the Carmel

First Communions of the Martin girls

Mary younger


Date: 2 July 1869
Location: at the visitation from the Mans.

Father Boulangé, chaplain of the Visitation, provided catechism.

Read them memories of Mary on his first communion.

A bit of mail:

I am very happy that Marie, despite her young age (whose First Communion was brought forward for health reasons), made her First Communion, if you knew how well disposed she was; she looked like a little saint. The Chaplain told me that he was very satisfied with her, he awarded her the first prize for catechism. I spent the two best days of my life at Le Mans, I have rarely felt so much happiness.

From Mrs. Martin to Mrs. Guérin on July 11, 1869

On July 2, this 21st anniversary of my 1st communion left in my soul a whole world of memories and deep reflections... O darling little sister, time is nothing, the joys of the earth are nothing, the dreams of the future are nothing, the cross alone counts here below. I wrote to Mrs. Costard [sister of the Bon Sauveur] to have news of our dear little father. Tell me Céline, what mystery is life? Do you understand this mystery?

From Marie of the Sacred Heart to Celine. July 15, 1891
Pauline younger


Date: 2 July 1872
Location: at the visitation from the Mans.

Father Boulangé, chaplain of the Visitation, provided catechism.

Read them memories of Pauline on his first communion.

Pauline receives as a gift a Diurnal de Bayeux with a gilt edge, with an ivory binding (12,5 x 9 cm) with a gilt clasp.

A bit of mail:

Please pray a lot so that my little Pauline has a good first communion. It is such a serious thing and has a great influence for all the rest of life, that I always fear that its natural levity will deprive it of some of the graces it should receive.

From Sister Marie Dosithée to Mr. and Mrs. Guérin. June 9, 1872

My dear Godfather and my dear Aunt,

I am writing to you to let you know how happy I will be on the second of July, the day of my first communion, and so that you may have the kindness to pray well for me so that I prepare myself well and I promise you, my dear Godfather and my dear Aunt, not to forget you on this beautiful day; I would be very ungrateful if I did, you have always had so much kindness for me that I will ask the good Lord to reward you for it and to grant you everything you desire and above all that he keep you for a long time.

I thank you my dear Godfather for the beautiful book you sent me for my first communion, I am very grateful for it, it will be a double memory for me; but I would have liked to see you with my aunt, my happiness would have been complete since Papa, Mama and my godmother (Note: Pauline Romet) will be there. Dear Uncle and dear Aunt, I embrace you respectfully.

Your very affectionate little niece

Pauline Martin, child of Jesus.

From Pauline to Mr. and Mrs. Guérin. June 13, 1872

The sweet voice that was heard in my heart on the day of my First Communion has grown over the years. I always listened to it with happiness, it was something so sweet, so beautiful. And that voice always said, "Come, come..."

From Pauline to Madame Guérin. August (?) 1882

Leonie younger


Date: May 23, 1875
Location: Our Lady of Alencon

Catechism begun at the Visitation of Le Mans, and finished at the presbytery of Notre-Dame d'Alençon.

Read them Memories of Leonie on his first communion.

A bit of mail:

As for Léonie, I can't ask you anything in terms of toys, she doesn't play anymore, she works; you will give her a rosary for her First Communion, which she

will make the day of the Holy Trinity. She knows her catechism perfectly well and answers questions better than I would have thought; if she weren't troubled, she would be one of the first. I took her last Tuesday on a pilgrimage to the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Séez to get her to make a good First Communion.

From Mrs. Martin to Mrs. Guérin on December 13, 1874
Celine younger


Date: May 13, 1880
Place: Abbey Our Lady of the Pre, Lisieux.

Catechism provided byFather Domin, chaplain of the Abbey. In addition, Sr. Agnès de Jésus produced a preparation booklet for the 1st Communion for Céline. To see the photo booklet.

Read them memories of Celine on his first communion.

Céline receives as a gift a Roman parishioner with a gilt edge, with a raised ivory binding (11,5 x 8,5 cm) with an ivory clasp.

A bit of mail:

You are not only my sister, my goddaughter (of confirmation) you are still and forever my darling little girl, the child whom I prepared for her first communion, yes, whom I brought to Jesus for the first time ! Oh ! but, these are too beautiful titles for me not to claim them. (...) Always be very good, remember your First Communion often, this thought will give you courage in difficult times...

From Sister Agnès to Céline. Around December 20, 1882

I kiss you first my darling, I need to caress you as tenderly as before, let me take you on my knees like the year of your First Communion!... Oh! it was very sweet, wasn't it, our little preparation evenings? I have kept a delicious memory of it. My little child, it is necessary very often to encourage you in doing good, to remind you of the beautiful day of your First Communion, the promises you made to Jesus in all the fervor of this blessed day.

From Sister Agnès to Céline. January 1883

... my little Célin is my own daughter, I took her to God on the day of her First Communion, I am her Godmother and with these titles I can claim my rights. Let's see, isn't it, little girl, that your little heart is my heritage, my property. Oh ! I will do great things on my property. I will build a magnificent palace there where the baby Jesus, the Blessed Virgin and the Angels will love to come and rest in their journeys here below, then I will plant beautiful walks there, I will sow beautiful flowers there from the lily of the innocence to the small violet of humility. Won't that be lovely. But I will need your help, I am an engineer architect, you are a mason and a gardener.

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Céline. December (?) 1883

Little Célin who has a sore foot, I love you like my darling little girl whom I prepared for first communion...

