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Remembrance of Mother Genevieve

A remembrance of Sr. Geneviève of Saint Thérèse

Secrets of Mother Geneviève told to Thérèse

Account written by the latter after September 8th, 1890


J.M.J.T.

"Well, my child, I'll tell you a little secret. One day I was in my little room, I made a novena to Our Blessed Father St. John of the Cross; I heard a voice that told me these words amid the greatest consolations: "To be the spouse of a God," and the voice paused as if to let me better savor the sweetness of those words ... And then the voice said: "What a title!”… and the voice stopped again, and it went on: "What a privilege!" I do not know, my poor child, where I was, but I certainly tasted the joys of ecstasy, and when it was over, I found myself bathed in tears, but they were very sweet tears. That was a long time ago, when I was your age, seventeen or eighteen years old, but the memory stayed with me so strongly that when I heard sung the Amo Christo during taking of the veil, I thought, my poor child that my heart would burst out of my chest ... Oh! Then I understood the grace of our vocation! "When I was little, I was then about three years old, Fr. Beauregard often came to the community where I was with three or four little girls my age, but it was always me he called" Bertrand, little sinner, up to my room; later at the time of his departure, he said that it seemed from that moment that God had laid his hand on my head! ... Well, he wasn’t wrong. Pray for me when I’m before the one who judges the justices. "My poor child, you can say that God has done miracles for you in leading you by the hand .... And your good father who was there, for your (v °) clothing! ... But now, if God is testing him through suffering, it is because God has reserved for him a very beautiful place in heaven. "

Remembrance of Mother Genevieve   account (spring 1892)

(1r °) Being still very young, at the age when other children cannot hold themselves up in their mother's arms, Mother Genevieve stood very straight: her father liked to sit her in his hand. Instead of being afraid of falling, she stood still and proudly watched the people who were around her; when Mr. Bertrand put her on the ground, she kept saying, “More, more! "In the house where she lived, there were several tenants, among them Madame de Messemay, and other noble women; there was also a young man named Aimable. The charming manners of the little girl and her precocious mind were sought by everyone in the house. Aimable had stuck behind a door a big alphabet to have little Claire read, who was very happy with this exercise; but when the great Aimable, after giving his lesson, put her on the ground, she quickly fled. Asked why, she replied: "I do not like Aimable because he makes faces at me. "Indeed, to make her laugh, he amused himself by making faces that were not to the liking of the little girl. However, thanks to this big alphabet, she knew all her letters at eighteen months, and soon after, to a gentleman who asked if she could read, she replied: "Yes, sir, I can read well; there is only Latin I don’t know yet to read very fluently. "(I'm not sure if it is the Latin or the way the letters are written.)

(1v °) There was a gentleman in the house who knew several languages; you understand how that seemed beautiful and interesting to me. I often went to him and I said, "Sir, would you be kind enough to tell me in English how I should ask Mother for a snack?" This gentleman having told me, I went down the stairs four at a time to jabber to Mom what I had learned. "But what are you saying to me?” she told me with astonishment, “will you just let me be?” “But, Mother, I am asking you for a snack in English." Then, very quickly, I went back up the stairs. "Sir, would you tell me the same thing in Spanish?" Even more quickly, I ran down reciting my lesson then. Arriving near mother, I told her with a very proud air; as she did not understand me, I hastened to say, "But, Mother, I speak Spanish." I did the same for other languages, asking Monsieur to tell me this or that in the language I wanted to know. "One day when Mother was sick, Father de Beauregard came to visit her. I was alone downstairs to receive him. "Little one, 'he said, “May I see your mother?" Very proud to receive him, I said yes and that I would accompany him if he wanted to come upstairs. But I did not know that my mother was so ill that the doctor had ordered leeches applied to her, and it was exactly as I climbed the stairs making conversation with Father de B. Arriving at the door, I opened it bravely; my father then turned to see who was there. What was his surprise when he saw Father de B! For me, I was very surprised to see my mother lying there with leeches

