the Carmel

Autobiography of Mother Agnes of Jesus

Intimate memories

To Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart and to Sr Geneviève of the Holy Face and of Saint Thérèse, my beloved sisters.

                        JESUS ​​March 2, 1932

To please you, my little sisters who love me so much and who have grown old alongside me in the service of the good Lord, I am going to copy certain pages from my notebook written in 1905. I have also torn up many of them, I will tell you admit, because they didn't speak at all to my soul today.
For 27 years, in fact, what events, what various graces have taught and matured me! I won't say anything about it in this new notebook. I will stick to the year 1905, so I have written nothing of our great sufferings as a community, where we had such hard and salutary experiences which fixed us forever in humility and truth, so that we only have to bless God for it...
Nor did I want to tell you the story of the extraordinary and terrible persecutions that we suffered for the cause of our little Thérèse on the part of our family in Lisieux, * (that is to say by Francis, and by this poor Jeanne La Néele, who later repented of it and asked us for forgiveness. Doctor La Néele, after her death, came to implore by very extraordinary signs, and her forgiveness, and prayers.... ) mounted against us by enemies of Carmel. But what have we not suffered from him! as much for the iconography in general, as for the organization of Les Buissonnets, of the small Procure opposite the monastery and especially for the purchase of the birthplace in Alençon!...
And Father Ubald! What terrible memories this name alone evokes in our minds!!! and the machinations of the devil in relation to the Basilica last year!
But if I recalled in detail all these crosses, I would also have to recall in detail all our deep, inexpressible joys, at the time of the Beatification, of the Canonization of our little Thérèse, in still other circumstances which affect her glory and his worship, then we would see – with what tender gratitude – that despite our past trials, despite all those that we could still undergo, we will always have to agree that the balance of the good God has tilted strongly for us, not on the side of his rigors, but on the side of his ineffable sweetness and predilections.
Your 70-and-a-half-year-old little Pauline,
                          Sr Agnes of Jesus thank you

Excerpts from my memories
When I was very young, Mom took me on her lap and told me stories of the life of the Saints. It was that of the Curé of Ars that struck me the most because of the devil who called him: "Vianney! Vianney!" And often I asked Mom to tell me "Vianney"!
Once, she told me that in heaven, the Virgins alone would follow the good Jesus everywhere, in the form of a spotless Lamb, that they would be crowned with white roses and would sing a canticle that the others could not sing. So, I told her that I wanted to be a virgin with a beautiful white crown, and I asked her what color hers would be, because she had pointed out to me that married people would not have a white crown. She replied that she would probably have a wreath of red roses. And I exclaimed: "Oh! mother, I will never marry, so as not to have a red crown in the sky!"

At the age of 5 or 6, I saw my guardian angel in a dream. He was tall and very handsome with a white robe and wings. He held my hand and led me along a small path so shady that I could only see foliage either beside or above my head. Our journey along the little path seemed long to me. I dared not speak, but I was very happy. At last we came to a large deserted and elevated meadow. In the middle of the meadow I saw Our Lord attached to the cross. The angel made me kneel at his feet and disappeared. When I entered the Carmel and saw the Calvary in the courtyard, I immediately thought of my dream; and the little statue of the Guardian Angel at the beginning of the great corridor which leads to the workers' door still makes me think of it very often, because the corridor reminds me of the shady path. I find that this dream is an image of my life in many respects....
At around the same age, in the night, I saw, not in a dream but in reality, the Blessed Virgin; oh so beautiful! lean gently over my little bed, and look at me tenderly, like a mother watching over her child. I also looked at her delighted and thinking "it's the Blessed Virgin!"
 (Sr Marie du Saint Esprit has represented the scene as well as possible, according to my indications. I want to keep this little painting for myself alone, you must not have it photographed: I would have trouble.)
Without saying anything to me, She brought feelings of purity of inexpressible sweetness into my heart. It was a Saturday. The next morning, Louise, our servant, called Hélène and me to change our little shirts. She started with me, but I was very collected and didn't say a word to her. She wanted to laugh and have fun. So I begged her to leave me alone because “I had seen the Blessed Virgin”. She immediately began to make fun of me, tiring me with her questions. Above all, she wanted to know what the Blessed Virgin was walking on. I naively replied: “I think she was walking on pearls.” New bursts of laughter! – Ah! on two pearls! on two wheels!” I did not say “on two wheels” and I was unhappy, without however losing my conviction of having seen the Blessed Virgin.

(include this:)
+ Jesus. Married
One Saturday in my early childhood, during the night,
I saw the Virgin and tasted her presence, near my bed
Come back Marie, in the time of my old age, close to me;
And may my heaven of eternal youth be close to You...
                        2th October, 1942
Sixtieth anniversary of my entry into the Carmel,
Sr Agnès of Jesus cdi

I didn't tell Mom anything. A feeling of shyness held me back, but the Blessed Virgin allowed this silence, because, without doubt, our pious Mother would have noticed too much the grace that was bestowed on me, I would have noticed it, and perhaps would have -I lost a certain intimate happiness that time could not erase.

Here is a very manifest protection from the good God, always around the same age, that is to say before 7 years old.
One day, while going up the stairs, Louise, who was very young and inexperienced, began to tickle my calves. At first I laughed heartily, but as she continued, I burst into nervous laughter that I couldn't stop.
Seeing this, and once we reached a room on the second floor of the house, she placed me on a bed, still continuing to tickle my feet. I laughed in spite of myself, but more and more faintly, because I felt like I was dying. At that very moment, the door opens, it was Mom. She looked at me in amazement and said sternly to Louise: "What are you doing?...! Don't you see the danger this poor little girl is in!" Everyone around me was as calm as possible and little by little I stopped laughing. This fact was engraved in my memory to the point that all the details are still present to me. Louise scared little Hélène and me very much because she scolded us a lot when we got our clothes dirty. It was real tyranny. Also, when I was a half-boarder at Providence, with Marie, if I did the slightest task on my stockings, for example, I tried to wash them at the edge of a small pond; but I only managed to enlarge it and I returned home trembling. After the death of little Hélène, Louise greatly regretted having terrorized her, she often went to pray and cry at her grave. To conceal her regrets and remorse, she then exaggerated in the opposite direction with regard to Céline, whom she spoiled indiscriminately. Marie was never afraid of her and on the contrary dominated her.
As for Léonie, so difficult in her childhood, it always made her unhappy whatever was done to get her out of her hands. Mom tried twice to put her in boarding school with us at the Visitation; she could not stay there, and when she left, it was to return to Louise's side, despite all the advances of our poor little Mother. I believe that there was a secret and malignant action of the demon there, because Léonie always had a heart and a good nature deep down.
At Providence, I was completely gentle, I did whatever people wanted. The older boarders took advantage of this to make me do silly things and to tease me, but Marie protected me with ardor and played the policeman around me. One day when a student made me cry during recess in the garden, she said to me in anger: "Show me the one who made her miserable!" and she rushed in pursuit of the culprit.
At the same time, on a day off, we had fun at home jumping over obstacles that we had placed in the middle of an apartment. I put a lot of animation and ardor into this game, quite innocent moreover. But suddenly, I felt that in certain extravagant movements I was not modest, finally my little conscience told me to stop; I must not have listened to him, because, no doubt, to give me a healthy horror of sin, here is what happened to me the following night, and it was not a dream. I live to enter
in the room where I slept near little Hélène and Louise, a tall man whom I took at first for my grandfather, while saying to myself: since you have to go through Mom and Dad's room to come here? »

