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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 25, 1925

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 25, 1925

+ Jesus                                                                Carmel de Lisieux

                                                                          25th January 1925

                                                                                                              

Dear little Léonie,

Happy feast day! May this year bring you the Canonisation of little Thérèse. On the 27th we’ll all join together in praying for this great Cause, which is in fact God’s Cause.

Yet what a lot of trials we still have to face before we get there, and before we see the pilgrimage centre flourish! We won’t see that happen, but we can prepare for it. I’ll tell you a secret, which is that the architect from Paris brought us a draft of the future basilica for our Mother’s feast day. It’s not yet detailed enough to show to his Lordship. It will be very large, and will cost at least 8,000,000 frs, and 18,000,000 if we want it to be magnificent. The average will therefore be between 12 and 15. Where will we find such money? For a start, I only have a couple of francs that Fr Marie-Bernard gave me. I’ve placed them at the foot of the Bl. Virgin. She must be smiling upon him.

And this price doesn’t include the land purchases, which have fleeced us completely! So we’re starting from nothing, which means that we’ll start collecting campaigns immediately after the Canonisation. You mustn’t be astonished at these outrageous prices. Everything costs at least 5 times more than it used to, and the river will create building difficulties because it will need to be covered in places.

Don’t tell anyone any of this. We must keep telling people that the basilica plans have been abandoned because times are hard. It’s true that we’re not about to start building!!

I’ve just read an article in the "Cahiers Catholiques" about Thérèse’s early childhood in Semallé. Fr Royer discredits everything we say. He takes the opposing view of everything we do. He’s playing a devilish role. God won’t bless him. What’s more, he’s bringing ridicule upon himself by talking about a cow and about the way in which little Rose carried Thérèse. Lastly, he criticises the portrait of Thérèse taking her 1st Communion because she’s wearing a crown and Fr Domin showed him the dress she really wore with the bonnet. If you heard anyone say this, you would reply that we weren’t claiming to represent her on the day of her 1st Communion, but in a 1st Communion dress, because we always put a crown of roses on her head for Bl. Sacrament processions.

These are merely little thorns, but they make life hard nonetheless. Whatever you do, think no more about it. It is of no importance.

Do you mean that the statue that you are going to receive will weigh 250 to 300 kg? Goodbye, darling little sister. I send you all my love. Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n.