From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 20, 1924.

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 20, 1924.

+ Jesus                                                             Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                         20th April 1924.


Dear little Léonie,

This time next year, the Canonisation of our little Thérèse will be almost upon us. Our Carmelite Fathers in Rome are already seeing to the decorations, banner, etc. (keep this to yourself) and we are very busy finding themes for them. Sr Marie of the Holy Spirit is doing some wash drawings and paintings, and Jouvenot is helping. Still, all this is in the study phase, so don’t ask me for any more details because I won’t be able to help you. We’ll talk about it again when the time is right. I’m telling you this to prove to you that we won’t be able to rest until after the Canonisation, so I no longer hope that I’ll die beforehand even though my desire is as strong as ever.

Today, Easter Day, I praised Jesus as though I was in heaven, by asking Thérèse to do so on my behalf. A few days ago, on Thursday and Good Friday, heaven must have joined us in paying a special tribute to Jesus to mark the anniversary of His martyrdom, and again, I asked Thérèse to replace me up above. I said the same prayer for my darling little sisters.

Then, I realised that if I envied my darling Thérèse and the heavenly court for being with Jesus, she and all heaven’s inhabitants must envy our situation in turn, because we are suffering in earth’s exile, and are able to sympathise more closely with Jesus’ Passion. So I offered up my meagre troubles and penances to little Thérèse so that she might make them her own and have the joy of giving them to Jesus.

But that’s enough spiritual talk. It will hardly interest you. Each of us has our pious thoughts and if we shared them all, it would be very boring. We wouldn’t even need to share them all; just some of them. Such graces, both great and small, represent the “white stone” mentioned in Revelation in that they are known only to the one who receives them.

Apparently people are gossiping against us in town because of the house that we had to buy in the district where the future “basilica” will be (building won’t begin for several years yet, but we need to secure the land). It doesn’t worry us, because “if God is with us, who will stand against us?” and the beatitude of being persecuted is ours. We are therefore sharing in Jesus’ suffering. What more could we want! I can’t explain the reason for people’s hatred, because I don’t understand it. Some say that people are jealous . . . of what? Is it not in the town’s very interest? Still, in this life, the damned rub shoulders with holy people. I often tell myself this to help me put up with such blatant spiritual aberrations, and afterwards, my indignation subsides.

Goodbye, darling Léonie. Rest assured that we remain joyful despite all opposition.

With lots of love and kisses,

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face