From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 11, 1919

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 11, 1919

+Jesus                                                                            Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                                         11th May 1919


Darling little sister,

As Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart is busy today and I, exceptionally, am less so, I’m writing to you in her place. I’m in the garden beside the flowering forget-me-nots, which remind me of the crowns that our dear little Thérèse used to weave for the Bl. Virgin when she was sick.

On that note, I don’t know whether we told you that the Sunday on which she was healed couldn’t have been 10th May, because in May 1883, the Sundays were the 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th. We are now therefore printing the 13th instead of the 10th, although we don’t understand how this mistake came about. It must have been a printing error from the beginning.

Our dear little saint mentions no date in her manuscript. She merely wrote, “Smile from the Bl. Virgin May 1883”. In her biography, she said, “it was then May . . . one Sunday during the novena, etc.” She also mentions flowering forget-me-nots. I’m very pleased about this change because it sanctifies the date of my 1st Communion, 13th May 1880.

I have other news for you. Maryelle de la Tour d'Auvergne is going to marry the Count of Richemont on 31st May. You must know him. He is handicapped as a result of an illness in his youth; sunstroke, I think, but his saintly mother brought him up so well that we hope Maryelle will be happy. He is marrying her without a dowry. I cannot believe that Maryelle’s saintly mother, or her saintly sisters in heaven, would let her marry him if it would make her miserable. If she married someone cleverer, she would perhaps have met her downfall, because she is not as gifted as her sisters. Otherwise, that husband could have abandoned her if he hadn’t been pious. As it is, they will both have reason to forgive each other and Maryelle will always be compelled to remain humble and responsible in life as a consequence of her husband’s disability.

As a result of this, Maryelle’s bedroom furniture from Les Buissonnets is going to furnish a bedroom in the Chateau of Glatigny and we have decided to restore Papa’s bedroom to how it was before. We’ll display it to pilgrims by way of a mirror on the double door of the oratory. Jeanne is giving us back the bed, chest of drawers and wall hangings. Unfortunately, we’ll be missing the desk and pedestal table. If you and your Sisters don’t mind, would you give us some money to replace the 2 pieces of furniture that I believe you took with you? But if this upsets you, we’ll manage without.

I also wanted to ask you to pray for the stealing to stop. It is happening again. So address your letters to Emardine until further notice. It’s disastrous for Thérèse’s Cause, but our Mother refuses to let it upset her. She says that she offers her sadness up to God, uniting it with the sadness that Our Lord felt when Judas stole from Him.

Our Mother is going on retreat this evening. Our elections will be on the 28th. – Yes, Madame de Castelnau has had photographs of us for a long time. – Yes, we received the 5 frs for the Cause. – Thank you for your kind wishes for my 50th birthday. I was given a fitting celebration by our Sisters. We’ve resumed the building work. It’s incredibly expensive. What cost 100,000 frs before the war now costs over 300,000 and it’s frightening when we think of all the things we have to do. Yet God knows that the work is worthwhile and urgent.

Darling little sister, let us toil for God and no one else. I’ve noticed that when we slacken off a little, our strength diminishes. In order to be happy, we must give our absolute all. “I shall not come across one flower without unpetalling it for Him.” This has been my catchphrase for a while now.

I send you all my love. I wish you a happy birthday for 3rd June.

Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face