the Carmel

The testimonies of the Apostolic Process

In 58 sessions, in less than a year, some twenty witnesses are heard, including some of the most authoritative, who had testified, sometimes for several consecutive days, with truly exemplary courage and consistency. Because we were in the middle of the world war and the difficulties resulting from the hostilities were already being felt as far away as Normandy.

The concluding session, which was held on August 25, 1916, relates precisely to the war which was then in full swing. Father Godefroy Madelaine, Premonstratensian, the famous "grandfather of the Story of a Soul" as he liked to call himself, should have been questioned. The suppression laws had led him to leave Saint Michel de Frigolet and seek refuge in Belgium, in Leffe, in the diocese of Namur. And from the Belgian refuge, he should have come to deposit at the Apostolic Process. But Belgium was then occupied by the Germans, and you couldn't think of a trip for someone you couldn't even reach by correspondence. It was thus that his interrogation had to be postponed.

Mention is made of others who, after testifying at the first Trial, were not present for various reasons. Three of them, Auguste Valadier, Claude Weber, Etienne Frapereau were dead. Father Elijah of the Mother of Mercy, a conventual at the monastery of Mount Carmel, in the Holy Land, was unable to travel because of the war.

EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES

In order to facilitate the reading of each deposition, we give here a summary of the sixty-six requests planned for the examination of witnesses.

 

1 - Seriousness of the oath taken under penalty of possible excommunication.

2 - Presentation of the witness.

3 - Sacramental practice of the witness.

4 - Has the witness been publicly accused of any crime?

5 - Was the witness excommunicated?

6 - Is the witness moved by human motives? Was he under any pressure to give evidence?

7 - Did the witness personally know the Servant of God? Has he heard of it? Has he read anything about him? Or even unpublished manuscripts, and, if so, where are they kept?

8 - Does the witness have a particular devotion for the Servant of God?

9 - What does he know of his birth, his parents, his brothers and sisters?

10 - What does he know of his childhood, his adolescence, his education? Of his character? Of his health and illnesses? Of his first confession and communion? Of his sacramental practice?

11 - What does he know of the beginning and development of his vocation? Obstacles encountered? From his trip to Rome?

12 - The novitiate, the profession. - Monastic life: observance and offices.

13 - Obedience to the commandments of God and of the Church, respect for the obligations of one's state.

14 - The exercise of the theological and cardinal virtues.

15 - Faith and its works.

16 - Apostolate, missionary spirit.

17 - Worship of the principal mysteries of the faith. - The liturgical spirit and respect for everything related to divine worship.

18 - The Eucharistic mystery.

19 - Feast days.

20 - Respect for the Word of God and the ecclesiastical Magisterium. - Attitude towards the Roman Church.

21 - Attitude and devotion towards the Virgin Mother of God, and also towards the Angels, her Guardian Angel and the Saints.

22 - Theological hope. Attitude of the Servant of God relative to eternal life? relating to temporal goods?

23 - Of the practice of hope in the realization of one's vocation.

24 - Difficulties encountered: from whom and on what occasions? Diseases? Demon?

25 - Reactions of the Servant of God.

26 - Did she help others practice hope?

27 - The love of God. - Mortal faults, venial faults committed by the Servant of God?

28 - His union of will with the divine will.

29 - His mental prayer, his vocal prayers, his thoughts and words about God.

30 - His attitude during liturgical functions and when receiving the sacraments.

31 - His regret for the faults committed by sinners.

32 - His exercise of brotherly love for the love of God.

33 - Works of mercy, exhortations, penances.

34 - Help to those in need, forgiveness of insults.

35 - Natural or unnatural motives for works of mercy. Generosity in the performance of his offices.

36 - Deliverance of souls from purgatory.

37 - Virtue of prudence: its supernatural character and its practice.

38 - Prudence in advice, warnings, current affairs.

39 - Virtue of justice. - Virtue of religion.

40 - Justice in its relations with the neighbour. - Obedience and submission.

41 - Virtue of temperance. - Food, drink, sleep.

42 - Virtue of strength. - Opportunity to practice it in an arduous way: infirmities, illnesses and other difficulties.

43 - Chastity: temptations, custody of the senses.

44 - Poverty: shortcomings, practice.

45 - Obedience towards his parents, then towards his superiors.

46 - Humility: words, examples, writings.

47 - Of the heroic degree of the virtues of the Servant of God.

48 - Excess of penances or other exaggerations?

49 - "Extraordinary" gifts (prophecies, reading of consciences, ecstasies, visions, apparitions, etc.)?

50 - Miracles, healings performed during his lifetime?

51 - Writings of the Servant of God (notes, treatises, booklets, prayers, letters, etc.)? Appreciation.

52 - What does the witness know of the Servant of God's last illness and death?

53 - Of the state of his body at his death? Funerals?

54 - Of the burial? Of a translation?

55 - Outward marks of ecclesiastical worship and undue veneration?

56 - Did the witness visit the Servant of God's tomb? What does he know of the number, of the social condition of the faithful who go there? Is this movement of piety, or not, rather on the increase? Does it proceed from an industrious zeal?

57 - Spiritual fame of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus during her lifetime and after her death?

58 - Does this reputation for holiness arouse opposition? If yes which one? From who?

59 - Graces and miracles after death?

60 - Healings known to the witness personally?

61 - Medical details to be provided if necessary.

62 and 63 - Other possible clarifications.

64 - Why attribute this definite cure to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus herself?

65 - Opinions of doctors, parents, relatives and the witness himself on this cure.

66 - The witness is invited to complete and possibly correct all that he declared during the interrogations.

Witness 1 - Armand-Constant Lemonnier

The Inchoative Trial “no probation » opens with the testimony of Fr. Armand-Constant Lemonnier (18411917), who was first a missionary of the Congrégation de Notre-Dame de la Délivrande de Bayeux, then, after the dissolution of this Congregation, during the separation of the Church and the State in 1904, chaplain to the nuns of the Holy Family of Délivrande.

He testified as the first ex officio witness at the Ordinary Trial on April 7, 1911 (cf. vol. I, pp. 580-584).

He only met Thérèse during the retreats he gave at the Carmel of Lisieux in 1893., 1894 and 1895 and his recollections are therefore necessarily limited, but, in its sobriety, this deposition suffices to reveal to us his apostolic zeal and his value as a spiritual director. The witness does not fail to highlight Thérèse's gifts as an educator. “The novices who were under his direction, he affirms, and whom I also heard then, testified to me that they had a very particular confidence in the wisdom of his direction” (p. 219), - "supernatural thoughts were habitual to her and constituted, I believe, the usual motive, either of her personal acts, or of the direction she gave to the novices" (p. 221). He learned from Superiors that "when souls were tried by some suffering, they were addressed to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, assured that they would be given advice and consolation" (pp. 223-224).

Father Lemonnier is still a precious witness for other reasons: he examined the act of offering to merciful love during the retreat given in October 1895 (pp. 217, 225), - he reports the positive judgment often passed on Thérèse by Abbé Youf, when the latter was always very discreet and reserved in his praises (pp. 217, 224, 233), - he affirms that Mother Marie de Gonzague "who certainly had some opposition to Mother Agnès, on the contrary only professed feelings of deep esteem for Thérèse's religious virtue" (p. 236), - he emphasizes the apostolic sense that Thérèse gave to her Carmelite vocation (p. 223) and all the interest she took in the activity of priests and missionaries (p. 221).

Father Lemonnier testified on April 9, 1915 during the third session (pp. 215-237 of our public copy).

 [Session 3: April 9, 1915, at 8 a.m. and 2h of the afternoon]

[215] [The witness answers the first question correctly.

 [Response to second request]:

My name is Armand Constant Lemonnier, born in Vassy on November 1841, 216; I am a priest, a member of the Congregation of Diocesan Missionaries [XNUMX] of Notre-Dame de la Délivrande, today dispersed by civil law. I currently reside at Délivrande where I exercise the functions of chaplain-chaplain of the nuns of the Holy Family.

 

 [The witness answers the third to the fifth questions correctly].

 [Answer on the sixth request]:

I am not moved by any feeling of fear, affection, interest or any other human motive. I have in view only the glory of God and the beatification of Sister Thérèse if that is to serve the glory of God. I was not influenced by anyone about my testimony.

 

 [Answer to the seventh request]:

1° I knew the Servant of God personally in three annual retreats that I gave at the Carmel of Lisieux, in 1893, 1894 and 1895; on this occasion I heard her in confession and also in direction.

2° At these different times, I heard about the Servant of God from several nuns of the Carmel of Lisieux who also came in the direction, and spoke to me about their personal thoughts or the state of the community. I heard very particularly two of her Carmelite sisters [217] (Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart and Mother Agnès of Jesus). I also heard his two other sisters (Céline and Léonie), then in society. On this same occasion, the Chaplain-Chaplain of Carmel, Father Youf, with whom I was in daily and very intimate contact, spoke to me especially about Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

Since then, on the occasion of a retreat that I gave at the abbey of the Benedictines of Lisieux, around 1898, Father Domin, chaplain of this community, also spoke to me about the Servant of God who had studied in this house.

Finally, at the Sainte Famille de la Délivrande, a professed nun of this congregation, called Alice Dumoulin, told me that she had been a student at the Benedictines of Lisieux at the same time as the Servant of God, and told me his subject of the words of praise which I will report later.

 

3° Concerning the writings, I was consulted around 1895 on his “Act of abandonment to merciful love” to know if this formula could be accepted.

I have read at least part of the "Story of a Soul" and some of the poems that follow, but I do not mention these readings in my deposition.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I have confidence and devotion in the Servant of God, because I believe that she is interested

 

WITNESS 1: Armand-Constant Lemonnier

 

remain with [218] God for the glory of the Church and for the interests of souls. But these feelings have no influence on the truth of the facts that I will relate.

 

 [Response to the ninth request]:

I don't know anything on this point, except what everyone knows from reading his life.

 

[Answer to the tenth request]:

I know from Sister Alice Dumoulin, nun of the Holy Family of Délivrande, that the Servant of God did part of her education with the Benedictine nuns of the Abbey of Lisieux. She was twelve or thirteen when the five-year-old Alice Dumoulin was herself entrusted to these nuns. Because of her age, Alice was particularly entrusted to the Servant of God. Alice Dumoulin kept this memory of her older companion that she told me: “She was very intelligent, above all very charitable in the care with which she surrounded her young protegee. Moreover, as Alice remained at the abbey as a boarder until around her seventeenth year, she often heard her mistresses express their singular esteem for the Servant of God, their former pupil.

 

[Answer to the eleventh request]:

I have learned from the Servant of God herself that when she wanted to enter Carmel at the age of 15, the superiors [219] stood in the way, because 1° of her young age and 2° of the presence in this Carmel of Lisieux of two of his sisters, already nuns. She told me how she had applied then, to obtain this permission, to the Bishop of Bayeux and finally to the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII, during a trip she made to Rome; she told me how she then presented her request to the Sovereign Pontiff, despite the intervention of Monsieur Révérony, vicar general, who did not consider it appropriate for her to expose this affair to the Sovereign Pontiff.

Everything I have just said is reported in the “Story of a Soul”, but I heard it from the mouth of the Servant of God.

 

 [Answer to the twelfth request]:

When I was preaching the retreats that I said above in Carmel, the Servant of. Dieu, who was about 20 years old in 1893, was a professed nun in the monastery. From my talks, either with her or with the other nuns, I had the conviction that she was fully in the vocation that suited her. I learned from her that she was mistress of novices, in an auxiliary capacity. The novices who were under his direction and whom I also heard then, testified to me that they had a very special confidence in the wisdom of his direction.

 

 [220] [Do you know why the Servant of God was not fully in charge dyou're newbies but only so to speak quasi mistress? - Answer]:

I believe it was because of his young age.

 

 [Answer to the thirteenth request]:

I know from my conversations with the Servant of God and the other members of the community that at the times indicated above, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had a particularly upright, simple, unscrupulous conscience and concerned about all her obligations.

 

 [Answer to the fourteenth request]:

My personal impression following my interviews with the Servant of God is that Sister Thérèse distinguished herself in the practice of the virtues, even in comparison with the most fervent nuns. The same appreciation was then expressed to me, either by the chaplain, Mr. Youf, or by the nuns I heard.

 

[Can you give the names of the nuns who shared this opinion? - Answer]:

I could not specify these names, because during the retreats, I heard successively the nuns without asking them their name.

 

 [The vicar general asks her if he has ever heard some nuns have reservations about the virtues of the Servant of God. - Answer]:

I do not remember having ever heard [221] any unfavorable assessment of him.

[The witness continues as follows]:

As to whether the Servant of God persevered until death in the faithful practice of the virtues, I do not know directly, since I only had a relationship with Sister Thérèse during the 1893 retreats. 1894, 1895; I learned it from public opinion, which affirms on all sides the sanctity of his life and of his death.

 

[Answer to the fifteenth request]:

My conviction is that the Servant of God had a deep and very ardent faith. Supernatural thoughts were habitual to her and constituted, I believe, the usual motive, either of her personal acts, or of the direction she gave to the novices. I made sure of this through my talks with her and with the nuns, particularly the novices.

 

 [Answer to the sixteenth request]

The Servant of God was certainly preoccupied with the extension of faith. This is why she would have liked to have a brother priest, why she was very interested in her prayers in the work of the priests and especially of the missionaries in the infidel countries. I have these details either from the secrets of the Servant of God, or from the other nuns, her companions.

 

[222] [Answer of the ten-seventh to twenty-first request]:

I don't know anything specific about these points.

 

WITNESS 1: Armand-Constant Lemonnier

 

 [Answer to the twenty-second to twenty-seventh requests exclusively]:

I remember that her dominant and habitual disposition was a great trust in God and an entirely filial abandonment to Providence and that she endeavored to inspire these same sentiments in others.

 

 [Response to the twenty-seventh request]:

Having been his confessor, I do not believe that I am asked for a detailed and precise testimony on this point. I think I can say, however, that she professed a great delicacy of conscience and that she had a horror of the smallest faults.

 [223] [Response to the twenty-eighth request]:

I know nothing.

 

 [Answer to the twenty-ninth request]:

I know from the communications of the nuns of the community that the Servant of God was considered a model of regularity and piety.

 

 [Answer from the thirtieth to the thirty-second questions]:

I don't know anything special.

 

 [Answer to the thirty-third request]:

The conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls were one of his habitual intentions in his exercises of piety and his penances. She told me, moreover, that this was one of the reasons for the existence of the Order of Carmel.

 [Answer to the thirty-fourth request]:

Je have nothing to say.

 

[Answer to the thirty-fifth request]:

I know from the declarations made to me by the Servant of God herself during the aforementioned retreats, as well as from the communications of the superiors and other nuns, that when souls were tried by some suffering, they were addressed to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, assured that we were [224] that she would give them advice and consolation. I even heard these details from the mouths of nuns who had themselves benefited from this charity.

 

 [Answer to the thirty-sixth to forty-sixth questions]:

I don't know anything special.

 

 [Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

I have heard it said either to the nuns of the community, or to Monsieur Youf, the chaplain and the ordinary confessor, that Sister Thérèse did a lot of good in the monastery by the elevation of her virtues joined to a habitual disposition of spirit and in a good mood.

 

 [Answer to the forty-eighth request]:

Je don't know anything.

 

 [Answer to the forty-ninth request]:

Je do not know.

 

 [Answer to the fiftieth request]:

It has not come to my knowledge that she did any miracles during her life.

 

 [Answer to fifty-eighthand request]:

I was led to examine in a [225] particular way the formula of consecration composed by the Servant of God and entitled “Act of abandonment to merciful Love.” It was at the retreat of 1895. The mother prioress communicated this formula to me and asked me if it could be spread in the community. I examined it myself and also communicated it to the Reverend Father Superior of our Congrégation de la Délivrande. Her opinion, like mine, was that this form of consecration could only be beneficial, either to the Servant of God or to the other members of the community.

As for the other writings of the Servant of God: "Story of a soul", poemsletters, etc., they are known to everyone.

 

 [Answer to the fifty-second to fifty-fifth questions]:

Je I have not been able to examine these facts.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

Yes, I myself went to pray at the tomb of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, five or six times at different times. The first time was around 1902 long before the opening of the Informative Trial; the last time in September 1913. I made these pilgrimages out of devotion and trust in the prayers of the Servant of God. Especially in the last two or three visits I have been struck by the numerous and continuous assistance of the pilgrims. [226] Within half an hour, I saw about twenty people coming. There were not only common people, but priests, nuns and soldiers. I believe that this movement of pilgrimage began a few years after the death of the Servant of God; since that time (i.e. approximately since the year 1900 or 1902) this movement has been accentuated progressively, and with full knowledge the world it is today more and more considerable.

No fact, to my knowledge, denotes interested propaganda with a view to increasing this competition of pilgrims; people who believe they have obtained graces say so and thus bring about the greater development of this pilgrimage every day. The reading of the "Rains of Roses" where testimonies of graces obtained were reported, undoubtedly also contributed to propagating this movement.

 

[Session 4: - April 12, 1915, at 9 a.m.]

 

[233] [Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

Pendant her life, she was looked upon, either by the nuns of her monastery, or by the pious people who habitually frequent Carmel, as a particularly privileged soul.

 

WITNESS 1: Armand-Constant Lemonnier

 

of God because of the exceptional graces she received either during her childhood or during her religious life. It was also said that she was favored by particular supernatural lights, either for the intelligence of Christian perfection, or for the direction of souls. I heard Mr. Youf, chaplain of the community, say that he considered the lucidity, depth and theological certainty of the Servant of God's teachings as extraordinary, and humanly inexplicable in a young nun who had made no special study of spirituality. This testimony was, moreover, in conformity with the feeling of the community which was expressed to me by several nuns. She was also considered a particularly fervent nun, a true model, whose fidelity stood out even from the conduct of the most regular. But as for saying that she was then considered "a saint" in the strict sense of the word, that is to say, as worthy of being placed on the altars, I would not dare to affirm it.

 

 [Asked about the reputation of the Servant of God's virtues and miracles after his death, the witness responds]:

My very clear conviction is that today the Servant of God is regarded throughout the world as a saint, either for the heroicity of her virtues or for the effectiveness of her intercession. We are impatiently awaiting the judgment of the Church on his beatification and there is no doubt that this sentence will be favourable. This opinion is notoriously widespread everywhere, I have heard it expressed, not only by people of the people, but by priests very enlightened on the things of the spiritual life.

 

 [Do you know how was born, after the death of the Servant of God, the opinion of the heroicity of his virtues?] - Answer]:

As for the reputation of miracles and powerful intercession, those who have benefited from it have seen for themselves the effectiveness of its protection and have spread its fame around them. As for the favorable appreciation of the heroicity of her virtues, I believe that the elements of this judgment were drawn somewhat from conversations with the Carmelites or people who are in contact with [235] the Carmel; but above all this reputation is based on the knowledge that has been given of this soul by reading his writings, especially "The Story of a Soul."

 

 [Do you think this "Autobiography" is a document that sincerely expresses the truth? - Answer]:

I believe that this document truly expresses the Servant of God's moods. I know she only wrote it out of obedience; moreover, she was such a simple, upright soul that I believe she was quite incapable of having been able to deceive.

 

 [Has some industrious zeal intervened in favor of the fame of the holiness of the Servant of God, or to hide his faults? - Answer:

As for having worked to hide what would be unfavorable to the Servant of God, I'm sure that was not done. I know the nuns of Carmel and their purity of intention in this whole affair. They are incapable of such conduct. As for the dissemination of the positive reputation of virtues or miracles, the publications that have been made have certainly contributed a great deal to making the Servant of God known. But the basic truth of these publications being, in my opinion, certain, it follows that we have thus divulged what is true and could have remained unknown, but we have not by this means "created a false reputation" of holiness. It is thus, for example, that Henri Laserre contributed a lot by the distribution of his works [236] to make known the miracles of Lourdes.

 

 [Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

1° I was not aware that there was in the community of Carmel, at the time when the Servant of God lived, any difference of appreciation of her merits. It is true that I only had contact with the Carmel accidentally at the time of the retreats. I therefore cannot know all the details of what was said there, as the chaplain living in daily contact with the community would know, for example. However, from my conversations with Mother Marie de Gonzague, former prioress, I can conclude that this nun, who certainly had some opposition to the "Martin family" in general, and especially with regard to Mother Agnès (Pauline Martin), on the contrary only professed feelings of deep esteem for the religious virtue of Sister Thérèse .

2° I have heard nothing unfavorable to the Servant of God's reputation for holiness since her death.

 

 [Answer to the fifty-ninth to sixty-fifth questions]:

I have of course related from various quarters numerous graces obtained and even miraculous favors, but I have not had occasion to study any of them directly; the testimony that I could give would be too vague and too indirect.

 

[237] [Response to the sixty-sixth request]-.

I have nothing to add.

 [Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. - This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

Ita pro veritate deposited. ratum habeo and confirmo.

Signature: A. LEMONIER

Witness 2 - Lucien-Victor Dumaine

Lucien-Victor Dumaine baptized Thérèse Martin on January 4, 1873, at Notre-Dame d'Alençon.

Born in Tinchebray (Orne) on September 8, 1842, he was ordained a priest in Séez on June 15, 1867. First appointed curate at Lande-Patry in 1868, then at Notre-Dame d'Alençon, it was there that he baptized Thérèse Martin on January 4, 1873. He had a very special regard for Monsieur Martin and his friendship for his family did not cease when he left for Lisieux. Successively pastor of Tourouvre and Montsort, then archpriest of the cathedral of Séez, he also became vicar general from 1899 to 1910, then honorary vicar general and canon of the cathedral.

Learned and pious, devoted to religious historical research at the regional level, he took care with predilection of the soldiers with whom he had been in contact during the war of 1870 and of which he became the chaplain. He died in Séez on September 25, 1926, after the canonization of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

Very sober, his deposition added nothing of importance to that which he had given at the Informative Trial on November 25, 1910 (vol. I, pp. 332-338).

A close friend of Thérèse's father, the witness recalls above all, but in a more summarized way than in 1910, the memories he kept of the Martin family when they lived in rue Saint-Blaise in Alençon, a family described by him as "a middle profoundly Christian” (p. 247).

Mr. Dumaine testified on April 20, 1915, during the 5th session (pp. 244 -252 of our Public Copy).

 

[Session 5: - April 20, 1915, at 8:30 a.m.]

[244] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

[Response to second request]:

My name is Lucien-Victor Dumaine, born in Tinchebray, diocese of Séez, on September 8, 1842. I am a canon of the cathedral of Séez and honorary vicar general of the Bishop of Séez.

 

[The witness answers the third to the fifth questions correctly].

[245] [The witness correctly answers the sixth request].

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

Being vicar of Notre-Dame d'Alençon, I myself baptized the Servant of God, Thérèse Martin, on a Saturday evening, January 4, 1873. All her little sisters were there and signed the act of baptism, including one authentic extract was added to the Informative Trial file.

I particularly knew the Martin family; I even exercised, on occasion, on members of this family the acts of the pastoral ministry. These relations ended with the departure of the Martin family for Lisieux in 1877.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I invoke him daily. Ever since I read “Story of a Soul,” I have had no doubts about its holiness. I ardently desire the success of this Cause for the glory of God and for the exaltation of his Servant who already makes the power of his protection felt in such a marvelous way.

 

[Response to the ninth request]:

She was born in the parish of Notre-Dame d'Alençon, rue Saint-Blaise, opposite the prefecture, on January 2, 1873.

The father was called Louis Martin, son of a former officer who was in Bordeaux, if I [246] remember correctly. He had worked as a watchmaker-jeweler in the parish of Saint-Pierre de Montsort, in Alençon. He had retired from the trade for a few years and enjoyed a real ease.

The mother was called Zélie Guérin, originally, I believe, from Lisieux. After Mr. Martin retired from his trade as a jeweler, Mrs. Martin took care of the manufacture of lace called "Point d'Alençon."

The father was deeply pious; he was part of the association for the nocturnal adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. He frequently approached Holy Communion, I believe he attended Holy Mass every day. he gladly occupied his spare time in the pleasure of fishing and often sent the product to the nuns of the Poor Clares of Alençon. The mother was also very pious and went to church alike, but I knew her less than Mr. Martin and could not go into much detail about her.

The Servant of God was baptized at the request of her parents on Saturday January 4, 1873. I had the good fortune, as I said above (Interrogation n° VII), to be the minister of this baptism. In recent times a plaque commemorating this event has been placed in the chapel of the baptismal font of Notre-Dame d'Alençon.

Thérèse Martin was the last of the children of this marriage, but many children were born before her. Three of her sisters [247] are still Carmelites in Lisieux; another visitandine in Caen; I remember having buried a little brother, I believe that other children had previously died.

This family constituted a profoundly Christian milieu, the children were admirably brought up; their life was little spread outside; they all had

 

WITNESS 2: Lucien-Victor Dumaine 109

 

the same tastes and the same Christian habits and liked to stay together.

I relate all these details as an eyewitness, having, as I said, well known the family when I was curate at Alencon, where I lived for ten years (1868-1878).

 

[Answer to the tenth request]:

I know a few details of the very first years of the Servant of God, until the death of her mother and the departure of the family for Lisieux. The health of the child declining by the stay in the city, she was placed as a nurse at Semallé. Reverend Father Roger, Oblate of Mary Immaculate, himself a native of Semallé, told me that being a young man at that time and living with his family, he had seen little Thérèse Martin at her nurse's house, and that he had been struck by the expression of sweetness and amenity of this child. Madame Martin died in 1887; soon after the family left Alençon and I lost sight of them at that time..

 

[248] [Answer to the eleventh to the fifty-fifth questions]:

I don't know anything about all these points except what I read in the “Story of a Soul” and what I learned in a few fairly recent conversations with the Reverend Mother Prioress of the Carmel of Lisieux.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

I visited the Servant of God's tomb once, around 1911; I did it to satisfy my piety and a pious curiosity. During half an hour that I spent there, I saw three people come to pray at the tomb of Sister Thérèse. I also know that there is an important competition of pilgrims, and I personally know in the diocese of Séez many people who have made this pilgrimage, the Bishop of Séez himself went there. This contest of people persists and tends to increase day by day.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

I know nothing directly about the Servant of God's reputation for holiness before her death; but since her death, I have noticed throughout the diocese of Séez, which I have traveled in all directions as Vicar General, that everyone, clergy and faithful, is convinced of the heroic holiness of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. She is commonly called "the little saint of Lisieux." Moreover, many people, foreign to the diocese, with whom I [249] found themselves in contact, either verbally or by letter, expressed the same conviction to me. Several people especially recommend themselves to my prayers for the simple fact that I myself baptized the Servant of God.

On July 8, 1912, in an audience, the Sovereign Pontiff Pius X, asked to make a prayer for my healing, recorded this prayer at the bottom of an image of the Servant of God, knowing that I had baptized her myself.

I am currently chaplain of an ambulance for wounded soldiers, in Séez; among these soldiers several were ostensibly carrying an image or a souvenir of the Servant of God. Since I noticed this reputation for holiness, it is certain that it is not diminishing, but on the contrary tends to increase.

Perhaps they were a bit overzealous in spreading pictures, books and other objects concerning Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. But I don't believe that any effort has been made to create a reputation for holiness in his favour. It spread very normally among the people; with all the more reason I am convinced that nothing has ever been done to conceal what might harm the Cause. His Carmel sisters certainly do not remain indifferent to the success of his Cause, but they act with great righteousness of intention, I am convinced of it.

 

[250] [Response to the fifty-eighth request]:

To my knowledge, no one has opposed this reputation for holiness, and I would be very surprised if anyone were to express a contrary opinion.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth request]:

I know about this from my personal connections:

1° That it is a very widespread opinion that Sister Thérèse fulfills her motto: “I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth”.

2° A large number of people have told me that they have invoked her to obtain either spiritual or temporal favors, and have recognized the effectiveness of her intercession. I myself invoke him daily and attribute to his protection the improvement in my state of health.

3° I have not observed for myself, as far as I remember, any of the facts related in the “Rains of roses” and in the “Articles.” But several of these facts, which seem well established by the testimonies which guarantee them, seem to me to constitute real miracles.

4° I can relate more particularly two facts:

A) Private Cholet, from the vicinity of Lyon, Claude Prosper Arthur Cholet, 60, rue Vivy, Cours (Rhône), was treated in the ambulance [251] of which I am chaplain, at Séez, for a very serious injury received in the Battle of the Marne. A bullet penetrating through the back, came out through the top of the chest, after having perforated the lung; whence very alarming symptoms of fever, suffocation, suppuration; one night in particular, it was believed that he was in imminent danger and I had him give communion as viaticum; the medical officer himself had said that the danger was very serious. I advised the wounded man to make a novena to the Servant of God. He did it; as a result of this novena the best declared itself; it has since grown steadily; the subject is now convalescing with his family and has sent a token of gratitude to the Carmel of Lisieux.

B) Warrant Officer Cholet of Angers, Ernest Gabriel Maxime Cholet of Saint Georges-sur-Loire near Angers, treated

 

WITNESS 2: Lucien-Victor Dumaine 111

 

in the same way in the said ambulance, had received a ball which had crossed the thigh while involving the femur. The wound was of a bad nature, very painful and the surgeon believed that one should come to an amputation, which the young man feared much. I recommended a novena to the Servant of God. After this novena, the wound improved and is well on the way to healing.

 

[Answer from the sixtieth to the sixty-fifth questions]:

I have nothing special to say.

 

[252] [Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I don't see anything to add.

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. - This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

 

Signed: Lucien DUMAINE

Witness 3 - Almire Pichon, SJ

We can refer to his biographical notice given in volume I of this Trial (pp. 378-379).

In short, Fr. Pichon (1843-1919) was a priest of great value: spiritual director, retreat preacher and conqueror of souls, in Europe and in Canada (there for about ten years). Very gifted from both a human and supernatural point of view, he could successfully address people from all walks of life: workers, servants, religious and priests. He preached unlimited confidence in the Heart of Jesus, of which he had an ardent worship.

Came into contact with the Martins in Lisieux in 1882 (through Marie, the eldest sister) he gradually became the spiritual father of the whole family and continued to be so, even during his absences in Canada (1885-1886 ; 1888-1907). Thérèse was also in contact with him and received a real blessing from him. As already said (vol. I, p. 379), Fr. Pichon did not keep any of the letters he received from her and it is an irremediable loss. The witness will declare below that he “ I regret not having kept Thérèse's letters” (p. 266), specifying that they were only “a few letters” (p. 272). This assertion does not tally with the text of Manuscript A, f 71 r°: “Reduced to receiving one letter from him a year, out of 12 that I wrote to him (...).” Reference may be made on this subject to Vol. I.p. 379.

Father Pichon testified in 1915, in a way certainly much richer than during the ordinary informative trial, in 1911.

Thus he said of Sister Thérèse: “She did not spread out in a flow of words. She explained her questions very clearly, but with great sobriety, without in any way insisting on making her feelings prevail. Besides, it was easy to lead that child: the Holy Spirit led her; I don't think I've ever had... to guard her against an illusion” (pp. 265-266). This again: “What particularly struck me was his constant spirit of faith, always on the alert, which led him to think of God unceasingly and to see him in everything. There was nothing human in his thoughts” (p. 267); “Her gaze, the expression of her face showed that she behaved in this way out of supernatural views: she was a 'seer' who always looked to God” (p. 269). Nor can we overlook this precious testimony: "A few months after her entry into the Carmel, when I preached the retreat there, the Reverend Marie de Gonzague, then prioress, told me that she was amazed to discover so many perfection in this child; she added: 'it is a treasure for Carmel. (p. 273).

Father Pichon testified on April 23, 1916, during the 6th session of the Trial (pp. 262-275 of our Public Copy).

 

WITNESS 3: Almire Pichon, SJ 113

[Session 6: - April 23, 1915, at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.]

[262] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[Response to second request]:

My name is Almire Théophile Augustin Pichon, born in Carrouges, diocese of Séez, on February 3, 1843. I am a professed religious of the Society of Jesus currently residing in Versailles.

 

[The witness answers the third to the fifth questions correctly].

 

[The witness answers the sixth request correctly].

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

Around 1880, I went to preach a workers' retreat in a factory in Lisieux. On this occasion, I was put in touch with the Martin family. The Servant of God was then 7 years old. The intimate relations which then began with this family have since [263] continued without interruption. I became the spiritual adviser to the five sisters. Either by letter or in interviews, depending on the occasion, our communications have remained regular.

I have read Sister Thérèse's autobiography, but I don't need to use this document, I will relate what I know for myself.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

Yes, I have great devotion to the Servant of God, because I have always considered her to be an extraordinary soul, very privileged by God. I desire his beatification with all my heart and I pray for this intention. I am convinced that I obtained my healing twice through her intercession.

 

[Response to the ninth request]:

Of Sister Thérèse's parents, I only knew the father from 1880. He had already retired to Lisieux. He was a venerable patriarch, always supernatural; a Christian of the ancient days: the "modern" spirit had not rubbed off on him. At that time, I found in this family around Mr. Martin five children: Marie, Pauline, Léonie, Céline and Thérèse.

 

[Answer to the tenth request]:

In the Martin family, it was Marie and Pauline who presided over the education of the youngest sisters, and in particular Thérèse. Monsieur Martin had [264] great confidence in the judgment and practical sense of his eldest daughters, and he was not mistaken in entrusting them with the management of the house. Madame Guérin, their aunt, was often consulted: she was a very wise and very Christian person. Monsieur Martin had a particularly tender affection for Thérèse, whom he called his “little queen.” A child less gifted than she might have conceived some self-love and suffered from it in her moral formation; but I never saw the Servant of God take advantage of it; and her older sisters fully agreed.

What struck me a lot at that time in the Servant of God was first of all her spirit of faith: she saw the good God in everything; and her modesty: she was collected and rather silent, never drawing attention to herself, moreover smiling and amiable; I never saw a cloud on that child's face.

I know nothing in particular about his education at the Benedictines.

During a strange illness which she experienced around the age of ten, I was kept informed of what was happening by letters from her sisters. They related to me at that very time the details of her healing, including the miracle of the smile of the Blessed Virgin as reported in the “Story of a Soul.” This disease seemed to me to be a nervous affection, moreover, very singular. I saw the child again shortly after his recovery and several times until he entered Carmel; this illness, which could have altered his [265] mental balance, had left absolutely no trace, which confirmed my faith in the miraculous cure.

I was not present at the time of the Servant of God's First Communion.

 

[Answer to the eleventh request]:

As soon as I met her, that is to say from the age of seven, the Servant of God told me of her desire to consecrate herself to God. As for the particular form of her consecration in the Order of Carmel, I cannot say whether she spoke to me about it before her sister Pauline entered religion or afterwards. At the age of fifteen, when she had the hope of being able to be admitted, she began to take steps to obtain entry into the Carmel.

 

[For the direction of her spiritual life and especially regarding her intention to enter religion, did the Servant of God take prudent advice or did she rather conduct herself by her own prudence? Answer]:

I can say that she was taking advice. She consulted me myself and on her spiritual conduct and especially on her vocation. It didn't spill out in a stream of words. She explained her questions very clearly, but with great sobriety, without in any way insisting on making her feelings prevail. Besides, it was easy to lead that child: the Holy Spirit led her; [266] I don't think I ever had, either then or later, to guard her against an illusion.

To come back to the affair of his entry into the Carmel, I believe that it was obstructed because of his young age and the delicacy of his health. I was then kept informed, by letters from Thérèse and Céline, of the steps taken in Bayeux and Rome to obtain permission to enter the Carmel. She ended up triumphing, but it was not without difficulty. What is remarkable is that her father, for his part, insisted with admirable generosity on giving her to God.

 

[Answer to the twelfth request]:

She entered the Carmel in 1888. I gave a retreat in the fall of the same year, she was then a postulant. After

 

WITNESS 3: Almire Pichon, SJ 115

 

this retreat, I was sent to Canada and I never saw the Servant of God again, with whom I nevertheless remained in communication by letter. What struck me in this retreat were the spiritual trials through which God made her pass; I then had the very strong impression that God wanted to make a great saint of her.

I very much regret not having kept his letters and I have only indirect knowledge of the rest of his life in Carmel.

What I know about it I learned in the “Story of a Soul” and in conversations with her sisters.

 

[267] [Response to the thirteenth to fourteenth requests]:

What I have been able to observe convinces me that this child was of a perfection that was never belied.

 

[Answer to the fifteenth request]:

His adherence to revealed truths and to the directions of the Church was of a very straight and very simple naive faith. But what particularly struck me was his constant spirit of faith, always on the alert, which led him to think of God constantly and to see him in everything. There was nothing human in his thoughts and actions.

 

[Answer to the sixteenth request]:

I don't know anything specific about this.

 

[The witness answers the same to the seventeenth request].

 

[Answer to the eighteenth request]:

I know that she was very ardent in her desire to commune every day. She showed it to me in conversations even before she entered Carmel.

 

[Answer to the nineteenth request]:

I don't know anything in particular.

 

[Response to the twentieth request]:

Several times she expressed to me very ardent feelings of respect for priests and of zeal for their sanctification. It was one of the most habitual objects of his prayer.

 

[Response to the twenty-first request]:

I have nothing special to say.

 

[Answer to the twenty-second to twenty-sixth questions]:

This child was admirably disengaged from earthly things which did not even cross her mind; she constantly lived in higher regions and in the mind of God. His surrender to God in sorrows and difficulties was complete. In the most difficult circumstances, such as her father's brain disease, she lost none of her usual serenity. She said with a celestial smile: “God must love us well to treat us like this”. However, she was not indifferent, but on the contrary very sensitive to the affections of the family. His tranquility of soul was therefore quite supernatural.

 

[Answer from the twenty-seventh to the thirty-first questions]:

The love of God in her had this very marked stamp that it was not mingled with any fear. His conscience was very upright and very delicate. She was very careful to avoid even imperfections and always by a principle of love.

 

[Answer to the thirty-second to thirty-sixth questions]:

I have hardly been able to observe directly except his relations with the members of his family. She was of perfect [269] descent towards her sisters, lending herself to everything, even their whims; As for her, she had no whims, she expressed no desire and did whatever one wanted. Her gaze, the expression of her face showed that she behaved thus by supernatural views, she was "a seer" who always looked at God. She was not, however, of an apathetic nature, but very lively, and if she had listened to herself, she would have had desires and whims.

 

[Answer from the thirty-seventh to the thirty-eighth questions]:

I never noticed anything imprudent and inconsiderate about her; nothing that smacks of exaggeration or the impulse of nature. In all his words and even in the expression of his face, there was a wonderful poise.i

 

[Answer from the thirty-ninth to the fortieth questions]:

I know nothing.

 

[Answer to the forty-first request]:

I have never seen this child show any annoyance or desire to be given satisfaction.

 

[270] [Response to the forty-second request]:

What I can note in particular in relation to the virtue of strength during the period of my direct relationship with the Servant of God is what she did to obtain entry into Carmel, going to knock on all the doors without never get discouraged, despite the superiors' refusals, which, for a fifteen-year-old child, denotes an uncommon energy and strength of character.

 

[Response to the forty-third and forty-fourth requests]:

I don't know anything special.

 

[Answer to the forty-fifth request]:

For obedience, I witnessed the flexibility and promptness with which she submitted without ever responding to the slightest wishes of her father and her older sisters.

 

[Answer to the forty-sixth request]:

I was struck by his humility more than anything else. She was careful to let her sisters appear, never putting herself forward. It really needed the e-

 

WITNESS 3: Almire Pichon, SJ 117

 

studying to see that she was very [271] intelligent. So I didn't know for a long time that she had a real talent for poetry.

 

[Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

First, all of her virtues seem heroic to me, because of the continuity with which she practiced them without ever contradicting herself. Among the virtues she practiced during the time I knew her, that is to say, especially while she was with her family, it was her humility that seemed particularly heroic to me. While her father and her sisters only wanted to put her forward, she was very careful to always fade away. I have also noticed her heroicity in the acceptance of her sorrows, however painful they were, and in the unalterable serenity which she preserved in the most critical hours.

 

[Answer to the forty-eighth request]:

I don't know that she was in any way out of proportion.

 

[Answer to the forty-ninth request]:

Apart from the apparition of the Blessed Virgin, at the end of her illness, I have no knowledge that she was affected by extraordinary mystical states. Whether she experienced it on an exceptional basis, I don't know; in any case, it is not the predominant character of his simple holiness that God wanted to give as an example to "little souls."

 

[272] [Response to the fiftieth request]:

I do not know.

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

1° His writings, everyone knows them: the “Story of a Soul”, his Letters, his Poems. I only knew them after his death through the publication that was made of them. I said that unfortunately I had not kept the few letters she had addressed to me personally.

2° As for the appreciation of the doctrine contained in these writings, I can refer to the very authoritative judgment of the Reverend Father de Causans, prefect of the Society of Jesus, who was considered among us as well versed in spiritual matters. Having read the "Story of a Soul", he said to me: "After Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross, I know nothing more beautiful." I add that this is also my opinion. In particular, several, to my knowledge, before having read his works, feared that in his "little way of abandonment" which they had vaguely heard of, there was a tinge of quietism, but all of them, after reading , confessed to me that they found nothing similar there.

 

[Answer to the fifty-second to fifty-sixth questions exclusively]:

I don't know anything personally.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

[273] I have visited the Servant of God's tomb about once every year since I returned to France (1907). I have never been there without finding pilgrims there. The day before yesterday, I spent about a quarter of an hour there, during which time the pilgrims followed one another without interruption; there were soldiers, nuns, etc., and all were praying with great fervor. This movement of pilgrims, far from slowing down, is increasing day by day. I don't know that any means were used to create this movement.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

Before the Servant of God entered Carmel, those who saw her and knew her said of her: “This child is an angel.” They did not mean by this to bestow a trivial eulogy as one does for an amiable child, but attached to this expression a sort of veneration.

A few months after her entry into the Carmel, when I preached the retreat there, the Reverend Marie de Gonzague, then prioress, told me that she was amazed to discover so much perfection in this child; she added: “it is a treasure for Carmel.”

At the end of 1888, I left France and I cannot be a direct witness for the rest of her religious life.

Since his death, I have noticed in my numerous missions, in Canada, in the United States, in England, in Belgium, in Holland, in Poland, in Bohemia, in Hungary, in Austria, in Switzerland, in Italy, [274 ] that everywhere this reputation of holiness and power over the heart of God is perfectly established. In all these countries, I noticed the fruits of the virtues that the reading of her life produces, and I met a good number of nuns who owe their vocation to the reading of this book.

 

[Do you think the effects of this reading come from some excess of sensitivity or imagination? - Answer]:

I know many people who have reread this life up to five, six, and seven times, and who told me that the last reading did them more good, which would not be explained by a movement of sensitivity and enthusiasm.

 

[Witness resumes testimony]:

The publication of the “Story of a Soul” undoubtedly contributed to making Sister Thérèse known, but that seems to me quite insufficient without the intervention of God to explain this universal and so powerful current of veneration and trust. I have often seen men of first merit fully convinced of the holiness of the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I know of no opposition.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth to sixty-fifth questions]:

[275] Apart from the cases of miraculous intercession recounted in the "Rain of Roses" and which I have not checked myself, I must report that I am convinced that I myself have been cured prodigiously of a evil which, according to the doctors, was to lead me in a few hours to the tomb. It was very advanced purulent bronchopneumonia. It was in Paris, in 1909, in August, at the Clinique des Augustines, rue de la Santé, n° 29.

 

WITNESS 3: Almire Pichon, SJ 119

 

The three house doctors decided that I had to be administered Extreme Unction quickly because I was going to die. I then invoked Sister Thérèse, my temperature which exceeded 40° returned the same day to normal and remained there to the great astonishment of the doctors. Four days later I could say Holy Mass, and that was precisely the grace I had asked for.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I don't see anything to add.

 

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. - This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

Signed: A. PICHON, SJ

Witness 4 - Jean-Jules Auriault, SJ

As already said (vol. 1, p. 390). Father Auriault did not know Thérèse and his testimony directly concerns her reputation for holiness and the doctrinal value of her teaching.

Long a highly valued teacher at the Catholic Institute of Paris, then a highly sought-after preacher for the spiritual exercises, Fr. Auriault went to the Carmel of Lisieux for a retreat around 1908-1909. From then on he became a fervent admirer of Thérèse and her doctrine.

Fr. Auriault, whose testimony bears above all on the effectiveness of Thérèse's message, does not however, of course, fail to judge the heroicity of the virtues of the young Carmelite, heroicity which he retains certain and well proven: “1) by the intensity of love she put into all her actions; 2) by continuity in fidelity, either to the rules of observance or to the inspirations of grace; 3) by a truly extraordinary patience in remaining even and gentle in trials; 4) by the great courage it had in overcoming itself in combats of an especially sensitive nature” (p. 291).

It is also worth emphasizing the judgment that follows: "His prudence manifests itself in a remarkable manner in his letters and his advice of direction, which clearly reflect the doctrine of the most authoritative masters of the spiritual life... In his direction , we must also note the perfect dependence in which she stands with regard to the Holy Spirit. It is like an instrument in the hand of the worker” (p. 291).

Father Auriault testified on May 3, 1915, during the 7th session (pp. 285-296 of our Public Copy).

[Session 7: - May 3, 1915, at 8 a.m. and 30 p.m.]

 

[285] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

[Response to second request]:

My name is Jean-Jules-Raoul Auriault, born in Brie, diocese of Poitiers, on February 19, 1855; I am a professed priest of the Society of Jesus, honorary professor

 

WITNESS 4: Jean-Jules Auriault, SJ 121

 

ary of dogma at the Catholic Institute of Paris, currently residing in Paris, n°5 rue du Regard.

[The witness answers the third request correctly].

 

[286] [Response to fourth request]:

I appeared twice before the examining magistrate at the Paris correctional court, on the charge of having exercised the ministry, being a member of an unauthorized and legally dissolved Congregation. Both instructions resulted in a dismissal.

 

[The witness answers the fifth request correctly, and the sixth correctly].

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

I did not know the Servant of God personally. What I know about it comes from the following sources:

1° The attentive reading of his autobiography and also of the letters and other writings annexed to this work.

2° I preached two retreats at the Carmel of Lisieux, the first about six or seven years ago (in 1908 or 1909); the second two years later. In these two circumstances, I spoke of the Servant of God, not only with her Carmelite sisters, but also with all the nuns of the community.

3° In the exercise of my ministry (spiritual directions, confessions, sermons, etc.) in Paris and in the provinces, many people communicated to me their feelings about the Servant of God.

4° In the Society of Jesus, several fathers or brothers have also told me of their opinion of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

[287] For seven or eight years, I have had true devotion and great confidence in the Servant of God. These dispositions were established in me by the study of his life and by my conversations with the Carmelites of Lisieux. I strongly desire the success of his Cause because I believe it to be well founded and its success seems to me to be of great interest to the Church.

 

[Answer from the ninth to the twelfth question]:

About the historical details of Sister Thérèse's biography, I know nothing except by reading the “Story of a Soul”, a work known to everyone.

 

[Response to thirteenth and fourteenth requests]:

I don't know anything special.

 

[Answer from the fifteenth to the twenty-first questions]:

I was struck by the promptitude with which she adhered to the least directions of the Church. When one reads his writings attentively, one grasps in detail this concern to conform to the thought of the Church. I remember in particular this feature which seems significant to me. As a nun, in a movement of enthusiasm, told her that she would follow her spiritual path even if the Church did not approve of her, she became indignant, saying to her: “Unfortunate! one must always and above all obey the Church", or an analogous word

[288] What is remarkable in her also from the point of view of faith is the continuity of supernatural views. It was also the spirit of faith that made him profess an innate, profound and supernatural respect for the Sovereign Pontiff, the bishops and the priests.

She had a very accentuated and particularly remarkable taste for Holy Scripture, which she constantly uses in her writings with rare happiness.

All that I have just said results from the study that I have made of his writings.

 

[-Twenty-second to twenty-sixth request response]:

It seems to me that total abandonment to God is like the salient feature of his supernatural physiognomy. This appears in the idea she has of God whom she looks up to as a father. One could cite his entire autobiography as proof of this disposition.

In particular, it is remarkable how she professes on every occasion that sin is not a reason for estrangement from God, but a reason for drawing closer to his mercy. She says somewhere that if she has confidence in God, it is not precisely because she has not committed sins; if she had committed all the most serious sins, she would have the same support in her confidence in the divine goodness. This abandonment to God is also manifested in his unreserved submission to all the directions of his superiors; one could say that she obeys through and through, because she always sees behind creatures the paternal will of God.

Moreover, this absolute abandonment to God, she makes herself the tireless preacher. All his spiritual direction comes down to this path of abandonment.

 

[Answer from the twenty-seventh to the thirty-first questions]:

The love of God possesses her so much that she cannot distract herself from it, even for a moment; you could say she loves the way she breathes. She reminds me of Saint Louis de Gonzague, suffering martyrdom because his superior asked him to think less of God and think more of the practical things of the earth.

 

[Answer to the thirty-second to thirty-sixth questions]:

What she wrote on charity to one's neighbor is remarkable for its depth and practicality. It is like a commentary on Our Lord's words after the Supper.

What also strikes me is the effective exercise of this infinitely delicate charity. We could express it in these two words: “Nemini obesse, omnibus prodesse.”

What shows the supernatural nature of this charity is that, being in the convent with her three sisters, she did not incline her heart and her affections towards them rather than towards the other nuns; rather she turned away from it.

Her zeal for the salvation of souls reached in her a degree which seems to me to be beyond compare. This arrangement appears in

 

WITNESS 4: Jean-Jules Auriault, SJ

 

this sublime page where she [290] expresses the regret of not being able to be at the same time priest, missionary, martyr, etc., but to make up for it, resorting to her smallness, she lodges herself in the very heart of the Church by her prayer and his love in order to radiate from there throughout the whole world to help the Pope, the bishops, the priests, the missionaries and all those who apply themselves to the salvation of souls. This zeal is manifested especially in his union with the missionaries, and in this formula of a so to speak eternal apostolate: "I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth" @DEA 17-7@.

 

[Response to the thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth requests]:

His prudence manifests itself in a remarkable manner in his letters and his advice of direction, which reflect with clarity and force the doctrine of the most authoritative masters of the spiritual life.

Especially, with Sister Thérèse, abandonment to God is not an exclusive doctrine of the other sentiments of the spiritual life, such as the fear of God, the horror of sin, etc.; rather, they are an integral part of it, only they take the form that makes them more effective and more accessible.

In her direction, we must also note the perfect dependence in which she stands with regard to the Holy Spirit. It is like an instrument in the hand of the worker.

His prudence is also shown in his personal conduct, notably in his relations with the community, where he had to reconcile in difficult passes [291] obedience and charity.

 

[From the thirty-ninth to the fortieth questions, the witness had nothing particular to answer.]

 

[Response to the forty-first and forty-second requests]:

The love of suffering had taken on such an intensity in her that it had become like a dominant passion, so much so that she was jubilant in front of suffering: the days when she suffered were the days when she seemed happier , so that many were mistaken and believed that she had suffered little.

 

[From the forty-third to the forty-sixth question, the witness had nothing particular to answer].

 

[Response to the forty-seventh and forty-eighth requests]:

Generally speaking, it seems to me that she practiced all these virtues to a heroic degree; which appears: 1° by the intensity of love that she put into all her acts; 2nd, by continuity in fidelity, either to the rules of observance, or to the inspirations of grace; 3d, by a truly extraordinary patience in maintaining herself even and gentle in trials; 4th, by the great courage she displayed in overcoming herself in combats of a particularly sensitive nature. We can say of her what we say of Saint Jean Berch-[292]mans: she did all the ordinary things extraordinarily well.

 

[Response to the forty-ninth and fiftieth requests]:

I don't know of any such facts.

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

1° I know of no other writings than those which have been published. I have not made special criticism of the authenticity of these publications; but it was made by others, and I do not doubt the veracity of their testimony. I even had the original manuscript of the autobiography in my hand.

2° I consider that these writings can provide evidence and support a certain judgment on the reality of the virtues of the Servant of God, because 1/ having already known, through public renown, of her heroic virtues, of her holy death and of the graces obtained through his intercession, his writings did not come to me without acquired authority; 2/ by studying them, I find intrinsic characteristics that guarantee their authority. The truth, the anointing springs from each sentence, and one cannot think, even for a moment, that the author did not express what he felt. In this way, the extrinsic testimonies and the internal criticism corroborate each other to give an indisputable value to these documents.

 

[293] [Answer to the fifty-second to fifty-fifth questions,]:

I don't know anything specific about these points.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

For the eight years that I have been in contact with the Carmel of Lisieux, I have not failed to visit the Servant of God's tomb out of devotion whenever circumstances have brought me to Lisieux, that is, say on five or six different occasions, in all about twenty visits. In these pilgrimages I noticed a regular number of pilgrims, sometimes in spite of bad weather; moreover, this competition is growing. Yesterday in particular, which was a Sunday, during the three-quarters of an hour that I spent there, I noticed a constantly changing audience of about twenty people, men, women, soldiers, etc.; these pilgrims were collected and praying. I have never heard of any action being taken to determine or maintain this pilgrimage.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

I don't know if the Servant of God enjoyed [294] a reputation for holiness during her life.

Since his death, his reputation for holiness, that is to say for heroic virtues, has been evident to me, not only by reading the testimonies that have been published, but also by the direct relation which I have of it. was made by several fathers of the Company of Jesus, serious and particularly educated; I will mention in particular the Reverend Father Longhaye, nearly 80 years old, professor at the juniorate of Canterbury.

 

WITNESS 4: Jean-Jules Auriault, SJ 125

 

Moreover, I verified the extension of this reputation for holiness by the devotion that I observed, first in the Carmel of Lisieux, then in other Carmels with which I am in contact, in a good number religious communities; as for the simple faithful, the experience is continuous and universal. Now the fact of this devotion allows us to conclude that we are convinced of his holiness.

As for the reputation of miracles or supernatural favors obtained by his intercession, I know it not only by reading the "Rains of Roses", where the most remarkable ones are related, but also by the personal reports which have been made to me. , in particular by the frequent request for masses, on the occasion of novenas made to obtain miracles, cures, favors, etc. I know a very large number of people who invoke it assiduously.

I don't know that anything has been done to create this reputation for holiness. The development it has taken can only be explained, in my opinion, by the reality of [295] heroic holiness and thaumaturgical power. The means of publicity employed by the Carmel of Lisieux have, in relation to this reputation, a relation of effect to cause rather than of cause to effect; if the basis had been lacking, all this publicity would have harmed rather than benefited the extension of devotion to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request:

I have never heard an opinion expressed contrary to the Servant of God's virtue or reputation for holiness.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth to sixty-fifth questions]:

Generally speaking, I have often heard people attribute spiritual or bodily favors to the intercession of the Servant of God; I would not be above the truth by saying that personally I received about fifty testimonies of this kind. I am going to specify a few cases: the sudden conversion of a young man, going through a religious crisis and denying the existence of God, was obtained during a novena made by his mother to the Servant of God. Another young man, threatened with an operation as a result of a tuberculous tumour, found himself, during a novena to Sister Thérèse, out of danger, to the astonishment of the doctor. I could point out other favors; but as direct testimony will not be lacking on more salient facts, I do not [296] think it useful to insist on it.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

No, I believe I have said everything I know that is useful.

 

[Regarding the articles, the witness says he only knows what he filed in response to previous requests. This concludes the examination of this witness. Reading of acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows:

Signature: J. Auriault

Witness 5 - Alexander-James Grant

We have already introduced the Pastor, Alexander-James Grant. Born in 1854 and died in 1917, he abjured in 1911 (vol. 1, pp. 535-540).

During this second deposition, the witness returns to the intervention of Thérèse in his conversion and tells us about his reputation for holiness. Guardian of the house where the Servant of God was born in Alençon since June 3, 1912, he was well placed to record the testimonies of veneration which had gradually multiplied in an impressive manner with regard to Thérèse. Thousands of faithful came piously on pilgrimage to the humble house in the rue Saint-Blaise.

The witness remains grateful to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus for all her benefits and testifies to them humbly. He experiences his particular “presence” in a mysterious way and, he says, “Sister Thérèse is not satisfied with simple words of friendship, nor with generous feelings, she wants actions, she calls for sacrifices” (p. 322) .

Before dying (it was in Alençon, July 19, 1917), he murmured: "Little Thérèse, come and get me, if it is the will of God and take me with you."

The witness testified on May 31 and June 1915, 8, during the 9th and 305th sessions (pp. 314-320 and 323-XNUMX of our Public Copy).

 

[305] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[Response to second request]:

My name is Alexander-James Grant, born in Latheron-Caithness, Scotland, April 14, 1854. I was a Protestant minister for about 25 years in Scotland. I converted to the Catholic religion in Edim-[306]burg in 1911. In April 1912, I came to settle in France, in Alençon, in the birthplace of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, rue Saint -Blaise n. 42. I give English language lessons, either in a school or to individuals in the city. I am married, my wife, herself a convert several years before me, is guardian of the house where Sister Thérèse was born.

 

[Response to third request]:

I have the happiness of taking communion almost every day. I confess every fortnight.

 

[Answer to fourth request]:

Never.

 

[Answer to the fifth request]:

Since my conversion, I have been faithful to the precepts of the Church and I have incurred no ecclesiastical penalty.

 

[Answer to the sixth request]:

I love Sister Thérèse beyond words; I was afraid once that it was only feeling, but now I am sure that this disposition is supernatural and that it does not prevent me from telling the truth. My testimony is very spontaneous, it comes from my heart and no one imposed it on me.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

[307] I only know about Sister Thérèse's life by reading her “History” and by what I have heard about it since I have been in France. My testimony will relate to only two things: 1° the influence of Sister Thérèse on the state of my soul – 2° the development of her reputation for holiness in the region of Alençon, since I set up my residence there .

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I very much desire that the Church pronounce the beatification of Sister Thérèse, because of her merits and because I believe that it will result in great good for souls.

 

[Answer from the ninth to the fifty-fifth questions]:

I have no direct testimony to give on all these points.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

Since I have been in France, I have visited Sister Thérèse's tomb about twenty times; I came there out of devotion to show my gratitude and to pray. I noticed that there was an almost continuous stream of pilgrims. These people did not come out of curiosity, but their dress expressed feelings of great piety.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

On the occasion of my first visit to Lisieux, at the time of the first trial, in 308, I was asked to become the caretaker of the house where Sister Thérèse was born in Alençon. I settled there with my wife. Here is what we have both observed about the assistance of pilgrims to this house:

The room where the Servant of God was born is visited by the country's elite. It is not simply the poor and the illiterate who come to invoke his support, but the rich, the learned and those who are the best in the country from the intellectual, moral and religious point of view.

 

WITNESS 5: Alexander-James Grant

 

Princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses, counts and countesses, bishops, priests, lawyers, officers and privates, people of all classes and conditions come and write their names in the visitors' book.

These visitors are very numerous. The week of Pentecost, which is, it is true, an exceptional week, there came a thousand and seventy-three (1073). On ordinary weeks, about sixty people come a day, and on Thursday, the children's day off, a good two hundred people come.

These pilgrims propose, not to satisfy their curiosity, but to pray. The sheets of paper, placed in a small basket, bear witness to their confidence in the little “Flower of Jesus” and their gratitude for the favors granted. There are requests for the conversion of a husband, a fiancé, a Protestant family, a mother. But, since the beginning of the war, these are, for the most part, favors [309] requested by soldiers going to the front, or for soldiers who have already left, or prisoners. Women ask that their husbands not be injured, etc., etc. There are very disinterested prayers, for example, a soldier asks nothing for himself, he simply prays for France, for the allies and for his relatives. I have brought specimens of these requests and acknowledgments. They are only small pieces of paper, but they convincingly show the perfect confidence and gratitude that Sister Thérèse inspires.

