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Ms A 62r

[62r°] But it was impossible to get any except a small piece of red stone that was detached from a rich mosaic, the origin of which goes back to St. Agnes’s time. She must often have gazed upon it. Wasn’t it charming that the lovable saint herself should give us what we were looking for and which we were [5] forbidden to take? I’ve always considered it a delicate attention on her part, a proof, too, of the love with which the sweet St. Agnes looks upon and protects my Mother!

Six days were spent visiting the principal attractions of Rome; it was on the seventh I saw the greatest of them all, namely, Leo XIII. [10] I had both longed for and dreaded that day! On it depended my vocation. The answer I was supposed to receive from the Bishop hadn’t arrived, and besides I learned from one of your letters, Mother, that he was no longer favorably disposed toward me. My only plank of salvation was in the permission of the Holy Father, but to obtain it I [15] had to ask for it, I had to dare speak to the Pope in front of everybody. This thought made me tremble; what I suffered before the audience only God knows, along with my dear Céline. Never shall I forget the part she played in all my trials; it seemed my vocation was hers.

Our mutual love was noticed [20] by the priests on the pilgrimage. One evening, we were in a large gathering and there were not enough chairs. Céline took me on her knees and we looked so lovingly at each other that one of the priests cried out: “How they love one another. Ah! nothing will be able to separate them!” Yes, we loved each other, but our affection was so pure and strong the thought of separation did not disturb us. We knew that nothing, not even the ocean, could place any distance between us. Céline was watching my little


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