From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 5, 1927

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 5, 1927

+ Jesus                                                             Carmel of Lisieux  

                                                                          5th August 1927                                                                                                                

Darling Léonie,

I don’t want to leave you worrying any longer. Your little note broke our hearts. Yet how can it be that you didn’t receive a letter from our eldest sister updating you with all the Basilica news? She wrote one to you around 15th July. That is why I was so brief when I announced the great news to you. We can’t understand it at all, because she must have entrusted it to someone, so you should have received it.

But let’s not waste our time whining. I want this letter to reach you in time for the 6th so that you can celebrate at the same time as your Céline.

So, concerning the Basilica, the building work is going to be resumed. God has put an end to our struggle on that side of things and, in His great bounty, has dissipated our worry quite spectacularly. He has given us, I couldn’t tell you how, the best architect in France if not the world, because this man has always come 1st in international competitions. It’s Mr Cordonnier from Lille. He is 72 years old, but is still young at heart and in energy. He’s a veritable genius. He is pious, has a son who’s a Jesuit and is delighted to dedicate his last major work to our little saint. His plans for the hill, on top of the Way of the Cross, are splendid. You can already imagine the Basilica dominating the valley and the railway line a long way off, just as the chateau La Musse dominated its surroundings. And to think that we’ll be able to see it perfectly from the Carmel! It looks really close. The Way of the Cross is at the foot of the Basilica and is tiered beautifully, with a large central staircase. This news has been in the newspapers over the past few days. It is going to cause a sensation and might make a few people jealous to see us in such good hands. Alas! Such is human nature. But these people don’t know what we’ve given up to afford this grace. Still, we’re safe from critics in that respect now: this master architect’s renown will cover us amply. We’re still not rid of the other architect but everything will sort itself out, we hope, although not without costing us dearly!

As for the Guilain business, there’s nothing new. We must continue praying fervently. God will simply have to come to our aid, just as He did over the matter with the architect.

Now that you know all the news, darling little sister, I’m going to thank you for your feast day wishes. They brought me immense pleasure, as always, and I look forward to receiving them with sisterly anticipation. I was going to say that I haven’t received any sign from Thérèse for months and even years, but at 2 o’clock last night I was awoken to the sound of singing. It was as if the chapel was full of people, and I got up. I thought that there must be a ceremony in the chapel and that a morning pilgrim group was at worship, but there was no one there, because nobody comes before 9 am. I haven’t tried to find out what it means. I’ll either know or I won’t!

Goodbye, beloved little Léonie. I send love and kisses from the bottom of my heart, which is full of very tender affection for you.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face and St Teresa