From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her mother Mrs Guerin - July 17, 1898

From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her mother Mrs Guerin - July 17, 1898

                                             J.M.J.T.                                    17th July 1898

+ Jesus!

                             Dear Mother,

   Is the arrival of my letter going to wake you again? I hope not. The fresh air at la Musse will give you strength and help you to recover quickly.

   We received the proofs this morning. Our Mother is very pleased with them. She is having Mother Agnes of Jesus write down the few comments she has. I’m enclosing them with this letter. At the same time, you’ll also receive the proofs we’re sending back to Papa.

   As for the trout, ah, I can’t tell you how much pleasure they brought us! They were excellent. It so happens that I had a share of the large one, and I found it exquisite. It really was good of Arsène to give them to us. I will write to him like you asked me to. I probably won’t have time today, but will do so in the next few days.

I’m very pleased you have invited Mgr Amette over. You’ll be able to get to know him better. I hoped with all my heart you would have dinner with him. Tell Papa that, with regard to Joseph de Cornière, it is now preferable he leaves him alone with his Lordship, and not worry about him anymore.

   What can I tell you that’s amusing? Ah, I’ve some news for you. The postulant that Papa sent to the Carmel before he left for La Musse has died. This postulant’s character, which was so sweet and gentle before joining, changed when among us. Religious life was no doubt not his vocation. He became mean and nasty, biting his brothers till he drew blood, including the Sister who brought him food. Given his nastiness, a death decree was passed against him, and brought before the Community Council meeting at recreation. Some said that if he bit his brothers, it was a sign of his vocation and proved his love of solitude. Since Carmelite life is eremitic, this was in his favour. Others said that one of the main virtues required of postulants is love and mutual support, and that since he lacked this virtue, it was not his vocation to stay at the Carmel. Those of the latter opinion were more numerous. The death sentence was carried out and the poor frailer Sisters among us enjoyed the notorious rabbit. I had great trouble comforting the nurse who looked after him. She didn’t know how we would break the news to Papa. She would happily give all her poultry and rabbits, which amount to 120 animals, if it would comfort Papa. I believe she’s waiting for his return to give him 2 little pigeons.  

   The real postulant is arriving this week. As for my first ‘daughter’, she has been parted from the ‘Angel’1 she loved so passionately. It was a harsh blow, and I’ll tell you a charming little story about that, one involving our little Thérèse.

   For the feast of St Martha, if you could, Mother, would you give me a little token for the Lay Sisters like last year? If you remember, it was a little stack of books in which there was a bar of chocolate. 4 little surprises of this sort will bring them so much pleasure. They’ll offer them as presents to their little nephews and nieces.

  I must hurry because I’m holding up the post. A thousand kisses to my big brother and little sisters. In my letter to Francis, I asked him to distribute vast quantities of kisses to everyone and I suddenly remembered that I didn’t mention him. Please give back to him, with excessive interest, the kisses he gave you on my behalf.

As for Papa and Mamma, you have all the love in your child’s heart.

   All your little girls send you all their affection. If only you knew how much we love you! Ah, I couldn’t possibly tell you. If only you could see inside the hearts of your little girls at the Carmel.

                                                               Your little girl who cherishes you

                                                              Sr Marie of the Eucharist


Our Mother has asked me to convey her deep affection to you

1 Each new postulant ‘daughter’ would be assigned a mentor Sister, an ‘angel’.