From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 3, 1924

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 3, 1924

+ Jesus                                                                   Carmel of Lisieux 3rd August 1924


Darling Léonie,

Your little feast day letter brought me great pleasure, scented as it was with roses from your little garden and heart, as always. What I wasn’t pleased to see was that your hand shakes when you write. It’s writers’ cramp! Or rather it’s a little sign that we’re growing old.

Fortunately my own hand is still alert, because at the moment I’m painting a new apotheosis for the Canonisation. It’s a small picture measuring 50 x 60 cm and painted on a mahogany panel. As soon as I’ve finished and photographed it, I’ll send it to you. I don’t mean the painting; it’s too difficult to wrap up and something might happen to it. As oil paint is always sticky when still fresh, we’re not sure how to pack paintings so that they arrive without mishap. I don’t know what you mean; I haven’t sent anything to Rome. Perhaps you mean a wash drawing that Sr Marie of the Holy Spirit painted.

As for your book, it would be best if you kept it as it is, little Léonie. After the Canonisation, we’ll give you the latest edition bearing the title “Saint”, which is more complete in every respect. You can give the book that you have to the Missions or you can keep it in the monastery archives if you destroy the pictures that we haven’t published and which were private (if there are any). Otherwise you can send it to us. I’m in a terrible hurry; my working companion is leaving for Indochina [Sr Marie of the Child Jesus] and I won’t be able to do the work required, which I think is impossible to do cleanly in any case.  

We’re not at all happy with the famous Brazilian medallion. It’s nothing but a set of crude photos and we’re protesting. We knew about it already. People don’t have the right to publish things like this. It’s the result of an appalling lack of tact.

As for the book you mentioned, we didn’t know about it but we have one in the monastery and it’s very popular. I immediately requested another one and am going to read it. We only have one copy.

Don’t tell Mgr Grente this, because he has been very charming to us, but we don’t like his speech very much (it didn’t go down well in Alençon). It’s not what we expect for our “imitable” little saint.  

I think I’ve answered all your questions, darling sister. I had some for you but I’ve forgotten them. They’ll have to wait until next time. I love you and send you a heartfelt kiss. Enclosed is a card depicting a theme from Thérèse’s “Life Story in Pictures” that Sr Marie of the Holy Spirit coloured.

Your little sister and former little companion in misfortune

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face