From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - June 20, 1940

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - June 20, 1940 

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                                   Carmel of Lisieux 20th June 1940 

Much-cherished Léonie, 

Will this letter reach you in time for your feast day on 2nd July? I was looking forward to writing to you for this unique occasion of the 40th anniversary of your Profession. Alas, at the moment, there’s nothing but tears and hardship. What is your news? We are still here and have no desire to leave. Several Sisters wanted to go, but our Mother and I were firmly resolved to stay and watch over Thérèse and her precious relics. Ultimately, the others didn’t want to leave without our Mother, and as the military authority remained silent, everyone stayed. Now, they’re glad they did.

The Germans are in Lisieux, and are very proper. Several come to pray in front of the reliquary and have their photographs taken beside the Basilica to send to their wives. We have heard that, when going to buy something, a pilot told a town shopkeeper that he had received the order not to bomb Lisieux. They did in fact wait until a military convoy was in Beuvillers before dropping their bombs on the country road. Our Mother is going to try and find out more because this would be most providential; a real sign of our saint’s intervention.  

Ah, little sister, did France need to bring such a punishment on herself? After all, she is the Church’s eldest daughter! Yet she needed to be humbled, and humility is a grace greater than victory which would only have intoxicated her. I like to think that, despite all these cataclysms, everything will turn out for the best. It’s inevitable. And it’s precisely due to her holy inhabitants that France deserved a divine glance and God’s protection. This protection is currently being manifested as hardship, which will shield her, and bring back order and goodness. “The judgments of the Lord are sweeter than honey, honey from the honeycomb,” (Ps) and it’s very true. Even in distress, we feel that He is watching over us and by our side.

I interrupted my letter here. I will resume it by saying that on 2nd July our Holy Father will bless you. Our Mother tasked me with asking this favour of our distant Brother [Mgr Natucci]. You might receive a telegram, although you mustn’t get your hopes up now.

This in no way prevents the Papal blessing from flooding our beloved Léonie’s soul.

The garden is currently looking more beautiful than ever. It’s ablaze with flowers. The weather is heavenly. It’s not wrong for our poor broken hearts to enjoy it. The cornflowers from the Visitation look splendid. I simply had to live to the age of 71 to see them, because I love cornflowers do much! Thank you Léonie.

Your little sister sends you her love and unparalleled affection.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face.


Give my affectionate regards to your Mother.

P.S. by Mother Agnes of Jesus

"Céline" hadn’t seen his Lordship when she wrote to you.