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From sr Marie of the Sacred Heart to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - Beginning of July 1913

From sr Marie of the Sacred Heart to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - Sunday (Beginning of July 1913)                                          

Jesus +                                                                                      

Darling little sister,

It has been a very long time since I last wrote. I think about you every day and every day something happens to delay my letter.

Fortunately I heard through a lady who came here from Caen a few days ago that you and your dear Mother Prioress are well. Is this true? The lady didn’t seem to know much about the nasty flu that made you all sick. She had come from a Reception of the Habit ceremony. That’s all I was able to understand. She talked a great deal about her son. I would have preferred her to talk about you. I could quite happily do without these visits.

We have been with Mgr. de Teil almost all day. He comes to see us about every two months and is still very devoted, but we were the ones who had news for him, as people very often report wondrous graces to us.

Despite this, the Cause has not yet been set in motion in Rome and the Postulator told us that it won’t be before next year because there are several others to be investigated first and they have been waiting longer.

Don’t despair, little sister, because it isn’t slowing our Thérèse’s pursuit of conquests. There are more and more people who love her, and there is such a steady flow of pilgrims visiting her grave that the Mayor has had to grant permission for the cemetery to be opened two hours earlier and closed one hour later. This is so as not to deprive carriage hirers, who complained because they were losing opportunities to earn fares.

People say the town is unrecognisable due to the comings and goings of strangers, so the Lexoviens aren’t thinking of chasing us away just yet.

I have some good news; Mrs. Hassebroucq has at last agreed to give us back the house in Alençon. Jeanne has decided to buy it. But Mrs. H. had trouble making up her mind, even though at first she bought it uniquely for us. She was then hoping to join the Carmel. But what surprises me is that she made so much fuss about selling it back to us. How fickle creatures are!

Don’t be upset, darling little sister, if Jeanne doesn’t write to you. She loves you very much, she talks fondly of you, and she even said to us that you were walking closely in Thérèse’s footsteps, but we knew this anyway. Yet when I told her that you didn’t hear from her often, she replied as though she didn’t understand: “I write to Léonie every time she writes to me, but I myself don’t receive letters from her very often.”

Our dear little Mother is sending you the photograph of the garden at the Buissonnets and the house to show you how we have restored it. There’s a little cross over the door showing it leads directly to her bedroom, which has been transformed into an oratory.

The garden has been divided into 2 parts, as it was before, only the kitchen garden has been moved to the other part and surrounded by borders to hide it.

The wall separating it from the Dauphins’ property fell down and we haven’t repaired it, preferring to plant trees along that side to make the garden bigger. The hedge that used to be there is behind the flowerbed.

The little angel is a gift from one of our little saint’s admirers. The banner reads: “The kingdom of heaven belongs to children and those who resemble them.” It was Sr. Geneviève who designed the garden and did the drawing. To hide the shed, we’ve planted a tree bed, and you can go behind it to enter the laundry room.

You can see Thérèse’s garden and the place in the wall where she used to set up her little altars. Sr. Geneviève has created a little nativity scene out of her little Jesus and various statues she owned where pilgrims can come and pray devotedly. It’s protected by a large screen and people can’t touch it. There’s a blind that you can close at will. I hope you’ll be pleased to see all this, but don’t tell Jeanne about it and if she mentions it to you, tell her you think it’s very good. You can send the photographs back to us when you have the opportunity unless you wish to keep them.

Farewell darling little sister. All three of us send you all our love and kisses.

My affectionate respects to your dearest Mother Prioress

                                                                                        Your little sister

                                                                                   Marie of the Sacred Heart

                                                                                           u. c. n.

Someone is requesting that the sister of Thérèse at the Visitation convent prays for her, and with this in mind is sending 5 Fr worth of stamps to the Visitation.