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Witness 5 - Élie of the Mother of Mercy, O.C.D.

 

The fifth witness did not know Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. His deposition refers to the reputation for holiness that she had after her death. He was well informed on this subject.

Born in Savona on 13th December 1845, Father Élie of the Mother of Mercy (Jérôme Lanaro) is one of the most characteristic figures of the Italian Missionary Carmel at the end of the 19th century. Still young, he went to America then returned to Italy to enroll in Garibaldi’s army, but he did not stay there long and in 1862 entered the Carmel for Discalced Friars in Concesa (Milan), where he made his profession on 9th September 1863. Whilst still a student of theology, he left for India in 1867 where he was ordained on 7th March 1868. A missionary for thirty years in Mangalore and Quilon (Malabar), he worked with tireless zeal, notably taking care of either active or contemplative nuns. At Calicut and then Mangalore, he met Servant of God Marie of Jesus Crucified Baouardy (1846-1878) and, when interrogated about her at the informative trial in Jerusalem, his answers demonstrated great wisdom and prudence in this delicate and complex case. Called back to Italy, he was secretary to the General for several years from 1899 onwards, which gave him the opportunity to get to know several of the Order’s provinces. He was then nominated Master of Students in Milan, and after that was sent to Mount Carmel where he was the vicar in 1915. He died there on 20th February 1920.  

It is particularly interesting to note what he reported about the Servant of God Father Raphael of Saint Joseph Kalinowski (1835-1907). At first he mistrusted the Story of a Soul, but then became a staunch apostle of Sister Thérèse’s doctrine, and sent a letter to the Carmel of Lisieux on 9th October 1902 entitled “Reparation” (p. 443r) *.  

Father Élie testified on 28th – 31st October 1910, during the sessions 37-39, pp. 443r-454r of our Public Copy.

[Session 37: - 28th October 1910, at 2pm]

[434r] [The witness replies equably and correctly to the first question].

[Answer to the second question]:

My name is Jérôme-Vincent Lanaro, born in Savona, in the Province of Genoa, Italy, on 13th December 1845, to Vincent Lanaro, from Savona, and to Catherine Minetto, from Castel Vecchio, in the Province of Albenga, Italy. I am a Discalced Carmelite Friar of the Province of Lombardy; my religious name is Father Élie of the Mother of Mercy, of the monastery in Concesa, [434v] near Trezzo sull’Adda in the Province of Milan. I was rector of a seminary and professor of dogmatic and moral theology in Mangalore during our mission in the Indies in 1867 and 1868. I was an apostolic missionary in the West Indies for 31 years. I was then secretary to two consecutive Generals of our Order: Reverend Fathers Bernardin of Saint Teresa and Raynault Marie de Saint Just (1898-1906).

[The witness answers questions three to six correctly].

[Answer to the seventh question]:

I am testifying simply for the Glory of God and because I wish Sister Thérèse to be beatified if the Holy Church deems it appropriate. I am not indifferent to the glory of our Order, but it is in no way a determining motive in my deposition.

[Answer to the eighth and ninth questions]:

I first heard [435r] about the Servant of God Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face in1899, when Reverend Mother Agnes of Jesus, on behalf of Reverend Mother Marie of Gonzague, the Prioress at Lisieux, sent a copy of “Story of a Soul” to our Very Reverend Father General Bernadin of Saint Teresa, to whom I had then been secretary for a year, that is to say, since 10th July 1898, the day I arrived in Rome on returning from the West Indies. Our Very Reverend Father General, as soon as he received the aforementioned Story, asked me to write to the Reverend Mother Prioress, in his name, to thank her for sending it, which I did a few days later. And it was on reading this admirable and delightful autobiography of Sister Thérèse, or should I say devouring it, that I felt an overwhelming enthusiasm for this hitherto unknown little Sister, and ever since I have had the most tender devotion for the Servant of God, and been certain that one day very soon she will be beatified by the Church. This devotion that I felt at first, far from growing fainter, has only increased every day for the past eleven years, owing to the graces and marvels that have taken place all over the world during this time, [435v] at the invocation of the Servant of God; and news of these events was communicated to me from time to time by the Carmel of Lisieux, with which I was in intermittent correspondence.

