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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 27 & 28, 1909

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 27 & 28, 1909

+ Jesus 27th and 28th December 1909

Darling little sister,

It has already been almost seven weeks since our dear Mother Marie-Ange departed for heaven. Since then, all the gaps have been filled and life is going on as before. That’s what earth is like!

And Sr Marie of the Angels, whom I mentioned to you (our former sub-prioress) fell ill immediately after Mother Marie-Ange died. She had already been suffering from a spinal cord disorder for a long time, but now she’s in the infirmary. She was first dressmaker for years and we didn’t think anyone could replace her, but here I am, having taken her place, to the great surprise of many. It was thought I wasn’t capable of such prosaic work, but now everything is getting done just as before. So don’t go thinking you’re irreplaceable here below! Ah, I’m realising more and more that our occupations on earth matter little; they are incidental to life. What counts is how much we love and surrender ourselves to God, and whether or not we have a spirit of childhood. Several people, however, proportion saintliness to the great trials or amazing deeds that one accomplishes, but many damned souls have endured great trials here below. Several people have performed amazing and valuable deeds but have lacked the most important thing. O Léonie! Look how God considers things, because He’s now glorifying our Thérèse, the “Queen of little children” (but keep this to yourself; we don’t have permission to talk about it). The successor of Rev. Fr Haze, the grand exorcist of France, wrote to tell us that during one of his recent exorcisms, the demon suddenly turned around and, staring at a point on the horizon, cried out, “Ah, there she is!” “Who?" asked the priest. “The little Carmelite nun!” “Say her name.” “Sr Thérèse of the Child Jesus!” Then a little later, when the remark had been forgotten, he said angrily, “She’ll always be present, then, that little priest-eater! The worst of it is that she’s torn some away from me!” Mgr de Teil finds these remarks very interesting and will attend future exorcisms.      

Well! You can see the terror she instills in the devil, and yet her life was so simple, humble and hidden! It’s therefore easy to penetrate the mystery. She had pure love in her heart, a love that takes root and grows only through perfect surrender: in a word, spiritual childhood.

Now darling little sister, let me reassure you about the bishop of Tripoli. After many twists and turns, all the letters and objects reached him covered in stamps. He had his secretary write us a long letter, and he wrote on the last page to say that he would say Mass for our Carmel on 21st November.

At present I’m going to tell you about our little 13-year-old postulant. We have high hopes that she’ll finish her training. She’s making good progress and has a great deal of good will. Her parents are saints and true benefactors of the Carmel. Don’t fear, they would never do us any harm, even if we had to send their daughter back to them definitively. After all, if she didn’t have the vocation, nothing would have made us consider keeping her. But as I said, success is more than certain. When one has good will, anything is possible.

I’m sending you Mgr de Teil’s seals so that you can authenticate the relics you have of Thérèse. There are some on fabric so that you can sew them onto the clothes, unless you would prefer threading silk or a little ribbon into the material. The silk should be tied to a little piece of card with, for example, these words written on one side: “Tunic belonging to Sr Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Carmelite nun,” followed by the signature of your superior. To tie or attach the silk thread to the card, stick one of the authenticating paper seals on it. The same goes for the veil, etc.

As for the pin accompanying the lock of hair you mentioned, if it’s an expensive pin, it can’t possibly be a keepsake, but if it’s a very common pin with a wax head or a big black pearl on it, it could be one of her scapular pins.

There must be another way of authenticating the seals that are on a large, separate sheet of paper. But it’s nevertheless necessary to mark the relic specifically.

Now darling little sister, I send you a heartfelt kiss and wish you a very happy New Year. Offer my wishes to your dear Mothers and give them a respectful kiss from me.

Your little Céline

Sr Geneviève of St Teresa

u.c.n. 

On the 10th, a young Sister from Sables d'Olonnes will receive the habit. She’s a real pearl. She is my little work companion. Our Mother Sub-Prioress is Sr Isabelle of the Sacred Heart, who tried to join your monastery, called “Yvonne Daurelle".

I’ve just received a little report about the Holy Face that is published by the Priestly Fraternity. I’ll send it to you when I have the opportunity.