L E T T E R S

 

St. Thérèse enters Heaven!

Taken from St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Her Last Conversations. Translated by John Clarke, O.C.D. Copyright (c) 1977 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, ICS Publications, 2131 Lincoln Road, N.E. Washington, D.C. 20002 U.S.A, pp. 290 - 292.

From Sr. Marie of the Eucharist¹ to Isidore Guérin²

Carmel of Lisieux, 27 August 1897

Now, dear little father, you're impatiently awaiting news of your little Queen. It's always the same. She is weaker and weaker, no longer able to bear the least noise around her, not even the crumpling of paper or a few words spoken in a whisper. There is much change in her condition since the feast of the Assumption. And we have even come to the desire of her deliverance, for she's suffering a martyrdom. She was saying yesterday: "Fortunately, I didn't ask for suffering. If I had asked for it, I fear I wouldn't have the patience to bear it. Whereas, if it is coming directly from God's will, He cannot refuse to give me the patience and the grace necessary to bear it."

The breathing difficulties always make her suffer much, but what is most painful for her is the difficulty in returning the enemas. She can't do so because of the great suffering she experiences. I believe it is the intestines themselves that are coming out. She retains all these and this causes her stomach to be distended and hard. That is her greatest suffering at the moment. She was saying yesterday: "I was saying to God that all the prayers offered for me were not to serve to assuage my suffering but to help sinners."

1. Marie, cousin of St. Thérèse --also a nun in the Carmel of Lisieux --and daughter of the Isidore and Céline Guérin.

2. St. Thérèse's uncle.


From Céline Guérin¹ to Jeanne de la Néele²

25 September 1897

Thérèse has spent a very bad night. This morning, she's as usual. It appears Dr. De Cornière was admiring his patient's gentleness and patience. It seems she's suffering atrociously. He can't understand how she continues to live and attributes this prolongation to a supernatural cause; this was the case with Mother Geneviève formerly.

1. St. Thérèse's aunt.

2. The eldest daughter of the Guérins, cousin of St. Thérèse.

3. Dr. de Cornière, the doctor to the nuns of the Carmel of Lisieux.


From Céline Guérin¹ to Jeanne de la Néele²

30 September 1897

Her condition is the same this morning. Last night, she wasn't too good, which is to be understood, but her condition is the same. She is truly a little victim chosen by God. In the midst of her sufferings, she always has the same appearance, the same angelic air about her. Father Faucon, who saw her yesterday, told me through Mme. Lahaye, the seamstress, that he admires her. He had ot hear her confession, and she asked him for his blessing, always with her smiling and angelic manner which never abandons her. She was always remained lucid.

Father Youf said things are going better, but it's the delirium which makes him talk this way. He believes that it's only weakness which prevents him from getting up.³

Our poor Carmelites are very much tried. The days they are passing through at thism time are very painful.

1. St. Thérèse's aunt.

2. The eldest daughter of the Guérins, cousin of St. Thérèse.

3. Fr. Louis-August Youf was the Chaplain of the Carmel of Lisieux, and therefore was St. Thérèse's ordinary confessor all through her religious life. He died 7 October 1897, one week after her death.


From Mother Agnes of Jesus to M. and Mme. Guérin, and
to Léonie Martin

30 September 1897

J.M.J.T.

Dear Aunt and Uncle,
Dear Léonie,

Our Angel is in heaven. She gave up her last sigh at seven o'clock, pressing her Crucifix to her heart and saying: "Oh! I love You!" She had just lifted her eyes to heave; what was she seeing!

Your little girl
who loves you more than ever
Sister Agnes of Jesus
r.i.c.

1. Mother Agnes of Jesus, St. Thérèse's elder sister Pauline.

2. St. Thérèse's sister Léonie, was living with the Guérins at this time. Later she permanentely joined the Visitandine nuns, and also died a holy death.

Sweet St. Thérèse, pray for us!