(2r °) being put around her neck. Father de B. told my mother, "Ah, Mrs. Bertrand, of course you are not able to be seen today, but I'll be back" Then my Father apologized profusely, asking forgiveness for his daughter. (She was about three years old at the most). Then I escorted the parish priest to the door, but this time I was very sheepish and did not know what to say to him. I had so much sorrow, but now when I think of this scene, I cannot help laughing because it was really funny.”   One day she was at her teacher’s, she wanted to see out a window up high. Too small to reach it, she climbed up on something, but she did not know that her teacher’s cat was outside the window, taking the sun on a pillow. Also when climbing, she knocked it over and the cat fell from high with the bed. It didn’t hurt itself but some wicked companions, happy to have something to report to their mistress, hastened to fetch the cat and said to their teacher that little Claire had broken its paw by throwing it out the window on purpose. The teacher then imposed upon the poor little girl the most severe punishment that was in use at boarding school, which was to wear a certain penitential hat. The action by Mother Geneviève’s companions was especially ugly, being that they were much older than she, they were sure to be punished more easily. Mother Genevieve bore the punishment with

(2 v °) angelic patience; she said nothing to apologize; “only, she said, "My little heart was very heavy, but I did not say anything at all." The day before the birth of her little brother, Mother Genevieve, who was then nine, was with her brother Jules in a room that was in a separate building from where the room of their parents was. Mother Genevieve, who was to be godmother, kept talking with her brother of future plans for her goddaughter as she hoped it would be a little sister. "Jules, she said, I will call her Joée ..." She added to this name many others that were her favorites. But in the middle of the night, anxious to see if she had a little sister, she got up, just put on her little petticoat and started for the bedroom of her mother. She went very softly on tiptoe, but reaching the end of her journey, it was a great disappointment as her Father, having heard a slight noise, came out of his room and saw his little girl at this nocturnal hour, traveling through the big house so lightly clad, risking getting sick. He scolded her for being curious and gave her for a penance, that she would only know the next day whether or not the good God had given her a little sister. "The next morning, Mother Geneviève said, while I was having lunch with my brother, I saw my Father enter, standing in front of Jules. He took off his hat with dignity and said greeting him, "Jules, I announce to you that you have a little brother." You can imagine my disappointment ... As for Jules, he was radiant and said ironically: "I will call him 'Joée , I'll call him like this, I'll call him like that ... '"Finally he said all the nice names that the little godmother planned to give her god daughter. However she was consoled on the

(3r °) day of baptism, having a charming comrade named Armand who had given her a beautiful pair of gloves and delicious pralines. "Arriving at the church, the priest who was doing the baptism, asked according to the usual ceremonies: "What name do you wish to give the child?” “Armand,” I hastened to respond. “There is no Saint Armand,” replied the priest, “choose another name.” “He will be called August,” said Father. “Why”, my little friend whispered to me, “did you not say Boniface? That is my name.” - Ah well, I couldn’t guess that you are called Boniface; you should have said that." I had many disappointments, but I was not at the end of them. Arriving at the sacristy, we were told to sign. Armand signed, but when my turn came, not knowing how to do it, I said without being troubled in the least, "Armand sign for me." But, oh what pain! The priest noticed this and said: "What, a godmother who can not sign?" You imagine my confusion ... "I lost sight of my little friend, but two years later I was sent to his parents on an errand; we greeted each other with great reverence, but when I finished my visit, having already arrived at the garden gate, his mother who was excessively polite, scolded him loudly saying, "How, you rude little fellow, do you allow that little girl to leave alone without escorting her to the gate? " Armand immediately ran after me tearfully: "Excuse me, Miss, excuse me” - ... But, sir, there is no harm at all, you have not offended me." "After many ceremonies, courtesies and civilities, the big miss eleven years old, laughed with all her heart that her former comrade became a gentleman so polite and well-mannered.

