From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - October 22, 1929

From Sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three Carmelite sisters - October 22nd 1929

V + J! From our monastery in Caen this 22nd October 1929


Darling little sisters,

My retreat has ended; I hope it was a good one. The future will tell me whether I’ve been generously faithful to my resolutions, which I’m sending you. Kindly send them back when you have the opportunity, but it’s not urgent. The most difficult thing for me is to be even-tempered. I sorely need your prayers to help me triumph over my feelings.

I’ve just read your kind letter, darling little Mamma. Ah, you see, even the purest and most legitimate earthly joys are never without some sacrifice, especially for those whom God loves.

Yes, our Holy Sister’s universal feast day brought us great joy.

I’m sorry to hear about our dear eldest sister’s state of health. What comforts me is thinking that a fine place awaits her up above. When shall we all be reunited there? As for my feet, they are no longer an issue; I’m trotting about better than ever now.

We received the precious parcel containing crosses, rosaries, medallions and pictures from holy places, hymns, programmes, and photos. Everything is interesting and is very appreciated. Thank you for everything. I address a particularly affectionate thank you to dear little Sister Marie of the Trinity for the delightful words of our darling Saint. She copied them out for me on the back of the picture of the Agony in the Garden. They do me so much good! What do the initials P.C. at the top of your letters stand for?

I expect you haven’t yet had the time, little Mamma, to write the biography of dear Sr Thérèse of St Augustine, have you? I very much want to read it. It must of course have been you who composed the lovely hymn to the Patroness of Missions, written to the tune “Partez hérauts de la bonne nouvelle”. How I love this hymn! I recognise you in it, though I’d like to be sure.

We’ll be in touch soon! We’ll bid each other farewell before Advent. In the meantime, I send you all my affection, which is greater than the ocean

Sr Françoise-Thérèse


(On the subject of the loudspeaker)

His Excellency is so good to you! It brings me immense pleasure.

Retreat resolution 17thOctober 1929

“If you want to be a saint,” wrote my beloved little sister, “it will be easy for you. Your purpose is simple; please Jesus.”

Yes, by faithfully fulfilling the Rule and the recommendations of Obedience, I’m sure to please Jesus and prove my love to Him:

1. through being faithful to the first ring of the bell, no ifs or buts

2. no longer speaking too loudly after the obediences

3. keeping even-tempered through thick and thin, and striving to smile, at least inwardly.

I resolve to ask for the grace to accomplish these three points in my examination of foresight, and, in the evening examination, look at how I have behaved without ever becoming discouraged by my faults. Instead, like a little child, I must throw myself with trust and love into the arms of my loving Heavenly Father. This is how Thérèse acted. I’m counting on her, justifiably, to help me and lead me to heaven.