From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her father Isidore Guerin - July 1898

From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her father Isidore Guerin - July 1898

                                             J.M.J.T.                                 July 1898

+ Jesus!

                             Dear Father,

   Mrs Besnier has just sent off her proofs. They are perfect, and have turned out beautifully. There was one little fault and so we asked her to come to the Carmel in order for us to explain it to her. She understood perfectly and was ever so kind, as were we for that matter. The proofs are very light on colour. There was one where the facial expression seemed a bit sad, but Mrs Besnier found out the cause for this. It was because it was not quite as dark as the other.

Our Mother went to the visiting room and thought Mrs Besnier very nice. Her daughter [or granddaughter] was with her and our Mother gave her a little lyre, you know, like the one I had in my bedroom. Sr Geneviève was given numerous instructions with regard to the photograph. Mrs Besnier will send her all her procedures, and all her toning and glossing methods. Sr Geneviève showed her a photograph of her painting. She instantly recognised Sr Thérèse of the Child Jesus and asked for a photograph of it as a great favour. She added that she had kept all family shots of us, right from when we were children. Mrs Besnier left the Carmel delighted.

   So that’s one big thorn out of our side: the photographs have turned out well.

   Now, dear Father, do thank Mamma for the long letter she sent this morning. It brought me great pleasure. The story about the lighthouse is delightful and the kind thought shown by “the children” is very touching. Tell them everything they do for you or Mamma touches me more deeply than if I did it myself. Their thoughtfulness warms my heart.

   Our Mother would like to write you a little note about the poems you were sent. In case she doesn’t have time to do so, she has asked me to pass on her message. As you don’t mind sending these latest poems to the printers, our Mother would appreciate it if they were printed. You don’t remember the ones that were chosen, but I assure you that they were lovelier than some of the poems on Joan of Arc that will be printed. Most of our Sisters are of the same opinion, and delightfully recall the enclosed passage, having been struck by its beauty.

   In terms of the good they will do, there are certainly several in the book that might not be of great value in this respect, and yet, there is still something to gain from them. In short, dear Father, it would bring me great pleasure if you would grant us this little wish.

   Earlier, Mother Agnes of Jesus was saying to me, “Oh, I can’t tell you how useful Uncle has proved to us for this autobiography. He was right about everything. Without him, we would have made ever so many stupid mistakes. Ah, yes! We are very grateful to him. So, we’re going to spare him a bit of trouble and correct the proofs as best we can so that he’ll have nothing to do.” When Mrs Besnier sends the proofs back completely finished, we’ll send them to you immediately, dear Father.

   You can tell my spiritual Father when you see him that I’m beginning to think he wants to abandon me. I’ve been 9 long months without a single sign of life!!! Ah, if I didn’t have news of him through the people staying at La Musse, I would think he had left Navarre and gone to evangelise the Chinese or some savages. If it were the case, I don’t think I’d hear from him any more often. It would deserve him right if, as penance, on one of his trips to La Musse, you gave him paper, ink, and pens so he could write to his poor exiled child. The quiet stillness of the woods will provide him with even more heavenly inspiration than Navarre. But I couldn’t ask you to do that. I have a good heart and would prefer he enjoyed a decent day’s rest. I only ask for a particularly fatherly blessing from him.

  Dear Father, I send the fondest of kisses to you, Mamma, my little sisters and big brother.

                                       Your little Marie of the Eucharist, u.c.n.

From Mother Marie de Gonzague.


   This poor old woman asks you to please send the latest poems to the printers. The Community finds them even lovelier than the previous ones about our heroine. I place myself at the head of the little flock to give Mamma and Papa a kiss, not forgetting brother and sisters.

                                                                                        Sr M. de G.