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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - June 22, 1931

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - June 22, 1931

+ Jesus                                                                Carmel of Lisieux 22nd June 1931

Dear little Léonie,

It is indeed my turn to write to you, because it has been quite a while since I last did so, and yet I think of you very often. For instance on the 3rd, I didn’t forget my darling sister’s birthday. In fact, none of us here did. I am very loyal, and I too have quite a good memory for dates. I think I’m like you in that way. I’m also like you in many other ways, and I would have reacted as you did if I had missed the train to heaven like you. It is not the right reaction and yet God doesn’t hold it against us so long as we say “Fiat” with Jesus at the same time. Dear little sister, if I could possibly love you any more, my affection for you would have grown at the sight of you being worthy of enduring such a terrible ordeal.

I’m enclosing a photo of what we can see of the Basilica through a cell window in the loft, where more of it is visible. It looks very close to us. When the wind blows in the right direction, we can hear all the hymns and we can recognise voices thanks to the loudspeakers that are installed permanently on the hillside. The small building that you can see dominating everything is the Baldachin, which is about the same size as the chancel in our chapel. It is 100 metres from the forecourt wall. Who would have thought? The section of columned wall is awaiting lampposts and will be mounted with them later. The forecourt is immense and the view, which encompasses the surrounding hillsides, is absolutely beautiful.

You will recognise the Pavilion in the other photo. The little Sisters from Fr Martin’s Oblates have moved into a little caretaker’s lodge that we built at the garden entrance. As soon as I have photos of the plot, I’ll send them to you but it won’t be for another month yet. There are quite a few visitors apparently, and everyone praises the work that has been done there. The Bishop of Séez was very pleasantly surprised. The ground floor of the pavilion has been turned into a small keepsake room, showing the backed straw bench, Papa’s desk chair, the bronze-edged game table, fishing lines, tackle bag, fish basket, the old kitchen clock and, on the mantelpiece, other memorabilia. On the table are 2 volumes of the Liturgical Year (the others will be for Les Buissonnets). Near the pavilion door you can see the gravestone that was over our holy mother’s mortal remains in the cemetery in Alençon. A plaque beside it explains that Thérèse often knelt on the stone. We’ll also put a birdcage near the pavilion in which to keep some of the little doves from the Canonisation ceremony.        

In Rue St Blaise, the little foundation of Secular Sisters has just lost one of their nuns at the age of 56. She was one of the 3 nuns who founded the institute.

At the moment, I’m working hard on the plans to enlarge the community building onto Mr and Mrs Fleuriot’s land. We will come into possession of it on 10th July.

And now, darling little sister, hoping that I’ve been able to entertain you a bit, I send you all my love and affection,

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n.