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The writings

 

 

A 'little' process

 

Such is the Latin name for the Process of Writings: processiculus. The process of Thérèse’s writings was short, lasting for only seven sittings over a period of less than one month. Ten witnesses were heard, including Dr La Néele and the principal owners of texts written by Thérèse; all these witnesses would all be reheard in the main trial. This preliminary trial also served to establish the procedure, not only for the judges, but also the transcribers and witnesses. The trial may have been small, but it was important in terms of the objective set and the information produced. Its chief interest lay in gathering together almost all of Thérèse’s writings, which were grouped into four main categories: large manuscripts, correspondence, theatrical plays, and poems, not counting her other, less important texts. The documentation gathered also reflected the principal beneficiaries, therefore the writings received by Sr Geneviève were kept together, and these included poems, fiction and letters.

 

 

As in the other trials, transcriptions were made of the writings, but were very carefully and meticulously checked against the originals. The process of writings was essential on two counts, which were later disputed. There were indeed three separate manuscripts of an autobiographical nature, even though the first eleven chapters of Story of a Soul would lead to believe that only one document existed.

The writings contained no spoken words of Thérèse. In the main trial, Mother Agnes would certainly be able to contribute a selection of her last conversations as evidence, whereas the court, for its part, would request for a second transcription of the chief manuscripts to be appended to the case file for the trial at the Vatican.

 

 

Proces-des-ecrits-lt

Team comprised of Fathers Dubosq, Quirié and Deslandes in the garden of the Carmel of Lisieux.

 

Little Process relating to the Search for Writings of the Servant of God

Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face   (1910)

 

ecrits-titre

Proces-des-ecrits-sceaux

Click on the image to view the collection of transcribed texts, i.e. 4 bound volumes.

Stamps authenticating Thérèse’s texts following transcription.

    

In early 1909, the position of Postulator of the Beatification Cause was assigned to Carmelite Friar Rodrigue de S. François de Paule, who, mindful to act quickly, appealed to the Holy See in early 1910 in order to immediately set about collecting writings of Thérèse in the diocese of Bayeux‑Lisieux and elsewhere. This was unusual, because the local bishop was the one who had the right to collect texts written by Servants of God. Upon the Postulator’s application, the Holy See directly intervened. It can therefore be seen from the documents that the “Processiculus” was carried out “Apostolica auctoritate”. This is stated explicitly on the frontispiece and at the beginning of the documentation, as well as in the Acts; Mgr T. Lemonnier, Bishop of Bayeux‑Lisieux, was designated “Delegatus Apostolicus” and his signature accompanies that title; the Vicar General Auguste Quirié, who was the Court Judge in place of the bishop, was designated “Subdelagatus Apostolicus” and signed accordingly. The “Processiculus” of the writings was therefore also "Apostolic".

By requesting a special indult, the Postulator must have already suspected that Thérèse’s writings would, in a sense, pose a problem. It would also explain why he took such a step, fearing that a long wait might jeopardise the Cause. The Sacred Congregation of Rites gave the expected dispensation in ruling 194/X of 10th February 1910, thereby opening the path to Thérèse’s glorification from the Vatican itself and upon papal authorisation. Barely 15 years later, Pope Pius XI would say of her in his canonisation homily, “Indeed, God enriched her with a quite exceptional wisdom, so that she was enabled to trace out for others a sure way of salvation.” And this was primarily a result of the humble writings that were to be collected in 1910 for this Little Process of Writings.

With a view to the upcoming investigation, the Sacred Congregation immediately drafted the Procedural Norms and questions to put to the witnesses (1st March 1910), and submitted the document to Mgr Lemonnier together with a letter dated 5th March (cf pp 3v‑6v). This evidently facilitated the working process, as it gave an early indication of the various formalities that were required. By mid-March, the documents were in the hands of the bishop of Bayeux‑Lisieux, who immediately wrote to Mother Agnes of Jesus saying that he wished to set to work at once. Mother Agnes herself directly passed on the news to Fr Rodrigue: “Your Reverence must infer how grateful we all are! The step that you kindly took on behalf of his Lordship the Bishop has moved us beyond words (. . .) Monsignor Lemonnier, Bishop of Bayeux, wrote this morning to tell me of his mandate, which he will observe without delay.” (Letter of 18th March 1910 to Fr Rodrigue).