Immediately I heard this man grumble I don't know what between his teeth, and I immediately said to myself: "It's the devil!" He went to my little bed, then to Hélène's where he said: "That one is very nice....." then he left the room. The head of my bed was leaning against the side of the chest of drawers where the statue of the Blessed Virgin was placed, which we now call "the Virgin of the Smile". I got up all trembling and knelt on the piece of furniture near the statue. There I recited a Remember, with incredible fervor asking the Blessed Virgin never to offend God. I don't believe that in all my life I have recited a reminiscence with such feelings.
I was godmother to my little brother Marie-Joseph-Jean-Baptiste who died aged nine months. When we put him in the morning in our parents' big bed, I climbed on the foot of the bed, and there I performed dances, which made the little one laugh out loud. I can still hear the pretty pearly little laugh that delighted me. Oh how I loved him! How sad I was at his death when Mother, opening the door to my room, said to me on the morning of August 24, 1868: "Your little brother is dead!". Indeed, he had flown up to heaven in the night, which he had spent on mother's lap, in the midst of great suffering. I can still see him in his little coffin, he looked like an angel, and Mom was saying, "Should we put this in the ground!" but she was so resigned! She received the workers all the same, with the little coffin in front of the window of her office. This picture is etched in my memory. It must have been the day before the burial.
At the beginning of October of this year 1868, I entered the Visitation of Le Mans with Marie. I was just 7 years and a month old. If I hadn't had Marie with me, I really believe I would have died of grief, so much did I love my parents.
However, I didn't cry when I left them, because Marie was taking care of it for both of us! and I said to myself: it's enough of one to cry like that, Papa and Mama would be too upset if I cried too.
I particularly remember my first return to Alençon. It was for the New Year's holiday. A lady known to our parents took us home. As soon as we arrived at our rue du Pont-neuf, I was no longer held back by emotion and happiness, my heart was beating like crazy, I saw the lights of the clockworks from afar, I was speechless! In a moment I would find my parents, throw myself into their arms, receive their caresses, after three months of absence which had seemed like centuries to me! (written in 1932!)

O sweet and pure feelings of childhood! How well they translate those of old age in which I am! Here I am indeed, at the turn of the last street and I see the paternal house, finally!! I'm almost at the port, what happiness! what intoxication! And it won't be to return after a few days of vacation to the exile boarding house, no! That time is going to end, it will be family life forever with God, with our parents, with all of heaven!

After my first confession at the Visitation, I said to my aunt: "Aunt, how sad! I am now going to have to commit sins to go back to confession!!!—What are you saying, my poor child! "But, aunt, I saw a list at the door of the confessional where all the nuns have their names, and they pull a little cord next to it every week, when they leave confession. All the cords are drawn at the end of the week, and they go back to confession just the same the week after. It is therefore that they always commit sins to have absolution." My aunt didn't seem happy with my thoughts and since I didn't understand the explanations she was giving me, she was already saying that I was "bitten" to my ideas. In fact, I often resisted him. Marie was much more docile and much more humble. She was also more outgoing with our good aunt. When she had made the slightest blunder, she ran to tell him. For me, I had enough to know that she watched me through a transom in the classroom that was above a small staircase that she had to climb every day. And when she said to me: "Pauline, you talk instead of studying, you have fun with your neighbours, I know that." This made me impatient, I said to myself: it's not surprising that she knows what I'm doing, since she sees it! But still, I didn't always have fun in class, I tried my best and found myself unhappy to be seen just when I was failing.
It is true that my extraordinary vivacity did me great harm. When I had lost "the rosette" (a small decoration given on Sundays to well-behaved pupils), I cried till I made myself ill. The mistress said to me one day: "But Pauline, it's not reasonable, you are crying as if you had lost father and mother!"

When our little sister Hélène died on February 22, 1870, my aunt announced it to us with great gentleness and affection. Marie cried out in pain. I felt such shock that I could not shed a single tear. My aunt told me later that I had surprised her, that I had less heart than Marie. I was very sad about it. The death of my little Hélène, on the contrary, had dug an abyss in my heart. It took me a long time to get over it, I could no longer play, I often looked at the sky where my little sister lived with the Angels. My vacation since his death lost a lot of its charm. And then on the other hand, Louise poisoned us with the sweets of the family because of Léonie, whom we knew was unhappy with her.

I was inclined to piety, I loved everything that spoke to me of the good Lord. Very often, before going to sleep, I would bury myself under my covers, telling myself I'm going to think that the good Lord never had a beginning and that he will never have an end. That it never had an end, I still managed, it seems to me, to get a little idea of ​​it, but that it never had a beginning, that impressed me and exceeded me to such an extent , that there always came a time when I quickly got out of my blankets to distract myself and stop thinking about a mystery that was overwhelming me.

Marie made her First Communion at 9 years and four months. She enjoys this great exception, because our holy aunt was very ill. We were afraid she wouldn't be here a year later. Marie always struck me as an angel, she well deserved this exception. On the day of her First Communion, she prayed with so much faith for my aunt's healing that she immediately felt better, and lived another six years. The whole convent was in admiration. Oh, how desirable it seemed to me to make his first communion!

How pure my heart was then! Growing up, I had the misfortune of not doing like Thérèse...seeing several students become particularly attached to a teacher, I wanted to imitate them, and I was able to succeed! Oh ! unfortunate power! that it was for me the source of great evils...
However, I made a very good communion, it seems to me, I was already thinking of being a nun. It was July 2, 1872, I was almost eleven years old. Little Thérèse was to be born 6 months later. In the afternoon, my friend Marie-Thérèse who had been chosen to pronounce the act of consecration to the Blessed Virgin suddenly found herself very ill. The first mistress looked for which of her companions could replace her. She undoubtedly saw in my eyes the ardor of my desire, because she said to me, passing me the copy: “Well, try it!” I read the act as best I could and it was I who recited it in the chapel.
Since you want to know the names of my first communion companions, here is the list:
Marie Thérèse Pallu de Bellay became Mme de Feydeau and who still corresponds with me.
Blanche de Mailly
Marguerite de Cumont (Mother of a Carmelite nun from Caen)
Yvonne de la Piquerie, currently at the Little Sisters of the Poor, with her poor husband!
Geneviève de Viennay (?) who died very sadly in a terrible tragedy! She really needs God's mercy. She was unfaithful to her husband, who was perfect. I have never liked this companion....
Geneviève de la Porte, sister of Edith (Mme de Mesmay)
Marie de Baglion who uses her life in good works
Madeleine de la Charrie who was Visitandine at Le Mans
Maybe Eugénie Vérité (who had an aunt in the Carmel of Le Mans, I think), but I'm not sure of that one.

The young mistress I loved so much: Sr. Jeanne Charlotte de Beausse, was still only a novice. During her professional retreat, I saw her every day sitting in the courtyard and I said to myself: Oh how beautiful it is to be a nun! when will I be a nun, when will I also retire to become the bride of Jesus? - because I was thinking of being Visitandine later. This nun died shortly afterwards.
So I became madly attached to another of my mistresses (Sr Aloysia Vallée) whom I already loved very much, and, as had happened for Sr Jeanne Charlotte, she repaid me. But what misery are these exaggerated affections! Oh my God, why didn't I just love you! Why have I let my wings be cut and burned so many times, by this deceptive flame of the vain affection of creatures! I took this poor flame for the true light of happiness, but it died out, and I remained wounded, awaiting from your mercy "brighter and lighter wings to fly to you, Lord Divine Fire, who alone burn without consumer”.       
Sr Marie-Aloysia died in 1904. The Superior of the Visitation of Le Mans sent me her crucifix. I placed it prominently at the depot, and often looking at it, I think of this saying of the Imitation: "Love and keep as a friend the one who will not leave you when all the others abandon you..."

