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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 22, 1925

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 22, 1925      

+ Jesus                                                       Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                  22nd November 1925      

Dear little sister,

As I’m always missing the post, I’ve asked God Himself to give me a little time today. He won’t hold it against me, because I simply must bid my Léonie farewell before Advent and tell her about our fine project.

Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart told me nobody had yet announced to you that we’re going to build a great big Way of the Cross in order to unclog the pilgrimage site at the Chapel. It will thus provide access to the Basilica building site and will be much longer than the very simple Way of the Cross here.

It will be situated in the pretty green meadows that are on the hill as you go up to the cemetery, the very meadows that look across the whole valley and which can be admired through the little fence and hedge lining the road at that point. We can see them very well from the Carmel. We called them “our horizon” and our Mother really hoped that nothing would be built there. Consequently, she resolved to buy them when we were proposed them. Unlike our other acquisitions, this one came about quite miraculously. It was essential that God prove to us where His will lay, because we would never have launched ourselves into this deal without very precise signs as to His intention.

The Way of the Cross will be comprised of zigzags. The stations will be marked very plainly with a large stone or granite cross. At the 1st station, there will be a statue of our little saint “embarking on the Way of the Cross” and wounded by the flame of Love (theme from the little picture in colour that you must have). At the 14th station, which will show a rock with a large stone sealing the entrance, there’ll be another statue, this time of “Thérèse sitting” in front of the tomb. On this tomb, right at the top of the field, there will be a large esplanade! To provide some shelter for the pilgrims, there’ll be a sort of cloister. Then a sort of vault will house an altar, so that Masses can be said there in the open air whilst being sheltered. On top of this edifice will be a huge crucifix and, a little way away, a statue of our little saint showering Jesus in flowers (model that you have). It will be gigantic in size and dominate the whole valley. People will be able to see this Way of the Cross rising in tiers on the hill from the train station and miles away. There will be three exits, one onto the road to the cemetery, one onto the road to Orbec and the other right by the Carmel, Rue des Terres-Noires. At this first entrance, in Rue des Terres-Noires, there’ll first of all be a sort of very plain little chapel or darkened passageway, in which they’ll be a bright bay window on either side showing two scenes. On one side will be Bethlehem, with our little saint scattering flowers over the manger, and on the other side will be a scene of Nazareth, with Our Lord as a young man working in the workshop. Again, our saint will be there. These scenes will be scale models of sorts. Our aim, as always, is to draw souls to Jesus through Thérèse.

Believe it or not, by a very rare privilege, we’re going to be sent, from Jerusalem, 14 little crosses to mount in the large ones. The crosses are made out of old, duly authenticated olive trees from Jesus’ time. The friar who guards these holy relics is having them blessed so that pilgrims will obtain the same indulgences as from walking the Way of the Cross in Jerusalem itself. Lastly, without knowing anything of our plans, someone else has sent us 14 little sachets of soil from holy sites.

This long newspaper, darling little sister, will prove to you how very fond of you I am. I will end it by sending you all my love.

Your little sister

Geneviève of the Holy Face and St Teresa u.c.n.