From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to Mother Agnes of Jesus – January 21, 1941

From Sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to Mother Agnes of Jesus – January 21st 1941

V + J! From our Caen monastery this 21st January 1941 

To my increasingly beloved Mamma

We know by experience that suffering united to love is the only thing that seems desirable in this valley of tears, so despite everything, “happy, holy and blessed feast day!” Let us rejoice in the Lord. As you can see, we have had no lack of trials. Unless there’s a miracle, we’ll soon lose our Chaplain, who is seriously ill. His fine mind is going little by little. He’s a doctor of theology and we’ve always found him extremely humble. Remarkably, this is often the case with the very erudite. He’s a most worthy priest in the Saint Francis de Sales Society, and has a great deal of fatherly devotion for us. Still, let’s leave him in God’s care. If he cannot recover completely, death would be preferable, otherwise he would suffer too much and so would we. We have just read Story of a Soul in the refectory. It has deeply inspired all of us. It’s so delightful! The letters that Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart wrote to papa and her goddaughter are also being read. They’re so lovely! Yes, our Godmother [Marie, Thérèse’s godmother] must have gone straight to heaven. What simplicity and righteousness she had in that saintly soul of hers, and how dear it was to Jesus. He was impatient to crown her.

Darling little Mamma, we only received one copy of the precious letter dated 30th September written to the Holy Father, I mean to say his reply received a few days later. We’d like to keep it if possible. We love Pius XII so dearly.

I hasten to add, beloved little Mamma, that our Mother ‘Lamb’ is willing to be feted on the 21st as well, to the delight of her daughters. You can see how closely united we are, and we’ll be all the closer for Godmother and Goddaughter(1) being melted into one in our loving hearts, because more than ever, our two religious families are but one. It’s redolent of heaven. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the delightful pious pictures and booklets. Truly, you never stop spoiling your little Visitation.

Is the bread in Lisieux any good? Do you have enough of it? How cold you must be! How I’d like to be able to put your 3 mattresses in Mamma Lamb’s room. Her large heart is infinitely warmer than the fireplace. We send you the fondest of kisses,

Sr Fse-Thérèse


If you write to our dearest Mamma Marie, she ardently desires something used by our eldest sister as a keepsake of her, for she venerates her. It would bring her immense pleasure. Accept my feast day bouquet of Communions, in which I offer you the One who calls Himself the wildflower and lily of the valley.

(1) The Mother Superior of the Visitation considered Mother Agnes of Jesus her godmother.