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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 19, 1940

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - January 19, 1940

J. + M.

P.C.                                                           Carmel of Lisieux 19th January 1940 (Friday evening)

Darling Léonie,

Our dear eldest sister is in heaven! It was at 2 o’clock this morning that she flew away. She died a saintly death, in great simplicity, like a patriarch.

She was conscious until the end. She breathed her last as soon as she had finished reciting the Pater. Her voice was almost unintelligible. The nurse thought she caught it when she leaned in close to her. We saw her lips move but that’s all. We think she said an Ave Maria as well, because after the Pater she recited another prayer. Then, immediately afterwards, she opened her eyes and looked up towards the portrait of Thérèse and the statue of the Bl. Virgin of the Smile opposite her. She held that gaze for a few moments.

She died very peacefully after suffering quite a painful agony. Her lung congestion suddenly deteriorated and was complicated with uraemia. She was sick for only 5 days. The nurses are in tears and inconsolable. I myself haven’t yet wept and our Mother is being very brave, though she’s very tired. Our sister had grown so frail that to weep would be to mourn her happiness, and it’s much better to be deprived of her sweet presence than to see her that way. I prayed that she will come for you first. As for me, I can tell that, with God’s grace, I have the strength to bear suffering.

At the Angelus this morning, I went to the Choir to pray and hear the bell toll. On my way out of the antechoir, in front of the statue of our little Thérèse, I caught a strong scent of incense. Sr Marie-Emmanuel, who was further along the corridor, noticed it too. Of course, we must pray for her, but these prayers will merely be gifts, because I’m convinced that she went straight to heaven, as you will do, darling little sister. So I do not weep. She is nearer to you than before, because she will have hurried to the Visitation to see her Léonie. I send you all my love. Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face u.c.n.   

We’ve just received the mail from Mrs Lecourt. I’ll keep it for the second Feast of St Agnes and thank you on behalf of our Mother. She will scold her dear “goddaughter” when she sees the gift!! Thank you! Thank you!