Meanwhile, before writing his own “mandate”, Mgr Lemonnier appointed the court members with a view to searching for writings. In his role as sub-delegator, having transferred his powers as presiding judge to his vicar general Auguste Quirié (+ 1930), he nominated Canon Pierre‑Théophile Dubosq (1860‑1932) fiscal procurator, and Eucher Deslandes (1849‑1922) notary-actuary. According to the court records of this Little Process of Writings, the presiding judge of the court that was composed with a view to the search for Thérèse’s writings, just like that of the Formal Investigative Process and the Apostolic Process, was Auguste Quirié , who was also vicar general. These individuals, who are now familiar to us, showed themselves worthy of Thérèse’s Cause, serving it with great solicitude and dedication.

The court held its first strictly judicial sitting at the bishopric of Bayeux in the presence of the Bishop himself on 24th March 1910. Once the documents from the Vatican had been opened and read, Mgr Lemonnier gave Canon Deslandes the order to draft the pastoral letter, which the Bishop signed on 4th April and disseminated throughout the diocese. A copy of it can be seen among the acts of the first sitting, and the solemn and discrete expressions it employs reveal not only the esteem that was held for the one whose “name (...) has become known in several countries of Europe, Africa, Asia and America” (p.7r), but also the hope that was held to bring about “the successful completion of the cause of a soul who appears to have been a model of simplicity and trusting love in God” (p. 8r) There were six further sittings. The 2nd and 3rd took place at the Carmelite Convent of Lisieux on 23rd and 24th May 1910. All the witnesses were already known from previous trials.

The 6th sitting took place on 27th May in the sacristy of Bayeux Cathedral. During this meeting, noting that all known writings had been gathered and that the Promoter had no objections, the presiding judge gave the order to carry out the transcription of all the process acts (pp. 24v‑25v). The 7th sitting was the closing sitting. It took place on 12th June at the bishopric of Bayeux in the presence of Mgr T. Lemonnier and the members of the Court. Once the notary had declared that the genuine writings had been collected rapidly and the transcriptions had been verified against the originals (this was carried out on 9th May and following days, and therefore prior to the trial’s actual judicial inquiry at the Carmel of Lisieux carried out by E. Deslandes and C. Marie [1849‑1912]), the process itself could be declared concluded. The Bishop reviewed the volume containing the “Transumptum” to be sent to the Vatican as well as the transcripts of the writings, and sealed the documents as required. The following day Mgr Lemonnier wrote a cover letter explaining the work that the Court had completed, informing the Sacred Congregation of Rites that the “Transumptum” and transcriptions of Thérèse’s writings would be taken to the Vatican by Canon E. Deslandes himself.

As intended, on 25th June 1910, Canon Deslandes handed over the documents to Mgr Filippo di Fava, substitute of the Congregation of Rites (cf. Annals n° 6, 1930). Over a year later, the “Processiculus” was investigated on 21st August 1911. Thérèse’s writings were then given for examination to a theologian censor, who issued his approval on 6th December 1912. During the Ordinary Congregation of Rites on 10th December, and upon the Postulator’s authority, Cardinal J. Gotti, O.C.D., Ponent or Relator of the Cause, put the Servant of God’s writings forward for review. The Congregation ruled “Nihil obstat quominus procedi possit ad ulteriora” and Pope Pius X gave his approval the following day, 11th December.

The way for the Cause was therefore open.

 

*

 

Pastoral letter of His Lordship the Bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux ordering the search for writings of the Servant of God Thérèse of

the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, Carmelite nun of Lisieux.

