From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her father Isidore Guerin - October 1 or 2, 1898

From sr Marie of the Eucharist (Marie Guerin) to her father Isidore Guerin - October 1 or 2, 1898

+ Jesus!                              J.M.J.T.                                       [1st or 2nd] October 1898

                                 Dear Father,

   I hear you’re feeling a little better. You must know how much joy this brings to your little girl’s heart. It’s a joy I’d like to see renewed every day, if God deemed fit to fulfil my desire!

   Firstly, I’ll begin my letter by thanking my papa and mamma for all the lovely things they sent. They were delicious. We had a great feast. By the by, to make you laugh, I’m going to tell you about a little incident involving my two ‘daughters’1 at recreation. Both of them declared their love for me. In a thoroughly convincing voice and from the bottom of her heart, my youngest, Sr Madeleine of Jesus, said to me, “To me, dear little Sister, you are very, very beautiful to my heart.” (I should tell you we were having a discussion on the beauty of souls.) The other, Sr Béatrix of the Child Jesus, her honour hurt and not wanting anyone to love me more than she did, added whilst making eloquent gestures, “Well for me, she is more than beautiful, she is ideal.” You’ll understand the burst of laughter that met this argument between my two daughters, neither of whom were willing to give in to the other. “Besides,” added Sr Béatrix, “not only do I love her, but I also love Mr and Mrs Guérin to bits. No one can imagine how much affection I have for them.” My two daughters certainly give me great consolation. They have a very sincere affection for their Angel. They preempt my every desire and do everything possible to help me. When I see fellow creatures show me a little affection, I see God in them. I see Him putting the spark of love He has for me in their hearts, to show me how much He loves me.

   Afterwards, Sr Madeleine of Jesus said to me, “I thought of your little sister on her wedding anniversary, and in her honour, I ate all my cream. It was absolutely delicious.” As for Sr Béatrix of the Child Jesus, she wants to make Jeanne the sole heir to her music. She declared to me earlier that she has a lovely book of songs she wants to give her, but I forbade her from doing so.

   I’m telling you all of this, dear Father, because it will interest you and allow you to see how much my two daughters love you both.

   Now I’m going to tell you about the little celebration we had on 30th 7ber. Ah, it really was a heavenly day! Our dear little Sister certainly proved that she wanted us to celebrate her entrance into heaven. Firstly, in the morning, as if inspired by heaven, our Mother gave all the novices licence to speak in honour of our Angel that flew to heaven. Isn’t that kind? Then for dinner, there was chocolate rice pudding, exquisite jams that are only served on important feast days, blackcurrant liqueur and sweets to celebrate little Thérèse’s birth in heaven. At tea-time, we had a big tumbler of red wine each, and at 7 o’clock in the evening, we sung a little hymn that Mother Agnes of Jesus had written. We went and sung it before the little statue of Jesus, the one Thérèse enjoyed looking after so much and which Sr Béatrix of the Child Jesus had decorated that day with exquisite taste. I’m sending you a copy of the song. The postulants were delighted. One wept, sobbing with grief that she hadn’t known the Sister who was being thrown such a magnificent celebration. She was inconsolable. The other rejoiced with happiness and said to our Mother, “Look, Mother, how radiant everyone’s faces are today. There’s certainly something special about today.” There is no doubt that, for me and many others, the day was filled with joy and peace. I personally have rarely spent such a blissful day. It’s also incredible to see the way in which the postulants are enjoying our little Angel’s protection. They love and pray to her with extraordinary devotion.

   I’ll quickly leave you, dear Father, after this long epistle. It was moving that, to close the festivities, the Frontignan wine sent by one of Thérèse’s missionary brothers arrived at the Carmel that day. Was this not a sign that she was the one sending it?

                                           Your little girl who loves you dearly       

                                                     Marie of the Eucharist

                                             With big kisses to her papa and mamma

The letter addressed to the printers was never sent. The book is still at 4 fr.

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