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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 28, 1908

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 28, 1908

+ 28th December 1908

Feast of the Holy Innocents

Dear little sister,

Today there was a celebration in heaven, a great one, and Thérèse must have been pleased with the little children she loved so very dearly. Oh, how I’d love to be in that beautiful heaven, too, in the company of all those I love. But I have to suffer more, no doubt, before I reach the end of my road, and we must make the best of things if we don’t want to delay our arrival, because those who stop by the wayside and complain are no better than those who saunter along picking flowers from the hedgerows. It comes to the same thing and delays us from reaching the goal.

Little Thérèse knew not to do any of these three things. She ran without ever stopping, whatever her goal, and that’s what I want to do. You realise that she is performing wonderful and very charming miracles. You have an example in the account you sent us, but here’s another one, and it took place right here in Lisieux. It relates to the healing of a little 4 year old blind girl. She comes from the poorest of families. Her eyes were completely opaque, bloodshot, and secreted puss, leaving two tracks down her cheeks that constantly needed wiping. The doctors, even the specialists in Caen, said that all chances of regaining her eyesight were completely lost. When her mother heard about Thérèse, she took her daughter to our little saint’s burial place, and decided to begin a novena the following morning. She came here to ask whether we would join her, and brought a little candle. The following morning, she went to the early Mass (this was 2 days before Ascension, I think). During the Mass, the little girl experienced terrible pain in her eyes. She let out dreadful screams, and then suddenly became calm again. A few moments later, her mother came home. She walked towards the bed with her husband and two eldest daughters, one of whom is aged 10 and the other 7. Imagine their surprise to see “Reine” (that’s her name) [“Queen” in English] with her eyes wide open and looking at an invisible figure, laughing. She was nodding and laughed again and again. Then she held out her arms in front of her, with her fingers positioned as if to shake hands with someone. Her mother, awestruck, took her hand and spoke to her, so the little girl turned towards her and cried out, “I saw ‘little Thérèse’. She laughed with me and held my hand.” Having described our Carmelite habit, she drew a circle in the air around her head with her little arms, saying, “It looked like this and was shiny all around!”

Her mother then took her nearer to the window and said that her eyes looked completely healthy and that she could see perfectly. Frantically, she ran to the baker’s, and the baker said to her: “Dear lady, you do realise that you’ve just witnessed a great miracle!” Since then, it has been much talked about in town, because the circumstances in which it took place, the family’s class, and the child’s age leave no room for doubt. These poor people aren’t painstaking enough to come up with anything that’s even a little poetic. What they say is very true and, surely, even goes beyond reality.

Isn’t it a charming story? His Lordship is proving very willing to help Thérèse. He’s going to go to Rome in April almost exclusively to deal with her Cause. The official request for a postulator has already been made in Rome. It won’t be Fr Prévost, but a Carmelite friar, probably. In a touching coincidence, the first steps of Thérèse’s Cause will take place at the same time as the Beatification of her dear friend Joan of Arc.

Now, "noblesse oblige", we must become saints, too, because we know the way.

With lots of love and kisses. Your Céline

Geneviève of St Teresa u.c.n. 

P.S. - I saw Mr and Mrs Besnard. I gave them a copy of Thérèse’s Reminiscences but due to a misunderstanding with the Turn Sisters, they weren’t given any pictures of the Holy Face. I don’t know what to do.

As this was already a long time ago, it would perhaps be better to leave things as they are. I wish you a happy New Year. I ask you to pass on my best wishes to your dear Mothers and to give them my love.

Don’t be upset if Thérèse doesn’t seem to be listening to your prayers. She doesn’t hear ours either. It’s because she can’t, since it’s not Jesus’ will. You mustn’t question her good little heart, but rather accept to follow the path Jesus chooses.