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Ms A 34r

[34r°] and doing the same as they; but I was not yet accustomed to taking care of myself. Marie was not there to comb and curl my hair, and so I was obliged to go and timidly offer my comb to the mistress in charge of the dressing rooms. She laughed at seeing a big girl of eleven not knowing how to take care of herself, and still [5] she combed my hair but not as gently as Marie. I didn’t dare cry, which happened every day under the gentle hand of godmother. During my retreat I became aware that I was really a child who was fondled and cared for like few other children on earth, especially among those deprived of their mothers. Marie and Léonie came each day to see me, along with Papa, [10] who brought me all sorts of pastries. In this way, I didn’t suffer the privation of being far from the family, and so nothing came to darken the beautiful heaven of my retreat.

I listened with great attention to the instructions Father Domin was giving us, even writing up a summary of them. As far as my own thoughts were concerned, I didn’t want to write any of these down as I felt I would remember them. I was [15] right. I was very happy to be able to go with the religious to recite the Divine
Office. I made a spectacle of myself among my companions by wearing a big crucifix Léonie had given me and which I held in my cincture like the missionaries; this crucifix was the envy of the religious who thought I wanted to imitate my [20] Carmelite sister by carrying it. Ah! how my thoughts fled to her; and I knew that my Pauline was also on retreat like me, not for Jesus to give Himself to her but to give herself to Him.64 This solitude spent in waiting for Him was doubly dear to me for this reason.

I recall that one morning they made me go to the infirmary because I was coughing very much. Since my illness, the teachers paid a lot of attention to me and for a light headache or even if they saw me paler than



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