From Sister Marie‑Dosithée to Mrs. Martin and her nieces - September 8, (?) 1876

From Sister Marie‑Dosithée to Mrs. Martin and her nieces. 8‑10th (?) September 1876.

V. + J. (Live Jesus)

From our Mtery in Le Mans

                                                               8th Nativity of O. L.

My Dear Sister, My dear children,

So you want me to write to you, it wasn’t my intention however, but what can I say, I’m weak, I cannot refuse you anything.

Yesterday, we received Pauline’s two pretty vases, which I was very pleased with, because I saw that giving them was so important to her: my Pauline has a good heart, it would be a shame if she didn’t become good, but she will do of course. Coming back to those ladies you sent, they caused me a fair bit of embarrassment, they handed me the letter and didn’t at all offer to come back and pick up a reply; so I thought that I would have to send you news about my health verbally, which bothered me, because I don’t particularly want [l v°] everyone to know about my affairs, especially if I’d have known I had to write to you.   

You were surprised to receive such a short letter last time; I couldn’t do otherwise: at a quarter to 11, I was brought my letters and told that I needed to hand over my reply at noon; I skimmed through them, and couldn’t even read them properly, it would have taken too long, I started writing at about 11 o’clock, and before ½ past 11, they were hounding me for my letter. Furthermore, I was very tired I was trembling and couldn’t gather my thoughts, so what do you expect? 

You wished for news of my health. Yesterday and today I’ve been better, my temperature has gone down, I have more strength. For the five or six days before that, it wasn’t so, I had a very high temperature which plagued me continually; don’t think I stayed in bed, no, because this week, I’ve been up at 5 in the morning 4 days in a row now to take Holy Communion and I’m no worse. Tomorrow, I will rest if I can, I say if I can, because my cough gets me up, since I cough more in bed than standing up. I am weaker, so I’m unable to walk in the garden, without the arm [2r°] of one of our sisters, and a stick in my other hand. If you saw me, you would be surprised I have a delightful complexion, and if my assessment is right, I will be able to go on for at least a year like this, if not longer, unless I catch pneumonia, but I’m taking many precautions. Consequently, Pauline, your aunt won’t be dying this year.

I would have liked to see Marie at the beginning of term, but if she comes then she perhaps won’t be able to come later, it’s for this reason that I would have liked her to come later, because she won’t be able to see Father Cartier (the Jesuit who preached at the June-July retreat), on that day due to the new term starting. Yet it would have done her good if he’d seen her again for a moment, it would have strengthened and consolidated her on the right path, anyway do what you think is best. 

Sister Félicité is in the infirmary for her leg and yesterday she said to me: “Oh! How often your sister asks the Poor Clares (the Order of Saint Clare in Alençon) to pray for you.” To her great surprise I replied, that not only did you not ask them to pray but that you yourself didn’t want to pray (sic) for me because I was a saint! Would you mind, please, telling me who has ever told you that I was a saint? Nobody! Here nobody neither says it nor thinks it, and even if I were the greatest saint in the world, it only takes a second to fall from grace, and who has ever asserted [2v°l that the righteous persevere? I assure you that I’m not very grateful to you for this, because even my own sister refuses to help me! Holy Scripture says: “A brother shall help his brother, and the Lord will save both of them”. 

Please tell me about Léonie when you come, I particularly wish to speak to you about her.

I wasn’t able to finish my letter to you on Friday, I found I was too tired, but since then, I’ve been thinking that in actual fact, it might be better for Marie to come at the start of term, because although I’m not a prophet and I don’t know what could happen to me, perhaps later on, I won’t be able to see her again and she would regret that; don’t bring the children, I do love them, but I couldn’t bear their noise.

My Pauline, your little garden is looking delightful, I’ve never seen it so beautiful, when I am able to go out I will go to see it and that will be a little treat for me, the China asters are so beautiful! Unfortunately the flowers will be over when you come, but there are some still in bud that are waiting for your return to flower. - I’ve put your vases, not next to the Sacred Heart, there were so many there already, but next to the poor Bl. Virgin in the dormitory, it’s just been her Nativity, if you’d have seen how happy she looked, I stopped to look at her, she has never looked so beautiful!... Sr. M. Aloysia sends her affection, but she’s not pleased that you are doing your homework she wants you to rest. It seems, my Pauline, that your Mother has been making you take lessons from the Fishmongers, you speak so loudly that everybody gets a splitting headache; your uncle told me about it, he was sorry and found that you weren’t well brought up [2v°tv] a young lady boarding at the Visitation convent and especially a 15 year-old, should have good manners.

Your affectionate Sr.

Sr. M. Dosithée Guérin

Of the Von of Holy Mary

B. B. G.

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