(3v °) Behind the house there was an area where one could walk. This roof looked out on a neighbor who had magnificent acacias when they were in flower. Mother Genevieve, with her little girl cousin and her brothers, enjoyed climbing out an attic window to pick beautiful branches of flowers, and then to make a magnificent procession on the roof. This was not to the liking of Mr. Bertrand, who said that children broke his slate tiles; also when they heard some noise, they quickly went back in the window. Mr. Bertrand had a certificate that allowed him to wear a medal. Mother Genevieve thought she too should wear one; she also bought a medal made of lead and brought it to Mrs. Messemay. This lady, who loved her a lot, put a pretty white ribbon on it to attach it to her dress. A gentleman seeing her said, "But, my little girl, do you have a certificate for wearing this decoration? One should not wear it without permission. "He was speaking in jest, but Mother Genevieve said with serious comedy "Sir, Papa has one." There next to the house was a little boy who was selling fleurs de lys painted on pieces of cloth. Mother Geneviève bought one and, having cut it and glued it on a small white flag, she gave it to her little brother; the other children found it so beautiful they wanted to buy it from her, but she didn’t want to. One day little Auguste sat on

4r °) a piece of furniture in a room on the ground floor, the bedroom door being left open, madmen who passed, having seen this child who was holding his little white flag, hit him with the flat side of their swords on his small legs, at the risk of breaking them, in hatred of the fleur de lys. Bertrand took his son, who fortunately had only a few bruises and went to the town hall to show the child's legs and seek justice.

Ms. Messemay having left for another city, Mother Geneviève and her cousin imagined that in the large cupboard where her beautiful dresses once were, they would find something left for their dolls. Mother Geneviève being the smallest was instructed to go look. So she climbed from shelf to shelf, but found no beads or ribbons, not the smallest piece of silk or embroidery. Although disappointed, she came down from the large wardrobe. Probably without realizing it, she gave a push to the furniture; the fact remains that when the girl got down, no sooner had she stepped aside that the giant wardrobe fell and broke with a loud crash. Ms. Bertrand arrived in a fright, believing she would find one of the children crushed, but her daughter had nothing, not even a scratch. Mother Genevieve could not keep from saying that without extraordinary help, the cabinet would have fallen on her and killed her. Mother Genevieve had a crow whose name was Jacquot; she let him go free, and when she wanted him to come, she stood at the window and called: "Jacquot Jacquot"; immediately the bird rushed over. "I really like

(4v °) crows,” said Mother Genevieve. In the lives of saints, they are frequently spoken of. It was one of them who was in charge of feeding Paul, the first hermit, and God has often used these birds to do wonders. I liked my Jacquot very much. My mother did not like him as much and when he came into her room, she hurried to chase him away; but my friend saw the blow ready to strike him. With finesse, he flew on the bed or on the table where my mother had laid her knitting, he pulled on all the needles, then flew off croaking in a mocking way without being struck. "At that time we lived in a house outside town; so to have the glazier come, we waited until there were several broken panes and instead, we stuck up paper. One morning we found ourselves in the dining room where the dishes had not yet been removed, all spilled drinks! Our astonishment was great, but did not last long, for soon we understood that this was the work of our Jacquot. Indeed, that night we had heard the noise: it was my bird who had bravely pushed through the panes of paper to enter the room, then he flew lightly onto the table; with his little claw, he gently knocked over a glass, so that the wine that remained fell into his beak, he had taken care to put it under the table. The same ceremony took place for all the other glasses;

(5r) not a one was broken. "But if Jacquot loved wine, he did not like meat less. One day, two nuns were preparing to sit down at table in one of the rooms on the ground floor; a good roast was waiting for them, but my Jacquot having become aware of it, jumped on it and carried it off, to the great astonishment of the poor religious. This time I called him in vain, he didn’t answer me until there was nothing left of his roast, which he ate conveniently installed on a nearby roof. "He was also very devout and went to church in the company of nuns, perched on their kneeler and danced making exactly the same movements as they, (singing) "caw caw caw "in the same tone as the nuns were saying their prayers. Jacquot had an end worthy of him as he died in the church's holy water font. "

After having criticized her for her curls, Fr. de B(eauregard) rebuked her again for wearing collars. "I then wore collars, as was the fashion. They were very simple ones, but I don’t know why they displeased Fr. de B. who told me not to wear them. This time I made my sacrifice, (for), having said it to my mother, she replied to me, "My daughter, you must obey your confessor." Since then I stopped wearing my collars that were very nice though. I also had a red shawl that displeased him a lot. I didn’t however feel vanity wearing it because

(5 v°) it was only an Indian shawl that I ended up giving to a famer’s daughter.

