From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - May 14, 1922

From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - May 14, 1922

V + J! From our monastery in Caen on this 14th May 1922

Dearly beloved little sisters, 

I was delighted to receive your letters, including the one from little Céline accompanying the magnificent engraving of the Crucifix. Our Mother is going to have it framed and put somewhere we can all enjoy it. Darling Céline, you can certainly be sure that Jesus thought of you when He imprinted His image onto the Holy Shroud. And who knows, perhaps His main reason for doing so was to allow His darling bride, His Heart’s beloved and His own artist, to reproduce it as you have done, in a very, very realistic and very captivating way, so as to touch souls at the end of time and bring them all back to His love. You see, sweet Jesus is not known, and that is why He is not loved. We wonder, my darling, why the words “Jesus King of the Jews” are written backwards in the three languages. Answer this query of mine, I beg of you. The precious cassock is so beautiful, thank you for having photographed it. It’s lovely to think that between now and the Beatification we’ll receive all sorts of surprises in the form of copies like this one. I’m very glad and very touched to have a buttonhole already, and such a lovely piece of lining. Thank you darling little Mamma. I took Communion for you yesterday knowing you were on retreat. Alas, I only have my poor prayers with which to help you during this exceptionally busy preparatory year. But at least I give you them wholeheartedly. Our saint’s robe has been beautifully arranged. You’d think she was inside it. In a word, once again, everything brought us immense pleasure.

As for your chapter homily from Good Friday, beloved Mamma, it’s so lovely and good and inspiring! Reading it was such an exquisite feast! . . . .

You know, before sending the precious crucifix back to you, our beloved Mother herself had all of us venerate it very solemnly. And what’s more, it was truly touching to see her and our Sisters touch the dear relic with crosses, pictures, medallions and rosaries. I didn’t have room in my last letters to tell you these interesting details.

I am resuming my letter on 21st May, and this allows me to tell you that, to our great joy, we have just had a visit from the Mother Superior and former Superior of Boulogne. They have just returned from Annecy, where almost all the Mother Superiors of our Institute were convened for a general chapter meeting. You see we share a common destiny. Our constitutions will have to undergo a few changes. Let us pray for one another and beg the Holy Spirit to descend this Pentecost onto the August Assembly of Cardinals, which He will of course not fail to do. Jesus has given us assurance of this.

A Mother Superior and some Sisters from our American Monasteries will come here next month. Our revered Mother did not go to Annecy. This is unfortunate in a sense because she would have been happy to make the journey if her precarious health had allowed her, but the bitter cold that reigns in that snow-covered mountainous region would have made her sick, and we would merely have lived in dread while she was away. Is my little Sr friend Marie feeling better? There is no doubt that our gentle and Venerable sister is at her Vice Postulator’s side; it is her will that he should attend the Beatification celebration in heaven. If only I, too, could receive such a favour! What a joy that would be!!!!

With love and kisses to my darling trio who knows how brimful her heart is with affection.

Sr Françoise-Thérèse Martin


The photograph of the August Assembly of 14th August is so beautiful. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!