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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - September 27, 1919

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - September 27, 1919

+ Jesus                                                         Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                   27th September 1919

                                                                                                            

Dear little Léonie,

I was very touched by the kind letter you sent me for the silver anniversary of my joining the Carmel. I thought that no one would remember it but I was feted on all sides. Mademoiselle Mickaël sent some enormous apple tarts, and Jeanne sent something, too. It wasn’t even the proper celebration. It is 25 years of Professed life that counts as the Silver Anniversary.

Today, I’m very pleased to be sending you a photograph that will give you an idea of the apotheosis we would like for our little Thérèse. It’s only a little wash drawing that I’ve corrected, as much as one can correct a wash drawing, but I’ll make it into quite a large painting when I have time.

Only the group shown in the middle will be made into a statue. It will be placed at the back of our chapel (at the back of the chancel). This way, the Bl. Virgin that we are removing will be replaced by another Bl. Virgin, and there’ll also be the statue of the Child Jesus and the one of our little saint.

But how long will it be before all this is finished? Our building work is progressing slowly. At this rate it will take 10 years. It is much like our progress towards perfection, which, when God decides not to take us young, takes a painfully long time. Perhaps I shouldn’t speak for all of us, and it is no doubt wrong of me to compare myself with others. Oh, of course, He’ll be obliged to take me all “muddly” (which is what Sr Marie-Madeleine says when she means to say, all “muddy”). Otherwise, I would be making His death sentence on all human beings appear to be a lie, because when the world ends, I still won’t be perfect.

What a funny letter this is for 30th September. It is a very painful anniversary for me because, on this day, I lost my little companion. I feel it keenly very often. You, my poor Léonie, lost yours in the person of little Hélène before you could even enjoy her companionship. In heaven, we’ll be repaid for all these things.

I send all my love. Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face

u.c.n.