I received once for my New Year's Eve a beautiful book bound and gilded on edges, it was the story of Fabiola. I was excited to read this. All the portraits of heroes and virgin martyrs delighted me. I read and re-read the text under the images, for example: “Agnès seemed to be diving .....
And the bright moon came.....” Ah! that brilliant moon of the time of the persecutions, how it lighted up beautiful scenes!
I was deprived of my book when I returned to boarding school, but one day, in a lottery, Marie de Baglion won a small edition of Fabiola, I had won a beautiful porcelain rose. I offered it to her in exchange and she acceded to my wish, because her tiny book was apparently not worth my rose.

When Marie came out of boarding school, I remained alone at the Visitation and never had Mama's letters been so dear and more precious to me. The first mistress of the boarding school (') said to me one day, handing me one of those letters she had just received: "Look at Pauline, here's a letter from your mother. I don't know any students at the boarding school who receive such” (Sr Marie Louis de Gonzague Vétillard, a true saint. She had succeeded Sr Marie Paula who had been sent to Angers)
This poor mother who knew how to please me so much, gave me all kinds of details about my little sisters, Céline and Thérèse. She wrote very carefully, without leaving any paper blank because I wouldn't have been happy.
This last year of boarding school I read very alarming news about her health, and yet she told me as little as possible about it; besides, it was after my aunt's death that her illness worsened.
My aunt died on February 24, 1877. A few days later, I saw her in a dream, very beautiful and crowned with roses. She came towards me in a cloister of the monastery near the nuns' choir and she held out her arms to me. I wrote this to Mom who wanted to know more, but a teacher to whom I had told it made fun of me a little; so I was ashamed and didn't want to talk about it anymore. Mom wrote to me that she believed in it all the same: “what do you want my Pauline, I like to think about the supernatural, it elevates my soul to the Heavens. »
During the Easter holidays, as soon as I arrived home, she took me aside and implored me to give her details of my famous dream. Poor little Mother! she couldn't get anything from me. It still pains me when I think about it. Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart keeps a letter where I tell her about this dream. There's a whole story about a post my aunt had just responded to. I now have no other memory than the one I just wrote. I don't know what this post said anymore.
During our pilgrimage to Lourdes in June 1877, Mother counted on my prayers above all, to obtain her healing. It's incredible how much she trusted me and how much she loved me! But I was not very fervent during the trip, and I saw clearly that she was disappointed....Léonie annoyed Marie and me, and then we had to sing hymns that we didn't know...and we didn't didn't have the heart to sing.
At the pool gate, we waited anxiously for the miracle. Mom, are you cured? we said to her as soon as she left. Alas, she was only healed two months later, when the Blessed Virgin took her to Heaven, and made her drink from the springs of living water which no longer flow from the stone of the desert, but from the heart of the good God. I saw her several times at the cave, bathing Léonie's forehead in the miraculous water. It was not in vain, because Léonie became a true saint. As this poor Mother saw me very sad on my return, she tried to console me with these words: “Do not expect joy on earth, my Pauline, the Blessed Virgin tells you as she did to Bernadette: I will not return you happy in this world, but in the other.”

A little memory of my trip

Mom wanted to speak to Bishop Peyramale, with whom, I believe, she had corresponded. He was away. The servant who answered us struck us with her modesty, moreover she was distinguished. Since she was not dismissing us, Mama told her about the cave and the impressions she had had there. And the servant replied: “Ah Madam, I assure you that now it is nothing! When we saw like me Bernadette in ecstasy, we have it for life you see! She wiped away a tear and began to tell us how several times she had seen little Bernadette kneel as if by a miracle on the slope of the rock, and the flame of the candle pass between her fingers without burning them, and her face transfigured. looking at the Blessed Virgin...
The memory of this story always does me good; he makes me love Lourdes in a special way.

A short visitandine history of the “white crown”

On my return to Le Mans, I hardly had any more weeks to spend before my perpetual vacation; but I expected, with my prizes, to receive "the white crown". I had seen him give only once during my nine years at boarding school. Above all, to obtain it, it was necessary that throughout the last year, the student had only the highest marks, that she had not missed the honor roll, the medallion of politeness, etc. once.
I examined my notes without saying anything, and I saw that the white crown was going to fall to me, but extraordinary thing, nobody but me thought of it.
I arrive at the distribution of prizes, no white crown for Pauline, for anyone! As I was crying at the end, going to embrace the Superior, I told her the cause: “Mama is very ill and I would have been so happy to bring her the white crown”. The poor superior seemed completely astonished; they then tried to explain the matter to me: I had a point of politeness which I would have missed in the last term. I knew it very well, but as it had been recognized, then that I had not personally been wrong in a little story with a novice, where the whole first class was at fault, I said to myself: I would have everything even the white crown. How foolish was my silence! If I had entrusted my hopes to the first mistress, it was done!
Mama saw me so upset about this that she said to me: "But don't worry so much, my little Pauline, I don't care, I'm very happy with you, and if you want, I will buy you a white crown. Yes, but it wasn't that crown that I would have wanted! !

It was in the same month on August 28 that Mom was to die! Oh ! how sad everything was with us! One day, Mom being in bed, I watched her without saying a word. She then took my hands, kissed them and said: “Poor little girl, what a vacation for you! and I who rejoiced so much to have you completely!
O my Pauline you are my treasure. I know very well that you will be a nun, that you will become a saint; I am unworthy to have a daughter like you, you are my glory and my happiness” It may not be his verbatim words but it is the meaning. I felt rather embarrassed by these testimonies, because I knew too well that I was far from deserving them!
Mom recommended Marie and me to raise our little sisters well and above all to make Léonie happy: “If I had to regret life, she told us, it would only be for this poor child” for only a few months, through Marie's courage, she was freed from Louise's terrible yoke.
This maid, it must be done to her, took very good care of Mama all the time from her illness, she was very deeply attached to her.