But it is not so much the marvels and graces accorded to others that have accentuated my devotion for our angelic Sister as the interior graces that I myself feel every time I open her book at random and read a few pages or often even only a few lines. I feel that my soul is immediately better and almost always, on reading this delectable book, sweet tears of love and contrition silently run down my cheeks. In addition, seeing what spiritual good this devotion has done to my soul, I have always taken an interest in the Servant of God, either by talking to other people, when the occasion arose, about her life that was so simple and so naïve, yet so heroic at the same time; or about the marvels and graces that have been obtained through her intercession, as I got to know about them; or by distributing her pictures, relics or souvenirs that I asked of the Mother Prioress of Lisieux and which [436r] Mother Agnes was kind enough to send me on several occasions.  

[Answers to questions ten to twenty]:

Not having known the Servant of God personally, I cannot recount anything about her “curriculum vitae”, or her practices of virtue that would be anything other than a personal comment on what I read in her autobiography “Story of a Soul”.

[To the twenty-first question, the witness’s answer relates to “prudence”]:

Not having to give evidence on any particular facts about the Servant of God’s life, I would like to be able to talk about Sister Thérèse’s theory of asceticism that she practiced. It is an asceticism that shines with new brilliance in “Story of a Soul”, but I don’t believe to be a sufficiently competent judge on this subject. I only dare to say in truth that I love everything Sister Thérèse loves, and I admire the sublime ease with which this amiable little Sister leads us to love God and the fervour with which she urges us, through her example, to follow the road to Heaven. The road, she says, was so successful for her and consists in entrusting ourselves entirely in filial surrender to God, in the arms of merciful [436v] Love. Everything she says when she talks about her little way of spiritual childhood, which is very straight and totally new; from the invention of the Elevator that must raise her to heaven, because since she was so very little, Jesus would bend down and take her in his arms which are this newly invented “Elevator”; when she talks about her constant practice of breaking her will in everything, and about rendering a thousand little services to her sisters, especially those for whom one has less sympathy; about always wanting to be not only resigned, but also united to the will of God and wanting to joyfully carry the cross and passionately love one’s sufferings; and finally when she asks our venerable Anne of Jesus, in her mysterious dream, “if God is not asking for something more of her than her poor little actions and desires, and if he is content with her”, and receives from the Saint the consoling reply that “God asks nothing else of you. He is content, very content!” - MSB 2,1-2 - . It seems to me that all this is a celestial language and a very sound doctrine, and at the same time within everyone’s reach, although to constantly put it into practice, as did our angelic amiable Sister, requires heroic virtue. [437r] However, when walking to perfection it is always very advantageous if we can delude ourselves into thinking we can do what saints have done. Now, reading the “Story of a Soul” leaves you passionately loving Sister Thérèse and believing that you can easily imitate her in the practice of virtues, and you thank God for having given you such an amiable model of holiness. Besides, to judge the beauty of Sister Thérèse’s doctrine, you only have to read the last few pages of chapter 11 of “Story of a “Soul”, to believe her to be a cherubim who talks of divine love, inflaming those who listen to her.          

[Answers to questions twenty-two to twenty-five inclusive]:

I don’t know anything more than what is written in the story of her life.

[Answer to the twenty-sixth question]:

I visited the Servant of God’s tomb in the public cemetery of Lisieux when I passed through the town on 24th October. I made this visit to pray for me and for others who had asked me [437v] to pray for them. When I only saw two ladies at her tomb, I asked my guide why there were so few people that day, since I had heard that pilgrims went there in large numbers. The guide replied that it was not a convenient time, being dinner time (on our return we did indeed hear the Angelus being rung in town), but that there were always people there. Coming across the cemetery warden on our way back, whom I wanted to see to confirm how many people visited the venerated grave, I stopped him, and asked him if the tomb “of the little Saint of Lisieux” was visited a lot, and he replied with certainty: “I’m no religious zealot, but I’m a Christian believer and I think she grants graces that are asked of her, since people pray to her and come in such large numbers to her tomb. During the holidays my son (who was with him in the carriage) drives pilgrims to her tomb every day, and when he’s not there, it’s my daughter who takes them; on average fifty of them come a day.” The testimony of this good man, even though my guide said that he didn’t practice his faith, seemed worthy of mention. I can also say that the grave [438r] is covered with flowers and that they are often replaced, because pilgrims take them out of devotion. The cross over the tomb is covered with inscriptions and invocations.      

