the Carmel
From Mrs. Martin to her brother Isidore Guérin CF 14 – 27 June 1865.

GUERIN Zélie, Mrs. Louis Martin
GUERIN Isidore


Letter from Mrs. Martin to her brother Isidore CF 14
27 1865 June.
My father-in-law died yesterday at one o'clock in the afternoon. He received the sacraments last Thursday. He died like a saint: such life, such end. I would never have believed that it could have such an effect on me: I am appalled.
My poor mother-in-law spent nights caring for him for two and a half months, without her accepting anyone to help her; it is she who buried him and keeps him dead day and night. Finally, she has extraordinary courage and very fine qualities.
I confess to you, death terrifies me. I have just seen my father-in-law, his arms are so stiff and his face so cold! And to think that I'll see my people like that or that they'll see me there!... If you're used to seeing death, I've never seen it so close.
I don't know what's going on with Louis for some time, he only talks about you, he wants you to come, he feels the need to see you [Mr. Martin was, no doubt, worried about his wife's health]. I admit (between us) that this surprises me on his part; If he were ill, I would think he was dying, but thank God he is not there, if he is as old as his father. So write to us as soon as possible, tell us when you will come to satisfy Louis and all of us.
Pauline was at the procession on Sunday, in white, as was Marie. Both were curly, with a crown in their hair. Pauline was beautiful as an angel and had such kind manners! She makes herself loved more than her sister: she has everything going for her. Marie is pretty, but too shy, which harms her, because she is not at all evil and is very afraid of offending the good Lord. She looks like my sister from Le Mans who cried when she was very little when we talked to her about marriage. Marie would do the same.
Léonie is very cute and quite strong. It is a certain fact that she has never been ill since the novena was said by my sister to Blessed Marguerite-Marie, beatified in September. When Mrs. D came, she was in a pitiful state and had been since birth; she had a continuous heartbeat and an inflammation of the intestines that she had brought with her when she was born; finally, I saw her between life and death for sixteen months.
I remember that at that time I wanted to put her on her legs, without being able to do so; immediately after the novena, she ran like a little rabbit. She is incredibly agile.
My father is doing well, as well as little Hélène. I repeat it to you, she is a delightful child, but she is fat as nothing; at seven months, she weighed only fourteen pounds. This does not prevent her from growing well and being as fresh as a morning rose.
I went to see the holy girl [Sister Marie-Dosithée, her Visitandine sister], eight days ago; she told me beautiful things that did my heart good. When you write to her, send her stamps for the letters she writes to you, I provide her with mine. She asked me for money to make flowers for her Saint Joseph. I gave it to her with great pleasure and I will give it to her whenever she wants it.
Many regards from me and the whole family to my uncle and aunt. My father would almost have decided to go to Paris and take Marie; I don't want to embarrass him with such a young child, I'm afraid he'll regret it once he leaves.

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