Print

Léonie remembers her 1st communion


"This day was not the most beautiful day of my life because my childhood and early youth were spent in suffering, the most bitter ordeals."

Confidence made to Father Piat.

The lines that follow are not by Léonie.

At the Visitation in 1873, “she wears out a catechism in a month, without knowing anything at the end” (letter of Madame Martin, December 13, 1873). At the end of January 1874, she made a new try at schooling at the Visitation of Mans, as a way to prepare for First Communion. A new outbreak of eczema, making her nervous, did not incline the rebellious student to study; the attempt would end on April 6th. Back home, Léonie showed a lot of enthusiasm for parish catechism which she diligently attended since October 1874. Were it not for the state of confusion the questions threw her into, she would be among the first. Madame Martin postponed urgent work until evening to prepare Léonie herself. She wrote to Madame Guérin on March 14, 1875: “Léonie received Absolution. She was afraid of not being prepared well enough and this attitude pleased me.” The First Communion took place at Notre-Dame of Alençon on the feast of the Holy Trinity, May 23rd, 1875. All was joy and happiness without frowns. According to tradition among wealthy families a poor child, Armandine Dagorau, whose clothing had been paid for, had dinner with them.Thérèse, only twenty eight months old but who showed an amazing precocity, would later tell of certain details of the day in her autobiography and how the next day or soon after, she accompanied her mother and her sister to the mother’s house of the little girl they invited:I remember very well her First Communion and especially the moment she picked me up in her arms and carried me into the rectory. It seemed so nice to be carried by a big sister all in white like myself! In the evening they put me to bed early as I was too little to stay up for the banquet, but I can still see Papa coming at dessert time, carrying a piece of cake to his little Queen.

I remember very well her First Communion and especially the moment she picked me up in her arms and carried me into the rectory. It seemed so nice to be carried by a big sister all in white like myself! In the evening they put me to bed early as I was too little to stay up for the banquet, but I can still see Papa coming at dessert time, carrying a piece of cake to his little Queen.
Manuscrit A, folio 6v°

 

Back to the 1st communions