From Sr Françoise-Thérèse Martin (Léonie) to her three Carmelite sisters – 21st November 1898
Dearest little sisters
I have come, on this fine feast of the Presentation of the Most Blessed Virgin, to tell you of the request that I made to our aunt yesterday evening.
Suddenly compelled by an idea that could have come only from Thérèse, I told her of my desire to join the Visitation. I said to her, “Dear Aunt, in honour of your feast day I ask you to kindly let me leave on 29th January or on 2nd February, the feast of the Purification.” And I explained my reasons to her, which seem very legitimate to me: “Joining on Easter Tuesday will cast a painfully shadow over Easter for us both, will it not? What’s more, leaving you costs me so dearly that the earlier it is done, the better it is.”
Our dear aunt listened to me with a motherly ear and replied, “I do not oppose it if your uncle consents, but I must speak to him about it.” I was very moved and hugged her with all my strength.
Now, little sisters, I’m counting on you entirely to plead my case skilfully and well, especially to our uncle. Remember the promise you made me, “If you are very good, we will spare you a few months of your trial year.” Well, I’m not at all good, but I am full of goodwill and have boundless trust in Jesus, who constantly showers me with blessings. With His help, I can fly away with wings outstretched, I can feel it. And you’ll see, I’ll be your consolation; you won’t have any reason to regret letting me go. Rest assured that it is God’s will, so I have no fear and I surrender myself completely.
See you on Friday, darling sisters. I send you lots of love and kisses.