From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin CF 182 - January 8, 1877.


From Mme Martin to Mme Guérin

January 8, 1877

I’ve just come from Le Mans, and I’m hurrying to give you the news about our dear sister [Marie-Dosithée]. I found her better than I did two weeks ago, and she spoke to us for two hours without seeming too tired. I was quite surprised by this because I was expecting to see her in a sadder state.

However, towards the end of our parlor visit she had a bad attack, and I thought she was going to die. Quickly she asked for a glass of cold water, which was quite slow to arrive. As soon as she took a drink, she felt better.

She talked about you a lot, how she loves you with such deep affection. I had to read my brother’s letter, and afterwards this letter was passed around the convent. As for me, when I read it out loud, I had a lot of trouble holding back my tears, but in the end, I didn’t cry.

Here are the messages that I gave my sister for Heaven. I told her, “The moment you’re in Heaven, go and find the Blessed Mother and tell her, ‘My good Mother, you played a joke on my sister by giving her poor Léonie. She’s not a child like the one she asked you for, and you must fix this.’

“Then, go and find Blessed Margaret Mary and tell her, ‘Why did you miraculously cure her? It would have been much better to let her die, and you are bound by conscience to repair this misfortune.’”

She scolded me for talking like this, but I didn’t have any bad intentions, and God knows this very well. It doesn’t matter, perhaps I did something wrong, and for my punishment, I’m afraid of not having my request granted.

The Superior’s Assistant came to see me in place of the Superior, who was sick. I’d received a letter from her Saturday morning responding to a question I’d asked, telling me what would make my sister happy. Can you imagine, it was to eat goose, but a goose cooked at our house…; it seems the Mother Superior had a good laugh about the patient’s wish.

I said to my sister, “Thursday I’ll send you two geese, and I want you to treat all the sisters to a delicious meal. These good nuns never eat any, and they’re forbidden to buy any poultry. They only have some when it’s given to them. So I’m very happy to offer them this treat at the same time as you.” They’ll only have to have them roasted because if I send them already cooked, they would hardly be presentable.

That’s enough about geese. In that way, our meeting was almost cheerful.

However, I don’t have a cheerful heart. My little Thérèse is sick, and I’m worried about her because she has continual colds that cause a heaviness in her chest. This usually lasts a couple of days. She’s a child who can neither walk fast nor play like the others without being out of breath. I have to consult the doctor, but he’s going to tell me to put vesicants on her, and that terrifies me. This evening I find her almost cured.

This morning I received a letter from a merciless merchant who now no longer wants some orders that he placed with me. This is the third piece of lace he’s refused. I’ve been sad about it all day long.

We’re in the process of selling our business, and perhaps this will be concluded tomorrow. We’ll benefit from the existing orders. Naturally, the person who buys the business will take all the merchandise. I don’t have a lot at the moment, except for the three pieces that were refused. But he wants our house and to sign a nine-year lease. It annoys me to have to move because I was used to living here. Finally, tomorrow we’ll know what the terms are.

© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


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