From Mme Martin to Pauline CF 210 - June 25, 1877.

From Mme Martin to Pauline

June 25, 1877

My dear Pauline,

I couldn’t help having a painful feeling when I saw you disappear on the omnibus. This feeling stayed with me, and yet I believe there was no reason to worry like this. You must have gotten back to your dear convent very quickly, where you found friendly hearts which consoled you and also the calm you needed after that trip.

We didn’t arrive in Alençon until six-thirty (Saturday, June 23) ; the train was almost a half hour late. Your father was waiting for us for an hour with the two little ones. He was happy to see us, although quite sad. He’d had some difficult moments since Thursday expecting the famous telegram at any moment, and each time the bell rang, he would jump.

He was very surprised to see me return as cheerfully as if I’d received the much desired grace. This renewed his courage and put everyone in a good mood again.

I still have a very strong hope of being cured which only increases. I see a look of disbelief on the face of certain people who come to ask about the results of my pilgrimage, but that doesn’t trouble me.

First of all, I can’t help having the feeling of confidence that invigorates me. I’m saying my novenas again, and every night I put Lourdes water on my wound, and after that, I live in hope and peace, expecting that God’s time has come.

Yesterday I saw Mademoiselle X, who admitted to me what I already knew – that she doesn’t believe in miracles. However, I told her that I was hoping for one all the same. She agreed with my words, but I could tell what she really thought. Oh well! As for me, I’m still expecting a miracle from the goodness and omnipotence of God through the intercession of his Holy Mother. Not that I’m asking Him to take away my illness completely, but only to let me live a few years to have time to raise my children and, especially, poor Léonie, who needs me so much and who I feel so sorry for.

She has fewer natural gifts than you, but in spite of this, she has a heart that asks to love and be loved. Only a mother would be able to continually show her the attention she’s hungering for and follow her progress closely enough to do her good.

My dear child treats me with infinite tenderness. She anticipates my wishes and nothing is too much. She looks into my eyes to try and guess what would make me happy. She’s almost doing too much.

But as soon as anyone else asks her for something, her face clouds over and her expression changes instantly.

Little by little I’m managing to make her get over this, although she still often forgets. However, with time, I’m sure I’ll be able to manage to make her love God a lot and be pleasant to everyone.

I forgot to return your badminton racquet. Mademoiselle Pauline R [Romet] has taken responsibility for bringing it to you, as well as the ribbons you asked for. You’ll probably receive them this week. I’m going to give her everything today or tomorrow, so don’t expect a new letter to accompany what I’m sending you.

Write me on Sunday because I want to know what state of mind you’re in and if you’re still angry with the Blessed Mother for not wanting to make you jump for joy. As I just wrote in a letter to Lisieux, she says to everyone as she did to Bernadette, “I will make you happy not in this world but in the next.”

So don’t hope for a lot of joy in this world; you’ll have too many disappointments. As for me, I know from experience how much to count on the joys of this world, and if I wasn’t hoping for those of Heaven, I would be very unhappy.

I don’t have time to write anymore. I’ll do so after I receive the letter you’ll write to me. Above all, courage and confidence! Pray faithfully to our merciful Mother, who’ll come to our aid with the kindness and gentleness of the most loving mother.

I kiss you with love.
Your mother,
Z. Martin

© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


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