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Witness 31 - Sister Saint John the Evangelist, O.B.S.

 

Marie-Blanche Dupont was born in Balleroy (in the Diocese of Bayeux) on 11th May 1867. She was Thérèse Martin’s companion for a while at the Benedictine Abbey where she was later to become a nun. She was professed on 12th August 1890, so just a few months before Thérèse in the Carmel, in the same year. While she was one day acting as supervisor (for she was a little older), Marie-Blanche appeared to call into question Thérèse’s sincerity, and she was met with this reply: “Marie!... I never lie” (pp. 1297r).

The witness testified on 11th August 1911, in the 84th session, pp. 1296r-1298v of our Public Copy.

[Session 84: - 11th August 1911, at 2pm].

[1296r] [The witness answers the first question correctly].

[Answer to the second question]:

My name is Marie-Blanche Dupont, in religion Sister Saint John the Evangelist. I was born in Balleroy, in the Diocese of Bayeux, on 11th May 1867, of the legitimate marriage between Théodore Dupont, a merchant, and Léontine Domin. I’ve been a professed nun of the Benedictine Monastery of Lisieux since 12th August 1890.

[The witness answers questions three to seven correctly].

[1296v] [Answer to the eighth question]:

I came to know the Servant of God: 1stly when meeting the family on the day she took her first Communion; 2ndly during the stay I made at the boarding school for my studies, from June 1885 onwards.  

[Answer to the ninth question]:

I trust Sister Thérèse a great deal, although I may not be as enthusiastic in my devotion as many others I know. I hope she will be beatified, because, among other virtues, I admire her faithfulness in little things.

[To questions ten to thirteen inclusive, the witness replies that she has nothing particular to say on these points].

[Answer to the fourteenth question]:

On the day of her first Communion (8th May 1884) I came to the Abbey to visit two of my younger cousins who were also taking their first Communion. As [1297r] there were some links between the Servant of God’s family and my own, little Thérèse was introduced to us, and my mother noticed that her eyes were red as if she’s been crying. Reading her life story reminded me of this and revealed the reason why.

[Answer to the fifteenth question]:

In June 1885, when I was 18 years old, I joined the Abbey’s boarding school, to take my teacher’s exams. I met the Servant of God during the school year of 1885-1886; I noticed she was exceptionally edifying and punctual. She would stand at a bit of a distance from her classmates’ games; her character was much more serious than theirs. As I was much older, I was sometimes entrusted to do a bit of supervising. On one of these occasions, I asked little Thérèse whether she had failed to remain silent; she replied that she hadn’t; and when to tease her a little I pretended to doubt her sincerity, she seemed very distressed and said: “Marie!... I never lie” – Primary source -.  

[1297v] [Answer to the fifteenth question]:

Once she had left the boarding school, the Servant of God would come back two or three times a week, so that she might be enrolled in the association of the Children of Mary, which I presided; she was required to fulfill this condition. The headmistress of the boarding school, Sister Saint Placidus, who died in 1909, said to us on this occasion: “Thérèse has left the boarding school but is asking to be admitted among the Children of Mary; I gave her permission on this condition; we won’t regret having her name on our list.” I remember that in the afternoons she spent at the boarding school during that period, I really wanted to talk to her after class, but she would disappear. Her life story revealed that she would hide in the chapel gallery and pray. She became a Child of Mary on 31st May 1887, at the same time as Marie Domin, who would later become my sister-in-law. I can remember the day very clearly and I’ve kept a little picture signed “Thérèse, Child of Mary”, which she gave me for the occasion. [1298r] I’m stating these details to rectify an omission I then made and which I regret. I was the Congregation’s president and secretary and therefore tasked with drafting the receipts. When a few days later I wanted to write the list of new members, I looked about me and saw those who were in the Abbey, forgetting Thérèse Martin who wasn’t a pupil at the boarding school. It was after her death that I noticed and rectified this omission.                

[To questions sixteen to twenty-eight inclusive, the witness replies she doesn’t know anything].

[Answer to the twenty-ninth question]:

I hear it said everywhere that significant favours can be obtained through the Servant of God’s intercession. I haven’t personally felt the benefits of these favours; but I know that a fair number of our Sisters acknowledge that they obtain significant inner graces by praying to her. Her doctrine has helped clarify certain points about spiritual life for me, particularly on the subject of practicing humility.

[Answer to the thirtieth question]:

I believe I have said everything I know about the Servant of God.

[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]:

Ita pro veritate deposui, ratum habeo et confirmo.

Signatum: Sister SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST, O.B.S.