From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 25, 1935

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 25, 1935

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                                 Carmel of Lisieux 25th November 1935

Dear little sister,

Here’s my little Advent farewell before we meet again beside the manger at Christmas. It will be the 66th time that I meet Him there. Surely I have fewer annual visits awaiting me!

Our retreat has just ended. It was led by Rev. Fr Desbuquois, S.J., as in previous years. He’s a genius and a saint. He takes us around the world, flying over the nations and peoples. It lifts the soul, detaches us from petty concerns, helps us soar high above the earth and sharpens our ardour and zeal. I appreciate these expansive views.

I appreciate less, however, what happened to me a fortnight ago. Believe it or not, Léonie, a nun dentist from La Moselle who treats the Carmelite Sisters of Metz was sent to look at our teeth (for free, which shows how much these nuns love Thérèse). She stayed in the hermitage here for a fortnight. I was the one whose mouth was in the worst state. She tore 11 teeth out, which makes 13 this year what with the two that were taken out this summer. The Sister also took 9 from Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart and made dentures for us (1).

Yet as she had to go back, and lives so far away, my set couldn’t be fully adjusted. It is still quite painful and I can’t eat bread crusts. You are quite right to stay as you are if you don’t have any teeth left. It is still the case for a few of us, I was about to say “unfortunately” because it’s awkward having this great thing (set of dentures) in one’s mouth, as it can hurt. The nun is very capable however. She has been practicing for 32 years (2) but it would be good if she lived here or not so far away!

In conclusion, there is merit in growing old, a great deal of merit, in fact, and also many advantages: it thickens the soul in a sense, armour-plating it. For instance, during the retreat, I watched the Sisters who are avid to talk to the priest and felt very happy to have nothing to say!

Another thing: we had to testify before the Judge of the Peace all over again on the subject of Mr Guillain. The judge and his clerk are very good, but it was very tiresome all the same.

Tomorrow and the following day we have Cardinal Villeneuve visiting us. This is an honour, but we would prefer to be left in peace. We never have time to savour a bit of peace on this earth. There’s always something or other in the way. Only in heaven will we enjoy some. Oh, it’s so long in coming!

Dear little sister, I will end there, but not without sending you all my love and a great big fond kiss.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face


Did you know that poor Victoire died a miserable death, alone in her little bedroom? Yet she was well prepared.

P.S. written by Mother Agnes:

1. The set that Sr Marie of the S.H. has is very good and has knocked 20 years off her. SrGeneviève will get used to hers.

2. In the very numerous Communities of her Congregation. She’s such a good and holy nun! She’s dexterous and experienced.