From Mother Agnes of Jesus to Sr Françoise-Therese (Leonie) – December 26, 1923

From Mother Agnes of Jesus to Sr Françoise-Therese (Leonie) – December 26, 1923


       +                                                                 Carmel of Lisieux 26th December 1923

Beloved little sister,

My thoughts turn to you as soon as Christmas is over, and to writing to you as quickly as possible, because it is as though you look forward to this letter as much as the baby Messiah (and it’s the case). So I open wide my arms and heart to you whilst my pen glides across the paper without saying very much, because you know everything!

Happy New Year! Happy New Year! I said it first. Do you remember?

Dearest little sister, pray for our Sister M.-Philomène. She has had a paralytic attack and probably won’t stay on earth for much longer. How fortunate she is! But she is now suffering her passion, as we all will, and needs God’s help.

Poor Louise (Louise Marais, who was married to M. Legendre) died a very painful death a fortnight ago from articular rheumatism, which she had had since she was young. She told the Good Sisters who nursed her at the hospice that Mamma was as holy as Thérèse. “What wonderful memories I have of her!” she wrote in a letter personally addressed to us. “She was so charitable to the poor! All those coins and bottles of wine! I went with her to take them to the needy in secret. And she was so courageous! I can still hear the Parish priest of Monsort saying to her as she was dying, ‘Madam, I’ve seen some very courageous women in my life, but I’ve never seen any like you.’"

Pray for the dear lady, little sister, without bitterness. It will bring you happiness. She prayed to Mamma and Thérèse in her agony! The Sisters were touched by this and the Mother Superior wrote to us. What’s more, I asked for any photos she might have of us and her son immediately sent them all to us saying it was only right that we should have them instead of himself and his brothers after his mother’s death.

She also told the Sisters that, when suffering from articular rheumatism at the age of 20, Mamma nursed her like a mother for months.

Our sisters said to me, “Don’t mention Louise to Léonie,” but I replied, “I will mention her because otherwise we would be letting her miss an opportunity to forgive the insults and to pray for her persecutor (without knowing what she did).” After all, we have been blessed in so many ways that we can very well practice charity to a heroic degree. And what’s more, the lady repented and died a very holy death after having been a good mother. Her parish priest in Merberault spoke of her most highly.

Goodbye, beloved little sister. Don’t be angry with me and accept fond kisses from your little sister and Mamma.

Agnes of Jesus


I’m seeing to having printed a magnificent booklet of the 1923 celebrations held in Rome and Lisieux. It will contain numerous photos. I’ll have it in March.