 

Thomas‑Paul‑Henri Lemonnier, by the grace of God and the authority of the apostolic Holy See, Bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux, to the clergy and the faithful of the diocese, salvation and blessing in Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Dearest brothers,

30th September 1897 marked, in the Carmel of Lisieux, the pious death of a professed nun aged a little over 24. Barely thirteen years have passed since the event and yet the name of this Carmelite has become known in several countries of Europe, Africa, Asia and America; her autobiography has been translated into several languages, and many faithful invoke her in private prayer. It has been decided, for the glory of Our Lord, to request the initiation in the Vatican court of the Beatification [7v] Cause of the Servant of God Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. The regulations of the Church require that writings of the Servant of God be searched for and examined. On 5th March this year, the Sacred Congregation of Rites invited me to conduct this search. Consequently, under penalty of ecclesiastical censure, I order all those in possession of any tracts, booklets, meditations, speeches, letters, requests, memoires or other works having come from the Servant of God, whether written by her hand, upon her dictation or on her order, to submit them to me or, failing this, to send me genuine transcriptions of them. Those who do not possess these writings themselves but know of their existence are obliged to inform me as to in whose hands they are held.

Any such writings or information must be given either to the secretary general of this bishopric before 20th May of this year, or at the commission to be held to this end which will meet at the Carmel of Lisieux on 24th and 25th May. The faithful will be able to make their submissions by intermediary of their parish priest or confessor.

[8r] I trust that priests and faithful will respond to this appeal in the greatest of haste and will help to bring about the successful completion of the cause of a soul who appears to have been a model of simplicity and trusting love in God. The present decree shall be issued at the moment of the sermon in all the parish churches and public chapels of this diocese on three consecutive Sundays, beginning with the Sunday following its receipt.

Issued in Bayeux, by my hand, the seal of my arms and the counter-signature of the general secretary of the bishopric on 4th April 1910, on the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin.

THOMAS, Bp of Bayeux and Lisieux

By decree of His Lordship the Bishop: Canon A. HAMEL, secretary general of the bishopric.

 

 

[Sitting 2: ‑ 23rd May 1910, at 2:30 in the afternoon]

[9v] [Questioning of Doctor La Néele]

1. I [Presentation of the witness]:

My name is Francisque‑Lucien‑Sulpice La Néele. I am a doctor of medicine in Lisieux. I was born in Paris on 18th October 1858, and am a first cousin through marriage to the Servant of God.

II. [Number and description of the writings submitted by the witness]:

I possess several texts written by the Servant of God, one of them being a piece of verse concerning me personally (4th vol., p. 28 v). The others relate to Mrs La Néele, who will be able to offer a more precise description of them.

I possess the original document that concerns me, and I keep it with my family papers; I gave the original document to the prioress of the Carmelite convent, who had it transcribed and added to the book of papers (vol. 4, p. 28 v). The transcription and the original were submitted to the deputy notary, who certified their conformity.

III. [Does the witness possess other writings?]:

None.

IV. [Does anyone else possess other writings?]:

It is widely known that the Servant of God wrote other texts, most of which must be in the hands of the Carmelite nuns of Lisieux and particularly her sisters: Marie, Pauline, Céline and also Léonie at the Visitation Convent of Caen. But I do not know the content of these documents.

V. [Have any writings disappeared through fraud or accident?]:

I do not believe so.

[The testimony is read aloud to the witness, who approves and signs it]:

Doctor LA NÉELE, deposui ut supra.

2

[Questioning of Mrs Jeanne Guérin]

My name is Marie‑Elisa‑Jeanne Guérin. I am Doctor La Néele’s wife, and the Servant of God’s first cousin. I was born in Lisieux on 24th February 1868, and I live in Lisieux.

I possess various texts that were written by the Servant of God, namely:

1stly 1 letter to her uncle, Mr Guérin (vol. 2, p. 26 v°).

3rdly Five letters addressed jointly to the above (vol. 2, p. 27, 40v°, 41, 41v°, 42).

4thly Four letters addressed to me, Jeanne Guérin, her cousin (vol. 2, p. 4v°, 21v°, 22v°, 23v°).

5 thly A poem addressed to my husband, Doctor La Néele (vol. 4, p. 28).

6 thly A poem entitled "The Confidences of Jesus to Thérèse” (vol. 2, p. 25).

