From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin CF 93 - April 13, 1873.


From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin

April 13, 1873

Since the day I wrote you, the illness has gotten worse. Marie was absorbed by her illness during the day, and at night the delirium hardly left her. Last night was better, and today she’s feeling much better. She told me right away that she wasn’t suffering at all anymore. However, she’s so weak that she can barely turn over in bed.

This morning the doctor said again that it was definitely typhoid fever that she has, but a less serious case. The Sister that’s taking care of her assures us the same thing. However, it’s such a treacherous illness that we don’t know exactly what it could do.

Please thank all your family for me for taking so much interest in my dear Marie. Don’t forget me either to the ladies of the P family (Josephine and Clemence Pigeon). It makes me happy to see that they’re so interested in my Marie. There are also many people in Alençon who are worried about her. Sometimes they bother me, but still we’re pleased. As for the beautiful Madame Y, who gives balls to make the entire town spin, she hasn’t asked about Marie once!

Oh well, the important thing is that Marie gets better quickly. I’m beginning to have hope. Yesterday it was different. I was alarmed, as was everyone else in the house.

From Friday night to Saturday morning, I spent the cruelest night imaginable. It was sinister. My little patient called me in a muffled and mysterious voice to tell me things that made no sense. One time she said to me, “I took a Host. I’m going to the prison. It’s for the poor prisoners. They’re going to be so happy!” Usually every other night is not as bad, but we fear the next night. I’m the one who has to stay with her because I only have the Sisters every two nights, but one Sister promised me she would come back tonight. I’m very relieved.

Despite what I wrote in my last letter, I made my little Pauline sacrifice her Easter vacation. But now I’m sad she stayed at the Visitation Monastery since the doctor told me that I could have had her come, that there was no danger as long as I didn’t let her go in her sister’s room.

I passed this opinion on to Le Mans, secretly hoping that they would send my little girl home to me. But they didn’t want to give her to Monsieur Romet yesterday, who would have brought her to me. It seems that the entire convent was in turmoil over such carelessness! Monsieur Romet and his sister, Mademoiselle Pauline, didn’t agree with this opinion either, and they did everything they could so that she wouldn’t come.

As for me, I’m not as afraid as they are, and I don’t believe you can catch this so easily. If anyone were going to catch it, it would certainly be me, or poor Louis, because we never leave the patient and stay on our feet all night, close to her. I’m sure, under these conditions, it would take the grace of God not to succumb. Yesterday afternoon I had a very high fever, but it was due to exhaustion. It seems to be gone now.

Your loving sister.


© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


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