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Ms A 63r

[63r°] in a white cassock, with a cape of the same color, and on his head was a little skullcap. Around him were cardinals, archbishops, and bishops, but I saw them only in general, being occupied solely with the Holy Father. We passed in front of him in procession; each pilgrim knelt in turn, kissed [5] the foot and hand of Leo XIII, received his blessing, and two noble guards touched him as a sign to rise (touched the pilgrim, for I explain myself so badly one would think it was the Pope).

Before entering the pontifical apartment, I was really determined to speak, but I felt my courage weaken when I saw Father Révérony standing by the Holy Father’s right side. Almost at the same [10] instant, they told us on the Pope’s behalf that it was forbidden to speak, as this would prolong the audience too much. I turned toward my dear Céline for advice: “Speak!” she said. A moment later I was at the Holy Father’s feet. I kissed his slipper and he presented his hand, but instead of kissing it I joined my own and lifting [15] tear-filled eyes to his face, I cried out: “Most Holy Father, I have a great favor to ask you!”

[24] The Sovereign Pontiff lowered his head toward me in such a way that my face almost touched his, and I saw his eyes, black and deep, fixed on me and they seemed to penetrate to the depths of my soul. “Holy Father, in honor of your Jubilee, permit me to enter Carmel at the age of fifteen!”

[16] Emotion undoubtedly made my voice tremble. He turned to Father Révérony who was staring at me with surprise and displeasure and said: “I don’t understand very well.” Now if God had permitted it, it would have been easy for Father Révérony to obtain what I desired, but it was the cross [20] and not consolation God willed to give me.

“Most Holy Father,” answered the Vicar General, “this is a child who wants to enter Carmel at the age of fifteen, but the Superiors are considering the matter at the moment.” “Well, my child,” the Holy Father replied, looking at me kindly, “do what the Superiors tell you!” Resting my hands

 


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