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

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

+ Jesus                                                           Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                    24th December 1924


Dear little sister,

We were given licence to speak an hour ago and I’m getting ahead of Christmas by sending you my little letter now. It’s our Mother’s wish, so that our letters won’t get crossed.

Our Mother will tell you that, for the Canonisation, she’s offering you a statue of our little Saint to go outside, because you expressed a desire for one once. Now they exist in terracotta at a reasonable price. I’m enclosing the catalogue so that you can choose the theme and type of décor. The stone coloured one should be best for outside. When the statue is dirty, you can simply wash it, or give it another coat of paint. If it was in colour, I imagine that, outside, certain darker shades would chip, like the black of the veil, for example. But do as you please. If you want it in position in time for the Canonisation, you mustn’t delay.

Darling little Léonie, the year that will consecrate our blessed little Thérèse’s Way of Love for the whole earth is upon us. It’s certainly not in vain that the Church will place the saint’s halo around her head: “noblesse oblige”. And her power will be strengthened as a result, and she will do more good than ever. She will be more indebted to the earth, to which she dared promise her blessings. Oh, what bliss it is to think that love for God will grow!

As for us, we are continuing to carry out the underpinning work, as much as our strength will allow. On Monday we had a first interview with an architect from Paris, who’s a devout Christian and specialised in the building of churches, with a view to begin planning the future basilica. That same day, the last purchase contract for a building that is vital to us, but which we weren’t able to lay our hands on, was signed (This is a secret. We mustn’t tell anyone that the basilica plans are going ahead. We’re letting people believe the contrary; that they have been abandoned in favour of hotels for pilgrims).  

It’s the Besnard property that we’re lacking. Oh, if only we had it! The new owners don’t want to sell and are demanding an exorbitant price for it and we don’t want to look as though we need it.

At Les Buissonnets, we’re going to install a very pretty statue of Thérèse with Papa. – The display case is finished in your little bedroom. It’s delightful apparently, and as practical as can be.

I’ve done the two oil paintings, “Thérèse with Roses” and the oval portrait, so that life-sized duplicates can be made. My paintings have turned out well. Our Mother is very pleased. I wouldn’t have thought that, in my old age (I am now in my 55th year) I would wield palettes and brushes successfully.

Goodbye, beloved little sister. I send all my love. Your little companion in misfortune

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n. 

The deal was closed by dearest Mrs Lecourt, who asked to buy it as though for herself, to enlarge her property. I present my best wishes for a happy New Year to you and your beloved Mothers and Sisters.