From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 24, 1934

From sr Genevieve (Celine) to sr Francoise-Therese (Leonie) - December 24, 1934

+ Jesus                                                                     Carmel of Lisieux 24th December 1934

Beloved little sister,

I’m writing to you during the Christmas vigil. I’ve tried to get some rest but to no avail, so I’ve come to talk to you. I’ll no doubt be the first to wish you a happy Christmas and New Year. You know how wholeheartedly and affectionately I do so.

As in previous years, we’ll begin the year by preparing for our Mother’s feast day. This is important for every one of us and the licences to speak at Christmas are affected because everyone prefers to stay in their cells.

Moreover, at this time of year, there are letters and family visits that take up the Sisters’ time.

As for me, this year I’m going to pick up my paintbrushes again. Our Mother has asked me to add the Bl. Virgin to my little painting of the Bambino (in which Thérèse presses the Child Jesus against her heart and gives Him a kiss). So the Bl. Virgin will be behind her and she will be the one to press the divine child against Thérèse’s heart while she lays her other hand on her shoulder. I think it will be very pretty, pious, and safe from all criticism. It will be the third time that I rework this painting. I first composed it in 1919, then went back and modified it in 1932. Let’s hope that this will be the last time I revise it. I’m very pleased about adding the Bl. Virgin to my painting and I didn’t need to be asked twice; that’s how much I love her!

I think that my first composition was for her, when I painted the Bl. Virgin before joining the convent. It coincided with Thérèse’s first poem, “The Divine Dew: Mary’s Virginal Milk.” Her last poem was, “Why I love you, O Mary!” Perhaps this will be my last “song” too.

I hope so. Yet I am more surrendered to God’s will than ever. I think that He is so scorned on earth, so abandoned, and so insulted that He needs friends both in this world and the next.

We are here through His grace alone, but we’re here nonetheless, and we comfort Him because He helps us to comfort Him. This morning, I was thinking about His enemies and I begged Him to convert them. I couldn’t see any reason why He shouldn’t, because when the Israelites returned from exile and couldn’t find the sacred fire that they had buried, only mud, they put this mud on the altar and it caught fire, which means that the Holy Spirit is not only able to rekindle a fire in a heart that contains nothing more than a few dry twigs, but also set the mud there on fire if mud is all there is. And this wonder will be worked through prayer and the little sacrifices that we make in the shadows.  

That, Léonie, is my little spiritual bouquet. I have trouble expressing myself, but you’ll understand all the same, I’m sure. I send you all my love. Your little sister

Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face


Offer my respectful wishes to your dear Mothers. I’m sending you a lovely photo of the Child Jesus, and also a Memento of Fr Roulland that was sent to us from the Foreign Missions. There’s a little calendar of The Louvre and 3 little notepads from The Louvre; one for you, one for Sr Marguerite-Agnes and one for little Sister Lecourt.