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Ms A 31v

[31v°] of Little Jesus whom I loved so much, and I said: “Oh! how happy I would be if they called me Thérèse of the Child Jesus!” I said nothing during the visit about the dream I had while wide awake. But to good Mother Marie de Gonzague, who was asking the Sisters what name I should be given, came the idea of [5] calling me by the name I had dreamed about. My joy was great and this happy meeting of minds seemed to be a singular favor from my beloved Child Jesus.

I forgot several details of my childhood before your entrance into Carmel; for instance, I haven’t spoken about my love for pictures and reading. And still, dear Mother, I owe to the beautiful pictures you [10] gave me as rewards, one of the sweetest joys and strongest impressions that aided me in the practice of virtue. I was forgetting to say anything about the hours I spent looking at them. The little flower of the Divine Prisoner, for example, said so many things to me that I became deeply recollected. Seeing that the name of Pauline was written under the little flower, I wanted Thérèse’s name to be written there also and I offered myself [15] to Jesus as His little flower.

I wasn’t too good at playing games, but I did love reading very much and would have spent my life at it. I had human angels, fortunately for me, to guide me in the choice of the books which, while being entertaining, nourished both my heart and my mind. And I was not to go beyond a certain time in my reading, which was the cause of great sacrifices to me as I had to interrupt [20] my reading very often at the most enticing passage. This attraction for reading lasted until my entrance into Carmel. To state the number of books that passed through my hands would be impossible, but never did God permit me to read a single one of them that was capable of doing me any harm. It is true that in reading certain tales of chivalry, I didn’t always understand the realities of life; but soon God made me



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