Most of these visitors bring candles which are burned in front of the Holy Face or in front of the statue of the Blessed Virgin. Some give flowers, the most beautiful in their garden; sometimes wild flowers picked in the fields, knowing that Sister Thérèse loved them. It often happens that we receive thirty candles a day, and flowers in such large quantities that we are obliged to send them to the Church of Notre-Dame, where Sister Thérèse was baptized. Visitors often request thanksgiving masses for favors received; others offer money, vases of flowers, altar cloths; one of the most beautiful was given by the wife of the general who commands at Alencon.

 

[R wife at fifty-eighth request]:

I have never heard anything to the contrary.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth to sixty-fifth questions]:

I can first relate a certain number of graces [310] granted to various people, to my knowledge. I will then say the graces that are personal to me.

So I will quote:

1° The healing of an eye in a little girl of four and a half years. On her first visit, her eye was closed and bandaged; she returned every day for a few novenas, at the end of which she was cured. Afterwards, she often came to thank Sister Thérèse. Her mother gave vases for the bedroom in gratitude; this was in 1912.

[Do you know what the nature of this evil was, or, at the very least, whether it was serious or not? - Answer]:

I saw the eye of this child, it seemed to me seriously affected, but I could not say the name of this affection. I still know that the doctor had treated her for several months without result. The child's mother is dead and his father is at war.

2. Madame Boulay, who lives in the little house next to ours, had a large cyst on her lip which had been growing for three months. So the doctor told him that he would need an operation after ten days. We made with her four novenas to Sister Thérèse. She was completely healed, we no longer see any trace of the disease. At the time of making the novenas, she had ceased all treatment by the doctor.

 

[Do you know the nature of this tumour? - Answer]:

I don't know what the doctor's opinion was, but [311] my impression is that it was a cancerous cyst, because I have known several people with certain cancer and whose disease presented the same aspect.

3. An employee of the post office at Alencon who had not confessed for eight years was ill, and the doctor said that an operation was needed. His wife came to see me and told me that if Sister Thérèse saved him from the operation, he promised to fulfill his Easter duty. She found many people who made a novena with her. The operation was not necessary, and the man did his duty, and has since come to visit little sister Thérèse's room.

If I were allowed to identify the general impression that Sister Thérèse's work made on me, I would say that she wanted to draw men closer to God, lead them to his fold, ennoble and purify their lives. , thus fulfilling his promise to do good on earth.

 

[312] [response continued]:

2° As regards the graces that are personal to me, the main one is my conversion to the Catholic religion, which took place under the influence of Sister Thérèse. Here is the story: while I was at the head of a parish, at Loch-Ranza, as a minister of the Scottish United Church, my wife, under foreign influences, converted to Catholicism; I opposed it at first, but finally I accepted the fait accompli, out of respect for his freedom of conscience. At the time, I had no idea of ​​becoming a Catholic, quite the contrary. This conversion of my wife created an intolerable situation for me in my parish; I was obliged to leave this post and retired to Edinburgh, where I exercised the ministry of a free preacher. My wife prayed a lot for my conversion, but all without my knowledge. One day, I read, by chance, in a Catholic newspaper, an article of a few lines on Sister Thérèse called “the little Flower”, and announcing the forthcoming appearance of an English edition of her life. I was from then on pursued by the desire to read this life and I frequently asked my wife if it could be obtained. A year later, being ill, in the absence of this expected edition which only appeared much more

 

WITNESS 5: Alexander-James Grant

 

later I was able to read an abridged life in English. I read it in one sitting in one night, and all this time I had [313] an impression of the presence of Sister Thérèse in my room. His thoughts hardly left me afterwards. Around this time, the reading of very advanced rationalist books gave birth to serious doubts about faith in me, and one day I asked myself this question "couldn't everything be explained by the forces of nature alone without a God? staff? », the life of Sister Thérèse presented itself very vividly to my mind, and immediately this thought imposed itself on me: « is it possible that this life is a lie and that rationalism is the truth? because I saw that it was impossible to explain this life without admitting a personal God. It was in August of the year 1910; and yet I did not convert until April of the following year. This evolution took place little by little during the winter, under the influence of Sister Thérèse. I had obtained his life in French; his memory hardly left me; I felt that she constantly acted on my mind to push me to conversion; but for my part, I resisted this impulse with all my might. It was so until the beginning of April 1911. I suffered from great anguish and I was very unhappy in this interior struggle, continuing on the one hand to preach the Protestant doctrine, and on the other feeling myself drawn towards the Catholic truth. Sister Thérèse's influence suggested to me above all two thoughts, the first that the Catholic Church by her infallible authority suppresses all other particular difficulties, [314] the second that we must invoke the Blessed Virgin. One day when I was praying to Sister Thérèse, this question imposed itself on my mind: "Why pray to me, and not pray to the Blessed Virgin?" I answered: “Hey! well, I will pray to her,” and immediately my soul was filled with great joy.

A Jesuit father whom I consulted at that time advised me not to hurry and to continue my ministry while waiting for the light to become more complete for me. On the other hand, a nun who was giving me French lessons and who knew my state of mind, urged me to get it over with. But it was above all my moral suffering and the attractive influence of Sister Thérèse that determined me to abjure which I made in the month of April 1911.

 

[Session 9: - June 1, 1915, at 8 a.m.]

[320] [Continuation of response from fifty-ninth to sixty-fifth requests inclusive]:

As a result of my conversion, I found myself deprived of all my means of existence, and as I have no [321] personal fortune, I could fear material hardship. This fear impressed me for a while, but I overcame it. I then twice had the spiritual impression of Sister Thérèse's presence near me and the imperious conviction that she was taking care of us from this point of view. In fact, although we had taken great care to conceal our embarrassed situation, a Catholic priest from Glasgow, himself a former converted Protestant minister, himself brought me the next day a check for two hundred English pounds.

I would now like to speak of my personal debt to little Thérèse since I first appeared before this tribunal (1911). At that time I was only a child of three months in the Catholic Church, and that is why I feared, once the wave of emotion that had pushed me into the Church had passed, of finding myself a victim. illusions to which nothing would correspond in reality. Time and careful reflection have, however, allayed my fears and convinced me that I was in possession of convictions and aspirations of the most precious quality, and which I can only trace to the influence exerted on me and in my favor by my dear little celestial protector.

Since my entry into the Church, the bonds which unite us have been strengthened, and it will not be believed, I hope, that I exceed the limits of modesty, if I add that I think I have made some progress under its inspiration. I believe myself authorized to say it, I am aware [322] that my life has been raised higher, that my convictions have become deeper, my desire more exclusive to arrive at a life of holiness; I am also aware that I am in a more deeply penitent state of mind for my past sins and that I live in an atmosphere of purity of thought and feeling which I vainly tried to attain when I was a Protestant. And if I have made so little progress in "the sure way", it is not that I lacked help from my celestial guide.

One of the things that struck me the most was the sense of the supernatural that she brings down on the soul. Oh! this is wonderful! In an instant, when I least expected it and when the natural train of my thoughts led me to the opposite pole, I suddenly found my soul invaded by a sense of the supernatural which could not be better expressed than in the words of the patriarch [Jacob] "Surely the Lord was here, and I knew it not." And on such occasions, a thought flashed through my mind, which impressed me, like the supernatural itself; these words came to me with great power: “Thérèse prays for you.” I have had his visits many times, and I have learned that they portend a time of temptations.

Sister Thérèse is not satisfied with simple words of friendship, nor with generous sentiments; it wants actions, it demands sacrifices. One of the first things she asked of me, when I entered the Church, [323] was to part with books that she did not approve of. They were for the most part clearly rationalists: I immediately sacrificed them to him. But there were certain works of another kind which interested me greatly and which I kept, seeing no harm in them. Later, however, Sister Thérèse came back and, looking attentively through the shelves of my library, began to raise objections: "this one must go - she said - and that one too", etc. I apologized a lot for having held them back, but she repeatedly came back to me, saying, "What do you want to do with them now?" And seeing that I was still attached to it, she finished

 

WITNESS 5: Alexander-James Grant

 

finally came to the discussion giving me a real aversion to it.

What I have said here is only one of the many benefits for which I am indebted to him.

It is marvelous to see how the dear little sister has her own means, how she makes her wishes known and achieves their realization. I am convinced that if the abandonment was complete on my part, there is nothing that she would not teach me. But I fear that she finds in me a pupil difficult to lead and slow to follow. Anyway, I think it's impossible to overstate her influence on me and my love for her. What I have said is only a very feeble attempt to express the inexpressible.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I have nothing to add.

 

[324] [Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in responding to previous requests. This concludes the examination of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

Signed: A.J. GRANT

Witness 6 - Agnes of Jesus, OCD

The testimony of Mother Agnès of Jesus (1861-1951) is the most extensive of all those of the Apostolic Process. Clear, logical, very documented, it reveals a long and meticulous preparation as well as a wise highlighting of facts and words which, in 1910, had either not caught the attention of the witness, or, at least, did not had not retained it so markedly.

We do not have to retrace here the main lines of the biography of Pauline Martin. We can refer to vol. 1, p. 131-133 and to the book entitled The little mother of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, Mother Agnès of Jesus, Lisieux 1953.

As everyone knows, Mother Agnès contributed to training Thérèse, she published and disseminated the message of the Story of a Soul, one of the greatest gifts given by God to the Church in our time and in all time and she was the most important and most convinced artisan of the glorification of the humble nun. That's saying something.

The deposition of Mother Agnès at the Apostolic Process unfolds impeccably on the route of the Interrogation of the General Promoter of the Faith. This was not without prior work, as revealed by the Preparatory Notes to the Apostolic Process, kept in the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux. By a methodical choice of facts and texts, the witness was able to prevent his new deposition from being like a duplicate of that of the first trial. We can only rent it. This success is the fruit of an unrivaled effort to collect, inventory, classify and distribute extremely rich documentation.

Let us point out from the outset the three "files" presented at the Trial by Mother Agnès as testimonies of particular value either for the understanding of Thérèse's life, or for a synthesis of her doctrinal message, or finally, for a view overview concerning the graces and favors that have been attributed to him. Such

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

that they were presented by Mother Agnès during her deposition, these three documents are found in the 1st volume of the original copy of the Trial deposited in the Archives of the Bishopric of Bayeux. All three are written by the very hand of the Mother, an excellent calligrapher. They include titles and sometimes subtitles, always in the same script.

Here are the titles:

1. In what milieu Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus sanctified herself at the Carmel of Lisieux (pp. 357-370; originals from Bayeux, I, f. 197r-204v);

2. Way of spiritual childhood (pp. 409420; originals of Bayeux, I, f 233r-238v);

3. Extracts from files of miracles due to the intercession of the Servant of God Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus (pp. 532551; originals from Bayeux, I, f 318r-329v).

These titles speak for themselves.

 

The third document does not directly concern either the virtues of Sister Thérèse in Carmel, nor her doctrinal message, but it shows her already well “(passing) her heaven to do good on earth.”

The second wants to be an “official” presentation of the Way of spiritual childhood in its various components. This way is presented in relation to “Therese's method of prayer and her kind of piety”, where, according to Mother Agnès, “everything comes down to what she called her way of spiritual childhood. “This is such an important point, underlines the witness, that I thought I had to prepare a statement in writing and with a calm head: I present it to the court” (p. 409).

Even if it may give the impression of a unilateral doctrinal systematization or too marked with accents bearing on certain aspects particularly dear to Mother Agnès, this set is certainly rich in data and expressions that no one could better than her. penetrate and present. It should be remembered that this synthesis of the "little Mother" provided more than one element in the very beautiful speech delivered by Pope Benedict XV on spiritual childhood on the occasion of the decree on the heroicity of the virtues of Thérèse, August 14, 1921.

The first of the three documents that will follow refers essentially to Mother Marie de Gonzague. It has so far only been given in its entirety in the 1038-page volume called Positio super virtutibus, published in 1920 by the Sacred Congregation of Rites. It is found there pp. 164-175, §§ 375-376.

Anyone who could have access to it directly or through a third party had to observe great discretion about it, remembering that Mother Marie de Gonzague had family and had only returned to God in 1904. this duty of discretion which Fr. Ubald of Alençon seriously failed to publish in French in the Barcelona review Estudis Franciscans of January 1926 (pp. 14-28) an article entitled Sainte Thérèse de l'Enfant-Jésus comme je la know. We do not have to dwell here on the consequences of this premature use, consequences from which Mother Agnès suffered greatly.

We therefore transcribe Mother Agnès' document as it is part of the proceedings of the Trial, leaving historians and psychologists the care and the freedom to comment on it. Mother Agnes of Jesus testified from July 5 to July 19, 1915, during the 11th - 2nd session. (pp. 340-552 of our Public Copy).

 

 

[Session II: - July 5, 1915, at 10 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[340] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

[Response to second request]:

My name is Marie Pauline Martin, born in Alençon on September 7, 1861, to Louis-Joseph-Stanislas Martin and Zélie Marie Guérin. I am a professed nun of the Carmel of Lisieux, prioress of this monastery and the full sister of the Servant of God.

 

[The witness answers the third request correctly].

[Similarly to the fourth and fifth requests].

[Answer to the sixth request]:

I bring my testimony only for the glory of God, I will say what I know personally, [341] and no one imposed on me what I had to say.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

The Servant of God was my youngest sister. From the death of our mother, when the Servant of God was four and a half years old (1877) until my entry into Carmel (October 2, 1882), I took very special care of the education of this young sister to whom I served as a mother. In 1888 she came to join me in Carmel, and until her death we lived in the same community; from 1893 to 1896 I was prioress of the monastery. My testimony will relate to my personal recollections. Reading the "Story of a Soul" and the other writings of the Servant of God only served to remind my memory of a few particularities which I had also witnessed directly.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I have for the Servant of God first of all a great affection according to nature since she is my very beloved sister; however, I believe that if she were not my sister, I would love her so much because of her holiness and I would have equal confidence in her. I desire the beatification of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, because I am more and more convinced that she has been chosen by the good God to make known on earth the love he has for his poor little creatures and his desire to be repaid by a tender and filial love [342] on their part. Most of the saints canonized by the Church are great lights that only great souls can imitate. But great souls are very

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

rare, while the number of little souls, that is to say, of those who must walk along a common path and entirely of faith, is immense: they are waiting, as it were, for the "little Thérèse", this guide completely within their reach, this new effort of God's goodness to lead them to love through humility and the most trusting abandonment. Sinners too will benefit from its beneficent influence and find their salvation there.

 

[Response to the ninth request]:

The Servant of God was born in Alençon, rue Saint Blaise, on January 2, 1873; she was not baptized until January 4 in the afternoon, because the godfather was expected. My mother was very upset at this delay, and in the meantime begged the good Lord not to have her little girl die without baptism.

My father (Louis-Joseph-Stanislas Martin) was born in Bordeaux on August 22, 1823, my mother (Zélie Marie Guérin) was born in Saint-Denys-sur-Sarthon, in the Orne, on December 23, 1831.

When I was 20, my father took steps to enter Mont Saint Bernard as a religious; but his studies being incomplete, the superior advised him to return to his family to complete them and then return to the monastery. In due time, he was [343] given further advice to direct his life.

Also very young, my mother had presented herself at the Hôtel-Dieu in Alençon to be a nun of Saint Vincent de Paul, and the superior had told her that it was not her vocation.

My parents' marriage took place on July 12, 1858, in the church of Notre-Dame d'Alençon. From this marriage were born nine children:

1 Marie Louise, February 22, 1860, today a nun of this Carmel.

2 Marie Pauline, September 7, 1861; it's me.

3 Marie Léonie, June 3, 1863, today a nun of the Visitation of Caen.

4 Marie Hélène, October 13, 1864, died at the age of five and a half.

5 Marie Joseph Louis, September 20, 1866, died at the age of five months.

6 Marie Joseph Jean-Baptiste, December 19, 1867, died at the age of eight months.

7 Marie Céline, April 28, 1869, now a Carmelite nun in this monastery.

8 Marie Mélanie Thérèse, August 16, 1870, died at the age of two months.

9 Marie Françoise Thérèse, January 2, 1873; she is the Servant of God.

 

My parents have always seemed like saints to me. We were filled with respect and admiration for them. I sometimes wondered if there could be similar ones on earth. [344] Around me, I did not see this. They made their recreations of pious conversations and holy readings. Every morning they went to. Mass, and often made Holy Communion. My mother was weak in character and yet did, like my father, all the fasts and abstinences of precept. The Sunday rest was observed by them to the greatest delicacy. My father's friends sometimes accused him of exaggeration, because he closed his jewelry store on Sundays. Now the people of the countryside came to town especially on Sundays and went to buy jewelry elsewhere when it was for a wedding. "If you only left one side door open - his friends kept telling him - you wouldn't do any harm and wouldn't lose good sales." But my father answered them that he preferred to attract the blessings of God.

My father and my mother were very charitable towards the poor; but, among the pious works, that of the Propagation of the Faith had their preference.

My mother was self-sacrifice personified; she was gifted with extraordinary energy. The lace factory which she founded alone, and which she took care of without respite to ensure the future of her children, made her life very meritorious. At the death of my little brothers and sisters, her submission to the will of God was so great, despite her deep sorrow, that she almost scandalized less Christian people, [345] to the point of saying that she did not like their children.

My parents wanted all of us to be consecrated to the good God; they would have liked to give him priests and missionaries. My mother had been struck by Madame Acarie's life, and I heard her say many times: “All her Carmelite daughters! Is it possible for a mother to have so much honor?” She told me that if my father were to die before her, once we were all in our lives, she would end her days in a Visitation monastery.

 

[The witness continues his response to the ninth question]:

My mother tried to feed little Thérèse herself as she had tried. to do so, but without success, for his other children; his chagrin was great at not being able to succeed yet. This impotence came, I suppose, from a blow that she had taken to the breast in her youth and which caused her the cruel illness of which she died. Little Thérèse was put to nurse with good people named Taillé, at Semallé, in the vicinity of Alencon. The woman was already known to my mother: she was devotion in person, this brave "little Rose," as she was called.

Thérèse returned home, flourishing in health, on April 11, 1874.

My mother went to Lourdes to ask for her own miraculous healing; she came back sicker in June 1877. Her faith and trust in the Blessed Virgin had not diminished. He could be heard praying during his nights of terrible suffering. Finally, she died like a saint, on August 28, 1877.

 

[Answer to the tenth request]:

After my mother's death, my father came to live in Lisieux, in November of that same year, 1877, to bring us closer to my uncle Guérin, my mother's brother; he counted on Madame Guérin's devotion to initiate his eldest daughters into their new duties.

Towards the end of his life, my father asked to suffer for God, and he was granted by the very humiliating brain disease which brought him to his end. He died on July 29, 1894.

My eldest sister Marie and I took care of the education of our young sisters, Céline and Thérèse, at Les Buissonnets (this is the name of the house [347] we lived in). I taught little Thérèse until October 1881, when

 

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where she entered as a half-boarder at the Benedictine Abbey of Lisieux.

Since my mother's death, she had become very shy with strangers, and so sensitive that the slightest thing made her cry; but I noticed that the subject of her tears was usually the fear of having hurt her father or her sisters or above all the good Lord.

She succeeded perfectly in her studies, either at the Abbey or at home; the nuns looked upon her as a very intelligent pupil, but the religious instruction above all captivated her.

In 1882, when Thérèse was barely ten years old, I entered the Carmel, and Thérèse remained in the care of my eldest sister. After my entry into religion, Thérèse fell ill with a strange disease. Extraordinary symptoms made believe that this disease came from the devil. Thérèse was healed by the Blessed Virgin in a marvelous way during a novena to Notre-Dame des Victoires. She told me herself that she saw the Blessed Virgin come towards her and smile at her.

 

[Could you characterize the symptoms and evolution of this disease? - Answer]:

I was then in Carmel; my sister Marie (Marie du Sacré-Coeur) and also Céline, who were direct witnesses of what happened at Les Buissonnets, will be able to give a more detailed account of it. I remember that at this [348] time, I questioned my sister Marie in the visiting room about the nature of this illness and about what the doctor, Doctor Notta, had to say about it; she replied to me several times that the doctor confessed that he understood nothing of the symptoms of this illness. Members of the Tribunal who knew Dr. Notta know that he was a very valuable practitioner. I can also testify that throughout the rest of his life, in Carmel, never the slightest trace of these troubles reappeared. She always showed herself to be very calm, very judicious and in control of herself.

 

[The witness continues his answer]:

She made her first communion on May 8, 1884, after a preparation of several months, and with feelings of the most tender and true piety. "For a long time - she says in her life - Jesus and little Thérèse had looked at each other and understood each other, but that day it was more than a meeting, it was a fusion" @MSA 35 r°@ . The feelings she expresses in this sentence, written on her first communion, she very often expressed to me in person.

At the age of 12, during the preparatory retreat for her solemn second communion, she began to become very scrupulous. I hadn't known her that way, but on the contrary dilated and very confident, without any exaggerated trouble at her little faults. In the meantime, Mary, who had guided and consoled her until then, entered Carmel in her turn on October 15, 1886. Having no more [349] help, and suffering more and more, Thérèse called on her little brothers and sisters of paradise and obtained perfect peace. This ordeal lasted about a year and a half.

At the age of 13, she left the boarding school and finished her education at Les Buissonnets by taking private lessons.

 

[Do you know why the Servant of God left the Benedictine boarding school? - Answer]:

I don't know precisely, I believe it was due to the general state of his health, my sister Marie du Sacré-Coeur, who was at home at the time, will know better than I.

 

[Answer to the eleventh request]:

From the age of two, little Thérèse thought she would be a nun. "It is there ---- she writes - one of my first memories and since then I have never changed my resolution" @MSA 6r°@. I know that in her early childhood, she used to tell my mother and us.

At the age of nine, hearing me describe the solitary life of Carmel, she was strongly drawn to it. She writes: “I felt that Carmel was the desert where the good Lord wanted to hide me. I felt it so strongly that there was not the slightest doubt in my mind. I wanted to go to Carmel, to find Jesus alone” @MSA 26r°@

 

[Would she perhaps have desired the solitude of Carmel to find there the company of her beloved sister? - Answer]:

[350] I confess that for my part I did everything I could, since she wanted to be a Carmelite, to attract her to our house, because I saw that she was a little saint. who would draw upon us great blessings; but I am convinced that for her part she did not seek my presence and would gladly have gone to another Carmel if only obedience had indicated it to her.

 

[response continued]:

When she was 14, she seriously spoke to me again about her plan to enter Carmel, but I was the only one to encourage her. My sister Marie told her she was too young. Myself sometimes, impressed by what my elder sister said to me, I raised some objections to her project. On the day of Pentecost, 1887, she sought and obtained permission from my father; but she then had to submit to my uncle's refusal and the invincible opposition of the superior, Father Delatroëtte. He found her too young and absolutely refused to admit her despite the entreaties of the prioress, Mother Marie de Gonzague, who greatly desired her admission. One day of great celebration, the superior entered the enclosure to visit Mother Geneviève, our foundress who was in the infirmary. The latter, who had been asked to do so by Mother Marie de Gonzague, asked, in front of the whole community, for Thérèse to come in for Christmas; then the superior replied with emotion: "Talk to me again about this entry!" Would we not believe, at all these instances, that the salvation of the community [351] depends

 

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of this child? There is no danger in delay. Let her stay with her father until she comes of age. Besides, do you believe that I oppose such a refusal without having consulted God? I ask that no one talk to me about this affair again.”

Monsignor Hugonin, Bishop of Bayeux, to whom the matter had been referred, did not want to decide anything. During a trip to Rome, in the company of my father and my sister Céline, in November 1887, Thérèse explained to the Sovereign Pontiff, Leo XIII, her desire to obtain permission to enter Carmel immediately, but the Pope gave him no decisive answer. Finally, after having tested his constancy, God blessed his courageous steps, and on December 28, 1887, Monseigneur de Bayeux authorized his immediate entry. But the mother prioress, Marie de Gonzague, influenced by the persistent dissatisfaction of the superior, also solicited by me, who feared the austerity of Lent for Thérèse's beginnings, imposed on her another three months of waiting. The doors of Carmel were finally opened to her on April 9 of the following year 1888, she was 15 years and three months old.

When introducing Thérèse to the community, the day she entered, the superior said in front of my father, the gate of the enclosure being wide open: “Hey! well, my reverend mothers, you can sing a Te Deum! As delegate of the Bishop, I present to you this 15-year-old child whose entrance you wanted. I hope that it does not deceive your [352] hopes, but I remind you that if it is otherwise, you alone will bear the responsibility.” The whole community was frozen by these words.

It took several years for this holy priest to change his mind; but in the end he appreciated the Servant of God so much later on that I saw him moved to tears when he spoke of Sister Thérèse whom he called an angel.

When she separated from my father, she didn't shed any tears, but she felt her heart beating so violently that she wondered if she was going to die. As she walked into her little cell, she said to me with an expression of peace and happiness that I have never forgotten, "Now I'm here forever" @MSA 69,2@.

 

[Session 12: - July 6, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[355] [Answer to the twelfth (request:

On January 10, 1889, after nine months of postulancy, she took the habit of the Order, and on September 8, 1890, she pronounced her perpetual vows in the feelings [356] of the most admirable fervor, and received the black veil on 24 of the same month.

It seems to me necessary for the understanding of Sister Thérèse's life in the Carmel to make known to the court the state of the community during the time she lived there, and especially the role and character of Mother Marie de Gonzague. who was prioress on several occasions for many years. As this is a delicate and difficult subject, I have prepared a memorandum on it which I ask permission to read to the court. For greater certainty, I have, prior to my deposition, submitted this report to the control of five of our sisters who are well acquainted with the particularities in question; they suggested several corrections which I made, and they signed the final draft. So it's like a community document that I communicate to the court.

 

[Witness is ordered to read this document. Having read it, Vicar General Auguste Quirié, delegated judge, asks if there are still sisters in the monastery who knew the life of Mother Marie de Gonzague and if all of them would recognize the accuracy of this document. , or if perhaps we would have criticisms to address to it? - Answer]:

In addition to the five nuns who reviewed and signed the memoir, there are eight others who knew Mother Marie de Gonzague. I did not show them the memoir because I thought it was painful and disturbing to reawaken those memories, but I am sure that [357] all would recognize the accuracy of this account.

 

 

[The document will be filed in the Acts of the Trial]:

IN WHAT ENVIRONMENT, SISTER THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS

SANCTIFIED AT THE CARMEL OF LISIEUX

The Carmel of Lisieux was founded in 1838 by Reverend Mother Geneviève de Sainte Thérèse (in the world, Miss Claire Bertrand). She was gifted with a rare spirit of faith, great piety and practiced heroic virtues for more than 60 years. For those who knew her or who will read her life, she will remain an accomplished model of gentleness and humility.

Sustained by a very special grace, the holy foundress went through with the calm and confidence that never left her, the most painful trials that befell the nascent community, and God soon showed that he was blessing her work by gathering around her perfect nuns.

The difficulties of the beginning, overcome with so much generosity, the hidden but very great virtues of our first mothers and sisters, were to attract many graces to our Carmel, and it was their merits, no doubt, which preserved it from ruin during the long [358] crisis he went through.

A thick veil that we would never have wanted to lift hid, for nearly 40 years, many sadnesses in the new monastery.

Reverend Mother Marie de Gonzague

On September 29, 1860, entered the Carmel of Lisieux, as a postulant and in the best dispositions, Mademoiselle

 

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Marie de X.... *[Marie Davy de Virville] aged 26. She was named Sister Marie de Gonzague.

By her external charms: advantageous size, distinction, the most sympathetic tone of voice, by her piety, a simplicity which sometimes went as far as candor, she had quickly won everyone's sympathy. But it was an unbalanced nature. Sometimes excessively gay, sometimes plunged into gloomy melancholy over nothing, she had, despite her robust health, inexplicable anomalies of character.

She did extraordinary penances and would have had an elevated, very generous soul, with a heart of gold, had it not been for these unfortunate contrasts and a passion of jealousy that was often unconscious, but which, developing over the years, caused frequent clashes, susceptibilities and even terrible scenes.

However, as soon as she left the novitiate, the superior, Father Cagniard, let her put in charge, hoping by this means to develop her real abilities and [359] at the same time remedy her bizarre mood. It was a fatal mistake. She was named sub-prioress on July 8, 1866, then prioress on October 22, 1874, a post she was to hold for 21 years.

Here are details and examples of what happened at the monastery under his rule or through his influence:

Several deplorable whims happened to him. On July 16, 1867, as sub-prioress, she disappeared until nightfall, after a fit of jealousy, and several sisters sent to look for her discovered her huddled in a corner of the garden, behind a ladder. Displeased and distraught, she allowed herself to be taken to the Prioress's cell and was about to rush out the window (on the first floor) when a lay sister caught up with her. Following this fact, of which the superior was informed, the rumor spread outside, no one knows how, that the sub-prioress of Carmel was mad. Even his family vaguely learned something about it; but by dint of prudence on the part of Mother Geneviève, this rumor was stifled little by little.

When she filled the office of Prioress and it was a matter of passing a subject to the vote, she almost imposed her will. She allowed herself to be seduced by external advantages, distinction, the charm of a beautiful voice and above all by the affection shown to her, thus reserving bitter regrets for her old age. A hysterical nun, admitted by the chapter thanks to her entreaties, in particular made her shed many tears. Another, [360] suffering from the same disease, indiscreet, having a mania for lying and stealing without realizing it, was also received by her.

We guess what could be the formation of the subjects. She gave very good advice, but with bad examples. To get to be "in court" with her, you had to flatter her or act like a diplomat. Which made Father Youf, our chaplain for 25 years, say: "Isn't it very sad that souls who believe they find simplicity in Carmel are forced to engage in politics there?" He said this because, in certain cases, to avoid scandal it was absolutely necessary to act with mystery and finesse.

How much more heartbreaking was sometimes the way in which the Holy Eucharist was dispensed! It happened to Mother Marie de Gonzague to promise communion as a reward to a sister who caught a rat! It was also removed for nothing. How shameful to reveal!

When the decrees of 1891 withdrew from the superiors the right to regulate the communions of their communities, Mother Marie de Gonzague received them at first with respect and submission to the Church; but soon, the confessor having seen fit to allow some of the sisters daily Communion and others less often, his jealousy reappeared. Father Youf was frightened, and the number of communions again became the same for all the nuns.

Other less serious, but also very shameful abuses occurred: for example the poor mother [361] had a cat which she fed on calf's liver and sweetened milk. If he took a bird, they roasted it with an exquisite sauce. Until then it was only ridiculous, although there is a fault against poverty. But sometimes the cat was lost, and in the evening, during the hour of great silence, the prioress would go in search of it with the sisters of the white veil, calling for it from all sides, even over the wall which separates the monastery from a neighboring garden, thus lacking in regularity and putting the whole community in turmoil.

The sick also suffered from the character of Mother Marie de Gonzague, although she was very good to them and very devoted at certain times.

A young sister, suffering from a delicate illness and obliged to be treated by the Prioress in charge, had to do it in secret, still trembling at being discovered by her former prioress. "We have - said this one - diseases that we did not know before, and it is a sin to treat them."

Every year, at the time of the retreat, there was real supervision in the preacher's confessional. Mother Marie de Gonzague could not bear to see the nuns stay there a little long.

During the three years when she was no longer prioress, her character was more suspicious than ever. She saw with difficulty the authority slipping away from her and the affections concentrating on someone other than herself. Thus it was that at the profession of Sister Agnès of Jesus, which took place during a priorate of Mother Geneviève, she refused, [362] the day before, to go and see the oratory prepared for the occasion and, on the day of party, she saddened everyone with her bad temper. It was always the same with the taking of the habit and professions when she was no longer prioress.

With the approach of the elections, it was a real and shameful campaign. For the sake of peace, Mother Geneviève humbly retired at the end of her three years and left Mother Marie de Gonzague to do six.

Later, after the death of Mother Geneviève, seeing that it was impossible for her to always remain prioress, she directed the voices of the chapter to Sister Agnès of Jesus, whose conciliatory character she knew well. She thought thus to remain mistress and to make the new prioress act

 

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according to his views. When she saw this one take her authority, she subjected her to a thousand persecutions. One day, witnessing a terrible scene, a sister (the most ardent, however, of her party) could not contain her indignation: "O mother Marie de Gonzague - she said -, it is very bad to make people suffer like this your mother prioress!” Another old sister, equally revolted by her conduct, resolved to write to Monsignor Hugonin, our bishop, and confided her plan to her mother Prioress that night; but the next day, fearing the wrath of Mother Marie de Gonzague, she abandoned her plan.

Seeing her unconscious ruse foiled and that we could do without her, the former prioress worked to prevent re-election. She succeeded, but this [363] time was only nominated on the 7th ballot. A hard lesson from which she suffered for the rest of her life. After the election, some sisters thought of misplacing some ballot papers, bearing her name, so that these tickets found by the Prioress, dispel her suspicions.

It was not long before that heartbreaking scenes of jealousy took place regarding the profession of Sister Geneviève de Sainte Thérèse and Sister Marie de la Trinité. Mother Marie de Gonzague, hoping soon to take the place of Mother Agnès of Jesus, undertook to delay the novices in order to reserve for herself the honor and the joy of these professions.

However, the Superior, Monsieur Maupas, having come to see the community, said aloud that the Mother Prioress should propose the two novices to the chapter. Mother Marie de Gonzague grew pale, but controlled herself until she came out of the parlor where she conferred with the nuns she had won over to her party.

"Let her have her sister make her profession, since it cannot be prevented - she said -, but I am formally opposed to that of Sister Marie de la Trinité." Now, Sister Marie de la Trinité had two months more of her novitiate than Sister Geneviève. But the poor mother wanted, at all costs, to reserve at least one of the two, and she had to give in.

So we only took care of putting Sister Geneviève to the vote. Under the pretext that a sister is forbidden to vote for her sister, she saw fit to expel the mother prioress from the chapter. She chaired [364] the three sessions herself, collected the votes and made the usual exhortations to the novice.

Only on the last day, when Sister Geneviève was received, she sent for the Mother Prioress, not however inviting her to take her place, but leaving her standing at the bottom of the room with the novitiate and the lay sisters also called to embrace the novice, according to the custom of Carmel.

We could say: but it was not against Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus that her jealousy was directed. To her, on the contrary, she showed a great deal of confidence, giving her a share of her authority over the novices, and even choosing her for her confidante at the end of her life. The proof that she greatly appreciated the Servant of God is that she said and wrote all kinds of good things about her to her family, to the retreat preachers, to her missionary brothers, to everyone. His letter written to Father Roulland, dated November 11, 1897, bears witness to this. And I add that she was sincere.

However, it remains true that Mother Marie de Gonzague did not want to share her authority with anyone, even that of novice mistress, that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus excited her jealousy many times, that she had to hide constantly to fulfill her humble office of help in the novitiate, finally that you should never base yourself with this mother on permission, on trust given in a moment of common sense (because she had moments of perfect common sense when she even spoke and acted as a holy prioress). [365] Unfortunately, these moments were very transitory and, all of a sudden, from one moment to the next, one had to expect to see absolutely the opposite. The friendliest face, animated by a good and frank smile, succeeded at the same time, for the slightest reason which had aroused his jealousy, a gloomy air revealing the interior storm which did not fail to burst.

The picture of the injustices and sadness that we have seen in the monastery would still lack truth if we did not say something about the abuses caused by the weaknesses of Mother Marie de Gonzague with regard to her family and the parlors.

First for the parlors, she went there for a long time, every day, to a lady from the town, her friend, who told her the news with which she then fed the recreations.

For his family, it was much more serious. One of his sisters, the Comtesse de X. had brought up her only daughter badly, who, being married, impressed her mother. The latter, through incessant correspondence, told Mother Marie de Gonzague all her troubles in the smallest detail, and the poor mother's mood depended on the news received during the day. It was moreover the theme of all directions, even at the time of the novitiate.

Madame de X. was wealthy and as comfortable as possible; only, for fear of her daughter, she lived in secret like a pauper. She borrowed 20.000 francs from the community. Gradually [366] she ceased to pay the rent faithfully and, from time to time, when we received a banknote, we had to give thanks for it as a gift. After his death, the community regained possession of the 20.000 francs, plus 2.000 francs of arrears interest, requested at random, because Mother Marie de Gonzague had taken nothing exactly into account! In the absence of these proofs, we could not claim.

The Countess of X. considered the Carmel as her home, and the sisters whom she called her friends were often only her servants. When she came to Lisieux, you had to serve her like a queen. She did not enter the monastery, but the superior's parlor and a room in the tower were her domain and that of her grandchildren. The whole community sighed when we said: “Madame de X. is here!”

At the feasts of the mother prioress, all the fancy works offered were for her. In the course of the year, his coat of arms was embroidered for nothing on tablecloths, handkerchiefs, piano carpets, etc. One would have said that she was doing us an honor by asking us something. At her grandson's first communion, she had dozens of pictures made on parchment, and they were real

 

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thumbnails, price images she wanted! She discovered in the attic of her castle old canvases, family portraits, which had to be repaired and even made two copies of one of them.

Madame de X. suffered from a long and painful illness. It was Carmel that paid the specialist and provided the remedies, even the cloths for his dressings[367], and it was a lay sister who then washed these cloths filled with a pus all the more foul because lasted a few days. They came to mend and wash all his linen, his stockings, etc.

One day, Mother Agnes of Jesus found poor Mother Marie de Gonzague, a letter in her hand, sobbing. It was that Madame X. was going, she said, to be forced to sell her silverware and her lace to live!!

Mother Agnès of Jesus took advantage of the opportunity and dared to say: “My mother, Madame de X. should not fear her daughter so much. If she sold one of her lands, she could live in peace. At least, in your place, I would encourage him to sell some of his silverware and his lace that his daughter does not deserve to have later.

Hardly had these words been finished, a scene broke out, and soon we heard Mother Marie de Gonzague entrusting her grief to one of the nuns, from a noble family, like her: "This Mother Agnès of Jesus cannot know what it is What misfortune in our families! Can I impose on my sister the pain and humiliation of selling her precious objects?!

One can wonder how the superiors did not intervene in such a situation. But the community, loving and fearing the unfortunate mother at the same time, did not realize the extent of the evil. Some sisters, upright and more clairvoyant souls, after having suffered in silence, had nevertheless tried to complain. Then, confessors and superiors, frightened by an ascendancy which seemed to them impossible to destroy without great danger, advised patience "to keep the peace, so that nothing is known outside." “Your convent would be burnt down,” Monsieur Delatroëtte said one day.

Moreover, the mother prioress in question kept the bishop himself, his direct superior, out of the affairs of the house as much as possible.

After secretly trying to shake off the yoke, the nuns were overcome with remorse. "Better - they said - to suffer to the end than to sin through ingratitude." Mother Marie de Gonzague built half of the monastery through her quests, she received almost all of us, we cannot forget her.” And things remained there, becoming more and more inextricable over the years.

Mother Geneviève herself could do nothing to stop them. Too good and too conciliatory, she contented herself with crying and praying in silence.

“The community seems to be walking on a tightrope - said Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus -. It's a real miracle that the good Lord operates at every moment by allowing her to keep her balance” @Source Pre@ This evil that the saints had noted and deplored, transpired very little outside the monastery.

Outside, Mother Marie de Gonzague had captivated those who knew her little and did not see her at work, on the occasions when the oddities of her changing mood and the scenes of her formidable jealousy manifested themselves.

 

[369] However, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who in spite of everything loved the soul of her Prioress, one day prayed for her with great anxiety for her salvation. It was then that, in a dream, she saw her, all in flames, crossing the hermitage which she had dedicated to the Sacred Heart (it is a small chapel which is in the middle of a cloister). The Servant of God thought she saw in this an indication of the mercy that would be shown her because of her devotion to the Sacred Heart. It would only pass through the fire, and would not burn forever.

Mother Marie de Gonzague died of tongue cancer on December 17, 1904, aged 71.

She said with humility, on the eve of her death, to Mother Agnès of Jesus, her prioress: “Mother, I have offended God very much. I am the guiltiest of all the community; I wouldn't hope to be saved if I didn't have my little Thérèse to intercede for me; I feel that I owe him my salvation.”

Signatum: SISTER AGNÈS DE JESUS, prioress.

 

Sister Marie of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart, rc ind.:

“I have carefully read these pages which are unfortunately only too true. I witnessed many other things. I was present at the sad incident of July 16, 1867.

 

I certify that what is told in these pages is far from exaggerated. Signatum: Sister Thérèse of Saint Augustine, rci

Read and found very accurate. Signatum: Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, rci

Read and found very accurate. Signatum: Sister Geneviève of Sainte Thérèse, rci

[370] Read and found very accurate. Signatum: Sister Marie of the Trinity. thank you

 

[Response to twelfth request continued]:

When I was elected prioress in February 1893, I named Mother Marie de Gonzague, who was outgoing prioress, mistress of novices. I thought I could not do otherwise, to avoid a greater evil. But, to mitigate the harm as much as possible, I told Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, then aged 20 and the first in the novitiate, to watch over her two companions, Sister Marthe and Sister Marie Madeleine, lay novices. In reality, it was on Sister Thérèse that I counted on leading the novitiate. Moreover, I managed to make Mother Marie de Gonzague, titular mistress of novices, understand that Sister Thérèse could perhaps be useful to her in the accomplishment of her task with the novices. She used Sister Thérèse, whom she called "her little hunting dog." But when she noticed that the influence of the Servant of God was becoming too effective, or when her changing mood troubled her, she took umbrage and treated her harshly.

The Servant of God should have left the novitiate at the end of this year 1893, but she asked to [371 ] stay there, first

 

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out of humility, and also out of zeal for the good of the novices. The following year, 1894, Sister Marie de la Trinité and Sister Geneviève de Sainte Thérèse entered the monastery. Finally, in 1895, Sister Marie of the Eucharist entered; which brought the number of novices to five.

On March 21, 1896, Mother Marie de Gonzague was elected prioress in my place, but she did not appoint a novice mistress, she reserved this office for herself, being assisted, as before, by Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. But, as before also, as soon as she seemed to be and to do something, the Mother Prioress would offend her, humiliate her and get angry with her.

The Servant of God continued, until her death, this ill-defined role with the novices.

In the meantime, she also had several other jobs. As soon as he entered. she was assigned to the lingerie for nine months, after taking her habit, to the refectory for two years, then to the sacristy until June 1892. From that time, until February 1893, she occupied with several painting works: fresco in the oratory, various altar ornaments, pictures that were sold outside. During this time, she was named third of the depositary, and assisted her each time the workmen entered the convent.

In the elections of 1893, she was named porter, without ceasing to occupy herself with painting. In March 1896, [372] it was handed over to the sacristy. She had just had her first spitting of blood, and it was because she fell completely ill that they withdrew her from this job. She then got to help with the laundry of a poor, mentally ill sister, which she did until her strength was exhausted. She had longed to be a nurse because of the many opportunities she would have had to practice charity there, but her desire was never realized. On July 8, 1897, she took to her bed in the infirmary and died on September 30, 1897.

 

[Response to the thirteenth and fourteenth requests]:

The Servant of God observed all her life not only the commandments of God and of the Church, but also the counsels which were precepts for her. This is the testimony of all those who knew her intimately. She was faithful to it until she could not reproach herself for even a venial fault of deliberate intention. On the day of her profession, she had asked to die rather than tarnish the whiteness of her baptismal robe; she had also asked to fulfill her vows with all possible perfection: she obtained this grace.

Applying herself to overcome her very sensitive and lively nature, she showed, from her childhood, and on all the painful occasions of her life, great strength and great gentleness.

The spirit of darkness, jealous of this soul so faithful, tried, at the end of his life, by a terrible temptation against the faith, to weaken his filial trust in God, but he was overcome by his heroic prudence. and his constant appeal to God.

His charity for God took precedence over all his virtues. His heart was wounded by a bolt of fire; however this sensitive manifestation of love lasted only for a flash, and all her life the Servant of God was led by a path of pure faith.

His charity for his neighbor was also quite remarkable, and flowed naturally from his charity for God. She faithfully practiced the divine commandment to love your neighbor as yourself, and Jesus' new commandment, to love her as He loves her Himself.

 

[Response to fourteenth request continued]:

Humility shone particularly in her. Her dream was to make herself so small that she reached the ideal of that evangelical childhood advocated by [374] Our Lord. "To reach the heights of the mountain of love - she said - I must not grow up" @Source pre.@ She stooped so low that she could reach her goal. It was with the truest humility, based on the knowledge of her nothingness, that at the end of her life she realized the ascent of her soul, and only expected a slight heartbreak. the envelope - so she called the prison of her body - to fly away towards God, to love him as she pleases and to return to earth to make him loved by so many souls who do not yet know his paternal goodness and his merciful heart.

 

[Answer to the fifteenth request]:

Thérèse, as a child, was very thoughtful and always wanted to learn more about things of faith. When I was preparing Céline, older than her, for her first communion, I told Thérèse not to stay with us. So she went away very sad, she said that four years were not too long to prepare to receive the good Lord. She learned the catechism and sacred history with great attraction. All that related to the good Lord found his heart open and his intelligence applied itself naturally to it. Later, she read several pious books with delight, but especially the Imitation, which she knew from memory by dint of having read and meditated on it, to the point that she could be asked to recite a chapter at random. She also devoted herself (during her life in Carmel) to [375] studying the Bible, the works of Saint Thérèse and especially of Saint John of the Cross.

In the midst of the most distracting occupations, one felt that the Servant of God did not devote herself entirely to them, but remained constantly occupied with the thought of God in the depths of her soul. I never detected in her any dissipation. When I approached her, she communicated this recollection to me, even when she only said indifferent things. His way of acting, his look, his smile, everything expressed his union with God and his spirit of faith.

From Easter 1896, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus began to suffer great temptations against the faith; her temptations were mainly about the existence of heaven, she endured them until her death. A cursed voice insinuated to him that after death, there was nothingness. She said to me one day, “No one can understand the darkness in which I live; my soul is immersed in the night

 

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the most obscure, but I am there in peace» @Source pre.@. She showed us indeed that she was at peace. Never was she more celestial than in this time when the sky was hidden from her: it was at this time that she composed her most beautiful poems, in which one would say that the veil of faith was torn for her. .

One day, in the infirmary, she found herself drawn into confiding her troubles to me more than usual: “If you only knew - she said to me - what dreadful thoughts obsess me! Pray well for me so that I don't listen to the demon who wants to persuade me with so many lies. [376] It is the reasoning of the worst materialists that imposes itself on my mind; Oh! my dear mother, must one have thoughts like that, when one loves the good Lord so much» @DEA 10-8@. She added that she never reasoned with these tenebrous thoughts: "I inevitably undergo them - she says -, but while undergoing them, I do not stop making acts of faith" @Source pre.@

Obeying the advice of one of the extraordinary confessors, she had written the Credo with her blood at the end of the little book of the holy gospels which she constantly carried on her heart.

 

[Answer to the sixteenth request]:

I cannot better express her feelings of zeal for the propagation of the faith than by recalling a passage of her life written by herself; I have moreover often heard it from his own mouth: “I would like to enlighten souls like the prophets, the doctors. I would like to walk the earth, preach your name and plant your glorious cross on the unfaithful ground, O my Beloved! But a single mission would not be enough for me, I would like at the same time to announce the gospel in all parts of the world and even in the most remote islands. I would like to be a missionary, not only for a few years, but I would like to have been one since the creation of the world and to continue to be one until the consummation of the centuries” [Histoire d’uneâme, in 8°, 1914, page 214] @MSB 3,1@

At the height of her temptations against the faith, she [377] said to me: “I offer these very great pains to obtain the light of faith for the poor unbelievers and for all those who distance themselves from the beliefs of the Church. »

 

[Answer to the seventeenth request]:

The devotion of the Servant of God to the holy childhood of Our Lord was very great. She said, in her life, that she wanted to bear, in Carmel, the name of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and that she had offered herself to the Child Jesus to be his little toy. She dedicated one of her most beautiful poems to him, “La rose effeuillée” @PN 51@, which expresses all the tenderness and generosity of her love.

Speaking of her devotion to the holy humanity of Jesus, she said to me one day: "For our human nature which needs so much to understand what it loves, the thought that God is only a spirit

 

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would cause dizziness. Oh! how well he did to become a man!”

Devotion to the Holy Face was the special attraction of the Servant of God. However tender her devotion to the Child Jesus was, it cannot be compared to that which she had for the Holy Face. It was in Carmel, at the time of our great trials relating to our father's cerebral disease, that she became more attached to the mystery of the Passion, it was then that she obtained to add to her name that of the Holy Face. She says herself where she got the idea for this devotion. She writes: “These words of Isaiah: He is dull, without beauty, his face was as it were hidden, and [378] no one recognized him,@*Isaiah 53,3 @ made all the background of my devotion to the Holy Face, or, to put it better, the bottom of all my piety. I too wanted to be dull, devoid of beauty, alone treading wine in the press, unknown to any creature” @MSA 71,1@.

We can see in her main poems the part she gives to her favorite devotion. She dedicates a special hymn to him. She paints the Holy Face on chasubles, on images. She composes for her novices a consecration to the Holy Face, a prayer for herself. Finally, after her death, it seems to me that it was she who inspired Sister Geneviève to create this masterpiece of the Holy Face from the Shroud of Turin, a reproduction so well known now that many times it is called the Holy Face of the Carmel of Lisieux. About the images of the Holy Face, she said to me: "How well Our Lord lowered his eyes to give us his portrait, because, since the eyes are the mirror of the soul, if we had guessed his soul, we would have died of joy” @DEA 5-8@

In the sacristy, during the period when she was in charge of it, she touched the sacred vessels with great respect and prepared, with loving care, the altar linen and ornaments. This office, she said, urged her to be very fervent, and she remembered this word of Scripture: "Be holy, you who touch the vessels of the Lord."@*Is.52-12@ @MSA 79,2 ,XNUMX@

 

[Answer to the eighteenth request]:

[379] Communion had been the happiness and the desire of her life, although she confessed to me that she had, so to speak, never experienced any sensible consolations from it. She rejoiced greatly at the decrees of 1891, hoping that the confessor would finally be free to allow daily Communion, for she had long felt that "it is not to remain in the golden ciborium that Jesus descends daily from heaven, but to find each day also in our hearts another heaven where he wants to take his delights. @MSA 48,2@ What a disappointment, when she saw Mother Marie de Gonzague, while admitting in theory that the confessor was free, expressing her dissatisfaction with the fact that some sisters communicated often, others less often. Whence it follows that daily Communion, at first granted to several, was soon withdrawn by

 

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Father Youf, to avoid a greater evil.

When, as a little child, she threw flowers in front of the Blessed Sacrament, she had a celestial gaze; one felt that divine love set his heart ablaze. Her attention and her gaze remained fixed on the Holy Host, and she threw her rose petals very high to make them touch, she said, the sacred monstrance.

She always had a particular attraction for attending Holy Mass. When several were said to each other in the chapel of the monastery and she was free, her happiness was to hear them all.

During her last illness, she was shown the chalice of a young priest who had just said his [380] first mass, she looked inside the sacred vase, and said to us: "I liked to reflect myself in the chalices when I was sacristan. I thought that then the blood of Jesus would fall where my face was reproduced and purify my soul.”@DEA 19-9@

If she found in the corporal some small parcel of the Holy Host, she manifested a holy joy. Having discovered one day a fairly large plot, she ran to the laundry room where the community was and beckoned her novices to come. She knelt down first to adore Our Lord, put the corporal back in the purse, and then made them kiss it with touching piety.

Another time, the priest, while giving her communion, let a host fall outside the grid, and Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus received it in his scapular. She then told me with emotion: “I carried the Child Jesus in my arms, like the Blessed Virgin”

 

[Answer to the nineteenth request]:

I have little to say on this point. His condition as a Carmelite did not afford him the occasion for special zeal in this regard. In her early childhood, she was barely 5 years old, we already took her to high mass and to vespers on Sundays. She stood there like an angel and listened attentively to the sermons given there. She showed great pain when we did not want to [381] take her to the exercises, either in the month of Mary or in Lent. She made up for it by praying at home, and setting up small altars.

 

[Answer to the twentieth request]:

In the last years of his life, the gospel alone occupied his mind and sufficiently nourished his soul. All the other spiritual books left her in aridity: "I no longer find anything in the books - she told me - the Gospel is enough for me, does this word of Our Lord, for example, not understand all: Learn from me, that I am meek and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls? How sweet to learn nothing more except from the mouth of Jesus» @DEA 15-5@

"How happy and proud I was - she said - to be semainer at the office, to say prayers aloud, in the middle of the choir. I thought then that the priest said the same prayers at Mass, and that I had the honor, like him, of speaking aloud before the Blessed Sacrament to give blessings, absolutions: to say the Gospel when I was first cantor. I can say that the divine office has been both my happiness and my martyrdom, because I had a great desire to recite it without fail, and because, despite all my diligence, I happened to do it sometimes. » .@DEA">.@DEA 6-8@

 

[Session 13: - July 7, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[385] [Continuation of the response to the twentieth request]:

In Carmel, she showed great respect for the ecclesiastical superiors, submitting to their conduct, without allowing herself to judge it. So I never heard her say a bitter word to Father Delatroëtte, our superior, who had opposed her entry so much. However mediocre the sermons she heard, she was careful not to criticize them. She had a very high idea of ​​priestly dignity and functions, which is why she wanted all her life to sacrifice herself especially for priests.

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had not taken part in the very difficult election of 1896. of faith soon dominated this first impression, and the sentiments of filial submission which she showed outside, she had in the bottom of her heart. She never departed from her spirit of faith in authority. She even affirmed to me that she really loved Mother Marie de Gonzague and that the designations of "beloved mother, dear mother", which I would find in the notebook of her life, expressed the true feelings of her heart. Thinking that Mother Marie de Gonzague would attend her death as prioress and not me, she said to me one of the last days of her life: “With you, there would have been a human side, I prefers that there is nothing but the divine. Yes, I say it from the bottom of my heart, I am happy to die in the arms of Mother Marie de Gonzague, it is enough that she represents the good Lord to me” @DEA 386-20@

 

[Response to the twenty-first request]:

The Servant of God always had a tender and filial devotion to the Blessed Virgin. As a child, during the month of May, she said her little prayers alone, lighting candles in front of a statue of the Blessed Virgin in her room. At his first confession, the priest exhorted him to devotion to the Blessed Virgin; in recounting it in her life, she adds: “I promised myself to dread

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

filled with tenderness for the one who already held a very big place in my heart.”@MSA 16,2@

During her illness, at the age of ten, her happiness was to weave wreaths of country flowers to adorn the statue of the Blessed Virgin who was near her. It was while praying to Mary with ardor, looking at this statue that she saw her come towards her and smile at her, and that suddenly she found herself cured. Later, she was determined to be accepted into the Association of the Children of Mary.

Stopping in Paris, at the time of her journey from Rome, she was not interested in any of the marvels of the capital. Only the sanctuary of Notre-Dame des Victoires retained her, there she fervently prayed to the Queen of Heaven and received [387] very great graces.

At Carmel, she was happy to make her profession on September 8. She writes about it: “The Nativity of Mary, what a beautiful feast to become the bride of Jesus!” @MSA 77,1@. She loved to meditate on the life of the Blessed Virgin. One day when we had received a letter from a priest saying that the Blessed Virgin did not know about physical suffering, she said to me: “Looking this evening at the statue of Mary, I understood that it was not true. She suffered a lot during her travels, from cold, heat, fatigue, she fasted many times. Yes, she knows what it is to suffer physically. What makes me feel good when I think of the Holy Family is to imagine a very ordinary life, and not all the marvels that are told and supposed” @DEA 20-8 @ . She confided to me in the infirmary that most of the sermons she had heard on the Blessed Virgin did not touch her. “It's good to talk about your prerogatives - she told me - but above all we need to be shown the possibility of imitating your virtues. She prefers imitation to admiration. However beautiful a sermon on the Blessed Virgin may be, if one is constantly obliged to exclaim: Ah! Ah!, we'll soon have enough. That I simply like to sing to him:

"The narrow path of heaven you have made visible

By always practicing the humblest virtues” @PN 54@

 

One evening, during her illness, she said to me ardently: “How I love the Virgin Mary! If I had been a priest, how well I would have spoken of her! It is shown to be unapproachable, it should be shown to be imitable. She is more mother [388] than queen. I have heard it said many times that his brilliance eclipses all the saints. My God, how strange it is, a mother who takes away the glory of her children! Me, I think quite the opposite, I believe that it will greatly increase the splendor of the elect” @DEA 21-8@

She wanted to dedicate her last poem to the Blessed Virgin under this title: “Why do I love you, O Mary!” @PN 54@. It is there, in fact, that all his reasons for loving and imitating him are expressed. In the formula of her offering to Merciful Love, she says: "It is to the Blessed Virgin, my dear mother, that I leave my offering, begging her to present it to you" @PRI. 6@ She often called the Blessed Virgin by the name of "Mom", because it is more tender, she said, than that of "Mother."@MSA 56,2-57,1@ One day when she confided her interior abandonment and how much Jesus was hidden for her, I said to her: “Is the Blessed Virgin also hidden?.” "No," she replied quickly, "the Blessed Virgin is never hidden from me. And when I no longer see the good Lord, it is she who does all my errands for him. Above all, I send him to tell him not to be afraid to test me”@DEA 10-6@. The last lines she wrote on earth express, in a very delicate form, her love for the Blessed Virgin. She therefore wrote painfully on the reverse of an image, on September 8, 1897: “O Mary, if I were the queen of heaven and you were Thérèse, I would like to be Thérèse so that you could be the queen of heaven!!!. » The morning of her death, she said to me, looking at the statue of the Blessed Virgin: “Oh! I prayed to her that night with fervor!”-@DEA 30-9@. And in the afternoon, looking at an image of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, she said to the mother prioress: "My mother, present me soon to the Blessed Virgin" @DEA 30-9@

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus writes in her life speaking of her trip to Rome: “I was not unaware that during my trip, many things would come across capable of troubling me. I prayed to Saint Joseph to watch over me. Since my childhood, my devotion to him was intertwined with my love for the Blessed Virgin. Every day I recited the prayer: '0 Saint Joseph, father and protector of virgins, etc. ”@MSA. 57-.1@. It was to Saint Joseph that she addressed herself in Carmel to obtain the grace of daily communion and the freedom of the confessor on this point. The decrees of 1891, by granting his prayer, greatly increased his confidence in Saint Joseph. In her meditations on the hidden life of Our Lord, she did not forget Saint Joseph. She said these words to me one day, which I transcribed immediately. “And the good Saint Joseph, oh! That I like! I see him planing, getting tired... From time to time, he wipes the sweat that floods his face, but as if by stealth, so as not to upset the Blessed Virgin. He was so delicate... and how he must have suffered deprivations, disappointments, because he did not always receive the price for his work, he was even reproached, no doubt. Oh! how surprised we would be if we knew all that he suffered

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

to feed and protect Jesus and Mary!”@DEA 390-20@. During her last illness, I saw the Servant of God lovingly throw flowers at the statue of Saint Joseph.

From childhood, she loved and prayed to her guardian angel. I saw her reverently guarding and preserving a small image of the guardian angel, reading and re-reading the advice printed on it: "Be careful to respect the presence of your angel and to listen to his voice." She composed a poem to her guardian angel where she calls him "her brother, her friend, her consoler", and where she ends by saying:

“With the cross, with the host, with your heavenly help,

I await in peace from the other life, the happiness that lasts forever” @PN 46@.

 

She saw herself as the little child of all the saints and had asked them in a sublime prayer for their “double love” (Life, page 217) @MSB 4,1@. During her illness, she often asked us to pray to the saints for her, and did so herself with fervor. She said to us one day: “I ask you to make an act of love and an invocation for me to all the saints. They are all my relatives up there” @DEA 13-7@. She loved Saint Cecilia, Saint Agnes, Blessed Joan of Arc, Blessed Théophane Vénard with fraternal tenderness and piously preserved their images in her breviary.

