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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 25, 1939

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - November 25, 1939

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                         Carmel of Lisieux 25th November 1939

Dearest little sister,

The time has come for our annual farewell note before Advent. I assure you, I have the feeling I’m eternal. I wasn’t made to die! What do you say to that? And what will our Mother say, and our eldest sister who will turn 80 in 5 months? It really is remarkable that all four of us have reached such old age.

Our dear eldest sister is no worse. Her lung congestion has partially subsided. She is making her way to heaven at a trot, or at a walk; anyway, she’s on her way. It’s her sweet nurse Sr Marie of the Incarnation that we’re worried about. She has been suffering from sharp stomach pains, which made us fear intestinal occlusion, but this morning the doctor found the source of her pain, and it’s the beginning of a stomach ulcer. It is easily treated, he says. Let’s hope that God will spare her, for she’s an angel of gentleness and kindness. She panders to “Godmother’s”1 every whim, never shows any signs of tiredness or annoyance, and will get up in the night without ever complaining. Anyway, our dear Marie says, “she nurses her lovingly.” Ah, this little Sister will certainly be part of the heavenly family! She had promised to nurse me in turn later on, but I fear that her crown will be ready at the same time as Godmother’s.

I still have rheumatism. I have a little in my right hand and it’s worse in my knees, which are extremely stiff. But I go about my daily duties all the same. I’m still “following the movement” as they say, except when it comes to Matins. And to think that our Mother never misses it! She’s a marvel! But she eats very little very quickly and looks pale. She is a little hard of hearing, but she is remarkable nonetheless. She can run, she’s agile, and she has all her teeth, like in her youth!

You can see, darling Léonie, how you’re little sisters are doing. You had better give us news of you and your health in as much detail. If what I’ve told you interests you, then what you tell us about your health will interest us, too. Otherwise, let’s just drop it.

During this strange war, I’m writing to 6 soldiers: Mr Paul Maudelonde, Major, Captain Bruneau, Captain Lajoie, our cousins who married the Miss Hénaults, that’s to say Roger Hénault and Father Leriche, and Roger Schneider, Solange’s brother. I saw that they were all well-intentioned, decent men, and although not all of them practice their faith, that will come. Pray for them, Léonie. Adopt them.

Our cousin Father Leriche is a good priest, a very good one, in fact. Mgr Germain esteems him highly. We sent him several blankets and warm habits, because he has nobody to spoil him. We really can be proud of him. We have just had our canonical visitation and elections. Nothing has changed. I haven’t talked about God much in my letter. Don’t hold it against me. Please tell your Mother how much we appreciate her and how happy we are that you are one of her little lambs. Give her a kiss from me and may she give you one from me in return.

From your little sister, with all her love.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n.

1 Marie of the Sacred Heart, Thérèse’s godmother.