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From Sister Marie‑Dosithée to Mrs. Martin - September 21, 1876

From Sister Marie‑Dosithée to Mrs. Martin. 21st September 1876.

V. + J. (Live Jesus)

From our Mtery in Le Mans

                                                                         21st September 1876

My Dear sister,

You are not expecting news from me today but I wanted, before term began to keep you perfectly informed about the state of my health, so that you can think about what you will need to do about Pauline.

For the last ten days or so, I’ve not been so well; my temperature has risen and refuses to fall either during the day, or the night, my face is flushed which would have you believe that I’m in perfect health; my bad nights are spent coughing and sitting up in my bed, which has become my best cross, and yet I go to bed quite early, my poor swollen feet imperiously demand it. This is my true situation, and yet I move about regularly; every day, one of our good nurses is charitable enough to take me for a walk in the garden, which greatly tires me, but it’s necessary, I need the fresh air.     

[lv°] On seeing the state of things, and the doctor who prescribed nothing more for me considering me to be a lost cause, I asked our Rev. Mother’s permission to have a vesication to release me a little of my pain and to have at least a few better nights, this remedy has hitherto always relieved me. It was applied immediately, and though the result was staggering and even unprecedented, it only succeeded in making me weaker and causing my temperature to rise. I must therefore give it up for good; there is no other possible treatment. My life is therefore just a question of time, but nobody not even the doctor can say precisely how long I have left, not even to within 6 months. What is certain is that winter is ahead of us, and that I can only suffer a great deal. Is it therefore appropriate for Pauline with a heart like hers, to come back to the Visitation convent where she will rarely be able to see me, and will know I am very ill: do you think she is well enough to bear this? The poor child shall be miserable as shall I, we will both of us suffer. In addition, she is changing principle teacher, she will lose Sr. M. Aloyais whom she loved so much. I beg of you, think about all this, you believe that I will always be very pleased to see her but I can only see pain and sadness for her and for me.

If you decide to keep her, all three of you will come [2 r°] and see me: in that case, don’t come until after All Saints’ Day, only before the very cold spell, it’s not been long since we last saw each other, and you will take Pauline’s belongings with you when you go.

Now my dear sister, all that remains for me to do is say how grateful I am to our Mother, for all the care and kindness she is showing me: I have been given permission to ask for what I want to eat and what would please me the most; my wishes do not vary much, I don’t desire anything in particular, our sisters are also so full of charity for me, I have heard it said by sisters coming from other monasteries that charity is the dominant virtue in this house; so now and when I’m gone, do love my dear convent.

And you, my dear little girls, you are going to pray for your poor aunt, so that all of this long illness, with its endless suffering and troubles, may be for the glory of God, that is the goal that must motivate all our actions. Every day I devote an hour to you and your parents, do the same for me, I’m not saying you should withdraw into your bedrooms to pray, but do so while you work; work steadily on correcting your faults, it’s the only reason life was given to you.

I am ashamed of such scribble, but I can no longer write. I send all my love to you and especially to Céline who does so love her aunt.

Your Devoted Sr.

Sr. M. Dosithée Guérin

Of the Von of Holy Mary

B. B. G.

I understand my dear sister, that you wish to hear from me often; you also understand that I can’t write to you very often. I thought that since Mr. Vital (Romet) still comes quite often to Le Mans, he could send a servant to ask for news from our Extern Srs., and you could go to see him when he returns for the answer.

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