the Carmel

Circular of Sister Marie of the Eucharist

Read here a brief analysis of this circular by Claude Langlois

Marie Guerin 1870-1905

Peace and very humble greetings to Our Lord, who came to pick a new flower in our monastery for his gardens of Heaven, in the person of our beloved Sister LOUISE-HELENE-MARIE DE L'EUCHARISTIE, 34 years old, 8 month ; and religion, 9 years, 8 months.

She was born in Lisieux, of an exceptionally Christian family. If you have read “THE STORY OF A SOUL”, my Reverend Mother, you can easily convince yourself of this. Moreover, you will judge it more particularly during this circular.

Marie had for parents the uncle and the aunt so devoted, so loved, of whom Thérèse speaks in her manuscript. She was the niece and goddaughter of the admirable father of this blessed child. She had only one sister, Jeanne, her eldest, who loved her rather with a maternal love, so tender was he; and a little brother, an angel, who saw immediately succeeding his mother's first kiss, the eternal kiss of the Lord.

As a little child, Marie was a real pixie, a quicksilver, as her father called her. To distract her from her noisy games, it would have been wasted effort, he well knew, to take her like little Therese "on one of her knees while singing Bluebeard in a formidable voice." She dreamed only of splitting the air; but, forgetting that she lacked wings, she had no awareness of the danger, which made her mother despair.

At the Benedictines of Lisieux, where she was a boarder, more than once serious accidents happened to her. This little one seemed to believe that the thickest walls would give her free passage, and that the trees in the garden would part by themselves, to let her run. to play solitaire; but, the tragedy still animated the scenes, witness these lines of Thérèse

“My little cousin Marie and I were always of the same opinion; we had the same tastes so much that sometimes our union of wills crossed the line. One evening, on returning from the Abbey, we wanted to imitate the modesty of solitary people. I say to Marie: “Lead me, I am going to close my eyes. - "I want to close them too", she replied; and each did his will. We were walking on a sidewalk, so we didn't have to worry about cars. But, after a pleasant walk of a few minutes, during which the two bewildered savored the delights of walking without seeing, they fell together on boxes placed at the door of a store and overturned them at the same time. Immediately, the merchant went out in anger to pick up his merchandise; but the voluntary blind men had gotten up on their own and walked with hasty steps, eyes wide open and ears too, to hear the just reproaches of Jeanne, who seemed as angry as the merchant! »

With an uncommon intelligence, Marie reached, as if by playing, the first places in her class and won all the prizes. However, despite her successes, the humble little girl believed herself to be incapacitated; also, when thoughts of the future haunted her young imagination, a place of servant alone seemed to her to suit her feeble means. So she wanted to do an apprenticeship and for several days, never leaving her maid, she tried to imitate her in everything; then, satisfied with her small results, she thought her future was assured.

Mary prepared like an angel for her First Communion, faithfully noting down her defeats and victories each evening. Here are some of the latter, the addition of which, for one day, forms a total of 50 sacrifices.
Say my prayer without leaning on me.
Not putting cologne in my water.
Made myself suffer by playing octaves for a very long time
Saying something out loud to humiliate me.
Waited a while before starting my meal.
Taken from a dish I liked least
To have deprived myself of another whom I loved very much.
Not having put a stool under my feet.
Played at the wheel, instead of playing the piano, to please Jeanne.
To be deprived of my ease for an hour.
Took a pewter spoon instead of a silver spoon.
Depriving myself of wearing my little cut-out shoes.
Waited for Thérèse to see something before looking at it.
Not having drunk between my meals.
Started over something that I had a lot of trouble doing, until it was done well, and didn't get impatient.