Our poor Mama really needed some consolation. One day I received a letter from the Visitation in which the Mother Superior repeated to me these words of St. Francis de Sales: “An ounce of virtue practiced in tribulation is worth more than a thousand in a time of rest and joy. I must have read this several times to Mama who repeated it to herself constantly.
When my uncle and my aunt arrived, I went to sleep with Celine and Therese in the little house in the garden above the linen room. It was there, under the window of this room, that around midnight, on August 28, 1877, my uncle called me and said to me in a voice that I will never forget: “Pauline, your Mother is sicker! ..She is dead ! »
I wanted to go down, but he stopped me. I hadn't gone to bed, I was writing to the Visitation. I went to my little sisters, they were both sleeping and I said to myself: what am I going to do tomorrow morning to tell them the sad news! ...The day before we should have seen that Mom was dying. I know better now! She was in agony in her chair when we left her around 9 o'clock in the evening. Oh what a sweet smile she gave again to my aunt who had arrived that evening from Lisieux...but she could no longer speak. I don't remember what our little Thérèse said when she woke up painfully! But in the story of her soul, she made us understand her feelings well

And then she told how she chose me for her “little Mother”, how we went to live in Lisieux, what our family life was like in Les Buissonnets. I took care of her beautiful little celestial soul, of her first studies, of everything that concerned her. If I saw her a little ill, which sometimes happened in winter, because her colds easily turned into bronchitis, I was no longer alive. But I was inexperienced, I should have immediately kept her in bed, she would have healed much faster. I thought about it, but I would have thought she was dead if I had put her to bed. So she would sit on her little chair in front of the little chest of drawers that we had kept. She would spend hours there, her head resting between her arms. I'm sure she had a high fever. Once she was taken from a side point, and all the same, she was laid down. She said how I was raising her. But I reproach myself for certain very unnecessary severity for this little creature of Heaven. I realized that when Mom at the Visitation wrote to me about her little stubbornness, for example, it was to tell me something spicy and because all that interested me was to hear about of my little sisters. “I'm racking my brains to find something to tell you about Thérèse,” she wrote to me one day.

If our little Thérèse was able to say that since the age of 3 she had refused nothing to the Good Lord, we must conclude that from the awakening of reason, she did nothing wrong. I also took care of Céline, and I prepared her for her first Communion. I was well rewarded because that day, Celine was like a lily of innocence, everyone was struck by it. My uncle said to me in the evening when we returned to Les Buissonnets: “How this child had a good First Communion! Pauline is your work. I have always remembered this compliment; I took it as coming from the Good Lord.

Léonie had become completely nice and normal, she stood out for her good heart. Mary was the angel of the home. forgetful of herself as she had been all her life, she made Dad happy, she was for me the most devoted and cherished sister. She took upon herself all the care of the house to let me say this famous dawn to Mr. Ducellier, our confessor to both. I started this dawn in October 1880, and worked on it 8 hours a day until 1882, when I offered it before entering Carmel. She let me do this work only because she knew how to make me happy. In 1878 Dad took Marie and me to Paris to see the Exhibition. We stayed there 15 days. Montmartre was at ground level, we could only see the foundations. I really enjoyed everything. We also went to Versailles.
Nothing very particular to say except perhaps, once while returning from Trocadero, I saw in the sky, above the Seine, two white halos that I never explained to myself. The shape was so clear and regular!
In any case, these halos gave me devotion, they made me think of the martyrs. Unless it was an announcement of the Canonization and the patronage of the missions for our little Thérèse? Don't tell anyone, they'll laugh at me. I exclaimed to point out these halos to Papa and Marie, but I don't think they saw anything and I didn't insist.

I remember that during those two weeks, my heart was filled with feelings of piety and detachment from the earth, even at the theater where my uncle had wanted Papa to take us once. He was worried about the very suitable room, but which hardly interested us. In my 20th year, I wrote to the Visitation of Le Mans, to find out at what age I could be received there. I was told: “Between 22 and 23 years old”. I was waiting very peacefully, when on February 16, 1882, this is what happened:
I attended the 6 o'clock mass at St Jacques, in the chapel of ND du Mont Carmel, with Papa and Marie. Suddenly, there was a very bright light in my soul, the good Lord showed me clearly that it was not at the Visitation that he wanted me, but at Carmel. I must also say that the memory of a friend, Clémentine Saal, who died predestined the previous year, came back to me; she must have prayed for me certainly. I had been assured that she was thinking of entering the Carmel and would have taken the name of Agnes of Jesus. I remember that, I felt myself blushing with emotion, and going and coming back for communion, I was afraid that this emotion would appear. I had never thought of Carmel, and suddenly I found myself drawn there by an irresistible attraction!

As soon as I got back to Les Buissonnets, I confided my secret to Marie. She only pointed out to me the austerity of Carmel, saying that I was not in good enough health to embrace it. Papa, to whom I was going to make my request the same day, while he was at the Belvedere, told me more or less what Marie had told me. But I saw that it was basically very glorious to see me this vocation

In the afternoon, I met him going up the stairs, he looked a little sad: “Don’t believe my Pauline,” he said to me, “that if I am happy to give you to the Good Lord, I "I will not suffer to separate from you" and he kissed me with moved tenderness. All his ways of speaking and acting were simple like his beautiful patriarchal soul. I spoke to Father Ducellier, to my uncle, to my aunt. But alas, through my silence I made the tender and deep heart of our little Thérèse bleed. Ah! If I had known how to make her suffer so much, how differently I would have done it! How I would have entrusted everything to him! Didn't she possess a wisdom at 9 years old that I could not have suspected?...Finally I console myself today, thinking that my error served God's designs: he showed it through the graces that followed.
On my first visit to the Carmel of Lisieux, I did not intend to do anything other than to ask Mother Prayer to introduce me to the Carmel of Caen, because I had been told that places were lacking in Lisieux. Mother Marie de Gonzague who was Prioress was very kind and told me not to think of Caen, that she would find me a cell in her monastery.
It was in the next visiting room, I believe, that she gave me a little image that delighted me

Dream of young age: the bergerette
 "A shepherd girl was dreaming........" etc. .... and she told me that my name would be Sr Agnes of Jesus. My entry took place on the morning of October 2, 1882. I admired the abnegation of this poor little Father who let me take my uncle's arm on leaving Les Buissonnets as far as Carmel. I suffered from it. It was strange indeed; it was with my uncle that Marie should have walked forward, and I behind on Papa's arm. It was quite the opposite.
At the convent door, the superior, Mr. Delatroëtte, gave the floor to Mr. Ducellier who said a few touching words to me. Afterwards the door closed and all the nuns embraced me as is the custom. I couldn't be happier. As they thought I was very pale, they wanted me to sit down and I resisted, saying: “but I'm not sick! They started laughing, I didn't understand why.

I became very attached to Mother Marie de Gonzague. She was tall, distinguished, she showed me a very special affection. But I soon noticed her terrible inclination to jealousy. Sometimes, I went to cry with Mother Geneviève, my mistress of novices, and little by little, this holy Mother took confidence in me, and after my profession confided in me. very intimate personal One day, she put her hand on my head and said to me with a good smile: “that child! I cannot prevent myself from entrusting my soul to him! I took advantage of his advice to educate myself, and also to restore peace to the convent, so often disturbed, alas! by the scenes of the Mother Prioress. I had a very great influence on this one; Mother Geneviève called me an angel of peace. One day, a few months before her death, I entered her infirmary when she seemed to be confiding in Mother Marie de Gonzague. She looked at me with a certain air that made me guess that they were talking about me, and then told me in veiled words, that Mother Geneviève had designated me as being able to be prioress later.
Here are the names of my companions in the novitiate: Sr Marie de St Joseph,
Sr Marie Emmanuel (the widow), Sr Marie de Jésus, and a postulant Sr Isabelle des Anges who did not stay in Carmel.
Sr Marie de St Joseph was my angel, she made me suffer a lot, as well as our little Thérèse later. She had no vocation, it was obvious. You had to listen to the advice she gave me! ! I wondered where I had fallen, I who had made such an ideal of Carmel! She returned to her family during the priorate of Mother Marie-Ange on June 29, 1909.

