From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 4, 1932

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 4, 1932

+ Jesus                                                                Carmel of Lisieux 4th August 1932

Darling little sister,

Our Mother gave me your feast day letter early and I’m very glad she did, because I’m going to have longer to write to you and what’s more, your pretty little flowers won’t wilt. They are filling the air with their fragrance and speak volumes to my heart. Thank you, beloved Léonie. And you know how much your affection means to me!

Yes, I believe that you will be the first to go and there can’t be very long to wait now. God will no doubt be satisfied with the sacrifice you made when you came back to life. He tapped against the crystal of your heart, which immediately responded with a silvery sound. He was pleased with His test. We will be deeply upset when the time to part comes, but we’ll feel a certain joy knowing you’re in heaven with our little Thérèse and our parents. We’ll sense that we have only a few strokes left to row before reaching the port.

You asked me whether I’m still as busy as ever. Alas! The period after the celebrations that we were so looking forward to, because of the bit of rest that it was supposed to bring, has been marked with sickness. All of us currently have the flu. I myself am just about over the worst of it, after having a very sore throat, flu symptoms and a high temperature. Our Mother is still keeping to her cell, and we’re not letting her out because she has had bronchitis. Sr Marie of the S.H. appears to have nothing more than an ordinary cold. Whatever you do, don’t worry; it’s over now, and the doctor came here once to see our Mother and said that he wouldn’t need to come again, which means that he isn’t worried, and he is usually pessimistic.

The flu has lasted for ages, it seems, but hasn’t been serious. At the Carmel of Bergerac, the Sisters have had it for two months and haven’t being able to shake it. Fortunately it’s summer. When Jeanne came to see us this afternoon, and heard that we had the flu, she couldn’t run away fast enough. It was as though she was fleeing the plague!

As for you with your sore knee, you’re ever so brave, dear little sister, because it’s just as bad if not worse than the flu, and has lasted for ages, I think.

I don’t know whether I told you that I’ve written a small booklet to explain Thérèse’s Self-Offering to God’s Merciful Love. It’s in the form of a catechism. It was becoming so misrepresented that Thérèse’s intentions were no longer clear. In the end, I rebelled, and the fruit of this rebellion is currently in his Lordship’s hands. If he gives it his blessing, we’ll plant it to increase its yield, that’s to say have it printed.

As for the doctorate, it has been about two years since we last heard mention of it. The first time I heard of it, I was as surprised as you, but then I grew used to the idea. The Patriarch of Lisbon told us that it was being discussed in Rome. However I don’t think that it will be granted quickly, even though there’s nothing stopping it, because the conditions required for a doctorate aren’t at all mentioned in the passage of St Paul relating to women’s authority to teach. You see, if he forbade women from teaching from the pulpit, he wasn’t able to forbid God from talking to us through women saints, even though they can only teach us from the highest heaven. It is true that a woman Doctor would be new, but no newer than putting a young girl at the head of an army! Let’s leave the matter to God. If this step will help accredit our little Thérèse’s mission, He will use it, if not, it means that it’s of no use and consequently there’s no point in us desiring it.  

Darling little sister, what a long letter this is. It’s to make up for my long silence. I would have liked to send you some photos of the new garden, but I haven’t yet had the strength to take any and with our colds, it’s not the moment to go outside. I wanted to tell you that I could lend you a beautiful series of 50 to 60 photos in colour from the Life of Our Lord whenever you want, but it’s too hot in summer to be shut inside. Please give your dear Mother a kiss from me on her feast day.

Goodbye, beloved little sister. I send you all my love,

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face and St Teresa          


Union in prayer on 6th August

We’re preparing a photo album of the celebrations, but I don’t know when it will arrive. Everything takes so long.