From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - February 16, 1909

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - February 16, 1909

+ Jesus                    16th February 1909

Dear little Léonie,

I, too, am very sad that His Lordship hasn’t given you your manuscript back. I also fear that this request angered him, especially if his Excellency thinks that we were the ones who suggested you write, because he might think that it’s a breach of his authority and that he knows very well what he has to do.

However, don’t be upset. We have surrendered the matter to God. It’s only a minor mishap after all, and it is only right that we should suffer if we want to undertake a work that’s really pleasing to His divine Heart.

We’ll mention it to Monsignor de Teil and he’ll sort the matter out, I’m sure of it. He’ll obtain your manuscript for you, because I don’t think you’ll be able to stand before the Commission without any preparatory notes. After the solemn act of swearing the oath, you would be disconcerted. We’re allowed to have some papers and to read from them. That’s how I plan to get by. Mgr de Teil will give us the articles that he’s going to write and these will form the basis for the questions. Using these articles, we’ll prepare our answers in advance, classifying the facts and quotations that we have to report according to the virtues. We must write on separate, numbered pieces of paper, and write on one side only to avoid becoming muddled and wasting time leafing through the papers. Once we’ve replied verbally or read out what we want to say, and everything’s finished, we must hand over the papers we’ve used to the Fiscal Promoter, who will place them in the case files. They won’t be given back to us until later on.

The examination will take place in a holy place, the Chapel, which we’ve been assured will be completely closed off. There will be five people present in total: the Promoter, judges and notary. You mustn’t let the emotion of all this overcome you, however it represents quite a chore, and yet it’s for God’s glory! Don’t worry, darling little sister, we’ll try to get your manuscript back and help you.

There’ll also be the Process of her writings. It would be kind if you would copy out the letters that she wrote to you, that is, make a complete replica of them, because when given under oath, these copies are as good as the originals in the eyes of the Church, and you mustn’t give away your relics (Mgr de Teil told us this). Making a complete replica doesn’t mean copying the spelling mistakes or crossings-out; we can correct those. When you’ve copied them out, you can send them here, and we’ll hand over yours with ours. If only you knew how much work we have. You can’t imagine it! So it will help us if you copy out your letters. Your Reverend Mother will also be questioned, and asked to testify on Thérèse’s reputation for holiness and on what she has heard etc. At least, I think she will, because even though Our Mother didn’t know Thérèse, she is going to testify. Mgr de Teil said so and I’d rather warn you so that you’re not surprised. If only you knew how fascinating the procedure is, but it’s so heavy!

I’d like to talk about something else, beloved little sister, and yet it’s useful to inform you of the outline of the proceedings bit by bit. During recreation on Sunday, we read all about your royal celebration. It was a charming account; all our Sisters were delighted with it. Little Mother was sad because, having only skim-read your letter, first of all, and having postponed reading it until a more convenient moment - she is so overwhelmed with work - she didn’t realise that this celebration took place during the little Christmas festivities, so when she discovered this, she was very upset. “Poor little Léonie,” she said, “What will she think!” She couldn’t forgive herself for her mistake, because everything had been well explained and perfectly in order.

I’ve just received the medallion of the Holy Face. It’s very beautiful and artistic, but it’s only a model so I can’t send it to you. They’re going to exhibit it together with the pictures at a Sacred Art exhibition in Holland. The 24th will be the anniversary of my Profession. On the Tuesday evening, I’ll go on a great retreat for 11 days. Pray hard for your poor little Céline. O my darling sister, I’m in such need of your prayers!

I love you and send you a heartfelt kiss

Your Geneviève of St Teresa u.c.n.