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Ms A 79v

[79v°] to enter Sister Magdalene’s cell since the door was wide open. I saw her fully dressed and lying across her bed. I didn’t have the least bit of fear. When I saw that she didn’t have a blessed candle, I went to fetch one for her, along with a wreath of roses.

The night Mother Subprioress died I was all alone with the infirmarian. [5] It’s impossible to imagine the sad state of the community at this time; the ones who were up and about can give some idea of the conditions, but in the midst of this abandonment I felt that God was watching over us. It was without effort that the dying passed on to a better life, and immediately after their death an expression of joy and peace covered their faces and gave the impression almost that they were [10] only asleep. Surely this was true because, after the image of this world has passed away, they will awaken to enjoy eternally the delights reserved for the Elect.

All through the time the community was undergoing this trial, I had the unspeakable consolation of receiving Holy Communion every day. Ah! this was [15] sweet indeed! Jesus spoiled me for a long time, much longer than He did His faithful spouses, for He permitted me to receive Him while the rest didn’t have this same happiness. I was very fortunate, too, to touch the sacred vessels and to prepare the little linen cloths destined to come in contact with Jesus. I felt that I should be very fervent and recalled frequently these words spoken to a holy deacon: “You are to be holy, you [20] who carry the vessels of the Lord.”

I can’t say that I frequently received consolations when making my thanksgivings after Mass; perhaps it is the time when I receive the least. However, I find this very understandable since I have offered myself to Jesus not as one desirous of her own consolation in His visit but simply to please Him who is giving Himself to me. When I am preparing for Holy Communion, I picture my soul as a piece of land and I beg the Blessed Virgin to remove from it any rubbish that would prevent it


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Ms A 79r

[79r°] container which holds my Vows.

I attach no importance to dreams; besides, I have rarely had any meaningful dreams, even wondering why it is that I think of God all day long and yet am so little occupied with Him in my [5] sleeping hours. I dream usually about such things as woods, flowers, streams, and the sea; I see beautiful children almost all the time; I catch butterflies and birds the like of which I’ve never seen before. You can see, dear Mother, that though my dreams are rather fanciful, they are never mystical. One night after Mother Geneviève’s death, I had a very consoling dream: I [10] dreamed she was making her last will and testament, giving each of the Sisters something which she possessed. When my turn finally came, I thought I would get nothing as there was really nothing left to give; however, she said: “To you I leave my heart.” She repeated this three times with great emphasis.

Influenza broke out in the [15] monastery one month after Mother Geneviève’s death. Two Sisters and myself were the only ones left on our feet. Never could I describe all the things I witnessed, what life appeared to be like, and everything that happened.

My nineteenth birthday was celebrated with a death, and this was soon followed by two other deaths. At this time I was all alone in the sacristy because the first in charge was seriously ill; I was the one who had to prepare for the burials, open [20] the choir grilles for Mass, etc. God gave me very many graces making me strong at this time, and now I ask myself how I could have done all I did without experiencing fear. Death reigned supreme. The ones who were most ill were taken care of by those who could scarcely drag themselves around. As soon as a Sister breathed her last, we were obliged to leave her alone. One morning upon arising I had a presentiment that Sister Magdalene was dead; the dormitory was in darkness, and no one was coming out of the cells. I decided


