From sr Marie of the Sacred Heart to Céline - April 5, 1892.

From sr Marie of the Sacred Heart to Céline - April 5, 1892. 


Dear little Céline,

Our Mother is sending you the letter from the Mother Superior of the congregation of theBon Sauveur (hospital), it’s a refusal. If only you knew what a touching letter Our Mother had written to her! Well, no doubt it is impossible for her to grant us this. On one side of things, on the human side, I am only half cross. Despite everything, I was concerned at the prospect of our poor father still having a warden from the Bon Sauveur at home. Whatever you do, don’t tell Uncle that.

[ lv°] My petit Célin1, thank you so much for the beautiful rhododendron you sent me, it is magnificent. I enjoy looking at it every day; it is almost fully in bloom now. Oh! It would be so kind of you to give me one more because I’m going to arrange the basket and there is one missing. But I would like, because I will never ask you for one again, this last one to be pink, but a very light pink, the kind of pink I’m putting in my letter. It’s the last flower purchase I’ll ask you to make, my petit Célin. I won’t need any more verbenas this year. So take heart. But that’s not all. [2r°] I really want some compost. I don’t dare ask Mr. Maudelonde for any because he would give me some, and as he already gave me some for free last year, he would find it most untoward of me. I would therefore like you to ask, as if it were for you (you will pay him), for six wheelbarrowfuls of compost or 1 metre of compost if it is sold by the metre. You don’t know how much this would help me but you must insist on paying him, for he’ll believe I’m making a detour.

Forgive me, dear little sister, for all I’m asking of you. You are so kind to [2v°] us that with you I don’t fear troubling you. Where have the days gone when you would attempt your first steps on our poor Mother’s desk, saying “again…again…” Since then much happened, a part of our lives is already gone. We are nearing its end; we are nearing true life… Oh, everything is made to remind us of this! How keenly we feel the emptiness and the nothingness of things here below in our hearts. We find our hearts’ fulfilment in God alone! My Céline, there are so many things I’d like to say to you…

[3r°] Ah! You will soon begin or rather continue your life of abnegation and sacrifices… If our poor father returns, your life will be very laborious. But remember that those who sow in tears will reap in joy… “Those who go outweeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.(Ps 125, 5-6).” Oh, yes! You will return from your exile on earth joyful, you will return to your homeland, and you will return to your God in a jubilation that is proportionate to your deeds and efforts. Your lot is so beautiful, and your future, which appears [3v°] so sad in the eyes of the world, is so bright in the eyes of God… O impenetrable mystery of the cross!! If only Mother Geneviève could tell us what it is worth to her today.

Farewell, beloved little sister. The letter from the Fr. brought me great pleasure, but one can tell he is overworked… I thought it was to me he had written, it was only once I read the address that I understood (the letters from Fr. Pichon were often very impersonal and almost interchangeable between the Martin sisters).

For Easter, don’t buy any little sugar eggs. It would be a waste of money, we don’t like them.

Your sister who loves you so much.

Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart

Tell Uncle that we thought of him yesterday (Saint Isidore, 4th April) and that we prayed for him.

[3v°tv] We have an iron bed you can take back.

[lr°tv] Before requesting some compost, ask the gardener from whom you buy the rhododendron whether they can be transplanted at this time, it is perhaps too late. In that case, I wouldn’t like any compost straight away. If I’m asking you to speak to Mr. Maudelonde it is because he looks after the Jardin de l’étoile (he was the president of the shareholders’ society which had bought the pretty park near Les Buissonnets in 1824. Thérèse went there as a child with the Maudelonde and Guérin families).

1 Term of endearment.

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