 

[391] [Response to the twenty-second request]:

The Servant of God was seven or eight years old. One evening, by the sea, at Trouville, we were alone, she and I, near the Black Rocks. She was watching the setting sun. “I contemplated for a long time, she writes, this luminous furrow, image of grace. and I made the resolution never to take my soul away from the gaze of Jesus, so that it may sail in peace towards the fatherland of heaven" "@MSA 22,1@

About the reward from heaven, here is what the Servant of God said to me one day: “I have such a high idea of ​​heaven that sometimes I say to myself: How [392] will God manage to surprise me? My hope is so great, it is such a source of joy to me that I will need a reality above all thought to fully satisfy me. Rather than being disappointed, I would rather keep an eternal hope” @DEA 15-5@

 

[Request from the vice-promoter: did you hear the Servant of God explain her thoughts further on this subject? - Answer]:

It is the same thought that she expresses in her life (edition in 8°, 1914, page 219): "I admit it, if I do not reach one day these highest regions towards which my soul aspires , I will have tasted more sweetness in my martyrdom, in my folly than I will taste in the bosom of eternal joys, unless by a miracle you take away from me the memory of my earthly hopes. Jesus! Jesus! ; if the desire for love is so delicious, what is it to possess it, to enjoy it forever” @MSB 4,2@

She does not really want to doubt that the happiness of heaven surpasses the hopes of earth. The last sentence quoted shows it well: "If the desire for love is so delicious, what is it to possess it, to enjoy it forever?" Moreover, a few months later, she wrote to me: “Ah! from now on, I recognize it, yes, all my hopes will be fulfilled... Yes, the Lord will do wonders for me that will infinitely surpass my immense desires” @LT 230@. It seems to me that in the first obscure sentence [393] quoted above, she wants to express by a fiction the immensity of her hopes and her desires for love.

 

[The witness continues]:,

She wrote to me in 1888: “Nothing too much to suffer to conquer the palm” @LT 55@. And again: “At all costs I want to pick Agnès's palm; if it is not by blood, it must be by love» @LT 54@

During her last illness, in spite of her terrible temptation against faith in the future life, she said to me: "If I had not had this temptation against faith, which robs me of all enjoyment at the thought of heaven, I believe that I will die of joy, seeing that I will soon leave this earth” @DEA 21/26-5@. She constantly expressed her desire for heaven: “Ah! when will I go away with the good Lord? How I would like to go to heaven! Oh! yes, I desire heaven!” @DEA 26-6@. Heaven, for her, was God seen and fully possessed; she aspired to no other reward than God himself. She said: “A single expectation makes my heart beat, it is the love that I will receive and the one that I will be able to give” @DEA 13-7@

In 1889, at the age of 16, she wrote to me: “Oh! my mother, if you only knew how indifferent I want to be to earthly things! What do all the beauties created matter to me? I would be very unhappy if I owned them! Ah! how big my heart seems to me when I consider it in relation to the goods of this world, since all together could not satisfy it... I do not want [394] creatures to have a single atom of my love, I want to give everything to Jesus” @LT 74@. And again, in 1891: “There is no support to be sought outside of Jesus. He alone is immutable, what happiness to think that he cannot change! @LT 104@

She was detached not only from people, but from the things of the earth. They had given her, at the Carmel, a new dress which fitted her very badly, because the cut was missing, they kept telling her that she was badly dressed, and I said to her:

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

quiner at the end of knowing your missed dress!.” She replied, laughing: “Ah! no way! it is as indifferent to me as if my dress were worn by a Chinese woman over there, two thousand miles from us” -@DEA">-@DEA 15-5@

Finally the seductions of creatures slipped over her soul, without in any way affecting her: «My heart is full of the will of the good God - she told me -; when you pour something over it, it doesn't penetrate inside, it's nothing that slides easily, like water that can't mix with oil» @DEA 15-5@.

 

[Response to the twenty-third request]:

The Servant of God aspired to high sanctity, her thoughts on this were not always understood, several confessors or preachers of retreats came to frighten her or paralyze her impulses: "Father, I want to become a saint - said - she has a preacher - I want to love God as much as Saint Thérèse.” He replied: “What pride [395] and what presumption; confine yourself to correcting your faults, to no longer offending God, to making little progress each day, and to moderating your rash desires.” - "But, my father, I do not find that these are rash desires since Our Lord said: 'Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect'." @*Matth 5,48@ The monk was not convinced; and the Servant of God was always looking for someone authorized to say to her: "Come out into the open sea and cast your nets." -@Luc">-@*Lc 5,4@ She found this messenger from God in the person of the Reverend Father Alexis, of the Recollects of Caen, during the retreat of 1892. will never be able to climb the steep staircase of perfection. She hopes only, to go to heaven, on the mercy of the good God whom she calls "her sweet Ascensor".

@MSC 3,1@

[Response to the twenty-fourth request]:

The fidelity of his hope was never belied in the greatest trials. On July 7, 1897, barely three months before her death, at the time of her great temptations and her great sufferings, she said to me: “From my childhood, these words of Job delighted me: “Even if God would kill me, I would still hope in him.” @*Job 13,15@ However she added: “I have been a long time in establishing myself at this degree of surrender. Now I'm here, the good Lord took me and put me there” @DEA 7-7@. She also told me: “I am in no way afraid of the last combats nor of the sufferings, however great [396] they may be, of the disease. The good Lord has helped me and led me by the hand since my earliest childhood, I count on Him. I am sure that He will continue to help me until the end. I may well suffer extremely, but I will never have too much, I am sure of it” @DEA 27-5@

I recall, regarding this testimony, that in the last months of the Servant of God's life, that is to say since June 1897, I immediately wrote down all the words she said to me, it is from these notes that I relate these various words today.

 

[Answer to the twenty-fifth request]:

She relied solely on God's help for everything. She told me that when, after having tried to encourage and console her sister Céline in the visiting room, she had been unable to do so, she asked the good Lord with great confidence to console her himself and to make her understand such and such a thing, after that she cared no more about it, and her confidence, she told me, was never betrayed. Each time, Céline received the enlightenment and consolation that the Servant of God had requested for her. She was aware of this by the confidences that were made to her in the next parlour.

As I said to her one day that I found it very sad not to receive any testimony of gratitude for a benefit, she answered me: "I do not expect any recompense on earth, I do everything for the good God, like I always get paid [397] for the trouble I give myself”@DEA 9-5@

About the novices she said to me: "I throw, to the right and to the left, to my little birds, the good seeds that the good Lord places in my hand for them, and then it goes as it wants, I don't care. occupies more» @DEA 15-5@.

She always acted in accordance with these inner feelings of detachment. She was always seen to be absolutely foreign to the things of this world and to the opinion of creatures. She repeated with holy pride the words of Saint Paul: “He who judges me is the Lord” @*1Cor 4,4@.

She told me another time - “I feel very miserable, but my confidence is not diminished, on the contrary. Moreover the word miserable is not right, because I am rich in all the divine treasures, it is precisely for this that I humble myself more” @Source pre.@.

She expected everything from the good God, her hope was in him alone. About her novices, she writes in the “History of her soul” - “By understanding that it was impossible for me to do anything by myself, the task seemed to me simplified. I occupied myself interiorly and solely with uniting myself more and more with God, knowing that the rest would be given to me in addition. Indeed, my hope has never been deceived, my hand has been found to be full as many times as was necessary to nourish the souls of my sisters» @MSC 22,2@.

Consequently, she persuaded her novices that the spiritual nourishment she gave them came from God [398] alone. When they were not satisfied, his peace was not disturbed. She sang to Our Lord:

“Deign to unite me to You, holy and sacred vine, and my weak branch will give you its fruit.” @PN 5@

 

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The Servant of God relied on the communion of saints to hope for her share of glory in heaven. She attributed to him the graces and lights received from on high during his exile. One day, Sister Marie of the Eucharist had first lit her candle from an almost extinct night light, and then, by this candle, all those of the community: it was for Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus an image of the communion of saints, whose symbol she explained to me in a conversation in the infirmary: "Often - she told me - the graces and lights we receive are due, without our knowing it, to a hidden soul, because the good Lord wants the saints to communicate graces to each other through prayer, so that in heaven they will love each other with a great love, a love much greater than that of the family, even of the the most ideal family on earth... Yes, a tiny spark can spark great lights throughout the Church...” @DEA 15-7@

She says to me again on this subject: "In heaven, one does not meet indifferent looks, because all the elect will recognize that they owe to each other all the graces that have merited the crown for them" @DEA 15-7 @.

She still said in the same sense: "All the saints are our parents" @DEA 13-7@

 

[Session 14: - July 8, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[402] [Response to the twenty-sixth request]:

All her exhortations to the novices, the advice she gave them in their sorrows, the letters she wrote to the missionaries are a constant preaching of trust in God.

Here are a few more particular traits in which the character of her Christian hope is revealed: “One could believe - she wrote - that it is because I have not sinned that I have confidence in the good God; but, I feel it, even if I had on my conscience all the sins that can be committed, I would not lose any of my confidence” @DEA 11-7@. What she writes there, in her life, she told me many times.

It should be noted that in offering herself as a victim to merciful Love, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus asks for two very extraordinary favors: that of preserving in her heart the real presence of Our Lord of a communion with another, and that of seeing the sacred stigmata of the passion of Jesus shine on his glorified body. She had already expressed these two great desires to God many times with absolute confidence in their realization.

 

[403] [Request from the vice-promoter: did the Servant of God explain to you in person how she understood this presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ outside the time of Holy Communion?]:

She talked to me about it several times, not very often though. I am sure, however, that in this prayer she had in view the miraculous permanence of the holy species and not only the permanence of the divine influence which is produced, without miracle, in faithful souls. Moreover, in her “Act of offering”, she appeals on this subject to the omnipotence of Jesus Christ. If she desired the stigmata in heaven, it was solely out of love, to be more like her Jesus, and thereby render him more glory; and if she desired on earth the privilege of the real and permanent presence of Jesus in her heart, it was still to be more united to Him and thereby become more capable of loving Him.

She was convinced that her desires greatly pleased God; she was not surprised by his marvels, finding that the power of God is always for us at the service of his infinite love. She had been struck by these words of Our Lord to Saint Mechtilde: “I tell you the truth, it is a great pleasure for me that men expect great things from me. However great their faith or their presumption, as much and more I will reward them beyond their merits. It is indeed impossible for man not to receive what he has believed in and hoped for from my power and [404] my mercy.”

 

[Witness continues]:

It was still the mercy of the good God that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus admired in his justice towards those he loves. She thought with the prophet Isaiah “that God will judge the little ones with justice”, that is to say, “that he will give justice to the humble of the earth” @* IS.11-4@. Indeed, justice was in his eyes the same thing as law. So she considered it, on the other hand, terrible for the unrepentant sinner.

If the Servant of God had unlimited confidence in the goodness of God, this confidence did not diminish in her the salutary fear of his judgments. She said to me during her last illness: “Mother, if I committed even the smallest infidelity, I feel that I would immediately pay for it with terrible troubles, and I could no longer accept death; also, I do not stop saying to the good Lord: O my God, I beg you, preserve me from the misfortune of being unfaithful. Surprised by this language, I asked her what infidelity she was talking about. She answered me: “From a thought of pride voluntarily entertained. If I said to myself for example. I have acquired such a virtue, I am certain of being able to practice it; because, then, it would be relying on one's own strength, and when one is there, one risks falling into the abyss” @DEA 7-8@.

 

[Response to the twenty-seventh request] -

[405] She had a very great fear of offending God. If she committed, even-

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

me involuntarily, the slightest fault, she shed torrents of tears. From her earliest childhood, when I said to her: “such a thing is not good” @MSA 8,2@, she paid great attention to avoiding it. "I loved - she said - the good God with all my heart, and I was very careful never to offend him" @MSA 15,2@. She ended up exaggerating this salutary fear of offending God and fell into scruples. When she was delivered, after a year and a half, from this ordeal, her soul established itself forever in the filial fear of causing pain to God.

In 1890, she wrote to me: “Ask Jesus to take me on the day of my profession, if I still have to offend him, because I would like to take to heaven the white robe of my second baptism, without any defilement; but Jesus can grant me the grace not to offend him again, or to make only faults which do not offend him, which do not cause him pain, but serve only to humiliate me and to make my love stronger.»»@LT 114@

With her spiritual directors, she always dealt with this subject. She recounts in her life how she confided to Father Pichon her fear of having lost her innocence and the joy she felt at his response. She later speaks of the consolation that Father Alexis brought her, telling her that her faults did not cause God pain: "It helped me - she said - to bear the exile of life" @MSA 80,2@

She suffered greatly * when, in the instructions, they spoke of the ease [406] with which one can fall into mortal sin, even by mere thought. It seemed so difficult to her to offend the good God when one loves him! -During the whole course of these exercises, I saw her pale and defeated, she could no longer eat or sleep, and would have fallen ill if it had lasted. From the retirement of Father Alexis, she was freed from her troubles, but until her death, she watched over herself a great deal to avoid the slightest fault.

For me, I am convinced that she never made any willful fault; I base this judgment on my continual observation of his way of life. If she said to me, in writing, in 1890: "Ask Jesus to take me if I still have to offend him" @LT 114@, I believe that she speaks thus out of humility, or rather because her conscience, still badly enlightened at that time, worried about involuntary weaknesses.

 

[Answer to the twenty-eighth request]:

His conformity to the will of God exceeded even his desires for martyrdom and heaven. She said to me one day, towards the end of her life: “One cannot say of me as of our mother Saint Thérèse: 'She is dying not to die;@Th.Avila,glose@ for my nature, it' is true, I prefer to go quickly to heaven, but grace has taken a great hold over my nature, and now I can only repeat to God:

“Long yet I want to live well, [407] Lord, if that is your desire.

In the sky, I would like to follow you, if it pleased you.

Love, this fire of the fatherland, never ceases to consume me.

What does death or life mean to me, my only happiness is to love you”.@PN 45@

She expressed her love by a very great disengagement from creatures and from herself, by the desire to suffer in order to be more like the beloved of her heart, by a constant union with him, a tender delicacy which was special to her, finally, by an entire conformity to his divine wishes and a touching disinterestedness.

[408] [Continued response to same request]:

She desired suffering, because Our Lord chose it for himself, and because it is an opportunity to prove the love we have for God, but above her desires for suffering, she placed complete conformity to the divine will. I asked her if she would not be happier to die than to remain ill for years; she replied: “Oh! no, I wouldn't be happier. What satisfies me only is the will of the good God”@DEA 27-5@

She expresses, in her life, the extreme desire she had for martyrdom. But, towards the end, when she had arrived at the summit of perfection, she experienced a relief which made her write: "I no longer desire either suffering or death, however, I love them both, but It's surrender alone that guides me now. I can no longer earnestly ask for anything except the perfect accomplishment of God's will upon my soul” @MSA 83,1@

 

[409] [Response to the twenty-ninth request]:

Her union with God was so great that she said: “I don't really see what more I will have in heaven than now. I'll see the good Lord, it's true; but to be with him, I am already quite there on earth.”@DEA 15-5@

In fact, her union with God did not consist in doing only the two hours of prayer prescribed by the Rule, to which, moreover, she was very faithful, but it must be said that her prayer was continuous. I have already, in answering a previous question, spoken of her recollection, and it is in all truth that she said at the end of her life: “I don't think I spent three minutes without thinking of the good Lord. »@CSG? ? ?@

As for her method of prayer and her kind of piety, everything comes down to what she called her "Way of spiritual childhood"@DEA 13-7@

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

This is such an important point that I thought I had to prepare a statement of it in writing and with a calm head: I present it to the court.

[The witness then read the following statement]:

Way of spiritual childhood

The Servant of God was very particularly drawn [410] by the Holy Spirit to follow what she called "his little way", desiring that it be known to all, because it was "the precept of the Master". , because, for her, the truth was all there.

This little way is simply a way of humility, taking on a special character of abandonment and trust in God, recalling what we see in very small children who are self-dependent, poor and simple in everything .

She based her "little doctrine", as she said, on the very doctrine of Our Lord, and found her favorite meditation and her delight in these words of the Gospel which she constantly studied: "Truly I say to you, unless you convert and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” - "The one who will be humble like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." - "Let the little children come to me and do not prevent them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like them." "I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will not enter it." - "The one among you who is the smallest is the one who is the greatest." - “I bless you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to little children. [411] Yes, I bless you, O Father, that it has pleased you thus.” "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, no one except he be born again can see the kingdom of heaven."@*Matth,18,3-4;19,14;Mk.10,15;Luke ,9,48;Matth,11,25-26; Jn3,3@

Taught and fortified by these divine teachings, how could one believe that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had a cutesy and childish piety, a childish piety, as has sometimes been said?

She did not understand the term "child" in the strict sense of the word. About the Holy Innocents, she herself reveals her thoughts on this subject: “The Holy Innocents - she said - are not children in heaven; they have only the indefinable charms of childhood. We imagine them as children, because we need images to understand invisible things.

@DEA 21/26-5@So when she uses to speak of his spiritual life terms proper to define what is childhood, it is only as a comparison and to better express his thoughts.

Here is what she meant by "remaining a little child" before God. I quote his own words:

“It's acknowledging one's nothingness, expecting everything from the good God like a little child expecting everything from his father. It is to worry about nothing, to gain no fortune.

“Even among the poor, the little child is given what he needs; but as soon as he grew up, his father no longer wanted to feed him [412] and said to him: Work now, you can be self-sufficient. Well, it's not to hear that that I didn't want to grow up, feeling unable to earn my living, the eternal life of heaven. So I always remained small, having no other occupation than that of picking the flowers of love and sacrifice and offering them to the good Lord for his pleasure.

"To be small is still not to attribute to oneself the virtues that one practices, believing oneself capable of something, but to recognize that the good Lord places this treasure of virtue in the hand of his little child. , so that he can use it when he needs it; but it is still God's treasure.

“Finally, it's not being discouraged by your faults, because children often fall, but they are too small to hurt themselves a lot.”@DEA 6-8-7@

abandonment

“Expect everything from the good Lord. as a little child expects everything from his father” was practiced to the letter by Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus who always remained dependent on the will of her God and even on his good pleasure in all things; she “looked into his eyes”, @MSB 5,2@ as he put it, to guess what would please him most and accomplish it immediately.

Physiognomy of his abandonment in general

She gives this "physiognomy" in the following lines that she wrote to me during her professional retreat spent entirely in inner darkness:

“At the beginning of my journey, I say to my divine Guide: You know that I want to climb the mountain of love, you know the One whom I love and only want to please. It is for Him alone that I undertake this journey, lead me therefore by the path of His choice; provided he is happy, I will be at the height of happiness” (September 1890).@LT 110@

His abandonment in temptations

She reveals it by speaking thus of the divine neglect from which she suffers:

“If my Jesus seems to forget me, eh! well, he is free! since I am no longer mine, but his. He will tire of making me wait sooner than I will of waiting for him" (1892)."@LT 103@

She still sings:

“My joy is the holy will of Jesus, my only love.

Also, I live without any fear, I like the night as much as the day» @PN 45@

His abandonment in his charge with the novices

[414] In charge of the novices, she increasingly expected everything from God. She says how "faced with a task that exceeds her strength", she puts herself "like a little child in the arms of her father", looking at him alone and believing

 

WITNESS 6. Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

although that simple look of love and trust will "make his hand full to feed his children." "So - she adds - without turning her head away, I distribute to them this food which comes from God alone."@MSC 22,1-2@

And this childish abandonment was far from being reckless, because she still says: "Since I took my place in the arms of the good Lord, I have been like the watchman watching the enemy from the highest turret of a fortified castle, nothing escapes my gaze.”@MSC 23,1@

It was after having practiced this abandonment that she told me from experience: “One can very well remain small, even while carrying out the most formidable tasks, even while reaching extreme old age. If I lived to be 80, after fulfilling all possible charges, I have a strong feeling that I would die just as small as I am today” @DEA 25-9@

His abandonment in sickness

Struggling with the disease, she said to me: “I am in no way afraid of the last battles, nor of the suffering, however great, of the disease. The good Lord has helped me and led me by the [415] hand from my earliest childhood, I am counting on him. I am sure that he will continue to help me until the end. I may well suffer extremely, but I will never have too much, I am sure.”@DEA 25-9@

It was the same abandonment in her desire for heaven: "I no more desire to die than to live - she said - that is to say, if I had to choose, I would rather die ; but since the good Lord chooses for me, I prefer what he wants. It's what he does that I love.”@DEA 27-5@

She said to me again: “In the past, the hope of death was very necessary and very profitable to me, but today it is quite the opposite; the good Lord wants me to abandon myself like a tiny child who doesn't worry about what will be done with him.”@DEA 25-6@

She would have thought she had left her childhood path, all made up of abandonment and humble distrust of herself, by asking God for greater suffering, despite her desires for immolation. “I would be afraid - she told me - of being presumptuous and that these sufferings would then become my own sufferings, that I would be obliged to bear them alone; I have never been able to do anything on my own.”@DEA 11-8@

Already in 1889, she wrote to me: "It is my weakness that makes all my strength" @LT55@

[416] Simplicity

For the practice of simplicity which is, it seems to me, the fruit of humility, it was always the child that she took as a model. She said in her humble confidence when, for example, it happened to her, despite her efforts, to be overcome by sleep during prayer: "Little children please their parents as much when they sleep as when they are awake. .”@MSA 75,2@

This passage of his life has been criticized, and yet the Holy Spirit uses the same language when he makes the king prophet say: "The Lord gives so much to his beloved while they sleep."@*Ps 126,2@

"By remaining very small - she said again - that is to say very humble, I will never offend the good God, even by doing little stupid things until my death, because little children never stop breaking , to tear, to fall, while loving their parents very much and remaining loved by them as if they were doing nothing wrong.”@DEA 7-8@

God, who wanted to keep her on this path of such great simplicity, showed her, in one circumstance, that it was not necessary to leave it. At one time in her religious life, she would have liked to imitate the macerations of some saints. But it happened that she was ill from having worn a small iron cross for only a few hours, and during the rest that she had to [417] take afterwards, the good Lord made her understand that, if she had been ill for having done the small excess of driving this cross too far for such a short time, it was a sign that this was not his way, nor that of the "little souls" who were to walk after him in the same way of childhood. where nothing is out of the ordinary.

She then found herself, without knowing it, in that "perfect state" described by Monsignor Gay: "Holy spiritual childhood is a more perfect state than the love of suffering, for nothing immolates man so to be sincerely and peacefully small. The spirit of childhood kills pride much more surely than the spirit of penance.

spiritual poverty

Like a little child, deprived of everything, who has nothing of his own, "who does not earn a fortune" and can only count on his father's wealth," she said: "I am very happy to be go to heaven, but when I think of this word of the Lord: I will come soon and I carry my reward with me to render to each one according to his works, I say to myself that he will be very embarrassed with me, because I have not of works... He will therefore not be able to repay me according to my works. Well! I trust that he will reward me according to his works!” @DEA 15-5@

She was humbly happy in this destitution, in not being able, as she put it, [418] "to lean on any of her works to have confidence." "I thought with great gentleness - she told me during her illness - that I had never been able, in my spiritual life, to discharge a single one of my debts to the good God, but that for me it was like real wealth and strength. Then I remembered what Saint John of the Cross said, and I repeated, with what peace!, the same prayer: 0 my God, I beg you, discharge all my debts for me!

@St J.de la Croix:Vive Flamme str 2,vv.6.et DEA 6-8@

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

What she hoped for at the end of her way

She deeply felt how sanctifying and purifying these dispositions were for the soul and how much they drew upon her the divine mercies. So she liked to repeat this word from our holy books: "The little ones will be judged with extreme gentleness."@DEA 25-9@

It was always because she felt small and weak, unable on her own to climb "the rough staircase of perfection", that she sought a way to go to heaven by a small path appropriate to her weakness, and that she found her in the arms of Jesus whom she calls her divine “elevator”: “The elevator which must lift me up to heaven are your arms, O Jesus!.”@MSC 3,1 @

[419]His desire to have other souls follow "his path"

Having recognized by experience all the benefits and privileges of this path of confident simplicity which she had followed and which was much more remarkable for her than the love of suffering, the Servant of God taught it to her novices.

She wanted to have near her, in Carmel, her sister, Céline, only to communicate to her the lights she received from heaven on this subject.

And that was not enough for his zeal. Feeling that she had discovered a priceless treasure, she wanted to show it to everyone.

"The number of little ones is very large on earth", she wrote @PN 54@ And it is to this multitude of "little ones", that is to say faithful souls not called to extraordinary ways, that She wanted to share her wealth.

When she learned of my intention to publish her manuscript, she recognized its usefulness only in relation to making known "her way."

Prophetic view of the future

"I feel - she told me - that my mission is about to begin, my mission to make the good God loved as I love him, to give my little way to souls." @DEA 1-17@

And as I asked him what this path was: [420] “It is the path of spiritual childhood, it is the path of trust and total abandonment. I want to teach souls the little means that have worked so well for me, to tell them that there is only one thing to do here below: throw Jesus the flowers of the little sacrifices, take him with caresses ; that's how I took it, and that's why I'll be so well received” @DEA 17-7@

If she did not desire extraordinary graces, if she loved her very simple life, all of faith, it was above all, she said, "so that little souls would have nothing to envy her."

He was told on July 15: “Perhaps you will die tomorrow, feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, after having made Holy Communion?”

“Oh! - she went on - it won't be, it wouldn't go with my "little way". Would I therefore leave it to die? To die of love after Communion is too beautiful for me, little souls could not imitate that. Everything I do must be able to be done by little souls.»

@DEA 15-7@

[421] [Response the thirtieth request]:

It was the purest and most ardent love of God that was, so to speak, Sister Thérèse's whole life, and I believe that after having lived it, she died of it according to her desire.

If she came to Carmel, she said, it was to find Jesus there alone. Later, her goal became clearer, and I learned from her confidences that if she heroically accepted all the sacrifices of religious life, it was only to prove her love to the good God, to attract all hearts to him if she had been able to, finally, to obtain the sanctification of the priests. No sacrifice surprised her because she had planned everything and accepted everything in advance, with the sole aim of loving God and making people love him.

While I was preparing Celine for her first communion, she wanted to listen to me to prepare herself too. She sighed for her own first communion, finding it still far away. Three months before her first communion, I gave her a little book in which her preparatory sacrifices and her aspirations of love towards Jesus were to be marked each evening. This method pleased him very much. She made 818 sacrifices and 2773 acts or aspirations of love. This number is the total of the digits marked by it. She wrote to me, herself, her feelings on the day of her first communion; they were recounted in the “History of his life” (page 59, in-8°, 1914). @MSA 34,2- 35,1@ Afterwards she longed only for the days of her communions and found them too far apart. But she thought it better to wait without asking for her confessor's permission. She repented of it later, she then said: "It is not to remain in the golden ciborium that Jesus descends from heaven each day, it is to find another heaven, the heaven of our souls, where he takes his delight.”@MSA 422@ In Carmel, she called with her vows and her ardent prayers for a word from the Pope which frees souls from all the regulations and customs of the communities preventing daily communion.

Seeing how little is known about God's love on earth, she was inspired to offer herself as a victim to this merciful love. She meant by this to offer her heart to God, like an abyss that she would have liked to make infinite, to contain all the flames of divine charity rejected by most men, and to be consumed by it until she died. Before making this act of offering, she came to ask my permission, for I was prioress. By making this request to me, her face was animated, she seemed to me to be ablaze with love. I acceded to his wish, but without enthusiasm, without seeming to make much of it. It was then that she composed the formula of her act, submitted it to me and asked me to have it revised by a theologian. The Reverend Father Lemonnier, Superior of the Mis-

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

missionaries of Délivrande, examined it and replied that he found nothing in it contrary to the faith, while that it was not necessary to say: "I [423] feel in me infinite desires", but "I I feel immense desires in me", because there is nothing infinite about the creature. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus offered herself as a victim to merciful love, June 9, 1895. This act of offering was published in her life (page 305, in-8°, 1914).@PRI..6@

Only two novices knew the act of offering: Sister Geneviève first, and Sister Marie de la Trinité later. The Servant of God showed them the advantages and the glory it can give to God. They both did it and reaped great spiritual benefits. Sister Thérèse affirms that all “little souls”, weak and imperfect souls, can aspire to become victims of love. This facility is, in his opinion, the consequence of the “little way of spiritual childhood.”

 

[Answer to the thirty-first request]:

The Servant of God was very sad to know that God was so offended on earth. It was on this subject that I heard her say with holy indignation, during her last illness: “Oh! how I would like to leave this sad world!” @DEA3-7@. What she told me many times about her feelings of sadness, united to the desire to repair the injury done to God, she expresses it very well in her canticles. For example, in her canticle "Living on Love", she says:

“Even my heart resounds with blasphemy, [424] to erase it, I repeat each day:

Your sacred name, I adore it and I love it, I live on love.”@PN 17@

 

And in the hymn “Jesus, remember”, she sings:

“Remember that on earth I want to console you for the forgetfulness of sinners.

My only love, hear my prayer, ah! to love you give me a thousand hearts.”@PN 24@

 

Moreover, as I have said, if she was inspired to offer herself as a victim to the merciful love of God, it was through the deep pain she felt at the thought that this merciful love was rejected from so many poor sinners.

I can add a few more traits to characterize his charity towards God. She loved abandonment, oblivion of creatures in order to be more uniquely God's: "When I am too well cared for - she told me - I no longer enjoy."@HA 12 @ I told her, one day that She suffered more than usual during her illness: "How hard it must be for you to no longer be able to apply yourself to thinking of God, because it is impossible in the midst of these sufferings." She replied immediately: "I can still tell God that I love him, that's enough."@DEA 30-7-8@

She loved to express her love to God, by suffering for him. As they spoke to her in front of me of the happiness of the angels, she said: “they cannot suffer, they are not so happy as I am.”@DEA 425-18@

Looking at her crucifix, which had its head bowed, she said to me: "That's how I like crucifixes, because Jesus is represented dead there and I think he no longer suffers." @DEA 19-8@ Here is another saying: "What makes my heart beat, thinking of heaven, is the love that I will receive and that which I will be able to give."@DEA 13-7@

She said at the end of her life: “I wouldn't have wanted to pick up a straw to avoid purgatory. Everything I've done is out of love, to please God and save souls for Him.”@DEA 30-7@

During her professional retreat, as she suffered from spiritual aridity, she wrote to me: “My fiancé tells me nothing, and I don't tell him anything either, except that I love him more than myself. .. I am happy to have no consolation; I would be ashamed if my love resembled that of the brides of the earth, who always look at the hands of their fiancé, to see if he does not bring them some present, or else, at their face, to catch a smile there. love which ravishes them.»@LT 115@ «Love can make up for a long life - she wrote to me the following year -. Jesus does not look at time since it is eternal; he looks only to love. Oh! my little mother, ask her to give me a lot. I do not desire sensitive love; as long as it is sensible for Jesus, that is enough.”@LT 114@ “If by impossible [426]possible - she told me later - the good God himself did not see my good deeds, I wouldn't be distressed. I love him so much that I would like to be able to please him with my love and my little sacrifices, without him even knowing that it's from me. Knowing it and seeing it, he is as if obliged to surrender to me... I wouldn't want to give him that trouble." @DEA 9-5@ One day when I saw her throwing flowers at Calvary, I said to her: “Is it to obtain some graces?.” She replied: “No, it's to please him, I don't want to give to receive. I'm not selfish, it's the good God I love, it's not me.”@DEA 27-7@

I need not repeat that all these words, spoken or written, came from the abundance of her heart, and perfectly expressed her way of life: she never worked and acted except for the good God, in order to prove his love and deserve his.

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

[Session 15: July 9, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[430] [Response to the thirty-second request]:

When I was questioned about the virtues in general, I said a word about charity for the neighbor practiced by Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. She has indeed understood and practiced this precept in a quite remarkable way.

When Mother Marie de Gonzague asked her to complete the manuscript of her life, she said to me: “I am going to talk about fraternal charity, oh! I want to, because I received too much light on this subject, I don't want to keep them for myself alone; I assure you that charity is not understood on earth, and yet it is the principal of virtues.”@Source pre.@ So she set to work, but she was constantly disturbed: “I don't I didn't write what I wanted - she told me sadly - I would have needed more solitude. However, my thought is there, you will only have to classify.

She based her charity towards her neighbor on this word of Our Lord. "I am giving you a new commandment, which is that you love one another as I have loved you." @*Jn 13,34@- "But if it was already difficult to love the neighbor as oneself - she says in this regard - it is as impossible to love him as God loves him- even, unless our union with Him becomes so great that it is He who loves in us all those whom He commands us to love. The more I am united to God, the more I also love all my sisters.”@Source pre.@

The Servant of God studied to their [431] depths the various words of Jesus on the subject of charity towards one's neighbour, and she spoke to me about them many times with a vehement desire to put into practice what she understood. so good. I have seen her apply these divine instructions constantly and in all the details of her conduct towards her neighbor, but with such simplicity that one would never have suspected the sacrifices she imposed on her lively and ardent nature in order to overcome her repugnance. The good Lord rewarded her sustained efforts, because, at the end of her life, she told me that she no longer had to fight and went to fraternal charity with real attraction. But if the Servant of God confided to me several features of her charity, and if I saw many others of which I will quote a few, I remain completely convinced that most of her acts are known only to one who sees in secret.

From her childhood, little Thérèse was so gentle, so amiable towards everyone, that she was not only the joy of the family, but that the servants also loved her. As he grew and grew in virtue, his amiability became even more attractive: there was in his smile, in his whole person, an incomparable charm. In Carmel, just approaching him filled the soul with joy and made the Lord's yoke easy. In recreation, her sweet and frank gaiety, the fruit of her self-sacrifice, brought happiness around her. [432] It was her habit never to appear in a hurry, to allow the sisters full freedom to ask her services, and thus have the opportunity to follow the advice of Our Lord, of which she speaks in her manuscript: “N' do not avoid the one who wants to borrow from you” @*Matth 6-42@. She took an active part, as painful as she could, in the common work, choosing for herself the least convenient place in order to avoid it for others. This is how, during the summer, in the laundry room, she put herself in the place where there was less air. It is remembered so well that today it is called "Sister Thérèse's place", and the young sisters put themselves there out of devotion to imitate her mortification and her charity.

 

Sister Marie Philomène, who did a few months of novitiate with Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, is a very holy nun, but also very limited and who has the very rare humility to admit it. She communicated to me this written testimony in favor of the charity of the Servant of God: "Despite our great difference in age (I entered at 45), despite our difference in everything, because I was one of those souls , of which she speaks in her life, less well endowed by nature in all respects, as much for intelligence as for education, and for all that ordinarily attracts, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, far from me to make him feel, showed me so much kindness, such great devotion hidden under an amiable delicacy, a charity so pure and so great, that his little attentions did [433] me a real good to the soul.

A good nun of the community became the subject of violent temptations. Outwardly, indeed, this sister showed herself to be selfish, stiff and brittle. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, after several years of heroic struggles, triumphed to such an extent over the natural antipathy that this sister inspired in her, that one could have believed and really believed in a very special sympathy. On the day when it is permitted to speak to each other, she saw this sister one of the first and more often than the others. During recreation, she seemed happy to be near her and entertained her with great enthusiasm, seeming to take real pleasure in it.

 

At the end of her life, when very ill, she was writing her manuscript in the garden, I noticed one day that she was constantly disturbed by the sisters, and that instead of growing impatient or even humbly praying to be left alone, each time she put down her pen and closed her notebook with a gentle smile. I asked her how, under these conditions, she could put two ideas together. She answered me: “I write on fraternal charity, it is the case to practice it... Oh! my mother, fraternal charity is everything on earth: we love the good God to the extent that we practice it.” @DEA15-6@

They only watched over her for the last night of her life, until then she had refused to let anyone stay near her for fear of tiring the nurse.

This kindness of [434] heart extended even to the animals. We wanted to kill the flies that kept getting annoying.

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

ner, but she always begged to pardon them: "They are my only enemies -she said-, the good Lord said to forgive his enemies, I am happy to have this opportunity to do so" @DEA 30- 7@ She confided to me all the great desires that she expressed so often to the good Lord to do good to all souls. "After my death - she told me on July 17, 1897 - I will spend my heavens doing good on earth... think of all the good that I desire to do after my death, such as obtaining baptism for little children, converting sinners, helping priests, missionaries, the whole Church.”@DEA 17-7@

 

Ad XXXIII respondit [Answer to the thirty-third request]:

She had a zeal for souls from her childhood, making prayers and sacrifices to save them. One summer evening, coming back from a walk, she told me she was very thirsty; on my advice to offer this to the good God for the conversion of a sinner, she joyfully accepted the mortification that I proposed to her. When she was in bed, I brought her a drink. "You made the sacrifice - I told him - the sinner is saved of course, drink now." But she hesitated, afraid of losing her sinner and looking into my eyes to see if I was telling the truth. She was then five or six years old. Later, at the [435] Christmas party, she says that “zeal for souls entered her heart with the need to forget herself forever” @MSA 45,2@

 

She prayed a lot and made sacrifices for the conversion of the assassin Pranzini, who was converted, in fact, at the last moment. She calls him "her first child" @MSA 46,2@ and this success of her prayers increased her ardor to run to the conquest of souls. She was still speaking to me, two months before her death, on August 1897, 75, of the impression of graces once felt at the sight of an image of Our crucified Lord which is mentioned in her life, at the time of her adolescence. (Life, page 8, in 1914°, 45,2) @MSA 1@“If you knew, my mother- she said to me-, with what fervor I was set on fire looking at this image! I said to myself when I saw the blood of Jesus spilling uselessly on the earth: No, I don't want to lose this precious blood, I will spend my life collecting it for souls” @DEA 8-XNUMX@

 

[436] Et juxta idem XXXlll Interrogatorium sic prosecuta est testis [Continuation of the response to the same request]:

 

All his merits were offered for souls. One day when she expressed to me her regret at having revealed one of her sacrifices to me, for fear, she said, that her merit would be lost, I asked her: "So you want to acquire merits?" - "Yes - she replied - but not for me, it is for poor sinners, and for the needs of the Holy Church" @DEA 18-8@. She said again: “Nothing is in my hands, all that I have, all that I earn is for the Church and souls. If I live to be 80 years old, I will always be so poor... As I gain some spiritual treasures, feeling that at the same moment souls are in danger of falling into hell, I give them all that I possess , and I haven't yet found a moment [437] to say to myself: I'm going to work now for me" @DEA 14-7@ She said to me one day in the infirmary: "I felt pleasure in thinking that they were praying for me, so I told the good Lord that I wanted it to be applied to sinners.”-“So you don't want it to be for your relief?”-“No!”@DEA 22- 8@

Since her journey to Rome, the souls of priests attracted her more than those of sinners, because she knew them dearer to Our Lord, and the sanctification of souls depends in great part on them. At the canonical examination which preceded her profession, she replied that she had come to Carmel to save souls, but above all to pray for priests. She wanted to preserve, she said, this salt of the earth, by being the apostle of the apostles, by praying for them while they evangelize by their word and above all by their example. This is why she was so happy to associate herself especially with the works of two missionaries. This is why she never stopped praying for the conversion of the unfortunate Father Hyacinthe, offering her last communion for him.

 

She had seen that funeral wreaths had been offered for the burial of Mother Geneviève. Fearing that the same would be done for her. she said to me: "Do not accept crowns for my coffin, but ask for the money that would have been spent in order to use it to ransom two small Negro children whom I will protect." I would like a little Théophane and a little Marie Thérèse” @DEA 21/26-5@

 

[438] [Response to the thirty-fourth request]:

She was very compassionate towards her novices, and was not put off by their faults. There were several of them who, at the beginning, showed only distrust of him, and one even, Sister Marie Madeleine, hid herself at the hour which had been set for her to receive her advice. I saw her then several times looking for the rebel with a calm and smiling face, when she had found her speaking to him with touching gentleness and affection. In recreation, instead of seeking the company of her sisters according to nature, she rather approached the nuns who were the least sympathetic to her, or who had some difficulties, in order to try to dissipate their sorrow, by showing them love. 'affection. She said to me: "I want to practice the recommendation of Jesus: When you make a feast,

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

do not invite your relatives and your friends, lest they in turn invite you, and thus you have received your reward, but invite the poor... and you will be happy that they cannot surrender, and your heavenly Father, who sees in secret, will reward you for it'”@*Lk 14,12-14@and MSC 28,2 @

During her great annual retreats, where we love so much to remain in complete solitude, she allowed Sister Marthe, her novice, to ask the Mother Prioress to do her retreat with her. She gladly accepted this real sacrifice, and spent a whole hour every day with this poor, unintelligent little sister. Moreover, to encourage him to [439] perform certain humiliating mortifications in the refectory, she did them with her.

She never complained about Mother Marie de Gonzague, despite her injustice and sometimes her harshness towards her. On the contrary, she consoled her in her sorrows. After the elections of 1896, Mother Marie de Gonzague remained deeply wounded by the affront she had suffered, having been elected only after seven ballots; she called it appalling ingratitude. She was going to confide her grief to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus who, very gently, with great respect, tried to enlighten her and insinuated to her that she could derive great benefit from this humiliation for her soul.

The Servant of God never pushed anyone away. She acts like this until the last day of her life. On July 30, after she had received holy viaticum and extreme unction, several sisters wanted to speak to her, without letting her finish her thanksgiving. She then told me: “I did not reject the sisters, because I wanted to imitate Our Lord. It is said in the Gospel that when he withdrew into the desert, the people followed him there and that he did not send him back.”@DEA 30-7@

 

A sister who was very jealous of her and did not miss an opportunity to mortify her, put her charity to work by asking her to decorate with paintings the works she was making for the feast of the mother prioress. As this poor [440] sister was very original, she asked for completely bizarre subjects; Sister Thérèse never refused her assistance; she took the trouble to look for models of everything this sister wanted, and worked according to her singular indications and in bad taste. (This nun has now left the Order and returned to the world). In 1897, the last year of her life, Sister Thérèse still painted small works for this sister. It was the last time she used her brushes. It would seem that all you had to do was make Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus suffer to get everything you wanted out of her.

 

Ad XXXV [Answer to the thirty-fifth request]:

 

From her early childhood, Thérèse gave alms to the poor with the greatest joy. At Les Buissonnets, she was in charge of going to receive the beggars at the door, she pleaded their case with us to obtain as much as possible in their favour.

In Carmel, she would have liked to be a nurse to devote herself to the sick sisters and to hear, she said, on the day of judgment, these words of Our Lord: "I was sick and you visited me."@ *Matt 25-36@

 

She asked as a great favor and obtained permission to take a poor crippled lay sister, Sister Saint-Pierre, to the refectory every evening, and I saw her perform this act of charity for a long time with touching care and delicacy, and all the more meritorious that the sister was very difficult to please and often reproached him.

 

She would still have liked to relieve and cure sick missionaries. "I am convinced - she told me - of the uselessness of remedies to cure me, so I have arranged with the good Lord so that he can benefit poor missionaries who have neither the time nor the means to to heal. I ask him that everything given to me be used for their healing.”@DEA 21 /:26-5@

 

[Answer to the thirty-sixth request]:

 

Even when she suffered the most in the infirmary, she did not fail to recite the six Paters and Aves every evening for the souls in purgatory. "The demon doesn't like it-she said-because he does everything he can to make me forget them, but it's very rare that he succeeds" @DEA 11-9@. She had conjured permission to recite, until the complete exhaustion of her strength, the office of the dead prescribed for the deceased sisters of our monasteries.

 

I know from Sister Geneviève of Saint Thérèse that the Servant of God had made the “heroic vow” in favor of the souls in purgatory. Perhaps Sister Thérèse told me that herself, but I don't remember it with sufficient certainty.

 

She also said to me: "I would like to go to purgatory, I would even be happy to go there, if by that I could free other souls, because then I would do good, I would free the captives."@DEA 1- 8@

 

[442] Ad XXXVII [Response to the thirty-seventh request]:

 

From an early age, the Servant of God had a true idea of ​​solid virtue. We saw her practice making sacrifices, and we heard her say words that showed how serious and thoughtful she was.

When my mother died she was only four and a half years old, and yet her impressions were as deep as ours. This ordeal greatly matured his soul.

 

She had from childhood the presentiment that her life would be short. She told me, and I took note of it in my little notebooks. Consequently, she endeavored to avoid evil and to seize every opportunity to perform acts of virtue in order to draw closer to the good God and to heaven. She had a particular taste for the religious sciences; the boarding school chaplain called him his “little doctor” @MSA 37,2@.

 

She disliked games, and was more willing to listen to serious conversations.

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes OCD

 

his. From the age of about six, she was already seeking solitude, especially that of the countryside, keeping apart in the meadows, when my father took her with him fishing, and letting her soul penetrate for whole hours of the gentle presence of God.

She told me, at the Carmel, the impression made on her, as a child, by a book for young people that my aunt, Madame Guérin, had placed in her hands. In the course of history a boarding school mistress [443]was much praised because she knew how to get out of trouble. She said to one student: "You are not wrong", to another: "You are right". -"But, that's very bad, - the Servant of God said to herself -, you should only say what you think." She said to me when reporting this trait: “I haven't changed my feeling, and that's always how I do with novices. I have more difficulties, that's for sure, because nothing is easier than to blame those absent. I do quite the opposite, my duty is to tell the truth to the souls entrusted to me, and I tell it.”@CSG? ?@

 

[Session 16: - July 12, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[446] [Continued response to same request]:

 

"When I was in boarding school at the Abbey - she told me - seeing the little skills of some boarders to win the good graces and affection of their mistresses, I liked to remember these words of the imitation: Let those who are agitated, agitate as much as they want, for you, remain in peace, and I felt that the good Lord wanted to distance me, not only from the seductions of the [447] world, but from all vain attachment to the creature, which disturbs the heart, even if it is innocent, because it is impossible not to fall into excess» @Source pre@

 

About the many and so great difficulties she encountered to enter Carmel at the age of 15, she wrote to me from Rome, after the audience with the pope, when the goal of her trip seemed to have failed:

“My gondola is having a hard time reaching the port! I have seen it for a long time, and I always find myself far from it; but Jesus guides it, this little boat, and I am sure that on the day chosen by him, it will happily land on the blessed shore of Carmel» @LT 43 B@

 

On her return from her trip to Rome, she was at first tempted to lead a life less mortified than usual, but she recognized that it was a temptation and gave herself up more than ever to a serious and holy life, applying herself to to break one's will, to hold back a word of retort, to render small services without showing them off.

 

About the thoughts of sadness and discouragement that one can have after a fault, she tells me: “As for me, I am careful not to get discouraged. I say to the good Lord: My God, I know that this feeling of sadness that I feel, I have deserved it, but let me offer it to you all the same, as a test that you send me out of love. I regret my sin, but I am happy to have this suffering to offer you'”@DEA 3-7@

 

[448] She said to me another day: “I am always happy; I arrange myself, even in the midst of the storm, so as to remain very calm within. If I am told about fights, I try not to get excited for or against them or those » @DEA 18-4@

 

In a circumstance where no one had understood her, she had remained silent, and we asked her the reason. She replied with a deep air: "The Blessed Virgin has kept everything in her heart, you can't blame me for doing like her" @DEA 8-7@,

 

Towards the end of her life, one day when I was driving her in her little car from the garden to the infirmary, she said to me: "This afternoon, these words of Our Lord to Saint Thérèse came back to me: My daughter , do you know those who truly love me? These are the ones who behave in this life according to the intimate conviction that everything that does not relate to me is only a lie. " Oh! my mother, she added, how true! yes, everything apart from God is pure vanity” @DEA 22-6 and TH. Avila Vie ch XI @

 

Another time, thinking to distract her, I spoke to her of the trip to France of the Emperor and Empress of Russia. She sighed and said to me: “I'm not interested in all that! Let them speak to me only of the good Lord, of the examples of the Saints, of what is finally true.»@Source pre.@

 

[449] [Regarding her own spiritual life, did the Servant of God seek advice, particularly from spiritual directors?]

When Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus says, in her life, that "her way was so luminous that she did not feel the need to have recourse to guides other than Jesus", when she adds that "directors are mirrors which reflect God in souls, but that for her, God enlightened her directly” @MSA 48,2@, she does not posit that she is always directly enlightened by God and does not need the board of directors. She speaks of a specific moment in her life when indeed no darkness made her path uncertain; these are the two years that preceded his entry into Carmel. But in Carmel the sun was veiled for the Servant of God, and she eagerly sought to be enlightened, mistrusting her own lights. I saw her consult, not only the priests, but in the monastery, those who had authority over her, and even other former mothers, like Mother Geneviève, our foundress, Mother Coeur de Jesus, former prioress of the Carmel of Coutances , and also follow my personal advice.

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

I know that she confided everything to the priests: her fears of offending God, her desire to become a saint, the graces she received from heaven; she begged Father Alexis to sanction her course of abandonment and trust; she submitted to the priests her act of offering to merciful Love; Finally, she asked many for help and consolation to conduct herself with prudence in her great trial against the faith. She said, on her deathbed: “there is no one less sure of herself than I am”@DEA 450-20@. Although she felt very drawn to the path of love and abandonment, she did not give herself up to it with full confidence until Father Alexis told her that she was on the right path, which that several directors before him did not say. "Until then, she writes, I dared not move forward on the waves of confidence which nevertheless attracted me so strongly" @MSA 5@

 

[Response to the thirty-eighth request]:

 

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was both very simple and very prudent in the advice she gave to souls. Besides, she reflected and prayed before acting. It was above all in meditation on the Holy Gospel that she found her line of conduct. She repeated to me one day with much anointing these words of Our Lord: "The heavenly Father will give the good spirit to those who ask him"; and she added with a kind of delight:

"My mother, just ask" @Source pre.@. When she was still a novice, she had as a novitiate companion Sister Marthe of Jesus, who allowed herself to be deceived by a natural affection for Mother Marie de Gonzague, and obtained her favors by flatteries. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus resolved, one day, to enlighten her to get her out of this bad path. She prepared herself by prayer for a very dangerous interview for her, because Sister Marthe [451] could betray her to Mother Marie de Gonzague who was prioress, and when the hour of the interview came, she spoke with such authority and heavenly prudence that the culprit was struck down by grace and made good resolutions for the future.

 

But I am going to refer more particularly to the advice she gave me, advice which shows her great prudence and the sureness of her spiritual directions.

 

One day, I asked her advice, being Prioress. “A mother prioress, she told me, should always give the impression that she has no pain. It gives so much strength not to entrust one's sorrows! For example, you must avoid saying: You have pain, I have it too with such a sister, etc. @DEA 5-8@.”

About extraordinary penances, she tells me: "The good Lord made me understand that natural satisfactions can very well be mixed with the most austere penance, one must beware of it" @DEA 3-8@

She said to me, another day: "When a sister entrusts us with something, even of little importance, that she asks us to keep secret, it's sacred, we must never tell anyone about it" @DEA 23 -9@

She said another time, to me and my two sisters, as we were leaving the parlor: “Pay close attention to the regularity. After a visit, do not stop to talk among yourselves; because then, it's like at home, you don't deprive yourself of anything... When I'm no longer there, be careful not to lead [1] family life between you "@DEA 452-3@

No longer being prioress, I had several times received, out of compassion, the confidence of Sister Marie de Saint-Joseph. I asked Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus what she thought of it: "My mother," she replied without hesitation, "in your place, I would not receive her: you are no longer prioress, she is a illusion of thinking that one can do good outside of obedience; not only can you not do good to this poor soul by listening to him, but you can do him harm and expose yourself to offending the good God.”

Finally, on the subject of spiritual fraternities, by which a union of prayers and sacrifices was established between a priest and a nun, she warned me during her last illness that, later on, a large number of young priests, knowing that she was given as a spiritual sister to two missionaries, who will ask for the same favour. She warns me that it could be a real danger: “Any of the sisters could write what I write, and would receive the same compliments, the same confidence. It is only by prayer and by sacrifice that we can be useful to the Church. Correspondence should be rare, and it should not be allowed at all to certain nuns who would be preoccupied with it, would believe they were doing wonders, and, in reality, would only hurt their souls, and perhaps fall into the subtle traps of the demon."

@DEA 8-7@

 

[453] [Response to the thirty-ninth request]:

 

In everything, Sister Thérèse had a sense of justice. She had vowed to God the most complete obedience and all the gratitude and love of her heart. She had a fair idea of ​​the rights of God, which she served without counting the cost, rather following the impulses of his generous love which carried her well beyond the demands of duty. She hated the little devotions of good women which sometimes creep into the communities. The collections of prayers gave him a headache; she said that apart from the Holy Office, the Pater and the Ave were enough for her to kindle her heart.

When she was a little girl, she worried every night about whether she had fulfilled her duties to God.

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus 0. CD

 

She asked me in her childish language: “Pauline, was I cute today? Is the good Lord pleased with me?.”@MSA 454@

 

Many times she expressed to me her tender gratitude to God. The “Story of the Servant of God” is entirely nothing but a hymn of gratitude. It reads from the first lines: "I will begin to sing what I must repeat eternally: the mercies of the Lord" @MSA 2,1@. She blessed God for everything, especially for her trials, to the point of making many believe that she had only had joys. “It's a rose water life”, some readers have dared to say!

This feeling of gratitude was so deep in his heart that it went so far as to make him shed tears, sometimes on the occasion of insignificant events, such as the meeting, in the garden, of a little white hen sheltering her chicks. under her wings: “Because, she says, this sight is like the image of God's kindness to me” @DEA 7-6@.

Finally, I heard her say during her illness: "When I think of all the graces that the good Lord has given me, I hold myself back so as not to continually shed tears of gratitude" @DEA 12-8@

I felt like I was in a hurry to collect those precious tears. Whenever I could, I wiped them with a fine cloth that was completely soaked in them, and the Servant of God, out of condescension and affection for me, let me do it with touching simplicity.

 

[455] [Response to the fortieth request]:

 

I have little to say on this question.

 

The Servant of God told me, on August 8, 1897, about what she thought, as a child, about the inequality of conditions here below: “I had great pity for those who served. Noting the difference that exists between masters and servants, I said to myself: How well this proves that there is a heaven where each will be placed according to his inner merit! How well the poor and the little ones will be rewarded for the humiliations they have suffered on earth!

His gratitude extended to all those who did him good.

 

To the souls with whom she was charged, she justly distributed kindness and severity. After a strong reprimand, addressed to a novice, the latter, at first revolted, said to her soon after: "You have done me good, I recognize that everything you have told me is very right" @MSC 24,1@.

She advised novices to maintain peace among themselves by making just concessions, and above all to beware of jealousy. For her part, she said to me: “Never have I desired what I thought I saw in others better than what I had. Always what the good Lord gave me pleased me” @DEA 14-7@

This is perhaps the time to relate what relates to his love of the truth.

In her childhood, she showed a lot of frankness and spontaneously accused herself of her [456] slightest faults.

 

At the end of her life, I asked her to say a few words of edification to the doctor who was treating her. She answered me: “Ah! my mother, it's not my way; let the doctor think what he wants, I only like simplicity, I hate the opposite. I assure you that to do as you wish would be wrong on my part” @DEA 7-7@.

 

On July 9, our Father Superior had come to visit her to see if it was appropriate to give her Extreme Unction, but he did not find her sick enough, she had managed to appear so amiable and smiling. I then told her that she didn't know how to get what she wanted from the Superior, that she didn't look at all ill when she received his visit. She replied kindly: "I don't know the job!" @DEA 9-7@ (to take small steps to get what you want).

 

[Answer to the forty-first request]:

 

From her early youth, with the aim of overcoming the attractions of the senses, I saw her applied to mortification, but always with more simplicity and moderation as she approached the end of her exile. She didn't want a worrying mortification capable of preventing her mind from applying itself to God. She told me that the devil often deceived certain generous but imprudent souls, pushing them to excesses which harmed their health and prevented them from fulfilling their duty. She also saw in it the danger of self-indulgence. She confessed to me that at the beginning of her religious life, she had thought it right, to imitate the saints, to contrive to make food tasteless, "but I left that way for a long time - she told me - She -. When the food is to my liking, I bless God for it; when it's bad, that's when I accept mortification. This unsought mortification seems to me the surest and the most sanctifying” @Source pre.@

 

She would have thought she was sinning against temperance, by not enjoying, when she was drawn to it by a thought of love and gratitude towards God, the charms of nature, of music, etc. She told me that love being the only goal to reach, the action in which we put more love, would it be in itself indifferent, must be preferred to another, perhaps better in itself, but in which we would put less love.

 

On August 8, 1897 (the month before her death), speaking of her childhood memories, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus said to me: “If Our Lord and the Blessed Virgin had not themselves taken part in -

 

WITNESS 6: OCD Jesus Rig

 

Well, I would never have understood the custom of inviting family and friends to one's table. I said to myself: 'To eat, I think we should hide or at least stay with the family' @DEA 8-8@

She was very mortified from a young age, I never saw her do the smallest act of gluttony. At meals, she ate what was presented to her without [458] showing either repugnance or eagerness.

 

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus never had, in the Carmel, a marked preference for her three sisters; even in recreation, she never sought their company, without, however, affecting to avoid them; she went indiscriminately with any sister; and very often, the sister with whom she conversed more willingly was the one who was alone, neglected.

 

During the priorates of Mother Marie de Gonzague, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus always refrained from confiding in me her struggles, her reluctance, although it would have been easy for her to obtain permission.

 

She was careful, with me as with the others, not to apologize, to say no useless words to me; she allowed herself to be judged, even by me, according to often misleading and unfavorable appearances.

 

Mother Marie de Gonzague, being prioress, had established the custom of seeing, every week, the sisters who wanted it, instead of once a month as it is written in the Constitutions. When I became prioress in 1893, the sisters continued to come to my house every week, but Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus would have thought she was looking for herself by imitating them, and it was she whom I saw the least often.

She endured with joy, without trying to get rid of them, the sufferings that imposed themselves on her. She told me that when she was refector, a nun wanted to reattach her scapular and at the same time crossed her shoulder with the large pin used to tie it. I asked her [459]how long she had suffered this: “Several hours,” she replied; I went to the cellar to fill the bottles, I brought them back in the baskets, I was so happy! But in the end, I was afraid of no longer being in obedience, since Our Mother knew nothing about it»

 

In her last illness, she never wanted to pray for the abatement of her ills, and contented herself with saying, even in the midst of her most painful crises: "My God, have mercy on me, you who are so good!" @DEA 30-9@

 

On July 19, 1897 (she was very ill at the time), the chaplain having come to see her, she said to me a few hours later: chaplain had told him of my condition after his visit. I thought to myself that I would find profit and consolation in knowing this. But thinking about it, I said to myself: No, it's curiosity, that, and, since the good Lord doesn't allow anyone to tell me, it's a sign that he doesn't want me to know. . So I avoided putting the conversation on this subject, for fear that in the end Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart would find herself naturally led to satisfy me» @DEA 19-7@

About the manuscript of his life, I received it from his hand on January 20, 1896, and put it near me without opening it. The Servant of God heard no more of it. Two months later, I finally decided to read it. During this interval, I don't remember that she spoke to me [460] once about it.