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Ms A 78v

[78v°] On the day of my Profession I was also very much consoled to learn from Mother Geneviève’s own mouth that she had passed through the same trial as I did before pronouncing her Vows. You recall, dear Mother, the consolation we received from her at the time of our great sorrows. [5] Finally, the memory which Mother Geneviève left in my heart is a sacred memory. The day of her departure for heaven, I was particularly touched; it was the first time I had assisted at a death and really the spectacle was ravishing. I was placed at the foot of the dying saint’s bed, and witnessed her slightest movements. [10] During the two hours I spent there, it seemed to me that my soul should have been filled with fervor; however, a sort of insensibility took control of me. But at the moment itself of our saintly Mother Geneviève’s birth in heaven, my interior disposition changed and in the twinkling of an eye I experienced an inexpressible joy and fervor; it was as though [15] Mother Geneviève had imparted to me a little of the happiness she was enjoying, for I was convinced she went straight to heaven. While she was still living, I said to her one day: “Mother, you will not go to purgatory!” She answered gently: “I hope not.” Ah! surely, God does not disappoint a trust so filled with humility; the many favors we have received [20] since are a proof of this.After Mother’s death, each of the Sisters hastened to claim some relic, and you know the one I have the happiness of possessing. During her last agony, I had noticed a single tear glistening like a diamond on her eyelash, and this tear, the last she was to shed on earth, never fell; I saw it still glistening there when she was laid out in the choir. So when evening came, unseen by anyone, I made bold to approach her and with a little piece of linen I took the saint’s tear as a relic. Since then I have carried it in the little

 

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Ms A 78r

[78r°] And now, dear Mother, what more is there to say? Ah! I thought I was finished, but I haven’t said anything to you as yet concerning my good fortune at knowing our holy Mother Geneviève. This certainly was a priceless gift; God, who had given me so many graces, [5] willed that I should live with a saint. Not one that was inimitable, but one who was made holy by the practice of the hidden virtues, the ordinary virtues. On more than one occasion I received great consolations from her, but especially on one Sunday in particular.

Coming to pay her a visit as was my custom, I found two other Sisters with Mother Geneviève; I looked at her with a smile and was preparing to [10] leave since three Sisters are not permitted with a patient, but she said with an inspired look on her countenance: “Wait, my little child, I’m going to say just a little word to you; every time you come you ask for a spiritual bouquet. Well, today, I will give you this one: Serve God with peace and joy; [15] remember, my child, Our God is a God of peace.” After thanking her very simply, I left but was moved to the point of tears and was convinced that God had revealed the state of my soul to her. That day I had been severely tried even to the verge of sadness; I was in such a night that I no longer knew whether God loved me. You can readily understand, dear Mother, the joy [20] and consolation I then experienced!

The following Sunday, I wanted to know what revelation Mother Geneviève had received; she assured me she had received none at all, and then my admiration was greater still when I saw the degree to which Jesus was living within her and making her act and speak. Ah! that type of sanctity seems the truest and the most holy to me, and it is the type that I desire because in it one meets with no deceptions.


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Ms A 77v

[77v°] I even went so far as to amuse myself to composing a letter of invitation which was comparable to Jeanne’s own letter, and this is how it was written:

Letter of Invitation to the Wedding of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face. 

[5] God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, Sovereign Ruler of the Universe, and the Most Glorious Virgin Mary, Queen of the Heavenly Court, announce to you the Spiritual Espousals [10] of Their August Son, Jesus, King of kings, and Lord of lords, with little Thérèse Martin, now Princess and Lady of His Kingdoms of the Holy Childhood and the Passion, assigned to her in dowry by her Divine Spouse, [15] from which Kingdoms she holds her titles of nobility—of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face.

Monsieur Louis Martin, Proprietor and Master of the Domains of Suffering and Humiliation and Madame Martin, Princess and [20] Lady of Honor of the Heavenly Court, wish to have you take part in the Marriage of their Daughter, Thérèse, with Jesus, the Word of God, the Second Person of the Adorable [25] Trinity, Who through the operation of the Holy Spirit was made Man and Son of Mary, Queen of Heaven.

Being unable to invite you to the Nuptial Blessing which was given on Mount Carmel, September 8, 1890, [30] (the heavenly court alone was admitted), you are nevertheless asked to be present at the Return from the Wedding which will take place Tomorrow, the Day of Eternity, on which day Jesus, Son of God, will come on the Clouds of Heaven in the splendor of His Majesty, to judge the Living and the Dead.

The hour being as yet uncertain, you are invited to hold yourselves in readiness and to wait.


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