From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 111 - November 29, 1873.


From Mme Martin to her brother

November 29, 1873

Your letter arrived as we were sitting at the table with Monsieur Maudelonde. You needn’t worry, there’s no danger of talking about prophecies with him, or even anyone else, because I have little confidence in them, and I don’t dwell on any of them. And yet I always have Marie Lataste (religious of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart, who made a vague prophesy referring to restoring the pope to his authority and ridding the Vatican of its enemies) in my head, and if the fourth year of the Holy Father’s captivity passes without his release, I’ll be very surprised, but I’ve already been surprised many times, so I don’t get flustered anymore.

I have more patience than ever, and now I act as if nothing has to be done right away. I’m taking care of the big orders, and I take my time delivering my merchandise. I’m tired, very tired of the fears that paralyzed me and did me considerable harm. I wasn’t surprised by the results of these political affairs; from the beginning, I was expecting what happened.

Little Thérèse is still growing remarkably well. I’m bringing her home from the wet nurse on March 11. I’d promised she would stay a year, and it’s best that I keep my promise. Otherwise, I would bring her home two months earlier. Céline is also getting stronger.

Pauline is not well. Her aunt wrote me asking that I send her some wine to build her up. They’re very happy with Marie. She’s a charming girl, and her aunt is delighted with her.

I’m having a young lady with an advanced diploma give Léonie lessons. The child is having a very hard time learning, but finally she’s beginning to learn a little. She’s definitely leaving for the Visitation Monastery the first of the year. We’re in the process of putting together her wardrobe. I think it’s a waste of money, but, more than anything, it’s the trouble she’s going to give her aunt that worries me. However, my duty forces me to try once again. If she doesn’t succeed, I’ll have nothing to reproach myself for.

My dear sister in Le Mans (Sr Marie Dosithée) is still doing reasonably well. She’s much better than she was last winter, and we don’t understand that at all. I’ve gotten the idea that God is leaving her with me so she can transform my Léonie, because she’s the only person who has any influence over her. Also, when we ask my poor little girl what she wants to be when she grows up, her answer is always the same, “Me, I’ll be a nun at the Visitation Monastery, with my aunt.” God willing, this will be so, but it’s too beautiful, and I don’t dare hope for it.

As for the two oldest girls, here are their thoughts: Marie doesn’t want to hear a word about the convent, and she wants to remain an old maid. Pauline wants neither the convent, nor marriage, nor to remain an old maid – and I don’t know how she’ll be able to manage that!

It seems that your little Jeanne is fearless, according to what Monsieur Maudelonde told me, and that she wants to be the best at everything, at all costs? If this continues, with her intelligence you’ll make her famous….


© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


Back to the list