There was also the more serious preparation made by his good mother. To give an idea of ​​it, we transcribe here this touching prayer, which we guess was composed to help the young child to repent of a slight fault.
“O my Jesus, yesterday I promised you to be very wise; and now I happened to answer my maid the wrong way! Oh ! how ungrateful I am! So I forgot that this poor girl is not happy like I am. She is deprived of her mother and many comforts, forced to earn her living, while I am close to my mother and filled with all sorts of joys. 0 my lovable Jesus, grant that I never fall back into this fault; help me to be polite and gentle with the maids. May I remember that they are my equals, and that one day, in Heaven, they will perhaps have a much higher place than mine. Forgive me, Jesus, forget my ingratitude and, for my First Communion, adorn my soul with the virtues that please you, especially humility. »

However, this pious mother, while inspiring her daughter with a deep fear of offending God, did not want her to be scrupulous, and Mary fell into this excess to suffer cruelly from it until her last illness; so she said pleasantly: "Thérèse spends her Heaven doing good on earth, but she takes care of everything, she is universal... Me, when I am with her." God, I will concern myself exclusively with scrupulous souls, that will be my specialty, I will spend my Heaven consoling them. »

In the meantime, she took advantage of the wise and enlightened guidance of a holy priest, whose providential encounter she always regarded as a signal grace.

Thérèse also came to his aid, and, as soon as he entered the Carmel, at the age of fifteen, wrote him letters like this:

“Before receiving your confidences, I had a presentiment of your anxieties; my heart was united with yours. Since you have the humility to ask your little Thérèse for advice, she is going to tell you what she thinks: You hurt me a lot by leaving your communions, because you hurt Jesus. The demon must be very shrewd to deceive a soul like this! Don't you know, my darling, that you make him thus achieve the goal of his desires? He is not unaware, the perfidious one, that he cannot cause a soul to sin which desires to be wholly for the good God; so he only tries to make her believe it. It is already a lot ; but, for his rage, this is still not enough, he wants something else: he wants to deprive Jesus of a beloved tabernacle. Unable to enter this sanctuary, he at least wants it to remain empty and without a master. Alas! what will become of this poor heart?... When the devil has managed to keep a soul away from communion, he has won everything and Jesus cries!...O my little Mary, think that this sweet Jesus is there, in the Tabernacle , expressly for you, for you alone, that it burns with the desire to enter your heart. Do not listen to the demon, make fun of him, and go without fear to receive the Jesus of peace and love. But, I hear you say: Thérèse thinks that, because she doesn't know about my miseries... Yes, she does know, she guesses everything, she assures you that you can go without fear to receive your only true Friend. She also went through the martyrdom of scruples, but Jesus gave her the grace to always receive communion, even though she thought she had committed great sins. Well, I tell you she knowed that was the only way to get rid of the demon; if he sees that he is wasting his time, he leaves us alone. No, it is impossible that a heart whose only rest is to contemplate the Tabernacle - and it is yours, you tell me - should offend Our Lord to the point of not being able to receive it. What offends Jesus, what wounds him in the Heart, is the lack of trust.

Pray well, so that your best years do not pass in chimerical fears. We have only the short moments of life to spend for the glory of God, the devil knows it well; that is why he tries to make us consume them in useless work. Darling little sister, take Communion often, very often, that's the only remedy if you want to be cured. »

To Marie's inner trials were added others, no less painful. Illness came, early in life, to throw a note of exile into his life, otherwise so joyful, and to make him understand that the cross would always be his share here below. There again, Therese made herself his comforter, and cheered him up with witty words. Before a retreat at Pentecost, she wrote to him: "I am going to pray to the Holy Spirit for you... He made a serious omission on the day of your Confirmation: He gave you all his gifts, except that of Strength. »

Despite these difficulties, Marie became the type of the kind and serious young girl, a little cold at first perhaps, but whose qualities were all the more appreciable in that she seemed to be completely unaware of them.

Quite a musician, gifted with the most melodious and sympathetic voice, she never took advantage of it; on the contrary, one would have said that his role was exclusively to efface himself in order to let others shine, while his exquisite modesty gave, without knowing it, an additional charm to his natural advantages.

Very simple in her piety, she took innocent pleasure in everything, except the vanities of the world. Even on the occasion of her sister's wedding, she dressed, only with a sort of indifference, in the pretty toilet that had been prepared for her, and abstained, that day, from casting a single glance at the mirror.