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Céline. March 18-19, 1888

Farewell, my darling little girl, if you only knew how much I love you! The time is long gone, however, when I rocked you on my knees while talking to you about your First Communion! What sweet memories for my heart. It's a special bond between your soul and mine...

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Céline February 28 (?) 1889

Agod my little girl whom I prepared for her First Communion. Oh! happy day! but there will come a still happier one.

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Céline. October 22, 1889

younger TH


Date: May 8, 1884
Place: Abbey Our Lady of the Pre, Lisieux.

Catechism provided byFather Domin, chaplain of the Abbey. In addition, Sr. Agnès of Jesus produced a preparation booklet for the 1st Communion for Thérèse. Click here to see him.

Read them Memories of Therese on his first communion.

Therese receives a Imitation with gilt edges, bound in blue leather (10 x 7 cm).

A bit of mail:

Sir, It is with joy equal to that of your dear child that I inform you of her admission to Holy Profession. His wish would be that this longed-for day would have the same date as your dear Angel's first communion. We hope, Sir, to be able to condescend to this desire. You are a truly happy Father for God is pouring out His blessings upon your lovely family. Please, Sir, offer him our very sincere friendships. Mr and Mrs Guérin whose children rival yours in all respects will share.

From Mother Geneviève to Mr. Martin. March 28 and 29, 1884

I allow my future little girl to think of her holy little Carmelite sister before the Jesus of her heart, but never during the night; Therese will sleep all night, eat whatever her beloved sister Marie wants her to eat; and from now on, to prepare for her first Communion, she will be very obedient.

From Mother Marie de Gonzague to Thérèse - end of December 1882 or January 1883

I'm very happy with you: Marie told me about your good resolutions and I find you very reasonable, very nice. Baby Jesus will be the first to reward you for your sacrifice, I have no doubt. As for me, my darling, I promise to be faithful to the little letter you ask me for, every week, it will come and tell you how much I am thinking of you, of your First Communion. At the moment I'm building the famous little notebook, I've already spent an infinite amount of time there, but I'm not tired and intend to make it as beautiful as possible. Céline, I think, will not be jealous, she is far too big in soul and size!  

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse on February 7 (?) 1884

I promised Marie this morning to give you the little notebook (preparation for the 1st communion) for the beginning of March. I'm still working there. I hope my Benjamin is working just as hard plowing his little piece of land. To sow such beautiful flowers there as those in the little notebook, one must not leave only a blade of grass there... Oh! when I think that in three months Jesus will come to rest in this little child's heart, in the heart of my Thérésita!.... You must, my darling, spare nothing to make your soul a little Heaven that the Child Jesus want to live forever!... Ah! may he already be this sweet Child the king, the love of your heart. Or is there on earth more beautiful than Jesus? Jesus in his cradle, Jesus in Thérésita's heart... dozing among the flowers!

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse on February 14 (?) 1884 

I think you're still plowing the little land of your heart. It is necessary, because in a few days the planting of flowers will begin. O my Thérèse, do you think about it! in barely three months baby Jesus will come to rest in your heart for the first time! And who is this baby Jesus? It is the same, yes the same that the Blessed Virgin held in her arms, that she swaddled, slept in the crib, cradled on her knees! It is this little Child, so beautiful, so ravishing, who today delights Heaven! It's Him!... O my darling, the day of First Communion, it's the most beautiful day in life, it's a day in Heaven! Ask Céline instead!... But to taste its infinite charms you have to make your heart into the little heart of an angel. Don't forget that my little Benjamin.

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse on February 21 (?) 1884

I am announcing the famous little notebook for this evening. When I think that Saturday morning my Theresita will begin her great preparation. Two and a half months left and baby Jesus will descend into her heart for the first time! Oh! How well these two and a half months should be used! What work to do, what flowers to sow in so little time! But my darling, look at nature, it begins almost the same day as you to redo its adornment, we can already see the buds on the trees in the gardens, the flowers will soon come, in May everything will certainly charm the eyes. Well what nature does, only to delight our eyes, won't you do it too: Theresita of the Child Jesus! to receive and rejoice the beloved little Child at his first awakening in your heart? But I hear your answer and I feel that it is almost useless to encourage, when one has a good little heart like yours my darling! I feel that from afar Jesus himself invites, encourages his little sister to work for him, and what are the encouragements of your poor Agnès after the sweet words of little Jesus... Goodbye my Thérésita, if your garden is very flowery , if everything is ready when the big day comes, believe that Jesus on his side will not come empty-handed! Ah! if you only knew the delicious treasures hidden in this little Host of a well-prepared First Communion!

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse on February 28, 1884

What happiness, my little darling, that your First Communion is on May 8th. Oh! how sweet it will be for me to give myself to God on the same day as you.

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse on April 3, 1884

Tomorrow again and then Jesus will come to live in the flower bed of my Thérésita, He will come at the same time to live in the poor bed of Agnès!... Which of the two will win out in beauty and wealth? Ah! I know it well, but I also know that Thérésita's little Jesus is not difficult, or rather that He is merciful and indulgent. 

From Sister Agnès of Jesus to Thérèse on May 6, 1884

I see her seated on the pews of the catechism and edifying us by her simple and naive piety, as well as by the extraordinary zeal she showed in learning religious truths. I remember the day of his first communion, and I still think I hear him pronounce his act of consecration to the Most Blessed Virgin.

Father Domin's letter of December 1898

A young girl pronounces the act of consecration to the Blessed Virgin, photo dating from the 1930s. Click to enlarge.