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

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

+ Jesus                                                                   Carmel of Lisieux

                                                                               8th July 1928


Darling Léonie,

Oh, how well I understand your feelings of pain and apprehension regarding the nomination you told us about, and I share deeply in them. But you are not alone. Firstly, you have your dear Mothers, who share your feelings, will help you if needs be and, if it’s useful, defend our little Saint’s Cause, which has become our own. And secondly, Thérèse is there. Lastly, it is Jesus Himself who is allowing this cross to reach [3 or 4 words crossed out here] our darling little Léonie, so that she might directly and personally share in the persecution that has caused us so much suffering. Who knows, perhaps He has kept you on earth until now for your life to be crowned by this martyrdom? O dear little Sister, take heart and above all, don’t be afraid. The hand of Jesus can only be very gentle and the weight of the Cross is a delight when we look upon it with love.

What’s more, does He not hold all hearts under His sway? He can transform them as He pleases. When St Ephrem was young, he whipped a poor old man’s goat out of spite and look how he was transformed! People would nevertheless have had every right to despair of the young man and impute him with an evil and incorrigible character.

Of course, we with our narrow minds want to have a choice (which we can only make according to often misleading appearances). In their time, the Apostles did the same and, when entrusting the various missions to people at the time of the Church’s founding, they wisely sought “men of good repute”. And what did the Holy Spirit do? In His sovereign independence, He chose “a man of bad repute”. He seized Saul on the road to Damas and made him a Saint and His chief Apostle. How can we be afraid after that?

Léonie, what you must do is this: imitate Thérèse’s habit of praising God and paying Him compliments when she didn’t understand His way of doing things. Thank Him, tell Him that you are very pleased, that He couldn’t choose better, that you choose what He chooses, and then surrender yourself to Him. If you have to suffer, then He’ll give you the strength to bear it. Yet perhaps there’ll also be some flowers hidden beneath the cross.

I send you lots of kisses, darling little sister. I’m praying for you with all my heart and I love you.

Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face and St Teresa


written by Mother Agnes of Jesus:

Beloved little sister, let us rejoice in all that the Lord does, because God places His grace and His love in everything. I think of you so often!

Your little Sister and Mamma