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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 28, 1920

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 28, 1920

+ Jesus                                                                       Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                                    28th May 1920

                                                                                                              

Darling Léonie,

I have an opportunity to send you a photograph of a painting that I finished recently. I’m sending it to you in honour of 1st June, the day on which the S. C. of Rites will examine our little saint’s Process, and also for 3rd June, your birthday.

This painting depicts dear little Thérèse in ecstasy at the moment she died. It was very difficult and tricky to portray, but I have no doubt that God wanted me to paint it, because it has come out much better than I or any of us hoped. Our Mother is delighted with it, as is Sr Marie of the S. Heart, and Fr Dubosq gave us more praise than he has ever done before. He saw what it was that I was trying to convey in the painting. Dear little sister, you can tell yourself that you are reliving our little saint’s last breath, or rather, imagining it, since you didn’t see her at that sublime instant. All the Sisters here who witnessed it are of the same opinion. Therefore, due to this unhoped-for success, I attribute this piece to God alone, a bit like the painting of the Holy Face.

As I’ve just said, Tuesday 1st June is a significant date for the Cause, but as we don’t know the outcome, it will be a day of prayer. The Postulator in Rome wrote to tell us to expose the Bl. Sacrament until 11 o’clock in the morning. We will therefore spend all morning in prayer. I’m telling you this so that you can join us. As soon as we know the outcome of the session, we’ll let you know. The stakes are high, but we are firm in the hope that everything will go well.

Last Tuesday we were paid a visit from the Armenian Patriarch, Paul Pierre XIII. He’s a real saint. He bears the marks of the Turkish persecution on his venerable forehead, since he was lapidated. Sr Marie of the Trinity has developed a set of shots that I took of him. We believe he will be a martyr.

If only you had seen his joy at being here. He forgot his many great sorrows and his face beamed. – He said Mass according to the Armenian rite wearing special sacerdotal vestments. It included a sort of supple cloak, and is very beautiful indeed. Our vestments bear no comparison with it. We stood very close to him as the Mass was celebrated in our choir. Our beloved little saint brings us moments of joy like this sometimes, but more often than not, she causes us bother, like right now with the building work. However, Mr de Bercegol, who now lives in Lisieux, will look after our interests.      

No, Fr Prévost is not dead. The “Very Reverend Father General” still lives in Paris or Rome!

I’m sending you a little poem that I wrote. It is in the style of my other one called “little soul”. Oh, these reflections bring me immense happiness, and help me bear the day’s work and sorrows! At the moment, more than to die, I desire to devote myself to Jesus and serve Him in the shadows, so that not even He knows. I was inspired to write this poem when, during my retreat, our Mother told me that one of our young Sisters was inspired with lofty thoughts during prayers, and I felt most inadequate! Goodbye, little sister, I send you all my love

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n.