From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 24, 1924

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 24, 1924

+ Jesus                                                         Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                  24th November 1924


Dear little sister,

I’ve come to bid you farewell before Advent. Let’s hope that there won’t be any more misfortunes before then.

At 6:30 this morning we found our poor Sister Marie of the Angels unconscious. The nurse who sleeps in the next cell had heard her moving about at 5 o’clock (she would get up several times on her own in the night). Quickly, she called our Mother, who sent for the priest post-haste. He only had time to give her the Last Sacraments before she faded away painlessly at the end of the Plenary Indulgence.

She was really well yesterday evening. She was at recreation as usual. Recently, when Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart was sick, we had the doctor consult her to please her. So the doctor saw her and told us that all her organs were functioning perfectly. If she hadn’t been deaf or had a bent neck, you would have thought she was a youngster. She was always in the cloisters! We think that she blacked out and that her heart didn’t hold up. She was 80, I think.

Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart will no doubt have told you that our little Sister Eliane of Jesus, a Lay novice, is sick, and that she’s going to return to her family in the south to rebuild her strength.

Meanwhile, the Community is having trouble with poor Sr Marie of the Child Jesus who doesn’t like Hanoi! She wrote telling us so 3 days after arriving! Still, I believe that the devil wants to make us pay for next year’s Canonisation. There is going to be one Congregation in January, and then another, the last one, on 17th March (the anniversary of my taking the Veil). The canonisation will probably be in May. It will be Pius XI’s 1st one.

As for me, I’m still working hard. I’ve begun the 2 life-sized oil portraits of our little saint: “Thérèse with Roses” and a bust. They’re for publishing. Before that, I painted the Apotheosis, of which I’m sending you a photograph. It will be reprinted in colour. This time, Thérèse is shown returning to earth with God’s Love, and making Him loved as she loved Him. Flames burst forth from her heart, lighting up the golden Crucifix and roses that she is pressing against her chest. – This painting will be printed on the banner that will be used for the grand Procession at St Peter’s in Rome. The other will depict Thérèse being speared with an arrow of love as she walks the Way of the Cross (it’s a theme from her life story in pictures). As you can see, everything will be about Love for the Canonisation.

Pray for me, darling little sister, that I might succeed in my work. I keep repeating, in faith, these words from a psalm, “Bless the work of our hands!” For everything else, I entrust myself to Jesus and to little Thérèse. She will know how to make my soul beautiful and fashion it to His liking. Goodbye, darling Léonie. We’ll speak soon. Don’t worry because, “we rejoice in our sufferings”. The will of God means everything to us.

Your little sister.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face