She preferred country distractions to all worldly parties. At her parents' country house, a graceful eagle's nest built on the summit of a wooded hill, surrounded by an immense park, Marie, with her sister and Céline, who came to close her father's eyes there, never tired of admiring beautiful nature, and Thérèse's poetry: "What I loved" was the only way to translate her feelings at the time. This gentle and shy young girl was therefore not indifferent; with extreme reserve, she hid a most sensitive heart. Sensitive, he was so to the affection of all the members of his family, to their joys as well as to their sorrows; Above all, he was becoming more so each day to the secret touches of grace, to that mysterious call which, ever since her First Communion, gently urged her to give herself to Jesus. But the thought of his unworthiness somewhat checked his impulses, and Thérèse felt justified in addressing these gracious reproaches to him:

"You strike me as a little village girl, whom a powerful king would ask in marriage and who would not dare to accept, on the pretext that she is not rich enough, that she is foreign to the customs of the court. . But doesn't her royal fiancé know her poverty and her ignorance better than her? Mary, if you are nothing, are you forgetting that Jesus is everything? All you have to do is lose your little nothing in its infinite everything and think only of this uniquely lovable everything You would like to see, you tell me, the fruit of your efforts? This is precisely what Jesus wants to hide from you. He likes to look alone at these little fruits of virtue that we offer him and which console him.

You are mistaken, my darling, if you believe that your Thérèse walks with ardor in the path of sacrifice: she is weak, very weak, and every day she has a new and salutary experience of it. But, Jesus is pleased to communicate to him the science of “glorifying himself in his infirmities. This is a great grace, and I beg him to give it to you, for in this feeling there is peace and rest of heart. When one sees oneself so miserable, one no longer wishes to consider oneself; one only looks at the one Beloved.

You ask me for a way to achieve perfection. I only know one: love. Let us love, since our heart is made only for that. Sometimes I look for another word to express love; but in the land of exile “the word that begins and ends” is quite powerless to express the vibrations of the soul, so we must stick to this single and simple word: love.

But, to whom will our poor heart lavish love? Who, then, will be great enough to receive his treasures? Will a human being be able to understand them? and above all, will he be able to return them? Mary, there is only one Being to understand love: it is our Jesus; He alone can give us back infinitely more than we will ever give him. »

In order to be loved as much as she loved, in order to deliver her heart to this Jesus "who alone gives back infinitely more than we give him", Mary took a final resolution: she would leave the world.

But, to which religious family would she unite her life? This light was given to her on the day of the Taking of the veil of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus during the ceremony of prostration; and five years later, on August 15, 1895, the doors of our monastery opened to receive this new dove, under the beautiful name of MARY OF THE EUCHARIST.

Her generous parents conducted her themselves to the threshold of the cloister. Again, that day, Thérèse could have said that “this spectacle was worthy of the angels”; for, truly, he was.
“Oh! my dear child, her father wrote to her, what honor God does you! But how much greater it is for us! We can now die, since we leave behind us a burning lamp that will never cease to burn before the divine. Eucharist. May the God of all goodness, who has condescended to bless my family so manifestly, be loved and glorified forever and ever! »

To these accents of faith, his virtuous mother, who soon afterwards was to make the holiest death, also added hers:
“What a beautiful life yours will be, my little Marie, if you want to remain obedient and humble! I only ask for this grace from the Lord. Humility, perfect submission, these were the favorite virtues of the Virgin Mary. Oh ! how I love these words she said to the Angel: “I am the handmaid of the Lord! "I repeat them with happiness, for you, my darling, for me, for all of us...

And on the evening of her daughter's profession, March 25, 1897, she wrote again: "I ardently hope that the last day of my dear child, on this poor earth, will be as filled with the love of God as that of her occupation. These wishes of such a deeply Christian father and mother were fully granted.

Yes, my Reverend Mother, Sister Marie of the Eucharist, truly showed herself, in our midst, like a burning lamp constantly nourished by the oil of suffering, and her last glow seemed to us as pure, as brilliant as her first flame, while, by her holy vows, she was solemnly lit before the altar of the Lord.

