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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 10, 1911

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 10, 1911

Jesus +                         10th August 1911

Dear little Léonie,

I couldn’t tell you how much pleasure your letter brought me. It was a sweet heart-to-heart. Ah, when will we be in heaven, there where the union between our souls, bodies and whole selves will never be broken?

I assure you that I aspire not only for the hour of my death, but also for the universal judgment and resurrection; in a word, complete paradise. Still, it will come, there’s no doubt about that. This thought fills me with joy. There are so many sorrows and injustices on earth that it will seem good to see everything straightened out, human cursing put right, and truth and justice restored to their former glory.

You know that Marie Hassebroucq was supposed to join the Carmel on 15th August, but now her relatives are joining forces to prevent her from doing so. Her uncles on both her mother’s and father’s sides, who are very influential due to their wealth and status, have sent dreadful letters to our Mother threatening to have the Carmel closed if she accepts Marie. It’s a bloody battlefield. Poor Little Mother really is piling up worry upon worry. When it’s not one thing, it’s another.

To put an end to this matter, either Marie will emancipate herself and join another Carmel, or she will have to wait until she is 21 in order to join us. In any case, our Mother doesn’t want her here for the time being.

One other thing: you know that, since 7th August, the court has been in session again here. Mr Grant, the converted Protestant minister, and Mrs Dorans, the Scottish lady who was miraculously cured, testified this week. The gentlemen of the court are enchanted. They say that Mr Grant’s testimony is one of the finest accounts in the trial.    

Father Taylor is here with 15 English people. You might know something about this. I think that several of them are planning to go and see you in order to get to know the family. You don’t know how edifying they are. Mr Grant, his wife, some very distinguished people, and some others who are with them wanted to spend the whole night at the cemetery, but as the guardian said this wasn’t allowed, they went to Les Buissonnets and kept vigil in Thérèse’s bedroom. The English love their “little flower” to the point of idolatry.

The portrait I painted has been placed in the sacristy. It presides the court sessions. Many think it is very good; everyone is struck by it. I’d like to display it, so I asked Jeanne to send me the frame around the portrait of Thérèse at the age of 15 that I painted at Les Buissonnets. It’s a terrible picture both in terms of technique and resemblance, and while I said I wanted the frame to go with the portrait I’ve done, my objective was also to extricate the picture from her. Yet she found me out and sent me the frame without the picture. I was angry because it doesn’t belong to her, so I wrote to her, wondering what pleasure she could possibly derive from displaying a portrait that sets off our little saint so poorly. She took offense, and now we’re on bad terms. I assure you, she is causing us many tricky little problems. She doesn’t see things the same way we do. The Carmel is not dear to her heart like it was for Uncle, and we’re suffering as a result.

Speaking of paintings, I’m enclosing a crucifix that I painted from the Holy Shroud. The wound on Jesus’ side is the same shape, and the drops of blood are the same as the ones that really fell. The crown of thorns was inspired by the real relic in Notre-Dame de Paris. The nail wounds are in the exact place where He was pierced. I studied everything carefully. There is nothing in it that is not there for a reason.

The card you received from La Salette was from Fr Bonaventure. Yes, the Leriche family came to see us. Mrs Leriche, the mother, is transformed. She is pious and humble, and made us think of a saint. Young Mrs Leriche is very pious as well. Berthe is wealthy; she has an automobile. Her husband is a successful business man. They have 4 children. They are much like the Querel family. We have photographs of them. Let us know if you meet them in the visiting room and if you’d like to have photographs of them.

On 4th September, we have one Sister taking the Veil and 3 taking the Habit, including little Miss Greville. She is becoming very kind. On 7th September, we’re celebrating our dear Little Mother’s fiftieth birthday.

Now, darling little sister, I send you all my love. Best regards to your dear Mothers

Your little sister

Geneviève of St Teresa

u.c. n.