I possess the original copies of these documents. The Carmelite nuns made a transcription of them which the notary must have verified against the original. These originals are complete.

III. [Answer to the third question]:

I do not possess any others.

IV. [Answer to the fourth question]:

There are others, but they must have been gathered at the Carmelite convent; I do not know the exact list of them.

V. [Answer to the fifth question]:

I have not heard it said.

[The testimony is read aloud to the witness, who approves and signs it]:

J. LA NÉELE, née JEANNE GUÉRIN,

3

[Questioning of the Reverend Mother Prioress]

I. [Presentation of the witness]:

My name is Marie‑Pauline Martin, in religion Sister Agnes of Jesus. I am Prioress of the Carmel of Lisieux, and sister of the Servant of God. I was born in Alençon on 7th September 1861.

II. [Description of the writings kept at the convent. Where are they kept? Are they originals or duplicates, printed or handwritten? Of what nature are they?]:

The convent possesses the following writings of the Servant of God: SEE BOOK.

The originals of these documents are in the respective hands of the nuns to whom they were addressed, but I know of the existence and the whereabouts of each of these originals. And together with those that were addressed to me, I personally own all the writings that were addressed to nobody in particular. The vast majority of the originals are perfectly intact; I will later explain the few rare and minor mishaps that some have suffered. I had transcriptions made of all these writings and submitted them and the originals to the notaries, who checked their accuracy.

[13r] The few mishaps that altered the originals require the following explanations:

1stly The autobiographical manuscript was composed of three parts, the first and third of which were addressed to Sister Agnes of Jesus and Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, her blood relatives. These two parts contained names and details of a private nature.

The second part, however, which was written when Mother Marie de Gonzague, who was not a blood relative, was prioress, was addressed to her, and did not contain such names or details.

When the aforesaid Mother Prioress, Marie de Gonzague, had the autobiographical manuscript published, she considered it appropriate to give the manuscript a certain unity by crossing out the private names and details that were scattered through parts 1 and 3.

I was able to restore all these passages to their original condition, although they are of no importance and will not altar in any way the judges’ appreciation of the character and virtues of the Servant of God.

2° When the original documents were being transcribed, and particularly the autobiographical manuscript, I had explanatory notes added, but these are carefully termed as [13v] such, and written in red ink, so as not to be mistaken for the original text.

3° The letter (vol. 2, p. 13) is only a fragment because the addressee destroyed the parts that were of no interest.

The same is true of the letters (vol. 2, p. 16, 17v°).

4° The original copy of the play “Jesus in Bethany” (vol. 3, p. 56‑60) was accidentally lost.

5° The short play, which is a pious recreation, entitled “The Triumph of Humility” (vol. 3 p. 78‑86) is missing a few lines because they were crossed out. These lines contained a few puerile allusions to the Diana Vaughan affair; the Servant of God expressed a wish to remove the passages in question from her writings.

III. [Does anyone else possess other writings?]:

I have given back to Mr and Mrs La Néele the originals that they submitted to me for transcription purposes. I also know that my sister Léonie, whose religious name is Sister Françoise‑Thérèse, of the Visitation Convent of Caen, possesses several letters.

IV. [14r] [Are they originals or duplicates, printed or handwritten? Of what nature are they?]:

As I have said, we Carmelite nuns possess the handwritten copies of almost all of her writings. We have also had transcriptions made and verified by the notary and submitted them to the commission. Lastly, the work entitled “Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, 1873‑1897, Story of a Soul written by herself” Bar‑le‑Duc, edited by Imprimerie Saint Paul, 1910, reproduces in print her autobiographical manuscript and a selection of poems and letters. However, as this publication is not absolutely identical to the original, although it reproduces the essential parts of it, the commission decided it was preferable to have a genuine transcription of the originals made.

V. [What degree of care was put into searching for the Servant of God’s writings and can we expect to find others?]:

Great care was taken searching for and collecting the writings, which we consider very valuable. I wrote to all the people whom I thought would be able to provide us with information on the subject. I do not believe we can expect to find other texts written by the Servant of God.