 

[Session 17: - July 13, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[463] [Response to the forty-second request]:

 

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was an extremely active and energetic soul, beneath a gentle and graceful exterior; she constantly revealed in her actions a strong character and a virile soul. Her peaceful surrender into the hands of God came from her love for him. But it was not a rest without work: her love sought nourishment in sacrifice. If the Servant of God was contemplative, her contemplation drove her to action for the salvation of souls. She said: “It is through prayer and sacrifice that we can be useful to the Church” @DEA 8-7@. At 14, she wrote to me: "I want to give myself entirely to Jesus, to always suffer for him... How happy I would be, if at the time of my death I could only offer Jesus a soul that I would have saved by my sacrifices.”@LT 43 b@

 

At 16, during her habit-making retreat, she wrote to me about

very sensitive little persecutions that she endured from several sisters: “Yes, I desire them, these heart wounds, these pinpricks which cause so much suffering; to all ecstasies, I prefer sacrifices” @LT 55@

 

Everything in her religious life revealed to me a very [464] great attraction for the generous gift of herself. She expresses her true feelings when she says: "To suffer is what I enjoy in life... there is only one thing to do here below, to throw the flowers of the small sacrifices to Jesus. > @DEA 17-7@

 

Towards the end of her life, she said to me: “I would very much like to be sent to the Carmel of Hanoi to suffer a lot for the good Lord; I would like to go there, if I recover, to be all alone, to have no consolation, no joy on earth» @DEA 15-5@

 

The doctors gave him only a few days of life left; she was in atrocious pain when she said to me: “If I recovered, the doctors would be very surprised; but they might be

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

more, they who know my desire to die, when I say to them: Gentlemen, I am very happy to be cured to serve the good Lord once again... I suffered as if I were to die, but I would gladly start another times» @DEA 5-9@

 

In a moment of crisis, she moaned softly. Seeing this, she said, “Oh! how I complain! And yet, I would not like to suffer less” @DEA 25-8@

 

A few days before her death, she told me verbatim: "What I said and wrote is true about everything... It is true that I wanted to suffer a lot for the good Lord, and it is true that I desire it Again",

@DEA 25-9@

I could cite many examples of the supernatural strength that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus displayed in the service of God. I saw her [465] constantly applied to conquering herself, for, despite appearances, she suffered a great deal here below, morally and physically; and I find that she was all the stronger before God because she knew how to hide from creatures, under the appearance of calm and joyful friendliness, her real sufferings. She was doing so well that many in the community thought she had nothing to suffer. Never, in her greatest interior or exterior trials, did she relax in her fidelity in the accomplishment of all her duties; she never gave the appearance of cowardice and laziness.

 

I will cite a few particular features.

From her early childhood, she had taken the habit of never complaining and never apologizing.

In Carmel, especially in the time of little Sister Thérèse, because of the environmental conditions that I have already described, the occasions of clashes, frictions, consequently of sufferings, were continual. Souls, even excellent and very virtuous, showed signs of impatience and discontent. I can testify that Sister Thérèse, even when the most humiliating and painful things happened to her, never departed from her calm, her gentleness, her always amiable charity. I consider that, for anyone who knows the human soul and community life, this is no small proof of supernatural force. She was a portress for about two years with Sister Saint Raphaël, who was very slow, excessively [1] manic and without intelligence. They said she would make an angel impatient. God alone can count the victories of humility and patience that the Servant of God then won.

 

Poor Sister Marie de Saint-Joseph, now back in the world, obtained permission from me to ask her for advice. The nun, of whom I speak, had only good intentions, but with her poor sick mind, she made her heroic adviser endure a real martyrdom, who never tired of devoting her time and strength to her. Moreover, in 1896, being already very ill, Sister Thérèse asked, as a grace, to be assigned to the linen room as an assistant to the same sister, Marie de Saint-Joseph. However, this nun had never had an auxiliary in her charge, because the mother prioress judged with reason that one could not impose such a heavy burden on anyone. She nevertheless allowed the Servant of God, at her request, to join Sister Marie de Saint-Joseph in this way, and until the illness had completely overcome her, she remained with perfect devotion and without the slightest impatience in the service of this singular mistress.

 

Another time, the Servant of God confided to me the intimate and very lively struggle she had to sustain over a night lamp which she had been asked to prepare for the sister and little nephew of Mother Marie de Gonzague. because the parents of this mother prioress, contrary to our customs, came [467] quite often, one or the other, to stay in the building outside the towers.

 

[Response to forty-second request continued]:

 

"The devil," she told me, "tempted me violently to revolt, not only against the lamp which made me lose precious time, but against the actions of Our Mother, who put part of the community at the service of her family, and tolerated for her family what she would never have wanted to allow. for the families of the other sisters. But I saw very well that I was going to offend the good Lord and I asked him for the grace to calm the storm that had risen within me. I made a great effort on myself, and began to prepare the pilot light, as if it were intended to light up the Blessed Virgin and the Child Jesus. I took incredible care of it, leaving not the slightest speck of dust. Then my heart calmed down, and I found myself in the sincere disposition to render [468] services all night long to the parents of Our Mother, if they had been asked of me.”@DEA 12-7@

 

[Did the Servant of God sometimes fail in her even-temperedness towards Mother Marie de Gouzague?]:

I recognize that, in a single instance, the Servant of God openly blamed, without ceasing to be just, the behavior of Mother Marie de Gonzague in the circumstance that I am going to explain:

It was in the month of January 1896. I was prioress, and I was to remain in this office until February 20. Mother Marie de Gonzague was mistress of novices. Sister Geneviève was coming to the end of her year of novitiate, and, according to the customs of our Holy Order, could be admitted to profession on February 6. It was therefore a question of presenting her to the chapter, and, at the probable case where she would be accepted, to have her make her profession in my hands, before the elections which did not take place until March 21. Mother Marie de Gonzague, who hoped to be elected prioress, wanted to postpone until after the elections the admission of Sister Ge-

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

neviève to the profession. Our Father Superior judged otherwise. Mother Marie de Gonzague was very unhappy about this, and said that she would not give her vote in favor of the novice, and began a campaign with the Capitulating Sisters to have Sister Geneviève sent to the Carmel of Saigon who was asking for subjects. In the meantime, during recreation, Mother Marie de Gonzague being absent, the sisters turned the conversation to the situation of Sister Geneviève, some [469] of them revealing quite clearly the malevolence that animated them towards the "four sisters", as it was customary in similar circumstances to refer to us with disdain, there was a particularly hurtful invective for Sister Geneviève, roughly in these terms: "After all, the mistress has the right to test this novice like another." It was then that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus said with some emotion: “There are forms of tests that should not be used”@Source pre.@. It is this ordeal of delaying, for reasons of jealousy, a religious profession and even of risking losing it by declaring publicly that she would not give it her vote, that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus calls "a that should not be imposed.

 

[response continued]:

One of the Servant of God's greatest trials, like all of us, was our father's brain disease. Some time before Sister Thérèse took the habit, the attacks of paralysis that my father had had the previous year took a most serious and saddening turn: it was soon impossible to treat him at home, and he entered a special nursing home for insanity on February 12, 1889. The Servant of God felt this ordeal in a very special way, because my father had been everything to her. Our grief was often sharpened in a cruel way by the indiscretion of the conversations that were held in front of us. One day, [470] in the parlor, we heard the harshest things about our poor father; scornful terms were used in speaking of him. Other times, at recess, the Mother Prioress would openly appreciate my father's illness in our presence, talk about the diet of the sanatorium, what the insane do or can do, the straitjackets, etc. Now, at that terrible time of our sorrows, Sister Thérèse, although she was only 6 years old, never sought consolation, neither from Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, nor from me. It was we who, on the contrary, went to her to be consoled. She only admits in her History that “her desire for suffering was fulfilled” @MSA 73,1@. On many occasions, she told us, with perfect calm, that we had to consider this ordeal as one of the greatest graces of our life.

 

Here are a few more traits relating to his courage in bodily suffering.

She had always had a very delicate throat. Two years before her pulmonary hemorrhages, she suffered much more from them, especially when she helped with the laundry, washing the dishes and sweeping, because of the fog and the dust. However, she did not dispense with these tasks.

 

In September 1896, a large blister was put on her; very soon after, she came to mass and received communion. After thanksgiving I went up to his cell; I found her exhausted, seated on her poor little bench, her back leaning against the plank partition which separates her cell from the oratory of the Blessed Virgin. I [471] could not help reproaching him. She answered me: "I don't think it's too much to suffer to win a communion" @DEA .@DEA">21/26-5@

 

She was coughing a lot at that time, September 1896, especially at night. So she was forced to sit on her pallet to lessen the oppression. She was then so emaciated that it was very painful for her to sit for hours on end on such a hard couch. I would have liked her to go down to the infirmary; but she said she was better off in her cell. “Here, she said, you can't hear me cough and I don't bother anyone, and then when I'm too well cared for, I don't enjoy anymore.”@DEA 21/26-5@

In the infirmary, we ended up guessing that she was suffering from severe shoulder pain, and we wanted to relieve her: "Let me have my little shoulder pain - she said, it reminds me of the Carrying of the Cross" @ AED 3-8@

 

[Answer to the forty-third request]:

 

You have to have seen the Servant of God to judge her purity. She was enveloped in innocence, but it was not a childish innocence, ignorant of evil, it was an enlightened innocence which divined the mud of this world, and resolved, with the help of grace, not to soil his soul with it.

In one of her poems she sang:

“Chastity makes me the sister of the angels I must soon fly in their knuckles,

[472] but in exile, I have to fight like them” @PN 48@

She therefore thought that it was necessary to fight, and although she revealed to me that she had never been tempted against holy virtue, she observed great vigilance in order to keep the integrity of her spirit until her last breath. treasure.

 

Little Thérèse, as a child, carried on her, in her manners, in her gaze and her smile, a reflection of angelic purity.

 

She was very simple and in great ignorance of evil, fearing to discover it, as she confesses in her life, and entrusting the custody of her purity to the Blessed Virgin and Saint Joseph.

 

Later, she understood that everything is pure for the pure. Seeing that she was learned in the things of life, I asked her who had given her this knowledge. She replied that she had found it without looking for it, in nature, by observing the flowers and the birds, and she added: "But the Blessed Virgin

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

knew everything. Doesn't she say to the angel on the day of the Annunciation: “How can this be, for I know no man? . . . It is not the knowledge of things that is bad. The good Lord has done nothing but very good and very noble. Marriage is beautiful, for those whom God calls to this state; it is sin that disfigures and defiles it”.

 

However, I saw her cry a lot, knowing that her sister Céline, before her entry into religion, was exposed in the world to dangers which had been [473] unknown to her.

She told me towards the end of her life: “My body has always bothered me, I have never felt comfortable in it; when I was little, I was sorry to have a body” @DEA 30-7@

 

[Answer to the forty-fourth request]:

 

The Servant of God told me that she had made a special effort, at the beginning of her religious life, to understand the obligations of the vow of poverty, because she felt that she would have to make many sacrifices to be there. faithful, especially with regard to the objects for her use, for she naturally loved beauty, and lacked nothing.

 

I always saw her perfectly detached from the goods of this world which she had joyfully abandoned for love of Our Lord.

She let herself be taken, without asking for them again, the very necessary objects which she used in her employments.

She told me that she valued no more the goods of the intelligence or the heart than those of the earth; it left God free to dispose of one or the other as he pleased for his glory and for the benefit of souls.

She allowed herself to be given, and even chose for her own use the ugliest and least convenient objects.

She took great care to preserve the objects for her use, and mended her clothes until [474] extreme wear.

She never lost a moment. When told not to tire herself, she replied that her vow of poverty compelled her to work.

When Mother Marie de Gonzague asked her to write the third part of her life, she found the notebook that I had chosen, although quite ordinary, too beautiful, and was afraid of making a mistake against poverty by using it. She asked me if it was necessary, at least, to tighten the lines to save paper. It was necessary to prove to her that she was too ill to tire herself of writing like this and to force her to space out the lines. The first part of the manuscript is on the thinnest and poorest paper one can find.

 

 

[Session 18: - July 14, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[477] [Response to the forty-fifth request]:

At the end of her life, I heard the Servant of God admit that she had never done her will on earth, that it was for this that the good Lord would do all his will in heaven.

I saw her, in fact, from her childhood, applied to obey. I don't remember that she once disobeyed me, even in the smallest things. My very advice was orders for her. She asked permission for everything. When, in [478] the afternoon, her lessons being learned and her homework done, my father asked her to go out with him, she always answered: "I'll ask Pauline's permission" @MSA 19,1 @. My father himself urged him to this submission. And if I refused, she did not reason and showed no impatience despite her strong desire to obtain.

I remember that in the evening, to tame her fear of darkness, I sent her alone, anywhere, in the house and even in the garden. She obeyed me unanswerably, despite her fear that she ended up completely overcoming.

She was very fond of reading, but when the hour of this recreation was over, she immediately closed the book, never allowing herself to read a word more.

 

In one of the books placed at his disposal was a picture that I had forbidden him to look at. If by chance the book opened at this page, she hastened to close it.

She showed a holy fear of behaving alone: ​​“My freedom frightened me”,@MSA 37,1@ she wrote, recalling the memory of what she asked Our Lord on the day of her First Communion.

 

In Carmel, his vow of obedience was not an empty promise. She submitted, not only in fact, but in judgment, and taught her novices this perfect way of obeying.

His obedience was quite supernatural. [479] It was God whom she intended to obey in the person of her superiors and even her inferiors who, from afar, also revealed to her something of the will of God.

She called obedience her infallible compass: "How sweet it is to me, she wrote to Mother Marie de Gonzague - to fix my gaze on you, to know and fly where God is calling me" @MSC 11,1@

She had come to obey, not only the formal commands, but the divined desires of her superiors, always because she saw God in them.

About the story of the night lamp, which I mentioned yesterday, she tells me: "From that day on, I resolved never to consider whether the things ordered were useful or not" @DEA 12- 7@

The Servant of God said to her novices: “It always upsets God a little bit when you reason a little bit about what the mother prioress says; and it hurts him a lot, when we reason a lot, even in his heart » @ Source pre@

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

If she wrote her life, it was solely out of obedience. She would not otherwise have been detached from her work to the point of saying that if it were burned before her eyes, she would not experience the slightest pain.

 

She had the highest regard for religious regularity, and suffered greatly when she saw infractions in the community. I still hear [480] this complaint coming from his lips, the year of his death: “Oh! how little regularity there is! That there are few perfect nuns who do almost nothing, saying: I am not bound to this, to that... after all, there is no great harm in speaking here, in doing that, etc. How rare are those who do everything as well as possible! » @DEA 6-8@

 

When Reverend Father Roulland, of the Foreign Missions, was given to her as a spiritual brother by Mother Marie de Gonzague, she was expressly forbidden to tell me. She was commissioned to paint an image on parchment, again without my knowledge, for this spiritual brother; but for that she needed my brushes, my colours, my burnisher. She pushed the delicacy of her obedience to the point of hiding in the library to paint this picture; and, to keep the ordered secret, she forced herself to come in my absence to fetch and bring back the instruments she needed.

 

When the Mother Prioress made a general recommendation, Sister Thérèse remained faithful to it even after several years, while the others easily forgot these details.

It had been requested from the Carmel of Hanoi. It is about this that she wrote in her life: "An order would not be necessary for me to leave the Carmel of Lisieux that I love so much, but a simple look, a simple sign from the good God" @MSC 9,1 ,XNUMX@

 

She also sang of her attraction to obedience. I remember these verses:

"O my Jesus, I want no other glory than to submit in all my will, since the obedient will repeat his victories throughout eternity" @PN 48@

 

[Answer to the forty-sixth request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus practiced humility, always and in all things. Following her reading as a young girl, on the exploits of French heroines, she had at first felt an enthusiasm for glory; but in studying the life of Jesus, she quickly resolved to put the glory only in the contempt of herself. Living unknown and counting for nothing was the program of her perfection. She reported to God alone the good she could do. Not only did she delight in the sight of his baseness, but she rejoiced when others humiliated her, even for no reason.

 

The Servant of God summed up her feelings of deep humility in her poem "I thirst for love", when she said:

“My beloved, your example invites me to lower myself, to despise honor:

to delight you, I want to remain small, by forgetting myself I will charm your heart. For me, on the foreign shore, what contempt did you not receive! I want to hide on earth, to be the last in everything, for you, Jesus!” @PN 31@

 

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was not at all vain in her childhood and seemed indifferent with regard to her toilet. If people said in front of her that she was pretty, I told her the opposite, and she sincerely believed me.

 

The good Lord himself made him understand the vanity of praise. She was 9 years old when, having come to see me in the parlor of the Carmel, a sister never tired of saying that she was nice. Sister Thérèse writes on this subject: “I did not intend to come later to Carmel to receive praise, so after the parlor I kept repeating to God that it was for Him alone that I wanted to be a Carmelite. »@MSA 26,2@

On the day of her profession, she carried on her heart a prayer which summed up all her desires for humility: "May no one take care of me, may I be trampled under foot like a little grain of sand!" » @PRI 6@

 

She wrote to me during her retreat in 1892: “Oh! my mother, how I desire to be unknown to all creatures! I never desired human glory; contempt had been attractive to my heart, but, having recognized that it was still too glorious for me, I became passionate about oblivion » @LT 95@

 

In Carmel, he had many opportunities to practice humility. The Mother Prioress took pains to mortify her on this point. One day when I confided to this Mother Prioress my sadness at [483] seeing my young sister badly cared for and always humiliated for no reason, she answered me with vivacity: “That is the inconvenience of having sisters! You no doubt want Sister Thérèse to be put forward, but it is quite the contrary that I must do. She is much more proud than you think, she needs to be constantly humiliated, and if it is for her health that you come to implore me, leave it to us, that is none of your business.

 

From these words of the Mother Prioress, we see that she had plenty of opportunities to practice humility. She accepted them all, not only with generosity, but with joy. She told me, on her deathbed, speaking of the past: "I was going away strengthened by the humiliations, yes, I was happy every time I was humiliated" @Source pre @

 

When Mother Geneviève died, many flowers and wreaths were sent. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was arranging them as best she could around the coffin, when Sister Saint Vincent de Paul, who was observing it, said to her: "You know how to put the wreaths sent by your family in the front row, and you back the bouquets of the poor.” Then, I heard this answer, in a natural tone and full of sweetness: "Thank you, my sister, you are right, I am going to highlight the foam cross sent by the workers, that is where it will do well, I did not think about it” @H ch.1@

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

[484] Continued response to same request]:

She was always ready to fix her weaknesses. I saw her ask forgiveness, with touching humility, from the sisters whom she thought she had saddened. With one especially (July 29, in the infirmary) she expressed herself with a kind of holy vehemence: “Oh! I beg your pardon, pray for me! she said with tears. Soon after, the expression on her face became very peaceful again, and she said to me: "I experience a very lively joy, not only to know that I am considered imperfect, but above all to feel myself there, and to need God's mercy so much at the time of my death” @CEA 29-7@

 

One day, she was already ill, a sister came to ask her immediate assistance for a painting job. I was present, and in vain I objected to her extreme fever and fatigue, the sister insisted; then an emotion appeared on the face of Sister Thérèse [485] of the Child Jesus. In the evening she wrote me these lines: “Just now, your child shed sweet tears, tears of repentance, but even more of gratitude and love. Today I showed you my virtue! My treasures of patience! And me, who preaches so well to others! I am happy that you saw my imperfection... O my beloved mother, I confess to you, I am much happier to have been imperfect than if, supported by grace, I had been a model of patience! It does me so much good to see that Jesus is still so sweet, so tender for me. Really there is enough to die of gratitude and love » @LT 230@. "I have been told several times," she told me in the infirmary, "that I will be like the others, that I will be afraid at the moment of death." It may well be. If you only knew how insecure I am! I never lean on my own thoughts, I know too well how weak I am. No, I wouldn't dare say to God, like Saint Peter: “I will never deny you. » @DEA 20-5@

 

One morning when Holy Communion was brought to her, she had an extraordinary feeling of humility at the time of the Confiteor. She confided it to me in these terms: “I saw that Jesus was ready to give himself to me, and I found this confession so necessary!... Like the publican, I felt like a great sinner. I found the good Lord so merciful! When I felt the Holy Host on my lips, I cried! I believe the tears I shed were tears of perfect contrition. Ah! how impossible it is to [1] give oneself such sentiments! It is the Holy Spirit alone who can produce them in the soul” @DEA 486-12@

 

She was told one day, at the end of her life, that she was a saint. She answered: “No, I am not a saint, I have never done the actions of saints, I am a very small soul that the good Lord has filled with graces. What I say is the truth: you will see it in heaven.”@DEA 4-8@

Another time, she was told that she was very privileged by God to have been chosen to make known the "way of childhood." She answered: “What does it matter to me that it is I or someone else who points this way to souls? As long as it is known, whatever the instrument.@DEA 21-7@

On August 10, 1897, we said that souls who, like her, arrived at perfect love could see their supernatural beauty without danger. She resumed: “What beauty? I do not see my beauty at all, I only see the graces that I have received from God.” Then, turning to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart and to me, she said, very moved: “Oh! my little sisters, what gratitude I owe you! If you hadn't raised me well, instead of seeing what you see in me today, what a sad thing you would have seen! » @DEA 10-8@

 

We were talking about a souvenir to be given after her death to Doctor de Cornière, who had treated her, and when we asked her advice, she said to me: "If you want to show the doctor my gratitude, you will paint him a picture with these words of Our Lord: "What you have done to the least [487] of mine, you have done to me."@DEA 30-7@

 

These acts and these words show enough, I believe, how one must interpret, in the sense of a very humble simplicity, certain words in which the Servant of God proclaims the great graces that she has already received or that she hopes to God.

 

[Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

The way in which Sister Thérèse practiced the virtues seems to me quite different from what one observes among nuns, even fervent ones. We must first note an uninterrupted constancy in the application to God and in the exercise of the virtues. Never a gap, a moment of dissipation or relaxation. On the contrary, steadily increasing progress. I will note, secondly, the perfection of his interior dispositions, among which I will point out his absolute freedom from all creatures. The thought and love of God absorbed her entirely. What God did always seemed pleasant to him and no created consolation attracted him. I still notice his extreme delicacy in the fidelity to the smallest details. Finally, a smiling friendliness, a calm, a gentleness, an expression of happiness that grew with the difficulties and the sacrifices.

 

This set of provisions, applying to all the virtues, is incomparable

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

and constitutes, I believe, an indisputable character of heroism.

 

[488] [Response to the forty-eighth request]:

I said, when answering the question on the virtue of temperance, that moderation and discretion were eminent qualities in the Servant of God and preserved her from all excess.

 

[Answer to the forty-ninth request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus does not resemble, as regards supernatural gifts, or at least, as regards their manifestation, most of the saints canonized by the Church. Except for her vision of the Blessed Virgin, the one again which revealed to her, in advance, my father's illness, except also the flame of love by which she says she was once wounded, and finally the ecstasy of his death, I do not I don't see anything in her whole life that is out of the ordinary, except again, perhaps, certain predictions she made of what would happen after her death.

 

No doubt she enjoyed many times a very deep recollection, but this state of prayer was enveloped in simplicity without extraordinary manifestations. It must therefore be said that the extraordinary mystical phenomena were in a state of exception in his life; simplicity was the rule. To think otherwise would be to change the physiognomy so encouraging that God was pleased to give his little servant expressly to call to his divine love “the little souls” who would like to follow her. As the Servant of [489] God had been told that perhaps she would die on the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, after Communion, she exclaimed: “Me, die on a day of great feast, after Communion! Oh! that would be so beautiful! Little souls couldn't impersonate that. They must have nothing to envy me” @DEA 15-7@.

 

She said to me one day: "In the Story of my life, there will be something for everyone, for all souls, except for those who are led by extraordinary ways" @DEA9-8@. Isn't that proof that she was not taken there herself?

 

They asked him what could be, supernaturally, the state of his soul during his illness. She replied: "My sick life is simply to suffer for the good Lord, and then that's it" @DEA 4-8@

 

Here is now what I know of the five or six cases of extraordinary graces that I mentioned a moment ago:

 

1° Prophetic view of my father's illness.

 

She could have been about seven years old. My father had been in Alençon for several days, and we, my sister Marie and I, were in one of the two garrets, the windows of which open onto the garden, behind the house at Les Buissonnets. Little Thérèse gazed happily at the garden through the window of the next room. It was summer, the weather was fine, the sun was shining, it could be two or three in the afternoon. Suddenly, we heard our little sister calling in an anguished voice: “Dad, dad!.” Marie, seized with fright, said to him: “Why do you call [490] that daddy, you know very well that he is in Alençon.” She then told us that she had seen in the alley, at the end of the garden, a man dressed exactly like papa, of the same height and the same gait, but he had his head covered and walked bent over like an old man. She added that this man had disappeared behind the clump of trees which was not far from there. Immediately we went down to the garden, but not having found the mysterious personage we tried in vain to persuade Therese that she had seen nothing.

Later, in Carmel, a few years after the death of our father, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart and Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, finding themselves together one day of license, remembered this vision and suddenly understood what she meant. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus explains it in her life (page 33, in 8°, 1914) @MSA 20,1@

 

[Session 19: - July 15, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[493 ] [Response to request forty-ninth continues]:

2° Vision of the Blessed Virgin and miraculous healing at the age of 10.

 

[494] She came after her miraculous recovery to tell me about the vision she had had of the Blessed Virgin. She did it with great simplicity, and only when I asked her to tell me the story. Everything is reported in his life (Life, page 50, in 8°, 1914) @MSA 31,1@; moreover, I was not an eyewitness to this fact, and my three sisters who attended it will be able to provide many more details.

 

3° Exceptional and transitory states of sublime prayer.

 

She often told me that she had understood by experience what a "spirit theft" was. Explaining to me what she meant by that, she said to me: "Yes, in the garden, several times, at the hour of the great silence of the evening, in summer, I felt myself in such great meditation, and my my heart was so united with the good God, I formed with such ardor, and yet without any effort, such aspirations of love, that it seems to me that these graces were what our Mother Saint Thérèse calls "flights of 'mind' @DEA  11-7@Terese Avila Ch.V, 6e Req.@

 

One evening, in the infirmary, she spoke to me of another grace, received in the grotto of Saint Madeleine, during her novitiate, a grace which was followed by several days of quietude, during which she found herself in a state that she describes as follows: “There was - she told me - a sort of veil thrown between me and the things of the earth. I was completely

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

hidden under the veil of the Blessed Virgin. I was no longer on earth; I did everything I had to do, all my work in the refectory, as if someone had lent me a body... It's very difficult to explain: it's a supernatural state. that the good God alone can give and which is enough to detach a soul from the earth forever” @DEA 495-11@

 

Finally, I made her repeat in the infirmary what she had told me during my priorate, in 1895, of her "wound of love." Here are his expressions, or thereabouts (I jotted them down as best I could immediately after our interview): "It was a few days after my offering to merciful love, I began in choir the exercise of the , when I suddenly felt wounded by a line of fire so ardent that I thought I was going to die. I don't know how to explain this transport: there is no comparison that can make the intensity of this flame from heaven understood. It seemed to me that an invincible force threw me entirely into the fire. Oh! what fire! how sweet! One more second, I would certainly be dead. Finally, my little mother, she added with simplicity, this is what the saints have experienced so many times” @DEA 7-7@

 

4° Predictions or prophetic views on the future.

 

The Servant of God, seeing Mother Marie de Gonzague's opposition to daily Communion, promised that, shortly after her death (after the Servant of God's death), this favor would be granted to the community, which indeed arrived.

 

At the end of her life, she foresaw the good she would do after her death. It even seems that she foresaw her glorification by the Church. I will report [496] naively and without comment his words and deeds. The Church will appreciate.

When she shed tears of love, she let me collect them in a fine cloth, knowing well that it was not to wipe her face, but to keep them as a revered memory.

When I cut her nails, she collected the clippings and gave them to me herself, inviting me to keep them.

When we brought her roses to be plucked on her crucifix, if any petals fell on the ground, after she had touched them, she would say to us: "Don't lose this, my little sisters, you will be happy later , with these roses” @DEA 14-9@

Sister Geneviève said to her, in the first days of September 1897, seeing her dying on her bed: "When you think that you are still awaited in Indo-China!..." - "I will go, I will go soon ... If you only knew how quickly I would have made my turn! » @DEA 2-9@.

On June 9, 1897, Sister Marie du Sacré-Coeur told him that we would be very sad after his death. She replied, “Oh! no, you will see... it will be like a rain of roses.” She added: “After my death, you will go to the side of the mailbox, you will find consolations there” @DEA 9-6@.

 

On June 23 she showed me a passage from an Annal of the Propagation of the Faith, where it was spoken of the apparition of a beautiful lady dressed in white to a little baptized child. She [497] said to me with an inspired air: “Later, I will go like this to the little baptized children” @DEA 25-6@

 

On August 2 of the same year, she told me: "Everything passes away in this mortal world, even little Thérèse... but she will come back" @DEA 8-XNUMX@

 

On July 17, still on her deathbed, she told me these memorable words which I transcribed immediately as she spoke them: “I feel that I am going to enter into rest. But above all I feel that my mission is about to begin, my mission to make the good God loved as I love him, to give my “little way” to souls. If the good Lord grants my desire, my heaven will spend doing good on earth until the end of the world. Yes, yes, I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth. It is not impossible, since within the beatific vision itself, the angels watch over us. I will not be able to enjoy my rest as long as there are souls to save; but when the angel has said: 'The time is no more! ', then I will rest, because the number of the elect will be complete, and all will have entered into joy and rest... My heart leaps at the thought.”

 

“Which way do you want to teach souls?” I said to him. - “My mother, it is the way of spiritual childhood, it is the way of confidence and total abandonment. I want to teach them the little ways that have worked so well for me, to tell them that there is only one thing to do here below: throw the flowers of the little sacrifices to Jesus, take him by [498] caresses; that's how I took it, and that's why I'll be so well received” @DEA 17-7@

[response continued]:

I remember that I could only incompletely transcribe what she told me of the way of childhood, her explanation was more developed, but I do not remember enough to reconstruct it.

Still in July 1897, we said to him: “After death, we will put a palm in your hand.” ‑‑ "Yes - she replied, but I will have to let her go to spread graces on earth with both hands" @DEA 3-7@

Some wheat ears had been brought to him in the infirmary. Then taking one of the most beautiful, she said to me: "My mother, this ear is the image of my soul... The good Lord has loaded me with graces for me and for many others"" @DEA 4- 8@

And speaking of the humility that does not prevent recognizing the graces of God, she added: “The good Lord shows me the truth, I feel so well that all these gifts come from him! Yes, it seems to me that I am humble in proclaiming these mercies” @DEA 4-8@

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

[Did the Servant of God speak thus, always and seriously, of her state after death?]:

 

I am convinced that everything she said to us was well thought out and wanted: it was really her thought. Besides, she never joked about such serious subjects.

 

[499] [Are you the only one to have received these confidences from the Servant Le Dieu, or was she open to others?]:

She only poured herself out in strict intimacy with my sisters and especially with me. I do not believe that she entrusted these things to any other, except perhaps in a very limited measure, for one or another detail, to Sister Marie de la Trinité.

 

[Answer to the fiftieth request]:

I don't know that she did miracles during her life

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

The Servant of God wrote a certain number of letters, poems on subjects of piety or by way of recreational pieces for our feast days. Above all, she wrote the “Story of a Soul” which is her own spiritual biography. All these writings were collected with special testimonies and submitted to the judgment [1û] of the Congregation of Rites.

Here in particular is the story of his autobiographical manuscript, which is the main piece of his writings.

 

At the beginning of 1895, one winter evening, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus related to us several charming traits of her childhood. At the instigation of Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, I ordered the Servant of God to write down for us alone (her sisters) all her childhood memories.

 

As I was her Mother Prioress, she had to obey. She wrote only in her spare time and gave me her notebook on January 20, 1896. This account was incomplete. The Servant of God insisted particularly on her childhood and her early youth; his religious life was scarcely sketched there. This first manuscript provided the first eight chapters of the "Story of a soul" (page 1 to 1 of the edition in 149° of 8)@MSA @

Mother Marie de Gonzague having become prioress again, I persuaded her to order the Servant of God to continue her story: it was June 2, 1897. The Servant of God therefore sent Mother Marie de Gonzague the rest of her story; it forms chapters 9 and
10 of "Story of a Soul" (page 151 to 205) @MSC @

 

This part was written in a first draft and without erasures during the month of June 1897. The Servant of God was constantly disturbed by the comings and goings of nurses and novices who wanted to enjoy her last days. She said to me: “I don't know what I'm writing, [501] nothing follows... you'll have to retouch all that. »

Yet another time she said to me: "Mother, whatever you find good to take out or add to the notebook of my life, it is I who take it out and add it." Remember that later, and have no qualms about it” @DEA 11-7@

 

She stopped writing at the beginning of July 1897. What follows in the printed volume (chapter XI, pages 207 to 222) @MSB @, was written by the Servant of God during her retreat in 1896, at the request of Sister Mary of the Sacred Heart.

 

After the death of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Mother Marie de Gonzague consented to publish these three various manuscripts in one volume, but on condition that they be modified, to let it be understood that they had all been addressed to her. -even. These changes did not change the substance of the story. Moreover, in April 1910, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart reconstructed the original manuscript in its original state, and an authentic copy was sent to Rome. Moreover, in the last edition in 8°, 1914, the distinction between the three manuscripts was restored.

 

[When she applied herself to writing her text, did the Servant of God plan a public edition?]:

Certainly she had no suspicion of it when she wrote the first part, which was only intended to remind her sisters of her childhood memories. Nor did she think, I believe, that the manuscript addressed to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart [502] and composed in 1896 should have been published. But when in 1897, in the month of June, she wrote to Mother Marie de Gonzague this which is the subject of chapters IX and X, she knew that I intended to make it known after her death. She knew then (in the last months of her life) that I would use for this publication at least part of what she had written to me about her childhood and youth. That's why she told me: "You can add or subtract, etc... to the manuscript of my life".

 

On her deathbed, she attached great importance to this publication and saw in it a means of apostolate. She said to me one day with assurance: “The manuscript must be published without any delay after my death. If you delay, if you commit the imprudence of speaking about it to anyone, except Our Mother, the devil will lay a thousand pitfalls for you to prevent this publication, however very important. But if you do everything in your power not to let it get in the way, have no fear of the difficulties you will encounter. For my mission, as for that of Joan of Arc, the will of God will be accomplished despite the jealousy of men.” - "So you think that it is through this manuscript that you will do good to souls? - "Yes, it's a way that the good Lord will use to answer me." He will do good to all kinds of souls, except those who are in the extraordinary ways.

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

res.” - "But what if our mother threw it on the fire?" - “Hey! Well, I wouldn't have the slightest pain, nor the slightest doubt about my mission. I would simply think that [503] the good Lord will fulfill my desires by another means”

 

Moreover, even in the part composed for Mother Marie de Gonzague, the thought that her manuscript might be published did not in any way modify the spontaneity of her writing. In this part, as in the other two, she gives us her whole soul.

 

[Answer to the fifty-second request]:

 

Around 1894, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus suffered from a persistent sore throat, which was cured by cauterization with silver nitrate. She suffered a lot.

On Good Friday, April 4, 1896, hemoptysis broke out. The remedies she took were creosote and throat sprays.

In the course of this same year, in June or July 1896, she was seized with a small dry cough. Doctor de Cornière, the community doctor, examined him and concluded that there was, for the moment, nothing serious. He only prescribed tonics.

Before the end of Lent in 1897, she fell seriously ill. They put several blisters on him, and they rubbed him with a horsehair glove, but without useful result. She lost her appetite and soon could not digest anything. Every day, from 3 o'clock in the afternoon, she had a very high fever. He was fired several times in the side; he was also given tincture of iodine.

On July 6, 1897, she had new [504] haemorrhages; the doctor noted a very serious pulmonary congestion; he forbade any movement, prescribed ice, mustard poultices, suction cups, etc. She spent a very bad night on her hard mattress, with an intense fever. She was very oppressed, and suffered from great despondency. Profuse sweating weakened him further.

Two days later, on July 8, she was taken down to the infirmary.

 

Until the first day of August, the haemorrhages recurred two or three times a day, and the suffocations were terrible. She inhaled ether, but the oppression was so strong that this remedy no longer produced any effect.

Every day a burning fever consumed her; she repeated that she thought she was in purgatory.

On July 30, she received extreme unction and holy viaticum with admirable faith and piety. She asked the community for forgiveness in terms so touching that the sisters could not hold back their tears.

He still had to spend two months of martyrdom on earth; she endured them with heroic patience.

She was so emaciated that in several places the bones pierced the skin, and two very painful wounds formed.

 

During Doctor de Cornière's five-week vacation, the Mother Prioress only brought [505] Doctor La Néele three times, although the latter declared that she needed to see a doctor every day.

She suffered a lot in the side, in the shoulder, and from a burning thirst that nothing quenched. "When I drink ~she said-, it's like pouring fire on fire" @Source pre.@

On August 17, Doctor La Néele found that both lungs were taken, and gave him only a few days of life.

From August 17 to 30, she went without seeing a doctor, despite serious complications. Indeed, on August 22, she was seized with excruciating pains in the intestines, she endured them especially when one tried to sit her down, to lessen the oppression, at the time of the fits of coughing which lasted for hours. She then said to herself “sitting on pointed irons” @Source pre.de this expression,@ and begged that we pray for her.

“O my little mother, she came to say to me, if I did not have faith, I would despair. I understand very well that those who do not have faith kill themselves when they suffer so much. Take good care, when you have patients in the grip of such violent pains, not to leave poisonous remedies near them. I assure you that it only takes a moment, when you suffer so much, to lose your mind.

 

Since Doctor de Cornière was still absent, they telegraphed to Doctor La Néele at Caen on August 30. He said that what she endured was horrible: he admired her patience.

 

Doctor de Corniere returned in the first days of September; he paid her frequent visits, spoke of morphine injections, but the mother prioress would not allow it; they only gave her in small doses, and rarely, morphine syrup, for the mother prioress still had prejudices against this tranquillizer.

 

The last few days, the sputum was purulent, with caseous matter. It gave off an odor which strongly showed the decomposition of the organ.

 

The doctor of the community greatly praised her patience: “Do not wish to keep her in this state ‑‑ he said ‑‑, it is dreadful what she is enduring! But what an angel! and what a smile I always see in him! » @DEA 24-9@

 

She managed to not be able to breathe at all except by throwing small cries from time to time. During the last three hours of her agony, her face and her hands turned a purplish red, she trembled in all her limbs, and emitted such profuse sweats that her mattress, her pillow and all her clothes were crossed.

 

Throughout this illness, the Servant of God constantly edified us by her gentleness, her patience, her complete acceptance of all the suffering willed by God. She did not ask for more, as some saints report, but she did not want less either, and always her abandonment and her confidence increased in proportion to her sufferings. She repeated this verse from the psalm: "I have gone down into the valley of the shadows of death, yet I fear no evil, because you are with me, Lord."@*Ps 507@

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

She made her last Communion on August 19, feast of Saint Hyacinthe, and she offered this Communion for poor Father Hyacinthe, the unfortunate misguided of our Order.

 

Until her death, because of vomiting, she no longer had the grace to take communion. What suffering for her! On the night of August 5 or 6, feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, a large image of the Holy Face had been left near his bed, surrounded by flowers and lit by a night light. Never did she suffer more than that night from the ordeal of her temptation against the faith: “O my mother, she said to me, how I was tempted this night! But I did not stop gazing at the Holy Face and making acts of faith” @DEA 6-8@.

 

In addition to this state of mind, the sufferings of his illness increased and became excruciating. One day, she said to me: “My mother, pray for me! If you knew what I suffer! Ask that I don't lose patience...I need God's help. And I who have so desired all kinds of martyrdom! Ah! you have to be there to know! » @DEA 4-8@

 

However, the darkness of her soul did not take away her smile and her amiable simplicity. She remained as graceful as a little child. The upper part of his soul remained peaceful and serene under [508] the action of grace. It was then that she confided to me her immense desires and her hope of seeing them soon realized. “Now, like Joan of Arc in her prison, I am in irons – she told me – but soon my deliverance will come, and it will be the time of my conquests” @DEA 10-8@

On September 29, the day before her death, Father Faucon came to confess her (the ordinary confessor, Father Youf, being ill) and I remember these words he said on leaving the infirmary: What a beautiful soul! she seems confirmed in grace.”

She spent that day and the following night in great suffering. It was the only night she consented to be watched.

 

On the morning of the 30th, I stayed with her during mass; she was panting and said these words to me, looking at the statue of the Blessed Virgin who had smiled at her in her childhood: “Oh! I prayed to her with fervor!... but it is agony without any mixture of consolation.” There was nothing bitter about this complaint and I felt that God was strengthening her.

 

In the afternoon, she revived, and never ceased to conjure up prayers for her. "My God," she would say, "have pity on me, you who are so good!" My God, I want everything! Suffer like this for months, years, if that's what you want for me."

 

At 3 o'clock she crossed her arms: “The chalice is full to the brim - she told us - I can only explain to myself what I am enduring by my extreme desire to [509] save souls. .. But I do not repent of having given myself up to love.”

 

Around half past four, I guessed from her sudden pallor that the last moment was approaching. The whole community gathers around his bed. She held her crucifix so tight between her fingers that it was hard to take it off her after her last breath. His face and hands, at first deathly pale, soon turned purplish red. Sister Geneviève came forward to wipe the sweat that was streaming from her brow. His thank you was such a smile, such a look that you can't see anything more beautiful on earth.

 

As the agony continued, the mother prioress dismissed the community at about 7 o'clock: "So I'm not going to die?... so it's not the agony yet?" sighed the Servant of God. When the Mother Prioress replied that she might have a few hours left to live, she moaned like a little lamb full of sweetness: “Hey! well... let's... let's go... Oh! I would not like to suffer less!”

 

Her breathing suddenly became weaker and more rapid, she fell back on the pillow, her head tilted to the right. It was the supreme moment.

 

The infirmary bell rang. No sooner were the sisters kneeling around her bed than she distinctly pronounced her last act of love: ~ Oh! I love it! »... she said looking at her crucifix. And a moment later: "My God... I... love you!" » @DEA 30-9@

 

[510] We thought it was all over when, suddenly, she looked up, eyes full of life and flames in which was depicted a happiness “exceeding all her hopes....”

 

Sister Marie of the Eucharist, wanting to see this gaze more closely, which lasted the space of a Credo, passed and repassed a torch in front of her eyelids without making them in any way waver.

 

It was therefore an ecstasy, a vision of heaven, but a vision which filled her heart with too much love, too much gratitude, she could not bear the "delicious assaults" and owed him the breaking of her chain. It was 20:XNUMX a.m.

 

Then she closed her eyes and the whiteness of her face that I had noticed during the ecstasy deepened and became duller. She was ravishingly beautiful with a telling smile that seemed to say: "The good Lord is only love and mercy."

 

[Session 20: - July 16, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[513] [Response to the fifty-third request]:

It was not necessary to close her eyes, for she closed them of her own accord after her ecstasy. The Mother [514] Prioress had the community withdrawn. Sister Aimée of Jesus, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart and I set about burying the Servant of God. His face had a childlike expression; She

 

WITNESS: Agnès de Jesus OCD

 

looked 12 years old. When she was dressed and lying on her mattress, as is customary in Carmel, before the body was lifted, they placed her with her crucifix and her rosary, a palm in her hand, and very close to her, on a small table, the statue of the miraculous Virgin.

 

The Servant of God kept the attitude of the moment of her death, her head tilted to the right, and she had a smile so accentuated that she only seemed to be asleep.

 

The next day, Friday afternoon, it was taken to the choir, where it was displayed in front of the gate until Sunday evening. During these two days, Saturday and Sunday, many people came to pray before his mortal remains, to make him touch pious objects and even jewels. I must say, however, that such events occur at the death of our Carmelite sisters: it is a popular custom.

 

On Monday morning, marks of decomposition appeared. The Servant of God, still beautiful however, had swollen veins on her forehead and blackish fingertips. We were not surprised, because on several occasions during her illness, when the novices told her that she would be preserved from corruption, she affirmed the opposite and desired the dissolution of her body, "so - she said - that the 'little souls' have nothing to envy" @DEA 8-7@

 

[515] Before closing the coffin, the mother prioress replaced the crucifix that the Servant of God had in her hands with a small wooden cross; he was left with the palm, the paper containing the formula of his vows and a copy of his deed of offering.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fourth request]:

 

The burial took place on Monday, October 4, without any extraordinary demonstration. The Servant of God was buried in the town cemetery, on land that Mr. Guérin, our uncle, had just bought for the Carmelites. The first tomb, which happened to be that of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, was dug at the back of the enclosure, in the corner to the right as you enter; it had a depth of 3m 50, because it was proposed to place two other coffins there, superimposed, which moreover was not done.

 

On September 6, 1910, Monsignor Lemonnier, Bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux, had the remains of the Servant of God exhumed, with the aim of ensuring their preservation, and not of exposing them to the veneration of the faithful. The body was placed in another tomb, built with bricks and placed a few steps from the first.

 

Obviously, cloistered in the Carmel, I did not attend this exhumation (September 6, 1910): I speak of it by hearsay. Moreover, the authentic minutes must have been added to the documents of the first Trial, and an exact account of them was inserted in the edition in 8°, 1914, [516] of the "Histoire d'uneâme", page 1.

 

Only a few boards from the first coffin were removed and brought to the monastery. A piece of plank that had fallen unnoticed from the top of the coffin was found a few days later in the cemetery and also brought back to the monastery. Several nuns, who were completely unaware of the presence of this fragment of wood, were warned by the smell of incense. Among them were Sister Marie de la Trinité and Sister Thérèse of the Eucharist, now sub-prioress.

 

The soil collected under the first coffin, in the old tomb, several times spread the sweet smell of iris root. These emanations were perceived in particular by Sister Geneviève, Sister Aimée of Jesus, Sister Saint-Jean-Baptiste and by me, even though we were not thinking at all of the presence of this earth.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fifth request]:

 

I don't know that anything has happened that resembles a cult. Besides, I did not attend these ceremonies.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

In recent years, especially since 1911, and more than ever during the war, pilgrimages to the tomb of the Servant of God have multiplied. I am not a direct witness, but our tour sisters and also strangers in the parlor have often told me that they pray [517] at the tomb of Sister Thérèse, as in Lourdes, and that on certain days one cannot succeed in approaching it. This spectacle is so moving, it seems, that sometimes incredulous people, who have come there out of curiosity, like an impious soldier who was quoted to me, are forced to fall on their knees. Among the pilgrims of recent years, we have counted several bishops, French and foreign. Among these was Monsignor Bonnefoy, Archbishop of Aix. The venerable prelate wrote to me in 1: “My visit to the Carmel of Lisieux left an inexpressible impression of peace. My thoughts never leave your little 'queen', now it seems to me that my soul is closely united to her, and I feel the benefit that emerges from it on me.

 

In 1913, there was a military pilgrimage to the Carmel and to the tomb of the Servant of God, which was to be renewed in 1914, but was prevented by the mobilization.

 

[518] [Response to the fifty-seventh request]:

When I went out into town with my little Thérèse, I noticed that people looked at her in an exceptional way. I have heard it said many times that it was not only for her beauty, but for something extraordinarily pure and celestial that she had in her countenance.

 

One of our former servants, Victoire, said to me one day in the visiting room: “It's true that Mademoiselle Thérèse was not ordinary; I liked you all very much, but Mademoiselle Thérèse had something that neither of you had: she was like an angel; it struck me.”

 

Mademoiselle Philippe, venerable young lady and respected by the whole parish, who took care of the sacristy at Saint Pierre de Lisieux, often saw Thérèse in church. She once said of her: “This little Thérèse Martin is a real angel. I would be very surprised if she lived long; but if she lives,

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

you will see that we will talk about it later, because she will become a saint.”

 

When she entered Carmel, the sisters who, aware of her young age, thought they saw a child, were as if struck with respect in her presence, admiring her bearing, so dignified and so modest, her profound and resolute air.

 

One of them, Sister Saint-Jean de la Croix, who had been very opposed to the entry of such a young postulant, said to me some time later: "I thought that you would soon repent of having worked so hard to give us [519] your little sister. I said to myself: They will both be disappointed!... How mistaken I was! Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus is extraordinary, she shows us all.”

 

The Mother Prioress, to give reason for her severity, said to the mistress of novices: “It is not a soul of that stamp that one must treat like a child, and fear always humiliating.”

 

The sexton held her in great veneration and said that this sister was not like the other sisters; that when he came to work inside the monastery, he recognized her, despite her lowered veil, by her always so dignified gait.

 

Monsieur Delatroëtte, our superior, who had been so unfavorable when he joined, changed his mind a few years later. One day when he had come to the monastery, and had had the opportunity to see her and to hear her speak of the things of God, he could not hold back his tears and then told the mother prioress that this young nun was an angel.

 

Father Youf, our chaplain, often spoke to me of her with admiration. "When I think - he said to me one day - that I don't have the freedom to allow daily communion to this perfect nun."

He also said to me: “When I see your sister so close to me, under the cloister, when I take communion to sick nuns, she always reminds me of those blessed candles that burn in [ 520] churches before the Blessed Sacrament. and the mere sight of which leads to prayer and contemplation.”

 

Despite the truth of these testimonies, it is fair to say that if the nuns who lived with her had for her an esteem and a veneration which they had for no other, they did not nevertheless consider, during her life, that the question would one day arise of his beatification. I myself, who from then on really looked on her as a saint, especially after having seen her in her last illness, I did not dream then that we would ever take care of her canonization, convinced that for that it was necessary during her life to have does miracles and brilliant things.

 

The nuns who were her contemporaries and who survive today fully understand now, in the light of events, all that there was hidden heroism in the life they witnessed.

 

Here are some appreciations of these former nuns, companions of the Servant of God.

 

In May of last year, after the death of our dear dean, Sister Saint-Stanislas (90 years old), I found, in the cell of this good old lady, an envelope containing the following note: "I affirm that having been for several years in the same jobs as Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, I have seen her practice virtue in a heroic manner, and which I have not been able to discover in her any imperfection. She never gave me any thought about what I asked her to do, and her perfect regularity constantly edified me. About her father, she suffered a lot, but in silence; and in all the painful circumstances in which I have seen her, I have admired in her great fortitude. In the illness that led her to the tomb, despite her great sufferings, I saw nothing on her face that could make them guess, and I never heard her utter a single complaint. I wrote this in case I should die, in order to make it known for the greater glory of God and the glorification of his Servant, on the eve of the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the year 521. »

 

This document therefore predates the opening of the Ordinary's Trial by four years.

 

[The witness produced the autograph of this text, which the judges and the vice-promoter noted was in perfect agreement with the testimony given previously].

 

Sister Marie of Jesus expresses herself thus: “Despite her young age, Sister Thérèse showed herself, from the beginning of her life in Carmel, a perfect nun. I have never seen her commit the smallest infidelity. What struck me the most was her humility: she always stood aside... What characterized her above all was her perfect equanimity; no matter what time, she always received you with her usual pleasant smile. Also, on the days of license, each one made an effort to have a few moments of conversation with this soul which reflected so much purity and already gave a glimpse of such great holiness.

 

One of our good elders, Sister Marie Philomène (74 years old) writes this testimony: “I do not believe that with our nature it is possible to have less self-seeking [522] and more equality of mood that I have never noticed in the Servant of God... She was a soul ablaze with the love of God, such as I have never seen... I often tell myself that her 'little way ' is really the opposite of today's pride. She wanted in fact to relate everything to God, to see only him in all things and to hope for everything from his infinite goodness with the most filial confidence.

 

[Session 21: - July 19, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[525] [Continuation of the response to the fifty-seventh request]:

A year after the Servant of God's death, Sister Thérèse's manuscript was published, under the title "History of a Soul", October 1898. This publication made the very soul of this nun who had lived hidden in the cloister. Immediately after this publication, letters began to arrive expressing admiration for the perfect virtues of the Servant of God, and gratitude for the graces obtained through her intercession. [526] We were also asked in these letters for

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus. OCD

 

novenas of prayers and relics or souvenirs. Each year the number of these letters increased. Around 1911, we received an average of 50 a day. In the following years we successively received 200, 300 and 400 a day from all parts of the world. Since the war (August 1914), although communications with various countries have become impossible, we have counted on certain days 500 letters and more.

 

It is important to note that the various publications that we have made have not been on our part a propaganda initiative: we have only made them as and when requested; we are always late in relation to requests from the faithful.

 

Here are some figures which will give an idea of ​​the eagerness of the faithful to enter into contact with the Servant of God whom they regard as a saint. The letters they write show clearly that this is indeed their feeling. So, from 1898 to 1915 appeared:

211.515 “Story of a soul” complete edition.

710.000 Shortened life.

111.000 “Rain of roses” or choice of a few letters relating to graces obtained.

8.046.000 Pictures - portraits. 1.124.200 souvenir bags.

These different figures do not include books and images published abroad. Now, the life of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus has been translated into 35 languages ​​or dialects. These translations, too, were not made by our initiative; we were asked to allow them.

 

A few figures will also suffice to show the singularly growing progression of the Servant of God's reputation for holiness throughout the world.

 

In the first twelve years, beginning in 1898, we must have published 47.000 copies of the "Complete Story of a Soul" and 1 of the Abridged Life.

 

In the five years that followed (1910 to 1915) 164.000 Complete "History" and 686.000 Abridged Life.

 

In the single year (July 1914 - July 1915) we had to give 472.000 souvenir bags, without being able to satisfy all the requests.

 

In four years (1911‑1915) we had to buy 146.724 meters of ribbon for the making of the souvenir sachets (which contain a few parcels of fabrics having touched the Servant of God) for the making of 1.760.000 sachets which cost 88.000 francs for supplies and fashion.

 

In less than a year, we had to have 2.291.000 portraits of the Servant of God printed.

 

The newspaper “La Croix” having opened a subscription to obtain portable altars for soldier priests, had collected, among other subscriptions, more than one hundred altars donated in the name of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

 

[528] Since the war, testimonies of soldiers' confidence abound. Senior officers have entrusted their regiments to the Servant of God, and send us or promise us their decorations in ex‑voto.

 

In several batteries, the name of "Sister Thérèse" is written in large letters on the gun carriage. A colonel we know hung a relic (souvenir bag) from his flag, etc. Every day we register letters relating to conversions, protections or healings in favor of soldiers.

 

We have sometimes been reproached for having printed catalogs or sheets giving the description and the price of the various publications concerning the Servant of God; these current prices, it is said, have the aspect of commercial advertising. But these sheets are essential to answer the questions which are put to us in infinite number: we could never give, each time, this information in writing.

 

Some fancy objects, sold in various stores, and bearing the image of the Servant of God, were first made without our knowledge and against our will, especially in England and Austria. We have always protested as much as we could, against the edition of medals and statues, but it does not depend on us to effectively stop these businesses of certain traders. Often we had to content ourselves with protesting to the ecclesiastical authority.

 

I am convinced that the wide circulation of the “Story of a Soul” cannot be explained by the [1] literary perfection of this work. It is not, as has sometimes been said, "a bestseller." By reading this book, one has the certainty of knowing the entire soul of the Servant of God; this soul appears as a very beautiful model of heroic holiness; and the good Lord puts his grace into it: here is for me the whole secret of this diffusion. There are also the favors obtained: the beneficiaries, I know, talk about them around them, and thus communicate their trust to others, always increasing the number of the Servant of God's clients.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth question:

I know of no serious opposition to the Servant of God's reputation for holiness. I said that during her life, the sublimity of her life could have escaped most of the nuns of the monastery, because of her simplicity and her humility. But this is not an opposition properly speaking. Moreover, she was sometimes able to suffer from a certain partisanship or jealousy, aroused in the community by the simultaneous presence of "the four sisters"; but these animosities were only aimed at the “bloc”, they had no object in the person of the Servant of God, and even less in her virtue.

 

On the appearance of the “Story of a Soul” (1), three prioresses of Carmel, out of all of our houses, made some observations. The prioress of the Carmel of the rue d'Enfer, in Paris, noted, in the spirituality of Sister Thérèse, certain assertions "which, she said, age [1898] and experience would no doubt have modified." But shortly after this statement, she had completely changed her mind. The prioress of the avenue de Messine, in Paris, thought that this “Life” was childish and contrasted with the austerity of Carmel. I believe that the prioress of the Carmel of the Avenue de Saxe felt the same way. These prioresses are all deceased today, and their communities share the general admiration for the Servant of God.

 

WITNESS: Agnès de Jesus OCD

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth to sixty-fifth questions]:

After the death of the Servant of God, there occurred in the convent, in favor of some nuns, certain extraordinary facts, but of a secondary order and rather difficult to prove, such as impressions of perfumes, etc. But what I attach much greater importance to is the obvious, general and constant progress of the community in perfection under the influence of the Servant of God. All the nuns, the oldest as well as the youngest, draw from the memory and example of Sister Thérèse a very effective stimulus to generosity in the service of God. The whole community has become fervent and regular, it's a real transformation.

 

Reading the life of Sister Thérèse has attracted elite subjects to our monastery, and the requests for admission becoming too numerous, we direct them to other Carmels. Among these subjects, whose entrance we consider to be an effect of the protection of the Servant of God, I would like to mention in particular two nuns, now deceased: Mother Marie-Ange, who died in 1909 at the age of 28 and mother Isabelle du Sacré-Coeur, who died last year at the age of 32. The first, being prioress in 1908, requested and obtained from Monsignor Lemonnier, Bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux, to submit the Cause of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus to the Holy Church. The second, being sub-prioress, continued the work of Mother Marie-Ange and devoted herself to it in every way. Both died as saints.

I have not directly witnessed miraculous healings. But in the immense correspondence of which I have spoken, sometimes the relations abound in more or less miraculous favors. A number were printed in the "Rains of Roses." It would be impossible to study here in detail the content of each of these innumerable files. I have prepared [532] the summary analysis of 54 of these relationships. I submit this analysis to the court and at the same time deliver to it the original files of these cases chosen from among many others.

 

[The witness read the following text, which, duly checked, was added to the Acts of the Trial]:

Extracts from files of miracles due to the intercession of the Servant of God Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

1. Sister Joséphine (41 years old), converse of the Carmel of Nîmes - exiled to Florence, Italy (villa Dolgorouky) - was suddenly cured of infectious pneumonia, at the end of January 1907. The file contains two certificates from Doctor Maestro, from Florence; one of them contains this sentence: the sister was “suddenly cured, against my predictions, by help from above” (underlined by the doctor).

2. Reine Fauquet, in Lisieux (4 and a half years old), was suddenly cured of phlyctenular keratitis, [533] on May 26, 1908, after an apparition of Sister Thérèse. On July 6, 1908, Doctor Decaux from Lisieux attested to the complete cure, confirmed on December 7 of the same year by Doctor La Néele, also from Lisieux.

(See Rain of roses, extracts I and II, page 7).

3. Mademoiselle Chabaud, from Issy-les-Moulineaux (Seine) (24 years old), was suddenly cured of a round stomach ulcer on February 28, 1905. Doctor Tison, from Issy-les-Moulineaux , noting the healing wrote: "This sudden healing of a round ulcer is all the more astonishing as generally the improvement is slow and the healing is long overdue." On May 18, 1909, after a new examination of the miraculous, he again ratified the sudden cure.

(See Rain of roses, extracts I and II, page 1 3).

Mademoiselle Chabaud came to Lisieux on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving.

 

4. Mrs. Dorans, of Glasgow (Scotland), was suddenly cured of a cancerous tumor on August 26, 1909.

This healing was studied at the first Trial. In June 1912, in a meeting of the Catholic Youth presided over by the Archbishop of Liverpool, Dr. Colvin cited, in a lecture, this cure as a complete and indisputable type of miracle.

(See Rain of roses, extracts I and II, page 23).

 

5. Brother Marie Paul (42), lay brother from La Trappe de Tárrega (Spain), was suddenly cured of a cancerous stomach ulcer on May 4, 1909.

Doctor Ubach, from Tárrega, observed the sudden recovery. His certificate is dated June 15, 1909.

(See Rain of roses, extracts I and II. page 18).

 

6. Brother Paul, a Trappist from Rogersville (Canada), was suddenly cured of a serious knee injury in January 1910, after an apparition of the Servant of God.

Doctor Bourret, of Rogersville, issued, on April 22, 1910, a medical certificate ending as follows:

"The healing of this wound, so often the cause of subsequent infirmities, was so prompt that I believe I must attribute it to a completely supernatural cause."

 

7. Ferdinand Aubry (60 years old) from the Little Sisters of the Poor asylum in Lisieux, was cured of tongue cancer on September 28, 1910. Doctor Viel, from Lisieux, gave a long medical observation noting The healing.

 

8. Mademoiselle de Leusse (36), from Bour‑[535]goin (Isère) was suddenly cured of sciatica, eczema and phlebitis on April 29, 1911.

Follows the medical certificate of Doctor Chaix, from Bourgoin, simply attesting to the cure, on May 6, 1911.

(See Rain of roses, extracts I and II, page 51).

