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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 27, 1914

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 27, 1914

+ Jesus 27th January 1914

Dear little Françoise-Thérèse,

I’ve come to wish you a happy feast day, and I do so most wholeheartedly! My Communion will be for you today. I’ll pray that, even though we are far from one another, we will always live the same life and always share the same sentiments, as though we communicated constantly, and I’m certain that God will answer my prayer. Our natural kinship must be reinforced by our spiritual kinship, making us “soul sisters”. But our relationship goes deeper than anyone can say. All four of us are walking along the same path; the path of spiritual childhood, which is one of simplicity, humility and surrender, and whose beginning, journey and goal is Love.

As you know, we have just celebrated our Mother’s feast day. I gave her one of the belts that Thérèse had at boarding school arranged in a pretty frame and also a framed page of writing. They are for the Abbey, which receives many visitors apparently, and the Benedictines have nothing, or almost nothing, to show to pilgrims. We’re delighted to be able to help them, but don’t tell anyone because we haven’t yet sent the gifts and we would be sorry if Mrs Domin told someone and the surprise was ruined.

I’ve also given away little Thérèse’s last tear, which was collected on a cloth immediately after she died. I cut out the part that was damp at that very moment, and since then, I’ve always kept it next to my heart. But it is in pride of place now, in a diamond reliquary decorated with an angel. The whole set is worth 3000 frs at least. It was given to us, of course. His Lordship has seen it and thinks it very beautiful and artistic, but we’re not putting it on display right away.

During his last visit, and as a feast day gift, his Lordship gave our Mother permission to begin the building work on 1st March. One altar is no longer enough to cater for all the pilgrim groups in summer. There are often more than 12 Masses a day. We’re therefore going to enlarge the chapel on the gospel side, and build a side aisle with 5 altars in it, then a large sacristy along the wall adjoining Mrs Fleuriot’s property, with a room for Thérèse’s keepsakes. Later on, we’ll extend the chapel lengthwise into the courtyard. Fr Dubosq arranged all this at the bishopric. If Jeanne talks to you about it, say that you had thought some changes would become necessary and that it is about time they got underway etc. You know they’re always looking over our shoulder, ready to fight us. But his Lordship is protecting us and God is on our side.  

I send my love, darling little sister. I offer my respects to your dear Mothers. Your little sister

Geneviève of St Teresa u.c.n.