Moreover, Thérèse of the Child Jesus expressed her whole life, in these verses which she made him sing, the very evening of her entrance:
                                       “O Jesus, on this day you fulfill all my wishes!
                                         I will henceforth be able, near the Eucharist,
                                        Immolate myself in silence, wait in peace for the heavens.
                                         Exposing myself to the rays of the divine Host,
                                       In this hearth of love, I will consume myself;
                                         And like a seraph, Lord, I will love you.

"To immolate oneself in silence, to wait in peace for the heavens", in humility, obedience, simplicity: such was the religious life of our dear child. In this she followed the pious advice of her mother and her young mistress of novices; she followed them so joyfully that Thérèse could write: “It is a great consolation for me, the old dean of the novitiate, to see so much gaiety surrounding my last days; it rejuvenates me, and, despite my eight years of religious life, I often lack seriousness in the presence of this nice novice who delights the whole community. Her beautiful voice is our happiness and the charm of our intimate celebrations; but, what delights me much more than the talents of our dear angel, is that she possesses all the desirable qualities to become a saint. »

She adds further, to the consolation of her cousin Jeanne to whom this letter was addressed: “It is very great, my dear Jeanne, the sacrifice that God has asked of you; but, remember that he has promised a hundredfold to him who, for his love, will have left his father, or his mother, or his sister. Well, since you did not hesitate, for the love of Jesus, to separate yourself from a sister, beloved beyond words, he finds himself obliged to keep his promise. I know that these words are usually applied to religious souls; however, I feel in the bottom of my heart that they were pronounced also for the generous parents who make to God the sacrifice of children dearer than themselves.

Thérèse speaks, my Reverend Mother, of the gaiety of “her nice novice who. rejoices, she says, the whole community. Here we transcribe one of his last recreational compositions which will give you an idea of ​​his kind of spirit, both ingenious and charming:

Royal coach of a Bride of Jesus Christ leading to the pinnacle of Perfection
by the Road of Renunciation.
             This Carriage is harnessed to two Horses: Joy and Generosity.
             They have four irons on their feet to protect them against the unevenness of the road.
             The irons of joy are: The love of suffering, the love of humiliation,
             the Love of contempt, the Love of oblivion.
             The Irons of Generosity are: Zeal, Perseverance, Patience, Mortification
             Horses have a Harness: Good Resolutions.
             A Collar: The Submission.
             A Bit: Docility.
             Blinders: Spirit of Faith, Purity of Intent.
             They are hitched to the Timon: Le Courage.
             Driven by the Coachman: Love.
             Dressed in his Livery: Poverty, Chastity, Obedience.
             Sitting on the Folding Seat: The Sacrifice.
             He holds in his hands the Reins: Grace, the Rule.
             And the Whip: Penance.
             Very close to him is the Mechanics to apply the Brake: Fear.
             To his left stands the Lackey: Charity.
             Dressed in his Livery: Goodness.
             The Coach is supported by two Axles: Regularity, Resignation.
             Around the first Axle revolve the two small Wheels: Fidelity, Fervour.
             Around the second Axle revolve the two great Wheels: Abandonment, Confidence.
             The Carriage has for Springs: Gentleness, Condescension, Good Character,
             For Lanterns: Spiritual Directions.
             It is padded with a celestial fabric: Piety.
             It has two Gates: Purity of heart, Recollection.
             Which have for Mirrors: Prayer, Simplicity.
             For Marchepieds: Detachment, Death to oneself.
             In the Carriage there is a Cushion of rest: La Paix.
             A Mat: Humility.
             It has for Ceiling: The Desire of Heaven.
             At the back of the Coach stands the Groom: La Vigilance.
             Dressed in its Livery: Austerity.
             Seated on the Folding Seat: The Prayer.
             The Coach is preceded by an Angel: Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

1° To take a seat in this Coach, you need a Ticket: Good Will. If it is lost in the night of Discouragement, it can only be found by the light of the Lanterns.
2° 1. The Brake must not be applied too much, or the Carriage will no longer work, despite the efforts of the Horses.
3° Do not be frightened if, sometimes, the Horses are touchy and take a stone for a mountain.
4° Disturbances may occur in the service; for example the Coachman falls asleep; the Groom forgets to fulfill his function; a wheel may be missing, etc.

