From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - October 29, 1917

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - October 29, 1917

+ Jesus                                                             Carmel of Lisieux 29th October 1917                                                                                                            

Darling little sister,

When you receive this letter, there’ll be a big celebration underway in Bayeux in honour of our dear little Saint. Yet there’ll be even more rejoicing in heaven at the sight of our little saint’s progress towards glorification. She in turn is bringing immense glory to God and will bring even more when devotion to her is approved by the Church.

Monsignor de Teil has just left for Bayeux. He told us that the ceremony will take place in the Cathedral transept and will last for at least an hour. If he wasn’t very accustomed to going about these things and having the paperwork prepared, it would take three hours. It won’t be very interesting for the public. I don’t know whether many will attend. Baroness Gérard is going. We’re sending two Turn Sisters and Pierre. All the staff members at Les Buissonnets are going by their own means.

Monsignor de Teil told us that there were five large volumes, which means that there are 10 volumes to take to Rome because there’s also the copy of the Process. He and Mgr Lemonnier are taking them to Rome on the 7th. It was on the same day 30 years ago that we went there ourselves. I can remember looking at Bernini’s throne in all its glory at the back St Peter’s in Rome, without imagining that one day one of us would be up there. (It is where apotheoses of beatifications are placed.)

You no doubt know that Sr St John the Baptist died on Saturday. Her funeral was this morning. She didn’t imagine that she would celebrate her 30th birthday in heaven. She was our laundress, and worked and had her cell in the large dormitory where I am, opposite the votive offerings. She seemed less delicate and peaky than many of us. We wouldn’t have thought that she would die first. I always wonder whose turn it is next. It’s never mine . . . but Jesus knows that, despite my desire to go to Him, I would prefer that His will be done, even over that ineffable meeting. He knows best how to arrange all our affairs.

If I was supposed to die, it could have been yesterday. Believe it or not, I fell, or rather, a stepladder that I was on buckled, dragging me down with it. It came apart and broke, even though it was new. What was most dangerous was that I was holding a box of glass slides weighing 25 pounds at arm’s length. It was the movement that I made to set it down that caused the collapse. The box fell, breaking a large, strong zinc basin. If it hadn’t been for the basin, it would have fallen on my head. I came away with just a few bruises, and they are so small that they’re not worth mentioning.

We’ve had our retreat led by Fr Pichon. We were very pleased to see him again. He appeared very old. He is very glad to have seen you.

I send my love, darling little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face


I’m sending you two backed photos of Thérèse as a novice. I’ll be glad if you are as successful with other catches.