LT 263 - to Fr. Bellière - August 10, 1897.


Carmel of Lisieux                                     August 10, 1897

Jesus +

Dear little Brother,

I am now all ready to leave; I received my passport for heaven, and my dear father is the one who obtained this grace for me. On the 29th he gave me the assurance I was soon to join him; the next day, the doctor, surprised at the progress the sickness had made in two days, told our good Mother that it was time to grant my desires by having me receive Extreme Unction I had this happiness, then, on the 30th, and also that of seeing Jesus-Victim leave the taber­nacle for me, whom I received as Viaticum for my long voyage!... This Bread of Heaven fortified me; see, my pilgrimage seems to be unable to end. Far from complaining about it, I rejoice that God permits me to suffer still for His love; ah! how sweet it is to aban­don oneself into His arms without fear or desire.

I admit to you, little Brother, that we do not understand heaven in the same way. It seems to you that sharing in the justice, in the holiness of God, I would be unable as earth to excuse your faults. Are you forgetting, then, that I shall be sharing also in the infinite mercy of the Lord? I believe the Blesed have great compassion on our miseries, they remember, being weak and mortal like us, they committed the same faults, sustained the same combats, and their fraternal tenderness becomes greater than it was when they were on earth, and for this reason, they never cease protecting us and pray­ing for us.

Now, dear little Brother, I must speak to you about the inheritance you will receive after my death. Here is the share our Mother will give you: 1) the relic I received on the day of my reception of the Habit, and it has never left me since then; ii) a little Crucifix which is incomparably more dear to me than the large one, for the one I have now is no longer the first one I had been given. In Carmel, we exchange objects of piety at times; this is a good way to prevent us from becoming attached to them. I return to the little Crucifix. It is not beautiful; the face of Christ has almost disappeared. You will not be surprised at this when you realize that since the age of thirteen this souvenir from one of my sisters has followed me everywhere. It was especially during my trip to Italy that this Crucifix became precious to me; I touched it to all the famous relics I had the happiness to venerate, and to tell you the number would be im­possible for me. Furthermore, it was blessed by the Holy Father. Ever since my illness, I hold our dear little Crucifix almost always in my hands; when looking at it, I think with joy that, after having received my kisses, it will go to claim those of my little Brother. Here, then, is what your inheritance consists of, and in addition our Mother will give you the last picture that I have painted. 1 am going to end, dear little Brother, where I should have begun, by thanking you for the great pleasure you gave me in sending your photograph.

A Dieu, dear little Brother; may He give us the grace to love Him and save souls for Him. This is the wish that your unworthy little Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus of the Holy Face has.


(It is by choice that I became your sister.)

I congratulate you on your new dignity. On the 25th when I am celebrating my father's feast day, I will have the joy of celebrating that of my brother Louis de France

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