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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - September 28, 1916

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - September 28, 1916

+ Jesus     .                                                                                 28th September 1916

Darling little sister,

I’m writing to wish you a happy feast day for the 30th. It has already been 19 years since dear little Thérèse went to heaven. It won’t be long before it’s time for us to join her. If she has left us here, it’s because she still needs us on earth.

The Court is currently in session here at the Carmel. Sr Marie of the Trinity is testifying. After her, it will be Sr Jeanne-Marie’s turn and then the gentlemen will have heard everyone (from here) and we’ll be able to wall up the small grate. The 30th will be the last day.

I don’t know whether you heard that we had the ordination of a priest here in the chapel on Sunday 24th. The previous day, the soldier-seminarian was received as a deacon, and so we saw both Holy Orders administered. It will leave us with an unforgettable memory. Oh, I was so moved! I had prayed to Thérèse that I might see everything and at the very moment that his hands were being anointed, a little space opened up between a surplice and the celebrant’s vestments and I was able to see everything. I was the only one, I think. As for the other ceremonies, we could follow them very easily, because Fr Dubosq had arranged the Sanctuary so that nobody would stand in front of the grate.    

I can’t explain what I felt. The inner feelings that usually accompany such great events were mingled with a poetic evening song in my heart. My youthful impressions were strongly replaced by a sweet, pervasive melancholy.

That Friday morning, the day before the 1st ordination, the new Court was constituted. The Chancel was filled with priests in choir dress. Church ceremonies are indeed splendid.

You asked me for news of Fr Surin. What I remember is this: The Ursulines of Loudun, I believe, were bewitched by an evil priest after he threw an enchanted rose into their garden. The Prioress in particular became heavily possessed. She had been a saint. The devil could sometimes be seen by her side because he would leave her as soon as she began Prayers. Fr Surin, a Jesuit and a saint, was designated to exorcise the nuns and I don’t know why, perhaps because he offered himself as a victim, but he became possessed in turn. I can’t remember how he was delivered, but he suffered a great deal of humiliation because of it.  

Darling little sister, I would like you to research into the whereabouts of my little blue book containing my “Memoirs of a Novice”. The memoirs were copied out by two different people; Rev. Fr Clovis Boudevin and Fr C. Connell. I was very fond of the book, and what’s more, the memoirs are private. Ask your librarian, your Sisters in England, and also the Besnard family, because you know that they have kept post in their pockets more than once. I would only ever have lent this notebook to the Visitation and I haven’t seen it for several years. I wouldn’t mind if it had been destroyed, but I fear it has been lost. Don’t fret over it, however. Nothing on earth is worth that, not even the greatest of misfortunes.

I send you my love, my much-loved little Léonie, and lots of kisses. Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of St Teresa u.c.n. 

The Archbishop of Aix came on Tuesday on a 2nd pilgrimage. There is a bus that comes from Levallois Perret marked with the words: “Pilgrimage to the burial place of St Thérèse of the Child Jesus,” and it costs 9 frs. It carries 40 passengers and does the round trip in a day.