From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Isidore Guérin - July 8, 1897.

From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Isidore Guérin - July 8, 1897.

Dear Father,

I’ve come to bring you news of your little Queen’s health. It’s more and more worrying… Dr de Cornière came twice during the day yesterday, he is terribly worried. It’s not tuberculosis, it’s a problem in the lungs; real lung congestion. She vomited blood twice yesterday; they were little particles of blood as if she was vomiting some liver, and she coughed up blood for the rest of the day. Yesterday morning, Dr de Cornière forbade her from making any movement, he won’t even allow her to be taken down to the infirmary until the wound in her right lung has healed. She’s always taking ice, a drug to stop the blood, mustard plasters I think, and mustard powder. She is being admirably cared for. She has also had two dry-cups applied. She had a very bad night; she was saying to us this morning that not even souls in Purgatory could burn as hot as she, so high was her temperature. And, in addition, she was seized with a choking fit. Today she seems a little better; her temperature has fallen but she feels very weak. She can’t even bring her hand to her mouth, it falls back down of its own accord. Dr de Cornière came this morning and found her breathing was a little better but he still finds the right lung congested. He said there’s no great damage in the chest, but that there’s a sore point in the lung. Her immense weakness worries him greatly and this morning he said to our Mother that in the state she is in, only 2 percent recover. He said if she could eat or drink, her life could be prolonged, but a cure is impossible. And if she can’t digest milk, he gives her only a few days to live. When we go to see her, she is much altered; much thinner, but she still has the same calm, and the same readiness to joke. She sees death coming and is happy; she doesn’t fear it in the slightest. This will greatly sadden you, dear Father, and it’s understandable; we will all lose the greatest of treasures, but she certainly isn’t to be pitied. Loving God the way she does, she’ll receive such a warm welcome Up Above; she’ll certainly go straight to heaven. When we talked to her about us going to Purgatory, she said: “Oh! how you grieve me! You do a great injury to God in believing you will go to purgatory. When we love, we can’t go there.”

As for the state the Community is in, there are tears, sobs, grief on all sides. Mother Agnès of Jesus is to be admired for her strength and resignation. Our Mother is showing such motherly tenderness towards us all amid the greatest of sorrows, because Sr Thérèse of the Child Jesus was her greatest treasure.

Oh, dear Father! I don’t know what to say, we are broken hearted, aghast and can’t believe the calamity that is threatening us… oh, no! We can’t believe that God is taking our Angel from us, but she is so ripe for Heaven. Last night I asked God to give me a dream about her, and so this night, I saw her in dazzling beauty, surrounded by little Angels and playing with them. Is this not the reality? For in her simplicity, she resembles little children. A while ago our Mother gave Dr de Cornière her poem “Living on Love”. She wasn’t yet sick, being only at the beginning stage, but when he read it, he said to our Mother: “I will never cure her for you, hers is a soul that’s not made for the earth.” Father Youf came to see her for himself this morning and heard her confession. She won’t die without having received the sacraments, for we won’t wait until the last moment to give her Extreme Unction. Besides, she has herself requested it. It’s lovely seeing someone die at the Carmel and it far from makes you afraid of death.

I haven’t dared write to Mama because I feared finding her very poorly and upsetting her. As for Léonie, the little note in this letter is for her. You will give it to her if you consider it would be better to inform her. I think it would be a good idea to tell her that her state of health is more serious, but do what you think is best. I would very much like you to also write a note to the parish priest of Navarre (then Sr. Marie of the Eucharist’s spiritual director), I haven’t the strength to do so because I’m broken hearted and I would like him to know how worried we are. We all recommend ourselves to his prayers. I will write to you every day to give you news. Should you want to have news more often, or should the danger become greater, tell me what to do. I might be able to send a letter to the station in La Bonneville1. Should I do so, you must go there every evening to see whether there’s a letter for you. Because if there was a change in the morning, I would write, and you would have news in the afternoon I think. I won’t do anything until I hear from you.

I will write to Aunt to inform her. I send my love to you, dear Father, as well as to my Mother, my little sisters and my big brother.

I am a little hopeful; I can’t believe this calamity is real. Today she has neither vomited nor coughed up blood. There are just little trickles of saliva when she spits. She has neither coughed nor spit since this morning. I have no idea whether this is a bad or good sign. She drank 5 cups of milk this morning and has so far only thrown up one.

Your little daughter who cherishes you,

Marie of the Eucharist

How is Mother?

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