to six correctly].

[Answer to the seventh question].

I’ve been summoned to testify [1206r] by the Vice Postulator; I do so very willingly due to my former connections with the Servant of God; but I am testifying very freely and wouldn’t, for anything in the world, want to assert anything that might not conform to the truth. Moreover, saints require only the truth.

[Answer to the eighth question]:

Before the Servant of God entered the Carmelite convent, I had no personal connections with her; I knew her father well, for I had met him several times in the presbytery of the Church of Saint Jacques in Lisieux. Once the Servant of God had joined the convent (1888), I talked to her about matters of conscience, which allowed me to see into her soul quite early on; I was in fact called to preach and direct several retreats in the community of the Carmelite convent. Immediately after her death (1897) Reverend Mother Marie de Gonzague, Prioress, sent me the manuscript “Story of a Soul”, so that I could examine it. Since then I’ve remained in assiduous contact with the Carmelite community, and especially with its successive Prioresses. [1206v] In my testimony, I shall above all cite my personal observations that relate either directly to the Servant of God, or to her autobiography. I shall nevertheless not exclude information that has come to me through interviews I’ve held with various people. Concerning the value of the manuscript “Story of a Soul”, I’ll explain myself presently, when I recount the examination I was called to perform on it.    

[Answer to the ninth question]:

As soon as I met this privileged soul when she came to confide in me at retreats, I conceived a veneration for her that I could call a cult, and which has only grown stronger since. I consider having known this soul as one of the greatest graces of my life. I hope and ask God that she will be beatified, furthermore pledging to accept Holy Church’s judgment.

[Answer to the tenth question]:

Concerning the Servant of God’s earliest years, I only know what is reported in her autobiography.

[1207r] [Answer to the eleventh question]:

I knew Mr. Martin, the Servant of God’s father, personally. He was an exemplary father and so profoundly Christian that he never sought to settle his daughters in the world, but wished to see them all devote themselves to God. I can especially remember that on 19th March, when we were dining together with the curate of Saint Jacques’ Church, the Superior to the Carmel of Lisieux, to celebrate the reception of the Habit of one of his daughters, he said: “I’m very happy, I’ve now two of my daughters whose salvation is guaranteed, and I have another who’s only 14 and who is already burning to follow them.”  

[Answer to the twelfth question]:

I haven’t any personal information on this point.

[Answer to questions thirteen to sixteen]:

I don’t know any details relating to the Servant of God from the earliest years of her life until her entrance into the convent inclusive, save [1207v] through conversations I later held and through studying her manuscript. I nevertheless remember that even then people spoke about the young Thérèse Martin as a noble soul.

[Answer to the seventeenth and eighteenth questions]:

I preached and directed retreats at the Carmel of Lisieux in 1890, 1892 and 1896; moreover, I also preached several triduum to the community during the Servant of God’s lifetime. On these occasions, Mother Marie de Gonzague, Prioress, would inform me of the state of her community, and notably of the Servant of God whom she frequently called her “little angel”. This is how I knew that she’d completed her novitiate, then taken her Profession, and finally that she was performing the duties of Novice Mistress, but that she hadn’t been given the title on account of her age. Father Delatroëtte, the curate of Saint Jacques’ Church and Superior to the Carmelite convent, would also speak to me on these occasions about the state of the monastery, and would point out, with real veneration, the exceptional virtues of “little Sister Thérèse”, which is what he always called her. All in all, I know little about the Servant of God’s “curriculum vitae”. As for her qualms, I will talk about them when I [1208r] speak about her virtues.  