VI [14v] [Have any writings been lost, and if so, in what circumstances? Fraud or accident?]:

I do not know of any writings of the Servant of God having been lost outside the convent, and inside, we have lost none, except, as I said earlier, the original copy of the pious recreation “Jesus in Bethany”, which was lost accidentally, and the few aforesaid lines in the pious recreation “Triumph of Humility” that were crossed out.

[The testimony is read aloud to the witness, who approves and signs it]:

Sister AGNES OF JESUS, u.c.n., prioress, deposui ut supra.

~Sitting 3: ‑ 24th May 1910, at 8:30 am]

 [15r] SITTING III

4

[Questioning of Sister Geneviève of Saint Teresa]

I. [Presentation of the witness]:

My name is Marie‑Céline Martin, in religion Sister Geneviève of Saint Teresa, of the Carmel of Lisieux. I am a blood sister of the Servant of God. I was born in Alençon on 28th April 1869.

Il. [Does the witness have in their possession any texts written by the Servant of God, and if so, where do they keep them?]:

Firstly, I own some documents that the Servant of God addressed to me personally, namely 46 letters, 8 notes, and 7 poems, amounting to 61 documents.

Furthermore, as archivist and on behalf of our Reverend Mother Prioress, I keep those documents that have no addressees or whose addressees are not here, namely 9 pious recreations or playlets, 16 poems, and 29 letters, amounting to 54 documents.

III. [Does anyone else possess other writings?]:

Other nuns have kept the documents that were addressed to them personally, particularly Mother Prioress, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, Sister Marie of the Trinity and a few others whom are known to Mother Prioress. Beside these documents, I do not believe there are [16v] others in the convent.

IV. [Are they originals or duplicates, printed or handwritten? Of what nature are they?]:

1stly I possess the complete originals of the 61 documents that were addressed to me. The documents that I keep as archivist are also originals, except three, namely a pious recreation (“Jesus in Bethany”), the original of which was lost by accident, and 2 letters to Father Roulland, who is a missionary, of which we have only transcriptions, although these are definitely accurate.

2 ndly All these documents were carefully transcribed upon Mother Prioress’ order and the transcriptions were submitted with the originals to the notary of the commission.

3 rdly A few of these documents have been printed in the book “Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, who died in the odour of sanctity at the Carmel of Lisieux 1873-897 - Story of a Soul written by herself - Letters and Poems.”

V. [What degree of care was put into searching for the Servant of God’s writings and can we expect to find others?]:

I have spoken to all those able to inform us and I hold for certain that no other writings can be found in the convent.

[17r] VI. [Have any writings been lost, and if so, in what circumstances? Fraud or accident?]:

It is certain that nothing has been destroyed by fraud; only one original document was lost by accident (“Jesus in Bethany”), but we had an accurate duplicate that we have transcribed for the book of copies. Lastly, as I said earlier, a few letters are but fragments, because what seemed insignificant was destroyed.

A few passages of the pious recreation “The Triumph of Humility” were crossed out upon the Servant of God’s clearly expressed wish once Diana Vaughan’s story was proved false, because she had borrowed a few ideas from it.

[The testimony is read aloud to the witness, who approves and signs it]:

SISTER GENEVIÈVE OF SAINT TERESA, u.c.n., deposui ut supra.

5

[17v] [Questioning of Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart of Jesus]

I. [Presentation of the witness]:

My name is Louise‑Marie Martin, in religion Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart. I am a blood sister of the Servant of God. I was born in Alençon on 22nd February 1860.

Il. [Does the witness have in their possession any texts written by the Servant of God, and if so, where do they keep them?]:

I have 15 documents, 7 notes, 4 letters and 4 poems and the 3rd part of her autobiographical manuscript.

III. [Does anyone else possess other writings?]:

I have no other writings. There are others in the community; our Reverend Mother Prioress knows which ones.

IV. Are they originals or duplicates, printed or handwritten? Of what nature are they?]:

I have the handwritten originals of all these documents; I gave them to Mother Prioress to have them transcribed. Most of these documents have been printed in the book “Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face . . . Story of a Soul written by herself . . . .”

