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Ms A 57r

[57r°] any other name but “Mama,” as this appeared ever so much more tender than Mother. How fervently I begged her to protect me always, to bring to fruition as quickly as possible my dream of hiding beneath the shadow of her virginal mantle! This was one of my first desires as a child. [5] When growing up, I understood it was at Carmel I would truly find the Blessed Virgin’s mantle, and toward this fertile Mount I directed all my desires.

I prayed Our Lady of Victories to keep far from me everything that could tarnish my purity; I was fully aware that on a voyage such as [10] this into Italy I could easily meet with things capable of troubling me. I was still unacquainted with evil and so was apprehensive about making its discovery. I had not yet experienced that to the pure all things are pure, that the simple and upright soul sees evil in nothing since it resides only in impure hearts, not in inanimate objects.

I also prayed to St. Joseph, asking him to [15] watch over me; ever since my childhood I had a devotion for him that easily merged with my love for the Blessed Virgin. I recited each day the prayer in his honor: “O St. Joseph, Father and Protector of virgins...” And so it was without any fear I undertook the long journey; being so well protected what was there to fear?

[20] After our solemn consecration to the Sacred Heart in the Basilica at Montmartre, we departed from Paris on Monday, at seven in the morning. We very quickly became acquainted with the different people on the pilgrimage. So timid that I usually dared not speak, I was surprised to find myself completely freed from this crippling fault. I was talking freely with the great ladies, the priests, and even the Bishop of Coutances. It seemed to me I had always lived in this milieu. We were, I believe,


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