"We were in church, my mother and I, near the bench in front of the priests near the pulpit. There were also, in front of us, two vulgar people that I paid no attention to. It was not the same for them, because, without my knowledge, they spent the whole time at Mass looking at me and try to make me laugh by making funny faces. On the priests’ bench, there was a young cleric named Fr. Duchesne; I knew him only by sight and had never spoken to him. One day I met him in the street where the two people lived that I have spoke to you about; I was on the sidewalk and he on another. I greeted him like I used to do all priests, and continued on my way, but I had hardly taken a few steps when people I know came out of their house and asked me to come inside. "Miss Bertrand,” they told me, “don’t you know what is being said about you? Just look across the street." I looked and I saw in the house that was pointed out to me, my two neighbors from church laughing, talking loudly, making great demonstrations of joy. I understood nothing at all, but the people who had brought me home to me explained: "Miss, it is our duty to inform you of

 

(6r °) the slander being said against you: the people you see around you laughing call you Miss Duchesne. They say that at Mass you smile at the young priest who is before you, and it’s for spying on you they go to church." "I restrained my emotion and thanked them for the warning, but once home, I threw myself in tears in my mother's arms. After learning about my tears, she was as surprised as me to this dark slander that had no reason to account for it; the people who were the perpetrators had never had contact with us. Immediately, I went with my mother and we went straight to their home. Great was their surprise at seeing us enter. "Ladies,” said my Mother, I come to ask what harm has my daughter done to you that you dare attack her reputation?" They were speechless and I resumed, "You say, ladies, that I smile at a young priest who is in front of me in church. To get me to do that you make faces; I don’t remember ever having smiled, but know that if it sometimes happened, it was only a merciful smile." Since that visit, I haven’t heard anymore of those persons. I never saw them again."

 

(Folio 6v° blank)

 

(7r °) "My little brother loved raw artichokes, but I did not always gave him some, for fear that this would make him sick. One day, he hid one in his pocket and went to feast alone away from home. When he returned, I saw from his little black teeth he had eaten the forbidden fruit. "Auguste, you ate an artichoke again!" Great was his surprise. "But, my dear Clarisse, who was able to tell you that? It's amazing! ... I hid it so well.... So you know everything?" "Another time, returning from his boarding school, he said to me: "If you knew, my dear Clarisse, how we like feasts of the Blessed Sacrament. Imagine, all along the paths of the garden there are beautiful strawberry plants. When the little bell sounds, immediately we all prostrate ourselves with a rapidity that delights our good superior, but you can imagine, my dear Clarisse, that we do not waste our time; we eat all the strawberries that are within the reach of our teeth." "I loved to hear the chanting of the Carmelites; often, Sunday, I attended their vespers with my little brother, and he behaved well and stood with a recollected expression, although the office often seemed a bit long. Also, when the choir stopped to say the Our Father for example, Auguste immediately pulled on my dress and said softly: "It's over, come quick, my good Clarisse." But soon the singing began again and my poor little brother was forced to pray, waiting for another break that allowed him to renew his desire to leave. However, I only left the chapel when vespers were entirely completed "After the death of my mother, I went

 

(7V °) often to visit my cousin Therese; I felt that her piety and her experience could be of great benefit to me. But her talks seemed very serious to my little brother; he moved, turned around me, pulling me by my dress, and then came and he said to me: "Come quickly, my dear Clarisse, I’m only happy with you.” My cousin said to me then, "But what’s wrong with your little brother? He’s restless! Does he want something?” “No, no, my dear cousin, it's nothing, he’s going to behave himself," and then I made a sign to Auguste who, seeing that he had nothing to give him hope, remained patiently waiting for me. But what a joy when we went out! "Quickly, my good Clarisse, tell me me a story, I love so much to hear you." "Fr. de Beauregard was appointed bishop, so she had to choose a confessor. The chaplain of Carmel, Fr. Rochemonteux immediately attracted her attention, but he was young and Mother Genevieve, already feeling the vocation, said to herself: "I mustn’t choose him for a confessor because my cousin Therese would say, "You see all these young priests, they are good at exciting young girls and to have them sent to the convent." My cousin had for confessor an old Cathedral canon, but I went to find her and I said, "My dear cousin, I beg you to choose a confessor for me.”