[Session 38 – 29th October 1910, at 8.30am and at 2pm]

[442r] Answer to the twenty-seventh question]:

During the 8 years that I lived in Rome and worked as secretary to the two Generals of my Order, our Very Reverend Father Bernardin of Saint Teresa and our Very Reverend Father Raynauld Marie of Saint Just, who is currently Archbishop of Reggio Calabria, and with whom, in addition to part of Italy, I travelled to [442v] our convents in Austria, Poland, Hungary, Bavaria, Spain, Mount Carmel and our missionary stations in Syria, I would have been able to accurately gather a great deal of information that would have been very useful today. Unfortunately, I was far from imagining that one day I would have the opportunity of being a witness in the current trial of the Servant of God, so I didn’t dream of taking notes at opportune times during those years on what I heard with relation to our angelic Sister. However, I can testify that on many occasions, and in several places, especially in our Carmelite convents, I had the opportunity of talking and hearing about the “Story of a Soul”, and about the enormous trust that our charming little Sister’s amiable and easy and yet so heroic holiness inspires. God seems to have sent her in these modern times to attract all righteous and simple hearts to the very highest spirituality. As for stating particular facts with relation to the Servant of God, here is what I can remember:    

1st In 1904, when I was in Krakow [443r] with our Father General Raynauld Marie, and talking with the Carmelite nuns in Lobzowska Street, one Carmelite nun who spoke French, or the venerable Father Raphael of Saint Joseph, I couldn’t say who it was out of the two, said when talking about the sacristan, Sister Mary of the Child Jesus, that “she was passionate about her little Sister Thérèse and could obtain the sun and the rain from her at will.” All the Carmelite nuns of Lobzowska were equally enthusiastic about Sister Thérèse. The venerable Father Raphael, Provincial Vicar of Poland, accompanied us wherever we went, for about one and a half months, to Krakow, Przemysl, Lviv, Czerna and Wadowice. It was he who wrote the letter to the Reverend Mother of Lisieux on 9th October 1902, which is on page 3 of “Shower of Roses”, in the 1910 edition of “Story of a Soul”, (60,000 copies) n. VIII p.3 *.

2nd In Tripoli in Syria, where I stayed for 6 months, our Fathers were enchanted with our angelic Sister; and one day the Very Reverend Father Joseph of the Virgin Mary, Superior of the Carmelite mission in Syria and Provincial Vicar, said that he had been asked to build a station half way between Tripoli and Bicherry (Lebanon), so I suggested he build a chapel there with [443v] an altar dedicated to the Servant of God when she is beatified, and that’s what was agreed.

3rd Last year, in July 1909, when passing through Piacenza, I related in the visiting room of the Carmelite nuns of the town the marvels of the “Shower of Roses”. The Mother Prioress and her daughters then begged me to have some souvenirs and pictures of our little miracle-worker sent to them. With that in mind I wrote to kind Mother Agnes, the Prioress of Lisieux, who sent me the items requested. The parcel got lost on the way, and this provided the opportunity for a miracle to happen, which is related in the 1910 edition of her Story (60,000th copies), page 59 of “Shower of Roses”, n. CXX). The Reverend Prioress of Piacenza, Mother Thérèse-Louise of the Very Holy Sacrament, who has just been reelected to her post for the 3rd time consecutively with dispensation from Rome, wrote to me again recently: “We pray for your Reverence’s intentions and convey our gratitude for having put us in relation with the Carmelite Sisters in Lisieux… Several times they have sent us pictures and souvenirs of the angelic Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus… We like to hope that Jesus’ beloved spouse will grant us the graces we have asked for, graces that I wish for your Reverence also, etc.”    

