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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - September 14, 1938

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - September 14, 1938

J. + M.

+ Jesus                                                                Carmel of Lisieux 14th September 1938

Darling Léonie,

It was 44 years ago today that I joined the Carmel, and what graces I’ve received in that time! I’ve been to kiss the convent door that closed on me 44 years ago. I make this little pilgrimage the same day every year.

And how are you, darling sister? Is your swollen gland worse or staying the same? Does is hurt? Do you remember going to consult Dr Notta together for a string of little swollen glands that you once had? He said that there was nothing wrong. I wonder whether they are the same ones that have come back. Let me know. As for me, I’m of your opinion; just wait patiently and see what happens. God won’t fail us, come what may. I mentioned the matter to Sr Vincent de Paul, our dentist, and she told me that in your place, she wouldn’t have an operation. At our age it’s not worth it. Poor Sister Vincent! She knows what it’s like because she underwent the same operation two years ago, and still hasn’t recovered. We fear she’ll have to go away and that it will be years before we see her again. Alas!

She left me with only 2 teeth the last time she came, but I have a good set of dentures. Although not perfect, I find it very useful. I don’t know what would become of me without it. Sr Marie of the S. Heart only has one tooth left and a set of dentures, which she has grown well accustomed to. Yet this is a last resort; it’s better to have one’s own teeth!

We are busy preparing for our centenary on 30th September. We wish it were over. Such celebrations are a huge burden. And yet they’re easier to endure than war!! Do you have a place where you can take refuge if you’re bombed? We have nowhere at all; no cellar, nothing. Our Mother and I will go to Godmother’s1 side, close all the doors and windows so as not to see anything, and stay quiet. If all three of us died together, it would be ideal. Then all that will be missing will be you for us all to reach the heavenly shore together. Darling Léonie, if only you knew how much you mean to us and how much we love you! Your little Céline can’t wait to spend eternity in your sweet company.      

Have you received a keepsake from Jeanne’s inheritance? Our Mother asked Mrs Houdayer for one. All she got was a book. Don’t tell anyone this, whatever you do! I asked Solange for the crucifix we gave her for her wedding. I didn’t receive a reply. Our Mother doesn’t want me to write again. Could you give us the address of the place where you buy your black-headed hair pins? We have some left, but they are too big and leave holes in our veils. All the thin ones have been used up. What we need are very thin ones, of medium-length, because if they were too short, they’d immediately get lost. You know that we wear just one on the crown of our heads, which puts a great deal of strain on the veil. Happy feast day on the 30th, darling little sister! I send you all my love

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face

u. c. n.

[1 Marie, Thérèse’s godmother.]