From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 14 - June 27, 1865.


From Mme Martin to her brother

June 27, 1865

My father-in-law died yesterday at one o’clock in the afternoon. He received the sacraments last Thursday. He died like a saint; as he lived, he died. I would never have believed that this could have such an effect on me. I’m shattered.

My poor mother-in-law spent her nights taking care of him over the last two and a half months, without accepting help from anyone. It is she who prepared him for burial and watched over him day and night. In other words, she has extraordinary courage and very beautiful qualities.

I confess, death terrifies me. I just came from seeing my father-in-law. His arms are so stiff and his face so cold! And to think that I will see my family like that or that they will see me! ... You may be accustomed to seeing death, for me, I’d never seen it so close.

Something’s been bothering Louis for some time, and I don’t know what it is. He does nothing but talk about you. He would like you to come; he feels he needs to see you. I admit (between you and me) that this surprises me. If he were sick, I’d believe he was dying; but, thank God, he’s not there yet if he lives as long as his father. So write to us as soon as possible and tell us when you will come to satisfy Louis and all of us.

Pauline was in the procession on Sunday, dressed in white, as well as Marie. Both of them had their hair curled with a wreath on their head. Pauline was as beautiful as an angel and had such refined manners! She is liked more than her sister; she has every admirable quality. Marie is pretty but too shy, and this hurts her because she’s not at all naughty, and she has a great fear of offending God. She’s like my sister in Le Mans who, when she was very little, would cry when we spoke to her of marriage. Marie would do the same.

Léonie is very cute and rather strong. It’s an absolute fact that she’s never been sick since my sister made the novena to Blessed Margaret Mary, who was beatified in September (Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690) was a nun of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial). When Madame D came, she was in a pathetic state and had been since her birth. She had continual heart palpitations and an inflammation of the intestines that started when she was born. In short, I saw her hover between life and death for sixteen months.

I remember that during that time I wanted to stand her up on her feet and I was unable to do it successfully. Immediately after the novena she could run like a little rabbit. She’s incredibly agile.

My father is doing well, as well as little Hélène. Again, I tell you, she’s a beautiful child, but by no means fat; at seven months she only weighed fourteen pounds. This doesn’t prevent her from doing well, and she’s as fresh as a morning rose.

I went to see the holy girl (Marie-Dosithée) a week ago. She told me beautiful things that did my heart good. When you write to her, send her some stamps for the letters she writes to you; I give her mine. She asked me for some money to buy flowers for her St. Joseph. I gave it to her with great pleasure, and I’ll give her more whenever she wants.

I send warm regards from me and the entire family to our uncle and aunt. My father has almost made up his mind to go to Paris and to bring Marie with him. As for me, I don’t want to burden him with such a young child. I’d be afraid that he would regret it after he left.


© Society of St. Paul / Alba House

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