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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 30, 1940

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - May 30, 1940

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                                   Carmel of Lisieux 30th May 1940

Darling Léonie,

It is with immense affection in my heart that I wish you a happy birthday. 77 years old! Who’d have thought you’d live so long! It’s a God-given grace to grow old here below. I can feel it deep down, together with the great desire for my turn to leave this earth to come. Oh, when will it be!?

Léonie, you are not very well, but we’d like to know what the matter is, exactly. Do you feel weak? Is it rheumatism? The latter isn’t fatal, as we saw with our eldest sister, and with me, too. Apparently, it even has the advantage of preventing paralysis. And look, none of us are paralysed, despite our advanced age.

You will tell us what you’re going through, won’t you? Our Mother and I are very upset at the thought of you being ill. We fear losing you. Our hearts are bleeding whereas you’d be so happy! But we’ve just experienced a loss, and the wound isn’t healing. I myself can’t grow used to not having Marie by my side. When I’m alone, I hum this verse:

When will I see my Marie                                                                              Quand reverrai-je ma Marie,

and my Thérèse beside me,                                                          avec ma Thérèse chérie,

Papa, Mamma, Angels of the Homeland                                            Papa, Maman, Anges de la Patrie,

Reunited as a family                                                                    Rendus sous le toit Paternel

In heaven?                                                                                         au Ciel ?

And I fear having to hum this one:

When will I see my Marie                                                                              Quand reverrai-je ma Marie,

with Thérèse and my Léonie,                                                          Ma Thérèse et ma Léonie

Papa, Mamma, Angels of the Homeland                                            Papa, Maman, Anges de la Patrie

Reunited as a family                                                                    Rendus sous le toit Paternel

In heaven?                                                                                         au Ciel ?

Darling sister, when you are up above, remember me, your companion in misfortune during life’s darkest moments.

And what can I tell you now? On the 3rd, I’ll take Communion for you and I’ll write again for 2nd July, when you’ll be celebrating the 40th anniversary of your Profession!

Léonie, what sad times we’re living in! What a frightful storm this is! Yet God is very glad to see our trust in Him grow as the danger increases. Consequently, it is again a grace to be able to live through these troubled times, wracked by suffering and worry. “It represents a gold mine of opportunities,” as our Marie would say. We have some Belgian Carmelite refugees here. There are 5 of them. – We’ve lodged up to 38 at a time before, but in the Turn. The 5 Belgians are inside the monastery enclosure.

I send you all my love, darling sister.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face. u.c.n.

P. S. by Mother Agnes of Jesus.

Beloved little sister, your little sister and mamma readily gives you permission to go to heaven! Oh, yes! You’ll be sheltered from all the bombs of sadness here below! In the meantime, happy birthday on 3rd June. We’ll write again in July.