Mademoiselle de Leusse came to Lisieux on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving.

 

9. Sister Marie du Calvaire (66 years old), from the Carmel of Mangalore (East Indies), was suddenly cured of pneumonia complicated by a disease of

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

liver and kidney disease, March 29, 1909.

Follows the medical certificate of doctor Fernandez, of Mangalore, confirming the sudden cure, July 31, 1909.

(See Rain of roses, extracts I and II, page 96).

 

10. Sudden healing of a dying Malagasy child, with the appearance of Sister Thérèse according to the testimony of the mother.

Another sudden healing of a little Malagasy girl, suffering from wounds all over her body.

Healings recounted by Reverend Mother Saint-Jean Berchmans, Superior and Foundress of the Religious of Providence in Madagascar.

These cures were attested by Monsignor Cazet, Apostolic Vicar of Madagascar.

(See Rain of roses, extracts I and 11, page 99)

 

[536] 11. Abbé Weber, from Saint-Jean-de-Luz (Basses-Pyrénées), suffering from cataract requiring an operation according to the oculist, was cured in May 1909.

(See Rain of roses, extracts I and II, page 104).

Father Weber came to Lisieux on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving.

Extraordinary impact.

 

12. Miss Clémentine Derenne (17), from Laval (Mayenne), was suddenly cured of albuminuria, meningitis and pulmonary consumption, after the Servant of God appeared on February 2, 1911.

Doctor Pivert, from Laval, observed the healing the same day.

An investigation made by Monsignor de Teil confirmed the authenticity of the facts.

(See Rain of roses, extracts I and II, page 69).

 

13. Mr. Charpentier (73 years old) from Saint-Jean-de-Boisseau (Loire-Inférieure) was cured of an epithelium on his lower lip in August 1912, as attested by Dr. Provost, from Pellerin (Loire -Lower).

(See Rain of roses III, page 283, n° 369).

 

14. Miss Marie Bidaux (12 years old), from Croix (Belfort territory), was suddenly cured of acute peritonitis on June 11, 1912.

The medical certificate of August 24, 1912 [537] attests to complete recovery.

(See Rain of roses, page 468, n° 544).

 

15. Mademoiselle Parent, from Montreal (Canada), was suddenly cured of an inner illness on June 6, 1911.

Doctor Deslauries, of Montreal, “recognizes in the cure a supernatural intervention” (certificate of June 28, 1912).

(See Rain of roses III, page 328, n° 416).

 

16. Reverend Mother Marie‑Cécile, of the Congregation of the Servants of the Poor in Angers (Maine‑et‑Loire), 59, was suddenly cured, in January 1912, of a liver and stomach disease complicated by 'enteritis.

In the medical certificate, Doctor Quintard, from Angers, acknowledged the recovery after declaring the illness extremely serious.

(See Rain of roses III, page 330, n° 418).

 

17. Mademoiselle Blachère (20), from La Prade (Hérault), was suddenly cured of chronic appendicitis with muscular atrophy in June 1912.

Doctor Lenail, from Largentière, declared on January 10, 1913 that the patient was cured miraculously and suddenly following a novena to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

(See Rain of roses II1, page 335, | n° 421).

 

[538] 18. Monsieur Chapuis (76), from Paris, was cured suddenly after a supernatural manifestation, on September 23, 1912, of a varicose ulcer in his left leg, from which he had suffered for 37 years.

The doctor of the Debrousse hospital where the patient was treated, gave the same day of the cure a certificate which is in the hands of Monseigneur de Teil.

(See Rain of roses III, page ~ 92, n° 450).

 

19. Madame Enguchard (29) from Equeurdreville (Manche) was cured of paraplegia on December 2, 1912.

Doctor Hussenstein, of Cherbourg, recognized, on January 23, 1913, “in this rapid and almost instantaneous cure a supernatural phenomenon which cannot be attributed to medical intervention ineffective until then, but indeed to an intervention of Providence. » ~

(See Rain of roses III, page 337, n° 423).

Extraordinary impact throughout the region; various newspapers gave a brief account of this healing.

 

20. Miss Catherine Macaluso (17 years old) from Palermo (Italy), was suddenly cured of exophthalmic goiter in January 1912.

Doctor Monori Patti, of Palermo, declared on February 27, 1912, that “only a miracle could accomplish this prodigy.”

[539] (See Rain of roses III, page 351, n° 431).

 

21. Madame Langlois (24), from Levallois-Perret (Seine), was cured of mastoiditis in May 1912.

The report made on November 21, 1912, by Doctor Dumont, of Lavallois-Perret, recognizes that “the fact is certainly very extraordinary and caused a great surprise to the specialists; that surgery alone could save the patient's life.

On the same date, a second specialist, Doctor Jacob, from Lavallois-Perret, declared that “healing took place spontaneously in an abnormal way without it being necessary to intervene.”

The relationship is legalized by Monsignor Odelin, of the Archdiocese of Paris.

Madame Langlois came to Lisieux on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving.

(See Rain of roses III, page 354, n° 433).

 

22. Mr. Francisco Morfin, of Guadalajara (Mexico), was cured of a burn on his eyes, in November 1911.

Doctor Enrique Avalos, of Guadalajara, on November 10, 1911, declared the "miraculous healing."

(See Rain of roses III, page 357, n° 435).

 

23. Madame Poirson (57), from Anrosey (Haute‑Marne), [540] was cured of an incurable liver disease on July 1912, XNUMX.

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

Doctor Vauthrin, of Anrosey, certified, on July 20, 1913, that “the cure occurred abruptly, without any intervention of art.”

Doctor Malingre, from Chaumont, had attested on August 6, 1912 that for him “the cure is absolutely miraculous”.

(See Rain of roses III, page 370, n° 443).

Madame Poirson came to Lisieux on a thanksgiving pilgrimage in July 1915.

Extraordinary impact.

 

24. Mademoiselle Bigot (17 years old), from Domfront (Orne), was cured of Addison's disease or tuberculosis of the adrenal capsules, on February 14, 1912.

Doctor Vézard, from Domfront, ended his medical observation on May 18, 1913:

"I cannot explain this healing scientifically speaking, which seemed absolutely extraordinary and disconcerting to me."

(See Rain of roses III, page 375, n° 444)

Mademoiselle Bigot came to Lisieux on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving.

 

25. Agatina Arcese di Pannicia (3 years old), from Ceprano (Italy), was suddenly cured of double pneumonia in November 1912, after the appearance of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

Doctor Figoli, of Ceprano, confirmed the complete cure.

[541] (See Rain of roses 1V, page 184, n° 160).

 

26. Julienne Fouilloul (11 years old), from Hautes-Foletière (Orne), was cured on the last day of a novena, in November 1912, of tuberculous peritonitis, healing followed by an apparition of Sister Thérèse.

Doctor Lebossé, from Flers (Orne), issued, on December 1, 1912, a certificate confirming the "desperate state" and the cure.

(See Rain of roses III, page 511, n° 576).

 

27. Madame Rancoule (60 years old), from Carcassonne (Aude), was cured, so to speak suddenly, of a varicose wound with an ulcerative tendency, in October 1912.

Two medical certificates from doctors Combéléran and Paul Vidal, from Carcassonne, recognize the disease and the cure.

 

28. Miss Germaine Roullot (17), from Langres (Haute‑Marne), was suddenly cured of bone caries in her foot, on April 13, 1913.

The certificate of Doctor Brocard, of Langres, of April 21, 1913, attested to the sudden recovery of the young girl.

(See Rain of Roses IV, page 8, n° 4).

Very big impact.

 

29. Madame Pailliés (68), from Chalabre (Aude), was suddenly cured of esophageal cancer, [542] in June 1911.

Doctor Lemosy d'Orel, from Chalabre, said the "incurable" cancer had completely disappeared.

(See Rain of Roses IV, page 13, n° 5).

 

30. Madame Muzard (29 years old), from Santenay-les-Bains (Côte-d'Or), was suddenly cured of a stomach ulcer, after the appearance of Sister Thérèse of the Child-Jésus, on 15 July 1913.

Doctor Missery, from Chagny (Côted'Or), certified the complete recovery on December 11, 1913.

(See Rain of roses 1V, page 185, n° 161).

 

31. Mrs. Sirven de Haro (70), from Havana (Cuba), was cured of facial cancer in July 1913.

Doctor José Manuel de Haro, from Havana, testified on August 27, 1913 that "Madame Sirven de Haro was stricken for almost 4 years with cancer in the face which even spread to the right eye a little and that she is completely cured of it after having invoked Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.”

(See Rain of Roses IV, page 31, n° 17).

 

32. Madame Duval, from Le Havre (Seine Inférieure), was suddenly cured of phlebitis on September 30, 1913.

Doctor Louis Marlou, from Le Havre, certified on October 3, 1913 the following: “Madame Duval found herself in such a considerable state of improvement that [543] she began to walk without pain and without difficulty on September 30, 1913, the anniversary of the death of Sister Thérèse, invoked religiously. I therefore consider the recovery of Madame Duval as definitive and miraculous.”

(See Rain of Roses IV, page 36, n° 22).

 

33. Anne-Marie Henry (2 and a half years old), from Mesnil-sur-Belvitte (Vosges), her mother having left her alone, on the morning of September 9, 1913, amusedly setting fire to the bed where she was lying. Her mother found her safe and sound in the midst of the flames. She had entrusted her to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and the little one invoked her herself every day.

After an investigation, Monsignor de Teil collected convincing testimonies.

(See Rain of roses IV, page 118, n° 104, and the complement).

 

34. Miss Carrigan (19 years old), from Dublin (Ireland), was suddenly cured of pulmonary tuberculosis, after an apparition of Sister Thérèse, on May 7, 1913.

Doctor WN O'Donnell, of Dublin, declared on September 24, 1913: “I have a long experience of hospitals and especially of sanatoriums; but I have never seen a case of sudden recovery so marvelous as this.”

(See Rain of Roses IV, page 163,

 

35. Louis Auguste (10 years old), from Paris, was cured [544] of a rebellious impetiginous eczema dating back more than six years, on January 24, 1913, after a supernatural manifestation.

Doctor de Backer, from Paris, gave a long medical observation on October 10, 1913. It ends thus:

"I think it would be difficult here to invoke a therapeutic emotion provoked by a child's blind faith, and I believe that it is simpler to admit an entirely supernatural intervention having determined a cure than no treatment had not been able to operate for more than 6 years. What we physicians could not obtain by ordinary means was carried out by an extra and supernatural force, and I do not hesitate to sign this observation as a cure.

miraculously granted to the prayer and intercession of Sister Thérèse de | the Child Jesus of Lisieux.

 

WITNESS 6: Agnes of Jesus OCD

 

(See Rain of Roses IV, page 166, ° 147).

 

36. Joseph Lhote (3 years old), from Sarzeau (Morbihan), was cured of double bronchopneumonia with serious meningitis symptoms.

Doctor Lahaye, from Sarzeau, issued a detailed certificate on May 29, 1914, which ends as follows:

“Believing doctor, in view of these facts, I willingly grant the attached declaration, convinced that a higher intervention must have brought about the unexpected cure of the child Lhote Joseph, and I sign it in all [545] sincerity.”

Sarzeau, May 29, 1914.

Signed: Doctor J. Lahaye.

 

37. Mrs. Faber (50), from Prague (Bohemia), was suddenly cured of stomach ulcers. This healing was accompanied by a supernatural manifestation of the Servant of God, and occurred on December 6, 1913.

Doctor Daneck's certificate (in the Bohemian language) attests that Madame Faber is perfectly cured.

 

38. Miss Marie Thédenat (10 years old), from Minié (Aveyron), was suddenly cured of infectious flu on January 30, 1914.

Doctor Sinège of Saint-Geniez-d'Olt, attested the following, on May 31, 1914:

“The prognosis was announced as serious, when from the fifth to the sixth day the cure occurred suddenly. In one night the fever disappeared. Her general condition became excellent, and since then this young girl has enjoyed good health.”

 

39. Sister Dorothée Bertrand, nun of Saint Joseph of the Apparition in Beirut (Syria), was suddenly cured of second degree pulmonary tuberculosis in September 1912.

Subjected to a new medical examination by an Egyptian doctor, Dr. Essély, [546] of Beirut, on March 30, 1914, the latter again noted the “complete” recovery.

 

40. Sister Marie Madeleine de Pazzy (38 years old), Carmelite from Vienna (Austria), was suddenly cured of appendicitis on March 19, 1914.

The certificate of April 28, 1914, from Dr. Vojesik, of Vienna, attests that an operation was “urgent, indispensable” and that the patient “was cured without operation.”

 

41. Miss Philomène Le Gouez (32 years old), residing in Lambezellec (Finistère) was cured of a tuberculous ulceration of the right thigh, in March 1914.

Doctor Hérébel, from Lambezellec, issued a detailed certificate on May 28, 1914, which ends as follows:

"There is reason to retain from this observation the complete and definitive healing (in one month) of a serious lesion, very slow to heal under usual conditions, and the coincidence of this march towards healing with a reading that has greatly edified the sick [reading the Story of a Soul].

I was personally very surprised at the speed of this healing and I expressed my astonishment to Mademoiselle Le Gouez without having been previously warned of a possible supernatural intervention. I conclude that, if natural cure were possible, the rapidity of the cure (in one month) was extraordinary [547] and far exceeds what could be expected from normal treatment.”

 

42. Madame Barthélemy (23), from Laval (Isère), was suddenly cured of bronchopneumonia and peritonitis on December 23, 1913.

The prognosis of Doctor Serrus, from Lancey (Isère), was very gloomy, and he declared, on March 2, 1914, that the current state was perfect.

 

43. Jean Hervy (7 and a half years old), from Pouliguen (Loire-Inférieure), was suddenly cured of tuberculous meningitis on February 22, 1914, while a mass was beginning for the beatification of Sister Thérèse with a view to obtaining his healing.

The medical certificate of Doctor Légier, from Pouliguen, dated March 11, 1914, attested to the cure.

 

44. Mrs. Hardy (75), from Amiens (Somme), was cured of a varicose ulcer in her left leg, dating back 15 years.

The medical certificate of Doctor Quertant, of Amiens, of March 31, 1914, attests to the cure.

 

45. Sister Helena of Jesus, Carmelite of Zaragoza (Spain), was cured of rheumatic arthritis localized in the joint of the right knee with swelling, in four days, at the beginning of 1913.

Doctor Burbano, from Zaragoza, ends his [548] medical observation with this sentence: “It is very pleasant for me to have to record that scientifically I consider such a rapid recovery as surprising and prodigious.

February 22, 1914.”

 

46. ​​Madame Gestas (77), from Anan (Haute‑Garonne), was suddenly cured of cerebral congestion while awaiting her last breath, on April 30, 1914. The report was made by the mayor of Anan .

The certificate from Doctor Ducasse, from Isle-en-Dodon (Haute-Garonne), dated June 22, 1914, attested to the sudden cure.

 

47. Renée Mulsant (14), from Bourg de‑Thizy (Rhône), was suddenly cured of osteoarthritis of the knee on September 11, 1914.

Doctor Irmann, from Thizy, attested to the cure on November 18, 1914.

 

48. Doctor Bernard, from Cormeilles (Eure), declared, in a medical observation of April 24, 1914, that Georgette Toutain (2 years old), from Pin (Eure), was cured of bronchopneumonia at the end of February 1914. The doctor adds:

“The extremely severe lung damage in both lungs resolved irrevocably within 24 hours. This healing is extraordinary and nothing could have predicted it; on the contrary, it seemed that one [549] had only to wait for the death of the child.”

 

49. Reverend Father Bergerot, Lazarist (52 years old), from Monastire (Serbia), was suddenly cured on March 11, 1915 of exanthematous typhus contracted at the bedside of Austrian prisoners; this healing occurred on the last day of a novena.

Doctor Michel Zamaoulil, from Monastire, of Greek religion and language,

 

WITNESS 6: Agnès Jesus OCD

 

in his certificate of May 19, 1915, declared the illness fatal and the present condition very well.

 

50. Private Paul Millet (31), of the 287th Lyon infantry, treated at the Red Cross hospital in Lorient in September 1914, was cured of acute tetanus following a a novena, in October 1914.

The cure was certified by the nurse-major, by three other nurses and two sisters of Charity.

 

51. Private Robert Labitte, of Paris, treated at the hospital of the Saint Jacques d'Hazebrouck institution for a wound in the leg perforating the tibia and breaking the fibula, was suffering from general infection and haemorrhages. His last breath was expected on November 5, 1914. The doctor, the soldiers, the orderlies noted the "unheard-of" improvement, the magnificent appearance of the wounds overnight, the unexpected disappearance of the haemorrhage.

[550] The report is signed by the soldier's mother, by the superior of the hospital, by two orderlies, a nurse, and the doctor adds these lines: injured Labitte Robert. How is he still alive? I can't explain it to myself, but God having helped, everything works out. In such a case, we count for so little!”

Signatum: doctor Deneleau, chief medical officer.

The report is from December 15, 1914.

 

52. Doctor Foucher, from Berck-Plage (Pas-de-Calais) attests, on May 25, 1915, to having treated in December 1914 Private Duprieux, from Rochefort (Landes), suffering from typhoid fever and endocarditis (in a soldier overworked by several months of campaign).

The prognosis was hopeless, says the doctor, and a very great improvement came suddenly overnight at a time of greatest despair. The healing is complete.

 

53. Private Julien Viquesnel, from Fontaine-la-Louvet (Eure), was evacuated in September 1914 to Limoges hospital. A bullet had penetrated the back of the head, shattered the jaw, and had come out through the nose, half-rupturing the carotid artery. He was considered lost, but prayed with faith to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

On November 3, when his wife was making a pilgrimage to the tomb for him, the numerous clamps which held the bruised flesh of his jaw and ear fell untouched. From then on, the soldier could move and eat, and all danger was averted.

The report is signed by the nurse, the soldier, two nursing priests, one of whom calls the healing "truly extraordinary", and by two nuns who are hospitallers.

Everything was sent to us by the Carmel of Limoges.

Doctor Rousseau's medical certificate is attached to the file.

 

54. Forgotten at its rank in chronological order

Father Anne (23), from Lisieux, was cured of galloping consumption.

Doctor La Néele, from Lisieux, in an attestation dated March 7, 1909, ends his statement as follows:

“This cure is absolutely extraordinary and inexplicable from a scientific point of view. We have seen in medical history the most diverse forms of tuberculosis cured naturally, but never when they present a character as serious as the preceding case.

This miracle was investigated at the first Trial.

 

[552] [Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I don't see anything to add to my testimony.

 

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. ‑ This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

 

Signatum: SISTER AGNES OF JESUS, rci, prioress, witness, I have thus deposed according to the truth: I ratify and confirm this deposition.

Witness 7 - Mary of the Sacred Heart

We can refer to vol. 1, p. 235-236, for the presentation of this witness, Marie, eldest daughter of the Martin family and godmother of Thérèse (1860‑1940). The deposition is this time again, like that of the ordinary informative trial, placed under the sign of sobriety. It is explicitly neither a biographical reconstruction nor the presentation of a doctrine, but memories that come, with finesse and simplicity, to illuminate both the life and the message of Sister Thérèse of the Child-lesus. Valuable details will be noted on the domestic hearth of the Martins, on the virtues of the parents, and on Thérèse's childhood. Everything is delivered with great naturalness, without any pretension. The witness often repeats, more or less, what he said in 1910, but not always. He is sure of what he says. This deposition has the great interest of revealing to us what felt in front of the message of her holy sister the one to whom we owe Manuscript B.

 

By way of example, Sister Marie du Sacré‑Coeur has very vivid memories of the illness of Thérèse as a child and of her recovery thanks to the intervention of Marie lmmaculée (pp. 562‑565), ‑ gives interesting details on the origin of Manuscript A and on the addressee (it is herself) of Manuscript B. ‑ note about the publication of the Story of a Soul: memories would never be published: they were family notes. Only in the last months of Sister Thérèse's life, Mother Agnès of Jesus thought that the publication of these memories could be useful for the glory of God. She told Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus who accepted this idea with her usual simplicity and straightforwardness. She wanted the manuscript to be published because she saw in it a means of making God loved, which she considered to be her mission" (p. 613), - the witness insists on more than one occasion , Thérèse's faith and confidence in the reversibility of merits, in the communion of saints (cf. p. 576). Let us also note this, on Thérèse's discretion: Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart knew of her young sister's great trials against the faith only by reading the Story of a Soul (p. 589).

 

After recounting certain data: which are marvelous or preternatural, the witness specifies: "These facts have always seemed clearly supernatural to me, but they are only rare exceptions in the life of the Servant of God, whose general character was a great simplicity” (p. 606). Is here confirmed, as elsewhere also, during the deposition, what Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart had written on March 13, 1915 to her sister Léonie (Françoise-Thérèse, clarisse in Caen) [ie Visitandine], about the content of the Articles of the Apostolic Process, judged by her to be in part unsuitable for the case of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus: "The Roman lawyer did not know how to paint a fairly simple portrait, while being the portrait of a holy. We will know how to put it back to the point, because each saint must resemble himself and not the others” (S.Piat: A free soul, Mary)

 

A simple and ardent soul, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart remained smiling and full of solicitude and attention for others until the end. Stricken with terrible rheumatism, she lived her last years almost completely paralyzed, completely dependent on her sisters whom she called her guardian angels. Paraphrasing the words of the Virgin Mary at the wedding in Cana, she wrote to Mother Agnès of Jesus at the beginning of her painful ordeal: “My good Mother, I too have no more wine! Formerly, in my youth, I always had wine, I knew neither infirmity nor disease. But, today, I am destitute, I have no more wine! Ask your divine Son, who is my Spouse, to have pity on my distress (...) However, is it really true to say that formerly he served me the best wine? No... It is today, certainly, that he serves me the best: the wine of the ordeal. Thus, at the banquet of my life which is ending, he was not mistaken, he kept the best wine until this hour” (Annals 1940)

This text is from 1929. The sister was not to die until January 19, 1940. She accepted this long martyrdom as a humble and simple child fully abandoned to her Father's will of love.

The witness testified from July 20 to 26, 1915, during the 21st-26th sessions (pp. 555-625 of our Public Copy).

 

[Session 22: - July 20, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[555] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[Response to second request]:

My name is Marie Louise Martin, sister of the [556] Servant of God, born in Alençon (Saint-Pierre de Monsort parish), on February 22, 1860, of Louis-Joseph Aloys-Stanislas Martin and Marie-Zélie Guérin. I am a nun of the Carmel of Lisieux where I made my profession on May 22, 1888, under the name of Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart.

 

[The witness answers the third to the fifth questions correctly].

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

[Answer to the sixth request]:

Despite the great affection I have for my sister, I will conscientiously tell the truth. Nobody influenced me in the preparation of my testimony.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

Being the eldest sister of the Servant of God, I observed everything that concerns her very closely. I got to know her all the better because after our mother's death, my sister Pauline and I took care of her education. I found her at Carmel, where I had preceded her two years before, and I never left her until her death. I already knew, through my personal observation, what the Servant of God told about her life in her writings, with the exception of a few details of her interior life which I learned through this reading, for example, her ordeals against the faith.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

Apart from the very lively natural affection I have for my [557] little sister, I have a great devotion for the Servant of God, because I believe she is a saint. I desire and I ask God for her beatification, because I am convinced that God wants it and will be glorified by it. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus teaches us to go to God through trust and love. When the Church will have sanctioned this life of trust, which does so much good to souls, it seems to me that they will come in large numbers to line up under the banner of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, apostle of love.

 

[Response to the ninth request]:

The Servant of God was born on January 2, 1873, in Alençon, parish of Notre-Dame; she was baptized on January 4th. She was the last in a line of nine children, namely:

Marie-Louise, 1860.

Marie-Pauline, 1861.

Marie Leonie, 1863.

Marie Hélène, 1864, died in 1870.

Marie Joseph Louis, 1866, died in 1867

Marie Joseph Jean-Baptiste, 1867, died in 1868.

Marie Celine, 1869.

Marie Mélanie Thérèse, 1870, died in 1870.

Marie Françoise Thérèse, who is the Servant of God. She was confirmed on June 14, 1884.

My father was born in Bordeaux, in 1823; my mother, Marie Zélie Guérin, was born in Saint-Denis (Orne) in 1831. It was by mistake that, in the Trial of the Ordinary, we had indicated [558] Gandelain, a neighboring locality of Saint-Denis, as the birthplace of our mother. Our parents gave the example of all the virtues; they attended holy mass every day, getting up for it as early as 5 o'clock in the morning. They fasted all Lent without softening. The Sunday rest was observed with great fidelity. They would not have allowed themselves to fix a trip, even a useful one, for Sunday. My father lost good sales opportunities, because he did not want to leave his shop open on Sundays, although his confessor gave him the freedom to do so, as the other jewelers in town did.

 

My father had a generous character and never yielded anything to human respect. He never passed in front of a church without bowing, in whatever company he was. He was faithful to go each month to the nocturnal adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and when he came to Lisieux he obtained that he be established in this city. My father and my mother had a deep faith; and hearing them speak together of eternity, we felt disposed, young as we were, to regard the things of the world as pure vanity.

 

My mother watched with great care over the souls of her children, and the smallest fault never went unpunished. She would have liked to see in us signs of future holiness. Speaking of Thérèse, she added: “For Thérèse, we don't yet know what she will be... It's so small! However, I have never seen so much intelligence in any of my children, and then she always has a celestial [559] smile” @MSA 7,1@.

 

My father and my mother had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin; this is why they gave the name of Mary to all their children, boys and girls. My father, even before his marriage, had placed in a path of his garden a statue of the Blessed Virgin who later was to be so dear to the whole family, because it is this same statue which was in the bedroom of Thérèse as a child. during his great illness, and who came alive to smile at him. At the feet of this same statue, my mother had received very great favors. My parents were very helpful to the unfortunate. A servant having fallen ill with articular rheumatism, my mother looked after her herself, day and night, for several weeks, not wanting to send her back to her parents who were poor.

 

[Answer to the tenth request]:

My mother died like a saint on August 28, 1877. My father endured this ordeal with great faith, and surrounded us more than ever with solicitude. Out of devotion to us, he left Alençon and came to Lisieux to secure for us wise guidance from our aunt, Madame Guérin, and to keep us away from the rather worldly friends we had in our home town. He took very great care of our souls, recommending us to avoid with the greatest care what could have tarnished the purity of our hearts. I sometimes found his wise advice austere, and for fear that he would [560] become even more austere, I prevented him from reading, for example, the Fathers of the Desert, because I had noticed that afterwards he wanted to mortify himself too much.

 

I can relate, even now, how the ordeal crowned the life so righteous and so pure of my father. In a burst of generosity, he had offered himself as a victim and the Lord seemed to accept his holocaust. He suffered from cerebral palsy, and the last years of his life were one long martyrdom.

 

He died on July 29, 1894. At the time of his death, he seemed to enjoy all his intelligence again, and fixed a gaze

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

profound and grateful for his daughter Céline who had been the angel of his painful old age.

 

I am going to come back, after this digression, to the story of the Servant of God. It seems that, at the age of a year and a half, she was the object of an extraordinary protection of her guardian angel. My mother, on returning from morning mass, was frightened to find the cradle where she had left little Thérèse empty. But she soon saw the child sleeping, seated on a large chair. So she had fallen out of her cradle, and as it seemed impossible that she could have climbed into that high chair herself, my mother had no doubt of an extraordinary intervention from God.

 

At the age of three, Thérèse attended the lessons I gave to Céline, and already had enough control over herself not to say a single word during the two hours that the lesson lasted.

 

[561] She was extraordinarily frank: she needed to spontaneously accuse herself of her slightest faults, and immediately ran to explain them to my mother. She wouldn't have lied for all the gold in the world. She was about six years old, when she said to the servant who was telling happy little lies: “You know well, Victoire, that this offends the good Lord” @MSA 11,1et PO tem. 3@. Around the age of four, little Thérèse adopted the practice of marking on a sort of rosary, with moving beads, the little sacrifices she was making for the good Lord. My mother wrote of her at that time: “This child only likes to talk about the good God, she would not fail to say her prayers” @MSA 11,1@. When my mother died, the ceremony of extreme unction was deeply imprinted on her soul. Later, at the Carmel, she said to me, recalling this time of her earliest childhood: “It seems to me that I judged things like today” @Source pre.@. She seemed to me, in fact, extraordinarily serious, but I was careful not to ask her what she thought, so as not to further develop the deep feelings of which she speaks, because I found her too advanced for her age.

 

After the death of our mother, Thérèse was brought up by her sister Pauline and by me. Until the age of eight and a half, she received our only lessons. At the age of eight and a half, she was placed as a half boarder at the Benedictine abbey where her sister Céline was already. She had to suffer in this house. His extremely sensitive nature was painfully affected by contact with a few pupils of a more vulgar nature. She was, moreover, very well educated for her age, she was placed in a class of pupils older than her, where, however, she conquered and kept first place; hence certain jealousies that were painful for little Therese, who nevertheless never complained about it.

 

At the age of 10, Thérèse was stricken with a strange illness, which, in my opinion, could only have come from the devil, because of the supernatural phenomena that were occurring. This illness broke out a few months after the entry into Carmel of Mother Agnès of Jesus, towards the end of March 1883.

 

From April 7 until May 10, the day the Blessed Virgin healed her, she remained in a heartbreaking state. Several times a week she had fits of terror so extraordinary that a learned doctor, Monsieur Motta (Notta), now deceased, said he had never encountered such a case. I heard him confess to my father his impotence. He even said these words: "Call it what you want, but for me it's not hysteria."

 

[563] [Continuation of response to the tenth request]:

The most insignificant objects took on the form of horrible monsters in her eyes and she cried out in terror.

 

Frequently she was driven by some unknown force to throw her head forward from her bed onto the pavement. Other times she would bang her head hard against the wood of the bed. Sometimes she wanted to talk to me: no sound was heard, she only articulated the words, without being able to pronounce them.

 

A peculiarity which struck me very much was that, on various occasions, under this influence which I believe to be diabolical, she would suddenly get down on her knees, and, without the help of her hands, leaning her head on the bed, trying to bring his feet forward. Now, in this attitude which was bound to uncover her, she always remained modestly enveloped, to my great astonishment: unable to explain this to myself, I attributed it to a celestial intervention.

In the interval of the crises, she remained in a state of exhaustion.

 

The most terrible crisis of all was the one she talks about in her life. I thought she was going to succumb to it. Seeing her exhausted in this struggle, I wanted to give her a drink, but she cried out in terror: “They want to kill me; they want to poison me”.

 

It was then that I threw myself with my sisters at the feet [564] of the Blessed Virgin imploring her to have pity on us. But the sky seemed deaf to our pleas. Three times I renewed the same prayer. The third time, I saw Thérèse staring at the statue of the Blessed Virgin; his gaze was irradiated, as if in ecstasy. I understood that she saw, not the statue, but the Blessed Virgin herself. This vision seemed to me to last four or five minutes, then two large tears fell from her eyes, and her soft, limpid gaze fixed itself on me with tenderness. I was not mistaken, Thérèse was cured. When I was alone with her, I asked her why she had cried. She hesitated to confide her secret to me, but realizing that I had guessed it, she said to me: "It's because I no longer saw her."

 

[Did some symptoms of this evil still appear during the Servant of God's life? Answer]:

Never any trace of this evil reappeared, nor even anything analogous: she was neither impressionable nor nervous.

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

My uncle, Monsieur Guérin, a pharmacist, told me after Thérèse was cured to take great care not to antagonize her, but I did not fail to antagonize her on occasion, and nothing untoward has ever happened. followed.

 

[During her crises, did the Servant of God retain the use of reason, for example when she cried: “They want to kill me, they want to poison me”? - Answer]:

 

I have the certainty that, even at the height of her crises, the Servant of God kept the healthy use [565] of her superior faculties; she was constrained in her senses, but did not lose consciousness of herself. I was perfectly aware of this by observing her, and she herself assured me later that, during crises, she heard and understood everything that was said around her, and that in particular, in the great final crisis which lasted about an hour, she had not ceased for a single moment to pray interiorly to the Blessed Virgin.

 

Thérèse made her first communion at the Benedictine abbey of Lisieux on May 8, 1884, at the age of 11 years and four months. The regulations of that time only admitted to first communion children who were 10 years old on January 1st. Thérèse, being born on January 2, found herself for two days retarded by a year: she could not understand such a severe law.

 

Meeting in a street of Lisieux Monsignor Hugonin, bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux, she wanted to run to him to ask permission to make her first communion before the age. When I told her that in the first centuries of Christianity, very small children received the Holy Eucharist: "Why then - she would say to me - is it not like that anymore?" At Céline's first communion, 4 years older than her, she wanted to hear the exhortations that were made to her, saying that 4 years were not too long to prepare to receive the good Lord.

So she put great fervor into her next [566] preparation. She multiplied for that the acts of virtues which she considered as so many flowers to offer to Jesus. She eagerly listened to my advice. There was a holy enthusiasm in his eyes, and on the day of his first communion, I seemed to see an angel rather than a mortal creature.

 

At that time, she asked me to do half an hour of prayer every day. I didn't want to give it to him; then she asked me for only a quarter of an hour; I did not allow him any more. I found her so pious that it frightened me, so to speak. I feared that the good Lord would take her too quickly for Himself.

 

The following year, during the retreat from her second solemn communion, at the Benedictine abbey, Thérèse began to be tormented by scruples. I did my best to reassure her, because her supposed faults which she confided to me were only trifles.

 

When I entered Carmel (1886), no longer having whom to confide in, she spoke in prayer to her brothers and sisters who had preceded her into heaven and soon after she found peace.

 

In the years that followed her first communion until she entered Carmel, she took communion as often as her confessor allowed her to, three or four times a week, I believe, and she would have liked to go every day.

 

[567] [Answer to the eleventh request]:

 

For a long time, Thérèse's great piety made me foresee that she would be a nun and even a Carmelite, but, for my part, I would have liked it to be much later because of my father, and also because of her young age. . This is why when at 14 she told us in the visiting room that she wanted to enter the following year, I let Mother Agnès of Jesus encourage her; for my part, I would gladly have blocked his entry; but as my conscience would have reproached me, I confined myself to saying nothing. Monsieur Guérin, our uncle, and Monsieur Delatroëtte, superior of the Carmel, opposed with all their might the realization of this project. But nothing made her change her resolve, and she displayed heroic courage in overcoming all obstacles.

 

[Answer to the twelfth request]:

The Servant of God entered Carmel on April 9, 1888, and received the name of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. Her taking of the habit took place on January 10, 1889. Finally, she made her profession on September 8, 1890. She died in Carmel on September 30, 1897. During her religious life, she exercised, for a certain time, the functions of sacristan, and was also responsible, but without an official title, for the formation of novices.

 

The characteristic of this religious life was a very great fidelity in the accomplishment of her rule, a constant equanimity, a charity always [568] amiable and smiling, in spite of the hidden trials, the almost constant droughts she had to endure, and the lack of support and consolation from Mother Prioress Marie de Gonzague. The latter showed little sympathy for the young postulant, often scolded her, or did not pay attention to it. This Mother Prioress was accustomed to being adulated by everyone, and, as Sister Thérèse did not seek to gain her good graces by this means, she passed unnoticed, or rather she received only coldness.

 

About these penalties, Sister Thérèse, still a postulant, wrote to me: “The 'poor lamb' can say nothing to Jesus, and above all Jesus says absolutely nothing to him; pray for him, so that his retirement will nevertheless please the heart of him who alone reads the depths of the soul... Why seek happiness on earth? I confess to you that my heart has an ardent thirst for it, but it clearly sees, this poor heart, that no creature is capable of quenching its thirst... I know of another source, it is the one where, after having drunk, one is still thirsty, but with a thirst that is not breathless, which is on the contrary very sweet, because it has something to satisfy. This source is the known suffering of Jesus alone” @LT 75@

 

WITNESS Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

[Session 23: - July 21, 1915, at 2 a.m. of the afternoon]

 

[572] [Response to the thirteenth and fourteenth request]:

On the subject of the virtues in general, I have nothing else to say, except that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus seemed to me, from her earliest childhood, like an angel that the good Lord would have sent on earth. in a mortal body.

 

What she calls her imperfections or her faults were not faults: I never saw her make the slightest fault. Where she excelled most was in her love for God, so trusting and so tender, that at the end of her life, just as I heard her call the Blessed Virgin "mamma", I I also heard several times call the good Lord with ideal candor: "Dad the good God." About her sufferings, she said: "Leave it to 'Daddy the good Lord', he knows what his tiny baby needs." I said to him: “So you are a baby?.” She then assumed an air full of gravity, and answered me: "Yes... but a baby who thinks a lot about it!" A baby who is an old man” @Source pre.@. I never felt better than at that moment how much virility her childhood path concealed, and I found it very fitting that she appropriated, in her manuscript, these words of David: "I am young, and yet I have become more cautious than the old men” @Source pre.@.

 

[Answer to the fifteenth request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had an ardent faith. Her habit of appreciating everything from God's point of view showed itself mainly in trials, she considered them as graces. She called the hardship of my father's illness: "Our Great Wealth" @MSA 573@.

 

[Answer to the sixteenth request]:

She read the lives of the missionaries avidly, because she found there the expression of her own desires. She would have liked to be a missionary, to make the love of God known everywhere.

 

[Response to the seventeenth request]:

Sister Thérèse constantly thought of God. One day, I said to him: “How do you manage to always think of the good Lord?” She replied: “It's not difficult, one naturally thinks of someone one loves.”—“So, I said to him, you never lose his presence?.”—“Oh! no, she said, I don't think I've ever been three minutes without thinking of him” @CS@

 

[Answer to the eighteenth request]:

After her first communion, she would have liked to be able to take communion every day. She suffered so much from being deprived of daily Communion that I have always thought that it was through her intercession that this grace of frequent Communion was granted to the faithful, and that it was to her that the little children owe the favor of making their first communion [574] so young. Moreover, I seem to remember that she said to us, during her life: "You will see, when I am in heaven, there will be, concerning Holy Communion, a change in the practice of the Church @Source pre @. I remember perfectly that, some time before her death, she said to Mother Marie de Gonzague, who was opposed to the practice of daily communion: “My mother, when I am in heaven, I will make you change your mind” 14 And that's what happened.

 

[Answer to the nineteenth request]:

 

I have nothing special to say on this point.

 

[Answer to the twentieth request]:

She had a great spirit of faith towards her superiors. A month before her death, she passed through a very painful crisis. The community doctor was absent. Our mother prioress refused to let another doctor enter in her place. When we complained about this way of acting, the Servant of God told us: "Do not murmur against the will of the good God: it is He who allows our Mother not to give me relief" @DEA 30-8 @.

 

The mere fact that she encountered, in a book, a few lines of criticism against the pope or the bishops, put her in suspicion and made her reject it.

 

[Response to the twenty-first request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had a very great [575] devotion to the Holy Face of Our Lord. The day before her profession she wrote to me: “I will be the wife of Him whose face is hidden, and whom no one has recognized” @LT 116@. She wanted to console Jesus for the ingratitude of those who did not recognize him in his humiliations. It is in this spirit that she wrote:

“I recognize you, even through your tears, Face of the Eternal, I discover your charms. That your veiled gaze consoled my heart, remember” @PN 24@,

 

When she made herself a mystical coat of arms, she painted a Holy Face on it. She also composed a prayer in honor of the Holy Face which was indulged by Pius X.

 

She also had a touching devotion to the Child Jesus and adorned her altar with care. They brought him, in summer, enormous sheaves of wild flowers. Tired as she was, she used the hour of free time given to rest to dispose of them well.

 

The Servant of God had a tender love for the Blessed Virgin. In her early childhood, she prayed to her in front of a small altar she had arranged. She loved to adorn the images of the Blessed Virgin with garlands and wreaths of flowers, and, even on her deathbed,

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart

 

she braided two more crowns of cornflowers to decorate the statue of the Blessed Virgin. She said to me one day: “When we speak to the saints, they are a little late: we feel that they must go and present their request, but when I ask a grace from the Blessed Virgin, it is a help [ 576] immediate that I receive... Experience it and you will see...”. At my request she composed her last poem: “Why I love you, oh Mary”. She told us: "My little canticle expresses everything I think and what I would preach about the Blessed Virgin, if I were a priest" Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had such great confidence in the reversibility of merits that she believed in the very reversibility of natural benefits through prayer; this is how, during her illness, she offered the remedies which were administered to her and which she judged to be ineffective for her, so that they would benefit a missionary who would have neither the time nor the means to take care of himself. . Having considered the mystical body of the Holy Church, she would have liked to be a priest, a doctor, etc., but her impotence does not distress her: “I cannot, she says, preach the Gospel, shed my blood; what does it matter... my brothers work in my place, and I love for those who fight » @MSB 4,1@ Heaven seems to her to be peopled with souls who cherish her and look at her as their child. This was the basis of his devotion to the saints.

 

[Response to /a twenty-second request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus has always distinguished herself by a great detachment from all created things. At the age of 14, she wrote to me about a little lamb given to her by my father: "You do not know, my dear godmother, how much the death of this [577] little lamb has given me think about it. Oh! yes, on earth, we mustn't get attached to anything, not even to the most innocent things, because we miss them at the very moment when we least think about them. Only what is eternal can satisfy us” @LT 42@. During her habit retreat, she sent me this note: “I confess to you that my heart has an ardent thirst for happiness; but I see clearly that no creature is capable of quenching it, etc. » @LT 75@. A little later, during her retirement from profession, she wrote to me: “Are there still rosy joys for your little Thérèse? Oh! no, for her there are only celestial joys, joys where all that is created, which is nothing, gives way to the uncreated, which is reality » @LT 116 @

 

[Answer to the twenty-third to the twenty-fifth questions inclusive]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus attributed to God all the good that was in her, recognizing that it was a completely free gift. Explaining to me her “little way”, she said to me: “However imperfect we may be, Jesus will transform us into flames of love, provided we hope everything from his goodness” @LT 197@

 

During her illness, she told us: “These words: 'Even if God were to kill me, I would still hope in him @*Job 13-15@ delighted me from my childhood. But I was a long time before establishing myself at this degree of abandonment; now I'm there... The good Lord took me and put me there” @DEA 7-7@. It was on this feeling of absolute confidence and not on the purity of her heart that she founded [578] her hopes. She writes to me: “If weak and imperfect souls like mine felt what I feel, none of them would despair of reaching the top of the mountain of love, since Jesus does not ask for great deeds, but the abandonment and recognition” @MSB 1,2@

 

However, the confidence in God of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was combined with a fear full of love, the fear of offending him. When she was very young, she said to my mother one day: “Mom, if I were mean, would I go to hell? I want to be cute, like a little angel, to go to heaven” @CF 170 and MSA 5,2@. She was faithful to her resolution. She said it herself in her last illness: “Since the age of three, I have refused nothing to the good Lord” @CSG..@

 

The last part of the "Story of a Soul", which is nothing more than a long letter which she addressed to me in September 1, is entirely the expression of her absolute confidence in the grace of God.

 

[Response to the twenty-sixth request]:

In all the letters and exhortations that I quoted in the previous question, the Servant of God tried precisely to share with me her feelings of perfect trust in God. Here is another feature that shows how much she wanted to form in us these dispositions of detachment from the consolations created. Seeing me, each time my patience was exhausted, seeking consolation from our Mother Priory, [579] she said to me: “You hurt your soul by acting like this, you take away its strength. We should rise above what the sisters say, what they do. We should be in our monastery as if we were only to spend two days there: we would be careful not to say what is unpleasant, knowing that we are going to leave it” @Source pre @.

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

[Session 24: - July 22, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[582] [Response to the twenty-seventh request]:

She had a great horror of sin; the fear of having been able to offend God kept her in a kind of anguish, she only had peace when a retired preacher and confessor assured her that what she called her faults did not sadden the good God. . In fact, she only made inadvertent mistakes.

 

[Answer to the twenty-eighth request]:

 

Charity for God was the characteristic of his holiness. She wanted to love God, as he had never been loved, and feeling powerless to realize her immense desires, she became a little child, so that the Lord, having pity, would take her in his arms and lift her up. even to the heights. She tells, in [583] the part of her manuscript which she sent to me, how, after having sought her place within the Church, not recognizing herself in any of the members who illustrate her by their glorious actions, she found in the love that she wanted to give to God, the key to her vocation: "Yes," she said, "I found my place within the Church: in the heart of the Church my mother, I will be Love” @MSB 3,2@. Her love for God made her conform to all his wishes so much that she told us: “I had been forced to ask for papa's healing on the day of my profession; but I could never say anything other than this: My God, I beg you, let it be your will that daddy heals” @DEA 23-7@

 

The love of suffering was always alive in her heart, in conformity with Our Lord who wanted to suffer to expiate our sins. She even desired martyrdom, in order to give God proofs of her love. During her last retreat, she wrote me her intimate feelings in the form of a prayer addressed to Jesus: “I would like above all, O my beloved Saviour, to shed my blood for you, to the last drop. I feel the need to accomplish for you all the most heroic works. If I wanted to write down all my desires, I would have to borrow your book of life; 1To are reported the deeds of all the saints, and these deeds I would have done for you” @MSB 3,1@

 

She put these feelings into practice and she made, in reality, her religious life a martyrdom by her great fidelity. She does not want to let slip [584]no small sacrifice, no look, no word; she wants to do the smallest actions out of love. Comparing these acts of virtue to flowers, she writes, “I will not meet one without plucking it for you, Jesus. And then, I will always sing, even if it is necessary to pick my roses in the middle of the thorns, and my song will be all the more melodious as these thorns are longer and more pungent » @MSB 4,2.@.

 

His love for God was pure and selfless. She told me shortly before her death: “If the good Lord said to me: 'If you die immediately, you will have great glory; if you die at 80, your glory will be much less, but it will give me much more pleasure`, so I would not hesitate to answer: 'My God, I want to die at 80, because I do not seek my glory, but only your pleasure'... I would be happy to bear the greatest suffering without God's knowledge, if it were possible... Not in order to give him temporary glory, but if I only knew that , by this testimony of my love, a smile could touch his lips. @DEA 16-7@ She wrote a few months before her death: “I am willing to be sick all my life, if it pleases God, and I even consent to my life being very long. The only grace I want is for her to be broken by love." @MSC 8,1-2@

 

[Answer to the twenty-ninth request]:

I said, in answering the 585th question, that the life of the Servant of God was one continuous prayer,[XNUMX] she was able to tell me that she did not believe she had been three minutes without thinking of God.

 

[Answer to the thirtieth request]:

All the speeches and letters that I have reported obviously tend to communicate to others the love with which she was ablaze.

 

[Answer to the thirty-first request]:

It was in order to atone for sins that she loved suffering. She looked upon it as one of the most effective means of saving souls. On the day of her death, being in inexpressible agony, she told us: "I can only explain the sufferings I endure by the extreme desire I have to save souls." @DEA 30-9@

 

[Answer to the thirty-second request]:

The love of God led Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus to love of neighbour. I said to him one day: "One is very happy to die after having spent one's life in the love of God." - "Yes," she replied, "but to spend one's life in the love of God, one must not fail in charity towards one's neighbour." @Source pre @

 

What clearly proves that she did not love her neighbor by human views, is that she sought especially to do good to those whose character was less attractive. Thus, in the linen room, she asked to be helped by a sister of such character that she kept [586] everyone away. This sister had indeed dark thoughts and did almost nothing. She also devoted herself to the service of a poor lay sister, Sister Saint-Pierre, remarkable for her cantankerous temper.

 

[Answer to the thirty-third to the thirty-fifth questions inclusive]:

Her charity towards her neighbor made her industrious in rendering service. ~ She consoled the afflicted and excused,

 

WITNESS 7: Marie SCOCD

 

as she could, the neighbor's most unbearable faults. Thus, this poor sister, Marie de Saint Joseph, whose assistant she was in the linen room, aroused in her nothing but tender compassion: "If you only knew," she said to me, "how you must forgive her, how is worthy of pity! It's not her fault if she's badly gifted... So have pity on her. Oh! how we must practice charity towards our neighbour! »

 

There was in the infirmary a neurasthenic nun whose incurable boredom was a torture for the one who had to keep her company. As I bore witness to this, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus said to me: “How happy I would have been if someone had asked me that! It might have cost me according to nature, but it seems to me that I would have done it with so much love, because I think of what Our Lord said: 'I was sick and you relieved'” @DEA 20-8@

 

As a child, she enjoyed helping the poor, distributing alms to beggars.

Her charity led her to forget herself in all circumstances. During the long months of her last illness, [507] she would not consent to being watched over at night.

One day, when I saw her very tired walking in the garden out of obedience, she reminded me of her doctrine of the reversibility of merits and even of the simplest acts: «I walk - she told me, for a missionary. I think that over there, far away, one of them is exhausted from his apostolic journeys, and to reduce his fatigue I offer mine to the good Lord”.

She was concerned with exercising charity, even after her death. She said to me one day, after having made the novena to Saint Francis Xavier: “I asked for the grace to do good after my death, and I am sure of being granted”. She also told me, alluding to a feature of the life of Saint Louis de Gonzague, which we read in the refectory: "I too, after my death, I will cause a shower of roses to fall" @DEA 9-6 and PO tem. 3@

 

[588] [Response to request thirty-six continues]:

She liked to pray for the deceased, in order to discharge their debts to divine justice. She constantly prayed for the conversion of sinners whom she called “her children” @MSA 46,2@; and when her proteges were dead, she still took an interest in them and caused masses to be said for the repose of their souls.

 

When our good father was stricken with cerebral palsy, she said that "it was the time of his purgatory" @Source pre.@, although she considered him a saint: she never ceased to fear for small imperfections which escape even the righteous. This is why she asked Our Mother to have masses said for her at that time.

 

[Answer to the thirty-seventh request]:

If by prudence we mean supernatural wisdom, I can say that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had celestial wisdom. She did not exceed anything; she was neither presumptuous nor inconsiderate. She esteemed all earthly things pure vanity, and her prudence shone through in all her acts. She had also asked God for it, witness this line of her poetry

“Jesus, remember”:

“In the affairs of heaven, deign to make me skilful” @PN 24@

 

Although she was drawn by attraction to the practice of selfless love, she did not fail to consider the reward of heaven to encourage herself in the sufferings of life. During our great trial, [589] concerning the illness of our good father, she wrote me this note: "The good Lord tells us that on the last day he will wipe all the tears from our eyes, and, no doubt , the more tears that are wiped away, the greater the consolation” @LT 117@.

 

I also noticed his caution with Mother Marie de Gonzague who was suddenly seized with jealousy when she noticed that the novices placed their trust in the Servant of God. On one of these occasions, in particular, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus showed so much prudence that she disarmed the poor mother who was then in the most violent temptations of jealousy.

 

[Answer to the thirty-eighth request]:

The Servant of God was also very careful in the advice she gave to others. In an intimate conversation (at Easter 1897), she asked me if I had ever had temptations against the faith. I was surprised by his question, for I was unaware of his trials against the faith: I only learned of them later, especially by reading the "Story of a Soul." So I asked her if she had any herself; but she answered vaguely and turned the conversation away. I understood then that she did not want to tell me anything, for fear of making me share her temptations, and I was very struck by her prudence on this occasion.

 

She valued personal cooperation in the matter of salvation. When she wrote to me [590] on December 17, 1896: “Jesus wants to give us his heaven for free” @LT 197@, it was because she considered all our actions as nothing and did not attribute the reward only to divine mercy alone, in the same sense as Saint Paul when he says that salvation is not the work of those who will, nor of those who run, but of God who shows mercy. However, this did not prevent her from insisting in the advice she gave us, on the necessity of works. Thus, one day when I said to him: "When we offer ourselves to merciful love, we can

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

hope to go straight to heaven? », « Yes - she replied -, but we must also practice charity towards our neighbours » @Source pre.@.

 

Another time, she wrote to me: “How I thirst for heaven, for that blessed abode, where we will love Jesus without reserve! But you have to suffer to get there... Hey! well, I want to suffer whatever my beloved will please, I want to let him do whatever he wants with me” (September 7, 1890).@LT 116@

 

[Response to the thirty-ninth and fortieth requests]

 

It seems to me that everything I have said about his charity towards God and towards his neighbor implicitly contains the faithful practice of the virtue of justice.

 

[Answer to the forty-first request]:

 

From childhood, despite her very sensitive nature, she courageously dominated her impressions and natural vivacity.

 

[591] I have already said that at the age of three she wanted to attend the lessons that I gave to Céline, and already had enough control over herself not to say a single word during the two hours that the lesson lasted. .

 

She never apologized. One day my father gave her a strong reprimand which she did not deserve, she accepted it without saying a word.

 

Around the age of 10, she had a great desire to learn drawing, seeing her sister Céline taking lessons in this pleasant art; she would have had only one word to say to obtain it from my father, who offered it to her. On my observation that it would be of little use, she kept silent and gave the impression that she did not wish it. She told us later, at Carmel, that it had been a great sacrifice for her. I then told her that she should have asked: "Yes, she replied, but I didn't want to refuse God anything."

 

At the professional examination of our cousin, Sister Marie of the Eucharist, we were allowed to accompany her to the gate where our aunt was waiting for her. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus deprived herself of the joy of this rare family meeting. “Since our mother leaves us free, I prefer not to go” @Source pre.@

 

She did not lose her temper if someone said a bitter word to her. One day of a funeral ceremony, she was arranging wreaths of flowers. A lay sister said to her: “Why do you highlight the bouquets that come from your family, while you despise those of the poor?.” Without answering anything and in the most amiable [592] manner, she complied with the wish of this sister and placed in front of the more common flowers sent by the poor.

 

[Answer to the forty-second request]:

 

The Servant of God had remarkable fortitude. She endured the hardest trials, always maintaining a smiling friendliness that hid her suffering.

 

During my father's illness, she bore her grief in silence, never seeking consolation from us, and yet at her age, an outpouring with us, in whom she had so much confidence, would have been precious to her.

 

The day after the haemorrhage from which she suffered, on Maundy Thursday 1896, seeing her very pale, and yet working as usual, I asked her if she was ill, and I offered to help her in her work. She thanked me without telling me anything about the serious accident that had just happened to her and that I only learned about later.

 

She was strong in spiritual aridities, as evidenced by the letters she wrote to me at the time of her taking the habit and her profession: "Your little girl hardly understands the celestial harmonies, her honeymoon is very dry. My only consolation is great strength and peace, and then I hope to be as Jesus wants me to be” @LT 111@

 

She knew so well how to overcome natural antipathies that one day I imagined that she liked [593] more than I a nun whose character was very opposed to hers. I learned later that it was out of virtue that she showed him so much thoughtfulness.

 

In 1896, Mother Agnes of Jesus and Sister Geneviève were about to leave for Saigon; Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus confessed to me that this departure was very painful for her: "Because, she told me - it is not the will of God, I am sure of it" @Words thus reported by Marie@ However, she doesn't say a word to divert them from this project. She writes on this occasion in her manuscript: "Because my heart is capable of suffering much, I desire to give to Jesus all kinds of suffering" @MSC 10,1@

 

His fortitude showed itself above all in his last illness. Even at the height of the fever, she did not ask for refreshments if they were not presented to her. As I complained about it, reminding her that Our Mother had obliged her to ask for everything she needed, she replied: "I ask what is necessary for me, but not what gives me pleasure" @DEA 27 -8@

 

[Answer to the forty-third request]:

 

During his illness at the age of 10, the doctor had prescribed showers. At the time of giving them to her every day, I still see this little angel saying to me with a pleading air, when I wanted to undress her: “Oh! Marie!...” and great tears fell from her eyes, imploring me to leave her. It was a martyrdom for her.

 

Growing up, she saw things from a higher level, and while remaining pure as a lily, she was [594] very simple. She had however guessed the things of life, but felt well, as she wrote, "that all is pure for the pure" @MSA 57,1@

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

[Session 25: - July 23, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[597] Response to Request XNUMX]:

 

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus practiced poverty with great perfection, and never complained of the excesses she encountered in religion in the exercise of this virtue.

 

She confided to us, at the end of her life, that she had suffered so much from the cold in Carmel, that it was to death; however, I never once heard her complain about it.

The sister cook, knowing her virtue well, served her what she could not give to others, and even refused to give her a boiled egg, if the eggs were expensive. Mother Agnès of Jesus noticed this and was upset, but Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus said to her: "Don't worry about me, please, I'm still too well cared for" @Source pre .@.

The sister in charge of the alpargates did the same. For Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, everything was [598] quite well. She put on piece by piece, the soles became so heavy that no one would have wanted to wear them. But Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was not yet satisfied with that: she herself did so many retouchings on the canvases that we no longer saw the first fabric. After his death, I saw these poor alpargates, and I wanted to collect them as relics. But the lay sister, who was over there, said to me: “You won't keep that filth! and snatching them from my hands, she threw them into the fire.

She has often told me how long she regretted having burned them, and that she would be happy to have them today to show how far her poverty went.

 

The Servant of God said that poverty consists in seeing oneself deprived, not only of pleasant things, but of essential things; therefore, when what was necessary was taken from her, she did not complain. A sister having inadvertently taken away her little lamp, she remained in darkness for a whole evening, unable to work and enduring this unfortunate adventure with peace of mind.

 

She didn't want to take expensive medicines, even if they were sent to her by her family, because she was no longer, she said, treated like a pauper. But if they were given out of charity from other people, she humbly accepted them.

 

[Answer to the forty-fifth request]:

 

The Servant of God never committed the slightest disobedience. After the death of our mother, she obeyed exactly [599] everything that her sister Pauline or I commanded her. Although she was very fond of reading, she never prolonged it, even by a line, beyond recess time.

 

At the time of her scruples she followed my advice exactly.

 

In Carmel, a sister seeing her always faithfully observing the slightest recommendations, judged, by this fact alone, that she was a saint. It was this sister herself who shared her appreciation with me...Thus, we are recommended not to open the books which are not for our use, not to look at the engravings or the brochures, etc The Servant of God confessed to me that she had accused herself, in confession, of having looked at a page from a fashion journal. I told him that it was not strictly forbidden. She answered me: “It's true, but the father told me that it was more perfect to deprive himself of it. However, she added, seeing the vanity of the world, it rather raised my soul to the good God. But now, when I find these engravings, I don't look at them anymore.

 

I often tried to stop him, to say a word that seemed useful to me. I sometimes gave him the reason that I had to teach him to look for the office of the day. Just three weeks after entering Carmel, she said to me on one of these occasions: “Thank you, I found it well today; I would be happy to stay with you, but I have to deprive myself of it, because we are no longer at home” @Source pre.@. [600] At the first sound of the bell, she even interrupted her writing in the middle of a word. I have kept a note from her that ends like this: "I have to leave you, 9 o'clock is..." (ringing). @LT 49@. One day when she saw me, on the contrary, finish writing a line after the hour, she said to me: "It would be much better to lose that and do an act of regularity." If only we knew what it is! ".

On her deathbed, while she was consumed by fever, I wanted to remove the sheet from her feet. She said to me, “It may not be allowed. »

 

[Answer to the forty-sixth request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus always liked to remain unknown. Like the Blessed Virgin, "she kept everything in her heart", and no one suspected the treasures that were hidden there.

 

In Carmel, her humility developed marvelously, for she had rich opportunities to practice this virtue, and she did not miss any of them.

 

In her postulancy, she found a way to place herself, during recreation, with a young lay sister, her companion in the novitiate, who took pleasure in molesting her with teasing in bad taste. The Servant of God listened humbly to all her foolishness, and instead of fleeing her company, she sat beside her every day.

 

I also saw her listen, with deep humility and great gentleness, to a postulant who overwhelmed her with unjust reproaches.

 

[601] On July 29, 1897, when she was very ill in the infirmary, a sister, thinking she would please her, brought her a little child's toy to distract her. But she, astonished, accepted it without enthusiasm, saying: "What do you want me to do with that"? Sister,

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

a little offended, made her feel that she did not find it delicate to act thus. Then with deep humility, the Servant of God replied: “You are right, oh! how imperfect I am! ... but I am happy all the same to feel so miserable! » @DEA 9-7@. And, despite the fatigue and exhaustion in which she found herself that day, she welcomed with a smile all the sisters who came to see her.

