Once upon a time there was an abbot who was only a savage in name. Vicar in the parish of Lisieux, he had a reputation for zeal and kindness such that it reached the Carmel of Pont-Audemer, where the Gosselin sisters were staying. Athalie and Désirée, sisters in blood and soul, then aged 25 and 27, shared a dream: to found a Carmel in Lisieux. One fine summer day in 1835, these three met and decided to embark on this enterprise, which was too improbable for it not to be of God.

Indeed, how can we fail to see Providence at work in the incredible adventure that followed, worthy of the foundations of Teresa of Avila? First of all, we had to look for a Carmel generous enough to lend Carmelites for the foundation, because it was obvious that our Gosselin sisters were not going to reinvent a Carmel on their own. No less than six Carmels were consulted: some opposed a firm refusal (to hear them, the crisis of vocations was already raging!), others gave procrastination and hopes to our small group of founders, who were never discouraged.

Finally, thanks to the help of the Bishop of Orléans who deserves to be cited both for his efficiency and for his jovial goodness, Mgr de Beauregard, the Carmel of Poitiers ended up opening its doors wide and its heart to the sisters Gosselin in order to train them, then send them back to Lisieux with a team of shock Carmelites: Mother Elisabeth who would be prioress, and Mother Geneviève, the one who will end up being called "the foundress" both for her role in the establishment and the life of the Carmel of Lisieux (then in that of Thérèse) was of age.

While our sisters were forming, Father Sauvage was looking for a stone for them to lay their heads on, and as any stone is not suitable for a Carmelite life, the search for the house was complicated. He found a temporary one, where, after a trip that could not be more incredible, the team of foundresses arrived on the fine morning of March 15, 1838. The neighborhood was called the New World, but the house did not make our Carmelite apprentices dream. who very quickly learned to imitate their mothers in the gaze of faith they cast on everything: after all, Jesus was content with a stable.

Quickly, other young women were called to join our friendly little group, which made it necessary to buy a better adapted house and so on September 5, 1838, the Carmelites of Lisieux took over the monastery which, less a century later would be known around the world. On the 16th of that same month, the Gosselin sisters pronounced their final vows in front of a crowd of curious Lexovians, far from suspecting that the true adventure of the Carmel of Lisieux had only just begun.