V. [What degree of care was put into searching for the Servant of God’s writings and can we expect to find others?]:

I value these keepsakes of my sister highly. I omitted nothing in order to keep everything that came from her.

VI. [Have any writings been lost, and if so, in what circumstances? Fraud or accident?]:

Two or three original [18r] poems have been lost, but we have duplicates of them.

[The testimony is read aloud to the witness, who approves and signs it]:

SISTER MARIE OF THE SACRED HEART,

u.c.n., deposui ut supra.

6

 [Questioning of Sister Marie of the Trinity]

I. [Presentation of the witness]:

My name is Marie‑Louise Castel, in religion Sister Marie of the Trinity and the Holy Face, of the Carmel de Lisieux. I was born in Saint-Pierre‑sur‑Dives on 12th August 1874.

II. [Does the witness have in their possession any texts written by the Servant of God, and if so, where do they keep them?]:

I have 16 documents which include 7 notes, 1 prayer and 8 poems.

III. [Does the witness possess other writings?]:

There are other pieces of writing that the Servant of God addressed to various nuns, but I do not know the details.

IV [Are they originals or duplicates, printed or handwritten? Of what nature are they?]:

I have the originals of these documents, which [18v] were transcribed for the trial; some, but not all, have been printed in her life story.

V. [What degree of care was put into searching for the Servant of God’s writings and can we expect to find others?]:

I treasure everything that I received from her.

VI. [Have any writings disappeared, and if so, in what circumstances? Fraud or accident?]:

I have not lost any of them, other than a little insignificant note that I cut into bits in order to give samples of her writing to various people.

[The testimony is read aloud to the witness, who approves and signs it]:

SISTER MARIE OF THE TRINITY AND THE HOLY FACE, u.c.n., deposui ut supra.

7

[Questioning of Sister Marthe of Jesus]

I. [Presentation of the witness]:

My name is Désirée‑Florence Cauvin, in religion Sister Marthe of Jesus, Lay Sister of the Carmel of Lisieux. I was born in Giverville, Eure, on 16th July 1865.

I have 4 prayers: one on humility; one on Jesus in the tabernacle, which she wrote at my request; one on the Holy Trinity and one entitled “Loving Gaze upon Jesus”, which she wrote to help me practice virtue. I also have two notes, one of which she wrote to me when she was on retreat, the other for my birthday; and lastly one poem for my anniversary.

III. [Does anyone else possess other writings?]:

I know broadly speaking that there are other texts in the convent.

IV. [Are they originals or duplicates, printed or handwritten? Of what nature are they?]:

The documents that I have were handwritten by Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. Mother Prioress had them transcribed. Several have been printed in her life story, but those that were not important were not printed.

V. [What degree of care was put into searching for the Servant of God’s writings and can we expect to find others?]:

We all searched the convent with great care. It would be impossible to find any others.

Vl. [Have any writings been lost, and if so, in what circumstances? Fraud or accident?]:

In the Servant of God’s own lifetime, I burnt several little notes that the Servant of God write, and I regret it bitterly.

 [19v] [The testimony is read aloud to the witness, who approves and signs it]:

SISTER MARTHE OF JESUS, deposui ut supra.

8

 [Questioning of Sister Marie‑Madeleine of the Blessed Sacrament]

My name is Mélanie Lebon, in religion Sister Marie‑Madeleine of the Blessed Sacrament, a Lay Sister of the Carmel de Lisieux. I was born in Plouguenat, Côtes‑du‑Nord, on 7th September 1869.

II. [Does the witness have in their possession any texts written by the Servant of God, and if so, where do they keep them?]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus gave me a poem entitled “Story of a Shepherdess turned Queen” for my profession. She also gave me a small notebook of pious aspirations for each day of my retreat. I keep the little notebook in our cell. The poem must be in the hands of our Reverend Mother Prioress.

I have no others, but there are others in the community. I do not know which ones or who keeps them.

