From sr Geneviève to Brother Siméon - February 11, 1897.



From sr Geneviève to Brother Siméon - February 11, 1897.

J.M.J.T.                                                                Carmel of Lisieux

11th February 1897

     Dear Brother Siméon,

     As promised, I have quickly come to bring you news of the great celebration to which you made such a large contribution. Before going into details, I’d like to thank you again for the kindness and wholly paternal affection with which you asked for the apostolic blessing for our Mother, Sisters in the convent and people who attended the celebration. This precious kindness was announced from high in the pulpit. There was a large congregation. Oh! What great pleasure you brought us! You’ll certainly only know how great in Heaven…

       Our jubilarian was glowing and wholly rejuvenated. The ceremony was very touching. After the renewal of her vows, the Celebrant [lv°] blessed the staff decorated with flowers and the crown of roses. Then everyone was admitted inside to see her. All day long she met with friends of the Carmel in the visiting room, with the veil raised. She hadn’t seen or been seen for fifty years! (the Constitutions of Saint Teresa of Avila were then strictly applied: there was a double grille in the choir and in the visiting room, and black veils on the grilles, which were drawn back (in the visiting room) for parents and brothers and sisters. Exceptions were extremely rare once a nun was professed).

     And what a lot of exclamations, friends and reunions there were! – Inside the monastery, everything looked ravishing; our cloisters were decorated; the chaplains had provided the poor Carmelites with “a big dinner” (meatless)! Ah! How strange it seemed finding myself at such a fine table! I had forgotten all that without regret. Long live potato dinners! It’s good enough when in exile; our recreation room was bedecked with a throne that the novices had decorated. There, an array of tables was set out, laden with gifts. The Carmels of France had sent charming and thoughtful keepsakes. What a lot of prayers were said for our dear Jubilarian that day! She offered them all to Our Lord for the Church and for France…

     In the evening, the novices enacted a little [2r°] play that Sr. Thérèse of the Child Jesus wrote; it was about St. Stanislaus joining the Company of Jesus. – In short, the day was cloudless. But the most beautiful gift was definitely that from Dear and Revered Brother Siméon… the lovely framed photograph of the Sovereign Pontiff held pride of place. Sister St. Stanislaus was delighted, she doesn’t know how to express her gratitude and I myself hardly dare try… But, Very Dear Brother, you understand how grateful we are, do you not. You can imagine all that is impossible for us to say?...

     One of our Sisters thought to offer our amiable Jubilarian a photograph of the Virgin Mary and a poem on the same subject. This photograph is a reproduction of an oil painting I did; this work, which is most dear to me, was painted more by my heart than my brush. The poem is the first that Sr. Th. of the Child Jesus composed (PN 1 – The Divine Dew), both of us were inspired [2v°] together… This picture is therefore the reproduction of your two children’s work… Sister St. Stanislaus is very pleased to offer it to you as such. This modest keepsake will convey all her gratitude.

           As our Mother does not remember having sent the circular of our revered Mother Geneviève, the founder of our Carmel, and whose name I have the honour of bearing, she is enclosing a copy of it with my little letter. It’s a new edition20.

     Very Dear Brother, in the parcel you will find copies of some of Sr. Th. of the Child Jesus’ poems. I have indicated the tunes because there might be some well-known ones amongst them, and they are prettier when sung. I think I have put together, if not the most beautiful, then at least the most distinctive ones. The king will always remain: Living on Love. - She composes them at the Sisters’ requests according to their devotion. She composes plays, and they all have a special charm.

         Very Dear and Revered Brother, forgive me for this overly long letter and Thank you again, in the name of our Mother and the whole Community… Thank you!...

           Your very respectful and grateful very little Carmelite who shall never forget you.

Geneviève of St. Teresa

(unw. carm. nun.)

[2v°tv] Oh! How I’d love to have a photograph of you! I would be so happy and so proud to introduce you to the community!

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