From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin CF 134 - July 11, 1875


From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin


July 11, 1875

We were very anxious to receive your letter. I learned about the flood (a violent downpour in Lisieux seriously flooded the Carmelite Monastery during this disaster) in Lisieux Thursday morning at eight-thirty. I thought it was nothing much, but throughout the day the rumors were more alarming, and I was very worried. The next morning I read about the details in our newspaper, and then I was convinced that you hadn’t suffered, since the flood had only reached the low parts of the town. I was going to write you today to ask you for news about all this. I’m very happy to have received news because I’m going to send your letter to Le Mans, not knowing if you’ve written to my sister.

As you say, my dear sister, all of this is quite dreadful. This is a great curse, but sinful people are hardly benefitting from it. They would need something worse for them to open their eyes. On Wednesday afternoon we had a terrible storm here. It seems it did a lot of damage around Sillé (30 to 40 km south of Alençon); all the hay was lost, and the meadows were flooded.

I’m going to do your errand at Monsieur X’s place. He’s not there today, he’s with Monsieur Vital. He’s definitely leaving Le Mans, and he’s taking this opportunity to bring together all his friends, twenty of them. He’s having a big feast for them in Neuilly-le-Bisson (17 km northeast of Alençon) and my husband is invited.

I’ll try to visit you around August 14, the day before the Feast of the Assumption; it’s the earliest I can leave. I can’t travel the week before because that’s the week the children leave school, and I have a lot of things to do for them that wouldn’t be ready.

Céline is delighted about what you say about her. She’s asked many times what you mean by the word “particularly.” We told her that you’re inviting her before the others and, if only one person could go to Lisieux, it would be her. You should see how happy she is!

We hear about nothing else but Lisieux from morning ‘til night. Even the baby [Thérèse] is joining in and also wants to go to Lisieux to see Céline’s godmother and little Jeanne, too. Léonie said to her, “I’ll bring you all the cake they give me, my little darling. I’m not going to eat one of them.” She truly has a heart of gold, my poor Léonie, and she particularly loves her little sister. So, one of the reasons she refused to go to your house was that if she went, Céline wouldn’t go.

I must do something for the flood victims in Lisieux. You can always use the money that Madame Y owes me, and if she hasn’t already given it to you, ask her for it on my behalf. 

© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


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