To remedy all these accidents, the divine Master of the Coach comes every morning to visit the crew, repair the damage; he awakens the Coachman from his drowsiness, gives the Groom the energy necessary to fulfill his duty, and puts oil in the wheels by the sweetness of his consolations.

Having arrived at the Summit of Perfection, the Coach is taken up, like the Chariot of Elijah, in a whirlwind of fire: merciful Love ..... and the Gates of Heaven open before it.

Before being carried away in this "Chariot of Elijah", my Reverend Mother, our dear little sister had to encounter many bumps on her way.

Two years after her profession, she fell ill and found it impossible to follow our holy Rule entirely. One of our Sisters, thinking she was consoling her, told her not to worry too much, because the community considered her a benefactress.

These words threw her into great trouble, which she confided to us, only after Our Lord had fully consoled her. “My Mother, she tells us, I really want to be the little benefactress of the community by drawing upon it, by my virtues, all the benefits of Heaven; but I don't want to be so in order to have the right to fail in obedience, in poverty, in mortification. If I am not the Rule, I prefer to have the humiliation of it as if I had brought nothing to the monastery. »

Our dear child showed herself faithful to her resolutions. She practiced obedience, to the point of never failing once – she confessed to us a few days before her death – to observe not only the orders of her Mother Prioresses, but also their slightest recommendations. This accuracy was truly admirable.

In the jobs entrusted to her, particularly that of temporary worker, she was constantly noted for her mortification and her spirit of poverty. Often, our Sisters of the white veil took away from her the remains of fish or vegetables, which she made her portion, and which she would not have wanted to serve to anyone and yet, she had to undergo the milk diet, several months each year. .

When she began to recover from these mucous states, so painful by their tenacity and the weakness they cause, her family sent her little treats. Although she shared them with the other patients, and although lack of appetite often caused her to leave them, this worried her, even saddened her: "My Mother, she told us, I am not treated like a little poor. Oh! how sorry I am!” And we guessed that she compensated herself afterwards, by certain very meritorious mortifications known only to God. Dear child! Everything was largely compensated by the sufferings, heroically borne, of his long and final illness.

She still reveals her spirit of poverty in this letter addressed to her father: “I am writing to you on the first white sheet that fell into my hand; and I am sure that this wretched scrap of paper will be more valuable in your eyes than the beautiful missives of the great ladies, all perfumed and marked with a coat of arms.

My own coat of arms is too beautiful, too celestial to be seen on earth; and yet, I put it in the corner of each of my letters, but many do not understand it or look at it with indifference. A cross and the name of Jesus, that's my coat of arms! this is what delights my heart and that of my dear little father!

Yes, poverty has a special attraction for me; I like to practice it in everything, and the good Lord comes to serve me himself when I lack something. So I confide to you that when I entered, one of our Sisters gave me a pincushion. This ball has been bare for a long time, and I would only have to ask permission to fill it again; but I prefer to beg from each other, and even better, wait for my pins from God. When I don't have a single one left, I begin by addressing myself to Him, and almost immediately I find some under my feet.

I use these little means to make myself pleasing to Jesus. The thought of becoming a saint, does not leave me, it would really be. very sad to see a child of such a holy family dishonor her. »

Our dear child, it is true, had no other thought. The memory of the world never inspired him with regret. In contact with her beautiful soul, her father himself rose to this absolute detachment from things down here.

" I have. Thought this morning, he wrote to her, that my Benjamin would perhaps feel a little heartbreak on seeing us leave for that Eden, where she was once so happy, and which she will never see again. I myself felt a pang of heart. Ah! I was so happy when I saw my two little girls, Céline and Marie, flit about under the big shady alleys! Your absence, my darling, makes you even more present in my memory. It's not regret... For a long time, God has cauterized the wound; no, it is rather a calm and suave happiness and a kind of pride that accompany your image which is always present in my eyes. I know it, after having had the courage to trample on all the comforts and satisfactions of existence with which you were surrounded, today you taste many other joys unknown to the world. These joys, I guess, are like those bitter-tasting brews, but then leave behind a delicious flavor.

