From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 167 - October, 1876.

From Mme Martin to her brother

The beginning of October, 1876

It’s been two weeks since I received a letter from my sister, as well as the Superior of the Visitation Monastery. They asked me not to send Pauline back to school because of the prospect of her aunt’s imminent death, and since Pauline is very sensitive, they wanted to spare her this pain.

Pauline wrote a letter to her aunt that brought tears to my eyes. Finally, she went back to school. As for me, I’d replied to the Superior that if she thought my sister was going to suffer more by Pauline’s presence, I’d keep her home.

I saw my sister Wednesday, and she’s very sick, very changed. She can only walk with the help of a cane and the infirmarian, who supports her. However, she spent two hours with us on two separate occasions, and even her voice was very strong, much better than I’d thought it would be.

She told us that she’s “the happiest patient in the world.” Her face radiates joy, and she’s awaiting the hour of her deliverance with a heavenly peace. I’ve never seen anything so edifying.

She spoke to us a lot about you, and I think I saw that she’s had a few illusions about your success. I didn’t want to take away her peace of mind, although not entirely sharing her way of thinking.

After you left Alençon, your wife wrote me that you’d forgotten to send the Malaga wine to Le Mans because of the large number of orders you found upon your return. My sister learned of this, and she immediately deduced from it that the novena for your business was answered in such a miraculous way that she had to publish this grace in the Annals of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart!

I said to her, “You need to wait longer in case it hasn’t continued.” But she didn’t have a shadow of a doubt that the matter was certain. So, I left her in her conviction, although I, myself, not being sure that she wasn’t prophesying, promised myself to speak to you to find out whether or not it was so. Regrettably, I see from your letter that it’s the complete opposite. That made me come down to earth because my holy sister had almost persuaded me!

I saw the Superior of the Visitation Monastery alone. She told me that the doctor believed our dear patient wouldn’t last until the end of the year, but that she’d walk up until the end. She gets up at five o’clock in the morning after a night spent coughing in her bed. Her feet are always swollen, but she still goes downstairs to take her meals with the Community. She has a raging fever every day from two o’clock in the afternoon.

Pauline should write me on the 15th. I’ll let you know as soon as I receive her letter and will do so each time I receive news. I think you can still wait until All Saints’ Day to go to Le Mans, but later, our dear sister would be too sick and perhaps dead. All the Sisters I saw think she doesn’t have much longer to live, and almost all of them came to see Marie.

She’s thought of as a true saint within the Community, and the nuns told me that their Superior cites her as an example.

If you’re going to see her, write me before Thursday. If I were you, I wouldn’t delay long.

© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


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