From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Guérin - July 3, 1896.


From sr Marie of the Eucharist to Mme Guérin - July 3, 1896.

+ Jesus J.M.J.T. 3rd July

Dear Mother,

Is Father’s health still getting better and better?... I will begin my letter by sending him a big kiss, and another big feast day kiss, because tomorrow is his feast day. Tomorrow at the Carmel we are celebrating St. Isidore whose feast is April 4th (See LD 1152, note 1, VT n° 125). We are going to have a formal Office for him. This week, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus is officiating (she was the “hebdomidarian” from Vespers on Saturday 27th June to Vespers on Saturday 4th July, presiding over the Divine Offices, leading in the prayers etc., in accordance with the Ceremonial. We know how happy Thérèse was to fulfil this duty in the choir, cf. CJ 6.8.6); Mother Agnès of Jesus and Sister Geneviève are versiclers; Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart is [lv°]reader of the Martyrology; and Sr. Marie of the Eucharist is reciting an antiphon and a Nocturn lesson at Matins. The whole family, therefore, will do something for the feast of St. Isidore and we shall celebrate this saint in a special way.

Dear Mother, I will also begin by saying a big Thank you to you for everything you’ve given us. If I listed it all, there would be no end to it. We are very often brought roses from the garden and white flowers. I am very touched seeing how thoughtful you are in sending white flowers for my Bl. Virgin (Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a statue of whom was in the cloister, outside the door to the warming room). They arrived on Wednesday and we hurried to put them before the Blessed Sacrament which was exposed yesterday in the oratory (2nd July was then the Feast of the Visitation). There were so many of them that it was my dear parents who dressed the whole altar.

I am very busy at the moment for 16th July. With Sr. Geneviève I have a project to illuminate my Bl. Virgin in the cloister. We will be processing to her that day. Sr. Geneviève has already made me a crown, you know what an inventive mind she has, and this year instead of a crown of flowers, she will have a crown of lights. She will also have a kind [2v°] of arch made of little illuminative glasses. We have the little glasses but nothing to put inside to illuminate them. After having deliberated together whether it was against the rule of poverty to ask you for some, we went to find our Mother who allowed us to ask for 3 dozen wax loaves for illuminative glasses. Could you, dear Mother, ask Aunt Clémence to buy me some a few days before 16th July, as soon as she likes.

- My daughter should still be arriving on 11th July. It’s in a week (the postulant, to whom Marie of the Eucharist was to act as “angel” would not join).

I am still very cheerful, very happy, have the appetite of a wolf, sleep like a dormouse and run like a hare… Are you happy?...

My Sr. Thérèse of the Child Jesus has no more Kola wine left; it did her much good, and if she could have some more, our Mother would be pleased, but I don’t know whether you will be able to get some. She is better, but she still looks pale. She no longer has any chest pains, nor does she cough at all. There is a marked improvement… This is not surprising because our Mother takes such good care of her. As for me, I am taken care of like a real princess. Often in the evenings when it is very hot, I see our Mother enter [lr°tv] our cell after Matins to bring me a glass of redcurrant syrup or fizzy lemonade. Who drinks all the bottles, the good bottles here?... It’s the Benjamin; he knows how to bend his elbow, and when he is a little tired, I will tell you in a whisper, our Mother gives him a bit of brandy to give him back a bit of energy and strength; so in turn I say to you, spoil our Mother a great deal… So Francis doesn’t want me to eat wild rabbit?... He no doubt fears that I will pay for this rabbit in purgatory. He is right and I thank him very cordially for his charity… What bliss, just one week left of eating meat!

Lastly, dear Mother, today I have spoken to you about things other than messages. I was sorry to fill my letters with such uninteresting things, especially as Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart sends my head into a spin every time I write. She says something, takes it back, and so it goes, on and on (Marie of the Sacred heart was in charge of the pantry at the time). So today I hid the fact that I was writing to you from her to escape all this trouble. One of these days I will write to the parish priest of Navarre (Fr. Levasseur, in Saint Germain de Navarre near Évreux; he had preached at Marie’s investiture on 17th March).

I send you lots and lots of love, dear Mother. Give big kisses to all those around you, to Jeanne, Francis, Aunt José, Mrs. Lahaye and Léonie…

Your little daughter who loves you

Marie of the Eucharist

... who is as [2r°tv] happy as a fish in water and doesn’t regret the big upset she caused by coming here to the Carmel. Tell father this as you give him a big hug from his little daughter. – Our Mother is always scolding me because I don’t say anything on her behalf in my letters, so today, I’m sending you a big kiss from her like the one she gave you on the day I took the habit (Mother Marie de Gonzague had taken a step outside the enclosure to give Mrs. Guérin a kiss, or else had beckoned her to the convent door for a moment as the postulant made her way back, in her wedding dress, from the ceremony in the outside chapel to the cloister).