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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 25, 1907

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 25, 1907

 +Jesus                    J.M.J.T.                              25th December 1907

Darling little sister,

I’ve come to wish you a happy New Year and bring you my little presents. I believe you’ll like the surprise and the “portrait of six”. That intrigues you, doesn’t it? Well, unfold the little piece of paper and take a look . . . Unfortunately, the photograph didn’t come out well as the printing press was in a bad state. The paper didn’t absorb the ink evenly either, meaning that one of the six is a bit blurred in each of the two photos. That’s why I’m sending you two copies, so that you can weigh up the imperfections. My uncle doesn’t know about the “portrait of six”, neither does Jeanne or anyone else, so don’t mention it to anyone but us. I’ll let you know if I tell them about it. You see, I experience heartache over people’s reactions to my drawings so often that I lack courage.

There are other things I’m sending you, but in a different envelope, because I don’t think they’ll fit in the letter: first, the portrait of Thérèse at the age of 10. It’s a rather bad, yellowed photograph, but I don’t have another to hand. The portrait, however, is good; our Mother and Marie of the S.H. find it’s very true to life. I’m also sending you the new photograph of Thérèse with the harp. I’ve reworked it completely as you’ll see. Plus, there’s the new photograph of the Virgin Mary. Please burn the ones you have. I don’t think you’ll miss them when you see this one. The Bl. Virgin looks much prettier with her eyes lowered. What’s more, I’ve dressed the child Jesus, who looks much sweeter now. I’m only sending you one because I’m not pleased with this set of prints. We’re going to try another type of photographic paper, which I hope will work better. Besides, I’ll only send you some more if you promise to tear up the others (the first one). Then, you’ll have enough to give some to your Mothers, because I’ll give you as many as you want, even the portrait of six if you like.

26th December – I interrupted my letter here, and since, I’ve been in talks with my Sisters. Sr Marie of the S.H. chastised me, saying I was difficult, and so, this very day, I’m sending you 4 large images of the Virgin Mary, 4 small ones, and 3 pictures on black paper. There are two for you, and one for your Mother. Please give her my love when you give it to her, though it’s only a trifle.  

Don’t mention all these new pictures to our uncle. We’re avoiding discussing the question in front of him. Let me know what you think, and be very honest. When coming from you, criticisms never hurt me.

I fear our letters will cross. I’d be very upset if they did, because I’m really looking forward to knowing how pleased you were when you saw these new things.

Darling little sister, I’d love to share lovely thoughts on Christmas and the heaven that awaits us, but I don’t have time. However, you’re not losing out, because my Mother, the Virgin, will tell you everything that’s in your Céline’s heart, and I can say in all truth that I put my whole heart into her picture. With lots of love and kisses,

Geneviève of St Teresa u.c.n 

I offer my best wishes to your dear Mothers. Give them my love.