From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - October 24, 1911

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - October 24, 1911

Jesus +                     24th October 1911

Dear little Léonie,

I’m not writing much; I’m merely sending you the photograph of a drawing I’ve just finished. Our Mother asked me to do it. I drew it this summer in my free time. Don’t show it to Jeanne. We haven’t yet told her about it. It will stay among my boxes. Our Mother is just going to send the picture to her close friends like those in the Gallipoli convent. She has also asked me to draw, when I have a moment, the portraits of us 5 as young ladies before Pauline left. Thérèse will therefore have been only 8. The 5 faces will be in shades of grey like the drawing of us as nuns.

I’m being very incoherent, Léonie. I feel as though I’m writing in broken sentences. It’s because I’m afraid the bell for Matins will sound.

Thank you for your feast day wishes. I knew you wouldn’t forget me. On the morning of St Celine’s day, Thérèse favoured me with a sweet perfume. I hadn’t received such a gift for a long time.

As for your little “Céline” flowers, oh, thank you! I placed them next to the figure of baby Jesus in the oratory of the Bl. Virgin. This little bouquet touched me.

I’ll be pleased to have a note, when you have time, telling me whether you like the portraits of Thérèse and Céline. At the same time, tell me, I beg of you, what I should do with the 5 cotton shirts labelled L.M. that I made. I’ve kept them, convinced that Thérèse wore them when she was a postulant, because I can remember having sewn her some shirts before she joined with my sewing machine. You see, I didn’t give her mine, and I no doubt wanted to give her a few belongings of her own. Afterwards, she must have given them back, which is when you would have taken them and labelled them with your initials. I beg of you, try to remember. I don’t remember making you any shirts; I do think they were for Thérèse. It would be a shame to lose such relics through thoughtlessness.

I remember the story about Tom very well. I can still see him lying in the laundry room, dying, and Thérèse feeding him beefsteak in gravy by the mouthful, hiding a bit of bread under the meat as one does for a sick child. I hadn’t considered this event as extraordinary, and yet it’s true that she saved his life.

That’s the clock striking. I send you my love, darling little sister. I’ll be thinking of you during your retreat.

Your little sister Sr Geneviève of St Teresa