From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - September 9, 1934

From Sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three Carmelite sisters - September 9th 1934

V + J! From our monastery in Caen this 9th September 1934

Dearest little sisters,

The month of our little Thérèse, who has become so great in holiness, is indeed upon us. Darling little Mamma, your 73rd birthday didn’t go unnoticed in my heart. In my thanksgiving Communion, I asked Jesus to grant you many favours in a shower of fragrant roses. You deserve this so much. After all, can the Almighty let Himself be outdone in generosity to His faithful Spouse in her jubilee year? No, of course not, it’s impossible.

It was a great comfort to hear from Father Castel that our darling eldest sister is feeling much better thanks to a treatment he suggested. Could you give us the recipe for it, because rheumatism is rife here?

Just recently, in the visiting room, Mr Louis Pougheol presented me with a photo of our Thérèse taken by the Calvary in your inner courtyard on the day she received the Habit, and asked me to sign it. I refused, telling him that this portrait was far from being a good print and wasn’t a faithful representation of how our saint was back then. What’s more, you told me that Mr Gombeault had at last sent you his negatives. I can’t work out how his friend managed to obtain this negative. According to him, it would provide him with as many photos as he liked. I thought, darling little Céline, that I was right to ask Mr Pougheol to settle the matter with you. See him, I beg of you.

Our retreats are fast approaching. Our dearest Mother will take hers next week probably and, now that I’m old, I’m hoping to go in the 1st group with the nurse and her patients on the evening of our little St Thérèse’s feast day. That is why we call it the St Thérèse of the Child Jesus group. I’ll write to you again afterwards, beloved little sisters. Pray hard for my conversion.

With lots of kisses from my increasingly young and loving heart,

Sr Françoise-Thérèse


And then there are the mosquitoes! They’re the eighth plague, not of Egypt but of Normandy. Have they stopped devouring you?

Here, we have been bitten less than last summer, when there was a real epidemic. But alas, the Missionaries witness a good many other such scourges. . . . Is it not true, darling little sisters, that we accept our sufferings both great and small in order to lessen theirs? That is the true spirit of our dearly beloved Patroness of Missions.