From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 116 - March 29, 1874.


From Mme Martin to her brother

March 29, 1874

Your letter is very brief. I would have liked to have had more details about the death of your poor friend, Paul D. I’d taken his salvation to heart. I prayed as best as I could and diligently said a novena for him. I was hoping Saint Joseph would convert him, which is why I’m very happy that he ended up a good Christian.

I congratulate you on the letter you wrote to his father, which he read in front of me. You have a special talent. It was remarkably said! I imagined he’d been quite distraught thinking of all the suffering his unfortunate son had endured, and I was very surprised to see him continue making the same comments against him because of sixteen thousand francs his son had spent. Constantly, he wants to be forgiven for having abandoned him and letting him die in misery. I couldn’t manage to get a word in so I finished by cutting the conversation short and leaving.

He asked me many times to justify his actions to you and asked me if I’d done so. You see that I’m conscientiously carrying out my promise to justify him! I feel bad, but I’ve written it, I can’t do anything more there.

I’m happy to see that you’re well regarded in Lisieux (in 1874, in Lisieux, Isidore took part in the foundation of the Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul and the Catholic Circle ; he also became a member of the Conseil de fabrique, an advisory board of prominent people, at Saint Peter’s Cathedral, his parish church). You’re going to become a man of merit, and I’m very happy about that, but what I want above all is that you become a saint. However, before wanting sanctity for others, I would very well have to take that road myself, something I’m not doing. Oh well, we must hope that will come.

I’m writing to you today because I don’t know when I’ll have time for it later. Little Thérèse definitely arrives Thursday ((Thursday, April 2, 1874, after a year’s absence).6 She’s a delightful child, very sweet and very advanced for her age.

Monday I leave to get the other children. A week ago I received bad news about the child her aunt calls “the predestined one” [Léonie]. If they send her back to me, all is lost. The only hope I have is leaving her there for many years. You who are beginning to become a saint, I beg you, pray that she remains at the Visitation Monastery.

Kiss your wife and your charming little girls for me.

I forgot to tell you that Louis expressly asked that I send you his best wishes.

© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


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