I thought again, my dear child, that your divine Spouse is taking you for a walk with love in a much more beautiful, much more captivating park than ours; that each day he discovers new horizons for you, enchanting flowers which you must, no doubt, pick among the thorns, but which make you a thousand times happier than the ephemeral flowers here below.

After these reflections, I was consoled, for I saw that you had exchanged perishable joys for endless happiness, and that the divine graces drove away the regrets which, from time to time, could arise from your heart in face of the mirages of your past life.

When I think of all this, I understand the extreme suffering of parents who, not having faith, see their beloved children buried in the cloisters. It seems to me that their affection must be dulled and even extinguished, while ours has increased by becoming purer. She was also doubled in gratitude for the One who chose our child, and for this child herself, now the advocate and protector of all her family.”

The divine Spouse of Sister Marie of the Eucharist was leading her, in fact, in an incomparable domain. She writes at the end of a retreat: “A retreat in Carmel, my dear little father, can be compared to a vacation in the world. During the holidays we travel, we rest: I did all that. I have traveled in the lands of heaven, and I have seen such beautiful things there that I have had to rest to savor their delights. Between my prayers I cut bread for the altar, near the infirmary from where our angel Thérèse left for Heaven. So everything carried me up high and during recess I sang with all my might, in the company of a large number of little birds who sang with me. In the distance, I heard a blackbird whose whistle did not hurt in the concert. The more I raised my voice, the more they rose, too. But, the most curious thing is that everyone was silent at the same time as me and did not begin again before me. I was as surprised as I was delighted.

Listen, my dear little father, since, for the good Lord, you have deprived yourself of hearing the rolls of your little bird, I think that in Heaven you will enjoy all the more, listening to your darling daughter modulate the hymn new, the song of the virgins. In the meantime, I cannot sing enough, on earth, of the inestimable grace of being the spouse of a God. No, the fine day of my profession has not passed; it will never pass, for it is an eternal day whose dawn was yesterday. »

You will forgive us these numerous quotations, my Reverend Mother; but, it seemed to us that these intimate relations of such Christian parents with their Carmelite daughter, would edify you as they have edified us ourselves. The perfume that emerges from this correspondence is moreover so rare, that we did not hesitate to go beyond the limits of a circular to make you breathe it with us.

If our dear child filled the air with her beautiful and sweet voice, she first filled the vaults of our humble chapel with her pious accents. The recitation of the Divine Office, she told us, was all my consolation. I can well admit that with the grace of the good Lord, I have always acquitted myself of it with the greatest possible fervor, without ever reckoning with fatigue. »

What joy did not this constant fervor give us! With what satisfaction we heard him sing, each year, either a lesson at the services of Holy Week, or even the martyrology of our great feasts! Her voice took on delicious vibrations in which all the feelings of her soul were revealed, in which all the mystery of the day was expressed. On Christmas Eve, especially, we could not hold back our tears, when this angel's voice, rising, it seemed, to the heavens, to bring down the divine Messiah, intoned these simple words:

Our beloved daughter, as we have said above, also had the gift of charming, with witty and appropriate compositions, our little family celebrations.

But to all this, as to regular life, as to the recitation of the Holy Office, it was necessary to say goodbye, at the end of July 1903. Then she only sang at rare intervals. But his lyre, however, did not remain suspended. On Calvary, close to her crucified Spouse, did she therefore remain in a foreign land, so as not to sing the canticles of the Lord any longer? No, because she herself called these long months of suffering the most beautiful, the happiest of her life.

It was therefore at this time, my Reverend Mother, that our dear Sister Marie of the Eucharist was seized with a little cough which worried us by its persistence. This concern was not unfounded; the symptoms of consumption were soon discovered. Nothing could check the evil; and the most energetic treatments only served to prolong the martyrdom of our poor child. Undoubtedly, God wanted it so, to further embellish his immortal crown. For a moment, it is true, there was real hope; but it was not long in fainting without return.

