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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 4, 1935

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 4, 1935

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                                 Carmel of Lisieux 4th August 1935

Dearest little sister,

As always, you were the first to wish me a happy birthday. Your little bouquet smells as sweet as ever. And what’s more, on the 6th, I will have a Communion from my Léonie, who was my inseparable companion in bad times, and she will pray to Jesus for me. I say “bad times”, but there weren’t any bad times in our life, only very painful ones. Yet even when we were going through them, my soul proclaimed, “Blessed are you, God, for the years of grace that we spend in sorrow!” Did you know that these are the words that the Holy Father had inscribed on his large seal which he used for the first time at Thérèse’s Canonisation? We were struck and moved by this, and it made me weep. The text reads, “. . . years of grace that we have spent in sorrow.”

Ah, soon we’ll sing this song of praise in the Homeland! It is our age more than sickness that guarantees this. Take heart, beloved Léonie, it won’t be long now, for any of us. The bond between us four has been strong, I’ll admit, but once that bond is broken, the pearls will roll off the string faster than they can be threaded on again, and if any remain, it won’t be for long.

You didn’t tell me that Mrs Gosselin’s daughter, the young widow, had become a nun. She wrote to us and I replied. I was so happy that she has devoted her life to God!

And does Dom Mayeul still write to you? He has broken all ties with us over his “Trilogy” book, which he sent to us to read before publishing. Sr Marie-Emmanuel read it and made a few comments, but when the book was printed, our Mother noticed several little things to correct in a future edition and pointed them out to him. However he didn’t take this well, saying that the comments should have been made on the manuscript itself. Yet, aside from the fact that it’s very difficult to appraise a book in detail from a manuscript, there’s no book that isn’t revised and corrected in subsequent editions. So we don’t understand his attitude. Sr Marie-Emmanuel, who is so gentle and well brought-up, had nothing to be ashamed of, whereas he wrote truly insulting letters, targeting women in general, fists flying. He didn’t get away with it, poor man! With a character like that, we can understand why he’s a priest emeritus and why his friars didn’t want anything more to do with him! May God forgive him, just as we forgive him!

As for the priest, he has written us letter after letter. He has had his own relic for a while now. The Sisters who see to the relics replied to him and granted his request. I don’t know whether he has a lock of Thérèse’s hair, but if he does, he must feel rather torn, for hair is kept only in our finest reliquaries. You know that hair is a very, very precious relic. Imagine if we had a lock of the Bl. Virgin’s hair! I would prefer that than a fragment of bone that can be mistaken for glue! With that, I send you my love, much-loved little sister, yes, and the fondest of kisses!

Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face

u. c. n.