 

The letters that the Servant of God wrote to me are all filled with the expression of her feelings of humility. Here are a few passages:

 

"My desires for martyrdom are nothing, to tell the truth, they can be called those spiritual riches which make one unjust when one rests in them with complacency... these desires are a consolation which Jesus sometimes grants to weak souls like mine ... Oh! I feel it, it's not that at all that pleases God in my little soul. What pleases him is to see me love my misery and my poverty” @LT 176@

 

Continuation of the response to the forty-sixth request]:

In 1888, she wrote to me: “Pray for the weak 'little reed' which is at the bottom of the valley; the slightest breath makes it bend! Ask that your little girl always remain a little grain of sand, very dark, well hidden, that only Jesus can see her, that she becomes smaller and smaller” @LT 49@

 

And later, in 1896: "Jesus delights in showing me the only way that leads to this furnace of love: 'If anyone is very small, let him come to me,' said the Spirit. Holy. He said again: 'Mercy is given to the little ones'. Ah! if weak and imperfect souls felt what the smallest of all souls feels, the soul of your little Thérèse, not a single one would despair of reaching the summit of the mountain of love” @MSB 1,1@

 

Her humility did not prevent her from recognizing the privileges with which God had granted her, but she always knew how to relate everything to him. In 1896, during her last illness, she said to me: “Leaning over a little, I saw the setting sun through the window casting its last lights on nature, and the tops of the trees seemed all golden. I said to myself then: "What a difference when we stay in the shade or when we expose ourselves [603] to the sun of love, then we seem all golden... that's why I seem all golden, in reality I am not and I would cease to be immediately if I walked away from love” @CSG...@

 

[Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

 

I have already said and proved, speaking of her virtues, that she was always equal to herself in joy or in trial; now, this absolute constancy in virtue, without ever failing, seems to me heroic; I have never seen this in any other.

 

[Answer to the forty-eighth request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was so well balanced in everything that balance in her seemed natural to me. She didn't exceed anything; I saw her, out of love for God, go to mortification, but according to the rules of a prudent wisdom with which she was filled. I have already testified to this moderation by answering questions on the virtues of prudence and temperance.

 

[Answer to the forty-ninth request]:

 

In several circumstances, it seemed to me that she had supernatural knowledge of what was going on in my soul. So shortly before her death, I had had, at the thought of losing her, a secret feeling of despair. This feeling was completely attenuated when I entered the infirmary a little later without any sign of grief. However, she said to me as soon as she saw me: "You mustn't cry like those who have no hope" @DEA 604-1@.

 

Eight days before her death, I said to Mother Agnès of Jesus: "It was you she chose for her little mother from her childhood: I am not jealous of her, but nevertheless I brought her up too, and I would like her to have the same affection for me as she has for you.” In the afternoon, we were both alone by his bed. She looked at us with a deep look and said: "My little sisters, it was you who raised me..." @DEA 23-9@. My surprise was great to see that she was responding to a desire that I had not expressed to her.

 

One can also regard as a supernatural favor certain peculiarities of the strange illness from which she was attacked at the age of 10 and the circumstances of which I have described in answering the tenth question. Thus, she never hurt herself in the violent shocks of the head that she gave herself under the influence of this mysterious illness. I also said how her modesty was mysteriously safeguarded in the attitudes I have described. But above all we must remember here the apparition of the Blessed Virgin who miraculously ended this ordeal.

 

We can note in the life of the Servant of God a vision and several words that seem prophetic. The vision relates to the years of his childhood. Around the age of seven, she saw in a vision [605] the terrible illness which was to test our father's old age. She saw through a window overlooking the garden our father, who had been absent for several days. My sister Pauline and I heard Thérèse cry out with anguish: "Dad, dad." We tried to reassure her, reminding her that our father was absent, but she insisted that she had seen him walking at the bottom of the garden, his head covered with a dark cloth. We took her into the garden to convince her that there was no one there; but she remained certain of having seen our father in this mysterious attitude. I said how our father's last years had been a martyrdom for him.

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

In 1889, he was stricken with cerebral palsy which deprived him of all his faculties, and remarkably, at the beginning of this illness, he was seen quite often covering his head. Much later, at the Carmel, I was talking with Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, one day of license, when recalling her memories of childhood, she was led to tell me again this extraordinary vision whose meaning we then understood. Towards the end of her life, I told her that I would have great difficulty in consoling Mother Agnès of Jesus, whom her death was going to afflict so much. "Don't worry - she said - Mother Agnès of Jesus will not have time to think about her pain because, until the end of her life, she will be so busy with me that she will not even be able to not enough for everything. »

 

Around August 1897, about six weeks before his death, I was near his bed with Mother Agnès of Jesus and Sister Geneviève. Suddenly, without [606] any conversation leading to this word, she looked at us with a heavenly air and said very distinctly: "You know very well that you are caring for a little saint"

 

[Did the Servant of God explain or correct this expression? - Answer]:

I was very moved by this word as if I had heard a saint predict what would happen after his death. Under the influence of this emotion, I moved away a little in the infirmary, and I do not remember to have heard anything else.

 

In the course of her religious life, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had, while making her Stations of the Cross, an extraordinary grace, which she confided in Mother Agnès of Jesus. I don't remember her talking to me about it. She also recalls this fact in her life.

Finally she died in an ecstasy of love.

 

[Were such marvelous events frequent during the Servant of God's life and did they characterize her in a usual way? - Answer]:

These facts have always seemed clearly supernatural to me, but they are only rare exceptions in the life of the Servant of God, whose general character was one of great simplicity.

 

[Answer to the fiftieth request]:

To my knowledge, nothing similar happened during his lifetime.

 

[Session 26: - July 26, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[613] [Response to the fifty-first request]:

It was at my request that Mother Agnès of Jesus, prioress, asked Sister Thérèse to write down her childhood memories for her sisters; she did so with great simplicity towards the end of 1895. In 1897, Mother Marie de Gonzague, who had become prioress, ordered the Servant of God to write her memories of religious life which form the second part of her History. Finally, in September 1896, I asked her to put her “little spiritual way” in writing. She did, and these pages form the end of the "Story of a Soul."

 

[When writing her manuscript, did the Servant of God foresee its public publication? - Answer]:

Neither she nor we thought these memories would ever be published: they were family notes. Only in the last months of Sister Thérèse's life, Mother Agnès of Jesus thought that the publication of these memories could be useful for the glory of God. She told Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus who accepted this idea with her usual simplicity and straightforwardness. She wanted the manuscript to be published because she saw in it a means of making God loved, which she considered to be her mission. She also added: “If our mother prioress burned all these notebooks, that would not trouble me at all: the good Lord, no longer having this means, would use another”@DEA 17-7@

 

[614] [Do these pages authentically reflect the Servant of God's true life, or do they rather come from an ideal and imaginary conception? - Answer]:

Instead of there being anything imaginary in these memoirs, I am convinced that they fall far short of reality.

Besides this main manuscript, the Servant of God also wrote poems, on the occasion of our feasts and to please the sisters who asked her for them. She also wrote a number of letters; but neither the poems nor the letters were written with a view to publicity.

 

[Answer to the fifty-second request]:

During the last three months of her life, the sufferings of the Servant of God were very cruel, but she bore them with heroic patience and great abandonment to the will of God. However, she said to me: “We don't know what it's like to suffer like that, no! you have to feel it...” I answered him: “And I, who asked the good Lord that you do not suffer much, this is how He hears me!” - "I asked him, she continued, that the prayers which could put an obstacle to the accomplishment of his plans for me, He does not listen to them" @DEA 10-8@

 

When we told her that we prayed in vain for her relief, she replied, “The more the saints seem deaf to our prayers, the more I love them. It gave me pleasure to think that they were praying for me; so I told God that I wanted it to be for sinners.” "So you don't want it to be

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

to relieve you?” [615]-"No!" @DEA 22-8@. "What pains me," I said to her one day, "is the thought that you are going to suffer again." will give the strength to bear it” @DEA 4-7@.

 

I said to him another time: "So you are not at all afraid of death?." She took a serious look and answered me: "No, not yet... but I could well be afraid of it like the others, because it's a famous passage... but I abandon myself to the good Lord" @DEA 9 -7@

 

On July 8, the day when Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus entered the infirmary, the statue of the Blessed Virgin who had miraculously cured her in her childhood was placed there. She said to me, looking at her: “Never has she seemed so beautiful to me! But today it's the statue, and in the past you know it wasn't the statue."

 

On August 22, Sister Geneviève said to her in my presence: “The angels will come to get you, oh! that we would like to see them! »- « I don't think you see them, she said, but that won't prevent them from being there... I would like to have a good death to make you happy. I asked the Blessed Virgin; I didn't ask the good Lord, because I want to let him do as he wants. Asking the Blessed Virgin is not the same thing. She makes do with my little desires; she says them or doesn't say them, it's up to her to see, so as not to force the good Lord to answer me.@DEA 4-6@

She said to us one day: “If you knew how much I make plans, how many things I will do when I am in [616] heaven!.” - “What projects are you doing?.” - “I will begin my mission of making the good God loved, as I love him; I will help the priests, the whole Church. I will go there to help the missionaries and to prevent little children from dying without baptism” @DEA 13-7@.

 

Another time I heard her say to Mother Agnès of Jesus: “I will be happy to die in the arms of Mother Marie de Gonzague, because she represents the good God. With you, my Little Mother, there would have been a human side: I prefer that there was only the divine” @DEA 13-7@

 

Two days before her death, she asked us for holy water, saying: “Oh! how I suffer! I cannot make the smallest movement; it seems to me that they hold me with an iron hand! Oh! pray for me. I believe it is the demon who increases my ills to despair me. It's not for me that I suffer, it's for someone else... and he doesn't want...” @Words thus reported by Marie@

 

We watched over her the last night of her life; she constantly worried about our fatigue and tried to help herself so as not to disturb us.

 

In the morning, she looked at the statue of the Blessed Virgin and said: “Oh! I prayed to her with fervor!!... Oh! it is indeed pure suffering, because there is no consolation, no: not one” @DEA 30-9@

Her tongue was completely parched and she was in so much pain that our mother allowed the three of us to stay close to her. She seemed abandoned by heaven and earth. "Yes, my God," she would say, "as much as you like... but have pity on me!" I am reduced [617]! No, I would never have believed that one could suffer so much... It is because of my desire to save souls” @DEA 30-9@

 

She spoke no more after five o'clock, but at the time of her death, at quarter past seven in the evening, she pronounced in a broken voice her last act of love. Her sufferings were then at their peak, and she had to make a supreme effort to pronounce not only from the heart, but from the lips, these words, looking at her crucifix: "My God, I love you..." @DEA 1- 4@, It was immediately after that she had her vision. Her gaze fixed on the top reminded me of the one I had seen in her childhood, when the Blessed Virgin appeared to her and healed her. It is something from heaven that is impossible to describe. A sister passed a torch in front of her eyes, but she did not seem to notice it, for already, I am sure, she was enjoying the divine light.

 

She raised her head, which she had bowed till then; her face was no longer congested as it had been during her long agony, but of a whiteness as it were transparent and of an admirable beauty. She remained in this attitude for several minutes, then she bent her head and exhaled gently in her ecstasy of love; it was Thursday, September 30, 1897. I then felt the assurance that God had answered her prayer and that it was love that had broken her bonds as she had desired.

 

[Response to the fifty-third request].

After his death, I asked to stay with Mother Agnès [618] of Jesus and Sister Aimée of Jesus who were in charge of burying him. The features of the Servant of God reflected an ineffable grace; she looked like she was twelve or thirteen. When the next day, when the body was lifted, she was taken from the infirmary to the choir, she seemed to me so ideal a beauty that I couldn't take my eyes off her. It was like a glint of heavenly glory appearing on his face. In the choir, in front of the gate where she was displayed, her expression became more serious, she no longer looked like a child. But I noticed that on the morning of October 4, when the coffin was closed, despite certain signs of decomposition which were already beginning to appear, she resumed that childish air which I had seen in her in the infirmary.

 

[Response to XNUMXrd request continued]:

 

At the funeral of the Servant of God, the crowd was numerous; but this may be explained by

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

the fact that our family lived in Lisieux [619] itself and was known there. Rosaries, medals, etc. were touched, but this is a practice that is repeated, although to a lesser extent, at the funerals of Carmelite nuns.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fourth request]:

I did not attend the burial or the translation; but it is well known that the Servant of God was buried in the public cemetery of the city of Lisieux, in a plot reserved for the Carmel, and that on September 6, 1910, her remains were transferred, under the control of the Bishop of Bayeux, in a brick-built tomb not far from the first tomb.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fifth request]:

 

I do not know that in these circumstances, and in any other, liturgical worship was given to the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

 

I have certainly not seen for myself what happens in the cemetery, but I know abundantly from the report of our portieres, our sacristan and the people who come to the parlor that, for many years, a regular competition of pilgrims settled at the tomb of Sister Thérèse, and that it increases day by day. 0n places objects of all kinds on the grave as a token of trust and gratitude. Very often, several times a week, our sacristan [620] has to clear the tomb of these objects which encumber it. In recent days he has brought back three large baskets of photographs, petitions, images, bouquets of flowers, etc.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

 

During her life, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus passed unnoticed. Except for us, her sisters, and a few novices, few knew her. She had asked to be “forgotten, trodden underfoot like a little grain of sand”,@Pri 2@ this is what happened to her in Carmel. However, her mother prioress (Mother Marie de Gonzague), while being jealous of her sometimes, said that there was none like her in the community. Others noticed her for her obedience to the slightest recommendations that our mother had made. A lay sister who had humiliated her unjustly, judged her a saint, seeing what virtue she had shown in this circumstance.

 

As a child, she was noticed by the grace that was spread over her whole person. A lady we know said: “This child has heaven in her eyes.” Myself, accustomed to seeing her every day, I often said to myself: “How lovely! and I wondered what the good Lord would do with it one day.

Later, at Carmel, seeing her virtue so great, so extraordinary in its simplicity, I thought with a sigh: “And to think that no one will ever know her! »

Since the "Story of a Soul" made known the Servant of God, testimonies of admiration have come to us from all parts of the world; it would be infinite [1 ] to want to go into detail. A very large number of priests, even bishops, come to the Carmel chapel, driven by their devotion to the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

 

I did not hear anyone, either in the community or outside, formulate an opinion contrary to the holiness of the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth request]:

 

Since the death of the Servant of God, almost all of us in the community have smelled, in various circumstances, mysterious perfumes. I myself enjoyed this favor several times. The first time was in winter, there was not a single flower in the courtyard, and when I went to the oratory of the Blessed Virgin for the novena that we make every evening for the intentions of who recommended themselves to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, I smelled a very sweet smell of flowers as I passed near the statue of the Child Jesus, for which she had such devotion. Often it is like a thank you that she gives us for some good deed we have done. One day, working with our mother Agnes of Jesus in the company of another sister, we suddenly smelled an odor of incense. For several years, I have not smelled any mysterious perfume except in one circumstance a very short time ago, when having practiced an act of obedience and charity which cost me a lot, I was suddenly enveloped in 'a [622] penetrating perfume of flowers of all kinds which followed me to our cell. I had a very strong feeling of the presence of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus who was showing me by how much these virtues are pleasing to God.

 

I neglected to say at the last trial, because it is too intimate a grace, that the day after his death, after an act of charity, I felt his soul draw near to mine in such a feeling joy that I cannot express.

 

Sister Jeanne‑Marie, who has great confidence in Sister Thérèse, invoked her one day when she had a lot of work. Despite this overload, she consented to help the nun cook fill the basin of the stove with water. She begins by throwing a jug of water into this container which contained four. She was going to fetch a second jug of water, when, to her surprise, she found the kettle full.

 

As for the miracles that are done outside, the correspondence that we receive every day at Carmel recounts them in great number, and the most interesting have been published in the "Rains of Roses."

 

In particular, we have received numerous proofs of his protection from the missionaries. Here are some excerpts:

 

Reverend Father Irénée, apostolic missionary in Wei-Hsien (China) writes to us: “I must tell you that our dear little flower is in honor in our life.

 

WITNESS 7: Mary of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

carariat. There is a dispensary here which has already sent [623] thousands of little Chinese children to heaven, thanks to the baptism administered to those who are in danger of death; now, this year, an epidemic in the region made it possible to baptize two thousand in two months; for that I rented chariots to the baptizers who traveled through the villages. I would add that, along the journey, the baptizers prayed to Sister Thérèse and gave her name to most of the little girls.”

Monsignor Wittner wrote in November 1912: “I have appointed 'little Thérèse' coadjutor of the apostolic vicariate of Chantong Oriental.”

A superior of the mission of Mousso (Ivory Coast) wrote in April 1912: “Sister Thérèse is a powerful help to us: in our apostolic journeys, we feel an invisible hand which leads us into the recesses of hidden huts, where we find suffering souls...we talk to them about God...and after a while these pagans want to be baptized.”

Father A. Van Aken, of the White Fathers of Africa, wrote from Tabora in December 1910: “In almost all the huts of our Christians I have placed his image (of Sister Thérèse); I placed this image in all the catechism rooms. Everyone asks me who this little bikira (virgin) is and I have to give information about her life. About three or four months ago, I summoned my catechists and I explained to them, in a few very simple words, who Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was, and that she must have great credit with the good God. I then distributed [624] her image to them, recommending that they ask Sister Thérèse for the conversion of the whole country. They did it; now since that day, the pagans come to catechism not by unit, but by whole crowds, so that, on Sunday, the courtyard of this mission is crowded with people... Note that a large number of these poor blacks come from villages which I have never visited, and which previously were, if not hostile, at least completely indifferent towards the missionary. Pessimists would have me believe that this wonderful movement will not persist. I have the firm confidence that Sister Thérèse will not abandon me and that she will push our poor blacks by the thousands into the bosom of the Church.”

 

The Servant of God had promised before she died to help the missionaries and to procure baptism for little children. The letters I have quoted, among a thousand other similar ones, prove that his prophecy was fulfilled.

 

[Answer from the sixtieth to the sixty-fifth questions inclusive]:

I did not directly witness any healing.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

 

I have nothing to add or modify.

 

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. This concludes the examination of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows].

 

Signatum: SISTER MARIE DU SACRÉ COEUR, witness, I have thus deposed according to the truth: I ratify and confirm my deposition

Witness 8 - Geneviève de Sainte-Thérèse

For Celine's presentation, see volume 1, pp. 261262.

As for the Ordinary Trial, this deposition of Sister Geneviève - the echo of the soul of Thérèse - is still here among the longest and, without a doubt, the most beautiful and the most documented of the second Trial. It is a presentation prepared and meditated down to the smallest detail with an attention of which the Preparatory Notes to the Apostolic Process, preserved in the Archives of Lisieux, are proof.

 

It is certain that being only three years and eight months older than Thérèse, Céline had a deeper intimacy with her than her elders: a communion of life, of ideals and of feelings. Céline herself points it out (p. 630). In this aspect, what comes from her relating to the childhood of her youngest child, is more lively and more spontaneous than what is reported by her other sisters for this period. Céline is not only a witness, but, on the spiritual level, she is part of it, one might say.

 

She remained in the world to assist her father. He died on July 29, 1894 and his daughter entered Carmel on the following September 14. During this wait, which filial piety dictated, she always displayed an affectionate charity towards the venerable old man, and this disposition of Providence has enabled us to possess the best set of Thérèse's letters addressed to the same correspondent.

 

At the Carmel, the intimacy of Thérèse and Céline was to deepen still further, but in a new way quite different from that of the rue Saint-Blaise and Les Buissonnets, first of all, in the sense that Thérèse had become the eldest , because, help in the novitiate, she had to train Céline in the Carmelite life, and then because, in the cloistered life, the ties of blood often became for both of them, an occasion of greater generosity in fidelity. Thérèse didn't joke about detachment. She was demanding, for herself and for Céline, as for the others. It was in Jesus and for Him that she loved and wanted to love her neighbour. Sister Geneviève was therefore in good school. The Trial is rich in lessons on this subject.

 

Thanks to the delicacy, in this case, of Mother Marie de Gonzague, then prioress, Céline had the consolation of being a nurse's aide to her seriously ill sister. It was the providential source of much valuable information that reached us through the Novissima Verba (1926), the Advice and Memories (1952) and the Last Interviews. The whole is revealing of Thérèse's fidelity to the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, both for her interior life and for the direction of souls.

 

As for the deposition which will follow, let us note, among other points of great interest, what relates to the faith of Thérèse and to her hard trials against this theological virtue (pp. 653‑654, 681, 722); to his readings, to the Holy Scriptures p. 663) and liturgy (p. 665); to the life of prayer, well exposed in its various aspects (pp. 687‑694); to charity, to apostolic zeal (pp. 704‑713); to spiritual childhood in its various components (pp. 724‑727) and to the spirit of mortification (pp. 734‑739).

 

It should be noted, however, that certain statements relating to Thérèse's last illness and the behavior of Mother Marie de Gonzague during this period need to be reviewed and corrected (pp. 649 and 741). We will refer to what Fr. Guy Gaucher wrote about it in a seriously documented work. (La passion de Th. De Lisieux)

 

Let us also emphasize the clear and clear position taken by Sister Geneviève with regard to the “mystical” or extraordinary gifts of Thérèse: she declares the assertions of the nn to be truly exaggerated. 239-242 and 244 of Articles. She does not fail to point out certain facts and certain sayings of Thérèse relating to these Articles, but she insists on recalling it in the strongest possible way: her life was very simple, in the humble line of faith and charity (p. 774).

 

Celine died on February 25, 1959, at the age of eighty-nine years and ten months. With her died on earth the Martin family. She and Mother Agnès of Jesus were the two major witnesses to the life of the one in whom Saint Pius X saw “the greatest saint of modern times.”

Sister Geneviève deposited from July 27 to September 2, 1915, during the 27th‑39th sessions (f. 630‑810 of our Public Copy). Ironically, she had been called to testify at the "inchoative" trial for health reasons, although she was not yet fifty years old. This Trial provides us with the diagnosis made in the circumstances by Dr. Francis La Néele on Céline's state of health (cf. pp. 609‑611).

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

[Session 27: - July 27, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[630] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[Response to second request]:

My name is Marie‑Céline Martin, sister of the Servant of God, born in Alençon, parish of Saint‑Pierre, on April 28, 1869, to Louis‑Joseph‑Aloys‑Stanislas Martin jeweler and Marie‑Zélie Guérin, I am a nun of the Carmel of Lisieux, where I made my profession on February 24, 1896.

 

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

[Answer to the sixth request]:

I hope to have in my deposition a real purity of intention, and I do not believe that the affection which attaches me to the Servant of God prevents me from testifying according to the truth.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

I know the Servant of God very well, since she is my sister. Moreover, as we were, she and I, the youngest of the family, we lived in a particular intimacy. I knew her, because of that, in a different light than my elder sisters who served as our mother. During the first six years of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus' religious life [631], I remained in the world and corresponded with her by letter; I also came to see her in the parlor. In 1894, I joined her at Carmel, where I did my novitiate under her direction; we didn't part again until his death. My testimony will be based mainly on my personal observations rather than on the study of the writings of the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I desire the beatification of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus only so that her way of going to God or, to put it better, "her little way" may be beatified, and consequently followed with confidence by the multitude of souls who are attracted. I think that this will result in an increase in the love of the good God in souls and a more perfect knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

[Response to the ninth request]:

The Servant of God was born on January 2, 1873, at 11 o'clock in the evening, in Alençon, rue Saint-Blaise, parish of Notre-Dame; I was 3 years and 8 months old then. Our parents had then left their jewelry business and had retired to this house on rue Saint‑Blaise which belonged to my maternal grandparents. My mother continued to occupy herself, in this new domicile, with the manufacture and trade of lace. The Servant of God was baptized on January 4, 1873, in the church of Notre-Dame d'Alençon. Her godmother was our eldest sister, [632] Marie, aged 13, and her godfather was Paul Albert Boul, son of a friend of my father. She did not receive the sacrament of confirmation until much later, in Lisieux, a Benedictine convent, on June 14, 1884.

The Servant of God was the ninth and last child of this family. Of these nine children, four, two little boys and two little girls, had died very young. The survivors were:

Marie (Sister Marie of the Carmelite Sacred Heart).

Pauline (Mother Agnès of Jesus, Carmelite).

Léonie (Sister Françoise Thérèse, of the Visitation of Caen).

Céline (sister Geneviève of Sainte Thérèse, Carmelite).

Thérèse (Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Carmelite).

I erred at the Ordinary's trial by giving my father the first name "Marie." Moreover, we found that our mother was born in Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, and not in Gandelain.

My father's character was one of great righteousness. He was the just man par excellence; when I want to imagine Saint Joseph, I think of my father. The main virtues I saw practiced at home were keeping Sunday holy and disregarding the world. My father did not know what human respect was; he was very mortifying; but as hard as he was on himself, so he loved us. Her heart was exceptionally tender towards us and lived only for us: there is no mother's heart that surpasses it. With that without weakness: everything in him was well regulated and just. His charity in relieving the ills of his neighbor [633] and his charity in his words were also remarkable; he always excused the wrongs of others. His respect for priests was so great that I have never seen the like. I remember that when I was little, I imagined that priests were "gods", so accustomed was I to seeing them placed outside the common rank.

 

My mother, like my father, had a great detachment from earthly things. Her intelligence was superior and her energy extraordinary: difficulties were nothing to her. His spirit of faith was remarkable and helped him through the many trials of his life. When she lost her children, she immediately knew where to find them and overcame her great pain. She wrote: 'I longed to have many children to raise them to heaven' .@CF 192@

 

My parents had acquired through their work a fortune which, without being immense, constituted a very honorable position for them.

 

[Answer to the tenth request]:

Little Thérèse was first nursed by her mother until March 1873, then my mother's health obliged her, on the advice of the doctor, to put the child to nurse in the country. We entrusted it to a very honest woman who had already had one of my younger brothers in her home. Little Thérèse returned definitively to the paternal home on April 2, 1874. (I had made a mistake at the first trial by placing her return in March).

My mother died on August 29, 1877. Tea

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

Rese was [634] 4 years and 8 months old. My father left Alençon and came to live in Lisieux near my mother's brother. Marie, our eldest sister, aged 17, was mistress of the house, while Pauline, a year younger, took care of our education. Therese called her "her little mother." She also instructed him until the age of 8 1/2 when she joined me at the Benedictine Abbey of Lisieux.

My father had special attentions for his youngest child, taking care of her as a mother would; but if it is true that little Thérèse was, as she says, “surrounded by love” @MSA 4,2@, it is also true that she was never spoiled. The proof that my father did not spoil her and that her wishes were not done at home is that she always remembered and recounts in her manuscript how strongly she was reprimanded for not having wanted to bother his games, at my father's first call.

 

[635] [Continuation of the response to the tenth request]:

A little later, in Lisieux, she could have been six years old and took all her happiness in bringing the newspaper to my father every morning. I wanted, one day, to carry it myself, but Thérèse, more lively, had already taken it, and as I showed grief, papa reproached little Thérèse for not having yielded to me and scolded her. very strong, so strong that I had extreme pain.

My sisters didn't spoil her either. They never went back on something said or changed, despite her tears, a lower mark given to her studies.

If the servant brought any accusation against her, the servant was a priori right, and the little one had to ask forgiveness, sometimes quite wrongly, in order to teach her submission to grown-ups.

Our clothes weren't sought after either. If we curled Thérèse's hair, it was only to please our father who wanted it that way. Our sisters said so much to Thérèse that she was not pretty at all, that she became convinced of it.

 

The exquisite sensitivity of the heart and feelings of the Servant of God was for her the most abundant source of her sufferings. From the death of my mother, this sensitivity increased at the expense of its vigour. Outside the small circle of Les Buissonnets, [636] she was excessively shy, she liked to keep hidden, sincerely believing herself to be inferior to others; only in our company did she regain her gaiety and expansion. This timidity then gave him a hesitant and indecisive attitude which could mislead on the basic energy of his character. But for us, his close friends, beneath this apparent weakness betrayed an extraordinary strength of will. She knew how to conquer herself perfectly, already having great control over all her actions; I never noticed in her a deviation of character, a lively speech. Her mortification was also constant: she sought, even in the smallest things, occasions for sacrifice.

This state of timidity and excessive sensitivity suddenly disappeared by the effect of a heavenly grace on Christmas night 1886: she calls it "her conversion" @MSA 45,1@

Between the preceding state and the vigorous and determined attitude which followed for the rest of his life, the contrast is abrupt and without transition.

 

As I said, the Servant of God, 8 1/2 years old, came to join me at the Benedictine Abbey. She suffered greatly at boarding school from contact with companions who had neither the same tastes nor the same aspirations as her, and many of whom were undisciplined. She who wanted, for the love of God, to do everything well, was teased on this subject by some of the other boarders. Therese was very fond of studying and did very well in it. Although she was in a class of pupils all older than her, of which [637] several were even up to thirteen years old, she was always the first in the competitions. French history and composition had his preferences; grammar and arithmetic were dry to him. She remembered the meaning of things rather than the word for word, so reciting the catechism was difficult for her, but she put so much heart into it that she succeeded perfectly and never let herself be overtaken by the other children. One of the means she took to remember the letter of the catechism was to learn it instead of playing, so we saw her, with the permission of her mistresses, walking around with her book in her hand during recess.

 

At the age of ten, the Servant of God was stricken with a strange illness, which certainly came from the jealousy of the devil. She was tormented by dreadful visions which terrified her; she said things she did not mean and apparently lost the use of her senses, without however being deprived of her reason for a single moment: she herself testified to this later. The doctor said he had never seen such a case in such a young child and declared science helpless. I was then only thirteen years old and could only imperfectly realize his condition. Her face was pale and transparent. In crises, she stared at us with a penetrating gaze. When fear was allowed to appear, the crises grew worse; she banged her head against the wood of her bed; on her bed she assumed poses and performed strangely gymnastic [638] movements without, however, ever, against all likelihood, hurting her honesty. Once she threw herself on the pavement of the room over the balustrade of the bed, without doing the slightest harm. Never in these crises did objects of piety inspire him with repulsion, quite the contrary.

This illness lasted about six weeks: it began during Holy Week in the year 1883, and was suddenly and totally cured by the Blessed Virgin, in a miraculous apparition. In the rest of her life, nothing ever happened that could recall, even remotely, the crisis she had gone through. His temperament and character were always

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

very balanced days, and poles apart from nervousness.

After her recovery, the Servant of God returned to the Abbey and resumed her studies. She made her first communion there on May 8, 1884 at the age of 11 years and 4 months, and prepared for this great act with extraordinary fervor. For this preparation, she used a little book that Sister Agnès of Jesus had written for her, and which encouraged the practice of sacrifices; she was prodigal of it. On the day of her First Communion, she seemed more like an angel than a mortal creature. She received the sacrament of Confirmation in no less fervent dispositions on June 14 of the same year.

The Servant of God had to leave boarding school at the end of the first school term (end of December 1885 or January 1886). She had gone back to the Abbey alone, because I had finished my studies. This isolation was such a dangerous ordeal for her health that my [639] father made her return to Les Buissonnets where she completed her education by following the lessons of a teacher.

 

[Answer to the eleventh request]:

From the earliest age of the Servant of God, she said, and everyone around her understood, that she would be religious and consecrated to God. She said she wanted to isolate herself in a desert, to be with the good Lord all alone. When our sister Pauline entered Carmel and the Servant of God heard the description of the life led there, she understood that it was in this Order that she would find the fulfillment of her aspirations.

 

I am asked if she prayed to God and took advice to solve the problem of her vocation? I don't think there was ever a vocation problem for her. She never questioned whether she should devote herself to God; the thing was always obvious to her; the only question she asked herself was how to achieve her goal. Above all, she took advice on this point from Mother Agnès of Jesus, whom she visited in Carmel. Father Pichon, a Jesuit, director of our family, also encouraged him on this occasion. On the day of Pentecost 1887, Thérèse showed her father her desire to enter Carmel. Marie, our eldest sister, had joined Pauline there on October 15, 1886. My father, with the faith and simplicity of a saint, gave her his consent, but our uncle, Monsieur Guérin, refused his as guardian of the child. . He postponed this project until the age of 17 at least; however, he was not long in yielding, the good Lord having [640] inclined his heart in this direction.

 

[Session 28: - July 28, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[646] [Continuation of response to the eleventh request]:

Other difficulties remained to be overcome: the ecclesiastical superior of the Carmel, Father Delatroëtte, refused her membership because he found her too young. Thérèse [647] then had to have recourse to her bishop: she went for this purpose to Bayeux with my father, but having received only an evasive answer, she decided on the next trip she was to make to Rome, to request from His Holiness Leo XIII the desired authorization. She made this trip accompanied by my father and me. The Holy Father did not decide the question either and sent it back to superiors and to the disposal of Providence. Returning to France, Thérèse relied entirely on the advice of her sister Pauline for the matter of her vocation. She wrote to the Bishop of Bayeux, who replied on December 28, 1887, giving the desired authorization; but the mother prioress of Carmel, wishing to spare the susceptibilities of the always opposing superior, postponed this entrance after Lent. It was therefore only the following year, on April 9, 1888, that Thérèse crossed the door of the cloister where her father and family had accompanied her.

 

[Answer to the twelfth request]:

The Servant of God began her postulancy at the age of 15 years and 3 months. She should have taken the habit six months later, in October; but because of her great youth, and still to spare the superior, it was adjourned to January 10, 1989. been able to make a profession; but they still delay her, on the pretext of her youth: she was, however, 11 years old. She did not make her vows until September 1890, 17. Three years later, [8] in the course of the year 1890, the Servant of God was asked by our Mother Prioress to help her in the formation of novices. It was Reverend Mother Agnès de Jesus, then prioress, who gave this responsibility to Sister Thérèse, skillfully persuading Mother Marie de Gonzague, mistress of novices, to seek help from the Servant of God. Moreover, at that time, this obedience consisted only in giving advice to two converse companions. I am only reporting by hearsay the events that took place from Thérèse's entry into the Carmel until September 648, 1893. During this period, in fact, I had remained in the world; however, I often came to the parlor. In September 14, I entered the Carmel, after the death of my father. Two other novices also came around the same time; we thus found ourselves five novices under the real, albeit unofficial, direction of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. In 1894, Mother Marie de Gonzague again became prioress; she kept at the same time the office of mistress of novices and also the Servant of God as auxiliary in this office; but the authority of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had to be exercised with great discretion on pain of arousing the suspicious jealousy of the Reverend Mother Prioress.

In 1896, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was put in charge of the sacristy, a post she had already filled before I entered. At the beginning of her illness, she became a laundry assistant, and finally, released from all employment, when her strength left her. [649] She had always shown herself indifferent to all the duties which she fulfilled out of obedience; however, she would very much have liked to be a nurse in order to exercise charity, but she was never called upon to fulfill this role.

 

Contrary to forecasts that might lead one to believe that a 15-year-old postulant would be pampered in Carmel, the Ser-

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

praise of God passed unnoticed there at first in consequence of his humility; then her presence, bringing the number of sisters from the same family to three, aroused certain jealousies in the community which were not aimed personally at the Servant of God, but from which she nevertheless had to suffer.

I have heard that in her years of novitiate she had often been tested by the severity of the Mother Prioress towards her; but, as I said, I was not a direct witness of his early years in Carmel. On the contrary, I was able to observe what relates to his last three years. At the beginning of her last illness, they did not have enough respect for her, because she never complained. Thus he was left to do his duty until the extinction of his strength; she was left without a mattress in her cell after treatments for blisters and blunts; she was exempted from common work, washing and cleaning only at the last extremity, and worked hanging out the laundry, her back and chest torn by recent blisters. Even at the end of her life, when she enjoyed a certain influence in the community, no one ever thought of putting her in possession of her rights by [650] giving her a session in the chapter. Undoubtedly, she could not have the right to vote, since the rules do not allow more than two sisters of the same family to have the right to vote; but she could have sat in the chapter. Instead of that, like the punished sisters, she said her wrongdoings with the novices, after the lay sisters, and humbly withdrew from the assembly.

 

[Response to the thirteenth request]:

The Servant of God always observed the commandments of God and the precepts of the Church with perfect accuracy without anyone, to my knowledge, having ever noticed in her the slightest breach of this fidelity. Not only did I never find any serious faults in his conduct; but I never saw her commit the slightest willful fault. His religious vows were likewise fulfilled with meticulous regularity.

 

[651] [Response to the fourteenth request]:

From her childhood, the Servant of God applied herself to practicing all the virtues. We don't really know which to praise more, because they all shone supereminently in her, with, however, a very personal character of originality. From this point of view, it is among the theological virtues, charity for God which dominates, by its boldness and the delicacy of its feelings. She loved the good Lord as a child cherishes his father, with incredible turns of tenderness.

The cardinal virtues were no less praiseworthy in the Servant of God: humility above all reached the last limits in her, and it was to be more humble and smaller that she followed the "path of spiritual childhood", or rather it was this faithfully followed path that made her humble and simple as a little child.

No doubt Thérèse, especially in her childhood, had small faults, for example an excessive sensitivity; but well-repressed faults become a beauty, and as she always knew how to dominate herself, her countenance takes on a stamp of grandeur and strength which delights me. His acts of renunciation were spontaneous and multiple. She had a tenacious energy which exercised itself silently, without stopping at difficulties.

But with her everything was simple and natural, so the heroic nature of her virtues could go unnoticed by most of the sisters.

 

[652] [Response to the fifteenth request]:

The faith of the Servant of God was lively and constant: she even avoided simple words that were not in conformity with the faith, which sometimes escape us without our actually thinking them. She even reproached me with a simple murmur against Providence.

From her earliest childhood, my mother could write about her, when she was 4 years old: “The little one will be good, we can already see the germ of it; she only speaks of the good Lord” @CF 192@. Later, in boarding school, his homework, even on indifferent subjects, had a stamp of piety: his pages of writing were composed of sentences and pious aspirations.

She loved when our eldest sister Marie talked to her about the good God and about Christian suffering.

At 14 at the Belvedere, she spent evenings with me gazing at the sky. These conversations were our delight, and remind me, from afar, of the scene of Saint Monica and Saint Augustine.

 

At the Carmel, she continued her conversations with me by letter. His letters speak exclusively of the good God. There is no ordinary one. Father Domin, chaplain to the Benedictines, told me that it was these letters, most of which were written when he was 15, that struck him the most and formed his judgment on the holiness of the Servant of God.

She loved the poetry of nature which delighted her soul and transported it to the heavens.

Everything raised him to God, even evil. She made [653] of all things rungs to raise herself to God, such as, for example, the futile engravings of fashion catalogues. Even worldly usages raised him to God. On the occasion of our cousin's wedding, she sent me, next to the letter of invitation to this wedding, a letter of invitation to her own spiritual wedding with Jesus.

His union with God was unbroken, nothing could distract him from it. She said she didn't go three minutes without thinking about God, but it was always with naturalness and simplicity.

This spirit of faith which enlightened the whole life of the Servant of God was however subjected to a long series of trials. First, most of her religious life was spent in almost uninterrupted droughts. “Jesus, she writes to me, instructs my soul. He speaks to her in silence, in darkness.”@MSA 83,2@ But above all she was tested by a terrible temptation against the faith, a temptation which assailed her two years before her death and ended only with her life. . These attacks were particularly aimed at the existence of heaven. She spoke of it to no one, for fear of communicating her inexpressible torment to others. She was a little more explicit with Mother Agnès of Jesus, although it was only in a few unfamiliar phrases.

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

chevées. She says in the story of her soul that she endured her cruel sufferings to call down the mercy of God on the poor souls who had lost their faith. She would have liked to find a confessor who would support her in her struggle, but our chaplain almost upset her by declaring [654] that “his condition was very dangerous”. She also consulted the Reverend Father Godefroy, I believe, or perhaps another extraordinary confessor, and on their advice wrote the Credo in her blood on the last leaf of the book of the Gospels which she constantly carried on her heart. She told me that she had pronounced many acts of faith in order to protest against these disastrous impressions. Her fidelity and her fervor were in no way diminished by this, and it was with truth that she sang:

"And I redouble my tenderness when he shirks my faith" @PN 45@

 

Answer to the sixth request]:

The Servant of God very ardently desired the propagation of the faith. She had heard that when she was born our parents were expecting “a little missionary” one last time, and she resolved not to deceive their hopes. At 14, having read a few pages of an Annal of Missionary Sisters, she soon interrupted her reading and said to me: “I don't want to read it; I already have such a strong desire to be a missionary, what would it be if I revived it still further with the picture of this apostolate! I want to be a Carmelite” @Source pre.@. She then explained to me the reason for this determination: "It was to suffer more and by 1 to save more souls" @Source pre@. She wrote to me in August 1892: “Is not the apostolate of prayer, so to speak, higher than that of the [655] word? Our mission, as Carmelites, is to form evangelical workers who will save thousands of souls of whom we will be the mothers» @LT 135@. The desire to propagate the faith caused the Servant of God to accept with holy joy the request for a special union of prayers with two missionaries. She called them "her brothers", respectfully encouraging them in their painful labors and wishing them martyrdom. Martyrdom has always been the great ideal of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus: she would have liked to give God the testimony of her blood; she told me several times.

 

[Answer to the seventeenth request]:

From her childhood, the Servant of God ardently desired to learn the mysteries of religion. She questioned Pauline on all sorts of religious subjects; she loved the study of sacred history; she was always first in catechism.

Every evening, at Les Buissonnets, we read together the “Liturgical Year” and this reading developed in his soul a taste for the beautiful ceremonies of the Church.

She knew the "Imitation" by heart. At the Carmel, she learned to enjoy the works of Saint John of the Cross which particularly pleased her; Father Surin's "Foundations of the Spiritual Life" did him a lot of good, as well as the work of Monsignor de Ségur, "Piety and Interior Life."

 

The Servant of God especially loved [656] the mystery of the crib. It is there that the Child Jesus tells him all his secrets about simplicity and abandonment. When she was a child, she carefully prepared for the Christmas feast with a novena of sacrifices. At Carmel, she took care with tender piety of a statue of the Child Jesus which adorns the cloister. She always surrounded it with cheerful and fresh flowers, the way children like them. Her happiness was to adorn it with wildflowers. She sang of “holy littleness” in poems overflowing with faith and love. The name of Thérèse of the Child Jesus, which had been given to her at the age of nine, when she manifested her desire to become a Carmelite, always remained relevant to her, and she constantly endeavored to deserve it. She prayed: “O little Child Jesus! my only treasure, I abandon myself to your divine whims; I want no other joy than that of making you smile. Imprint your grace and your childlike virtues on me, so that on the day of my birth in heaven, the angels and the saints will recognize in me your little wife, Thérèse of the Child Jesus.” @pri 14@These "Childlike virtues" that she desires had won before her the admiration of the austere Saint Jerome who is not taxed for that with childishness.

The Servant of God could not separate the mysteries of the Passion from those of the Crib. Also, to her name of Thérèse of the Child Jesus she wanted to add that of the Holy Face. This devotion to the Passion dates, in the Servant of God, from the age of five, when she says she understood for the first time a sermon [657] which dealt with the Passion. Later, at the Carmel, she threw flowers on the crucifix in the courtyard and during her illness she covered her crucifix with roses, choosing the freshest petals. Moreover, she did not want to give creatures this testimony of faith and love; so it happened one day that having put flowers in his hand to throw them to someone, as a sign of affection, she refused.

At Carmel, she made the Way of the Cross several times a week. It was in one of these circumstances that she received the grace to feel wounded by a dart of fire a few days after her “offering to merciful love.” In this act of offering she had asked to carry, in heaven, on her body, the stigmata of the Passion. I must say that this devotion to the Way of the Cross was not, for the Servant of God, a sensitive devotion; his fervor in this exercise was usually a fervor of will rather than attraction. The extraordinary grace of the bolt of fire that I have just mentioned is a once-in-a-lifetime favor that only lasted a few seconds.

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte-Thérèse OCD

 

[Session 29: - July 29, 1915 at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[Answer to the eighteenth request]:

The Servant of God's spirit of faith in the real presence was revealed in her earliest years. As a child, I said one day: “How is it that the [661] good Lord is in such a small host? And Thérèse, who was only four years old, replied: "That is not surprising since he is all-powerful"@MSA 10,1@.et @CF 201@ In Lisieux, from the age five years old, she threw flowers at the Blessed Sacrament, at Corpus Christi processions. She herself reveals her feelings then when she says she was so happy when her rose petals touched the sacred monstrance. She wanted to make her First Communion early; it was especially during mine that she manifested her desires. Pauline took me aside every day to get ready. Little Thérèse made representations to be admitted to these interviews, saying "that four years were not too long to prepare to receive the good Lord."@MSA 25,1@ She was then only seven years old and had to wait for his age of 11 according to custom. Being born on January 2, she saw herself delayed by a year and said with regret: "When I think that if I had come into the world only two days earlier, I would have been brought forward a year for my first communion ! »@Spirit of the Bse....@. When the time came for this First Communion, she prepared herself for it by offering each day a sheaf of sacrifices and acts of love, of which she kept an account in a small notebook: she wrote down 818 sacrifices and 2773 acts of love. 'love. Her union with Our Lord was, on that day, so intimate that the Servant of God called it "a fusion." "There were no longer two of us," she wrote. Thérèse had disappeared like a drop of water lost in the ocean. Jesus remained alone: ​​he was the Master, the King.”@MSA 35,1@ On the day of her first communion and the next [562] day, she was as if far from the things of the earth: an atmosphere of peace and tranquility surrounded him. She was not insensitive, however, to the family celebration, for in her everything was simple and in order. His desires for Communion were very great in the world where the time which elapsed between each Communion seemed to him so long! In Carmel, she prayed fervently for the good Lord to put an end to this custom of abstaining in principle from daily communion.

Her thanksgiving after Communion was certainly very fervent, but never, as far as I know, did she have “ecstasies” at that time, or at any other time in her life. Moreover, at Carmel, the choir is in complete darkness during mass and thanksgiving; no one has therefore ever been able to realize the expression of his face at the moment of communion, as the 34th Article seems to suppose.

 

Her love for the Holy Eucharist led her to fill the office of sacristan with great fervor. His happiness was at its height when there remained on the paten or the corporal, a parcel of the holy host. One day when the ciborium was insufficiently purified, she called several novices to accompany her to the Oratory where she placed it with unspeakable joy and respect. She told me of her happiness when, once the holy host had fallen from the hands of the priest, she stretched out her scapular to receive it: she told me that she had had the same privilege as the Blessed Virgin, since she had carried the Baby Jesus in her arms.

[663] When preparing the sacred vessels for Holy Mass, she said, she loved to be reflected in the chalice and the paten: it seemed to her that the gold having reflected her image, it was on her that the divine species.

 

[Response to the nineteenth request]:

I have nothing to say on this point.

 

[Answer to the twentieth request]:

If the Servant of God tasted, as I said, certain books of piety, it is nevertheless true to say that what above all provided her spiritual nourishment was the reading of Sacred Scripture, mainly the Gospel. She constantly carried this book to her heart and made us follow her example. In the meditation of the Holy Books, she dug a lot to manage to guess, according to her expression, "the character of the Good God" @CSG ...@. She copied passages from the Gospel to coordinate the facts according to the account of the various evangelists. She grieved over the difference in translations and said that if she had been a priest, she would have learned Greek and Hebrew to know the divine thought such as it condescended to express itself in our earthly language.

 

His spirit of faith gave him great respect for priests because of the priesthood with which they are clothed and of which it is impossible to have a greater esteem. She expressed on several occasions during her life the regret of not being able to be a priest. Feeling very ill in June 1897, she told me: "The good Lord [664] is going to take me at an age when I would not have had time to be a priest if I had been able to" @DEG p.619 @. The thought that Saint Barbara had brought Holy Communion to Saint Stanislaus Kostka delighted her: “Why not an angel – she said to me – why not a priest, but a virgin! Oh! that in heaven we will see marvels! I have the idea that those who will have desired it on earth will enjoy the privileges of the priesthood up there (touching the holy host...etc.)” @CSG...@.

She loved to consult the priests who preached our retreats and obeyed them from point to point. Thus she had no confidence in the act of “Donation to Love” which she had composed before it was revised by a theologian. She also followed the advice of a director who told her to copy the Credo and wear it on her heart to

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

to have as a constant answer to the temptations against the faith which tortured her.

Her spirit of faith towards Mother Marie de Gonzague when she was prioress was equally irreproachable and all the more meritorious in that the conduct of this poor mother was very reprehensible. She did not allow novices to criticize her conduct. She was happy to die in the arms of Mother Marie de Gonzague rather than in obedience to Mother Agnes of Jesus because there was an opportunity to exercise a greater spirit of faith.

 

The Servant of God was absolutely intransigent when it came to obedience to ecclesiastical authority. She had tasted the reading of a work but having learned that the author had spoken a word against a bishop she rejected his works and did not want to hear any more about it.

[665] This new appreciation was justified by the subsequent discovery of the imposture of this author (Leo Taxil, alias Doctor Bataille). It was the work entitled: Miss Diana Vaughan, memoirs of an ex-palladist (monthly publication), in 8°, Paris 1895‑1897.

 

In Carmel, the Servant of God had a particular attraction for the recitation of the liturgical office. She liked to be there every week to say the prayer aloud. On her deathbed, she gave herself this testimony: "I do not believe that it is possible to desire more than I did to recite the office well and not to do fouls” @DEA 6-8@. She taught us to compose our exterior during the office because of the dignity of the function we fulfilled.

 

[The witness continues his testimony. Answer to the twenty-first request ]:

Little Thérèse was not four years old when she already showed her happiness in praying before the altar of Mary. She clapped her hands and jumped for [666] joy when she saw many flowers there.

Later, she liked to prepare herself for the month of May, very flowery and illuminated.

This devotion increased when at her first confession the priest recommended her to love the Blessed Virgin very much, and especially when, at the age of 10, she owed to her her sudden cure of an illness deemed incurable by doctors.

She always considered it a great honor to have recited the public act of consecration to the Blessed Virgin on the day of her first communion. She then resolved to say a Memorare every day and never failed to do so. Later she recited her rosary every day. In society she never failed; but these outward practices were only a pale ray of her intimacy with her dear Mother, whom she called "mamma."

 

Leaving the boarding school before the age required to enter definitively into the association of the "Children of Mary", she consented to return to the Benedictines twice a week, although this condition of her admission cost her extremely. She was accepted into the association May 31, 1886. Entered Carmel which is the order of the Blessed Virgin, his first poetic essay was in praise of Mary. She celebrated the mystery of virginal lactation and asked me to compose a small painting on this subject: it was in 1894.

Several years earlier she wrote to me: [667] "About the Blessed Virgin, I must confide one of my simplicity to you: sometimes I catch myself saying to her: 'I find that I am happier than You, because I have you as my mother and you have no Blessed Virgin to love...'. No doubt the Blessed Virgin must be laughing at my naivety and yet what I tell her is very true” @ LT 137@

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was already very ill when she told me: "I still have something to do before I die. I have always dreamed of expressing in a song to the Blessed Virgin all that I think. of her”. And she composed her hymn: “Why do I love you, O Mary! » @PN 54@ (this was in May 1897). What delighted her in the Blessed Virgin was to see her walking the beaten paths. She was singing:

“I know that in Nazareth, Virgin full of graces,

you live in poverty wanting nothing more,

no raptures, miracles, ecstasies

embellish your life, O Queen of the elect!

The number of little ones is great on earth,

they can raise their eyes to you without trembling;

by the common way, incomparable Mother

please walk to guide them to heaven! » @PN 54@

During her last illness, she kept talking about the Blessed Virgin. She said that the saints often made their protection wait, but that that of the Blessed Virgin was immediate.

She still invoked her Heavenly Mother during her agony. The last words she wrote on this earth were in honor of the Blessed Virgin: on September 8, 668 she traced these lines with a trembling hand on the reverse of an image of Our Lady of Victories: “O Mary, if I were the Queen of Heaven and you were Thérèse, I would like to be Thérèse so that you were the Queen of Heaven.”@Pri. 1897@

His devotion to Saint Joseph was strong. It was an old debt because only a few months old, she had been healed and saved from death by this great saint. In the house there was a statuette of Saint Joseph holding the Child Jesus in his arms, and little Thérèse lavished her caresses on him. Later, during her trip to Rome, she told me that she was not afraid of anything that might come before her eyes, because she had placed herself under the protection of Saint Joseph. She then taught me to recite like her, every day the prayer: "O Saint Joseph, father and protector of virgins...."

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

In Carmel, she prayed to Saint Joseph above all to obtain a more frequent participation in Holy Communion. She attributed to her intercession the liberating decree of Leo XIII.

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had a great devotion to the holy angels. During her stay at the boarding school of the Benedictines, she signed all her homework: “Thérèse child of the holy angels.” At Les Buissonnets, she had on her table as a young girl a little statuette of the guardian angel; she attributed the preservation from sin to the guardian angel, as she wrote to me on April 26, 1894, when I was [669] still in the world, and she in Carmel: “Jesus has placed near you an angel from heaven, which always guards you, he carries you in his hands lest your foot strike against the stone; you do not see it and yet it is he who for 25 years has preserved your soul, it is he who keeps away from you the occasions of sin... Do not be afraid of the storms of the earth: your guardian angel covers you with his wings” @LT 161@. In Carmel, she recommended her novices to always have a dignified and amiable demeanor to do honor to the holy angels who surround us.

Little Thérèse was always very fond of the saints. His duties as a boarder had a long string of initials under it, indicating his favorite bosses. Among the saints, the Servant of God distinguished her protectors and her friends.

Among the first, she first ranked her patron saints, Saint Thérèse, Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Martin. At Carmel, she joined Saint John of the Cross. Among the saints, his “friends” of choice were Saint Cecilia, Blessed Joan of Arc, Blessed Théophane Vénard and the Saint Innocents. She called Saint Cecilia "the saint of abandonment" @LT 161@, because she sang in the depths of her heart even in the midst of the greatest perplexities. She composed a good part of her poetry in honor of Blessed Joan of Arc. She loved Blessed Théophane Venard, because, she said, "he was a very simple little saint who loved the Virgin Mary very much, who loved his family very much, and lived in loving abandonment [670] to God" @HA 12@. She received providentially, in her last illness, her portrait and her relics, which never left her during her last days of exile. As for the Holy Innocents, it was the same admiration for the virtues of childhood that made him take them as models. She also composed a delicious canticle on the responsories of Saint Agnes which are the echo of her own virginal heart.

Finally, when she wanted to obtain the fullness of love, "I presented myself, she said, before the assembly of angels and saints, and I said to them: I am the smallest of creatures, I know my misery and my weakness, but I also know how much noble and generous hearts love to do good; I therefore beg you, O blessed one in heaven, to adopt me for your child; to you alone will return the glory that you will make me acquire... etc.... » @MSB 4,1@. During her illness, she often addressed fervent prayers to the Saints. When she was not answered, she said: "I think they want to see how far I will push my hope", @DEA 7-7@ and again: "The more they seem deaf to my voice, the more I like » @Source pre.@

 

[Response to the twenty-second request]:

From her earliest years, little Thérèse always had a very strong desire for heaven. She wished death on her parents, and as they scolded her, she was astonished saying: "It's so that you can go to heaven, since you say you have to die to get there" @MSA 4,2@

A little later, during her evening walks [671] with my father, she liked to contemplate the starry sky where she read the first letter of her name formed by the stars of a certain constellation.

The Servant of God often said that she did not work for the reward, but only to please God. Thus she wrote to me on July 16, 1893: “It is not to make my crown, to gain merits that I make sacrifices, it is to please Jesus.”@LT 143@ But this sentence and d Others alike are understood to exclude a mercenary love. Many other features of her life, many other passages of her works show that she desired heaven and used this hope to stimulate her efforts. Thus, for example, she wrote to me in October 1889: “Life is a treasure: each moment is an eternity, an eternity of joy for heaven” @LT 96@. And in July of the same year: “No, the heart of man cannot foresee what God has in store for those who love him. And all this will happen soon, let's hurry to make our crown, let's reach out to grab the palm.”@LT 94@

 

Very early, the Servant of God knew how to free herself from creatures. Having had the opportunity to spend a fortnight with very wealthy friends, she was then about ten years old, the sight of the sumptuousness of their residence awoke no desire in her heart. She only says later that she considers herself happy "to have then known the world to choose more surely the path that was to lead her to God" @MSA 32,2@

My father had given him a little lamb which died soon after. She herself drew this conclusion [672] that “all of a sudden we lack the most innocent joys, and that only what is eternal can satisfy us” @LT 42@

The Servant of God never wanted to be loved or appreciated by creatures, she told me that she had asked God that his novices never love her humanly. Nothing could move her and upset her. The threats of persecutions, the cataclysms here below raised his thoughts higher. It expresses the state

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

of his soul in this stanza from one of his poems:

“The little bird always sings, his bread does not worry him, a grain of millet satisfies him, he never sows here below” @PN 43@

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus often repeated: “We get as much from God as we hope for” @St Jean de la Croix Nuit liv.2 ch21@

She based her hope not on her own strength, but on the merits of Jesus Christ. One of the last days that she was able to recite the Holy Office, finding myself with her, I noticed that she was very moved. "Look," she said to me, "- what Saint John writes: 'My little children, I have told you this, so that you do not sin, but nevertheless if you do sin, remember that you have a mediator who is Jesus." As she spoke these last words, her eyes were wet with tears.

The reversibility of merits between the saints was also a great source of hope for the Servant of God. “When we suffer from our poverty,” she said to me, “we must offer to the good God the works [673] of others, that is the benefit of the communion of saints. Tauler said: 'If I love the good that is in my neighbor as much as he loves himself, that good is mine as well as his, and if I love him more he is more to me than to him. By this communion, then, I can be rich with all the good that is in heaven and on earth, in angels and in saints and in all those who love God.”

 

[Session 30: - July 30, 19, at 5 a.m. and at 9 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[676] [Response to the Twenty-Third Request]:

The Servant of God wanted, from her adolescence, to become a great saint, hoping that the good Lord would help her achieve it. His ambition was going to be lost even in the infinite wealth of the treasures of God. Also, hopes, even the highest, did not seem rash to him. She wrote to me in May 1890: “For me, I will not tell you to aim for the seraphic holiness of the most privileged souls, but rather to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect! Ah! Céline, our desires which touch on infinity are therefore neither dreams nor chimeras [677] since Jesus himself gave us this command” @LT 107@

A retired preacher astonished him greatly by showing him the fear that his aspirations for holiness were presumption. Fortunately another preacher (Father Alexis, Récollet) reassured her later, and, according to his expression, "launched her with full sail on the waters of trust and love" @MSA 80,2@

 

Although the Servant of God walked along a path of blind trust and total abandonment which she calls "her little path or path of spiritual childhood", she never neglected personal cooperation, even giving it a place which filled all his life of generous and sustained deeds. This is how she understood it and constantly taught it to her novices.

One day, having read this passage from the Ecclesiasticus: "Mercy will give each his place according to the merit of his works", I asked the Servant of God why there was "according to the merit of his works" since Saint Paul speaks of "being justified gratuitously by grace". She then explained to me with energy that abandonment and trust in God are nourished by sacrifice: which is in oneself, to give without counting, to constantly renounce oneself, in a word to prove one's love by all the good works in our power. we will have done all that we believe we should do, to admit to ourselves useless servants, hoping nevertheless that the good God will give us, by grace, all that we desire. run in the way of childhood: I say run and not rest.

