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From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to Mother Agnes of Jesus – November 8, 1925

From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to Mother Agnes of Jesus – November 8, 1925

V + J! From our monastery in Caen this 8th November 1925

Dearest little Mamma,

No matter the exact date of your silver anniversary as Prioress. I know that it’s sometime this month, and that’s all I need to know to write to you first (so much the better) and, as you know, send you all my excessive love for you, which is without prejudice I assure you. The 1st place is meant for God alone, but He created this chasm of affection in me while still on earth, making exile not only bearable but a foretaste of heaven. The older I become, the more intense the exile of the heart becomes, making me languor after our true homeland.

To satisfy my overflowing heart, which is both very great and very little at once, I need to give you Jesus by offering you a bouquet of five Holy Communions. This way I can settle all the debts I owe to my little Mamma who continues to spoil me in all possible ways.

I have only taken one retreat resolution this year, and here it is: punctual faithfulness at the first sound of the bell, because nothing subdues human nature as effectively as this. For me it seems like being martyred with nails, but on the other hand, every nail will become a flower that I can sow at the feet of the Child Jesus, or of Jesus as a man as He climbs Calvary, and this gives me courage even when I don’t have any. I can say that we love the article you had placed in the Annals concerning Cardinal Vico. In a few words, you say everything. I forgot to tell you that during the visit, His Eminence enquired as to whether I really was the 3rd out of the nine children. So I had to recite the litany of names, from the first to the last glorious one. I told him that Céline was actually the 7th child because between myself and her there was my little sister Hélène and my two little brothers, which explains the rather large age difference. He listened to all this with very keen interest, as when I explained that my little sisters in the Carmel spoilt me tremendously, keeping me updated with everything that was happening in Rome with regard to the dear Cause. Our bell weighing 100 pounds pealed loudly when the beloved Prince of the Church entered the monastery. The bells of St Etienne church, which chime the same as those of St Pierre in Lisieux, just without the great bell, set off all the other churches in town.

Our Triduum here was delightful. It was all the more heavenly for being very private. The last day was particularly lovely and touching due to the liturgical songs. We were also closely united in prayer to our beloved Carmel, where the splendid festivities were beginning. The preacher made a delightful comparison between our saint and her doctrine, and that of our great Doctor and Father [St Francis de Sales]. They are the same, it’s fascinating!  

For the three days, I had the honour of sitting at the Superior’s table and on the very 1st day, His Eminence Cardinal Bourne requested to see us in the visiting room. He, too, was most amicable, but nothing compares to dear C. Vico’s Visit.

Will the Bull be translated into French? We’re all very eager to read it.

I reiterate my best wishes, darling little Mamma, and send you all my love. May our two little sisters squeeze you tight in their arms for me. With all my heart-filled affection,  

Your little daughter and sister

Françoise-Thérèse

B.B.G.

Knowing that it’s your silver anniversary as Prioress, our dear little Sr J. M. Lecourt has asked me to send you her best wishes and filial regards. She loves you ever so much.

I would like to know what is written on the stem of the golden rose. I knew that for this life story, which we so ardently desired, we would be 1st served. Thank you!!! All these copies are for you. Keep everything except the letter from Turin, which will amuse you as it did us.

You must have received the letter announcing the death of our little Sr Marguerite Marie. She fell asleep like a loving child, on the Heart of our Beloved. Jesus’ brides do not die, they enter into life.