During this sort of calm, at the beginning of August last year, we were preparing to make around our cloisters and our gardens a procession in honor of the Child Jesus, in which we we joined four years ago, to obtain from the divine Little-Great the grace to remain in our blessed enclosure.

“My Mother, our dear patient tells us, I cannot follow our Sisters, but I can still sing as the Child Jesus passes by. I would like to tell him again that I am his little victim. -» She then sang, in a weakened voice, but still celestial, a cantata, of which here is the refrain and the first verse: 
I'm your little victim
What sweetness, O my Jesus!
I want to be more and more
This desire is my intimate joy.
Ah! what a holy indifference
Deliver me to your divine pleasure
I want to heal or die
Give me, from the child, the beautiful insouciance.

A few more months and the little victim of the Child Jesus was going to be immolated to live again in Heaven, near the divine Lamb.

At the beginning of this year, she had several haemorrhages so violent and so close together that the doctor advised us to have the last rites administered to her. She received them in the holiest of dispositions on Sunday, January 15, feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. . But the hour of eternal rest had not come; there remained to burn, in the ardent lamp of Jesus, a few drops of oil, the purest. “Suffering would set a new, purifying fire in the censer of his heart to consume the last grains of incense. » - This thought of our pious Chaplain had delighted her.

On March 25, the anniversary of her Profession, she received, for the last time here on earth, the divine fire of the Holy Host, in this choice censer.

That morning, according to his wishes, we had adorned his crucifix with flowers; and petals of camellias strewn the bed, or, to put it better, the cross of the little wife-victim.

In the afternoon she was in great pain and, as we were preparing to leave her to spend a few minutes in front of the Blessed Sacrament, she said to us: "0 my beloved Mother, I beseech you, ask Our Lord that he remembers all the moments that I spent, with such great happiness, adoring him, contemplating him in the Host; I am his own little host, beg him to look at me in his turn. »

YES Jesus was looking at her, his little host! But, just as before, fascinated by the charms of the divine Host, she had contemplated her in silent adoration, so also Jesus, fascinated by the virtues of his faithful spouse, contemplated her in amorous silence.

Rarely did he let her taste his ineffable consolations. “Jesus has been my strength all my life, she repeated, but he does not always spoil me. O my Mother, come and see me often, please. I need to be encouraged. When you are near me, I am so happy that I no longer suffer. »

She also welcomed with joy and gratitude the visits of our devoted Superiors, and especially kept the best memory of a meeting with our holy bishop, Mgr Amette: “Oh! Monsignor is paternal! she then tells us. He has something of the goodness of God. I confessed to him that I could not rejoice in Heaven, because it was impossible for me to form an idea of ​​the happiness of the elect. He assured me that no one on earth has ever understood this happiness which the heart of man has not tasted; he promised me that at the end of this life, I would have all the more capacity for enjoyment than I had had for suffering here below. »

“Oh! my Mother continued, I will therefore have a good place in Heaven, because, truly, I suffered a lot on earth! I don't know if I have suffered well, I only know that the greatest peace reigns in the depths of my soul. It seems to me that Therese communicates her feelings to me, and that I have her same abandonment. Oh if I could die of love like her! It wouldn't be surprising, since I joined the LEGION OF LITTLE VICTIMS that she asked God for. My Mother, during my agony, if you see that suffering prevents me from performing acts of love, I implore you, remind me of my desire:
I want to die telling Jesus that I love him. »

Towards the end of March, the state of our dear child was complicated by such vomiting that death became imminent. The last nights were particularly painful. Finally, on Friday morning, April 14, feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, she entered into agony.

We immediately let his father know, who wrote him these touching lines:

April 14, 1905.