[Answer to the nineteenth question]:

On 29th October 1897, only a few weeks after the Servant of God’s death, Mother Marie de Gonzague, Prioress, informed me that she was in possession of the biographical notes written by Sister Thérèse herself, and asked me to examine them. Here is the relevant passage from her letter: “The recent events that have taken place here (the Servant of God’s death) have left me almost inert, I’m not sure where I am, or where I’m going. The death of our angel has left an emptiness inside me that will never be filled; the more perfections I discover in this blessed child, the more I regret losing her. Out of obedience, she has left me these delectable pages that I’m in the process of assembling with Mother Agnès of Jesus, and I believe that we could make them public. Keep this secret for yourself… Would you mind correcting it for us (the manuscript) or having it corrected if your occupations prevent you from doing so? Nobody knows about this, even in the community; only our Superior who granted me permission.”

I studied the manuscript for [1208v] about three months; I divided it into chapters and made a few little corrections to its form, but which never involved the contents. The Reverend Mother Prioress of the convent has given me back the letters I wrote at that time. I only need to read the passages to the court to accurately reestablish the history of the manuscript.

From the 1st March 1898:

“Abbey of Mondaye.

My Reverend Mother, I have read the whole manuscript as well as the poems… I am keeping it a while longer, for I wish to reread it and then I will mark in blue what I believe should be omitted when it goes to print. Everything, absolutely everything in this manuscript is precious to you; but to the public, there are details that are so personal, so exalted above what is considered normal, that I think it would be better not to have them printed. There are also slight faults in the French or in the style; they are only little blemishes that can easily be removed; for readers it would be better to delete certain [1209r] repetitions which I will point out.

That’s the criticism over; but, dear Mother, I can’t explain to you the pleasure with which I read and spiritually savoured these pages that are wholly embalmed with divine love. I hope to be able to give you back the precious manuscript together with our observations before Easter, and then you will be able to begin having it recopied ready for printing.”

8th March 1898 I wrote

“Mother,

you can set your mind at rest on the subject of the Imprimatur: we have it. Yesterday, I saw Mgr. the Bishop, and on hearing my (verbal) report he was willing to give it to us.”

Here is what had happened: when Mgr. the Bishop heard talk of a manuscript by Sister Thérèse, he objected first of all, saying that we must be wary of women’s imaginations; but I was able to reassure him in all conscience, since my profound study of it had allowed me to recognize that the whole manuscript bore evident traces of the spirit of God and that it couldn’t be faulted for having a single error of doctrine. Hearing this testimony, Mgr. immediately [1209v] gave us permission to have it printed.

I’ve extracted the following passage from a letter written a few months later:

“Abbey of Mondaye, 3rd January 1899.

Reverend Mother… three days ago in Bayeux, a most intelligent canon told me he had read “Story of a Soul” as many as three times; and that it made him better each time he read it. He added that at the Major Seminary the students are devouring the precious book. Deo gratias! The beautiful words ‘I will spend my heaven doing good on earth’ are coming true.” (As Providence would have it, the afore-mentioned canon is now the President of the Court for this Cause).

As for the value of the manuscript, I esteem that it’s the most receivable witness to the dispositions of her soul. I also note that she undertook this work only out of obedience to her Superior. Moreover, I find it holds an expression of humility so candid that the truth of her words is guaranteed. She says: “It’s for you alone, Mother, I am writing the [1210r] story of the little flower gathered by Jesus. I will talk freely and without any worries as to the numerous digressions I will make… It seems to me that if a little flower could speak, it would tell simply what God has done for it without trying to hide its blessings” - MSA 3v -. A third observation pertains to the disinterest she shows with regard to her manuscript. She says: “If you burnt this manuscript before my eyes without even having read it, I would feel no pain” - MSA 33r -. In this manuscript I found an elevated and precise doctrine which evidently bears witness to spiritual enlightenments. Without going into detail, I would particularly point out the good use she continually makes of Holy Scripture, and the marvelous developments she brings to fraternal charity.

