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First communions

 

 

See here holy cards of the 1st communion of Thérese

Marie

Pauline

Léonie

Céline

Thérèse

Marie plus jeune

Pauline plus jeune Leonie plus jeune Celine plus jeune TH plus jeune
Fr. Boulangé, chaplain of the Visitation, provided the catechism.
Fr. Boulangé, chaplain of the Visitation, provided the catechism.
Catechism begun at the Visitation of Le Mans and finished at the rectory of Notre-Dame of Alençon.
Catechism given by Fr. Domin, chaplain at the Abbey. As well, Sr. Agnès of Jesus made a preparation booklet for the 1st communion of Céline. Click here to see photos of the booklet.
Catechism given by Fr. Domin, chaplain at the Abbey. As well, Sr. Agnès of Jesus made a preparation booklet for Thérèse’s first communion. See the photos here.

Date: July 2, 1869

Place: Visitation of Le Mans

Read the remembrances of Marie about her first communion.

Date: July 2nd, 1872

Place: the Visitation of Le Mans

Read the remembrances of Pauline about her first communion.

Date: May 23rd, 1875

Place: Notre-Dame of Alençon.

Read the remembrances of Léonie about her first communion.

Date: May 13th, 1880.

Place: Abbey Notre Dame du Pré, Lisieux.

Read Céline’s memoir about her first communion.

Date: May 8th, 1884.

Place: Abbey Notre Dame du Pré, Lisieux.

Read the remembrances of Thérèse about her first communion.

 
Pauline received as a present a Diurnal de Bayeux [missal] with gilded edges and an ivory binding (12.5 x 9 cm or 5 x 3.5 inches) with a golden clasp.

 

Céline received the gift of a Roman missal with a gilt edge and a binding in carved ivory (11.5 x 8.5 cm or 4 ½ x 3 ¼ inches) with an ivory clasp.
Thérèse received and Imitation with a gilded edge, bound in blue leather (10 x 7 cm or 4 x 2 ¾ inches).

 

A little mail
A little mail
A little mail
A little mail
A little mail

From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin on July 11, 1869:

I’m very happy that Marie, despite her young age (her first communion had been moved up for health reasons) made her first communion. If you knew how well prepared she was; she looked like a little saint. The chaplain said he was very satisfied with her; he gave her the first prize in catechism. I spent in Mans the two most beautiful days of my life. I rarely have felt as much happiness.

From Marie of the Sacred Heart to Céline. July 15th, 1891: On July 2nd, this 21st anniversary of my 1st communion left in my soul lots of memories and deep reflections...O dear little sister, time is nothing, the joys of the earth are nothing, dreams of the future are nothing, the cross alone counts on earth. I wrote to Mme Costard (a sister at Bon Sauveur hospital) to get news of our dear little father. Tell me, Céline, what mystery is life? Do you understand this mystery?

From Sr. Marie-Dosithée to M and Mme Guérin. June 9th, 1872.

I beg you to pray a lot for my little Pauline to make a good first communion. This is such a serious thing and which will have a good influence for the rest of her life. I always fear that her natural light heartedness will deprive her of some of the graces she could receive.

 

From Pauline to M and Mme Guérin. June 13th, 1872.

My dear Godfather and my dear Aunt,
I’m writing you to share the happiness I will have on July 2nd, day of my first communion and to ask that you have the goodness to really pray for me so that I am well prepared. I promise my dear Godfather and my dear Aunt, that I won’t forget you on this beautiful day; I would be very ungrateful if I did that. You have always had so much kindness for me that I will ask the good God to repay you and grant you all that you desire. Above all, that he protect you.

I thank you my dear Godfather for the beautiful book that you sent me for my first communion. I’m very grateful for it and it will be for me a double remembrance. But I wish I could see you with my aunt, my happiness would be complete because Papa, Mama and my godmother (note: Pauline Romet) will be there. Dear Uncle and dear Aunt, I kiss you respectfully.

Your very affectionate little niece,

Pauline Martin, child of Jesus.

From Pauline to Mme Guérin. August (?), 1882.

The sweet voice that was heard in my heart on the day of my first Communion has grown with the years. I always listened to it with happiness. It was something so sweet, so beautiful. And this voice always said: “Come come...”


 

From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin, December 13th, 1874.

As for Léonie, I can’t ask you to send toys because she doesn’t enjoy them anymore, she works. You may give her a rosary for her first Communion which will be the day of the Holy Trinity. She knows her catechism perfectly and answers the questions better than I would have believed. If she didn’t get upset she would be one of the first. I took her on pilgrimage last Tuesday to the church of the Immaculate Conception a Séez so that she makes a good first Communion.


 

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Céline. Around December 20, 1882.

You’re not only my sister, my goddaughter (of confirmation), you are still and forever my dear little girl, the child I prepared for her first communion, yes, that I brought to Jesus for the first time! Oh! But these titles are too beautiful for me not to claim. (…) Always be very good, remember your First Communion, that thought will give you courage during difficult moments.

From Sister Agnès to Céline. January 1883.

I kiss you first of all, my dear, I need to caress you as tenderly as in the past. Let me take you then on my knees like the year of your first Communion!...Oh! It was so sweet, wasn’t it, our little evenings of preparation? I have a delightful memory of it. My little child, you must remember the beautiful day of your first Communion in order to encourage yourself to do good, and the promises you made to Jesus in all the fervor of this blessed day.

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Céline. December (?) 1883.

