From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - June 11, 1906

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - June 11, 1906

+ Jesus J.M .J.T. 11th June 1906

Darling little sister,

If I haven’t yet begun the picture of the Sacred Heart, I assure you it’s through no fault of my own. It is in fact a blow for me, because I care about it as much as you do; I want it finished more than anything else.

God has His designs, and if He takes from me the possibility of immediately undertaking such an important piece, it is because it’s for the best. However, you can be sure that I won’t begin any other drawing or painting in the meantime. When I’m able to resume painting, the Sacred Heart will be the first piece I work on. After Easter, our talk sessions ended only for the washing sessions to begin. What’s more, it’s the feast season, so I’m very busy in the Sacristy. I’ll soon also need to prepare for the beatification feasts in honour of the Bl. Martyrs of Compiègne, and you know it’s always the poor artist who is called upon. We will also have no less than 3 Habit receptions, which will follow one another in quick succession. Time flies with so much happening. But don’t be upset; the Sacred Heart will be finished in God’s good time and it will be all the more beautiful and merited for having caused us suffering. The prospect of beginning the piece fills me only with a sense of dread, because the Devil will set many traps for me. The Holy Face was 4 years in the making. I begun it again twice, had all sorts of problems, and even now it’s not completely finished. Our Mother has warned me that I won’t have any less trouble with the Sacred Heart. I’ll think it finished, and then there’ll be countless printing tests, and then it will be criticised so I’ll want to touch it up; it’s an endless chain. Substantive works like this one take a very long time to complete and more tears will be shed, no doubt! But I’m not afraid of all that; on the contrary, I expect it.

Now, I’ll tell you what I think. Perhaps my spirit of faith is a bit excessive, but I believe that the Holy Face ought to be published and become known before the Sacred Heart, in order for the Sacred Heart to be better appreciated. For example, if the S.H. [Sacred Heart] was published immediately, people would say, “What a pretty Sacred Heart,” and that would be all. However, if it is published after the release of the Holy Face, people will recognise it as the same face, and painted by the same person, which will give it a ring of authenticity and therefore confer it great value. People have already asked me to paint one. We have had letters saying I must do a S.H. with the beautiful features of the Holy Face. You see, the Sacred Heart will be greatly appreciated if it is published afterwards.

Father Prévost is going to publish at least 1 million copies of it (to begin with), and distribute them in many different countries. It is then that the S.H. should make its appearance, and it should also receive a mark of favour from the Sovereign Pontiff, but it’s important that the one comes after the other. I think you’re going to understand my reasoning. Besides, I’m convinced that when God decides the time is right, nothing will stand in His way and He’ll give me the necessary means to undertake it and succeed.

Don’t worry about Fr Pichon. I don’t think he meant to give you any spiritual direction. He just wanted to say a little hello in passing, like he did with us, because we didn’t receive any direction either.

The vestment will stay here in the Community. But it’s thanks to the chaplain that we can keep it, because the embroideries belong to him; they were given to him as gifts.

I send you all my love and kisses.

Geneviève of St Teresa u.c.n. 

My affectionate respects to your kind Mothers.