[1210v] [Continuation of the answer to the nineteenth question]:

If I was asked whether the contents of the manuscript is truthful, I would say that in my opinion there is no doubt that everything contained in this autobiography is perfectly exact: 1st because sincerity, abhorrence of lies and a sort of absolute need for frankness were natural qualities in the Servant of God and were revealed even in her earliest childhood: she wasn’t at all at peace until she had admitted the slight faults she committed as a child. 2nd It is worth noting that the study of her life as a whole shows she wasn’t given to excesses of imagination in the slightest or to the dangers of illuminism; everything in her narration is simple and reasonable.    

[Answer to the twentieth question]:

The Servant of God’s [1211r] faithfulness to grace was revealed even in her earliest childhood and never flagged. Towards the end of her life she was able to say, and we can believe it given her perfect sincerity: “Since the age of three, I’ve never refused God anything” – Counsels and Reminiscences -. In everything I know about her, I’ve noticed she fully put into practice this ideal of perfection that she describes in these terms: “as in the days of my childhood, I cried out: “My God ‘I choose all!’ I don’t want to be a saint by halves, I’m not afraid to suffer for You… I want to be a great saint” - MSA 10v -. On reading her manuscript, a constant and most remarkable progression can be observed, both in the sublimity of the virtues she practices, and in the elevation of the doctrine she presents; and the eleventh chapter, which is the last, is like a swan song; never had she risen higher.

[Answer to the twenty-first question]:

A) DE FIDE HEROICA. - The Servant of God excelled in heroic faith to the highest degree, having had to endure, with God’s permission, [1211v] terrible and prolonged assaults to this virtue. I was privy to her soul’s dispositions, and particularly during these trials through which God purified her soul. I know perfectly well that she was telling the truth when she stated in her manuscript: “I have made more acts of faith in the past year than all through my whole life” - MSC 7r -. I was very struck by the peace that reigned in the superior part of her soul amid all her anguish and I can very clearly remember that she didn’t lose any of her customary cheerfulness or exuberance. I’ve always considered her great trial as providential preparation for the extraordinary graces that God granted her in the last period of her life.    

B) DE SPE HEROICA. – What I found remarkable in the Servant of God’s soul was that, carried by her attraction for grace to perform pure and disinterested acts of love, she never succumbed to the illusions of quietism: Christian hope forever reigned supreme within her; she practiced the utmost filial surrender, but she never succumbed to the quietist passivity that excludes acts. As director she demanded others to practice Christian virtues, [1212r] and did so herself to the very end.  

C) DE HEROICA CARITATE IN DEUM. The Servant of God’s true vocation was emotional love of God, and in order to describe the state of her soul in exact terms, it is necessary to quote the whole of the end of chapter eleven of “Story of a Soul”. I can’t help comparing it to the eighth chapter of the third book of the Imitation of Christ: “de mirabili affectu divini amoris.” The offering to Merciful Love that she herself made on 9th June 1895 is like the climax of her whole life. It’s then that she cries out: “Now I have no other desire except to love Jesus unto folly… it is love alone that attracts me…Neither do I desire any longer suffering or death, and still I love them both” - MSA 82v-83r -.  

D) DE HEROICA CHARITATE IN PROXIMUM, - It is well known at the Carmel that she was an angel of peace and charity for her Sisters. I’ve been notified many times of how helpful she was to all her Sisters, and especially to those who were more troublesome on account of [1212v] their faults or ailments. Yet what I want to attest to above all is her heroic love of souls. The Servant of God often told me about her ardent desire to give her all to win souls. She had in her soul an apostolic flame. Her aspirations weren’t purely theoretical, but were expressed by constant prayers, good deeds and acts of mortification. I believe that her intention to save souls was one of her constant intentions. She would have liked to be a missionary and it was with very active generosity that she accepted to unite her spiritual life to the work of two missionaries, whom she called her “brothers”. I learnt this latter detail not only from “Story of a Soul” but also from talking to the parents of one of the missionaries, Reverend Father Roulland, of the Foreign Missions.

