From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 6, 1922

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 6, 1922                                                                                                          

+ Jesus                                                                  Carmel of Lisieux

 6th August 1922                                                                                                           

Dear little sister,

Your wishes, which were the first to arrive, were particularly dear to me and our Mother has allowed me to send you a little note to thank you.

Léonie, your letter did me good, and cheered me, because I don’t receive many consolations and I often forget that Jesus might be pleased with my feeble efforts.

You are so good, darling sister. What a good heart Jesus gave you! And in return, He expects much from you. Love is a talent, one that is worth more than many others put together!!

Concerning our parents’ wedding, what has always misled us is a certificate that we have in our files stating that their wedding took place on the 12th. We didn’t realise this was the civil wedding and that the religious wedding took place the following day. I think that the miniature our Mother painted, which you took, reinforced the error. We should put a note on the back of the frame.

The Parish Priest of Notre Dame insisted on copying out the certificate himself and refused the customary donation, saying that he considered himself highly honoured to send us the document. The gestures that we are shown on account of little Thérèse are really touching. And God Himself has a hand in them. You’ll remember that, in our time of hardship, in 1889, at the very height of our suffering, we made a votive offering to the Holy Face, on which were marked the words, “Sit nomen Domini Benedictum, F.M.” (Martin family). Now, by a mere coincidence, on the 25th, the day the Congregation is meeting [25th July 1922 was the day on which the 2nd preparatory Congregation was held to discuss the two miracles], our Mother and I gave the workers the same votive offering so that it could be placed behind the altar below the Tabernacle. Suddenly, I realised the significance of my action. It seemed as though God was saying to us, “At the height of your humiliation, you made me a votive offering of praise. See what I’ve done.” Then I went into the chapel, after walking through the cloisters filled with marble plaques and votive offerings everywhere, and began to weep.

It was as though God Himself had sworn that we wouldn’t have the last word, which is why I think that we’ll see our little sister’s beatification with our own eyes.

I’ll leave you now, Léonie. I can’t see very clearly any more. I send you lots of love and kisses

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n 

P.S. - Fr Boyer, the missionary in Central Africa, has just sent us a lion skin and a leopard skin. We’ll give them to our Mother on her feast day.