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Officially Appointed Co-Witness 2 - Jeanne-Marie of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, O.C.D.

 

Jeanne-Marie Halgaud was born in the Parish of Crossac (Diocese of Nantes) and, before she was twenty, entered the Carmel of Lisieux as a lay Sister under the name of Jeanne-Marie of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face. She was professed on 17th October 1907. An “angel of virtue and piety”, as Marie of the Angels defined her (p.613r.), she was tasked with preparing picture-relics of the Servant of God, whose renown for holiness was spreading amazingly.

Her testimony relates to events that seem to border on the wondrous, and particularly to this one: the inexplicable multiplication of the Order’s little crests that Jeanne-Marie used in her work.

The witness testified on 17th March 1911, in the 68th session, pp. 1118v-1122r of our Public Copy.

[Session 68: - 17th March 1911, at 2pm]

[1118v] [The co-witness answers the first question correctly].

[Answer to the second question]:

My name is Jeanne Marie Halgaud, in religion Sister Jeanne Marie of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face. I was born on 17th October 1886 in L'Isle-Olivant, in the Parish of Crossac, Diocese of Nantes, of the legitimate marriage between Denis Halgaud, a fisherman, and Marie-Modeste Poulot. I am a lay Sister of the Carmel of Lisieux, where I was professed on 17th October 1907.

[The co-witness answers questions three to six correctly]:

[Answer to the seventh question]:

I don’t believe that any human sentiment could blind or influence my testimony.

[Answer to the eighth question]:

I only know Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus from reading her life story and from everything our Sisters at the Carmel have told me.

[Answer to the ninth question]:

I have a great devotion for the Servant of God, because her example and her protection do me a great deal of good. I pray every day for the success of her Cause.

[Having omitted the other questions, we come to the twenty-ninth question, the reason for summoning the co-witness. Answer]:

I’ve adopted the practice of ceaselessly turning and praying to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. The memory of her and her example continually encourage me to live in fervour. I entrust my whole spiritual life to the Servant of God, and very often I feel [1119v] the effect of her protection. Apart from the good thoughts and inner encouragements that I attribute to her without the slightest hesitation, I’ve had, on different occasions, extraordinary signs of her intercession. On different occasions, I thought I smelt incense, violets or roses in circumstances where there was no natural explanation, and particularly when I happened to perform some kind gesture leading me to imitate her virtues. Here are four other more remarkable events:

1st For a week in the year 1907, I found myself working in the kitchen alone, since one of my companions was ill. I offered, out of love for God, to generously and without complaining do the work of two people, even though normally I had difficulty finishing my own duties and never had a second to spare. Every morning that week, I prayed to the Servant of God to help me keep my resolution. I would say to her: “Little Thérèse, help me.” I would then feel clothed with incredible courage; I accomplished my double task without feeling the least bit tired; I even wanted to do more work, it cost me nothing at the thought [1120r] I was imitating Sister Thérèse and pleasing Jesus.

2nd Dear little Sister Thérèse wants me to be faithful in everything. For three days, the 26th, 27th and 28th September 1910, out of negligence I had kept three handkerchiefs in my cell, when we’re only allowed two. The thought that my invisible angel, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, reproached me for this infidelity followed me everywhere. Finally in the morning of 29th September, when the feeling of reproach was stronger, I swiftly put a handkerchief back in the cupboard where they’re kept. I therefore only had two left. The following evening, 30th September, the anniversary of Sister Thérèse’s rebirth in heaven, I went at eight o’clock in the evening to help an elderly Sister who was ill go to bed. She said to me: “Little Sister, I haven’t got any handkerchiefs left, would you mind asking the nurse to give me some?” As I left, I thought I could hear Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus inwardly saying to me: “It’s the time of great silence! Instead of talking to the nurse, give her one of the handkerchiefs in your cell”, which I did without saying anything and nothing else happened that evening. But the following morning I was surprised to find, when I went for my [1120v] clothes, that there were two handkerchiefs neatly folded one on top of the other, and at the same time I felt a very great desire to be faithful in little things and very eager to do little things to assist others like the Servant of God.

3rd On the Thursday after Christmas 1910, I spent half an hour of my free time preparing little packets in which we put souvenirs of the Servant of God, and onto which we stick the Vice-Postulator’s coat of arms. I wanted, in my free time, to prepare a large number of these packets and surprise our Mother Prioress with them on her feast day (21st January). Whilst working, I inwardly talked to “my Sister in heaven”; I spoke about my soul, I told her my problems, and above all I told her I was afraid of not having enough time to prepare all the little packets I wanted to present to Mother Agnès of Jesus. I was particularly anxious about the fact that there were only a hundred or so little coat of arms left in the box, and that I needed time to find and cut out some more. At 10 o’clock I stopped working and went down to the kitchen. When I went back to our cell at three o’clock, I was stunned to find the box completely filled with “cut out authenticating stamps”; there must have been eight or nine hundred of them, when [1121r] at 10 o’clock that morning, there were between a hundred and a hundred thirty left. As it was a “free” day, I thought that perhaps one of the Sisters who cuts out the “authenticating stamps” had wanted to surprise me. I asked each of them, but nobody had thought to work for me. I’m certain that it was Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus’ response to the request I’d made that morning. I thank my “little Sister in heaven” continually and pray to her to always help me in everything.

4th On Wednesday 23rd February 1910 I was busy cleaning windows when, at about four o’clock in the evening, the thought came to me to help Marie-Madeleine, the cook, fill up the stove’s boiler. It was a big sacrifice and disturbed me in my work, but my little Sister Thérèse, to whom I’ve grown used to constantly praying for help, had inspired me. I therefore promptly went down to the kitchen. Sister Marie-Madeleine said: “First empty the boiler of the hot water that’s left and then we’ll fill it up.” I did what she asked me until the boiler was completely empty. Then Sister Marie-Madeleine said: “Good, let’s fill it up with cold water now. I’ll go to the pump and fill up this jug (which she was holding), while you pour the water from this jug, which is already full, into the boiler.” I therefore poured all of the water in, and took it to Sister Marie-Madeleine empty. I then took the second jug that she’d just filled up and carried it to pour into the boiler; but, as I got closer, I saw that the boiler was already completely full. So I said to my companion: “Come and see this! The boiler can hold four jugs of water, I’ve only poured one in, and it’s full! What does it mean?... But I don’t understand at all!... Did you fill it up?...” She replied: “I’m coming! You can see very well that I’ve only filled up one jug! But that’s extraordinary!” We thought “God sent an angel, and the angel is our dear little Thérèse. She so loved charity! We wanted to help each other charitably, and our little Sister in heaven did everything.”

[1122r] [Here ends the interrogation of this co-witness. The Acts are read out. The co-witness makes no amendment to them and signs as follows]:

I’ve deposed above according to the truth, I ratify and confirm it.

Signed: Sister JEANNE-MARIE OF THE CHILD JESUS u.c.n