DE VIRTUTIBUS CARDINALIBUS: A) DE PRUDENTIA. – It seems evident to me that the Servant of God received special inspiration from heaven when it came to directing her own spiritual life and leading others. This is certainly what she called “her way”, “her little way”, and “her mission”. She [1213r] has a very distinctive ascetic and mystical doctrine. By studying her life and writings, we can summarize it in a small number of extremely simple terms. The first is “a creature’s nothingness”. The last is “pure love of God unto heroism”. And, to pass from one to the other, it suffices to practice the simplest and most modest of virtues, but which always stem from an extremely strong love of God. She brings to all Christian virtues a dose of simplicity and evangelical childhood. Hence she says, when speaking about prayer:  

“Outside the Divine Office, I do not have the courage to force myself to search out beautiful prayers in books. Like children who do not know how to read, I say very simply to God what I wish to say, and He always understands me. For me, prayer is an aspiration of the heart, it is a simple glance directed to heaven, it is a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trial as well as joy; finally, it is something great, supernatural, which expands my soul and unites me to Jesus” - MSC 25r-v -. This spirit of Christian childhood led her not only to adopt but also to recommend to others an attitude of surrender to God and of limitless trust, which is another characteristic of her spirituality.

[1213v] [The Promoter asks: do you think that the absolute nature of this attitude of trust and resignation corresponds to quietism in any way? Answer]:

The practice of exercising virtues, which she herself adopted and which she required of her novices, shows that there was nothing of the sort in her doctrine. She certainly understood that the soul must do everything in its power to preserve its innocence and practice virtue.

B) DE JUSTITIA ET PARTIBUS EJUS. I can specifically bear witness to the very filial character of her devotion and of her cult for the Blessed Virgin. In her writings I sought clues as to her “spiritual intimacies” and the most ordinary objects of her devotion. It appeared to me that the Divine Humanity of Our Lord constantly filled her thoughts and her heart. We can see, especially in her poems, that she must have constantly lived with the feeling of Jesus Christ’s presence. After Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin, we can affirm that Saint John of the Cross held a special place in her spirituality. [1214r] We can also see from her writings that she particularly loved Saint Teresa, Saint Agnes, Saint Cecilia, Blessed Joan of Arc, the Holy Innocents and Blessed Théophane Vénard.  

C) DE FORTITUDINE. – I know little of the Servant of God’s outward sufferings, apart from what I’ve been told regarding her last illness; but I know from the conversations we had during her retreats that God almost constantly subjected her to very great inner trials which, at certain times, constituted real martyrdoms. First she had a difficult crisis of scruples; then very violent temptations against faith and especially involving her eternal redemption; then, she underwent her “martyrdom of love” which is impossible for me to describe, but in which the thought of insulting God caused her indescribable suffering. In addition to all these specific trials, she generally felt an inner dryness and desertion. Now, what always appeared extremely remarkable to me was her strength of will to bear all this suffering. Her cheerfulness, good [1214v] humour, and amiability towards everyone were so constant that, in the community, no one suspected she had so much to endure.

mais je sais, par les confidences qu'elle m'en a faites lors de ses retraites. que le bon Dieu l'a presque constamment soumise à de très grandes peines intérieures qui,

[Session 78: - 24th May 1911, at 8:30am]

[1218r][Continuation of the answer to the twenty-first question]:

DE VOTIS RELIGIONIS, SPECIATI M DE OBEDIENTIA. – In my relations with the Servant [1218v] of God, it was easy for me to observe that generally, in the practice of her vows, her spirit of punctuality and renouncement was very great. But where detail is concerned, it’s difficult for me to know, since I only came to the Carmel at rare intervals. However, where obedience is concerned Mother Marie de Gonzague, Prioress, told me that to develop Sister Thérèse’s virtue, she sought to test her, and affected indifference towards her and took on a certain appearance of severity. Marie de Gonzague admitted that this apparent rebuttal had certainly been very difficult for the Servant of God to endure in the first years, but that, as a consequence, she overcame these impressions completely and joyfully accepted them as opportunities to make sacrifices. Moreover, even in the first years, her suffering never deterred her in any way from being perfectly obedient.

