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From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters – February 2, 1899

From Sr Françoise-Thérèse Martin (Léonie) to her three Carmelite sisters – February 2nd 1899

From our Monastery in Caen 2nd February 1899

Beloved little sisters,

So my religious life has begun. Yesterday I joined the Novitiate on a firm footing, resolved to walk the right path whatever the cost. I am perfectly happy, and under strong and gentle direction, which in no way resembles the others. Oh, how can put into words the deep motherly tenderness which God has put into the hearts of my directors. No, never have I found a truer and deeper affection. It exceeds anything I ever imagined.

When I joined, I was quite moved yet full of trust, and my first words after throwing myself into my MotherSuperior’ tender arms were these: “I will leave here, it’s true, but only in a coffin.” Then I spent quite a while before the Bl. Sacrament and although I was mute in His presence, I felt that Jesus understood me and this was enough to bring me deep peace.

Our little Thérèse has shown me that she is continually by my side by means of a strength which motivates me in everything I do. Our Mother said to me a while ago, “Do not be afraid, you’ll see your soul will swell with contentment.” Her prediction came true to the letter. Darling sisters, see how spoilt I am: I’m permitted to have the portrait of our angel in the cell. I’m joyfully making the most of this permission and when it is taken away, I shall be happy all the same. I’m ready to make all the sacrifices asked of me. At the moment I am so little and so weak that I still need treats. I want to grow and stay little at the same time. My only ambition is this: to hide like the humble violet under the leaves of perfect submission, so that my Superiors can do with me exactly what they please.

My dear Sisters in the Novitiate are very good to me; I already love them very much. Our little Novitiate consists of two professed nuns with black veils, a Choir novice and two Turn Sisters. I am the only postulant, but soon I hope to have a companion, namely a former pupil of our dear Visitation of Caen.

Come now, little sisters, do you find I’ve given you enough details? I don’t think I can do any better. – I must quickly go while remaining affectionately united to you in the Heart of Jesus.