IV. [Are they originals or duplicates, printed or handwritten? Of what nature are they?]:

My documents were written by the Servant of God herself. They were transcribed. “Story of a Shepherdess” was printed in her autobiographical book but the little notebook was not printed.

V. [What degree of care was put into searching for the Servant of God’s writings and can we expect to find others?]:

I know that the Sisters carried out a thorough search, of this I am sure, particularly Mother Prioress and Sister Geneviève. I am sure no others will be found.

VI [Have any writings been lost, and if so, in what circumstances? Fraud or accident?]:

I am not aware and I have not heard of any having been lost or destroyed.

[The testimony is read aloud to the witness, who approves and signs it]:

SISTER MARIE-MADELEINE, deposui ut supra.

SITTING IV [Sitting 4: ‑ 25th May 1910, at 8:30 am]

9

 [Questioning of Marie‑Léonie Martin]

I. [Presentation of the witness]: My name is Marie‑Léonie Martin, [21v] in religion Sister Françoise‑Thérèse, of the Visitation Convent of Caen. I am a blood sister of the Servant of God. I was born in Alençon on 3rd June 1863.

II. [Does the witness have in their possession any texts written by the Servant of God, and if so, where do they keep them?]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus wrote me some letters. I have 14 of them. The first is dated 13th August 1893 from the Carmel and the last, 17th July 1897.

I also have a little note with no date on it. Lastly, I own a poem written by her entitled “My Joy”. With the permission of our Most Honourable Mother Superior, I kept these documents in our cell.

III. [Does anyone else possess other writings?]:

I have no others but there are many at the Carmel of Lisieux and it is stated in her life story that she also wrote some to my cousin Jeanne Guérin.

IV. Are they originals or duplicates, printed or handwritten? Of what nature are they?]:

The documents that I have were written by Sister Thérèse herself. Mother Superior submitted them to Canon Deslandes, the notary, together with their transcription. I was given back the original documents [22r] after verification.

A few fragments of these letters were printed in the most recent edition of her life story.

[Have any writings been lost, and if so, in what circumstances? Fraud or accident?]:

Both before my admission to the Visitation convent and after, I received a certain number of other letters, which I burnt without giving it a thought and I regret it today.

A certain number of letters written either to her father, relatives, or others, must have disappeared for the same reason, because no thought was given to them, or otherwise because they contained private details concerning family life. However they were destroyed prior to the issue of the decree by his Lordship the Bishop relating to the search for the Servant of God’s writings, and do not imply any wicked intentions.

[The testimony is read aloud to the witness, who approves and signs it]:

SISTER FRANÇOISE-THÉRÈSE, deposui ut supra.

 [Sitting 5: ‑ 26th May 1910, at 10 o’clock.]

10

 [Questioning of Marcelline Anne Husé]

 [23V] I [Presentation of the witness]:

My name is Marcelline Anne Husé, in religion Sister Marie Joseph of the Cross, Lay Sister of the Benedictine Monastery of the Blessed Sacrament in Bayeux. I was born in Saint‑Samson, in the diocese of Laval, on 19th July 1866.

Il. [Does the witness have any texts written by the Servant of God in their possession, and if so, where do they keep them?]:

Having been a housekeeper for Mr Guérin, the Servant of God’s uncle, I knew Sister Thérèse when she was a child. Due to this connection, she wrote me a letter from the Carmel of Lisieux dated 28th September 1890, for her profession. I keep the letter in our cell.

Ill. [Does the witness possess other writings?]:

I have no others.

IV. Are they originals or duplicates, printed or handwritten? Of what nature are they?]:

I have the very letter that was written by Sister Thérèse. I submitted it to Canon Deslandes (the deputy notary) who had it transcribed. The letter has not been printed.

V. [Does anyone else possess other writings?]:

I do not know.

Vl. [24r] [Have any writings disappeared through fraud or accident?]:

The Servant of God wrote me another letter when I announced my vocation to religious life (1889); it was a short note and I did not keep it.

[The testimony is read aloud to the witness, who approves and signs it]:

SISTER MARIE JOSEPH OF THE CROSS unw. nun., deposui ut supra.

 

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