From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 24, 1922

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 24, 1922

+ Jesus                                                         Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                  24th December 1922


Darling little sister,

I’m writing to you during the vigil instead of resting, because I save the daylight hours for my work. Given how difficult it is, I don’t have any respite, not even on Sundays. We have to finish everything before the beatification, and I’m expected to do much of it.

I’m sending you a reproduction of my little apotheosis in trichromy. It’s not a true representation of the colours. My painting isn’t as green as that, but I’m very pleased with it all the same. I could have had more trouble with it and it gives a good idea of the original. We’re going to have pictures made of it in several sizes, up to 30 x 40 cm. The one I’m sending you is in postcard format.

We’re having it painted in large, 4 m high pictures for the beatification celebrations. We’ll need several to send to our Carmelite convents. All this doesn’t come cheap and is a lot of trouble to organise.

I’m currently seeing to buying all we need to decorate the inside of the large reliquary, which will arrive on 4th January. It will be mounted in time for our Mother’s feast day. I have a superb brocade fabric that is dark blue satin, faille and partly fine gold. I’ll send you a sample of it when we have some cut-offs.

For her feast day, I will offer our Mother the crucifix that you returned to us, decorated with diamonds and precious stones. Do you know what Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart will give her? She has perhaps told you. A lion skin and a leopard skin that a missionary sent us. They are in the form of a rug and we’ll display it when his Lordship comes. It’s certainly an original votive offering, isn’t it?

Darling little sister, I wish you a happy New Year. This is perhaps the last time I’ll say this to you. I have a feeling that once our mission is accomplished, we won’t remain on earth for much longer. And mine will be finished once I’ve laid little Thérèse in the large reliquary.

That said, everything will happen in God’s good time. All we have to do is let Him deal with things and arrange them as He sees fit. I want only what He wants.

I must leave you now, dear little Léonie. I’m going to sing Matins and baby Jesus will soon be born. It’s so sweet to have God within our reach like this, and to be able to adore Him, this baby so very tiny, and very weak. And yet He is so great and powerful that it called for the feast of Christmas.

With lots of love and kisses from your little Céline

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face