[The judge asks: what do you know of the character of the afore-mentioned prioress, Mother Marie de Gonzague? Answer]:

I knew her very well: I communicated with her frequently [1219r] either in letters, or in conversations in the visiting room. She seemed to me to have a particularly righteous judgment. In governing her community, she wanted what was best. Judging by the conversations I had with her over a long period of time, her character seemed to be excellent to me. It’s impossible for me to know what she was like in the privacy of her cloistered life. Her numerous reelections to the post of prioress have always suggested that the Sisters appreciated her way of governing. She did admit that Mother Agnès of Jesus’ character and hers weren’t naturally suited to each other, and that they caused each other suffering, despite their very sincere mutual esteem. Moreover, there was never any hint of bitterness in her remarks.  

DE HUMILITATE. – It suffices to read the Servant of God’s autobiography to be convinced that humility was her fundamental virtue. My conversations with her always showed me that her soul was exceptionally ingenuous and small in her eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever [1219v] met an altogether humbler or more magnanimous soul in my ministry.

[Answer to the twenty-second question]:

One is struck, when reading her life, to see so few extraordinary events related in it; and I believe that her life was in fact very simple and that extraordinary events were very rare, at least where outward signs are concerned. As for her inner life, that’s another matter entirely. My conversations with her and my study of her writings have led me to believe that God raised her to the highest level of a life of union. I wanted to reread what Saint Teresa wrote on this subject in “Interior Castle”, and it was not without emotion that I recognized that her description of even the highest states corresponded exactly with what I had observed in the Servant of God. In particular, what the Servant of God says in the eleventh chapter of her Life Story reproduces in almost the same words what Saint Teresa says about the sixth stage in “Interior Castle”. Here is what Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus wrote:    

“It seemed as though an invisible force plunged me wholly into fire.... But oh! what [1220r] fire! what sweetness!… one minute, one second more, and my soul would have been set free from my body" – SS 12 -.

I won’t dwell on the vision the Servant of God had of the Blessed Virgin when she was 10 years old, or on the prophetic vision she had of her father’s illness, because I only know about these events from having read about them in “Story of a Soul”, or from having heard her Carmelite Sisters recount them.

[Answer to the twenty-third question]:

Many times, during the Servant of God’s lifetime, I heard people say she was a marvel of virtue. In the presbytery of Saint Jacques’ Church in Lisieux, where I frequently went; at the Carmel, and in many other places, I heard people speak with admiration of the “little Carmelite nun”. People would say there was a “little saint” in the Carmelite convent, but people were far from imagining that her reputation for holiness would grow so quickly.

[Answer to the twenty-fourth question]:

I wasn’t a direct witness to her last sufferings, but I heard about them [1220v] from Mother Marie de Gonzague and the other Carmelite nuns. This occasion gives us yet another opportunity to see what the characteristic of her life was: a very high sublimity of virtue together with the greatest simplicity.

[Answer to the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth questions]:

I know nothing on this point apart from what is public knowledge; that her tomb is in the cemetery of Lisieux and the frequent demonstrations of piety manifested by pilgrims.

[Answer to the twenty-seventh question]:

Apart from what we know from public reports about the universal spread of the Servant of God’s reputation for holiness, I’m perfectly able to confirm that in Belgium “this little saint” is very popular, not only in the Carmelite convents and religious communities, but also in seminaries and in the secular community. In the Junior Seminary of Floreffe, in the Diocese of Namur, which is an establishment of about 300 students, I taught a retreat with a colleague in 1904 or 1905; I had the opportunity to say a few words about the Servant of God; they were met with enthusiasm throughout the [1221r] community. Most of the students wanted to read and meditate on Sister Thérèse’s life story, and a little while later, the Superior said to me: “You wouldn’t believe how much good reading her book has done in my seminary.” When I had the opportunity to go to England, I immediately noticed that the “Little Flower of Jesus”, which is what they call the Servant of God, was well-known in the country, even in protestant circles. Just recently, English newspapers, and not even Catholic ones, related the conversion of Doctor Grant, the Presbyterian minister who publicly attributed his conversion to the “Little Flower of Jesus”, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