 

Sister Thérèse, when necessary, was intrepid, preferring, for example, to brave the wrath of Mother Marie de Gonzague and even risk leaving the community rather than allowing a novice who was attached to a natural affection for this Mother Prioress. Any child was the same thing: no indolence, no apathy, it was the complete opposite of a lymphatic nature. If she was gentle, it was because she knew how to conquer herself. She only reached perfection by deploying great fortitude. I witnessed his constant efforts, either in family life or in the cloister. She expressed her feelings about it in this stanza:

“To live on love is not on earth, to fix His tent at the top of Tabor; with Jesus is to climb Calvary,

it is to regard the cross as a treasure! In heaven, I must live in enjoyment; then the trial will have fled without return; but in Carmel I want in suffering to live on love! » @PN 17@

 

She reveals her character again in this prayer, inspired by an image of Joan of Arc: "Lord, God of hosts, who told us in your Gospel: 'I have not come to bring peace but the sword,' I for the fight, I burn to fight for your glory. Jeanne, your valiant wife [679] said it: 'We must fight so that God gives victory'. O my Jesus, I will therefore fight for your love until the evening of my life, since you did not want to taste rest on earth, I want to follow your example. @PRI 17@

When she was 16, she wrote to me: “Let's not think we can love without suffering, without suffering a lot; our poor na-

 

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ture is there, and she is not there for nothing! It is our wealth and our livelihood” @LT 1@.

I said that at Belvédère, when she was 14, all our evening conversations were on this theme: suffering and contempt; never tire of sacrificing oneself for the good God.

Here are a few more passages from his letters on this subject: “Holiness does not consist in saying nice things; it does not even consist in thinking them, in feeling them, it consists in wanting to suffer” (April 26, 1889) @LT 89@. About our father's illness, she writes to me: “Oh! let us not lose the trial that Jesus sends us, it is a gold mine to be exploited” (February 28, 1889) @LT 82@. And elsewhere: “Let us love Jesus enough to suffer for him all he wants. Let us take advantage of the shortest moments, do as the misers do, let us be jealous of the smallest things for the Beloved. @LT 101@This is notneither was she in the peace she hoped to save souls. She wrote to me on July 8, 1891: “Only suffering can bring souls to Jesus: He wants the salvation of souls to depend on our sacrifices” @LT 129@. Finally, the Servant of God crowned her life of activity [680] with the promise to “spend her heaven doing good on earth” @DEA 17-7@. She wrote to one of her spiritual brothers on February 24, 1897: "You must find it very strange to have a sister who seems to want to go and enjoy eternal rest and let you work alone... but rest assured, the only thing that I desire is the will of the good God, and I confess that if, in heaven, I could no longer work for his glory, I would prefer exile to my homeland” @LT 220@

 

[Response to the twenty-fourth request]:

In the difficulties of life, the hope of the Servant of God was invincible. I have seen her, at the time of the thorny matters of her vocation, cry but not become discouraged. She went to the end of her projects, without letting anything bring her down. My uncle's refusal, the superior's refusal, the bishop's evasive reply, that of the pope, could not shatter her hopes, and she wrote from Rome: I see the shore and find myself far from it; but it is Jesus who guides my little ship, and I am sure that the day He wills it, He will bring it to port happily” @LT 43,AB@

 

Her hope in God sustained her, even in her downfalls. Here is what she wrote to me: “What does it matter, my Jesus, if I fall every moment; I see through my weakness, and it is a great good for me. You can see what I can do, and now you will be more inclined to carry me on your arms... If you don't, it's because you like to see me on the ground... [1] so, I will not worry, but I will always reach out to you with supplicating arms full of love, I cannot believe that you are abandoning me. @LT 1@

 

[Response to the twenty-fourth request continues]:

When the Servant of God was stricken with illness and the sufferings of the body were combined with interior abandonment, the sky of her soul kept all serenity. When she was not answered after fervent prayers to the good God or to the saints, she thanked them anyway, saying: "I believe that they want to see how far I will push my hope" @DEA 7-7@

A few weeks before her death, in the midst of cruel suffering, she said: “I have descended into the valley of the shadow of death; however I fear no evil, because you are with me, Lord” @LT 262@

 

[682] She always had the intuition that she would die young, which made her despise perishable things. She said that when she wanted to realize if she was still in an equal degree of love and hope for heaven, she wondered if death had as much charm for her. A too prosperous day, a lively joy were burdensome to him because they tended to weaken his desire for death.

During his last illness, he was asked if death frightened him. “Yes,” she replied, “she terrifies me when I see her depicted in pictures as a ghost; but death is not that. This idea is not true; to chase it away I need only remember the answer from my catechism: 'Death is the separation of the soul from the body'. Well, I'm not afraid of a separation that will reunite me forever with the good Lord” @DEA 1-5@

 

The doctor having said that out of a hundred people affected like her, not more than two survived, she said pleasantly: "If I were to be one of these two, how unfortunate it would be!" »

 

[Response to the twenty-fifth request]:

When she was put in charge of the novitiate, feeling that she could do nothing by herself, she placed herself in the arms of Jesus: “You see, she said to him, I am too small to feed your children; if you want to give them by me what is suitable, fill my little hand. And never, she adds, have my hopes been deceived; my hand was full as many times as it [683] needed » @MSC 22,1-2@.

When I came to see her in the parlor, and the time being too short to finish a conversation, I went away sad, Sister Thérèse recommended that Jesus tell me what she would have liked to tell me, and indeed in the parlor 'To

 

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Nearly, I reported to her on the good inspirations I had had and which happened to be precisely the advice she would have liked to give me.

 

[Response to the twenty-sixth request]:

I quoted, in my answers to the previous questions, a multitude of passages where the Servant of God does nothing but preach to me hope and detachment from creatures. Here is another example: when I was left alone in the world, after entering Carmel, she insisted more than ever on protecting me against attachment to creatures. She wrote to me on October 20, 1888: “Life will be short, eternity will be endless: let creatures touch us only in passing.... I thought that we should not attach ourselves to what surrounds us, since we could be in another place than where we are and then our affections and our desires would not be the same as they are now” @LT 65@. And in May 1890: “Ah! little sister, let's detach ourselves from the earth, let's fly on the mountain of Love, where the beautiful lily of our souls is... let's detach ourselves from the consolations of Jesus to attach ourselves to him” @LT 105@.

 

[Response to the twenty-seventh request]:

[684] Although Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus practiced all the virtues in an exceptional way, the one that shines the most in her and gives her her own character is charity for God. Love was the goal of his whole life and the motive of all his actions. Moreover, it took on a particular aspect in her which was an extraordinary abandonment to God, whom she calls her "little way."

As a child, little Thérèse carefully avoided the slightest mistakes. It was useless to scold her: all you had to do was tell her that she was hurting God. Every evening, before going to sleep, she asked Pauline if the good Lord was pleased with her. Without an affirmative answer, she would have spent the night crying.

This fear of offending God even became so great that at the age of twelve or thirteen the Servant of God was assailed by scruples which gave her no rest; but they were taken from him by a grace from heaven.

In the Carmel, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus' great concern was still not to displease God. On the day of her profession, she carried this prayer with her: “Take me, O Jesus, before I commit the smallest willful fault” @PRI 2@. She could only endure life when Father Alexis had told her that her faults (or what she called her faults) did not cause God pain.

It was always so as not to displease God that she wanted to remain a child, because, just as the little clumsiness of children does not sadden their parents, [685] so the imperfections of humble souls cannot seriously offend the good God.

 

[Response to the twenty-eighth request]:

One of the fruits of her love was a perfect conformity to the good pleasure of God or, to put it better, a total abandonment in which Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus excelled.

In the world, in the midst of the difficult negotiations of her entry into Carmel, while her affairs were getting more and more confused, "I never ceased - she said - to have a great peace in my heart, because that I only sought the will of the Lord” @MSA 55,2@.

At the time of her profession, when she saw herself delayed, the same abandonment, taking advantage of the time left to her to prepare herself better still for divine union.

About the unequal demand for sacrifices that God makes of souls, she said to me: “Me, I am always happy with what the good Lord asks of me. I don't care what he asks of others, and I don't think I deserve more because he asks more of me. What pleases me, what I would choose if I were free, is what the good Lord wants of me. I always find my part beautiful... even though the others should have more merits by giving less, I would rather have less merits by doing more, if by 1à I accomplished the will of God » @CSG @

She wrote to me in 1894: "We do not know how to ask for anything properly, 'but it is the Spirit who asks in us, with groans that cannot be expressed', so we have no only to deliver our soul, to abandon it to the good God” @LT 686@

She did not even desire to be delivered from her terrible temptations against the faith and sang:

“My joy is the holy will of Jesus my only love; so I live without any fear: I love the night as much as the day» @PN 45@

This unreserved surrender was completely devoid of self-interest. She wrote to me (July 6, 1893): “Let Jesus take and give whatever he wants. Perfection consists in doing his will, in surrendering oneself entirely to him” @LT 142@. She did not understand that the disciples had awakened Our Lord during the storm and she sang:

“To live on love when Jesus sleeps is rest on the stormy waves.

Oh! do not be afraid, Lord, that I will awaken you, I await in peace the shore of heaven”@PN 17@

She would never have asked God for consolation, she took everything from God's hand with the same joy. She wrote to me: “Who says peace does not say joy, or at least felt joy. To suffer in peace it is enough to want all that Jesus wants” @LT 87@

This perfect conformity to the will of the good Lord could even be read on her face: you could always see her gracious and with an amiable cheerfulness, and, when you did not penetrate into her intimacy, you could

 

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going to believe that she was following a very gentle path, full of consolation. It is thus [687] that several readers of his life do not discover the meaning of his smile; they do not see the cross carefully hidden under the flowers. They forget this word of the Prophet King: "When we look towards God, we are radiant with joy" (Ps. XXXIV, v. 6.)

 

[Session 31: - August 23, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[690] [Response to the twenty-ninth request]:

You have to go back to her most tender age to find in the Servant of God the taste for prayer. She was not three years old, and my mother wrote: "The baby would not fail for everything to say his prayers" @MSA 11,1@

At Les Buissonnets, evening prayer was held in common. Thérèse always had her place with my father, having only to look at him, she said, to know how the saints pray. Since she was four years and eight months old, when I remember her praying like this at my father's side, I don't remember ever seeing her distracted and mischievous like most children: she was collected and doing this action [691] with all his heart.

From that age, she made her daily visit to the Blessed Sacrament with her father and was never bored in church.

A little later, she asked Mary, our eldest sister, to pray. The latter, finding her too pious, only allowed her a quarter of an hour. Thérèse then locked herself in an empty space that she could close with the curtains of her bed, and there she thought of God, of the speed of life, of eternity, as she herself testified.

When she went fishing with my father, she liked to sit apart, and there she entered into real prayer. The great book of nature transported his soul and made him find the good God.

At boarding school, as a certain quarter of an hour before the lesson was free, Therese was one of the few children who was going to spend it in the chapel, instead of playing.

She did not use a book to pray. She avoided noisy games. There was, however, a game of her taste that she had invented herself, it was "the solitaire game", she indulged in it above all because she found in it the means of praying.

Later, when she returned to the Abbey for the book lesson, she went to the gallery of the chapel immediately after class, and spent long hours waiting for my father to come and fetch her.

At that time, she went to mass [692] every morning and took communion there when she had permission from her confessor.

Having suffered a great deal from scruples, she was delivered from them by fervent prayers to her four little brothers and sisters, who flew away at a young age to paradise.

 

Thérèse received the sacrament of Confirmation on June 14, 1884. I have kept very special memories of her preparation. During her retirement, she seemed completely transformed to me. Her exterior, her words bore the stamp of a sort of spiritual intoxication, and as I expressed my surprise to her, she immediately explained to me what she understood of the virtue of this sacrament, and her regret that no one no more attention was paid to it and that one prepared for it with less care than for the first communion.

In the thorny negotiations of his entry into Carmel, I witnessed his spirit of prayer. All his trust was in God.

 

In Carmel, she accentuated more and more her confidence in prayer. She put a holy audacity into it. She told me that we should, in our prayers, imitate the fools, who do not know where to stop in their requests, and repeat them, without regard to propriety, and sometimes ask for things that we would never think of theirs. give, and that one gives them to have peace. We must say to the good Lord: "I know very well that I will never be worthy of what I hope for, but I hold out my hand to you like a little beggar, and I am sure that you will answer me fully, because you are so Good. »

The Servant of God used this kind of [693] prayer to risk her rash desires for holiness. She writes: “My excuse is my title as a child, children do not think about the scope of their words, but if their parents are raised to the throne, they hasten to accede to the wishes of these little ones. beings they cherish more than themselves” @MSB 4,1@.

 

As for temporal graces, Sister Thérèse was very circumspect. She believed that God would refuse her nothing, and she exercised great reserve, for fear, she said, that the good Lord would think himself obliged to grant her. Consequently, when she asked for consolation or relief, it was to please others, and again, she channeled her prayers through the Blessed Virgin, which she explained as follows: "Ask the Blessed Virgin, it's not the same thing as asking God. She knows very well what she should do with my little desires, whether she has to say them or not: it's up to her to decide so as not to force the good Lord to grant me and to let his will be in everything » @DEA 4-6@.

When she expressed her desire to do good on earth after her death, she made it conditional "to look into the eyes of the good God" @MSB 5,2@ to know if it was his will. She pointed out to us that this abandonment imitated the Blessed Virgin, who at Cana was content to say: "They have no more wine." Likewise Martha and Mary only say: "The one you love is sick." They content themselves with stating their desires, without formulating a request, leaving [694] Jesus free to do his will.

 

Apart from her intimacy with her sisters, Thérèse found no echo in

 

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her feelings were internally conversing with Jesus, so much so that she wrote of her time at boarding school: “I only knew how to speak to Jesus, conversations with creatures, even pious conversations, tired my soul. I felt it was better to talk to God than talk about God, because there is so much self-love involved in spiritual conversations! » @MSA 40,2-41,1@.

When we were still together at Les Buissonnets, we didn't discuss trivialities or toilets. Our happiness was to talk about God. Of our conversations at the gazebo, she writes: “Faith and hope left our souls, love causing us to find on earth the One we sought” @MSA 48,1@.

When the Servant of God was asked how she could not be three minutes without thinking of the good Lord, she simply replied: "We naturally think of someone we love" @CSG @

Having found her one day in her cell sewing with great speed, and yet with an air of deep contemplation, I asked her the cause: "I meditate on the Pater," she replied, "it is so sweet to call on the good God: Our Father” @CSG @.

 

[695] [Continuation of the response to the twenty-ninth request]:

Her love for God was tender and delicate. So she never wanted to say, "It's cold, it's hot." "God," she told us, "has enough trouble to be obliged, he who loves us so much, to leave us on earth to fulfill our time of trial, without our constantly having to tell him that we are there. evil: you must not seem to notice it, but say at all times: 'You fill me with joy, Lord, by all that you do`” @CSG @.

 

One day when we found ourselves in front of a library, she said to me with her usual gaiety: “Oh! that I would be sorry to have read all those books: I would have broken my head, I would have wasted precious time that I used simply to love the good Lord” @Other words to Céline @

When the Servant of God was in charge of the novices, she placed all her trust in her union with God: "I occupied myself interiorly and solely - she wrote - in uniting myself more and more to God, [696] knowing that the rest would be given to me in addition” @MSC 22,2@

Sister Thérèse's union with God was simple and natural, as was her way of speaking about God. I have only seen her soften in rare moments. Besides, we usually didn't see anything extraordinary in her.

 

[Response to the thirtieth request]:

I answered this question in my previous testimonies.

 

[Answer to the thirty-first question]: From the age of 14, she prayed ardently for the conversion of sinners, she put so much persistence and faith in it, that she obtained a veritable miracle in conversion. surprise of a great criminal by the name of Pranzini, whose salvation she had asked God.

Sister Thérèse's love for God was a generous love. His whole life was spent in plucking the leaves of sacrificial flowers for God. She said to me: “It is characteristic of love to sacrifice everything, to give indiscriminately, to waste, never to calculate, to annihilate the hope of fruit by picking flowers. Love gives everything, but we, alas! we give only after deliberation, we hesitate to sacrifice our interests; that's not love, because love is blind, it's a torrent that leaves nothing in its path” @Source pre.@. She wrote to me in 1888: “Jesus does not look so much at the greatness of actions, nor even at their difficulties, as at the love that causes these acts to be performed” @LT 65@. She wrote [697] again: "It is only the complete immolation of oneself that is called loving" @L'Esprit de Ste Th.@

 

His generous love made him wish for martyrdom. Already, during her trip to Rome, visiting the Colosseum, she had expressed to God the desire to be a martyr one day for Jesus. In Carmel, his desires became even more lively. On the day of her profession, she wishes to have to offer to Jesus the “martyrdom of the body or the martyrdom of the heart, or rather both together” @PRI.2@. And later, reviewing all the kinds of tortures, she declares that, to satisfy her, she would need them all. However, the Servant of God did not seek suffering for suffering's sake: she loved him because it was a way for him to prove his love to Jesus, just as Our Lord desired his baptism of blood, to give us a testimony of his, fearing him at the same time according to his human nature. Moreover, when she expresses to God her desire to suffer much for him, she always subordinates this prayer to the designs of Providence on her. Even at the end of his life, this disposition of total abandonment to divine good pleasure had taken on a predominant influence in his soul which made him say: "I no longer desire either suffering or death, and yet I cherish them both !... Today, it is abandonment alone that guides me, I no longer know how to ask for anything with ardor except the perfect fulfillment of God's will on my soul” @HA 12@.

It was the tender and delicate love that Sister Thérèse [698] had for God that inspired her donation to Merciful Love. It was on the feast day of the Holy Trinity, June 9, 1895, that it was suggested to her to offer herself as a victim to love, preferably to justice, because she was saddened to see that the despised love of God received no compensation. Coming out of the holy sacrifice, she dragged me along and asked our mother for permission for both of us to make this offering. Our mother allowed it. The Servant of God then composed

 

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a formula of consecration which was submitted to a theologian and approved by him.

By this act, she asked that God unload on her the love that he would like to spread in this world and that creatures refuse to receive, committing themselves to correspond to it by the total sacrifice of herself. She thus adopted love as the center of her spiritual life, as she had written long before to her cousin Marie Guérin: "For me, I know of no other way to arrive at perfection than love". @LT 109@

 

Her love for God the Father went as far as filial tenderness. One day, during her illness, it happened that, speaking of the good Lord, she took one word for another and called him "Papa"; we began to laugh, but she resumed, quite moved: “Oh! Yes, he is indeed my 'Daddy' and how sweet it is for me to give him that name!» @DEA 5-6@

Jesus was everything to his heart. When she wrote about Jesus Christ, she always capitalized “Him”, “I1”, out of respect [699] for his adorable person; and out of tenderness she addressed him in the secrecy of her prayers.

The devotion of the Servant of God to the Sacred Heart was real, but more profound than demonstrative. Writing to me during my trip to Paray-le-Monial, she explains to me how she understands this devotion: "I quite simply think that the Heart of my Spouse is mine alone, as mine is and I then speak to him in solitude about this delicious heart to heart, while waiting to contemplate it face to face one day” @LT 122@

 

Devotion to Our Lord usually focused on his entire Humanity. She liked, however, to consider it more particularly in her childhood or in her passion. This is why she asked to add to her name of Thérèse of the Child Jesus, the mention of the Holy Face.

 

She gave herself to the Child Jesus as her “little toy”, thereby representing her perfect abandonment and her desire to please God. The Holy Face of Our Lord inspired him to remain hidden from the eyes of others and from his own. It is by contemplating the bruised Face of Jesus, by meditating on his humiliations, that she drew humility, love of suffering, generosity in sacrifice, zeal for souls, release from creatures, finally all the virtues active, strong and virile that we have seen him practice. She said that she drew her devotion to the Holy Face from chapters 53 and 60 of Isaiah, recounting the sufferings and humiliations of Christ. [700] On various works that she composed, she made the Holy Face appear mainly in the ornamentation of a chasuble, where she surrounded this adorable Face with lilies. These lilies represented his whole family; she designated herself there by a flower half hidden under the veil.

I remain convinced that it was the Servant of God who inspired my project to reproduce the Holy Face from the Shroud of Turin, and that I owe her the success of this copy, executed in 1904, seven years after the death of the Servant of God.

 

[Session 32: - August 24, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[703] [Response to the thirty-second request]:

If Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus distinguished herself in the love of God, she did not leave aside the precept which is similar to her, that of charity towards her neighbour. She even had special lights on this subject, and practiced this virtue with a quite particular perfection.

 

When she noticed in her novices the tendency to withdraw into herself, she fought it with energy. One day, she said to me: “To withdraw into oneself is to sterilize the soul, one must hasten to run to works of charity. »

 

[704] When she saw real imperfections being committed, she hastened inwardly, while excusing the culprit as well as she could, to offer her good wishes to God, to seek her virtues, thinking that, if she saw her fall once, she may well have won a great number of victories which she hides out of humility.

She told me that we must always judge others with charity, because very often what appears negligent in our eyes is heroism in the eyes of God.

During her illness, she also pointed out to me that the first nurse always took very soft cloths in order to relieve her a little: “You see, she said to me, -, we must take the same care of souls... Oh ! souls, often we don't think about them, and we hurt them; Why that? Why aren't they relieved with the same delicacy as the bodies? She also told us that all bodily penances were nothing in the balance of charity.

 

[Answer to the thirty-third request]:

It was at the age of fourteen that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus felt a burning thirst for the salvation of souls. The first sinner she wished to purify was a notorious assassin by the name of Pranzini, condemned to death for a triple murder. As it was the beginning of the new career in which she wished to run, Thérèse asked for a sensible sign of the conversion of this brigand. She was answered to the letter. Pranzini, without confession, had already mounted the scaffold, when, moved by a sudden inspiration, he asked the priest to make him kiss the crucifix. Therese's emotion on hearing this news was inexpressible, and henceforth her zeal was armed with new ardor.

 

In the Carmel, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus put medallions of the Blessed Virgin in the clothes of the workers, carefully hiding them in the lining. In one of the photographs

 

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I shot at Carmel, she wanted to carry a scroll on which she had written these words of Saint Thérèse: “I will give a thousand lives to save a single soul” @Chemin ch 1@. During her last illness, in a crisis of cruel suffering, she still said: “I ask the good Lord that all the prayers which are made for me do not serve to alleviate my sufferings, but that they are all for sinners. »

The Servant of God had also declared herself during the canonical examination of her profession that she “came to Carmel to save souls and mainly to pray for priests” @MSA 69,b@

On June 21, 1897, she wrote to the Reverend Father Bellière, missionary in Africa: "I try not to concern myself with myself in anything, and what Jesus deigns to do in my soul, I abandon it to him, because I did not choose an austere life to expiate my faults, but those of others” @LT 247@

She wrote to me, when she was only 16 years old: "There is only one thing to do, during the night of life, and that is to love Jesus with all the strength of our soul, [706] and to save souls for him so that he may be loved” @LT 96@

 

In a poem she composed for me, when I was at Carmel, I note these verses which express all her desires regarding the apostolate:

“Remember this feast of angels this harmony in the kingdom of heaven

and the happiness of the sublime phalanxes, when a sinner looks up at you! Oh! I want to increase this great joy, Jesus, for sinners I want to fight unceasingly,

that I came to Carmel to people your beautiful sky, remember! » @PN 24@

 

But the more special purpose of Sister Thérèse's vocation, her dominant attraction, was to pray for priests. She said that "it was wholesale, since by the head it reached the members" @CSG..@

- This desire for the sanctification of priests and through them for the conversion of sinners, was truly the motive of his life.

[707] [Response to XNUMXrd request continued]:

In the canticle she dedicated to me at Carmel, she sang:

“So that your harvest may soon be gathered every day, O my God, I immolate myself and I pray; that my joy and my tears are for your reapers, remember! » @PN 24@

Just as, among the great sinners, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus prayed especially for Pranzini, so, among the fallen priests, there was one towards whom her thoughts and her sacrifices were particularly directed: this was the ex -Father Hyacinthe, Discalced Carmelite, former superior of the house of Paris. This conversion was so dear to her heart that she spoke to me of it incessantly orally and by letter. She wrote to me on July 8, 1891: “He is very guilty, more guilty perhaps than a converted sinner has ever been, but can't Jesus do once what he doesn't? ever done? and if he did not desire it, would he have placed in the hearts of his poor little wives a desire that he could not realize?... A day will come when He will open his eyes... Confidence works miracles , let us not tire of praying, so that our brother, a son of the Blessed Virgin, may return defeated and throw himself under the mantle of the most merciful of mothers» @LT 129@. She never forgot this [708] great intention, and her last Communion here below was for the poor prodigal, on August 19, 1897, on the feast of Saint Hyacinthe. Father Hyacinthe died on February 9, 1912, apparently in final impenitence; but a letter from Monsieur d'Orgeval Dubouchet, dated April 17, 1912, assures us that when he died, the poor sinner had murmured these words: "My sweet Jesus!"

[Do you know what was the source of this testimony and what is its value? Answer]:

Unfortunately I didn't think to ask for more information on this character.

 

[Answer to the thirty-fourth request]:

From her earliest years, the Servant of God showed herself assiduous in the practice of spiritual almsgiving. Being at the boarding school, she chose as friends those of her companions who were less happy at home and with whom some good could be done. There was one in particular, unattractive in all respects, and in whom she showed great interest in order to attract him to piety. Only fraternal charity could guide her in this little apostolate which had no natural attraction. At home, she taught poor children; it was to make them love God. She, so shy then, struck up a conversation with the workers coming to our house, it was to talk to them about God. There was among others an impious woman of the day, from whom she could obtain nothing, except to wear until her death a medallion of the Blessed Virgin [709] age, which she detached from her neck chain for her pass.

Finally, little Thérèse had such a good heart, she knew how to forget herself so perfectly, that she was the joy of her family and the favorite of the servants for whom she had great respect, not finding it fair that being the sons of same father, some serve the other. This condition of human society made him long for heaven where everyone will be treated according to his merit.

 

In Carmel, her charity assumed the same forms: I never saw her complain about the occasions of suffering which were personal to her: she bore everything

 

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in silence to avoid causing pain; thus, at the laundry, when an awkward or absent-minded washer sprinkled her with dirty water, she said nothing.

Her preferences were for the less sympathetic sisters; I always saw her place herself beside them in recreation. In order to blossom a sister afflicted with dark thoughts, she asked to be her helper, a job in which no one could hold because of her unhappy character. One day, having no other way to open my eyes to fraternal charity and the struggles it requires, she confided to me the efforts she had to make to overcome her natural antipathy for a certain sister. The name of this sister surprised me a lot, because it was with this one that she seemed to have the most intimacy, so much so that Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart was jealous of her. A nervous patient, moreover educated and intelligent, had a thousand quirks which were the bugbear of nurses. It was about her that Sister Thérèse [710] said to me: "The job of nurse is the one that I would like the most: I would not want to apply for it, I would be afraid that it would be presumption, but if we gave it to me I would think I was very privileged.”@CSG @

 

His charity went, one might almost say, to sacrificing his spiritual interests; I saw her, having found a book that did her a lot of good, not finish reading it, and passed it on to the sisters, so that she never finished it, despite her desire.

She sacrificed her personal tastes for the good of her neighbour, even in the matter of spiritual practices. So to excite to virtue her companion in the novitiate, a lay sister whom she was trying to enlighten, she pretended to need for herself the complicated system of practices which suited this sister. All these means were, however, against his tastes. She wrote to me on July 23, 1893, while I was in society: “I am obliged to have a rosary of practices, I did it out of charity for one of my companions. I'm caught in nets that I don't like” @LT 144@. However, she condescended with such good grace to her companion's turn of mind, that the latter could be persuaded that she was stimulating her herself.

 

She had a particular talent for cheering up the sisters who were in sadness: she did it with her amiable air, her good grace, her smile full of affection. If she could not absolutely succeed, she inwardly asked God to console them Himself. She received well those who came to [711] disturb her, never showing boredom or fatigue and answering the first call.

The Servant of God always tried to make the nuns forget that she had her sisters in the same monastery. She said that we had to be forgiven for living under the same roof. To give just one example, which can still be seen today, of this charitable discretion: in community photographic groups, she was always surrounded by other nuns and almost never reunited with her sisters. In her last illness, she said she was happy to live in a cell where you couldn't hear her cough, and when she was taken down to the infirmary, she didn't suffer being watched at night. She also did not want the flies that bothered her to be killed, saying that they were her only enemies and that she forgave them in order to obey Our Lord's precept.

 

[Response to the thirty-fifth request]:

Little Thérèse's compassion for the poor was touching, she could not see the unfortunate suffer, and brought them alms with such an expression of tender respect that one was moved. She said later that if she had been free of her fortune, she would certainly have ruined herself, for she could not have seen a poor man in need without immediately giving him what he lacked. One day when a crippled old man had refused her alms, she was so saddened to have offended him no doubt by taking him for [712] a beggar, that she wanted, to make up for his mistake, to give him the cake for his meal. . Not having been able to join him, she consoled herself by forming the resolution to pray for him on the day of his first communion, which was then four years distant.

This kind of material charity towards the poor not being sufficiently within her reach, because of her youth, she applied herself above all to interior charity, where the field is so vast. Her only concern was to contrive to please those around her; his only sorrow, that of causing the slightest pain.

It was this spirit of charity towards her neighbor that led her to ask God for the favor of spending her heaven doing good on earth.

At Carmel, she recommended me a lot to care for the sick with love, not to do this work like any other, to accomplish it with care and delicacy, as if we were really rendering this service to God himself. One day she wrote me this little note: “Just now you are carrying little cups to the right and to the left; one day Jesus, in turn, will come and go to serve you @CSG @

 

[Response to the thirty-sixth request]:

The Servant of God relieved the souls in purgatory by all the means in her power, mainly by winning indulgences. She had performed the "Heroic Act" and placed in the hands of the Blessed Virgin all her merits for [1] each day, so that she might apply them as she pleased, and likewise all the votes which would be given to her after her dead. The only votes she permitted herself to apply to a special intention were for Pranzini, that sinner whom she had converted by her prayers and her sacrifices. Whenever our family offered to give her something, on the occasion of her holidays or birthdays, she asked for money, and, with our mother's permission, had masses said for the repose of her soul. Pranzini: "He is my child, said

 

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her -, I mustn't forget her now” @CSG @

On the day of her profession, she asked God to empty the prisons of purgatory.

Every day she said the prayer: "O good and most sweet Jesus...", the six Paters and Aves of the scapular of the Immaculate Conception, and a certain devotional practice which she had been told was very rich in indulgences, she fills it until her death.

As she no longer made vocal prayers, being too ill, they wanted to dispense her from the latter, but she implored, saying: "I can do no more than that for the souls in purgatory, and that is so little!" @DEA 18-5@, and she was released. As long as she could, she was faithful to the exercise of the Way of the Cross several times a week.

 

[Session 33: - August 25, 1915, at 10 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[717] [Response to the thirty-seventh request]:

The Servant of God was always distinguished by her prudence, never giving free rein to the first movement of nature. His great means was silence. She had learned it from the Blessed Virgin whose example delighted her with admiration, mainly when she preferred to be suspected, rather than apologize to Saint Joseph by revealing to him the mystery of the Incarnation. She often spoke to me about it to make me appreciate this behavior, so simple and yet so heroic. Like Mary, she loved to keep everything in her heart, her joys as well as her sorrows; this reserve was her strength and the starting point of her perfection, as also her external cachet which distinguished her from the common by her great poise.

 

As a very small child, she already kept this prudent silence and only said the words she wanted to say: "Thus - she wrote, I had got into the habit of never complaining, and when I was accused unjustly, I preferred to be silent” @MSA 11,2@But, if she kept silence so as not to apologize, she had the wisdom to speak up to accuse herself. Thus, when she had made some clumsiness, she was quick to say so.

One noticed, at home, this perfect balance of faculties: his will reigned supreme in his little interior; she was serious and thoughtful. When my mother [718] died, the Servant of God, who was not yet five years old, showed incredible tact and delicacy: I had taken Mary, our eldest sister, for my second mother; Thérèse then threw herself into Pauline's arms, saying: “For me, it's Pauline who will be a mother! » @MSA 13,1@. She told me later that she had done so so that Pauline wouldn't have any pain and wouldn't feel abandoned. I was very surprised at such presence of mind, for Marie, her godmother, had taken care of us until then, while we saw little of Pauline, who was then in boarding school.

 

This exquisite tact only developed in such a gifted nature. In Lisieux, I was about to be fourteen, she was barely ten: our relations were very familiar, we shared the same room and the same bed. This age difference gave me the opportunity to notice his great discretion and extreme reserve.

Her prudence showed itself also at boarding school, when, seeing her companions seek the particular affection of a mistress, she immediately perceived the vanity of these relations and moved away from them with holy terror.

 

She was no less prudent in the negotiations intended to open the doors of the cloister to her at the age of fifteen. She had to fight against strong opposition and overcome her extreme timidity, even speaking to the Sovereign Pontiff to obtain the desired favor. Nevertheless I saw her always calm and patient in this affair, having no bitter words against those who thwarted [719] her plans.

 

In Carmel, the Servant of God had good opportunities to exercise her prudence. Her entire religious life was spent under the troubled government of Mother Marie de Gonzague; the latter, whether she was prioress or not, did not allow anyone other than herself to have authority. One cannot form an idea of ​​the diplomacy that had to be employed to avoid the scenes. The Servant of God knew how to make these difficulties an opportunity for virtue while some souls found them a pitfall. In this general upheaval she never departed from her union with God, from the concern for her personal perfection. If it is true that her deference to authority remained complete with regard to this mother prioress, it is no less true that the Servant of God saw all the faults of our unfortunate mother, she deplored them and tried to to stop the harm that could result to the community. This is how she courageously intervened to detach a nun from a human and servile affection that she had conceived for Mother Marie de Gonzague. She gave proof in this circumstance of a remarkable wisdom, knowing how to give this difficult advice, without however moving this sister away from the obedience and respect due to the authority of the Prioress. Moreover, I am still in admiration of his ability to reconcile a perfect spirit of faith in authority, with the correct knowledge of the serious faults of the one who held it.

 

I must say in particular how his prudence manifested itself in his faithfulness to take advice in the [720] grave circumstances of his life.

I said, in my deposition at the Trial of the Ordinary, that “the Servant of God never had, strictly speaking, a spiritual director”; I meant by that that she did not feel the need for a usual direction, distinct from confession, as is often the practice in France, but she was careful to ask advice each time she met.

 

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deals with a difficulty in his spiritual life. Thus at the age of ten, she consults about some worries of conscience: "I told my confessor who tried to calm me down", we read in the "History of his life" @MSA 1 @. Later, at the time of her first communion, the Reverend Father Pichon, Jesuit, director of our sister Marie, wrote to the Servant of God. Four years later, the same Jesuit father was made aware of the affairs of his vocation, and encouraged him in his steps. At Carmel, she eagerly took advantage of the extraordinary confessor every three months. At the time of retreats, or when a monk passed, she eagerly sought the advice of the preacher.

Here is her view of the usefulness of directors: "I know it," she writes, "the good Lord does not need anyone to do his work, but just as he allows a skilful gardener to raise rare and delicate plants, and that he gives him for that the necessary science, reserving for himself the care of fertilizing, thus Jesus wants to be helped in the divine cultivation of souls.

@MSA 53,1@

[721] In her History, she mentions the joy she felt when Reverend Father Pichon, SJ, assured her "that she had preserved her baptismal innocence" @MSA 70,1@ and the peace that filled her heart , when the Reverend Father Alexis “launched her with full sail on the waters of trust and love which drew her so strongly” @MSA 80,2@ She again showed her deference by following the advice of a director who told him to copy the Credo and wear it on his heart to refute his temptations against the faith.

 

[Response to XNUMXth request continued]:

It may be noted on this same question of directors that all those to whom she successively confided her conscience have invariably shown the greatest esteem for her.

It is true that the assertions of one or other of those whom she consulted were sometimes an occasion of trial. Thus when Father Blinot, SJ, [722] told him that it was presumption to aspire to holiness, or again, when, at the end of his life, the chaplain told him that his temptations against the faith constituted in a very dangerous condition. It is because of these bad fortunes, no doubt willed by God, that she turned to Jesus "the Director of directors" @MSA 71,1@ and that she says that she has experienced that one should not do not count too much on help which may fail at the first moment.

 

[Response to the thirty-eighth request]:

The wisdom of her advice is revealed above all in the advice she gives for the formation of novices.

During these directions, she was very careful to appeal to God through prayer. Having myself been one of her novices, I have always noticed her great renunciation, her patience in listening to us, in instructing us, without seeking for her the shadow of a consolation. "I was not looking to be loved - she told me in a conversation shortly before her death, - I was not concerned with what people might say or think about me, I was only looking to do my duty and to please God” @Source pre.@. Granted in the prayer she had made, she never saw any novice attach herself to her humanly, and yet all relied confidently on her direction. Even a few elders, noticing her celestial prudence, also came to consult her in secret.

She did not ask of all the same sacrifices. "In directing others, she writes, it is absolutely necessary to forget one's tastes, one's personal conceptions and to guide [723] souls, not by one's own way, by one's own way, but by the particular way that Jesus shows them" @MSC 22,2@

 

Here, in particular, are some of his instructions: “In community, each must try to be self-sufficient, and not ask for services which one can do without.” "To ask only at the last extremity for dispensations or permissions, say to yourself inwardly: 'if each one did the same thing?... the answer will make you see immediately the disorder which would result from it and will give you the balance to keep” @Source pre.@. Although she recommended us to do all things as perfectly as possible, she nevertheless said that above all, it was necessary to conform to customs, because sometimes an indiscreet zeal can harm oneself and others. “Often, she said, we only feel tired because others forget to pity us. You would say to a sister: 'You are very tired, go and rest!', immediately she would no longer feel tired” @Source pre.@. I said to him one day: "I am willing to accept reprimands when they are just, but when I am not in fault, I cannot bear them." "That's the complete opposite of me - she replied -: I prefer to be accused unjustly, because that way I have nothing to reproach myself for and I have the joy of offering God this humiliation" @CSG @ . She explained to me another time how nature is inclined to find easy what comes from our personal inspiration, whereas, on the contrary, there are always ifs and buts, when it is the ideas of others that are needed. adopt. "We look favorably on the reliefs that are given to others, when it is we who [724] have obtained them, but if we have nothing to do with it, a thousand temptations arise in our hearts. and we find fault with anything we haven't touched” @Source pre.@

 

All of her spiritual doctrine and directions are summed up in what she called "her little childhood way." It comes down, it seems to me, to two general ideas: abandonment and humility. I studied it particularly under this last aspect which struck me the most, in the instructions of Sister

 

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Thérèse of the Child Jesus to her novices. "To walk in the 'little way' - she said - one must be humble, poor in spirit and simple" @CSG @

Humility

In the particular instructions she gave to each of the novices, it was always necessary to come back to that. The essence of his teachings was to teach us not to grieve in seeing our own weakness, but rather to glory in our infirmities. “You should rejoice in falling, she told me one day, because if, by falling, there should be no offense against God, one should do it on purpose in order to humble oneself. You pretend to climb a mountain, but the good Lord wants you to go down to the bottom of a valley where you will learn contempt for yourself. Indeed, instead of trying to excuse her imperfections, she used them to plead her case, to prove to God how much she needed his help. She writes: “I entrust to Jesus, I tell him in detail my infidelities, thinking, in my reckless abandonment, thus to acquire more empire, to attract more [1] fully the love of him who did not come call the righteous, but sinners” @MSB 725@. It is in this sense that she sings:

"My joy is to stay small too, when I fall on the way, I can get up very quickly,

and Jesus takes me by the hand” @PN 45@.

It was his habit to class himself among the weak, from which came the appellation of "little souls." She wrote me this note some time before her death, on June 7, 1897: “Let us humbly line up among the imperfect, let us consider ourselves 'little souls' whom the good Lord must support at all times. As soon as he sees us convinced of our nothingness, he stretches out his hand to us, but if we still want to try to do something great, even under the pretext of zeal, he

leave alone." @LT 243@

 

spiritual poverty

Like little children who have nothing of their own and absolutely depend on their parents, she wanted us to live from day to day, without making spiritual provisions.

She always had this attraction of complete destitution. As early as 1889, at the age of 16, she wrote to me speaking of herself: "The 'grain of sand' wants to set to work, without joy, without courage, without strength, and it is all these titles which will make the undertaking easier for him” @LT 82@. One day when, seeing her so delicate with God, I complained that I was not like her, she made me say this prayer: "My God, I thank you for not having a single [726] delicate feeling and I Glad to see others." I expressed to her the desire to have the memory to retain the texts of Sacred Scripture, she said to me: “Ah! here you are again who want to possess wealth! Leaning on that is leaning on a hot iron, there is still a small mark of it” @CSG @. In 1896, being his novice, I received this note, as if from the Blessed Virgin: “If you want to endure in peace the trial of not pleasing yourself, you will give Jesus a sweet asylum; it is true that you will suffer since you will be at your doorstep, but do not be afraid, the poorer you are, the more Jesus will love you.” @LT 211@

 

Simplicity

On April 25, 1893, she wrote me a letter in which, comparing Our Lord to the flower of the field and the soul to the dewdrop, she said: “Happy little dewdrop which is known only to Jesus! Do not envy the clear stream..., its murmur is very soft, but the creatures can hear it, and then the chalice of the flower of the fields cannot contain it. To belong to Jesus alone, one must be as small as a drop of dew. Oh! how few souls aspire to remain so small! Are not the river, they say, and the stream more useful than the drop of dew? our land of exile... Our beloved does not need our beautiful thoughts, our dazzling works... He only made himself the 'Flower of the Fields' only to show us how [727] well he cherishes simplicity... What a privilege to be called to be a little dewdrop! But to answer it, how simple it must be! » @LT 141@.

 

[Session 34: - August 26, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[730] [Response to the thirty-ninth request]:

It seems to me that I have said everything I know about this subject, answering the questions on faith and on the love of God.

 

[Answer to the fortieth request]:

The Servant of God always had great respect for her parents.

I never heard her say the smallest word that could sadden them, even after being scolded unjustly.

When, being in society, I sent her flowers, she was careful not to appropriate them, although she received them directly as porter. She would have rather let them wither than take them for [731 ] her little Jesus without an express order from our mother. During her illness, as our parents had sent her fruit, she said to us: “How good is that grape! But I don't like what comes to me from my family”. And yet, one cannot see a more affectionate heart for his own

 

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than was that of Sister Thérèse. She showed us in the intimacy all her tenderness for us. Having seen examples of saints who distanced themselves from their parents for greater perfection, by ceasing or modifying their relations with them, she said that she was blessed "that there are many dwellings in the house of the good God", and that her her home would not be that of those great saints, but of those little saints who love their families very much.

 

From her earliest childhood, the frankness of the Servant of God was remarkable. She blamed herself for the slightest faults. My mother wrote about her: "The little one wouldn't lie for all the money in the world" @MSA 11,1@

In the last days before our mother's death, we were sent together to live with a relative. On one such occasion, I remembered on the way that we had not said our prayer. I said to Thérèse: "Must we tell this lady that we have not said our prayers?" "Oh! yes”, she answered me in a resolute tone, despite the fact that she knew well, like me, that this lady was not pious @MSA 12,1@

 

Later, in Carmel, this love of right and truth only increased to reach a [732] truly heroic degree. Thus, she would have preferred to fall into the disgrace of Mother Marie de Gonzague and be expelled from the community rather than not do her duty by letting her companion in the novitiate attach herself too humanly to this prioress. Justice towards her novices was so great that she showed no respect of persons, and each one, even the most deprived by nature, could believe themselves the most beloved.

The Servant of God used to say that "everything is grace" @DEA 5-6@, so she maintained in her heart a constant feeling of deep gratitude, either towards God or towards the people.

 

Its entire “History” is moreover a hymn of recognition. It begins thus: “I will begin to sing what I must say eternally: the mercies of the Lord” @MSA 2,1@. She greatly appreciated the benefits of a religious vocation, and wrote to me about it: “Sometimes I cannot believe it; what have I done to the good God so that he thus fills me with his graces? » @LT 47@. Entering Carmel in my turn, and finding the Rule very austere, I thought I was doing a lot for the good God, so I asked Sister Thérèse to compose a hymn recounting all the sacrifices I had made, each stanza of which would end with: “Remember.” What was my surprise to find that she had reversed the meaning indicated: in the canticle she composed, it is Jesus who is the giver and it is the soul [733] who is the obligated.

 

[Answer to the forty-first request]:

At the age of three and four, the Servant of God already knew how to bear and deprive herself. This is how, in order not to leave me when Marie was giving me my lessons, she locked herself in there for whole hours without saying a single word, a condition imposed on her admission to the course. She was always patient, not fidgeting like the other children. She let herself be gently taken what was hers. At that age, she made many sacrifices which we call "practical." She had a small rosary with moving beads and pulled out a bead each time she gave up. These "practices" held such a large place in her childhood that she talked about them constantly with me, which greatly intrigued a neighbor who overheard our conversations. Later, Thérèse did not give up this pious habit and prepared for her first communion with a web of small mortifications. She was 9 years old when she knew how to dominate herself until she accepted, without a word of insistence, the deprivation that Marie imposed on her not to learn drawing with me. From then on she had got into the habit of stopping her reading at the appointed time, even in the middle of the most interesting passage. In the same way, when she was older, applying herself alone to special studies of history and science which captivated her, she only spent a certain amount of time to mortify herself. [734] On all occasions, she took the last place and took what was least convenient for herself, both when traveling and at home. It was at this time that she corrected herself from her great sensitivity by a truly extraordinary act of courage, when she tamed herself, by repressing her tears until she seemed joyful in the face of an observation made to her by my father. It was Christmas Eve 1886.

 

The Servant of God did not seek, to mortify herself, extraordinary things, and was not even absolutely rigorous about permitted satisfactions. In this as in all the rest, she proceeded with simplicity and did not refuse to bless God in her works. Thus, she liked to touch the fruits, the peach in particular, admiring its velvety skin; likewise, to distinguish between them the perfumes of the flowers. But if she had felt a natural pleasure even in these innocent things, she would have stopped immediately, which she did faithfully since at the moment of death, she had nothing to reproach herself with, in her whole life, except for to have taken pleasure, once and for a moment, in inhaling a bottle of eau de cologne given to him on a trip.

 

Here are some details about his mortification practices.

She faithfully fulfilled the precept of our Rule to keep her eyes modest, but without constraint. During his illness, a baptism box was brought to me, the decorative subject of which [735] was charming; they praised it in front of her and then put the box on the table, forgetting to show it to her. She was careful not to ask. During prayer, she refrained from glancing at the clock placed just in front of us: "How would it help me, she said to me - to know if there are still five or ten minutes , I prefer to deprive myself of it”. @Source pre @

 

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[Response to XNUMXst request continued]:

In the world, she could not understand that we invite each other to dinner, saying that we should hide and do this base action as if by stealth, and only consoled herself with the thought that Our Lord had subject to our needs. She seized the small opportunities for mortifications which cannot harm health; she imposed them on herself always and at all times. These are very minimal practices, no doubt, but the good [736] God shows his power as much in the creation of the infinitely small as of the infinitely large, and it seems to me that Sister Thérèse revealed his strength precisely in the multiplicity of acts weak and microscopic, if one can call it that. At dinner, for example, if the handle of her knife or of her spoon was not well wiped and, all sticky, stuck to her hand, she was careful not to put an end to this mortification which was extremely costly to her. On the subject of mortifications of taste, I saw her one day, during her illness, drink drop by drop an execrable remedy, I said to her: "But hurry up, drink it in one gulp!" " Oh! - she replied, I purposely taste it well, shouldn't I take advantage of all the little mortifications that come up since I am forbidden to make big ones! » @Source pre @.

 

The Servant of God was very careful not to get comfortable. Thus, she did not lean back, being seated, did not cross her feet, etc. When it was hot, she ostensibly avoided wiping her face, saying it was drawing attention to the discomfort from which one suffers. Likewise, in winter, she did not rub her hands, did not walk bent over. She sternly reprimanded a novice who, in winter, had put on a pin to close her sleeves and keep her cold.

About the instruments of penance, I told him that a natural feeling led him to avoid many movements when one carried them, or to stiffen under discipline in order to suffer less. She looked at me astonished, and went on: "Me, I don't think it's worth doing [737] things by halves, I take discipline to hurt myself, and I want her to get away with it." do as much as possible, so I bow so as to have a very flexible body to better feel the blows". She was going so fast that she reached up to 350 shots per Miserere. She told me that the more intensely she felt the pain, the more she smiled, so that the good Lord could clearly see, even on her face, that she was happy to suffer for him.

 

As for the mortifications of the mind and the will, the Servant of God was always faithful to dominate her passions; in spite of her lively imagination, she did not get her head up, taking extreme care never to act on her first impulse. I noticed that she never asked for news; if she saw a group somewhere, and the Mother Prioress seemed to be telling something interesting, she was careful not to go that way. For the parlors, she did the same, and always found a way to slip away when she planned to have fun. One of Sister Thérèse's poems having been sent to a person, he thanked her with a letter of praise which she did not hear read, not being in the community at that time. She therefore asked me, without thinking, to communicate this letter to her; but, a few days later, I noticed that she had not read it, and, at my insistence, she told me that she would never read it to punish herself for having asked for it.

 

It was with heroic patience that the Servant of God endured being disturbed. I even discovered, [738] one day, his tactic which was to get in the way of a nun who easily asked him for favors. She taught me this method herself, in connection with my job as a nurse, which caused me frequent disturbances: “When someone rings you, it's the best - she told me -; you would have to pass by the infirmary on purpose so that they bother you, respond with kindness, promise to come back, look happy, as if you were being rendered a service. Oh! you see, to think of beautiful and holy things, to write books, to write the lives of saints, is not worth the action of answering when the bell of the infirmary rings and that disturbs. You have to be mortified not to make a point more when you are called; I have practiced this and experienced the peace that comes with it.”@CSG@

 

The Servant of God, who excelled in all kinds of mortification, was careful not to forget the mortification of the heart. To mortify herself in this respect, she let her turn at our mother's house pass (her dear Pauline, "her little mother"), and I was very surprised at her detachment. She very much wanted to be sent to the Carmel of Hanoi, and even made entreaties for this, in order, she said, "not to be useful there, but to suffer the exile of the heart" @ CSG @ When I entered Carmel on September 14, 1894, after having embraced me as all the other sisters did, she was already fleeing when Our Mother made a sign to her to accompany me to the cell which was intended for me: she wouldn't have come without that call. When she took [739] the habit of Sister Marie of the Eucharist, her first cousin, she refrained from accompanying her to the gate to hand her over to her family, and as I reproached her for not having been there, she told me that she had deprived herself of it, because she had too much desire. During her illness, she told the three of us (Mother Agnès, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart and me): “When I am gone, be careful not to lead family life” @DEA 1-3@.

Sister Thérèse summarized in one word all these acts of renunciation in these words: "Since I never seek myself, I lead the happiest life that one can see" @MSC 28,1@

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

[Answer to the forty-second request]:

Until the age of 14, little Thérèse was "accessible to all pain" @MSA 13,1@, according to her expression, but she knew how to dominate her sorrows to comfort others.

I don't remember ever seeing her lack patience in childhood or later. In boarding school, little Thérèse was very persecuted by students in her class who were older than her and jealous of her success: she was content to cry in silence, without telling me the cause of her tears, because I would have taken good care of it. order, she preferred to suffer in secret for the love of God.

She studied herself to retain a word of rejoinder, to render me small services without showing them off, and that without ever failing.

[740] On Christmas Eve 1886, she performed an act of courage which I witnessed, and which she calls the starting point of her conversion. In this circumstance she absolutely mastered her sensibility, which had been too impressionable since the death of her mother. She recounts this episode in her “History” (pages 74‑75 ed. in 8°, 1914)@MSA 45,1@. She adds: “Since that blessed night; I was not defeated in any battle” @MSA 44,2@

 

The Servant of God showed great strength of soul in the separations imposed on her by the calls of God in the family. When her two "mothers", Marie and Pauline, had successively entered Carmel, she had accepted these painful sacrifices with resignation, but her health did not respond to her submission and the grief of this separation was perhaps not unrelated to her. the illness that struck her in 1883. When she entered Carmel, she left my father whom she loved so much, without shedding a single tear, although she wondered if she was not going to die, so much her pain was intense.

 

In Carmel, she had frequent opportunities to exercise her courage. The circumstances in which her religious life was spent multiplied the difficulties she had to overcome. She indeed lived constantly under the tutelage of Mother Marie de Gonzague. In those days, everything was left to the whim of the moment, regulations were made and undone, dreadful scenes broke out like a storm, apropos of nothing, but always it was jealousy which was the principle. . Although such a government was for the sisters a continual subject of temptation, for it is very difficult not to murmur in the face of injustice, the Servant of God made her strength of soul shine, by gently bearing the evil which could not be prevented, and admitting of no bitter criticism against that which held authority.

 

In her serious illnesses, the Servant of God suffered from ailments that a well-regulated direction would have easily avoided. She suffered from it all the more because she was forgetting herself and it would have been necessary to impose on her reliefs which she never asked for. After her first spitting of blood (Good Friday 1896), she was holy joy to have permission to continue Lent in all its rigor, so much so that, seeing her so fervent, I had no idea of ​​the accident that had happened to her. had arrived; I learned since that she had suffered a great deal from the fast that year, but, as usual, she had not complained. In the same way, she claimed no relief from the extreme fatigue she experienced every day in saying her office at the very hour when her fever was most ardent. After they had given her fire points (one day, I counted up to 500 of them), she would go to bed on her straw mattress in the evening. Not having permission to put a mattress for her (I was a nurse at the time), I had no other resource but to fold my big blanket in four and put it under her sheet, which the Servant of God accepted with gratitude, but without [742] a single word of criticism of the way the sick were cared for. At the end of her illness, she remained a month without a doctor. The one from the community (Dr. de Cornières) going on vacation, had entrusted his patient to the care of Dr. La Néele, cousin of the Servant of God. But he had reckoned without the character of Mother Marie de Gonzague, who grew jealous to see Sister Thérèse in the hands of her family, and refused admission to the doctor. In these circumstances, the Servant of God not only did not complain, but stopped the outbursts of our righteous indignation.

It was also necessary to use a stratagem to give morphine syrup, Mother Marie de Gonzague having the theory that relieving a Carmelite woman in this way was shameful: she never consented to injections being given.

 

[Session 35: - August 27, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[745] [Continuation of the response to the forty-second request]:

The virtue of strength practiced by the Servant of God, she also wanted to insinuate it to her novices. I said to him one day: "In the past, I was passionate, I felt [746] my heart beating with zeal, I was enterprising, and, for the glory of God, I would have been at the end of the world without being afraid of anything. , whereas now all these vivid impressions are extinguished, and I feel diminished.” - “That, she told me, was youth; true courage is not that momentary ardor which makes one desire to conquer souls at the cost of all the dangers, which only add one more charm to this beautiful dream. True courage is to desire the cross in the midst of anguish of heart, and at the same time to reject it, so to speak, like Our Lord in the Garden of Olives. @DEA 6-7@She mewrote: "When I feel nothing, when I am incapable of praying, of practicing virtue, then it is time to look for small opportunities, nothings that

 

WITNESS Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

please Jesus, more than the empire of the world or even the martyrdom suffered generously, for example a smile, a kind word, when I would like to say nothing or look bored. When I don't have opportunities, I at least want to tell her often that I love her, it's not difficult and it keeps my heart burning. Even if it seems to me that this fire of love has gone out, I would like to throw a few straws into it, and Jesus would know how to rekindle it" (Letter of July 16, 1893) @LT 143@

 

She told us: “I have always been struck by the praise addressed to Judith: 'You acted with manly courage and your heart grew strong'; therefore, one must first act with courage, then the heart grows stronger, and one walks from victory to victory.” @DEA 8-8@One day that I was discouraged, I rejected my state on [747] that I was tired. She answered me: “You must never believe, when you do not practice virtue, that it is for a natural cause, like illness, time or grief. You must draw from it a great subject of humiliation, and place yourself among the little souls, since you can only practice virtue in such a weak way” @CSG @

For her strength of character in the midst of external dangers, it happened that on a feast day of Mother Prioress, when the Servant of God represented Joan of Arc at the stake, she was very nearly burned alive, following a imprudence, which kindled the beginning of a fire, but, on our mother's order not to move from her place while they tried to put out the fire around her, she remained calm and motionless in the middle of the danger, sacrificing her life to God, as she said next.

 

The hardest ordeal of the Servant of God's life was that of my father's illness. This is what she always refers to as the great ordeal. Undoubtedly, others undergo similar ones, but the suffering is measured less with the brutal effect which produces it than with the quality of the object reached, and there are few fathers who have as many titles to the recognition of their children. His whole life had been nothing but tender devotion to us. It's not just love we had for him, but worship. This dear father was therefore affected by a progressive paralysis which affected the brain and obliged him to be confined in a nursing home. This humiliation lasted five years. During this painful time, the Servant of God never ceased to sustain our courage with words full of faith and hope. She appreciates this terrible ordeal as a royal gift from the heart of God. “It was time - she writes - that such a faithful servant received the reward for his labors; it was just that his salary should be like that which God gave to the King of heaven, his only begotten Son” @MSA 748,2@Shewrote in February 1889: “What a privilege Jesus does us by sending us such great pain, ah! eternity will not be long enough to thank him! » @LT 83@. And again: "Jesus sent us the best chosen cross that he could invent in his immense love... How can we complain, when he himself was considered a man smitten by God and humiliated" @LT 108@ . Finally, this strength in the suffering of the heart was manifested not only in her letters, but also in her words, where she had on her lips only blessings for the good God. The Servant of God placed this ordeal among her greatest graces, and wrote the date with these words: “Our great wealth” @MSA 86,1@

 

[Answer to the forty-third request]:

Purity shone on the face of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. She was the type of a heavenly virgin, and the holiness of her soul matched her exterior. I often called her “an incarnated angel” which characterized my thoughts on her. Being small, she charmed the people who looked at her. You could see such pretty children, but there was something in her eyes that I had never seen in others. It was commonly [749] said that "she had heaven in her eyes." But No. 216 of the Articles is, in my opinion, exaggerated: never has there been any "heavenly odors" emanating from her. What we saw was just as beautiful, but much simpler, and it is precisely this alliance of the supernatural with the natural that gives Sister Thérèse the exquisite charm that is unique to her. It was at this time that according to her expression, "she was ashamed of her body" @DEA 30-7@, and later, she only consoled herself for having one by thinking of Our Lord who was kind enough become a man like us.

 

At the beginning of her journey to Italy, fearing to discover evil, she commended her purity to the Blessed Virgin in the sanctuary of Notre-Dame des Victoires, in Paris, and placed herself under the protection of Saint Joseph, making her every day a prayer for this intention, and nothing ever shocked his eyes, no more in the public squares than in the many museums we visited.

As they got off the train, in Bologna, there was a swarm of students; one of them quickly carried Thérèse away in his arms without our being able to notice it in the fight, but she commended herself to the Blessed Virgin and gave such a look to the intruder that he got scared and instantly let go.

In Carmel, because of the rumors of persecution that have always made us live like on a volcano, she was very worried about knowing to what extent one can risk one's life to escape violence, and I [750] know that she consulted several directors. However, she was not scrupulous. His upright and discerning mind had made known to him all things, and all was

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève Le Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

beautiful in his limpid gaze; so she didn't know what a bad thought was. She praised God for all his works, and found them all, without exception, marked with the seal of divine purity. All of hers and her exterior expressed purity. As for her personal conduct, she tells me that she always acted alone with the same reserve and discretion as if she had been in someone's presence.

Although she loved all the saints, she wanted to place herself under the special protection of those who are virgins, and pointed out to me that, according to her choice, her reliquary only contained relics of virgins.

In her motherly solicitude for my soul, she suffered greatly, it is she herself who says so in her manuscript, knowing that I was exposed in the world to dangers which had been unknown to her.

