From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - February 20, 1938

From Sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three Carmelite sisters - February 20th 1938

V + J! From our Caen monastery this 20th February 1938  

Beloved little sisters,

You spoiled me so thoroughly for my feast day this year! What a charming and delightful painting this is of our angelic little Thérèse on the day of her confirmation. I love the divine Dove hovering over her head. It’s such a heavenly vision! I don’t tire of gazing on it! Truly, our dear artist (my little Sister-friend) [Marie of the Holy Spirit] has surpassed herself with this masterpiece. Thank her warmly for me. Her affectionate letter also touched me deeply.

Darling Céline, your card arrived just at the right moment, comforting me from the bishop’s regrettable oversight. I could feel all three of you with me. It was like a lovely balm, healing my wound completely. His oversight shocked many listeners; we have heard people say so in the visiting room.

I’m feeling my age, too. I have difficulty walking and I do believe I’m becoming all misshapen. My ribs are knitting together, hurting at the slightest effort or when I touch them or breathe. For quite a while now I’ve had the shakes, as if I have something to be guilty of. Our dearest and very maternal Mother makes me rest often and pampers me far too much. Still, I’m not in too bad a state. My problems are very insignificant compared with those of our dear eldest sister, who is going to be 78 years old on the 22nd. I’m going to celebrate this anniversary by fervently taking Communion for our darling Godmother!

Little Céline, is little Mother not your confirmation Godmother? What do you make of the lovely face of Jesus on the cross? It’s so touching! It naturally evokes what our little Saint Thérèse said: “Jesus follows me everywhere with a loving gaze.” We know who is behind this masterpiece and this person is a real saint.

I very much enjoyed the visit from the Rev. Carmelite Father. He’s so pleasant and down-to-earth. We more or less understood each other. But what crowned my joy was that he brought me the blessings of the Sovereign Pontiff and Cardinal Pacelli, blessing me in their names. Little sisters, you can understand how happy and moved I was.

Please tell us whether you would accept our newly professed turn sister’s jewels, for she ardently desires to offer them to Our Lord for the basilica monstrance.

Thank you for your affectionate letter, darling little Mamma. It brought my poor little soul immense comfort. With all my love and kisses to all three of you

Sr Françoise-Thérèse


How is dear Sr Marie-Joseph? Has Sr Françoise-Thérèse recovered her hearing?

We recently saw Marie and Clémentine Domin, who have very fond memories of you, darling Céline.

[on an enclosed leaf]

We have one poorly young Sister who embroiders perfectly. She would put great care into relic pictures. If you like, we could send you some, together with some supplies and designs, because we think this sort of work requires red silk.

Our dear Mother thanks you for praying for her brother. There is, thank God, great hope of saving him. You are no doubt on retreat for the anniversary of your profession, little Céline. It’s already been 42 years! That’s well worth celebrating! I took Holy Communion for you yesterday. I hope your cold is better soon. We have to be very careful at our age.

A big thank you for your kind letters. What a treat they are for me! I love you so very, very, very much.