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From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 8, 1940

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - August 8, 1940

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                                 Carmel of Lisieux 8th August 1940

Beloved little sister,

Thank you so much for your feast day wishes as well as your delightful and fragrant little bouquet. They arrived on the morning of August 6th whereas Mrs Derrien didn’t bring the mail until the evening. I would have felt deprived all day long if my Léonie’s letter had arrived as late as that. Our dear Mother was so afraid that you would worry about her that she wrote a line on a card to reassure you. We would dearly love to spare our darling little Sister pain, but alas, it’s absolutely impossible here below!

At recreation this evening, the Belgian Sisters sung a poem that they wrote. They are all poets and very able and smart. There’s nothing they cannot do. They are charming and have edified us a great deal. Yet since all things come to an end on earth, they are going to be repatriated next week.

Concerning current events, our hearts are beginning to mend seeing the good work that Marshal Pétain is doing. Our weak government has, it seems, sunken into turmoil! Now France will rise again, with good laws. It seems that the values of work and family are going to be restored. Instruction will be Christian and Freemasonry abolished in France. A victory of arms would never have resulted in this. We needed humiliation and pain. That’s why heaven seemed deaf to our appeals. We weren’t asking for the right thing when praying for victory.

Talking of Marshal Pétain, it’s said that when still a Colonel, he received orders to denounce officers who attended Mass. He replied as follows: “As I always sit in the front row in church and don’t look round, I don’t see who is behind me.” Now that’s what will remake France!

Darling Léonie, I hope that like us you’re not suffering at the hands of the Kommandantur. Here it is very proper and benevolent. The Major is an Austrian Catholic. – Many Germans go to the Basilica and see the reliquary and buy souvenirs to send home. They say, “We love St Thérèse at home, and won’t let any harm come to her.” Yesterday a seminarian, an angel of piety, brought us a marble votive offering. He is one of 18 children; he has 15 sisters! At Les Buissonnets, one officer said, "I’m a realist, but my sister was healed by St Thérèse and I want to be able to tell her that I came here.” The little Oblate Sister who told me this added, “He doesn’t seem far from conversion.”

Unfortunately they are not all believers, and I’m praying for them. They are staying at the Hermitage, at the pilgrims’ lodge. May our little saint bathe them in her grace! It’s hard for us, I assure you, to see the swastika flag flying over these sacred places. However, as long as all this brings God glory, then that’s enough. Eternity is the only thing to consider. Everything else means absolutely nothing.

Leonie, I love you and send you the fondest of kisses to prove it. Your little Céline

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face 

Thank your matchless Mother for her wishes. Tell her I love her. Our Mother thanks her for her two letters.

Do you already have this photo? If not, you’ll like it. Put it with your personal keepsakes. Send it back at a later date.