From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 8, 1928

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 8, 1928

+ Jesus                                                                  Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                              8th April 1928


Dear little Sister,

Once again, all four of us have come together to mingle our voices in the Alleluia here in exile. This year, in a few days, I’m going to enter my 60th year. All of us have reached old age now. So much the better if it brings Jesus glory and makes Him better loved by us and others!

This morning, we received a little note from our Mother urging us to write to you quickly so that you could answer our letters. We prefer it when our letters don’t cross. Unfortunately we don’t have Mr Ménage anymore to bring yours to us on Holy Saturday and take ours to you on Easter Day. He is very sick following a bout of pleurisy and we have very little hope of seeing him again. He was a devoted friend to us, and was of sound advice in all circumstances. Still, no doubt we don’t need him anymore. I recommend him to your prayers as well as those of your Mothers and Sisters.

You’ll remember him for your statue, which he placed in your garden. Speaking of your statue, we have one too, in the courtyard that you can see on the stereo photo. It’s the yard behind the large reliquary, named “Céline yard”. The statue, which is in synthetic stone, doesn’t weather well at all and we’re going to be obliged to replace it. Synthetic stone is composed of cement and powdered stone, but it’s not at all strong. Saltpetre has infiltrated it and we deeply regret not having chosen terracotta like you, seeing as you’re pleased with yours. Mr Bercegol recommended this new product and we made the mistake of listening to him.

I mentioned “Céline yard” earlier: in front of it, between the choir and the part of the chapel where the large reliquary is situated, the tiny yard that used to be there is now called “Pauline yard”, and the one behind the little cloister that you can see at the end of Céline yard has been named “Marie yard”. The latter is the prettiest. It has 5 trees in it as well as the birdcage from Les Buissonnets containing the doves from the Canonisation ceremony. The birdcage adjoins a cage in a hermitage dedicated to our little saint.

The building work in Alençon is progressing slowly. However, we hope to put the Bl. Sacrament in the new chapel next month. The building work has been going on for 5 years now. Once Mrs Grant has gone, some Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel will look after the birthplace, but they are going to move in before then and serve the chapel. We have built them some cells in one of the neighbouring houses that we bought to enlarge the property and provide access for pilgrim groups. You can see all the work that your Little Céline has to do to manage it all. Pray for me, darling little sister. As you know, I love you with all my heart.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face and St Teresa


Mrs Tifenne will soon be leaving us. She is sick and very weak.