From Francis La Neele to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - September 10, 1910

From Francis La Neele to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - September 10, 1910    

Dear little Sister

Forgive me for not having replied to you earlier; I am snowed under with work.

You must continue your treatment. I’m sending you some of N° 2. You’ll begin with 1/10th of a syringe, that is to say 2 drops, and you will increase it by 1/10th every 3 days if you cope with it well and if your temperature doesn’t rise. We might come to see you in a fortnight, in which case I’ll bring you what you requested.

I gave 1100 francs back to the Carmel. Little Thérèse’s exhumation went very well.

The body was whole, but all that was left were separate bones without any skin or flesh. The spray (sterilised green plant) had been very well preserved. I removed that and as much clothing as I could. The veil . . . gone. Her rosary cross was in her hands. I had it given to his Lordship and he was very pleased to have the keepsake. Once the coffin had been lifted out, his Lordship chanted the Laudete Pueri with all the priests present and sprinkled holy water over it. I gave Thérèse new clothes, covering her ashes. I placed several bouquets in the bier and I placed a new veil on her head. The canvas sheets …. the Carmel cemetery were lowered following a request made to his Lordship and the coffin was laid open in front of the door. The 7 or 800 people who had been waiting and praying for 2 hours walked in front of it and touched it with a whole host of objects.

His Lordship wore a choir robe, as did Father Quirié and the Parish Priest of St Jacques. A huge number of priests were there. Then the lead coffin was sealed and stamped with the signets of his Lordship the Bishop of Bayeux and Mgr de Teil. I took the 3 planks that had come from the coffin lid and 6 bagfuls of the earth that had touched the coffin. Everything was taken to the Carmel. His Lordship recommended to me that no clothing or planks should be given away without his permission, unless it was to the family.        

Everything went admirably. His Lordship was left with an excellent impression of the ceremony and the crowd’s attitude. A report on parchment was enclosed in a leaden tube, sealed with the Bishop’s signet and placed in the leaden coffin.

Your sisters must have told you all this. I held the little saint’s head in my hands and I asked her to grant that my wife and I might love God as she did.

We had told everyone that the ceremony would be private, that people wouldn’t see anything and shouldn’t come. There was a great deal of talk about the exhumation in town.

With an affectionate kiss from your devoted big brother
Dr La Néele