From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 12, 1941

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - April 12, 1941 

J. + M.

P.C.                                                                        Carmel of Lisieux 12th April 1941 

Darling Léonie,

No feast day lasts forever, and as yesterday was St Leo’s Day, I’m sending you my affectionate wishes. You know that I’ve never forgotten this feast, which we’ve celebrated since we were children. Ah, when will we take part in the eternal feast? Exile is so long! My longing for heaven was already great before, but since Marie died, this longing has significantly grown.  

Yet I sense that we are needed on earth for a while longer to oversee the publication of our darling Mamma’s letters and to provide illustrations that will complement her writings. On that note, do you remember having seen a framed photo at our uncle’s house showing him standing next to our aunt, after their wedding? I don’t recall any such photo and I told our Mother that the one she can remember must have been of Mr and Mrs Fournet when they were young, and not our uncle and aunt. (The lady was sitting down, and the man standing.) If the photo had been of our uncle, surely we would have had a copy at home.

I’ve had photographs taken of two “pieces” of Alençon lace. They look very good. They’re not for the next issue. In the next issue, you’ll see a picture of Mamma that you haven’t seen before. I used the photo of her with baby Marie-Joseph-Louis. I had a lot of trouble brightening her mouth and eyes into a smile, because our poor mother was choking back a sob. Never tell anyone where this photo came from (except your dear Mother, because she is very much part of the family. Oh, we’re so fond of her).

If only you knew how kind that dear Mother of yours has been to me. She obtained me some fine cotton for making alb cords. This is a task for old people, because it’s simple and easy. What about you? What can you still do? In the daytime, I’m just as active as I used to be. I darn at recreations, and when I have less sewing to do, I work on my alb cords. However, work doesn’t have the same charm for me as it used to, and I’m forced to cajole myself into working. I find even the smallest of tasks hard. But I’m pleased to have these struggles to offer up to God, uniting them with the sacrifices that He made. When I think that He came down to earth to teach us and save us, and that He who is perfection itself was put to death, I’m not at all surprised to see what befalls those who want to follow Him. And we are such people, and more determined than most to walk in His footsteps. It’s true that we are not unlike children who follow their parents and are protected by them. Our struggles don’t affect us until after they have affected Him Himself . . . and He’s the One who always softens the blow.  

Happy Easter, Léonie. I send you all my love. Give my love to your dear Mother.

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face


With regards to my work, an American lady has given me a little typewriter. I’m using it to make copies, which I enjoy doing, though I’m very inept.

P.S. We’re holding a Reception of the Habit ceremony on Wednesday for a very kind postulant. Jean Leriche’s wedding is on Thursday 17th, in Paris. He told us to let you know. Pray that his new family will be worthy of our holy Grandfather Martin.