From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin CF 118 - June 24, 1874.


From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin

June 24, 1874

I received your letter a little too late, just a half-hour before Monsieur Maudelonde arrived, and this bothered me because I was alone. The maid and the children were at the funeral of a fifteen-year-old girl, a friend of my eldest daughter. My husband was also out. He left this morning to go fishing and won’t return until about eight o’clock this evening. If I’d had your letter yesterday, he would have stayed, naturally.

I have no big news to report. Everything is going well enough at home. The day before yesterday I received a letter from the Visitation Monastery. I believe Marie is going to become “A Child of Mary” on July 2. There are only three students in the boarding school who will have achieved this privilege by then.

Pauline writes me that a Jesuit priest is giving a sermon every evening at eight o’clock during the month of the Sacred Heart. She says it’s so beautiful, so beautiful, that of course, a sinner she has in mind would convert if he attended it. “It would be impossible otherwise!”

Céline is constantly asking me when you’re coming, and I tell her, “During the month of August.” She responds, “How many days is that? That’s too long! The days won’t end so the month of August can arrive.”

Thérèse is beginning to say everything. She’s becoming cuter and cuter, but that’s not a little problem, I assure you, because she’s continually at my side, and it’s difficult for me to work. So to make up for lost time, I work on my lace until ten o’clock at night and wake up at five o’clock in the morning. I still have to get up once or twice for the little one. Oh well, the more trouble I have the better I am!

Do you remember Madame Leconte, who dined with us during your last visit to Alençon? She died May 3. I’d received her last letter nine days ago, which included four closely written pages. I loved this woman almost like a sister, so I felt her loss very much.

She was in Béziers with her son and was quickly carried off by peritonitis. But if you knew how I learned of her death! Imagine I see her son arrive at the house at eight o’clock in the morning. I was surprised and asked him right away for news about his mother. He answered without beating around the bush, “She’s at the station, in a coffin.” I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t speak any more, nor could I believe what he was saying….

I’m giving you a lot of details about someone you don’t know, but she’s constantly in my thoughts, and I can’t help speaking to you about her.

I have to finish my letter because I have an incredible amount of work to do. I’m very calm at the moment. The children went with the maid to pick some strawberries at the Pavilion (Louis Martin bought this small property in Alençon with a hexagonal tower on April 24, 1857) where we have a lot of them. Isn’t it a pity that we’re so far away from you! We could supply you with them for the season.

I hug you all with all my heart.

Your loving sister,

Z. Martin


© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


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