…my little Célin, my own little girl who I took to the good God on the day of her First Communion. I am your Godmother and with these titles I may claim my rights. Let’s see, isn’t it so, little girl that your little heart is my inheritance, my property. Oh! I will do beautiful things on my property. I will build a magnificent palace there where the little Jesus, the Blessed Virgin and the angels will like to come to rest during their duties here on earth and then I will plant beautiful walkways. I will sow beautiful flowers there, from the lily of innocence to the little violet of humility. Won’t this be charming? But I need your help, I am the architect and engineer, you are the mason and gardener.

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Céline. March 18-19th, 1888.

Little Célin whose foot hurts, I love you like my dear little girl who I prepared for her first communion…

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Céline. February 28 (?),1889. Goodbye, my dear little girl, if you knew how much I love you! It is long ago that I cradled you on my knees when speaking to you about your First Communion! What sweet memories for my heart. This is a special link between your soul and mine.

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Céline. October 22nd, 1889: Goodbye my little girl who I prepared for her First Communion. Oh! Happy day! But one will come that is happier still.

From Mother Geneviève to M. Martin. March 28-29, 1884.

Monsieur, it is with a joy equal to that of your dear child that I announce her admission to Holy Profession. Her wish is that this much awaited day coincides with the first communion of your dear Angel. We hope to be able to accommodate this desire. You are truly a happy Father because God generously pours down his blessings upon your interesting family. Please offer our best wishes to them and to Mr and Mme Guérin whose children rival yours in every respect.

From Mother Marie de Gonzague to Thérèse-end of December 1882 or January 1883

I permit my future little girl to think of her holy little Carmelite sister before the Jesus of her heart but never during the night; Thérèse will sleep all night, will eat all that her beloved sister Marie wishes her to eat and from now on. To prepare herself for her first Communion, she is going to be very obedient.

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse, February 7th (?), 1884.

I am very happy with you. Marie told me about your good resolutions and I find you very reasonable and very nice. Little Jesus will be the first to reward you for your sacrifice, I don’t doubt. As for me, my dear, I promise you that I will be faithful to the little letter you ask me for. Every week it will come to tell you how much I think of you, of your First Communion. Right now, I’m making the famous little notebook. I’ve already spent an infinite amount of time on it but I’m not tired and plan to make it as beautiful as possible. I don’t think that Céline will be jealous, her soul and her height are too big!

From Sister Agnés of Jesus to Thérèse, February 14th (?), 1884.

I promised Marie this morning to give you the little notebook (for preparing for the 1st communion) for the beginning of March. I’m still working on it. I hope that my younger sister is also working hard to cultivate her little earth. To sow as beautiful flowers there as those in the little notebook, you mustn’t leave a single weed…Oh! When I think that in three months Jesus will come to rest in your little child’s heart, in my Thérésita’s heart!...You must, my dear, spare nothing in making your soul a little Heaven that the Infant Jesus desires to live in forever!... Ah! If this sweet Infant the king would already be the love of your heart. What is more delightful on earth than Jesus? Jesus in his cradle, Jesus in the heart of Thérésita…dozing in the middle of flowers!

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse on February 21st (?), 1884.

I think you are always cultivating the little earth of your heart. You must because in several days the planting of flowers will begin. O my Thérèse, can you think of it? In scarcely three months little Jesus will come for the first time to rest in your heart! He’s the same one, yes, the same one that the Blessed Virgin held in her arms, that she swaddled, laid in his cradle, rocked on her knees! It’s this little Child so beautiful, so delightful that he is now the joy of Heaven! It’s he!... O my dear, the day of first Communion is the most beautiful day in life, it’s a day from Heaven! Ask Céline about it! But to taste these infinite charms, one must make of one’s heart a little angel heart. Don’t forget this, my youngest sister.

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse on February 28th, 1884.

I am announcing this much talked about little notebook for tonight. When I think that Saturday morning my Thérésita is going to begin her big preparation. Only two and a half months, and little Jesus is going to come down for the first time into your heart! Oh! You must use well these two and a half months! What work to do, for flowers to be sown in so little time! But my dear, look at nature that begins almost the same day as you to recreate her set of jewels. We already see buds on the trees in the garden, soon the flowers will come. During the month of May all is charming to look at. Well, if nature does this just to please our eyes, won’t you do it too, Thérésita of the Child Jesus? To receive and give pleasure to the beloved little Child at his first waking in your heart? But I hear your answer and I feel it is almost unnecessary to encourage you when one has a good little heart like yours, my dear! I feel that from afar Jesus himself invites, encourages his little sister to work for Him. What are the encouragements of your poor Agnès compared to the sweet words of little Jesus…Goodbye my little Thérésita, if your garden is blooming, if all is ready when the big day comes, really believe that Jesus for his part will not come with empty hands! Ah! If you knew the delicious treasures hidden in the little Host of a First Communion that is well prepared!

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse, April 3rd, 1884.

What happiness, my little dear, that your First Communion will be May 8th. Oh! It will be sweet to give myself to God the same day you do.

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse, May 6th, 1884.

Tomorrow yet and the Jesus will come to dwell in the flower bed of my Thérésita, He will come at the same time to live in the poor bed of Agnès!...Which of the two will win in beauty and richness? Ah! I know it well, but I know also that the little Jesus of Thérésita isn’t difficult, rather He is merciful and indulgent.

       
Letter of Father Domin in December 1898.
I see her sitting on the benches of catechism class, and edifying us with her simple and innocent piety as well as the extraordinary zeal she put into instructing herself in religious truths. I remember the day of her first communion and I think I can still hear her pronounce her act of consecration to the Most Blessed Virgin.
(see a photo of this moment, dating from the 1930's).