From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to sr Genevieve (Celine) - January 6, 1930

From Sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to Sr Genevieve (Celine) - January 6th 1930

V+J! From our monastery in Caen this 6th January 1930


Darling Céline,

I’m writing especially to you today to congratulate you for being elected councillor, assuming you have reason to be congratulated, that is, because the duty carries great responsibilities. But don’t be afraid; the Holy Spirit is always with willing souls, and presides over all their actions. You’re replacing Marie of the Sacred Heart no doubt, is that correct? Our little Thérèse has just played a fine trick on me. She wants me to be queen with her, but only for a day, fortunately. As you know, I find happiness in remaining hidden, buried and forgotten. Although the charm I’m sending you, darling little sisters, is round and plump. It’s in my image in the sense that it was hard to find. There were several of us looking for it, and it was so lost in the piece of twelfth-cake that we had to butcher it to find it. You can see my disappointment, and my shame, almost, at being queen for the second time in twenty-one years. I’m nothing but a poor little old woman who has no teeth or toenails, although I can get around well. I’m also sending you this charming song, as a prelude of what awaits me next Saturday when our dear Mother and Sisters intend to give me a momentous celebration. I know you’ll be sorry not to take part, and I, I admit it, very disappointed. I’ll miss you very much. Yet you have just spoilt me by giving me these fine photos of the placing of the first stone and the pretty little statue of the Virgin of Pontmain, and they brought me great pleasure. However, I also know that you are never at a loss for means to make me happy and I’m fully relying on you in this respect. It will simply mean celebrating my feast day in advance of the 29th, that’s all. The rose bushes for our little Saint Thérèse’s flowerbed bring us so much pleasure! If you have too many of them, spare a thought for us again please. Thérèse will always look at them more lovingly than the others, you can be sure of that, as will we for that matter.

As for the Crucifix you mentioned, darling Céline, I think that it is the one Thérèse had as a child. Send it to me when you have an opportunity; I’ll recognise it immediately. I would have answered you via my Sr Claire-Françoise but I wasn’t aware she was going to Lisieux.

Who is queen at the Carmel? How lovely and delightful it would be if it was one of you three.

I send you all the love in my heart, which is the only good thing I have to offer you. It overflows with affection and gratitude.

Sr Françoise-Thérèse


The letter containing my wishes for 1930 did reach you, didn’t it? We asked Mrs Lecourt if she would pass it on to you when she received it in the post.

I chose the Baby Jesus in the manger to be my little King of Love. There was no place for them at the inn. The picture is so touching and pretty. It does me so much good! Thank you for giving it to me. – We’re praying hard for your dear patient. She is another beautiful soul that is ripe for heaven. That is what life in exile is like; there’s never joy without sadness.