I bless you and I thank you for all the happiness you have given me... Do not be afraid to sadden me; I took Communion this morning: Our Lord strengthened me, and I gave you my last kiss on his adorable Heart. May Mary, Mother of Sorrows take you in her arms and remove you from this miserable life! May Jesus finally give you the reward he has prepared for you in heaven, and may he pay, with ineffable joys, all your sufferings here below! Be sure, my darling, that after the first heartbreak, my heart will exult to know you in glory... I felt that when your mother died. God came, like a ravisher, to seize his prey, and at the same time heaped upon us his sweetest consolations. It seems that he wants to lavish them in order to be forgiven..... My darling, my little beloved, spouse of Jesus, living portrait of your mother, I kiss you with all the strength of my soul, and I kiss the hand of the Lord with love and resignation Your FATHER."

As often happens in this disease, my Reverend Mother, our dear child was still under the illusion and did not think that the outcome was so close. That day, the Chaplain, who had to say Mass in a sanctuary in the city, came to visit her at seven o'clock. Despite her extreme weakness and ever-increasing oppression, she was still able to speak to him, receive his encouragement and renew the sacrifice of her life. He told her, as he left her, that he was going to celebrate Holy Mass at nine o'clock and offer it, at the time of the Consecration, as a small host, with Jesus her Spouse. " And after ? she resumed quickly. - "Afterwards, my dear little Sister, it is the secret of the good God, abandon yourself entirely to Him..."

But, what the Chaplain had not wanted to tell him, the doctor, his brother‑in‑law, who provided him with,. during this long illness, the most intelligent and devoted care soon taught him. When she saw him come in and kneel by her bed without being able to speak to her except through his tears, she asked him: "So I'm going to die soon?... in how long?..." When she knew the truth, she collected herself for a moment, replied with the most tender thanks and the most consoling promises to the farewells of the doctor, to those of her venerated father, of her dear sister. And, after having given to the whole community the most gracious marks of her attachment and her gratitude, she had no more thoughts except for eternity.

One really breathed, in this small cell, an atmosphere different from that of here below. One of our Sisters brought “The VIRGIN OF THERESE. The look, already so beautiful, of our little dying girl lit up with a celestial reflection. " That I like ! she said, holding out her arms to him. Oh! that she is beautiful ! He had to be made to kiss her. She welcomed the statue of the Child Jesus with the same effusion, caressing his face with childlike tenderness. We also presented him with his crucifix; she tried to pull out a small flower that she had tied there the day before: "No wilted flowers to Jesus," she said, with a charming smile.

The supreme moment was approaching, and the outbursts of our gentle dying became ever more expressive and fiery... "I'm not afraid of dying!" Oh! what peace!... One must not be afraid of suffering... He always gives strength... Oh! how I would like to die of love!... of love for the good God... My Jesus, I LOVE YOU! And the soul of our angelic Sister, leaving her fragile envelope, was exhaled in this act of love...

At that precise moment, our pious Chaplain consecrated the Bread of the Angels at the altar, uniting the great Victim of Calvary with the little Victim of Carmel whom he had left expiring. Mary of the Eucharist no longer said: And after? She knew it now... After... it was for her the tearing of all the veils, the clear vision of the Sacred Host; after... it was the end of all sacrifice, the beginning of all joy. The fiery lamp shone in the heavens. The censer, still smoking from the last grain of incense that Love had burned in it, swayed in the hand of the Angels. For two whole days people never ceased to come and gaze at our darling child at the choir screen. She was so beautiful! she seemed to be having such a sweet dream More than twenty priests, a large and sympathetic audience gave her, at her burial, a real procession of honor.

And now, MARY OF THE EUCHARIST, rests close to Therese OF THE CHILD JESUS; their graves touch like their souls. But, if the little solitaries of the world and of the cloister have forever closed their innocent eyes to the pale light of this world, may they unite today, from the bosom of eternal light, to cast many upon the holy Church, on France, on all the poor inhabitants of this desolate land, the flowers of God's forgiveness, the roses of love...

We ask you, however, my Reverend Mother, to add to the votes already requested, for our beloved Sister Marie of the Eucharist, all that your charity will inspire in you.

She will be very grateful to you, as well as we, who have the grace to tell us, with the deepest respect and the most religious affection, my Reverend and most Honored Mother, Your humble sister and servant, 
From our Monastery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Conception of the Carmelites of Lisieux, June 9, 1905.