Biography of Sr Marguerite-Marie of the Sacred Heart



Marguerite M du SC LT


There is a church at the end of a hamlet

You complete a spiritual break in the oldest Marian shrine of Normandy, Our Lady of Deliverance. You have a few hours of freedom left. The mood takes you to breathe the sea air again. So, take the little road D 35, preferably by bicycle. Calm sea until Tailleville: flat land, vegetables or for fodder. Swarms of seagulls squabble behind tractors as on the horizon, on your right, behind the fishing boats. Three masts emerging from the blue expanse: the spires of Langrune, Saint-Aubin, Bernières. But the ripples begin: the coast slopes gently to the Morph (a tributary of the Seulles). At left, a valley, Reviers and its proud Romanesque church. Now the swell widens, as if the earth is angry, the equal of a heavy sea. A steep hill: a little walk with your "little queen" prolongs the appeal of the journey ... The Seulles winds unhurriedly toward its estuary, Courseulles.

Throughout the region, which includes the plain of Caen and Bayeux, Gallo-Roman memories abound. And suddenly, the surprise. Wayward, Colombiers-sur-Seulles sweet name. Nestled at the bottom of the valley, literally on the edge of the river, a beautiful church steeple pure romance, twelfth-thirteenth choir of centuries, restored in full harmony with the primitive style nave. The modern Saint Vigor has marred nothing. Although prior to the novel, this ancient bishop of Bayeux! He sat at the time of Childebert, son of Clovis and founded two abbeys: Mount Chrismat (St Vigor-le-Grand) and Cerisy (Manche). Died before 538, he continues to slay the dragon.

The time of the great architecture for radiates little one in this area, we encounter beautiful monuments, churches and castles, often from the 13th century, the time period of great architechture. The quarries offered material of high quality. The little girl was taken to the baptismal font of Saint-Vigor-de-Colombiers and there Léa Nicolle became a daughter of God on a beautiful day in May 1850. Thirty years later, the young Maurice Barthélemy-Bellière climbed the same routes: Langrune, Villiers-le-Sec, Sommervieu ...


Daisy of God

In 1893, Sister Mary of the Angels presents Sister Marguerite-Marie as a "marguillette of God, with the simplicity of this flower" (CG, 1174). "Margueriette" or daisy, if you prefer. Lea’s youth takes place entirely in the rustic setting just mentioned. We know nothing of her studies, probably sketchy. The child is not stupid because the same portrait highlights the "witty repartee" of the Carmelite.

The father, Alexander Nicolle, is a stonemason. No doubt he is working on Reviers or better on Amblie, just on the other side of the Seulles: Orival quarries were still in operation in 1983. The mother, born Affable Nicolle (the Nicolles proliferated in Colombiers) is a lacemaker. At the time, the lace industry employed nearly 15,000 workers in arrondissement Bayeux. Colombiers born a few days apart in October 1813 Affable and Alexander were married December 31, 1835. They had five children: Exupère (1836), Antoine (1838), Armandine (1840), Léa (May 11, 1850) and Marie-Léontine (1855). The latter died at eight months (May 20th,1856). Five months later the head of the family disappears (October 20th,1856). Disease? Accident? Alexander was taken at age 43. Léa remains the youngest. The tombstone of Mr. Nicolle stands opposite the gate of the church of Colombiers. Under his name, the space left for his wife’s name remained blank; Mme. Nicolle must have emigrated to a nearby village (place and date of her death unknown).

In 1872, a new pastor arrived in Crepon, a parish near Colombiers, Father Jules Hodièrne. He was thirty-six years old and had just spent ten as vicar of St. Pierre of Lisieux. In 1869-1872, he served as chaplain and confessor to the young Carmel on rue Livarot. How did Léa Nicolle make his acquaintance? Father Hodièrne discerned a contemplative vocation and had ​​his penitent admitted to Carmel on July 15th, 1873.

The postulant Marguerite-Marie of the Sacred Heart of Jesus begins her new life with a moving ceremony, taking the veil with Sisters Saint John the Baptist and Aimée of Jesus on July 16th, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The superior, Fr. Delatroëtte, presided over the ceremony. The former chaplain is surely there. He will preach for the clothing of his "daughter" on the following December 8th.
On March 18th, 1875, the Thursday before Palm Sunday, Sister Marguerite-Marie professed at the same time as Sister Teresa of Jesus [Annales, November 1983), in the hands of Mother Marie de Gonzague. The two "twins" receive the black veil on the following April 6th. It is again Fr. Hodièrne, priest of Crépon who is speaking. Let us point out that, and it is a reference, the newly professed did her novitiate under the direction of Mother Genevieve of St. Teresa, the foundress.

This sweet little rustic and good, we do not know much except that she "still dashes to work, to fatigue, devotion" (CG, 1174). In a few years she will train with Sister Marie-Philomene (Annales January 1982) and Sister Marie of Jesus "the trio that you always see at the head of the Community for all the hard labor and who love to be appointed the factotums of Carmel."(CG, 1174.)


A luminous cross

"She would have been among those who make life sweet and pleasant". This praise come from the pen of Sister Geneviève (note from 1947-1948). Collect it preciously as the author is not generous. By 1908, however, the same pen already noted about Marguerite-Marie: "edifying religious in all respects" (NPPO).
"This dear sister, very uplifting" ... "She was a very good religious". These two verdicts are from Mother Agnès. "One of the pearls of our Carmel," added Sister Marie of the Angels (NPPA).

But the cross is planted very early in the life of Sister Marguerite-Marie. From 1886 to1890 (as a priory of Mother Marie de Gonzague), she has disturbing mental disorders. But we procrastinate. "The whole community was sick about it. "They ended up by hospitalizing her at Bon Sauveur in Caen around 1890it seems. She returns "quite recovered" (Marie of the Angels) and stabilized for almost six years. Do not forget that Thérèse enters in 1888, is a witness to these facts, while Mr. Martin is himself hospitalized in Caen in 1889-1892.

Late 1895 and early 1896, relapse. Sister Geneviève is asked to pray for the healing of Sister Marguerite-Marie on February 24th, 1896, the day of her profession. But Thérèse says that the miracle will not happen because at the same time, she saw her in a dream coming into the community room with a bright cross on her shoulders; All the sisters looked on amazed, so bright was the light it cast, all seemed darkness next to her (Sister Geneviève NPPO, 1908). Sister Marie of the Angels had the same dream (NPPA): "a very long and luminous cross," she said.

March 14th, 1896, a week before the elections for prioress, Mother Agnès of Jesus decided to hospitalize Sister Marguerite-Marie again. Uncle Guérin is responsible for the "chore" (VT, No. 63, July 1976, p. 233, note 40), accompanied by Armandine, sister of the patient. The following June 9th, her release is "granted on a trial basis"; improvement but no cure. Carmel can not consider taking her back under these conditions. After twenty-three years of religious life, the sister is returned to her family. One of her brothers takes her into his home in Colombiers. "Several times a year, at stated times, she is not herself" (Mother Agnès), but the disadvantages are not the same as in a cloistered community. Around 1970, a parishioner of Colombiers still remembered in her youth going to sew at Miss Nicolle’s house; she lived alone then.

She was admitted in 1922 to the Little Sisters of the Poor in Caen. She died there piously on June 12th, 1926. "Her heavy cross has certainly earned her a great glory in Heaven" asserted Sister Marie of the Angels (1915), referring toThérèse’s dream.

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