However, I still continued to love Mother Marie de Gonzague, who in her good times was really very kind. She was also pious and very frank, with a certain candor that had charms!
On the day of my taking the habit, April 6, 1883, our poor little Thérèse, who was very ill at the time, came to kiss me only before the ceremony. I took her on my lap, as she tells it. I can still see her entering the parlor, so sweet, so beautiful! She had on a sky blue cashmere dress, a silk belt of the same color, a large white hat with an ostrich feather.
In the sacristy, before my return to the monastery, as my sisters were showing a lot of sadness, Dad had a moment of anguish and said to me while kissing me: “Will I never see you again? » I told him that he would always see me, that the rule allowed it...but my heart was very heavy.

I was also very upset when Thérèse cried at the end of Marie's visiting rooms, but how could I console her! I didn't know the abyss of sadness dug into his soul when I left. I understand so well now that the five minutes she was given with me could only make her more anxious...and then I was so stupid with all my politeness towards my aunt, when she came with my little cousins! Céline and Thérèse no longer mattered, all my attention was focused on the other side and if I said a word to my little sisters, to Thérèse, it was for...... and other thoughts of this kind, that's all she had of me in the family visiting rooms!
And again, I thought I was doing very well, that Marie was going to understand me and make my poor little Thérèse understand me, and I always saw tears in her eyes! and a little lip which showed that she was forcing herself not to cry any more! Ah! this time again, if only I had known!
Other very sweet parlours, however, are engraved in my heart. The one where Mary recounted Thérèse's healing, her vision of the Blessed Virgin! Then two others, the one where Thérèse herself came to see me after her recovery; I remember that she was in mourning for Bonne-Maman at the time, and that black made her even prettier. And finally his visit on the day of his first communion.

When the time came to present myself at the chapter for profession, Mother Geneviève having become Prioress again and Mother Marie de Gonzague being mistress of novices, the latter, out of unconscious jealousy, did not mention it to our Mother. It's incomprehensible ! Because could she reasonably make me wait two years, until the next election, to make me pronounce my vows in her hands?
Finally, Mother Geneviève said to her: “But my dear Mother, you are not talking to me about the profession of Sr. Agnès of Jesus? The time will be over and we have no reason to delay it. I will therefore propose it to the chapter. »
The poor Mother had to give in, and she confessed her sorrow to me. I felt sorry for it all the same. I was received, it seems, unanimously, but that doesn't say much and happens most often. When I think that our saintly little Thérèse had two fewer votes! And again, isn’t that three? I do not remember exactly what was entrusted to me on this occasion, because I did not attend the vote. That afternoon, I went into the garden with such a heavy heart! And I went to pray before the Holy Face of the Hermitage...
My profession was fixed for the 8th of May. Thus, for having been delayed for a month, I had the happiness of giving myself to Jesus on the day and at the very hour when Jesus gave himself to Thérèse for the first time.

The day before my profession which I had to make at the oratory because Mother Geneviève was already too infirm to take up the chapter, Mother Sub-Prioress (Sr Marie des Anges) and several other sisters, touched by the coincidence of the two feasts, s They spent the whole day decorating this little sanctuary.
After Matins, Mother Sub-Prioress invited Mother Marie de Gonzague to come with me to admire the decorations. She seemed displeased and refused to follow me.
It was a crisis of jealousy that seized her. So she stayed in the choir, and I went alone to the oratory, heartbroken. Finally, she decides to come, but to criticize everything, to say that it was too much to do, that we had never seen that, etc. Then she returned to the choir, and I, to please, still had to go into ecstasy over two intertwined crowns suspended above the tabernacle, over emblems and symbols of the double feast of the next day.
two doves, two escutcheons with the figures of Thérèse and Agnès. On the altar, flowers, relics, lamps, it was truly delicious. But I suffered so much that I had to leave as quickly as possible, I took refuge in the hermitage of the Sacred Heart, and there I cried for a long time with hot tears. I turned towards the statue of the Blessed Virgin and I implored my mother from heaven to have pity on me, to detach my heart from my mistress, because I was angry with myself for experiencing such anguish because of her, instead of being all over the joy of my very soon union with Jesus. (I sobbed and cried out: “and tomorrow is the happiest day of my life!!!”)

Finally I returned to the choir, where I found Mother Marie de Gonzague with the same upset face. At midnight, coming out of the choir, I tried to kiss her, she made me feel a certain pity, it seemed to me that she must be so unhappy! She then seemed softened and ashamed. I begged her to come to our cell, she did. Sr Marie de St Joseph had covered our pallet with little daisies.
I could have sung with the wife of the Songs: “our bed is covered with flowers” ​​but I did not add with Thérèse: I gratefully accept the thorn in the middle of my flowers. And then I was so tired from having cried so much and suffered so much that I thought only of the new fatigue of thanking Sr Marie de St Joseph, and of removing the flowers.
When I woke up, I felt stronger and I said my vows in great peace.
Mother Geneviève spoke to me like a saint (I wrote on the back of a picture that Sr Marie du St Esprit painted for me for my jubilee of May 18, 1944, a small particularity of her exhortation, I do not seem to have mentioned it elsewhere).

When I kissed Mother Marie de Gonzague in turn, she returned it rather coldly, but I no longer suffered as much from it. Ah if I could have remained in this happy indifference! It is true that it was a grace that one cannot give oneself. At the end of the afternoon, I saw my little Thérèse in the parlor “with her white veil like mine”. She looked at me with such a deep and sweet look! What moments for both of us! The outer corolla of this pure flower, that is to say its muslin garments, appeared to me crumpled and of a slightly dull whiteness. I reflected on it to the community that had come to see it, no one had noticed it, on the contrary, and I think today that material whiteness, even if it was the whiteness of snow, cannot be compared to the supernatural whiteness of a heart where the good Lord takes his pleasure, where he resides through communion. As I saw the divine whiteness of a seraph's heart, the other lost all its radiance. I left the parlor feeling comforted, a bit like the apostles when they came down from Tabor. A celestial atmosphere surrounded me.
O my God, if the sight of an angel of the earth could fortify me, thus console me, what will it be like to see eternally your uncreated beauty from which flows all the beauty of the Saints!

I was elected Prioress for the first time on February 20, 1893. Our little Thérèse told me that during these three years I had imitated David playing the harp in front of Saul.....Poor Mother Marie de Gonzague! It was she, however, who had worked for my election, but she could not allow me to assume too much authority. She would have wanted me always under her domination. What I have suffered and cried during these three years! But I recognize that this yoke was necessary for me: it matured me and detached my soul from honors.

