From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 50 - February 8, 1870.


From Mme Martin to her brother

February 8, 1870

I wasn’t surprised to learn your news (Isidore and Céline Guérin are expecting another baby). I’d be very happy to be the godmother, and I’m quite ready to help you as much as possible. But I think you’ll have the dilemma of having to baptize the baby privately because I probably won’t be able to come to Lisieux then for I too am expecting a baby in August (Mélanie-Thérèse). You won’t be the godfather of this one. I’ll try to find a little boy among our acquaintances who will have this honor, and Pauline will be the godmother.

So my trip will be delayed, and I won’t go to see you at Easter. The little girls will be very surprised, but they’ll come with me in September.

Little Céline is growing like a mushroom. She’s never sick, has a very good appetite and eats whatever we want to give her. As for Hélène, she’s very delicate and has had a fever for two days, something that happens rather frequently. She learns very easily and reads fluently.

The two older girls in Le Mans are doing very well. Marie received the Cross of Excellence, the Ribbon of Diligence, the Cross of the Order and the Ribbon of Manual Work. Louis is going to see them on Mardi Gras (last Tuesday before Ash Wednesday).

Their holy aunt is also feeling very well. She spent only four days in the infirmary this winter. She wrote to me on Sunday and spoke about you regarding a thank you letter I received from Issoudun, for the “Little Work of the Sacred Heart” (a free school for poor children). She told me she was very hurt that you withdrew from it, all the more because you had admitted to her that you don’t have many opportunities to give alms, and yet we have to give alms in order to go to Heaven.

I see that your little girl is still very good and very advanced, and you can be sure that this will continue, and she’ll be very intelligent. The only disadvantage I find is that this may make her proud. More than others, children who are idolized by everyone have to overcome this fault, if it’s not suppressed by their parents.

You didn’t tell me, do you still have the maid you’ve had since you came to Alençon?

I’m upset that you don’t have the Hospice as a customer because you need to earn money. Everything is so expensive in Lisieux and now children are coming. If you have as many as I do, this will require much self-sacrifice and the desire to enrich Heaven with new chosen ones.

I received Marie’s handkerchief. It’s too beautiful, not like what I had expected. I resolved never to say what I want, because I’m never given what I want, it’s always more beautiful by half! It’s like little Céline’s dress, I’m trembling about it already. They sell some very pretty ones in Alençon for 10 or 12 francs, in trimmed cotton piqué, which I’m sure are double the price in Lisieux. Let me buy this dress as I think best. That will be one less thing for your wife to do, who already has too many problems, and one less postage to pay. You’ll reimburse me. Tell me, does this work for you?

Give a big hug to your dear little wife for me and assure her that I’ll be delighted to be godmother to a big boy or a beautiful little girl. Until then, I very much want her to get better. I won’t be at ease until she herself writes to me.

A thousand kisses to little Jeanne. Tell her that her aunt in Alençon loves her with all her heart. My husband sends a thousand kind regards to you all.


© Society of St. Paul / Alba House

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