From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 9, 1905

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 9, 1905

+ Jesus J.M .J.T. 9th May 1905

Darling little sister,

You know that our elections took place last Saturday. His Lordship came, saw all the Sisters in turn, and finally designated our beloved little Mother Agnes of Jesus as Mother Prioress. I don’t know whether you know her, but since being under her leadership, I’ve felt very happy, and I assure you that I don’t want a different shepherdess. Our Mother Sub-Prioress, Sr Marie of the Angels, was also reelected for another three years. Sr Madeleine of Jesus, whose bridal dress you offered, has been designated bursar. She is only 30 years old, but very capable and she will be of great help to our Mother for material things. Sr Thérèse of St Augustine (Miss Leroyer) is continuing her duty as adviser or 3rd bursar.

So you see, there has been no change of management in our little monastery, with everyone being of one accord and in perfect agreement.

After the elections, His Lordship entered the monastery. The novices offered him a crook decorated with flowers to mark the feast of the Good Shepherd, and he in turn gave it to our Mother, saying a few words in that charming way of his. Then the novices recited a play in verse that they had composed for our Mother. It was delightful. First, an angel appeared (in a Carmelite habit), holding a basket filled with flowers in one hand. He wanted to weave us all a crown, but another angel came to plead the cause of the Mother who had given four of her children to heaven in ten months. As the two angels were disagreeing, with one of them wishing to take us all to heaven, and the other, to leave us on earth to suffer and pray, Our Lord appeared (also dressed as a Carmelite). He held a little lamb (representing our Mother) in His arms. The little lamb had a crown of thorns on its head, a cross around its neck, and a long wound over its heart. Jesus said He contented Himself with sacrifices when they were offered generously. He then undid the crown of thorns and removed the cross, but He wasn’t willing to heal the wound of love that He Himself had inflicted, because “His lamb must die of it one day.” I forgot to tell you that one of the Angels had presented Our Lord with some banners, on which the sins of France were written in big letters. Our Lord took the cross from His little Lamb, and placed it on the banners. O, wonder! All the crimes were wiped away. This is how the little play ended. May it please Jesus to keep His spouses on earth, that we may comfort Him and wipe away men’s sins through bearing our crosses and trials out of love. As for the crowns we have already earned, their flowers will be unpetalled where Jesus’ feet pass.      

I’ve explained the framework of the little play very badly. Still, you have a rough idea of what it was about.

Darling little sister, I’d love to send you the photograph showing little Marie in death but I should perhaps wait a few more days, because I want to enclose another photo that I think you’ll like. It’s the portrait of Thérèse in death, the one showing her in the infirmary just after receiving the divine kiss. It’s a very true-to-life portrait of Thérèse. Her posture and everything else has been faithfully reproduced, and I’ve done a painting of it to replace the engraving of Thérèse in death in Story of a Soul, because our Mother and many others don’t like it. I think you’ll be pleased, but I’m not quite ready yet, as it still needs a little retouching.

Concerning the Holy Face, Schulger has accepted to publish it, but I have to redo it and paint the background to resemble cloth. It was the publisher who asked me to do this.

Darling little sister, there’s so much I’d like to say to you, not only earthly things but also, and more importantly, heavenly things. The former provides each other with news as we pass through this sad exile. The latter last forever, and eternity will be too short to admire and talk about them. So as we aren’t able to talk about them adequately on earth, I will content myself with telling you that my heart is one with yours, and that I love you more than I can say.

Your little sister

Geneviève of St Teresa u.c.n.

We have seen Uncle. He read us your letter and told us he was going to send you a photograph of his little Marie. Her veil hasn’t been retouched well; the large part above her head shouldn’t be there, but her face is fine.

My respectful regards to your Mothers.