I was Prioress again when she died. In the last days of his life, remembering his election after 7 rounds, in election which moreover was not canonical, one must have witnessed what happened then, through ignorance of the Superior, no doubt, but I am also sure of it by a secret design of God, for many reasons. (March 1932) With her cruel illness, she was very sad and felt that I was her only support, that the sisters were moving further and further away from her. She always resorted to me, only wanted me. She loved me as she could love, and I loved her with a sincere and disinterested love, also grateful, in a sense, because it was certainly to her, to the ascendancy she had over the sisters. , even on the superior, that we owe all four of us to have been received at Carmel, and moreover Sr Marie of the Eucharist! It was we who surrounded her during her last night....The day before, this poor Mother had said to me: “in leaving this life, I only regret my little Dear Mother. » She died on December 17, 1904. I said many other things in my famous report at the trial... I also spoke of her edifying death and the regrets she expressed to me. (March 1932)

And what I saw at Carmel in relation to our little Thérèse, her virtues, her sufferings! All this is written in the Good Lord's notebook, we will read it in Heaven. I also spoke about it at the trial, you will find in my deposition the complement of these pages on our Thérèse (March 1932)

Did I desire his entrance here! What did I do to get there! ! ! Fortunately I didn't know the martyrdom that awaited me! She was so neglected, so little care was taken of her health! I have witnessed incredible imprudence, and nothing could be done to prevent it. I admit that in many circumstances, it was stronger than me, I showed my pain, I lacked virtue, that's certain. May the Good Lord forgive me, He who has the heart of a Mother!
This poor little Thérèse, seeing my sorrow, suffered from my sufferings and I was the occasion for her of heroic sacrifices, I know that well. But what a responsibility for the nuns of a monastery to place at their head a weak and easily influenced Prioress, without energy to remedy the abuses! When the inferiors don't have more fortitude than me, they could really get desperate.    
How I thank God for having always kept me on the slope of this abyss, so that my trembling foot has never struck too hard against the stones of scandal found on my way!...
So I saw our little Thérèse act, suffer and be silent. I saw her die, we saw all three of her die and what a death! Grandiose and painful memories at the same time! I saw her, during her religious life, simple, unknown "alone on earth" .... she was a pearl of heaven, then hidden. The universe is beginning to know the value of it......

Something comes back to me about the last cell of our Thérèse, which I lived in several years before her, and before becoming Prioress. I suffered a lot in this same cell, I especially remember one night that I spent the whole night moaning and crying because of was because I had a new opportunity to convince myself that she was abandoned, malnourished, treated haphazardly, at the risk of losing her health, and unable to succeed in putting myself above myself, I had gone with faith to find Mother Marie de Gonzague, after Matins, to entrust her with my anguish and receive a few words of consolation. On the contrary, she received me very harshly.
The good and holy Sr. Marie Philomène who slept next to me, where the little oratory is now, hearing me sobbing in this way said to herself: “What about this poor Sr. Agnès of Jesus? Certainly she will fall ill! The next day indeed, I was broken. It must have been a Sunday, because I remember going to the garden to get some fresh air. I was coming and going.
I sighed, I begged the good Lord to come to my aid. No doubt, I lacked courage; but I say it again, I have seen such strong and saddening things concerning the little regard that was given to the health of such a virtuous and young child! As a temporary measure, I had to endure such revolting abuse regarding its portions that the thought of it still makes me suffer today. To tell the truth, I was much too shy, I should have imposed myself in the kitchen; Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart would never have abdicated her rights like this, if she had been in my place.

I want to add that I often heard very strange noises in the famous cell. Our Thérèse when she lived there, heard of all kinds in her turn. Sometimes for her it was like a very rushed clock ticking in her outside window. One Easter night, when I didn't sleep for a second, while waiting to wake up at 2½, I clearly heard a window open noisily downstairs, on the side of the infirmary. Shortly after, someone climbed the stairs and came to this cell (Sr Marie Philomène was no longer there near me). I heard perfectly the first door leading into the dormitory open and close. Then there was a great silence. I wonder how I didn't die of fright.
I said to myself: “If only I could doubt! but that was impossible for me, and even now after so many years, and various events, I retain the same certainty of the noises heard.
I inquired the next day from the nurses, and from the nuns who sleep downstairs, if someone had not opened their window during the night. I was told that I had dreamed! However, Mother Marie de Gonzague seemed a little impressed.......What should we deduce from all this? I do not know. The devil is so stupid! No doubt he was already furious at the future......At that time, our little Thérèse had not yet entered Carmel, and despite the impression of fear I felt, I could think also to a celestial announcement of the pilgrimages to come in this blessed cell! (Note written on June 8, 1943, at the request of Sr. Geneviève)                       

(continued from page 76 and 77) I don't want to leave you in writing the story of this strange adventure, without confiding to you above all my feelings, when the beautiful Easter feast returns each year. Since I have been in Carmel, this feast of feasts”, this “solemnity of solemnities” has always thrilled my soul; the great fatigue of Holy Week, of the Office sung this Sunday at 2 o'clock in the morning, does not diminish my supernatural happiness, on the contrary. This austerity is like an aftertaste of exile which increases its strength and divine charm...
The reading of the Liturgical Year, explaining with such penetrating unction the splendors of the mystery, has a lot to do with this disposition, I am sure.
 Every year, at the song of “Exultet” my heart exults. It is a grace I recognize, but besides “everything is grace”, even when we feel nothing, neither at Easter, nor at any celebration. The Good Lord has his plans, we must praise him for everything in faith, while awaiting the feast of Heaven in eternal ecstasy
On the day of Mary's profession, it fell to Thérèse, who was the last postulant, to crown this dear sister, her Mother too. The roles thus changed, and the one who had so many times crowned “Daddy’s little Queen”,
To send her to throw her rose petals at the Sacred Monstrance, now saw herself crowned by that same little angel's hand.
That's what will happen to all of us, I'm sure, at the hour of our death. Thérèse told me that we were born crowned, it is she who preserves this crown for us. How could we go crowned in Purgatory? Little Thérèse will pin it so firmly on our head, the crown intended for each one, that she will keep it there for eternity!
What if I said what I think of Marie! But it's impossible, my heart is too full! What a beautiful diamond! what an upright and pure heart! And always so selfless! What touching proofs I could give! Married ! I could not do without her, neither on earth nor in heaven. I don't know how I managed to stay a year at the Visitation and four years at the Carmel, without having him by my side....

A few words now about our great family sorrow, although it is difficult to paint a bush of thorns, when these thorns have changed into roses of grace and glory for us. From the time of thorns which lasted several long years, but especially at the beginning, what letters, what cruel parlors! I remember that before certain visiting rooms, I prayed on my knees: My God, everything that is going to be said to me is what I want to hear, but help me! » Then my heart could be crushed, I had real strength. On the part of the community in general, little discretion, delicacy. When tact is lacking, very often instead of consoling, we stick a dart in, even with the best intention. This is what happened several times, except on Mother Geneviève's side. At the first moment of our greatest sadness, when Dad seemed lost who knows where, she had waited for us all day in her infirmary, to console us. We were so devastated that we did not leave the depot, where Mother Marie de Gonzague had kindly placed us. Finally, in the evening we go to Mother Geneviève.
She stretched out her arms to us and said to us with tears in her voice: “Come, my poor children! Oh ! how long the day seemed to me without seeing you! And she spoke to us like someone who knows what it is to suffer. Then she added: "Do not weep, your Father is well guarded." Here are the words I heard this morning, after praying for you and for him: “Tell them that he will come back tomorrow, and that he has nothing. Which happened against all predictions.

Poor little Céline, over there in Le Havre, looking for our poor little Father, whom one might have thought lost anywhere, murdered perhaps?....What agony! And how Mother Geneviève's prayer came to his aid! Céline's anguish on this occasion reminds me of that of the Blessed Virgin and St Joseph looking for the Child Jesus in Jerusalem for three days.
Dad's illness, with all the humiliations and heartaches it brought with it, greatly strengthened our souls. For me, not once did I make the way of the cross without these words from the Imitation coming to my mind: “No one has the passion of Jesus Christ so deeply in his heart as he who suffered something similar. »
Although it was fleeting like everything that is time, this cross was to last not just one day, but three long years, during which silence fell more and more around the venerated name of the one we cherished. In the community, where until then he had enjoyed a sort of prestige, if it was spoken, it was in a low voice, like that of an almost dishonored man. It reminded me of Job's friends, wavering in their friendship and saying that God could only treat a sinner like this. This is an exaggeration, but you will understand me. Outside, many people blamed us for this misfortune, caused, they claimed, by excess grief, especially when Thérèse entered.
Finally, Céline brought us back from Caen certain details which upset us, for example the signature which was requested by the notary from Dad on behalf of his children, to renounce the management of his fortune, at a time when he had his full lucidity. "My children no longer trust me, they have abandoned me," he cried, sobbing.