“But choose the one you like; you're big enough and you are free.” “My dear cousin, the one you choose will be the one I take” ... "I was quite convinced that my cousin was going to speak to some good old cathedral canon but as she did nothing without counsel, she heard

 

8r °) speak about the Carmelite chaplain as a young saint, and what was my surprise when she told me that her choice was Fr. Roche (Monteux).... I concealed my happiness and simply thanked her. Now, I thought, she cannot reproach me when she knows my vocation." (I think that it is Fr. Dulys who the older cousin went to for advice.) At the age of seventeen, Mother Genevieve went for the first time to Carmel; I do not know if it was to talk about her vocation, but it was certainly not to ask to enter; I think it was to thank Fr. Dulys for his protection. She saw several mothers, I think it was in the turn and not the parlor. One of them said to her, "Miss, how old are you?” – “Oh ! Madame, I am really old; I'm seventeen years old." Mother Genevieve must have been about twenty years old when her entry was decided. Things happened as stated in her circular. In the parlor, she did nothing to show her emotion, but returned to her room, she cried a torrent of tears.

 

(8v° blank)

 

(9r °) "Being at the chestnut grove with my Father, I liked to teach catechism to the children of the village; I first took a few, but soon they said to one another, "You do not know? The girl of the chestnut trees teaches catechism, let's go too." So I soon had around me a small group. I remember particularly one day, two little girls came to me, saying, "Mam'zelle, do you want to have us learn our catechism?” – “Certainly, my children, what is your name?" The smallest, who was the kindest, hastened to reply. "I’m called Marguerite, Mam'zelle, but they call me Gothon; call me what you like, it doesn’t matter to me.” “Well my little girl, I'll call you Marguerite and what's your name then?" I said to the largest who was very ugly but seemed sweet and very good. "Mam'zelle they call me Madeluche." Marguerite soon resumed: "You do not know, Mam'zelle, I come from the home of the schoolmaster, but he can’t get anywhere with me. Also he beats me but it doesn’t make me better and I don’t do anything. It is true, Mam'zelle, that I'm lazy as a rat; but I believe with you I'll learn well because I’m not stupid and I really want to make my first Comm." "I encouraged my two new students and soon I saw that they were very intelligent, but as much as Madeluche was nice and easy, Marguerite was lively and fervent. During catechism, I went to hide behind a pillar of the church and after, I asked my children. "Come, Marguerite, tell me what was said this morning by the parish priest.” Marguerite rose,

(9v °) took the corner of her apron and ran between her fingers, "Oh, I know, Mam'zelle, the parish priest said like that ... He said .... but I know .... I have it almost on the tip of my tongue ... He said, he said ... "And the poor child was stuck there; Then I told Madeluche: "Let's see you, are you able to tell us something - Mam'zelle, I think so" and shyly, she repeated everything the parish priest said, to the great astonishment of her companions. "Returning from a sermon, I saw Marguerite one day beside herself with anger:" You don’t know, Mam'zelle, the parish priest said that all who go to the assembly that is going to take place will be not making their first Comm. this year; I'm really unhappy because I had a good time.“ “And you,” I said to Madeluche, “do you regret very much missing the meeting?” “Oh, no, Mam'zelle, I do not care.” “Yes,” replied Marguerite, “I know you well, fine. Be a saint all you want; I tell you that I'm really unhappy to not go to the meeting." Another time, Marguerite said to me, "If you knew, Mam'zelle, how beautiful I will be the day of my first Comm. Mamma bought me a beautiful white gown and a beautiful headdress, it’s all beautiful. " I asked Madeluche how she would be dressed. "I don’t know, Mam'zelle, I don’t concern myself with that at all, Mother will dress me as she pleases." "However, despite this stark contrast, Marguerite made real progress. The big day approached, but alas, the poor little girl fell ill. I hastened to visit her. Her mother saw me from far away, she ran to meet me ... "Ah, Mam'zelle how can I thank you? My daughter is not recognizable. In the past she didn’t want to do anything, now she seeks the opportunity to be of service. She’s not the same. I don’t know

