From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - July 8, 1917

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - July 8, 1917

+ Jesus                                                                                                          8th July 1917

Darling Léonie,

We have just seen Mgr de Teil. He has returned from Rome. He had nothing but good news for us. No sooner than the second day after his arrival in the eternal city, he had a private and very long audience with the Pope. No sooner had the Holy Father seen him than he asked, “So, how is Sr Thérèse’s Cause coming along?” Then he inquired into whether she was still working miracles. Mgr de Teil related some of her most recent miracles, including the one concerning the little Potot child from Boulogne. Benedict XV said, “That is a real miracle.”

Sr Anne of St Bartholomew, St Teresa’s companion, was beatified recently, and as the Postulator, Father Rodrigue, had quite a bit of trouble finding the 2 required miracles, the Holy Father said good-humouredly that he would have easier pickings with St Thérèse of the Child Jesus! – The Holy Father also reapproved an indulgenced novena that he had established when he was Archbishop of Bologna. This novena invokes the Holy Trinity through the merits and intercession of our little saint. We’re currently having it printed. It was this novena that was common in Italy and which the Carmelite nuns of Gallipoli were praying just before they obtained their miracle.

The picture of the soldier, which you’ve seen, I think, was offered to the Holy Father, and it moved and interested him greatly. He gave a Crucifix to Mgr de Teil for the soldier.

A few days after Mgr de Teil’s audience, a high-profile priest from England brought the Pope a report on the influence that Sr Thérèse is having among the Protestants. After having read it all the way through, Benedict XV certified it and sent it to the S.C. of Rites.

I don’t know whether you’ve heard about the new Code of Canon Law that has just been published. At his inauguration, the Holy Father declared that no dispensations would be granted and that it was pointless asking for any. Now, the chapter on beatifications specifies that someone cannot be beatified until 50 years after their death, which means another 50 years’ wait for us. However, as the law won’t come into force until Pentecost 1918, our Thérèse’s Process will have had the time to reach Rome and be inaugurated before then, which will exempt it from this long wait. We believe that the Pope realises this and that this is why he has been so insistent in his enquiries concerning the trial’s progress. We must pray hard so that nothing hinders the successful outcome. Mgr Lemonnier is hoping to take it to Rome in November.

Fr Rodrigue was also very concerned about the fees. In just one day, he had to spend 95,000 frs for the beatification of Bl. Anne of St Bartholomew. A canonisation costs 500,000 frs, and that’s just counting the celebrations in Rome. We’re praying that God will protect our meagre assets and put a stop to the robberies at the post office because they are eating away at our alms.  

People have already complained that we don’t receive their letters and dare not write anymore. However, the Postmaster here is very obliging and is doing everything he can to find out who the culprit or culprits are. A few days ago, another of Fr Dubosq’s letters was lost. Our Fr Superior came yesterday; the Court will conclude the Process of Miracles in early August. On the 9th or 10th, the Servant of God’s remains will be identified, but you mustn’t talk about this to avoid too many people going to the cemetery.  

I hope, little Léonie, that you’ll be pleased with me today. My letter is nothing less than a newspaper and my 4 large pages have been filled without me being able to say a word about God. However, speaking of His admirable works is still talking about Him, is it not?

I send you my love, darling little sister.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n. 

When you next send us a letter via the post, you could put your letter in a double envelope and address it to Emardine, Fr Pitrou’s maid: Mrs Vve Ressencourt, 56 Rue de Livarot.