It is true, but in another sense, that we had abandoned it totally, but in the hands of the Good Lord. The children of the martyrs thus abandoned their parents in the arena, and the parents their own children. This thought was then familiar and restful to me. I had the same feeling when Therese died. Seeing that I had no means of relieving her in the unspeakable sufferings she was enduring during her long agony, I pictured her as a true martyr in the arena and fully consented to her immolation. This feeling that could only come to me from the Good Lord was a great strength to me.
 Marie very much wanted Papa to return to Lisieux. For my part, I desired neither his cure nor his return. I believe it was another grace. However, I am very happy that Marie was answered. She was quite right to ask God that. This return was much needed for many reasons....
A few days before the death of our little Thérèse, what was my astonishment to hear these words at recess: “What will become of our sisters after the death of Sr Thérèse of the Child Jesus! we saw what happened to their Father! » I reported this to Thérèse who was not moved, she had known for a long time what injustice and ignorance there was in man. She looked at me with a certain look full of wisdom and said simply: “And we who were so courageous! but what does that matter to us, the good Lord knows everything. »

I have already said, it seems to me, that without the influence of Mother Marie de Gonzague over certain minds, the community would never have consented to the admission of a fourth sister. The Good Lord obviously used her to bring us together and test us! But through what storms of jealousy I had to go through, to have the happiness which was my right, to make my little Céline profess! Finally his celebration seemed all the sweeter and it was cloudless. There wasn't even one in the sky that day. No more than the day of Thérèse's profession when thousands of swallows chirped in the morning on all our roofs. We had never seen such an army of these little emigrants. That year they had chosen our monastery as the starting point for their flight towards milder climates. (Was it not a distant symbol of all the so many souls who would later come here to emigrate joyfully, from the land of their sins to the beautiful sky of fidelity, of the holy freedom of the children of God (March 1932)

May Céline and Thérèse obtain from Jesus their simplicity, the sweet humility of their hearts!
Céline is very artistic, she has a celestial brush. It is she who reproduced so faithfully, so divinely the Holy Face of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
I too painted her on images – less faithfully I admit! – I also painted the Blessed Virgin and Saints even on ornaments! At the beginning of my religious life I dedicated myself to this work for the community which was poor and I got quite tired of it. I also painted all the sentences on the walls of the monastery, except those of the Chapter. At the time of the first communions, I sometimes painted 4 images on parchment in one day; images representing the first communion of St Louis de Gonzague, and composed of three characters. I then made miniatures on ivory. But the brush fell from my hands a long time ago, the community no longer needs my work, it only needs Saints, living copies of our beloved husband. Why am I not one of these copies!  

Sr Marie of the Eucharist did not make me happy, she loved me too exclusively. Her extremely sensitive nature attracted many struggles and fatigues to her and me too and to our little Saint Thérèse. Yet she was so intelligent, so gentle, so pious! I believe his health had a lot to do with these exaggerated sensitivities. Finally, she showed us by her so holy death what the merciful love of God has in store for her little victims at the supreme moment. Since then we have seen the holy deaths of Sr Marthe and Sr Marie-Madeleine. Sr Marthe especially was like a seraph on the eve of her death. Both however were not perfect, far from it!
What confidence this can give us! And to Sr. Marie de la Trinité also who is, so to speak, “of our family” because she was so attached to our little Thérèse and responded so well to the Process!

The “little Mother will be pumped like a drop of dew, it was little Thérèse who said it, and also that she would die last..” we’ll see that!
I read that the Lord said through a prophet: "the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when the wicked will be consumed like stubble, leaving them neither root nor branch." He adds that a sun of righteousness will rise on those who love him, and that healing will be in his rays" The little drop of dew will therefore not be destroyed, but only pumped and attracted by the sun of love, and the healing of his soul will be in his rays, it that is to say that it will be pumped and purified at the same time. May the Good Lord also grant this grace to my little sisters whom I love so much!
In 1903, I had to leave the monastery for two days, to go to Valognes, and I obtained permission to go and kneel on the tomb of our beloved Thérèse in the cemetery of Lisieux. It was the first grave. It seemed to me that the angels were saying to me as to the holy women who were looking for Jesus in the tomb:
 “Why are you looking among the dead for the living one? I felt a sweet feeling coming closer to this corner of the earth, where there lay "the little envelope" of Therese with its seed of immortality. Passing through Caen, I also obtained permission to stop at the Visitation. How happy I was to see Léonie again! to know that she is happy herself and giving to Jesus all that is in her, born “crowned” too. She gave me her little confidences; I found her very fervent. She was beaming to see me and wanted to kiss my feet at first, I should have kissed hers instead.
This evening, at the blessing, looking from afar at the image of the Holy Face which is near the gate of the oratory, I thought of speaking about her (Today she is no longer there. She is honored more above the group on the shroud and near the reliquary – note from March 1932).
It was Mother Geneviève who, as soon as I entered the Carmel, attracted me to this devotion
She told me how touched she was to have seen through the life of Sr Marie de St Pierre, that our Lord had chosen Carmel to reveal his Holy Face to the world. Immediately I was touched myself. I found that Jesus revealed to us through his Holy Face all the love of his heart, and I looked for a way to honor this image. The one in the choir which is above the stall of the Mother Prioress soon had a small lamp, and later real illuminations on certain days.
She's in the infirmary above the door, inside. Our little Saint loved it very much, and the large painting above the grille replaced it in the choir (March 1932). The little artist, Céline, added a beautiful red hanging with fringes and tassels, it was wonderful. After a day where I had suffered a lot, I saw in a dream our Holy Face in the sky - that kind of reddish sky that we admire after storms. I was with Sr. Geneviève as if on a deserted beach contemplating this spectacle and I heard a voice whispering in my ear: “patience! » ...........I loved these words from our Lord to Sr Marie de St Pierre: “The end of your pilgrimage is approaching, you will soon see my face in heaven. ". I repeated it to myself in my sorrows. I inspired my devotion to the Holy Face in my little sisters, Thérèse said something about it.... Soon a second lamp burned perpetually in the sanctuary in front of the blessed image. At the time of our great ordeal an ex-voto was placed between two candelabras which were lit at the holidays. This inscription was engraved there:
 “Sit nomen domini benedictum” FM (Martin family)
It seemed to me that praising the Good Lord in this way for having bestowed upon us such a heavy cross glorified Him greatly.
How happy I am that Céline has reproduced so perfectly, according to the Holy Shroud of Turin, the true Holy Face of our beloved husband! But O Jesus, what we have not yet seen is your glorious Face. Oh ! "when shall we see your face in glee?" “, because “we will not be fully satisfied until this glory appears to us...”
                 18th June 1905
I finished this abridged copy on Sunday March 6, 1932 during my retirement.
This incomplete hodgepodge
is offered to you as an inheritance;
but all the years since
will share silence......
                    Sr Agnes of Jesus thank you


Sr. Geneviève wants me to tell her “Sirius” and other little stories... “I won't back down for 0,50....”