(10r °) how you did it. " "Fortunately, my little patient recovered promptly and on the day of her First Communion, she was noticed by everyone for her piety and kindness. It was not the same for my poor Madeluche: "Have you seen her?” they said. “She is ugly and has a stupid look with her mouth open.” "Ah, I said to myself on hearing this, “if her face is not pretty, her soul is beautiful and pleasant to God.” Later, when at Carmel, they came to tell me that Marguerite asked for me in the parlor. She had remained good and friendly, endearing to those around her." Do you remember Madeluche?” she said to me. “Well, such as you knew her, so she remained. She is married, has children and is edifying the village. "If I had wanted, Marguerite would have often come back to see me, but I did nothing to get her to do that, preferring to go as little as possible to the parlor.

"Another time, two little boys came together to find me. "Ma-M'zelle, would you teach us to read - Yes, my children, how old are you?” The eldest said,”I’m six and my name is Pierre. My brother is five and called Jean. " I started to explain religion to them and, among other things, I recommended to them to never swear, saying that it was very ugly and displeases God very much. The next day, Pierre entered my home, while angry with his brother:

 

(10v °) "You do not know? You told us Mam'zelle, to never swear; well then, Jean just swore.” “How, my little Jean, did you do such a bad thing?” “ Mam’zelle, Pierre took dirt from the path and threw it into my mouth!” “Pierre, you who are the eldest, you were wrong to throw dirt in your brother's mouth, but you, Jean, you shouldn’t have sworn." "The day that had been set for my entrance to Carmel, I had to be free at 6 pm. As my business was done, my confessor told me that if I wanted I could wait until tomorrow. But I replied, "Father, since I'm free tonight at 6:00, I will come at 6:00." Think, my poor child, how inspired I was. The day after my arrival, I received a letter from the superior of the establishment where my little brother was at school. He told me that my brother was sick, but he hoped that my good care and the country air would restore him promptly. So if I had not entered the evening of the day I found myself free, I would have perhaps missed my vocation: the obstacles occurring one after the other would have delayed me and maybe would eventually have kept me from entering Carmel.

"There was at Carmel one of my friends that I had known in the world (she was then a white novice). Before my entrance

 

(11r °) they spoke one day at recreation about me and another postulant who, due to enter soon, found obstacles to her vocation. My friend simply said, "Oh, provided that Miss Bertrand enters. I don’t care about the other one, she can stay where she is!" Immediately several religious said to themselves, "You see, here’s a special friendship that will start." "I knew nothing of this. Also, what was my surprise, after my entrance, to see my friend completely changed regarding me. She took me to all the places where I should go, but appeared to be reserved and even cold. I did not ask her what had caused the change, but later having been admitted to making her holy vows, she told me during a free day the reason for her conduct, and I admired her prudence and virtue. "On the morning of my profession, I was so upset that I asked to go find the confessor and it was only on his order that I pronounced my holy vows." There were several sisters in the monastery who had vesicatories. Shortly after my arrival, there happened to be a new one who didn’t want to be named. One day, during washing, a sister said without thinking, "It is without a doubt Sister Genevieve who has a vesicatory; she doesn’t want to say it for fear of not being received." My mistress who was present, hearing this, imagined that it was true and that I had hidden it from her. Also she seemed to be very severe with me. I, who suspected nothing, continued to be with her as usual, unable to figure out her severity, which was incomprehensible. One day, I went to find her to ask permission to wash my feet. "Do you have only that

 

(11v °) that to ask me?” she said sternly. “Yes, dear Sister, I do not think I have anything else.” – How, little cheater, little deceiver, do you do it? And the vesicatory you have on your arm that you hide?" My surprise was extreme, I assured her that I had no vesicatory, but failed to calm her, and finally, I finished by showing her my arms to prove that I was not deceiving her.