[444r] 4th Some time before Lent this year 1910, I received from kind Mother Agnes of Lisieux several little pictures of the “Little Flower of Jesus”, as they like to call our angelic Sister Thérèse in England. I distributed them straight away to the novices and the lay friars of our convent of Concesa, as well as to the Reverend Novice Master, who was immediately stripped of them by other people.

5th As proof of the devotion that our Fathers have for Sister Thérèse, it has just been decided in Milan that a blank medallion will be left in the archway of the apse so that a fresco of Sister Thérèse can be painted onto it later when she is beatified. This archway is completely covered in medallions representing the Carmel’s saints. In the same way, a chapel in the new church of Corpus Domini, which is being finished in Milan, will later be dedicated to Blessed Thérèse, when she receives, as all of us hope she will, that title from the Church. In the meantime, the chapel will remain without a patron.    

[Has a certain industrious zeal contributed to the spreading of her reputation for holiness?]:

No, her reputation is developing spontaneously as people read her life story. [444v] As for the reprints of the book about her life, it is in no way the result of a propaganda campaign; but new copies have to be printed to satisfy the insistent and spontaneous requests that are made for them.  

WITNESS 5: Élie of the Mother of Mercy O.C.D.

[Answer to the twenty-eighth question]:

One day, a few years ago now (around 1905), I was in the visiting room of the Carmelite nuns of Trévoux, who are in exile in Rome, with their whole community, when the Reverend Mother Prior, who died piously a few years ago, or the ex-prioress, Mother Marie Louise (I can’t remember which one of the two it was) talking about the “Story of a Soul” said something to me that showed that she didn’t appreciate the book. I can’t remember her exact words now, only the idea stayed with me that this “Story” was considered by my interlocutor as “not very virile”; the fact is that this one dissonant note, that I’ve heard among all the praise I heard before and after this occasion, troubled me, because I love the Carmel of Trévoux exiled in Rome very much, as it is a very fervent and very edifying Carmel. Now, before coming to testify in front of this venerable court, [445r] I wanted to check which of the two Mothers had made this unenthusiastic remark. And this is the reply that Reverend Mother Sub-Prioress, who is called Thérèse of Jesus, has just given me. She writes to me in Italian, that’s why I am translating the original:          

Our Reverend Mother Prioress has asked me to reply to your letter immediately … Our dear Mother Marie-Louise said to our Reverend Mother Prioress that she certainly didn’t say anything about our little Saint, because she has never read Sister Thérèse’s life story all the way through; and she added that she feels great joy at the thought of her being glorified. We cannot remember what our dear Sister Marie of Jesus said in the visiting room, but what is certain, is that at present, in heaven, she is delighted to see how the Lord is making use of Sister Thérèse’s innocent life to do so much good on earth. The Lord wishes that in this century, where there is no true simplicity anymore, the simple life so full of amiability of the angelic “Little Flower” is evidence of the love that the divine Majesty has for souls who, as the Lord said, become like little children. Long live our little Sister and beloved [445v] Saint.”

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

I’ve just remembered something: about a month ago, Father Franco, aged 43, read or heard read in the refectory of our novitiate of Concesa, near Trezzo sull’Adda, the “Story of a Soul”, and afterwards, during recreation, he criticized her life for being too childish, and found that there was nothing very holy about our Sister Thérèse; but a few weeks later, just a few days before I left for Lisieux, one evening in the refectory on reading the same life story himself, namely the pas-[446r] sage where the little Saint recounts being in the laundry room, where she remained calm and still as one of the Sisters kept throwing dirty water in her face while washing the handkerchiefs. Afterwards, during recreation, Father Franco took back his first remark, and said that it really required heroic virtue to silently and patiently bear such actions, and became a great admirer of Sister Thérèse; and that’s what I’ve noticed over the past 11 years that I’ve known Sister Thérèse: all those who attentively read the “Story of a Soul”, become admirers of the Servant of God.