At the Visitation, I really liked having a role in the plays that were performed for the feast of Mother Superior. Once, the first mistress had designated the students who were to play and I was not! I was going very sad to recreation in the garden, when I see the mistress come back to me in haste:
 “Pauline, she said to me, I have forgotten you; you are the star of the play! How happy I was!
For Sirius I don't remember the title of the piece, I only remember
That I represented the brightest star in Heaven: SIRIUS! and that I had been dressed in velvet like a little page, with red stockings and that I had a red feather in my velvet hat. I felt very nice and I was proud! I had a long tirade to pronounce of which I remember this passage: ...
 “No doubt I admire the charms of a smooth lawn, of the peaceful wave, of the innocent heart, but that is not enough for me, I need the thousand flowers that pepper the meadow, the waves that agitate the ocean and above all the thousands of stars that sparkle under the dark vault of the Heavens...” At one point, I said to Love (Yvonne de la Picquerie): “Rosy-fingered Aurora, calm down! »
At the end of the play, when I was going to kiss the Mother Superior and the nuns, expecting some compliment from my aunt, she said to me, on the contrary, with a disappointed air: "My poor little one, you had such a lovely role! but you cut it like a mill! It's too bad ! »
That's my Sirius story!

                Cosmography and arithmetic.
I was always first in this science of astronomical movements and I won the prize. I even learned willingly and by heart certain passages that I only half understood, like this one that I have always remembered: "A light ray changes direction each time it encounters a more or less less dense, this is why the rays sent to us by the stars do not reach us in a straight line, but bend in such a way as to form a concave curve towards the earth. »
As for arithmetic, that was another matter! I was so unable that I could never pass first class for this part of study. And yet, at the last distribution of prizes, before I left boarding school, I only got an accessit, even in second class!
                     The yellow sofa
Almost all my companions at the Visitation were noble, and it's incredible the vanity that lodges in these little heads of boarders, I know it from experience.
A certain little girl was tormenting me whether, at least, I had a noble relative in our family. I think about it and happily find the name of Mr. de Lacauve out of it. She didn't stop there: “What color is your parents' living room, their sofa? " Oh ! my God what will become of me! I don't know of my parents' living room, nor of our sofa! How to admit this? I don't have the courage! But I was quick-witted, and I immediately think of a kind of little straw deck chair that was at the Pavilion, and has been back there lately. It's yellow, I tell myself, and it looks like a couch. So I take out my find: “Our sofa is yellow! "-It's very distinguished!, replies the little pupil...Vanity of Vanities! !

                      BOOM BOOM !                     
When I couldn't wait for the holidays any longer, I went to find Marie during recess, and I said to her: “Marie! tell me about the holidays!
As soon as she never refused me anything, she began the story of our return to Alençon ..... The doorbell rang outside! It is Mrs. Martin who asks for Marie and Pauline. We go out, we kiss Mom! we go to the station, and then:
Boom, Boom, Boom! The locomotive is humming! the train is waiting for us! We go up there and then set off: she names all the stations for me, and finally, “Bourg le Roi” which is the last and makes my heart skip a beat. Marie herself was enthusiastic, only I sighed when, after having shouted: “Alençon! Alençon! and recounted the embraces of Papa and our little sisters, she added sadly: “But no more Hélène! »

               Evening prayer in the field
When it was very hot, in June or July, because unfortunately the summer holidays did not begin until the first week of August, the teacher made us say our evening prayers in the field. – There was a field and cows in the vast enclosure – It was so poetic this prayer together in front of a beautiful pure sky where I was staring at a beautiful silver star whose name I knew, and which delighted me. My heart was full of harmonies.
                 When we had to receive communion the next day, the teacher took us the evening before, at the end of recess, in front of the gallery, near the nuns' choir and she made us sing a hymn. Do you remember Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart?
                 My Beloved, with the tenderest love
                 On this altar has fixed his stay
                Sweet memory full of freshness and piety!

Sister Geneviève, are you happy with my six little stories from the Boarding School?
Now, it will be the most recent to finish, and the most intimate.   

                      Anxieties of soul
I have had some very acute ones since the death of our little Thérèse, now it is, so to speak, over. It was a kind of dreadful void, it was temptations to fear the future, everything. I suffered a great deal from it during my illness in 1923. Since 1907, I also had something to clear up, to appease in my conscience. Father Desbuquois at his first retreat did this, without suspecting it, in one of his instructions. This painful disorder was removed from me then, as with the hand.

                        The Tempest
Since the day before Sr. Marie of the Incarnation took the habit, I have had a terrible fear of windstorms, less of the storm. Our cell was then very close to the road which no longer exists today, and unfortunately, that evening, there was a violent storm. After Matins, I heard something like a whirlwind, then a tremendous noise, as if part of the roof had fallen in the way. I began to tremble and chatter my teeth, unable to contain myself. From that day on, it was impossible for me to overcome my fear when it was stormy at night. It's more than ordinary fear, it's terror that makes me sick. I am very humiliated by this weakness, but who should I do? No matter how much I prayed, I was not delivered from it. There are mixed feelings that crush me on the justice of God towards unrepentant sinners “Wandering stars for whom a storm of darkness is reserved for eternity. » This text always comes back to me in the midst of these nights of mortal anguish!
                A beautiful dream about the Blessed Virgin December 28, 1924
On December 27 of this year, 1924, I had experienced pain and no virtue on a painful occasion. The following night, in the morning, I had this beautiful dream: I was still in bed, in an apartment where I saw at the back, a statue of the Blessed Virgin, like the one in the cloister, near the sacristy.
 Suddenly, I no longer see the statue, and the Blessed Virgin herself approaches me, kisses my forehead and says to me gently: "open your mouth..." Immediately, I feel the celestial freshness of a mysterious food which she has just placed on my lips, and which imparts to me a kind of holy intoxication. And I repeated: “O purity! O purity! »
I awoke saying to myself: “I really tasted something divine, and like the down payment of eternal life. »
What remained for me from this grace was an interior assurance that all the delights of heaven will one day be given to us for nothing, on the condition of being humble of heart, of never relying on any of our poor works, and of practicing fraternal charity. March 7, 1932

                   Last confidence
The Good Lord is giving us a great and precious lesson at this time, about what I would call: the race for the honors of the altars. We even run children there, whom we would never have thought of proposing to the Holy Church, without the case of our Little Thérèse. We said to ourselves, it's visible: "But this one didn't do anything extraordinary and she arrived so quickly at the Canonization, why don't we take this one or that one there?" And advertisements have intensified and it seems that miracles have responded to this movement yet so human!
I come to say to myself that even this supreme reward of the Holy Church, this setting on the candlestick of certain elect, would be one of "those riches which could well make us unjust" ... And I no longer want to rejoice that “because our names are written in heaven”, because the radiance of our Thérèse here below is necessary for her great and providential mission. Otherwise, we would no longer be in the truth, because the truth, I am sure, is that many souls hidden on earth until the day of judgment will be placed in heaven higher than canonized saints. At certain times, I even consider it a test that we are so well known here below, including our little Thérèse. Without his mission, I would prefer to keep so many ineffable memories in deep silence.

March 9, 1932, last day of my retirement

“The END of a speech is better than the beginning.”