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From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - March 27, 1921

Sr Françoise-Thérèse to her three Carmelite sisters – 27th March 1921 

V + J! From our Monastery in Caen. Alleluia. 1921 [27th March]

Infinitely dear little sisters,

I’ve just feasted my eyes on your letters, chapters, and poems. Reading such beautiful things delight my eyes and cause me to dream of the endless happiness that we’ll enjoy in the Heart of our Risen Lord. I so love saying “O my King, when shall I see You in Your glory?” In heaven, we’ll return His love because that will be our only purpose, but we won’t be able to suffer for Him, and this reason alone causes me to love exile. So I’m peacefully waiting for the heavenly shore, profoundly convinced that I won’t reach my 60th birthday. However, I live in surrender, so if it pleases the Lord to leave me on earth until the world ends, then I’m perfectly willing to praise Him for it. I want only what He wants. I’m in much better health thanks to the treatment, and I mustn’t stop it completely.

You’ve been showered with a deluge of graces, darling Céline! You’ve received a flood of blessings! You’ll understand that as your sister, I feel pride and happiness in my heart. At the time, I was only able to sputter out my inner feelings to you very imperfectly. You must have seen this in my poor little note, which was as tiny as I am, yet huge in terms of love. Perhaps it was forgotten and never reached you, along with the pretty little picture. I’m sorry for the pain it caused you. Your sadness is reciprocated in my heart, which you know is full of affection for you. Ah, at least no one can outdo me in that respect. It’s the one quality I possess, being so bereft of all the others.

The dear little Sister whom we have just lost was our little nun in exile. Ah, dying far from one’s home and religious family is certainly like dying twice. However, she died a most comforting death and she was surrounded with love and care. Apparently she felt extremely happy to be going with God and it was Saint Joseph, the patron of a happy death, who came to fetch her on his feast day at eight o’clock in the evening, immediately after she had been given one last absolution. One of our Turn Sisters went on Sunday morning to help. She clothed her in our Holy Habit with the black veil because I must tell you that this is what our Lay Sisters wear when they have died, whereas our Turn Sisters wear the white veil. Is it the same at the Carmel? In any case, her beloved remains arrived here at two o’clock. Our dear Mother had the coffin placed before the large statue of the Sacred Heart in the cloisters, and the body was taken to the choir after Benediction. We feel great relief because for both our Sister and us, God eased the trial in a way that was admirable and worthy of Him alone. After all, the only thing we have to fear is sin. All the trials in this life, which is really nothing but dying, is merely a journey towards true life . . .

The end is missing