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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 25, 1914

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 25, 1914

+ Jesus Christmas 1914

Darling little Léonie,

This is the twentieth time that I’ve seen the feast of Christmas at the Carmel. This year it is a time of mourning, because while we sing about peace, we know that, out there, a war is still raging with no end in sight. What is comforting is remembering that it is not the devil but God who is gaining from it, and that we’re moving towards a future that corresponds to the designs of Divine Providence and His plans for the end of the world. Despite everything, there is therefore peace for men of goodwill. As the Holy Scriptures say, “They will always be glad, though the earth give way.”

You know that His Lordship said Mass at Les Buissonnets on 10th December. Apparently it was an unforgettable celebration. The little alcove was ablaze with light and there was easily enough space for two priests to assist His Lordship at the altar. It was very solemn and touching. His Lordship put on his vestment at the foot of the altar, as always. He wore the lovely little vestment that I told you about, all lined with sky blue fabric, and the gold drape decorated with a blue ribbon forming a cross, which is in turn bordered with ivory trimming (depicting a shining silver lamb in the centre). These vestments were new and respected the colours of the Bl. Virgin perfectly. – The congregation (a few guests and Jeanne and Francis) took Communion. They had a little altar cloth, which they passed from one to the other. It looked like a piano cover (in shape), with Richelieu embroidery all around it. The altar cloth was woven of course. It was a present to us. Francis was moved. He sat with his head in his hands the whole time (Jeanne was so delighted that she sent us some cakes so that we could have a feast). When they went into the bedroom, his Lordship, who was waiting for them to begin the Mass, addressed them a kind word. After his Lordship’s Mass, Fr Quirié celebrated one as well. He put on his vestment in the little sacristy (the washroom), then closed the door, and solemnly, as though in a cathedral, walked up to the altar preceded by the cleric, Pierre, whom we’ve perhaps mentioned to you. Once both Masses were over, his Lordship, Fr Quirié and Jeanne and Francis went down to the dining room where Mademoiselle Mikael Castel served them with silver-gilt cutlery. That’s what took place at Les Buissonnets. In the morning, his Lorship came here. We’ve never seen him looking so radiant. He was beaming, and was so eloquent that we were all moved. What he said was sublime. At our daily Mass, his Lorship described the consolations he had received, in very personal words. He told us that the Mass he had celebrated was one of thanksgiving, and that he had pronounced all the words that Holy Church proposes to the celebrant in honour of the Bl. Virgin on the octave day of the Immaculate Conception, applying them to our little saint. In short, we’ve kept a delightful memory of that day. Here we were celebrating the transfer of the Holy House of Loreto, which was no less symbolic. Who would have thought that this humble home, which has witnessed so many tears, would one day be so honoured? Excuse my letter’s incoherence. In order to remember as much as possible, I’ve told you things as they’ve come to mind. I only hope these details interest you. I wish you a happy New Year and offer my best wishes to your Mothers. There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you for a long time: where can we obtain little steel pins with black heads for holding our veils in place? The only ones that we can find are too big and soon leave holes. We need very thin ones. Our Mother would be most glad if we could find some in time for her feast day. Don’t forget to give me the address should you know a place.    

I send you a fond kiss. Your loving little sister

Sr Geneviève of St Teresa

u.c.n. 

I’m giving you 2 small photographs of the Pope that were sent to me from Rome.