[Answer to the twenty-ninth question]

I know that every day a great number of letters arrive at the Carmel of Lisieux, relating exceptional graces and extraordinary events that are attributed to Sister Thérèse’s intercession. During the two days that I spent at Lisieux this week, I observed first hand that a day’s mail delivery is comprised of about 80 letters. The Reverend Mother Prioress has told me on many occasions who certain of her connections are. [446v] Here are some facts that I witnessed more directly:  

1st Towards the middle of July this year, at church I met Miss Teresita Morali, who is about 45 years old, and manager of Crespi Asylum and Prioress of the Sisters of our secular Third Order, which is established in our church of Concesa. She invited me to visit a dormitory where the workers at the Crespi establishment stay. On seeing “Story of a Soul” on one of the tables in the house, we took the opportunity to talk about the little Saint. The pious lady then solicited me for a souvenir of Sister Thérèse. I promised and the next day gave her a small envelope containing some of the Servant of God’s hair, asking her to pray for me. A few days later, she sent me a letter, the original of which I show to the courtroom. I will take the following passage from it, and again I am translating from the Italian: “I don’t yet know, my Reverend Father, if our cherished Saint has answered my prayers (with regard to what you desire); but I know very well that on that same day I was oppressed about having to do something that was very difficult for me for many reasons. And before you gave me the relic I prayed Our Lord to be good enough to deliver me from this nightmare if it was his will. Shortly afterwards I said the same prayer, pressing the holy relic to my heart. Barely a few minutes passed before I received a call giving me contrary orders, and which were precisely how I wanted them. Imagine my astonishment at this change and how much I thanked her!... Pray for me also, so that I might in all things seek to always do the will of God, and to very simply please him alone. To love God and make him loved was our Saint’s only goal. If she granted me a grace as big as this, I would have nothing more to wish for. Bless, Father, the last of your Sisters: Teresita Morali, 30-6-10.”  

2nd During the carnival of this year 1910, after having distributed to the novices and friars of our convent of Concesa small pictures of our Sister Thérèse, Friar Romée, our cook, noticed that in the church there was a certain Mr. Carlino Présezzi, a merchant from Trezzo, and well-known by everyone, crying bitterly. Friar Romée learned from the sacristan that he was crying in this way because his brother Ange’s only daughter, who was about one and a half years old, was dying of double pneu-[447v]monia, and had a very high temperature of over 41°. Carlino came to  ask us to recommend his little niece to the Blessed Virgin. Ange Presezzi, the father of the dying child, had already lost another little girl of that age to the same illness; that’s why he was now inconsolable. As soon as Carlino asked for the friars’ prayers, to obtain from the Blessed Virgin the recovery of his niece, the aforementioned Friar Romée cried out: “It’s not the Blessed Virgin we have to ask; let’s pray to our blessed little Sister whose pictures we received yesterday, she will grant us this grace.” Then he said to Carlino: “Go home, don’t worry, your niece will recover.” Whereupon Friar Romée and all the other lay friars recited 7 Pater and 7 Ave to Sister Thérèse for the recovery of the dying little girl. After a short space of time, (Trezzo is about 15 minutes away from there) Carlino hurried joyfully back saying that the child had recovered, and he wanted to drive Friar Romée and the other friars to his house to rejoice with them and show them what all the family was calling a miracle. The next day, however, the child fell ill again, but a fortnight later she had definitively recovered, and to this day she’s as fit as a fiddle. However the Presezzi, who asked us to pray to the Blessed Virgin, attributed this grace to the Mother of God, but our friars are convinced it’s through the intercession of Sister Thérèse that they obtained the recovery, which even the doctor of Trezzo called a miracle. On 10th October I wanted to see the Presezzi in Trezzo to make sure Friar Romée and his brothers’ tale was true, and I observed through the testimony of the widow Presezzi and her daughter Thérèse, who is about 22 years old, that everything happened just as I have told it, and they authorized me to make their name public.      

