From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 25, 1913

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 25, 1913

+ Jesus                             Christmas 1913

Darling little sister,

I’ve come to celebrate Christmas with you. It was on this fine feast day that Thérèse was granted such great graces. The mystery of the manger is what made her who she was. I’ve asked the Child Jesus to grant all of us the same graces.

We saw Mgr de Teil recently, on his way back from Rome. He had nothing but good news for us. During his stay there, a bishop from America went to see the Holy Father and spoke of nothing but Thérèse throughout his audience. Pius X responded with some delightful words, in a sort of prophecy about the future Santa Teresina.

However we must continue praying and offer God many little sacrifices for the Cause, because we must accept the fact that our little saint is having some problems, mainly due to postulators of other causes. Success always carries risks and breeds jealousy. It’s inevitable. God will triumph nevertheless and make sure that His little Queen triumphs, too. Apparently, people are surprised by her international renown, and by the growing commercial aspect resulting from it. People are wrongly blaming us for what is being manufactured in Bavaria and England. But don’t worry, a single word is enough to break down the prejudices. When one has truth on one’s side, there really is nothing to fear. What’s more, we have the honour of enduring persecution for justice, which is no small honour. The persecution becomes harder to bear when one’s loved-ones are involved, which is the case for us. Francis came to the visiting room the other day on business (he hadn’t been for 4 months). He criticised us, particularly me, saying that none of our portraits of Thérèse looked life-like, that he had enlarged a picture of her (M. Gombault’s one of her as a novice), and that he didn’t want to see any other. He was trembling as he said all this. Our Mother was very upset. Nothing can bring them round. Their minds are made up. They don’t trust Mgr de Teil anymore because he supports us. They tried to set him against us at first, but didn’t succeed. You know that they bought the house in Alençon, but didn’t want us to redecorate it. They had the bedroom wallpaper scraped so that they could put the same paper on that was there before, supposedly. They took it all off, layer by layer, to reach the one that had been there 40 years ago! They have some very strange ideas. Poor Francis and Jeanne; it must be paining them to cause us pain. It’s so lovely when a family is united as one heart and one soul! But they think they’re doing what’s right by victimising us. They don’t have enough faith and simplicity to be in the way of truth. We fear only one thing, which is that they lengthen their time in purgatory through their stubborn refusal to side with us. Still, that’s enough about that. We must pray for them and for us. Did you know that Germaine Hassebroucq left the Carmel in Belgium? Here’s someone else who’ll need a lesson in humility if she wants to make any headway. I send my love, darling little sister. Don’t be sad. Deep down we are glad and honoured to suffer.

This letter is confidential, you understand. From your little Céline, who wishes you and your dear Mothers a happy New Year.

Sr Geneviève of St Teresa