the Carmel
From Mrs. Martin to her brother Isidore Guérin CF 1 – January 1, 1863

GUERIN Zélie, Mrs. Louis Martin
GUERIN Isidore


Letter from Mrs. Martin CF 1
1st January 1863
My dear brother,
I wish you a happy new year, I wish with all my heart that you succeed in your undertakings and I am sure that you will succeed if you want it; it only depends on you, the good Lord protects all those who trust in him, there has never been a single one left behind.
When I think of what the good Lord, in whom I have placed all my trust and into whose hands I have entrusted the care of my affairs, has done for me and for my husband, I cannot doubt that his divine Providence watches over her children with special care.
I am, my dear friend, very worried about you. My husband gives me sad prophecies every day. He knows Paris, and he tells me that you will be exposed to temptations which you will not be able to resist, because you do not have enough piety. He tells me what he felt himself, and what it took him courage to emerge victorious from all these fights. If you knew what ordeals he has passed through... I beseech you, my dear Isidore, do as he did; pray, and you will not be carried away by the torrent. If you succumb once, you are lost. It is only the first step that costs, in this path of evil as in that of good; afterwards you will be swept away by the current.
If you would only agree to do one thing that I am going to tell you, and if you were good enough to give it to me as a Christmas present, I would be happier than if you sent me all of Paris. Behold: you live very close to Notre‑Dame des Victoires. Well ! enter it only once a day, to say an Ave Maria to the Blessed Virgin. You will see that she will protect you in a very special way, and that she will make you succeed in this world, to then give you an eternity of happiness. What I am telling you here is not an exaggerated and unfounded piety on my part; I have reason to have confidence in the Blessed Virgin: I have received from her favors that I alone know.
You know very well that life is not long. You and I will soon be at the end, and we will be grateful to each other for having lived in such a way as not to make our last hour too bitter.
Now, if you have a bad heart, you will laugh at me; if you don't, you'll say that I'm right.
When you write to me, don't talk to me about what I told you above about Louis' thoughts about you, that would displease him. I am always very happy with him, he makes my life very sweet. He's a holy man, my husband, I want one like that for all women, that's the wish I make to them for the New Year.
I'll send you goose rillettes and jars of jam on Tuesday.
My granddaughters (Marie, born February 22, 1860, and Pauline, born September 7, 1861. The latter was Mr. Guérin's goddaughter) are very cute. Your goddaughter no longer wants to walk alone; she has fallen and she has become so fearful that nothing in the world can persuade her to take a step without support; she walks along chairs and furniture. You don't know how kind and caressing she is. She kisses you without you telling her, every minute; she sends kisses to the good Jesus; she doesn't speak, but she understands everything, well, she's a phoenix...

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