From sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) to her three sisters in the Carmel - July 18, 1909

From Sr Françoise-Thérèse to her three Carmelite sisters – July 18th 1909


From our Monastery in Caen

this 18th July 1909

  Darling little sisters,

Rejoice with us because on 2nd July, little Thérèse saw fit to work a fine miracle in favour of one of our dear novices. The chosen one is called Sister Marie Bénigne Martin (an elite candidate). She had been suffering from a stomach ulcer for eight months. Anything she ate, she would regurgitate by vomiting blood, which she was doing more frequently in the last weeks and especially the last days of her illness, when she couldn’t keep anything down. Our Sister loves Thérèse very much and, having great trust in her, asked her Mistress for permission to pray a novena to her. Not only did she obtain it, but also her Mistress wanted to pray with her along with her entire little Flock. I joined in, armed with all permissions, with incredible ardour. I needed a miracle at all costs. I could write a book of all the things that I said to our beloved little sister during the novena. I said to her, “you would bring immense pleasure to our Mother by healing her child. You cannot refuse me. You must offer this gift to her Mistress for her silver anniversary (she had celebrated 25 years of profession on the feast of the Visitation and I, her first professed nun, nine). Our little patient had as many as four relics of our Angel on her person, not parting from them day or night. Her condition continued to worsen. On the last day of the novena, during morning recreation, the pain was as if all her insides had been ripped out. This was a sure prelude to a miracle. I threw myself at the feet of our Mother, begging her to allow me to have our little Sister swallow the only rose petal we have, for I had firmly resolved to sacrifice it generously. I sensed that Thérèse was just waiting for me to do this to work the much desired healing.

Our dearest Mother, moved by my great faith although it couldn’t have come from me, said to me, “I dare not do it myself, as I would fear making her vomit blood, but put the petal in a bit of water and give it to her to drink.” No sooner said than done. An hour later, I took the miraculous water, which had taken on the colour of the petal, to our little patient and she drank it in great faith. I fell on my knees in tears, begging Thérèse to answer our prayer and I recited the Laudate with the Gloria Patri. Our Sister felt the water very slowly go down over the wound, healing it; she was completely cured. Our Mother believed it so utterly that she immediately recited the Laudate. You can imagine her joy and that of our former superior. I myself was choking with happiness, and couldn’t eat any supper that evening. Our Mother was able to announce the good news to our dying Sister, who loved our miraculous survivor very much. It was her last moment of joy here below.  

Thérèse’s chosen one must, for her glory, write an account of her illness and healing, which we will immediately send to you. The relics that she had on her had been merely lent to her, so I’m asking you for a beautiful relic-picture to give to her, like the one you sent to the nun from Belgium who asked me to sign my name below yours. I’m sending you her letter as I think it will interest you. I would like the beatification prayer to be written on the back of the picture. Thank you, thank you!

Our Doctor is not denying the miracle. He is willing to provide a certificate of her illness and, at a later date, her healing because he wants some proof, saying that the illness might return. Francis told us that even if the illness comes back, the miracle still exists because a wound cannot disappear other than by a miracle. I would like an account of the Spanish miracle, little Marie promised it to me. Marie’s little cutting stays green throughout winter and is spreading enormously like the candytuft plant.

Farewell, much-loved little sisters. I send you a heartfelt hug. Pray that this poor frail heart of mine becomes meek and humble like that of Jesus. It certainly needs it.

Sr Fse-Thérèse


Thank our dear Mother for the lilies that she kindly sent to me. We gave one of them to our miraculous survivor and she is delighted with it. How I’d love for Thérèse to heal her too, but I believe that instead she will come for her, because her crown is finished.

Don’t cry, darling Marie. Let’s seek solace by always turning our eyes to heaven. Soon, we’ll all be there.