3rd On the morning of 25th October 1910, before noon, one of the extern sisters of the Carmel of Lisieux, where I was, came to inform me that a lady from Canada, with her child, wanted to see me. I went to the sisters’ visiting room, and this lady, who was a doctor’s wife, told me that she had come especially from Paris, to visit Sister Thérèse’s grave, because her child who was 6 and a half years old had recovered from a wound on his leg, after having said a novena to “his little Saint”, as the child called Sister Thérèse. The mother told me that her son had suffered from tuberculosis until the age of 4, with a wound on his foot that was so bad that doctors had wanted to amputate it, which hadn’t happened because Saint Anne had miraculously cured this first wound. Now, two and a half years later, there was a new wound on his leg. For three weeks, the wound had grown worse. On seeing this, the mother had very recently intended to join her husband in Paris, where he had gone before her, and to take her child with her; but in the meantime, she had begun a novena to little Sister Thérèse for her son, and at the end of the novena, he was completely cured. This lady went on to say that she had already received many graces from Sister Thérèse before this, especially a very great spiritual grace and that now, on her return to Canada, she wanted to become an apostle of Sister Thérèse. On the evening of the visit, I received a letter from the Reverend Mother Prioress, which reads as follows:

“I hope to see you before your trip to Bayeux, my Reverend Father. However, if you cannot come to the visiting room before you leave, I want to tell you what the Canadian lady reported to me on her return from her pilgrimage to our dear grave. Her child didn’t want to leave. He said to a man in the cemetery: “When I die, I want to be buried with my little Saint.” And when his mother said that he wouldn’t be brought back [449r] from Canada if he died, he said: “Well, I’ll nevertheless be buried with her, I’ll have her picture put with me and I’ll hold it in my hands, so it’ll be the same thing.” He wanted to write his name on the cross over her grave, and asked for the grace to take his first communion, so that one day he could become a priest. At this, if I may I would like to share a thought: if the healing of this child’s wound honours Sister Thérèse, the admirable enthusiasm I saw in this 6 and a half year old child for his “little Saint” and his request for the grace to take his first communion so that he could one day become a priest; these are spiritual miracles from Sister Thérèse, and are as admirable as many others.        

4th I would also like to add to what I have just said, that I read on page 45 of “Shower of Roses” in the appendix of “Story of a Soul” (60,000th copy, already quoted above) the document number LXXXIX, which is the letter from the Reverend Mother Prioress of the Carmel of Mangalore (West Indies), dated 7th June 1909, and sent to the Carmel of Lisieux, relating to Sister Marie of Calvary, who was healed of a complicated case of pneumonia, a liver illness and a kidney infection. It would perhaps not be without interest [449v] to say that I knew the Carmel of Mangalore very well, because it is I who went to Calicut in 1870 to meet at Beypoor Station the Very Reverend Mother Elie, who had travelled from Pau, with her other daughters to settle in Mangalore, where I then lived near them for over a year. So I can testify that the Carmel was very fervent at the time and much venerated in the town. Since then, I have always heard people speak of them with the same praise.

5th I want to transmit to the court a letter from the Reverend Father Ferdinand Fabre, a Carmelite Friar of Paris, which is addressed to the Reverend Mother Prioress of Lisieux, and in which he recounts a grace that the Servant of God recently granted for the redemption of a soul. I present it to the court. This is the key passage: “Paris, 25th October 1910, rue de la Pompe, 82… You are not unaware, my Reverend Mother, that in Paris we trust the Servant of God, Sister Thérèse, enormously, and that she has granted numerous favours. Here is one that I was informed of by a patient I was visiting in Passy, a few weeks ago. Mr. Brossard, a gentleman of independent means, rue de la Pompe, 15 (or 17), fell seriously ill. His condition was very

[450r] worrying, and he stubbornly refused to see the priest who wanted to hear his confession and administer the last sacraments to him. So they began a novena to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Before the novena was over, the patient saw the priest voluntarily; he confessed and with full acknowledgment received the sacrament of Extreme Unction. Yours etc. Signed F. FERDINAND.”

