From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 26, 1924

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 26, 1924

+ Jesus                                                             Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                        26th January 1924


Darling sister,

I’m writing to wish you a happy feast day. You know that my gift to you will be Jesus in my Communion on the 29th. I’ll ask Him to shower you with graces and to bring you swiftly to where He wants you to be, that is to say right beside our little Thérèse.

We have just had our celebration in honour of our dear “Little Mother”. I gave her some jewel-encrusted relics. One was addressed to Father Roulland. He has entrusted it to me, to keep it from pious indiscretions and his own generosity. Until now, all his gifts have disappeared in the form of donations and we agreed that this one would share the fate of its predecessors if I didn’t keep it. We’re going to give it to him for the Foreign Missions; this way, we’ll be sure that it will be kept and well presented. Apparently their martyrs’ relics are kept in appalling conditions. Fr Taylor had wanted to buy them a marble altar for Blessed Théophane Vénard and an altar for our Bl. Thérèse to face it. His Superiors preferred to go without, saying that they had relics of other martyrs who were just as great as Théophane Vénard and that there was no reason that young saints should take priority over the old. That’s what happens when you have heaps of relics!

I also quickly whipped up (two days before the feast day) some Arum lilies. The artificial ones we had looked so bad that for a long time I’ve been saying to myself, “Oh, I’d make some more if I had five minutes, and they’d look more natural.” And they did. Our Sisters couldn’t believe their eyes. But they were a piece of cake to make and I’m as busy as ever with my work for our little Thérèse. She certainly knows how to keep us occupied!!!

Now, I’m going to prepare some more silk cloths for the last recognition of the relics in the Canonisation process. There’s no end to it! We’re sending you a fragment of the material that enveloped some bones. Don’t ask me for any more details; that’s all I know.

His Lordship has entrusted his relics to us, so that we can put them in a smaller reliquary. They are bones that cannot be broken, which means that His Lordship has no fragments to give anyone if they ask. He did have one little bone that was stolen by the carpenter at the 1st exhumation, and which he managed to retrieve following threats of excommunication. I was supposed to lay his relics in a reliquary that has a stem, like yours, so that they could be venerated at the Cathedral. Alas, the little bone turned out to be nothing but soil. It didn’t resist the alcohol test. This means that “the robber must have been robbed” since all he took was soil. This is the 3rd time that this has happened to us with one of the so-called relics from this man.

Dear little sister, I’m going to say farewell now until Lent. I send you lots of love and kisses. Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face