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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 2, 1934

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 2, 1934

+ Jesus                                                                Carmel of Lisieux 2nd August 1934

Beloved little sister,

Your letter touched me beyond words so I’ll treasure it for always with all the others. When my Léonie goes to heaven, I’ll shed tears reading this little letter.

On the 6th, you’ll be very much in my prayers at Communion because that will be when you’ll be thinking of your Céline. Thank you, little Léonie, for your wishes and little scented bouquet; they speak volumes to my heart.

I’d like to tell you something interesting, but what I have to say is difficult to put into words. Yesterday and today we saw Mgr Neveu, the apostolic administrator from Moscow. He spoke to us for one hour yesterday and another today. We hung off his every word. This holy Bishop is delightfully simple, witty, quick and sincere, and valiantly accepting of what happens to him out there. He isn’t afraid of anything and always sees the positive side of things, at least, that’s how he tells it. So we laugh when we should weep. Yet because seeing all the things that are happening on earth saddens the soul, how we look forward to reaching the homeland!!!

When he left this evening, Mgr Neveu had tears in his eyes. One of the last things he said was about you. He asked us to “remember him to the dear Visitandine.” It was touching.

Darling little sister, you asked for our news: Dear Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart is growing frailer by the day. Yet she is still gentle and patient, despite receiving no comfort whatsoever and often, if she didn’t hold herself back, her eyes would well up with tears at the sight of the state she’s in. Oh, what great merits she is earning for heaven and how many souls she is saving! If she was brought comfort, she would have less merit. That is why our little saint is contenting herself with answering our prayers in the form of only giving her strength to bear her suffering.

Our dear Mother is well, only she is being devoured by mosquitoes, as is the whole community for that matter. Do you have them at the Visitation, too? It’s said they’re a real curse this year. We’re making ourselves tarlatan veils and improvised mosquito nets. Sr Marie-Emmanuelle looks disfigured, while others have black eyes and are obliged to bandage them. You should see the scene. As for me, I’ve hung up a strip of veil that was once given to me among other votive offerings to sort. Otherwise I’m fine. I don’t have rheumatism in my teeth like last year, but I have it in one knee, and I don’t know which way to turn at night to find a comfortable position. Yet I have nothing much wrong with me, as you can see; just minor problems.

I’m pleased that you liked the shots of the Jubilee. I’ve developed a few stereo shots for you, but I haven’t had time to organise them yet. I’ll send them to you shortly.

As for the Marquis’ book1, it’s good because we advertised it in the Annals a while ago. Believe it or not, Léonie, we received a letter from . . . you’ll never guess who: Armande Dagoreau: Mrs Bion, 11 Rue Reinhart (Seine). She sent 100 frs. She seems well off and has just returned from a pilgrimage in Pontmain. She sent it to commemorate her 1st Communion in Alençon, when she was your companion!

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

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n.

1 Marquis Albert de Pouvourville, author of a 1934 biography entitled, "Sainte Thérèse de Lisieux, protectrice des peuples" ("Saint Thérèse of Lisieux : the Peoples’ Protector").