"Some time before my taking the habit, the good wardrobe sister called me and said, “My Sister Genevieve, I'm going to treat you as privileged person; look at the cloak that I’m going to give you." Then she took from her wardrobe the cloak in question. It had belonged to a sister who had died at a very old age.

This sister was always seated in a chair during the last years of her life. We did not care that her cloak was much too short. I think it had shrunk due to being washed, and then it was all yellow! Seeing it, I had a very heavy heart ... I, who rejoiced to have a beautiful white cloak ... I really felt like crying however, I thanked the wardrobe sister without telling her of my grief. Some days later, a novice who had just taken the habit, having learned that I would not have a new cloak,

 

 

(12r °) began to cry, saying: "I, who had long desired to have an old cloak, my Sister Genevieve is lucky!" Ah! I said to myself, I must be imperfect! My companion is crying because she didn’t have an old cloak and I weep because I have one? "(The Mother Prioress did not allow Mother Genevieve to wear the cloak which, despite her small size, did not even come to the knee.)

 

"I was in the employ of the wardrobe with a young nun, and we had a good old sister for supervisor. One day we had a whole basket full of tunics to mend in petit point. My companion and I had worked so well in the evening the entire basket was empty; we were celebrating the surprise that we were going to have for our sister in charge. But when the good old sister arrived, she went to work as usual without saying a word to us. We looked both dismayed, but soon my young companion began: "My dear sister, are not you happy? See how well we have worked ... - Oh! my little sisters, I beg your pardon, I did not know

 

 

 

(12v °) it was for me that you have done all this work: I thought you worked for the good God, that's why I did not thank you; but now that I know, I am very grateful to you ... Thank you ... Thank you, my good little sisters.... "You see, my poor little one, the impression that these words made on us. Also, we did not have the temptation to start up again.

"It was the custom in Poitiers that the last professed be the third nurse. Also, once my profession made, I was placed in this job. But I was so awkward that I couldn’t touch anything without letting it fall. One day, they put in my hands a dish of prunes, recommending me to carry it carefully; but hardly had I taken three steps, wham, there was the dish on the floor and the prunes spilled. My mother prioress, to punish me, made me leave communion on days when I broke something. One morning, before Mass, I happened to break an object. I had a mind to not say that until after Mass, but I thought that I shouldn’t do that, because I knew Our Mother would make me leave communion

 

 

 

(13r °) if she knew. So I went to tell her: "My dear Mother, I just broke something.” “Leave your choir mantle, my Sister Genevieve."

"In the infirmary there was a white veil sister, Sister Radegonde, who was a real saint. The smell she gave off was so repulsive that the day before she died, the doctor who treated her only stayed a short time and when he came out of the monastery, he went to ask for something to drink from the turn sisters because his heart almost failed him. "It must be,” he said, “that these ladies must be saints to bear such a smell, it’s impossible." Well, think, my poor child, that the day of her death, any bad smell was gone; it was a miracle, because we expected not to be able to keep her, the doctor has told us. Instead of that, we breathed around her bed a real perfume. It was summer and the heat was great. With what joy and what devotion I enjoyed making her crowns of roses and replacing them as soon as they were wilted!

"There was a patient in the hospital who had for closing the sleeves of her robes, a great number of small cords (I think there were twenty-four). One day she

 

 

 

(13v °) asked me to change her cords that were worn out. I went immediately to find the first nurse to ask for cords; She told me where they were and I did this work, which was a bit long. When I finished, I went to take my work to the patient who was glad. But soon the nurse came to me: "My sister Genevieve, what have you done? You put new cords on the robe. You should have changed the end of those that were there.” - Sister, I thank you for telling me and I will undo those I have sewn and put on the old ones. " Soon, I returned to the disabled person, begging her to give me her tunic. "Poor thing,” she said, “how I make trouble for you.” “Oh my sister, that does not matter at all; I will soon bring it back to you." I began my work again, because I was too afraid to commit a sin against Holy Poverty.


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