[Session 39: - 31st October 1910, at 8.30am]

[452r] [Continuation of the answer to the twenty-ninth question]:

6th I was an apostolic missionary in the West Indies from 1867 to 1898; now, although the first period (from 1867 to 1885) of my ministry was ordinarily fruitful, I was very struck by the extraordinary success of my efforts to convert pagans and protestants from 1886 to my departure in 1898. Even then, without knowing Sister Thérèse at all, I always thought that I owed my unexpected success to some unknown Carmelite Sister in some European Carmel, who was praying for me without knowing it; and I remember very well having expressed my conviction in a letter addressed many years before 1898 (I cannot remember the exact date) to the Very Reverend Father Alphonse a Matre Dolorosa, who is currently working with utmost zeal for our missions in Malabar, and who was then staying in Ypres and is now in Bruges. A printed version of this letter can most probably be found with many other of my letters that this Father, unbeknown to me, had printed in a Belgian review. Now, when I later read the “Story of a Soul” in Rome, and saw the apostolic zeal [452v] which devoured our cherished Sister, and her particular love for missionaries, noticing as well that she herself dated this expansion of zeal for souls in her heart at 1886, the idea came to me that it was she who was the unknown Carmelite Sister who had prayed for me, and obtained me the conversions to which her poor brother Élie had the consolation of leading non-believers and protestants. This thought has greatly contributed to my loving our dear apostolic Sister so much; and I can confirm that it was also a source of my devotion for the Servant of God.

7th I didn’t think I would have to report in my deposition a last fact which took place in Lisieux; but I was told I must say absolutely everything and I will report it for what it’s worth. The very day I came to Lisieux on the 24th of this month of October 1910, on entering the Carmel monastery, with the kind authorization of His Excellency the Bishop of Bayeux, to visit Sister Thérèse’s souvenirs; when I kissed the quill and pencil she had used, I cried out spontaneously: “Oh! What a lovely smell!” It’s because there was a lovely sweet scent coming from the box holding the quill [453r] and pencil, a scent of sandalwood that I knew very well from the Indies. I could smell the same sweet scent of sandalwood when I kissed other objects that had belonged to our cherished angel, but not all of them, because I remember very well not being able to smell anything when I kissed Sister Thérèse’s cloak and veil. However, the Sisters who were present couldn’t smell anything, other than the faint smell of mould; they insisted that they hadn’t put anything in the caskets or fabrics that could give off this scent; they believed that it was a miraculous scent that I could smell. I had absolutely no intention of testifying to this, because it could well have been a “fantasy” of mine making me believe I could smell this scent, however, when I kissed the quill and pencil, which were the first objects to exude this scent of sandalwood, I wasn’t in the least thinking about miraculous scents, and at least for the first objects it couldn’t have been a “fantasy”, and for that reason I decided to naively exhibit this fact, even though I believe I am very unworthy of the favour that the little Saint wanted to give me; unless it was a trick of the demon to tempt me into vanity and lead me into believing that Sister Thérèse, whom I love so much, was showing me tenderness, and thereby toyed with me; but “non nobis, Domine, non nobis, [453v] sed nomini tuo da gloriam. In te, Domine, speravi, non confundar in aeternum” - *Ps. 113, 1; 30th 2 - .    

[Before going to venerate the objects that the Servant of God had used, had you heard about perfumes extraordinarily emanating from her clothes, etc.?]:

I read something in a letter, dating from at least a year ago; but I wasn’t thinking about it at all when I began venerating the souvenirs, it was purely by surprise and without thinking that I spontaneously cried out: “What a lovely smell” If I had thought it to be an extraordinary phenomenon, I would certainly have abstained from saying anything in front of the Sisters, and I would have withheld the impression I felt.

[Answer to the thirtieth question]:

I see nothing to change or add to my answers.

[454r] [Concerning the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already testified in answer to the preceding questions].

[This marks the end of the interrogation of this witness. The Acts are read out. The witness makes no modification to them and signs as follows]:

Ita pro veritate deposui , ratum habeo et confirmo.

Signatum: Frater ELIAS A MATRE MISERICORDIAE

carmelita excalceatus, missionaritis apost.