From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - November 23, 1924

From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - November 23, 1924

V + J! From our monastery in Caen this 23rd November 1924

Beloved little sisters,

This will be our last conversation before the sweet feast of Christmas, the feast of spiritual childhood “par excellence”. More eager to live by it than ever, I’ve made it the backbone of my retreat resolutions. I spent my whole retreat in great peace. With Thérèse, I like saying, “I do not desire a perceptible love, but a love felt only by Jesus. Oh, to love Him and make Him loved, how sweet this is!”

In order to fulfil this desire, the main point I want to survey relates entirely to my difficult character. It’s a real struggle for me to overcome it, especially at recreation, when I want at all costs to show that I’m gentle, humble, and friendly, like my holy sister. The other Sisters would say, “We won’t smile today because Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus isn’t here,” which just shows that she was their ray of sunshine and warmed everybody’s heart. I’m fully counting on her to help me be good, pleasant, and condescending to all our dear Sisters whether they are kind to me or not. They form but one, because I want to see no one within them but Jesus, the only One I desire to please. I’m counting on your prayers, darling little sisters, which I know will never fail me. Darling eldest sister, I sung the charming little song about your return to life during recreation. All the Sisters joined in at “et ron et ron,” etc… It’s so witty! All our compliments go to your dear Mother Sub-Prioress. We owe your recovery mainly to the dear missionary, so out of gratitude, I’m going to take Communion for him. Little Sr Marie of the Holy Spirit did well to tell me, I love her even better for it.

We share in the painful loss of your novice, especially since we ourselves have been obliged to send two back to their families due to that terrible sickness. It is so contagious among youngsters. But when these trials come directly from God, as this one did, they are easier to bear, don’t you think? For we love nothing and want nothing but His Holy Will.

As for the calendars and pictures, oh, these gifts brought us such pleasure! We would miss them sorely! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for always spoiling us like this. On that note, I send you my love and indescribable affection.

Sr Françoise-Thérèse


I was looking forward to receiving your letters, beloved little sisters. Thank you for your affection. Ah, on this point you can’t outdo me. The apotheosis is splendid, although I expected it would be for I know my darling artist. It’s not just beautiful, it’s divine.

Thérèse came to fetch her dear school mistress. It was very touching. She died an enviable death.