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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 29, 1916

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 29, 1916

+ Jesus                                                                                                 29th November 1916

Dear little Léonie,

I thank you for the two photographs that you sent back to me. I’ll see to them when it’s not so cold, because in winter, photography is very difficult and makes the skin under my nails crack. When they’re entirely finished, you’ll be pleased.

At the moment, we’re asking people to send back any photographs of us that we’ve given them, but I must send others to replace them. Thérèse’s popularity has made it urgent that we see to the matter now, because otherwise, sooner or later we risk seeing ourselves in some magazine in a less than favourable light.

We’ll therefore leave nothing behind us except one photograph of each of us as young ladies and the 2 group photos of us as nuns, those being the group photo with the bread and that of the 6 of us in the drawing, which I took upon Mother Marie-Ange’s order. I’ve touched up your costume in the picture and I’ll send it to you for Christmas, as we have given it to his Lordship.

The photos of us as young ladies include:

-Me at the age of 20 at Karrens’ (with the hair coils). You must send any others you have back to us.

- You in mourning. However, I’m going to give you some soft downy hair to hide your high forehead. Your hairstyle doesn’t suit you at all. I’m also going to put in an artistic background so that your black dress doesn’t look so stark. The white background is ridiculous.

- “Marie” at the age of 21. I’ve straightened her coils (we don’t like the last one of her with a velvet waistband).

- “Pauline”; the lovely album photo that you’re familiar with.

Dear little Léonie, if you still have some photographs, either from before we joined the monastery, or of us as nuns in groups or alone, please send them back to us. It’s imperative that the ones we don’t accept disappear while we’re still alive. When it comes to pictures, indiscretions can go very far! I’ll gradually send you many other things that you’ll like. If you don’t want to keep anything else, at least you’ll have the two small group photos of the 3 of us and some other personal treats.

Goodbye, darling little sister. I love you with all my heart.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n. 

Since I was baptised under the name of Marie, I would rather have just one name. Two would be too much of a change, and I’ve been called Geneviève for 22 years. You were the one to address me by my new name 1st. I’ve kept the envelope, and the letter, of course!

I don’t have a Memento-sized photo of my Holy Face painting. You’ll have to wait.

[Added in pencil by Mother Agnes:] I’ve found one