Concerning the causes of this dissemination, some have highlighted the propaganda activities undertaken by the Carmel of Lisieux. Even if there is some truth in this allegation, I esteem that this propaganda wouldn’t have led to anything lasting if it hadn’t promoted a really extraordinarily saintly life. I don’t doubt that the action of God is the real cause of this dissemination. I can think of two principal reasons for this providential action: 1. the Servant of God’s immense [1221v] humility: “Qui se humiliat, exaltabitur” - *Matt., 23:12 -; 2. Her extraordinary zeal made her ardently desire to continue doing good to souls after her death: God must have answered her prayer in this respect. In addition, the enthralling charm of her virtue, which is so simple, contributes to winning her sympathy from those who read her life story.

[Answer to the twenty-eighth question]:

I have never heard anyone criticize the Servant of God, or her doctrine, or even call into question the sublimity of her virtue. I’ve only heard people sometimes contest the suitability for a Carmel to publish the autobiography of one of its members. What is particularly condemned, in some Carmelite convents, is the intensity of the propaganda created by the Carmel of Lisieux. These criticisms however are limited to a few religious houses, and I can name one that has since gone back on its exaggerated accusations, and the Prioress of this convent has herself written a very persuasive postulatory letter.    

[Answer to the twenty-ninth question]:

[1222r] In answer to this question, I shall relate three or four events that I wouldn’t qualify as “miraculous”, but which are considered “very special graces” and were obtained through the Servant of God’s intercession. A young friar in my community, Brother Vincent de Paul, who’s about 25 years old, had been suffering from severe and persistent neurasthenia for several years. The hydrotherapy treatment he had been following for two months had given very little result. He said a novena to the Servant of God and asked her to cure him on a precise day, 14th October 1910; on that day, he found he was well enough to preach, and since then, he is very well and devotes his time to studying and preaching, without ever feeling tired.

Reverend Father Ernest, the Novice Master at the Abbey of Leffe, suffered from persistent laryngitis, making it very difficult, and even impossible for a few weeks, to sing psalms, teach or even speak. During a novena to the Servant of God, he was completely cured, and has remained so since October 1910. This healing is all the more remarkable given that the remedies recommended by several doctors had brought about no [1222v] change. Reverend Father Ernest now performs the functions of Novice Master, cantor and professor without becoming tired.

A Norbertine novice from the Abbey of Bonlieu, in the Diocese of Valence, had been suffering for several years from enteritis which had worsened to the point that she completely lost her appetite and ability to sleep, and we thought her death must be imminent. Her internal pain had become very acute, and two doctors declared that her condition was serious, without being able to agree on either the cause of the pain or the treatment. The Abbess considered sending the novice home to her family. Sister Alexandra, who valued her vocation highly, then had the idea of praying for the Servant of God’s intercession. During a novena which the whole community joined in saying, she was suddenly cured. This healing took place on 12th January 1911 in Grimbergen (Brabant), where the community has been in refuge since 1901. Sister Alexandra has been healthy ever since, and was able to bear the penances prescribed for Lent in her community where the rules are very strict. I have in my hand a report of this event that complies with the present deposition and which bears the signatures of the Abbess and [1223r] religious dignitaries.

[The witness then shows the document to the judges].

[Answer to the thirtieth question]:

I have nothing to add.

[Concerning the Articles, the witness says he knows nothing other than what he 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]:

Signatum: Fr. GODEFRIDUS MADELAINE, abbas, testis deposui ut supra secundum veritatem; ratum habeo et confirmo.