One day, when on the occasion of a wedding I was to attend a dance party, the Servant of God was so alarmed that she cried, she told me, as she had never cried before, and asked the parlor to give me his instructions. As I thought she was a little over the top, because you couldn't “make a fool of yourself”, she seemed indignant and said to me forcefully: “O Céline! consider the behavior of the three young Hebrews who preferred to be thrown into a fiery furnace rather than bend their knees before the golden statue; and you, the spouse of Jesus (I had taken a vow of chastity), [751] you are willing to make a pact with the century, to adore the golden statue of the world by indulging in dangerous pleasures! Remember what I tell you from God! And seeing how he has rewarded the faithfulness of his servants, try to imitate them. »

 

[Continued from the response to the same request]:

I had no desire to adore the golden statue of the world, for I naturally abhorred these kinds of amusements, so I kept the resolution indicated for a long time at the cost of many troubles, and even offending several people, when at At the end of the evening, I was literally carried away by a young rider. But, oh surprise! it was impossible for us to perform a single dance step. In vain we tried to get in time with the music, for I did my best not to humiliate him; finally, weary of our attempts, we had to take a walk with a “not very religious” attitude, [752] and the poor gentleman, having escorted me back to my place, slipped away flushed with shame, without reappearing during the evening. People I know had never seen such a thing, neither had I, and I attribute this strange impossibility to the Servant of God's prayers.

Despite her angelic purity, here is what the Servant of God thinks of the temptations contrary to this virtue: "Pure hearts," she wrote to me, "are often surrounded by thorns...so the lilies believe they have lost their whiteness, they think that the thorns which surround them have succeeded in tearing their corolla... but the lilies in the midst of the thorns are the beloved of Jesus: blessed is he who has been found worthy to suffer temptation!.”@LT 105@ She confided to me, at the Carmel, “having regretted not suffering the temptations against chastity, to offer to the good God all kinds of martyrdom” @Source pre.@. She found it no less glorious to have suffered them than to be preserved from them.

There was another virginity to which she invited me, that of total oblivion of all creation. She wrote to me: “Virginity is a profound silence of all the cares of the earth, not only useless cares, but all the cares... To be a virgin, you must think only of Jesus.. My dear Céline, let's make our heart a bed of delights where Jesus comes to rest... Let's only plant lilies in our garden, yes, lilies, and let's not suffer from other flowers, because the others can be cultivated by others, but only virgins can give lilies to Jesus” @LT 122@

 

[753] [Response to the forty-fourth request]:

Naturally, the Servant of God was not at all indifferent to earthly things; she loved everything that was beautiful and tasteful; she was interested in her work and it would not be knowing her to imagine her so indifferent that she had no taste for anything. It was painful for him to have broken or damaged objects for his use. I realized one day that I had made a stain on his hourglass, and another time that the legs of a freshly painted table had left marks on the floor of his cell. She herself admits to this delicacy when she writes in her "History" that at the beginning of her religious life, she was happy to have neat things for her use, and to find at hand what was necessary. It therefore took meritorious efforts to manage to choose "the ugliest and most worn objects" @MSA 74,2@what she practiced, however, with great perfection. Here are some small facts that I witnessed.

I saw her, although in a great hurry, unstitch the edge of her work basket, to change the strip of fabric which she found too beautiful and put an ugly one in its place, break her head, into a pearl, with a pin, for having it rough for his use, to scold a novice who had rubbed linseed oil on her furniture in the cell and have her wash it with a brush.

 

The Servant of God kept as a treasure not only unsightly objects, but also inconvenient ones. Thus, throughout her religious life, she had a [754] small lamp, the wick of which could only be pulled up by pulling it with a pin. When I came in, she passed me her writing desk and holy water font, which were suitable, looking for objects for her in the attics.

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

of use. She made her feathers last until they were worn out, and during her illness she soaked them in milk to restore their softness, she said.

She wrote the first part of her manuscript on two-penny notebooks, the worst paper, and for the second part she had to be forced to put her lines at a suitable distance on a squared notebook that they had imposed on him. When she composed her

poems were on old letter envelopes or unusable scraps of paper. In winter, if it was a little less cold, she would suffocate without remission the heater that had been given to her by doctor's prescription. She also had a deep contempt for the arrangement of her clothes, not that she didn't put them in order on her, but she took them as they were given to her. Having had a dress that hurt her very much, she said that it was as indifferent to her as to a Chinese. In the refectory, she ate all the leftovers that were given to her, considering herself a little poor. During her last illness, she refrained from asking for ice water or grapes, saying that she could not ask for what simply pleased her without being necessary. She found herself happy not to have any copies of her poems, which she gave away as she composed them, although she would have been glad to have copies to sing along to [755] them.

 

The Servant of God had endeavored not to cling more to spiritual goods than to temporal ones. One day, at recreation, a sister having taken hold of her thoughts, she had a moment of inner struggle, then immediately, offering this pain to Jesus, she understood "that this thought belonged to the Holy Spirit and not to she” @MSC 19,2@. She herself told me about this trait. She often repeated this passage from one of her poems addressed to the Blessed Virgin:

“All he gave me, Jesus can take back

Tell him never to be embarrassed with me” @PN 54@

 

One day, during his illness, we said to him: "Perhaps at the time of your death we will have a celestial vision to comfort us?." She replied quickly: “Oh! no, I have never desired extraordinary graces for myself, it is not 'my little way'! You remember that I always sang:

“I know that in Nazareth, Virgin, full of graces, you live very poorly, wanting nothing more. No raptures, miracles, ecstasies embellish your life, O Queen of the elect! » @PN 54@

The Servant of God taught others this perfect poverty which she practiced herself. Here are some instructions she gave me on this subject. About an English hairpin that had been taken from me and that I regretted, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus said to me: “Oh! how rich you are! you cannot [756] be happy... I have noticed - she added - that we still give quite willingly, but that there are few souls who allow themselves to be taken away from what belongs to them, and yet the word of the Holy Gospel is there: "If what is yours is taken, do not ask for it back" @CSG @

She said to me another time: "Sometimes you were complaining that your basket had been messed up, that you were missing some things, you should rather be happy and say to yourself: "I am poor, so that's all natural that I miss something, we did well to take it since it is not mine ”@CSG @. During his illness, I said to him one day: “I would like this image, which belonged to you, to remain mine.” - “Ah! she answered me, you still have desires!... When I will be with the good Lord, do not ask for any of my belongings, simply take what we will give you, to act otherwise would not be stripped of everything”. As a reminder of my profession, she composed a coat of arms for me with this motto: "Who loses wins" @LT 183@; she explained to me that, on earth, you had to lose everything, let yourself be taken in order to reach poverty of spirit.

 

[Answer to the forty-fifth request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was perfectly obedient; she let herself be guided, and not only did not impose her will, but did not even make it known, this is what made her say at the end of her life: "The good Lord will do all my wishes in heaven, [757] because I never did my will on earth” @DEA 13-7@

At home, as at boarding school, I always saw little Thérèse submissive to everything; you never heard him object, discuss or murmur, even in a way of amusement.

 

At the Carmel, I never saw Sister Thérèse in default for regularity, and she had great esteem for our slightest observances; so she couldn't stand criticism about it. She always left at the first sound of the bell. When she was ringing, I saw her leave recess half a quarter of an hour before the regular hour, as it is written in the "exaction paper." This drive is heroic, because we are given some latitude for it, and many leave at the last minute.

 

When she was on weekdays for low offices, she applied herself to it with such care that I seemed surprised and told her about it. She said to me sadly: “Oh! how few holy nuns there are! That there are few who do not do everything anyhow! @DEA 6-8@72, and she

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

begged me not to be one of that number of negligent nuns.

Three years after profession, the novices leave the novitiate, and, taking rank among the capitulants, they are no longer bound by the same requirements. Thus the novices ask for their general permissions every week, while the others only ask for them every month. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus should, with her nine years of religion, have been released from these ties, although [758] she had no voice in the matter as a third sister; but they forgot to tell her, and she was careful not to remind the Mother Prioress, who never thought of it. As a result, she continued all her life to ask for these permissions every week.

 

She composed her poems while working during the day, and waited for free time in the evening to write down her thoughts on paper. We did not know this until the end of his life. I told her that was too harsh, that besides she would have easily obtained permission to write them during the day. She answered me: “I took great care not to be given permissions which would have made religious life easy and pleasant for me. If the good Lord did not allow Our Mother to give it to me on her own, it is because He wanted me to sacrifice it to Him” @CSG @.

 

As it is written to pick up even the twigs that break off the broom, she carefully put aside the sharpenings of her pencils. You had to be very careful about what you said in front of her, because an advice from her Mother Prioress became an order to her for the rest of her life. In her time, this obedience was particularly heroic, for poor Mother Marie de Gonzague, with her fickle character, made regulations which fell into disuse without her dreaming of revoking them, and I saw the Servant of God observe these kinds of recommendations, many years after they were made and no one remembered them.

 

[Session 36: - August 30, 1915, at 2 a.m. of the afternoon]

[762] [Continuation of the response to the forty-fifth request]:

The Servant of God had permission to speak to me as to her novice. I often noticed that she refrained from venting with me on what concerned her personally because she had not received formal permission to do so. She exercised a truly heroic vigilance so as not to overstep what she believed to be the measure of obedience.

The heroic nature of her obedience showed itself again in her last illness, when she remained a month without a doctor, suffering from excruciating pain. Sometimes we let out our indignation against the jealousy of Mother Marie de Gonzague, the cause of this abandonment.

“My little sisters - she told us - we must not murmur against the will of God; it is He who allows Our Mother not to give me relief” @DEA 30-8@

 

The Servant of God had got into the habit of obeying each of the sisters, even to her own detriment. Thus, during her illness, she painfully accompanied the community to the hermitage of the Sacred Heart and sat down during the singing of the canticle. A sister beckoned him to join the choir. She was exhausted and could not stand. Nevertheless, she got up immediately and, as I reproached her for it after the meeting, [763] she replied simply: "I have got into the habit of obeying each one as if it were the good Lord who was showing will ". @CSG@

 

One of the lay sisters, annoyed by his virtue, was forced to pay homage to him. It was she herself (Sister Saint-Vincent de Paul, now deceased) who told me the following story, expressing the wish that it be published in praise of Sister Thérèse.

The Servant of God, being a sacristine, was placing wreaths of flowers near Mother Geneviève's coffin, of course putting the most beautiful ones in the foreground, when Sister Saint-Vincent de Paul said to her badly: "I can clearly see that the bouquets of the poor will still be ostracized! »@HA 12@. Sister Thérèse then put them smiling in the first place despite the resulting lack of harmony.

In her last illness, one day when she was burning with fever, she asked the first nurse to take off a blanket for her. The latter, very old and a little deaf, realized that she was cold and covered her over her head. When I returned, I found her in this state dripping with sweat. She, all smiles, told me about this trait without a word of displeasure leaving her lips. On the contrary, she tells me that she accepted everything with joy, in a spirit of obedience; Seeing this, the sister did not stop bringing new blankets, believing to be agreeable to her.

 

This is how she sings about obedience:

“The proud angel, within the light [764] cried out, “I will not obey. I repeat, in the night of the earth: I always want to obey here below.

I feel in me a holy audacity being born, from all hell I brave the fury,

obedience is my strong armor and the shield of my heart.

O victorious God! I don't want any other glories

Than to submit in all my will, since the obedient will repeat his victories all eternity”@PN 48@”

 

[Answer to the forty-sixth request]:

The natural tendency of the Servant of God was humility. I don't think she had to make a lot of effort to acquire it, she was so simple and upright in herself. “Humility is the truth” @CSG @, she said; now, I have never met a truer soul than

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

hers; she seemed completely devoid of illusions and that since her very childhood.

At the age when children want so much to grow up, she regretted not remaining small in stature. Likewise, at Carmel, she considered with joy that, despite her nine years of religion, she had always remained in the novitiate, not being part of the chapter and considered as a "little one."

In the family, at the boarding school, she avoided putting herself forward, hiding every occasion of praise. She could, however, have gotten away with it at little cost, for she was very interesting in her conversations, where she even [765] easily had a piquant and witty turn.

As a young girl, "she would not have been indifferent to praise" @MSA 38,1@, at least she says so. However, I, who lived with her at that time, never noticed any vanity in her: she seemed unaware that she was pretty and did not look at herself unnecessarily in mirrors.

 

Later, in Carmel, when she suffered the humiliating ordeal of our venerated father's illness, she showed by practice that her desires for contempt were sincere: "What happiness to be humiliated - she wrote to me -, it's the only way that makes saints” @LT 82@ It is. at that time that his inclination for contempt gave him a taste of devotion to the Holy Face of Our Lord. She wanted, like her Spouse, that her face be hidden from all eyes, that no one on earth would recognize her. At her profession, she carried this note on her heart: “Let no one take care of me, let me be trampled underfoot like a little grain of sand! » @PRI 2@. This name became her favorite, she liked to sign it before her name.

 

Humility made him accept reprimands with joy, even when they were undeserved. This is how she opposed only humble words and a serene face when Sister Saint-Vincent de Paul made hurtful and ironic remarks to her and when Sister Marie de Saint Joseph (a poor neurasthenic now leaving the monastery) told her frightful scenes, seasoned with reproaches and even insults. Sister Thérèse seemed indifferent to what people thought of her, even when the others seemed cursed. So she had to go and take medicine a few [766] minutes before meals. An older sister took the opportunity to find it irregular and to complain about it. She would have had only one word to say to apologize, but she was careful not to do so, happy to be misjudged.

 

If the Servant of God was humble in the face of undeserved reproaches, she was, which is even more difficult, when they were deserved. One day when, during her illness, we could see a slight emotion on her face, she humbly asked us to pray for her, and said to us, without being saddened: "I feel a very lively joy, not only that I am found to be imperfect, but above all to feel myself there, and to have so much need of God's mercy, at the moment of my death” @DEA 29-7@. Sister Thérèse was truly happy, not of course with her imperfections, but when, having committed, she saw them known. "It was his gain - she said - and the good side of the thing" @CSG @.

 

The Servant of God was convinced that, without special help from God, she would not have been saved. "With a nature like mine - she writes - if I had been brought up by parents without virtue, I would have become very wicked and perhaps even would have run to my eternal loss" @MSA 8,2@. All the sins that are committed on earth and from which she had been preserved, seemed to her as forgiven in advance since she felt capable of succumbing to them. She wrote to me in July 1891: “If Jesus said to Madeleine that he loves more to whom we have given more, we can say it with much more [767] reason when Jesus has given the sins...” @LT 130@. Later, she wrote again: “Jesus wants me to love him, because he gave me not much, but everything. He handed me over in advance, preventing me from falling” @Unidentified text@

 

About her early vocation, she considers it a grace of preservation. She wrote to me on July 23, 1888: “Because he was weak, Jesus had to take his lily before the flower opened” @LT 57@

 

She esteemed others far above her in intelligence and virtue. The very year of her death, she wrote to one of her spiritual brothers, she explained to him how it was Jesus alone who would sanctify and save her; and speaking of her sisters in religion, whom this missionary had called great souls, she said: "Jesus, in his mercy, willed that, among these flowers, smaller ones should grow: I will never be able to thank him for that. enough, because it is thanks to this condescension that I, poor little flower without brilliance, find myself in the same bed as the roses, my sisters. O my brother, please believe me, the good God did not give you a great soul for a sister, but a very small and very imperfect one” @LT 224@.

If she recognized some good in herself, or if she did some good to others, she attributed everything to God. “Don't believe,” she wrote to the same missionary, “that it is humility that prevents me from recognizing the gifts of God; I know that he has done great things in me and I sing it every day with happiness” @LT 224@, In the month of August 1893, as I had shown my admiration and my gratitude for his good advice, she m wrote: [768] “I find that Jesus is very good in allowing my poor little letters to do you good, but I assure you that I am not mistaken to the point of thinking that I had something to do with it. ..

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

all the most beautiful speeches of the greatest saints would be incapable of bringing forth an act of love from a heart of which Jesus would not have possession. It is he alone who knows how to use his lyre... but Jesus uses all the means, the creatures are all at his service, and he likes to use them in order to hide his adorable presence, but he does not hide not so much that it can be guessed” @LT 147@

 

As for her role with the novices and the external gifts which shone in her and made her highly esteemed, here is what she thought of it: "It gives me nothing, she said to me, and I am really only what the good Lord thinks I am. As for loving myself better because he allows me to be his interpreter with creatures, I find that it's rather the opposite... Humanly speaking, the most privileged are those whom God keeps for himself alone. As for the souls he puts on display in this way, they almost need a miracle of his grace to preserve their freshness.”@Source pre.@ She also said to me: “You envy me! but you know very well that I am very poor! It is the good Lord who gives me everything I need as I go » @Source pre.@

 

At the time of her death, people were speaking before her of the privileges of which her soul had been the object, she replied humbly: "I think that I am perhaps the fruit of the desires of an unknown soul, to which I will owe all the thanks [769] to what the good Lord has given me” @DEA 15-7@. She had previously expressed the same thoughts in the Story of her soul: "All creatures," she writes, "can lean towards 'the little flower', admire it, overwhelm it with their praises, that cannot add a only drop of false joy to the true joy she savors in her heart, seeing herself what she is in the eyes of God, a poor little nothingness, nothing more” @MSC 2,1@

 

[Session 37: - August 31, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[772] [Continuation of the response to the forty-sixth request]:

This humility that the Servant of God practiced so well, she taught to the novices. What I am going to say may seem childish, but it is to give an idea of ​​the practical sense with which she seized the slightest opportunity to exercise us in virtue. So she taught me, for example, to put our lantern on the last board intended for this purpose. She also taught me not to kneel higher than the sister opposite me; but rather a little below, because it was more humble.

 

Here are some of the specific instructions she gave me: “To be humble - she told me - you have to want everyone to command you. When you are asked for a service or when you do a job with sick people who are not pleasant, you must consider yourself a little slave to whom everyone has the right to command” @Source pre.@

 

[773] A few weeks before her death, on July 22, 1897, she wrote me this note in pencil in which she comments on a verse from Psalm CXL: pleasing to God. It is less bitter to be broken by a sinner than by a righteous one; but out of compassion for sinners, to obtain their conversion, I ask you, O my God, to be broken by the righteous souls who surround me. I ask you that the oil of praise, so sweet by nature, does not soften my head by making me believe that I possess virtues that I have hardly practiced several times” @LT 259@. In 1894, when I was still in the world, she wrote to me: “Jesus is happy that you feel your weakness, it is he who imprints in your soul feelings of mistrust of itself... The apostles, without Our Lord, worked a long time and caught no fish... Jesus wanted to prove to them that he alone can give us something” @LT 161@. Another time, I said to her: "I am in a state of mind where it seems to me that I no longer think." - "It does not matter, she said to me - as long as you are humble, you will be happy!" You are very small, remember that, and when we are very small we do not have beautiful thoughts: the good Lord guesses the beautiful thoughts and the ingenious inventions that we would like to have, he is a father and we are small children » @CSG@. "You see - she said to me again, if we make all our little efforts, hope everything from the mercy of the good God and not from our miserable works: we will be rewarded as much as the greatest saints" @Source pre @. She claimed that it was a good thing when our victories were not [774] complete because, instead of thinking about them with pleasure, the memory of them humiliated us.

 

[Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

The Servant of God always practiced the virtues with heroism because she distinguished herself, even from the most valiant, by the degree and the continuity of her efforts. This is clearly seen by all that I have answered so far.

 

Answer to the forty-eighth request]:

I have always found everything very well regulated in her. She had no stiff virtue at all. Her business was very pleasant and she discharged all her functions with great freedom of spirit.

 

[Answer to the forty-ninth request]:

 

I owe it to the truth to say that the numbers 239, 240, 241, 242 and 244 of the Ar

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

ticles seem to me imprinted with exaggeration and present as frequent and habitual phenomena which were only very rare in his life. For my part, I would prefer that she not be beatified rather than not give her portrait as I believe to be exact in conscience. Besides, the frequency of extraordinary supernatural gifts in her life would have been contrary to what she says were the designs of God on her soul. His life was to be simple to serve as a model for "little souls." One day when our venerable mother foundress had spoken to her something completely in keeping with the needs of her soul, the Servant of God wanted to know [775] what revelation Mother Geneviève had had. She assured him that she hadn't received any. The Servant of God said on this subject: “Then my admiration was even greater, seeing to what an eminent degree Jesus lived in her soul and made her act and speak. Oh! that holiness seems to me the truest, the holiest, it is that which I desire, for there is no illusion in it.”@MSA 78,1@ She often repeated that she wanted to remain small so that weak souls, seeing in it a love of God easy to realize, do not be frightened in the way of good. This is how she clearly said towards the end of her life: "that there was to be nothing but very ordinary in all her life, and that only bones would be found of her so that the little souls have nothing to envy" @DEA 8-7@

 

During her illness, Mother Agnès of Jesus asked her this question: “Do you have the intuition of your approaching death? she answered: “O my mother, intuitions!... If you only knew how poor I am! I only know what you know... I only guess by what I see and feel” @DEA 24-9@.

 

[776] [Continued response to same request]:

 

It is true that the Servant of God had spoken of her death two years in advance; but she clearly says “it's what was going on in her soul” @HA 12@. So it was an inference based on the inner work that Jesus was doing in her. Although she had said several times words that seemed inspired, so much did they adapt to states of mind that she had to ignore, she wrote herself about one of these singularly timely words: "Sans m' to see it, because I don't have the gift of reading souls, I had spoken a truly inspired word" @MSC 26,1@.

 

Subject to this reservation of reducing to just proportions the extraordinary supernatural gifts which were rare in the life of Sister Thérèse, here are however some facts which suppose a supernatural intervention outside the common ways of grace.

At the age of a few weeks, suffering from the disease of the intestines which had kidnapped our two little brothers and condemned by two doctors, she was cured by the intercession of Saint Joseph. One day when my mother, having gone to a first mass, had left little Thérèse in her big bed, forgetting to put the cradle near to prevent her from falling, for she was tossing about a lot while sleeping, she found her on her return sitting on a chair, without it being [777] possible for him to understand how the event had occurred.

At the age of ten, she was instantly cured by the Blessed Virgin of a serious and painful illness. As she regained her health, she was blessed with a vision from the Queen of Heaven. This healing is told very exactly on pages 48 and 49 of the story of a soul @MSA 30,1-2@. I was 14 then. Seeing her looking at the statue of Mary, her eyes radiant as if in ecstasy, I had no doubt that the Blessed Virgin had appeared to her. I was so sure of it that I don't remember ever begging her to know something that I knew as well as she did.

 

I consider it an absolutely supernatural grace that she was able to paint, without ever having learned, the mural of the oratory, composed of a group of little angels each having an attribution. This work, which had to be executed in a place so dark that an expert would not have succeeded, is not a copy, but an original composition, which is absolutely stunning.

 

She was also the object of a delicacy from heaven regarding one of her desires: the first summer she spent in Carmel, she felt a great deprivation at not seeing any more wildflowers; she hadn't said anything about it to anyone; but the door outside found on the window, placed by an unknown hand, a superb rural wreath which she hastened to pass inside the monastery: it was made up of precisely the flowers that Sister Thérèse had desired, and we destined it for the [778] statue of the Child Jesus for which the Servant of God was in charge.

 

I was in the world when Sister Thérèse had the “theft of the spirit” which lasted eight days, during which she lived as if far from earth, and I did not learn of this favor until after her death, by Mother Agnès of Jesus.

 

As for the wound of love that she felt while making the Way of the Cross, after her offering to merciful Love, I do not remember that she ever spoke to me about it: I also learned of it by mother Agnes of Jesus.

 

Among the graces of a prophetic nature, with which she was favored, the most important was the vision she had, in her childhood, of my father, aged and bent with age, wearing a thick veil over his head. This vision came true step by step, because at the beginning of his illness, our father constantly wanted to veil his face. But the Servant of God did not then understand the meaning of this vision which was not revealed to her until after our father's death. I was absent during this vision, but I often heard it told by my sisters.

 

The Servant of God had said that after her death we would have daily communion, which happened, because the prejudices of Mother Marie de Gonzague

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

immediately fell as she had said. In 1894, a month before I entered Carmel, she expressed her presentiment of her death to me in this way: "Come, we will suffer together... and then Jesus will come, he will take one of us and the others will remain for a little time in exile and tears »@LT 167@. [779] The event realized this word, but I cannot believe however that she had a true revelation on this subject.

I heard him many times and in very varied forms promise to "make a shower of roses fall from the sky" @DEA 9-6@, express his desire and his assurance of doing good after his death, describe what it would be well, by what means she would call souls to God by teaching them her way of trust and total surrender. She even promised us, her novices, not to leave us in error if her way was wrong and to come and undeceive us. This last promise is related to the words that the Servant of God said in an apparition to Reverend Mother Carmela of Gallipoli: “My path is sure and I was not mistaken in following it”

 

It seems, and I believe it, that at the end of her life she had a presentiment of her glorification. With charming simplicity, she gave me to keep the remains of her fingernails, the small skins that had come off her lips, and even the eyelashes that had fallen on her handkerchief. She also helped us pick up the rose petals with which she had stroked her crucifix.

 

As for the words spoken in the last days of her life: "You know very well that you are caring for a little saint", I believe I heard it directly, because my sisters and I hardly left her, and I who was a nurse, I I left her even less than the others; however, I did not write it down in my notebook and it could be that I only learned of it from my sisters.

In connection with these allusions to his coming glorification' [780] I have noted, in reading the lives of the saints, two analogous facts; there must be many more:

 

1° we read in the life of Saint Benedict Labre “that he predicted a gathering of people to venerate his body.”

 

2° we also read in the life of Saint Felix of Cantalice, that he said to people who kissed his clothes: “That, my daughters, satisfy your devotion; a day will soon come when this garment will be treasured, and all will run for a piece of it.”

She foresaw that almost nothing of her would be found after her death. As I said to him: “You loved the good Lord so much! He will do wonders for you, we will find your body free from corruption", she went on quickly: "Oh! no, not that marvel! envy me; so expect to find only a skeleton of me" @DEA 8-7@. This was confirmed on the day of his exhumation, September 6, 1910.

 

A few days before her death, she said to me and of this I am absolutely sure: “After me, there will be a harvest of young people, in Carmel” @Source pre.@. In truth, in the years immediately following his death, only old nuns died in Carmel; but we can believe that since 1905 (8 years after his death) this prophecy has been fulfilled, and we see a real harvest of young people and the best.

 

[781] [Response to the fiftieth request]:

She never did, to my knowledge, any miracles during her life.

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

The Servant of God wrote the story of her life, poems and letters.

She wrote the story of her life out of obedience to Mother Agnes of Jesus, prioress, and she recorded the memories of her early childhood in it to please us.

 

[Do you know if when writing her text the Servant of God foresaw its future publication?]

Certainly she did not even suppose that this account could ever be published: if she had only suspected it, she would not have put this simplicity and this abandonment into recounting the minor events of her childhood.

In the composition of the second part, made at the request of Mother Marie de Gonzague, when the Servant of God was already very ill, she foresaw, I believe, not that these notes would be published as they were, but that they would be would use, by retouching them, to publish a book which would make known by which way she had gone to the good God and would commit souls to follow the same direction.

 

[Answer to the fifty-second request]:

When I entered Carmel, in September 1894, the Servant of God was already receiving care for her throat which was very inflamed; but her illness did not take on a more alarming character until the month of April 1896. She hid from us [782] her sisters, the haemorrhage on Maundy Thursday, "the first murmur which announced to her the arrival of the Bridegroom @MSC 5,1@ and we only found out later. She kept her secret so well that, despite her pallor, we noticed nothing, because she followed community life in everything, despite her strictness, whether in the refectory, in the recitation of the long offices of this week and strenuous manual labor.

After this accident of April 4, she was seized during the year with a persistent cough. She was then employed in the sacristy, then she was relieved of this office and, at her request,

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

They put her in the linen room under the direction of Sister Marie de Saint Joseph, the poor sister with whom no one could stand. As medication, she underwent a series of frictions which made her very tired, blisters and suction cups, treatments with tincture of iodine, creosote which was not taken, as now, in capsules, but pure and by the spoonful. . I can still see her at the appointed time going to take her remedy without ever forgetting it, because it was unpleasant.

Before the end of Lent 1897, she fell ill with fever every day, unable to digest anything. She then underwent several series of gunshots. On July 6 of this year, she had new haemorrhages, and, shortly after, left her cell to go down to the infirmary, where she received Extreme Unction on the 30 of the same month.

 

The last weeks of her illness were particularly painful, the physical suffering she endured being excruciating, for to the disease of the chest was added tuberculosis in the intestines which brought on gangrene, while sores formed, caused by her extreme thinness, ailments which we were powerless to relieve and which remained unrelieved because Mother Marie de Gonzague left the patient for a month without a doctor.

I approached my dear little sister very closely during her illness, because, being an assistant in the infirmary, I was entrusted with her care. I slept in a cell adjoining his infirmary and only left it for office hours and some care to give to other patients. During this time, Mother Agnès of Jesus replaced me and wrote down all the words of the Servant of God in a notebook as she spoke them. It is thanks to these certain documents that we have preserved the memory of facts which are as vivid as on the first day.

 

[Session 38: - September 1915, 9, at 2 a.m., and at XNUMX a.m. of the afternoon]

[786] [Continued from the response to the fifty-second request]:

The last months that the Servant of God spent on earth were the echo of her life, she never denied for a single moment her tender abandonment to God, her patience, her humility. His face had an expression of indefinable peace. One felt that his soul had arrived where the desires of a lifetime had led it, directed towards a single goal now achieved. Like Our Lord, before expiring, she said to me one day in a serious tone: “All is well, all is accomplished, it is love alone that counts” @CSG @

[787] As for her works, she paid no attention to them and said humbly with her usual charming grace: “My protectors in heaven are those who stole it, like the holy Innocents and the good thief. The great saints have earned it by their works; but

I, who am only a very small soul, wanted to have it by trickery, a trick of love which will open the entrance to me and to poor sinners. It is the Holy Spirit who encourages me since he says in Proverbs: 'O little one, learn finesse from me'” @*Prov.1, 4@ and CSG @

 

But while affirming that she had no works, she tells us that "since the age of 3, she had refused nothing to the good God" @CSG @. I exclaimed, "You see very well that you are a saint." "No - she replied quickly - I am not a saint, I have never done the actions of saints, I am a very small soul that the good Lord has filled with graces... you will see in heaven that I say TRUE! » @DEA 4-8@

She said to me: “Our Lord used to answer the mother of the sons of Zebedee: To be on my right and on my left, it is for those to whom my Father has destined it. I imagine that these places of choice refused to great saints, to martyrs, will be the share of little children “@CSG @.

And as I had just quoted him the words of a saint: "Even if I had lived long years in penance, as long as I have a quarter of an hour left, a breath of life, I will be afraid of damning myself. “, she resumed immediately: “Me, I cannot share this fear, I am too small, little children are not damned” @DEA 10-7@.

 

[788] This soul who was, by choice, very small and very young, had the maturity of an old man, following, without appearing to suspect it, the rough road to Calvary. Her desires for heaven were calm, tempered as they were by her ordeal against the faith that did not leave her. And yet despite these terrible doubts about the existence of another life, if she wished death, it was so that, her chains being broken, she could freely "make love loved" by divulging the "little way" by all the universe. One day, when I was reading her a passage on the beatitude of heaven (it was July 22, 1897, two months before her death), she interrupted me to say: "That is not what attracts me, it's love; to love, to be loved, and to come back to earth to make love loved!...” @HA 12@If there had a sky, of which she was convinced, she "wanted to spend it doing good on earth" @DEA 17-7@.

 

If God granted her the object of her desires “she would make a shower of roses fall.”@DEA 9-6@ One day, responding to one of these reflections, I said to her: “So you believe that you will save more of souls in heaven? — "Yes, I believe so," she replied, "the proof is that the good Lord is making me die, I who so desire to save souls for him" @CSG @. Another time: “You will watch us from above,

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

right?”, I said to her.—“No— she resumed quickly—I will come down” @DEA 9-7@

When the sky of her soul was a little less dark and she glimpsed the dawn of eternal light, her desire to see God was all the more selfless. She said: “If the good Lord made this proposal to me: if you die now you will have great glory, if you die at 80, your glory will be much less, [789] but it will give me much more pleasure, oh so, I wouldn't hesitate to answer: 'My God, I want to die at 80, because I don't seek my glory but only your pleasure' @DEA 16-7@

 

She wrote along the same lines, further expressing her desire to die of love: "I really want to be sick all my life if it pleases God and I even consent to my life being very long, the only grace that I desire is that she be broken by love” @MSC 8,1-2@

This death of love she had sung of in all her poems; she had lived on love in order to obtain it and still lived on it, love exerting itself as in the past in total abandonment in the midst of suffering. She agreed that "when she prayed to heaven to come to her aid, that was when she was most neglected by it", and as people were surprised: "But I am not discouraged—she went on— , I turn to the good God, to all the saints, and I thank him all the same: I believe that they want to see how far I will push my hope... No, it is not in vain that the word of Job entered my heart: 'Even if God were to kill me, I would still hope in him! » @DEA 7-7@

 

She says again: "I asked the Blessed Virgin last night to finish coughing so that Sister Geneviève can sleep, but I added: 'If you don't do it, I will love you even more' @DEA 15-8@ .

Although the ever-increasing external sufferings came to join the trials of her soul, she wrote: “I cannot say: the anguish of death surrounded me; but I cry out in my gratitude: I have gone down [790] into the valley of the shadow of death, yet I fear no evil, because you are with me, Lord! (August 3) @LT 262@

True to her way of abandonment, she didn't want to complain. However, as in the excess of her sufferings she moaned and breathed with difficulty, saying unconsciously at each aspiration: “I suffer! I am suffering! », which seemed to help her catch her breath, she said to me: «Every time I say 'I suffer', you will answer: so much the better! this is what I would like to say to finish my thought, but I don't have the strength" (August 21)

As the statue of the Blessed Virgin who had smiled upon her in her childhood had been installed opposite her bed, she could no longer look at it without crying, and to give her divine Mother a last testimony of her filial love, she wrote, with a trembling hand, on the back of an image of Our Lady of Victories which was dear to him: "O Mary, if I were the queen of heaven and you were Thérèse, I would like to be Thérèse so that you be the Queen of Heaven!” These lines are the last she wrote here (September 8) @PRI 21@

 

To her crucifix she gave as a mark of tenderness to caress it with flowers. One day when she was very attentive, touching the crown of thorns and the nails, I asked her: “What are you doing there!” Then, confused at being surprised, she answered me: "I unnail him and I remove his crown of thorns."

One of the last nights, I found her with her hands clasped and her eyes fixed on the sky: “What are you doing like this—I said to her—you should try to sleep! » — «I cannot [791] ‑‑ she answered —, so I pray. "And what do you say to Jesus?" "—" I don't say anything to him, I love him! » @CSG @

His prayer during illness was also heroic patience. She was so gentle and so amiable that it would have been easy to mistake her real darkness of soul and even her state of health. One day when I saw her smile, I asked her why, she replied: “It's because I feel a very sharp pain in my side; I have become accustomed to always welcoming suffering.”

Although often the visits she received from one or the other were importunate, she never showed the slightest annoyance. Her patience and her courage were unalterable, and without sparing her peace of mind, she continued her mission with the novices, taking them up to the end without regard to the resurgence of the harm that this struggle caused her. She also endured, with the same sweetness, several very painful scenes from Mother Marie de Gonzague. She didn't ask for any relief either, and took what we were willing to give her. At night she only rang me at the last extremity or, to put it better, never, waiting for me to come on my own, which I did, waking up naturally (and I dare say it was extraordinary, because I got up three times at regular intervals, going back to sleep immediately afterwards, which is completely against my nature—I always have a lot of trouble falling asleep).

The last night she spent on earth, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart and I stayed with her despite her entreaties to rest, as usual, in an adjoining room. Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart having [792] dozed off after giving him something to drink, she remained holding her small glass in her hand until one of us woke up.

 

His peace was serene; the preparations for its last hour and its aftermath rejoiced her. This is how she had the crate of lilies brought to her, which was to be

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

adorn her coffin when she would be exposed to the choir, and the bottle brush which would be used after her death. The Servant of God did not suffer any external attacks from the devil, except once when she was the object of his assaults all night long; she revealed it to me. In the morning, I found her pale and disfigured by pain and anguish. Our Lord had asked him to suffer for a soul that was designated to him and the devil wanted to oppose it. Strongly impressed, I lit the blessed candle and shortly afterwards calm was restored to her, without however her new physical suffering having been taken away from her.

 

It was on September 30, at 7:20 in the evening, that the Servant of God breathed her last. In the afternoon, she felt strange pains in all the limbs. Then placing one of her arms on the shoulder of Mother Agnes of Jesus and giving me the other to support, she remained thus for a few moments. At that moment, three o'clock struck and we could not help feeling a certain emotion, because it seemed to us the image of Jesus on the cross.

 

Shortly after, the agony began, resembling it also, by its anguishes and its pains, with that of Jesus. She said, “O my God! O sweet Virgin Mary! come [793] to my aid! The vase is full to the brim... no, I would never have believed that one could suffer so much!... never! never!... O my God, as much as you want, but have pity on me! » @DEA 30-9@

 

These complaints, all stamped with perfect conformity to the will of God, were heartbreaking. As for Jesus, God seemed to have abandoned her.... when, suddenly, her breathing became gasping, a cold sweat beaded on her face, impregnating her clothes, she trembled... The community was called; the poor little martyr received her with a sweet smile; then, clutching her crucifix in her failing hands, she again gave herself up to suffering; but spoke no more.

 

During her illness, when we talked together about her last look, she said that if the good Lord left her free, this final farewell would be for her prioress, Mother Marie de Gonzague. Now, during her agony, I wiped the sweat from her brow, she smiled at me with an ineffable smile which made us all shudder, and raised me a long and penetrating gaze; then lowering her eyes, she looked for our Mother Prioress, but her gaze had lost its sparkle.

 

[794 [Response to fifty-second request continued]:

 

Mother Marie de Gonzague, believing that the agony was going to continue still further, had the community withdrawn. It was a cruel ordeal for the dying little girl who saw the moment of her deliverance delayed. But faithful to her perfect abandon, she murmured in a soft and plaintive voice: "Well!... let's... let's go... Oh, I wouldn't want to suffer less!" »

A moment later, the sweet victim suddenly felt life abandoning her. She says looking at her crucifix: “Oh!... I love him!... my God, I... love you...!!!...” @DEA 30-9@

These were his last words. No sooner had she said them than she sank back on the pillow, her head tilted to the right; but, as called by a celestial voice, she straightened up suddenly with firmness, and staring at a point in space a little above the statue of Mary, she remained thus for a long time (a few minutes), her eye irradiated by ecstasy.

I thought that we had witnessed her judgment: on the one hand, she had, as the Holy Gospel says, “was found worthy to appear standing before the Son of man” @*Luke XXI, 36@; and on the other, she saw that the generosity with which she was about to be showered infinitely surpassed her immense desires, for to the expression of astonishment was added another: she seemed unable to bear the sight of so much love, like someone who undergoes an assault repeated several times, who wants to fight and who, in his weakness, remains the happy vanquished.

 

[Answer to the fifty-third request]:

 

After the Servant of God's death, a reflection of eternal bliss was imprinted on her face; she had a celestial smile, but what I found most extraordinary was that from her lowered eyelids radiated such an intensity of life and happiness that it was no longer death at all; I have never seen that since on any other death.

His mortal remains were exposed to the choir; her forehead crowned with roses as is customary. Many people came to see her and make her touch objects, but there was nothing extraordinary in that: it was the custom, and it was natural that, being from the city, and still having her family there, this competition should take place.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fourth request]:

 

His burial took place on October 4, 1897. Many priests attended. Nevertheless the procession of the faithful which led it to the cemetery of the city was very small: everything was modest in this procession. It was placed in the new cemetery of the Carmelites and in [796] occupied the first place. A wooden cross was placed on her grave, with this inscription: "Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, 1873-1897." Mother Agnes of Jesus, who had painted the cross, had first inscribed these words on it:

"How I want, O my God, to carry your fire far away, remember"!

@PN 24@But this inscription was erased by a workman who wore this cross when the paint was still fresh. Mother Agnès of Jesus saw there an indication of heaven and replaced the scrambled inscription with this other which has appeared there ever since: "I want to pass my heaven

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

to do good on earth”, an inscription which she had not dared to print at first out of too great a discretion.

The remains of the Servant of God were exhumed under the presidency of the Bishop of Bayeux on September 6, 1910, and placed not far from the old tomb in a lead coffin.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fifth request]:

I did not notice anything extraordinary in the funeral honors paid to the Servant of God. Nothing more was done for her than for the other nuns.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

I never leave my convent and I only know by hearsay what happens at the Servant of God's tomb. We are told that there are always people there and that people pray there with remarkable reverence. People [797] come to this pilgrimage, not only from the city and its surroundings, but from all the countries of the world.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

As I said, everything was very simple in the life of the Servant of God. This humility and this simplicity meant that a good part of his merits went unnoticed. Personally, I saw that she was a saint, and I kept all her letters as treasures. However, the affection I had for her played a large part in the care I took to preserve these memories. When I received them, I certainly had no idea of ​​the value they were to acquire through the Servant of God's reputation after her death. Here are some remarks made during the life of the Servant of God.

 

As a child, little Thérèse looked celestial; my mother noticed it herself. She wrote it in letters that date from the earliest years of Thérèse. A little later, in Lisieux, several people expressed their astonishment on this subject.

In the Carmel, from the very first days of my entry, Sister Saint-Pierre sent for me to her infirmary, saying that she had something very important to entrust to me. She made me sit down on a little bench opposite her and told me in detail about all the charity that Sister Thérèse had shown her. Then, with a solemn tone, she said to me mysteriously: "I keep everything I think about it... but this child will go far... If I told you all this, it is because you are young and that you can [798] tell others in the future, for such acts of virtue must not remain under wraps.”

 

Another former (Sister Marie Emmanuel) said to me: “Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus has such maturity and so much virtue that I would like her to be prioress if she were over 22.”

Two other alumnae used her advice. Mother Hermance of the Heart of Jesus had great esteem for her and during Sister Thérèse's illness, as I approached her at all times in my capacity as a nurse, she passed me little notes to give her and constantly made me do oral commissions where I could judge the high opinion she had of her virtue.

I have often heard that Father Youf, our chaplain at the time, greatly appreciated the Servant of God and had great confidence in her. Likewise, our superior, Monsieur Delatroëtte, seemed to think highly of him.

Our sacristan, at the same time gardener of the convent, said that, although she was veiled, he recognized her by her grave and religious bearing.

Father Faucon, deputizing for the sick chaplain, having entered to confess her shortly before her death, returned very moved, saying that “she was confirmed in grace.”

 

Doctor de Cornière was greatly edified by his patience and his celestial smile in the midst of the very acute suffering of his illness; likewise our sisters [799] who came in on Sundays to look after her during mass. I am not talking about me and my sisters who have always considered her a saint, although we were far from anticipating the luster that her reputation for holiness would later take on.

After the Servant of God's death, instead of sending a simple letter to the monasteries of the order, as is customary, her autobiography (The Story of a Soul) was printed, revised by the reverends Mondaye Premonstratensian fathers. It was a wildfire. The edition was sold out immediately, and the urgent requests to republish flowed: the editions followed each other at short intervals. What attracted souls to this reading was the doctrine of Sister Thérèse and her way of going to God. What emerges from all the letters received on this subject is that she appeared as a providential saint for our unhappy times when faith and love are disappearing from the earth. Since this first impulse opinion has not changed on the value of this book. All souls of good will are touched by it, both learned and ignorant, mothers and nuns, unbelievers and priests. They all find there the hidden manna appropriate to their aspirations; it is always this childish spirit of the Servant of God that attracts them, and we would like through her glorification to see as soon as possible sanctioned by the Church "her way of abandonment and holy littleness."

 

This perfect conformity of his lessons and his examples with the needs of souls is the cause of the extraordinary [800] diffusion of his History, as [ieknown?] now throughout the whole world.

I am not speaking of the many bishops who come to Carmel to respectfully visit the cell of the humble Carmelite, nor of the constantly renewed pilgrimages to his tomb.

I am not responsible in Carmel for receiving and verifying correspondence; I only know what happens by what is said about it in recreation. Our mother then gives us particularly interesting news concerning the Servant of God. The volumes entitled "Rain of Roses" have made known the most remarkable facts.

Here is a small statistic of the objects sent to Carmel as a token of veneration and gratitude towards

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

Sister Therese. Being responsible for collecting them, I was able to count them.

During the first Trial, in September 1910, I said that I had received 26 marble slabs; I now have 321. They are all sent spontaneously without any action on our part. As they are in the form of ex-voto, we keep them locked up inside the monastery.

Likewise, I burn lamps and candles in front of the image of the Blessed Virgin which is near Sister Thérèse's cell. We have never encouraged these shipments, quite the contrary, because it bothers us a lot; despite this, we are overwhelmed; here is the progress of these requests:

[801] In 1910, the average number of candles requested was 19 per month; in 1915 the average was 344 per month; during the last month of August, we received 620.

For lamps, we arrive at an average of nine lamps per 24 hours.

They also give me a lot of ex‑voto to collect: I received 13 decorations including five from various orders, 2 war crosses, 6 crosses of the Legion of Honor. One was sent to us directly from the battlefront, with this single address: “Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Carmel convent, June 8, 1915.” We also received a lot of jewellery, precious stones, lace, etc., swords, bayonets, engagement rings and all sorts of objects were brought to us to be placed for a moment in the cell of the Servant of God.

We received five pairs of crutches, not counting the many that are placed on the grave. The written petitions addressed personally to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus are so numerous that they can only be placed in her cell for a short time. I filled a large bag 1m.30 high with it; all this without counting the countless letters and photographs placed on his grave.

 

[Session 39: - September 2, 1915, at 9 a.m.]

[805][Response to the fifty-eighth request]:

I really only know of praise formulated to the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth question]: I will speak only of the miracles of which I have had some direct knowledge; many more are recounted in "Raining Roses." After the death of the Servant of God, the attitude of the sisters who had been hostile to her changed to veneration. There were none more eager to keep his memories and his portraits than Sister Saint-Vincent de Paul, this lay sister who had made him suffer: she said she was indebted to him for her recovery from cerebral anemia, and came to find us all one after the other to tell us about the act of humility that the Servant of God had made concerning the flowers adorning Mother Geneviève's coffin. Another sister composed a prayer to invoke him every day. Mother Marie de Gonzague improved noticeably; she received a signal grace in front of a portrait representing Thérèse as a child; she could no longer look at this image without crying. I witnessed this emotion and she said to me through her tears: “Only I can know what I owe her! Oh! what she said to me... everything she reproached me for!... but so gently!....» Other sisters received various favors including several [806] emanations of celestial perfumes.

 

For me, I received some, but above all interior graces. Among the outer ones the most important is when I saw in the sky a luminous circle described by a flame which seemed to be alive. This luminous sign left the right side of the moon which was in its full, described a circle below, then returned to the left side, leaving me a very lively and very deep inner grace which gave me the sudden intelligence of many things. what she had told me before. It was 15 days after his death; I remained convinced that it was the soul of my little sister that had manifested itself to mine. On some occasions his presence manifested itself to me through perfumes; cases are rare and always underline an interior grace or a particular circumstance. Thus, on February 5, 1912, the anniversary of my taking the habit, the day on which the Diocesan Process was filed in Rome, I was awakened at night by a very strong smell of mock orange, and I heard hovering near me like a dove landed on my pillow, but I did not see her. On March 17 of this year 1915, the day of the opening of the Apostolic Process and the anniversary of my taking the veil, on entering in the morning to open the window of her cell, I found her perfumed with roses. These very rare cases, as I said, happen when I least think about them, and in five years they haven't happened more than five or six times.

 

We were brought to the monastery from the earth taken from under the first coffin after the exhumation and enclosed in slag bags. These bags were taken up to the attic [807] where they were left to dry as they were. They had been there for a long time, first moldy from excess humidity, then cracked by excess heat, when one day, passing by (it was Wednesday, March 22, 1911) I felt exhale a delicious smell of iris roots. I thought that this land was not honored enough and that Sister Thérèse was asking me to take care of it, but I did nothing nonetheless. A month later, Saturday April 22 and Monday April 24, same fumes. Another sister having smelled them in the same way, we took care of the earth which was removed from the bags, pounded by two men for several days and finally collected with honor. A plank of the coffin was also, immediately after the exhumation, identified by the smell of incense which it spread and which several sisters perceived. As for me, I do not enjoy this favor.

The Servant of God had said that she would watch over our novitiate which was her little nursery of souls consecrated to merciful Love. She sent numerous recruits there; but also she called to heaven many of the most deserving

 

WITNESS 8: Geneviève de Sainte‑Thérèse OCD

 

aunts. The first of these little victims was his cousin, Sister Marie of the Eucharist, who had a predestined death on April 14, 1905, at the age of 34; then it was Reverend Mother Marie-Ange of the Child Jesus, who was prioress of the monastery and died at the age of 28, after having taken the first steps to obtain diocesan instruction in the Cause of Sister Thérèse; finally, there was the very honored Mother [808] Isabelle of the Sacred Heart, sub-prioress, who died at the age of 32, whose works cast a new light on her who inspired them: admirable souls who did not stop here. down just long enough to trace a luminous furrow there, following their angelic model.

Recently, as I was with our mother, she took me into the parlor to hear a soldier recount an apparition of Sister Thérèse, by whom he had been favored on the battlefield and who had converted him. His story was touching and he did it with an accent of great veracity. This soldier is called Auguste Cousinard. I heard the same, on July 15, 1915, the story of Private Roger Lefèvre of the 224th infantry, 29 years old. He too was favored, on the battlefield, by an apparition of the Servant of God, who raised him up while he was bathed in her blood. "I would like - he said - that all those who do not believe, have an apparition like this: it changes your minds!.» And as they asked her if she was beautiful: “Oh! yes — he went on — much more beautiful than in his pictures.” I was further involved, albeit indirectly, in another favor received by a soldier. It was September 30, 1914, at the start of the war. I had gotten into the idea that on this anniversary of her death the Servant of God would make some sign to guide the troops. At seven o'clock in the evening, I went up to the attic; it seemed to me that at that moment, which was the very hour of Sister Thérèse's death, I was going to see on the horizon a sign that I had been heard. I took pity on our mother who said: “Poor little one, how can [809] her hope for that!.” Of course I saw nothing; but I had none the less confidence. And now in June 1915, eight months after this prayer, we incidentally received from Father Charles, parish priest of Bagnolet (Seine), the news that one of the soldiers from his parish, André Pelletier, of the 43rd Infantry colonial, had seen, precisely on the previous September 30 and at 7 o'clock in the evening, when they were going to attack a wood, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who invited them to walk forward. This soldier was apparently the only one to see her; he looked several times, thinking he was the plaything of a hallucination: but it was really her, he recognized her and was full of confidence at her appearance. The position was indeed taken against all the forecasts, and the soldier who was very far from the good God, was converted.

 

[Answer to the sixtieth to sixty-fifth questions inclusive]:

Apart from the facts in which I was directly interested and which I reported in the previous question, I have not studied the reports sent to Carmel enough to describe with precision the many miraculous facts that have been made known to us. I leave that to those who have these documents in hand.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I don't see anything to add or change to my answers. [810]

 

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. ‑ This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

 

Signatum: SISTER GENEVIEVE OF SAINTE THERESE, rci, witness, I have testified as above according to the truth, I ratify and confirm it.

Witness 9 - Thérèse of Saint-Augustin OCD

See the presentation of the witness, Julie‑Marie‑Elisa Leroyer (1875‑1929), vol. I, p. 396. It should be remembered that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus felt a strong natural antipathy for her and that, despite this, she succeeded in making her believe just the opposite, as a result of her smiling kindness. See Manuscript C, fol. 1 3v‑ 1 4r. The sister, of course, is not named there, but it is about her.

The deposition which will follow is almost twice as extensive as that of the ordinary Informative Trial and it has surely been very well studied. Many traits are highly suggestive. Let us cite two by way of example: “What sustained her in her interior life was the presence of God, which never left her, as she herself admitted simply. This habitual recollection was reflected in her countenance and made a strong impression on the sisters, even during recreation” (p.861)). It should be noted that the witness particularly notes Sister Thérèse's spirit of recollection during the priorate of Mother Marie de Gonzague, a period of suffering (cf. p. 830).

 

A good part of the deposition concerns Thérèse's reputation for holiness after her death and the wonders attributed to her.

Witness testified 2-6 September 1915 in 40 sessionsrd-42nd (pp. 813‑856 of our Public Copy).

 

[Session 40: - September 2, 1915, at 2 a.m. of the afternoon]

[813][Witness responds correctly to first request].

[Response to second request]:

My name is Julie‑Marie‑Elisa Leroyer, in religion Sister Thérèse of Saint‑Augustin, Carmelite professed from the monastery of Lisieux. I was born on September 5, 1856, in La Cressonnière, diocese of Bayeux, to Louis Leroyer, merchant, and Elisa Valentin.

 

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

[Answer to the sixth request]:

[814] I will naively say what I know, no one imposed my testimony on me.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

 

I did not know the Servant of God before she entered Carmel. But from her entry until her death, not only was I her companion in religion, but I had fairly intimate relations with her because our souls understood each other. I did not seek to know it by reading documents. I will only say what I observed myself.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I have always had a great affection for the Servant of God, because of the qualities and virtues that I had observed in her during her life. Since her death, my devotion has increased by seeing the graces obtained through her intercession. I very much desire his beatification, first for the glory of God, and then for the good of souls, because I believe it will be a means of making the good God loved.

 

Answer from the ninth to the eleventh request inclusive]:

I know nothing directly about what preceded the entry of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus into the Carmel.

 

[Answer to the twelfth request]:

Thérèse Martin entered the Carmel of Lisieux in [815] April 1888. She was then fifteen and a half years old; I myself, at that time, had eleven years of profession. She took the habit on January 1, 2; she made her profession on September 10, 1889 and took the veil on September 8 of the same year. She took care of the formation of the novices without however having the title of mistress of novices that the mother prioress Marie de Gonzague had reserved for herself. She also exercised various functions successively as seamstress, portress, refectory, sacristan. One remains in the novitiate normally for another three years after profession; but, at his request, the Servant of God remained there all her life.

I can testify that in all her jobs the Servant of God always behaved in a particularly edifying way. [Answer to the thirteenth and fourteenth questions]:

 

I have never been able to ascertain that she failed in any way in any of her obligations as a Christian, as a nun or in any of her duties as a state; and until the end of her life I considered her a model of all virtues.

 

WITNESS 9: Thérèse of Saint-Augustin OCD

 

[Answer to the fifteenth and sixteenth questions]:

Nothing could distract the Servant of God from her recollection during holy mass, the divine office, oration; if she heard a noise, she did not pay attention to it, or if she could not avoid being troubled by it, she knew how to make a great use of it for her soul. Her union with Our Lord was habitual, even in the midst of the most distracting occupations.

 

[Response to the seventeenth request]:

The Servant of God's love for Our Lord was manifested in great devotion to the mysteries of the Holy Childhood and the Passion. The outrages, of which the Holy Face was particularly the object, touched her deeply and excited her compassion in preference. She liked to pluck roses on the Calvary in the garden or on the feet of her crucifix, because she saw there the image of what she wanted to be herself: a soul given over to divine good pleasure, in order to satisfy her least desires. She also had very frequent recourse to the Sacred Heart.

The office of sacristan which gave the Servant of God the privilege of touching the sacred vessels, the linen which had been used for the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice was for her the opportunity to live closer to Our Lord. She acquitted herself with great respect of this function which she felt should be performed by the angels. It was a stimulus to work with more ardor to become each day less unworthy of the precious share which had fallen to him.

 

[Answer to the eighteenth and to the nineteenth question]:

The Servant of God aspired to unite herself as closely as possible to Our Lord through Holy Communion. Illness did not slow down this impetus, and we saw her, after nights of insomnia and suffering, come to mass quite often early in the morning, in the harshest season, so as not to be deprived of this bread from heaven. [817] which she craved. She made her preparations in union with the Blessed Virgin, asking her to clothe her with her dispositions and to present her herself to her divine Son.

She ardently desired to receive Our Lord every day; but, at that time, the superiors did not allow it. She suffered greatly from being deprived of it; also what was his joy when the decree of His Holiness Leo XIII took away this right from them. However, the ordeal was not over. The Mother Prioress, while respecting this decision, did not want to conform to it entirely and leave the confessor completely free. She left her to a certain extent, but causing such great difficulties that he, out of prudence, did not think he should use his authority, and the Servant of God had to resign herself to continue her life of deprivation. The last months of her illness Our Lord made it impossible for her to receive Him, which further increased her suffering; but still subject to the divine will, she bowed gently and remained in peace. She had at heart to spare us what had been a martyrdom for her, and on the point of leaving us, she promised us that when she would be in heaven, she would rain roses on the community. This beneficent rain was undoubtedly the daily communion which we were favored with immediately after his death, and which we have enjoyed since without interruption.

 

When the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, her deep and fiery gaze revealed her intimate feelings. An angel could not have contemplated with more love [818] the one whom she contemplated under these veils made transparent by her faith. Also, what an ardent prayer in its simplicity: it was only an impulse, but it embraced everything, the interests of God and those of souls.

 

[Answer to the twentieth request]:

The Servant of God delighted in Holy Scripture; she was never embarrassed in choosing the passages which best suited souls; you could see that she made it daily the nourishment of her inner life. She gladly left most of the other books which, meaning nothing to her heart, could not increase her love nor give her the enlightenment she desired.

The imitation of Our Lord Jesus Christ, however, was an exception: it loved to iron out the profound thoughts contained in its pages. She had a great taste for the works of Saint Thérèse and Saint John of the Cross. She listened with great respect to the teachings of the Holy Church, to the instructions given by the priests, without stopping to see what might be defective in their preaching.

 

[Response to the twenty-first request]:

She frequently testified her gratitude to the Blessed Virgin, whom she felt dear, and whom she surrounded with a tender and filial love, to Saint Joseph, for whom she felt the same feelings, and who responded to her confidence with reported favors. The angels and the saints, whom she called her brothers, [819] also took part in her thanksgiving. Had she not asked them to take her very specially under their protection, and often she had experienced that she had not waited in vain for their help.

 

[Session 41: - September 3, 1915, at 2 a.m. of the afternoon]

[822][Answer to the twenty-second to twenty-sixth requests inclusive]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had an unshakeable and childlike confidence in Our Lord. She never doubted the success of her prayer: asking for a favor and having the assurance of obtaining it seemed quite natural to her, since she was addressing an infinitely good and all-powerful father. She wanted to become a saint, and counting on Our Lord to make her achieve this goal, the slightest doubt of not achieving it never presented itself to her mind. She appreciated to a high degree the virtues special to childhood, and, striving to reproduce them, she hoped that on condition of making herself small, the divine Master would take her into

 

WITNESS 9: Thérèse of Saint-Augustin OCD

 

her arms and lift her to the highest heights of love.

Difficulties, the most painful circumstances could not alter his confidence. His face was always calm and never showed any concern, even in the midst of the greatest trials of his life. No doubt his attachment to the cloister made him [823] dread the consequences of religious persecution; "but - she told me - I'm a baby, I don't worry, I'll go where the good Lord wills." She lived carefree, without worrying about herself and placing herself completely in the hands of divine Providence. I was able to admire this disposition during his illness. “How unhappy I would be— she confessed—if I were not abandoned in the hands of God. Today the doctor says I'm lost, tomorrow I'm better; how tiring this alternative would be! But all this does not touch my soul and disturb its peace! ". She suffered with joy what the good Lord gave her to endure at the present moment, without worrying about the one who was to follow, convinced that the tenderness of her Heavenly Father would not give her more than she could bear. She offered herself to all the divine wishes, even to experience the fears that sometimes accompany death; “but—she said ingenuously—they will not be enough to purify me: it is the fire of love that I need.” @HA 12@

 

She was inaccessible to discouragement. Throughout her religious life, she edified me a great deal by her assiduity in adorning the statue of the Child Jesus with which she was responsible, without ever taking the least care of it and without ever showing any fatigue. She was very persevering: when she had started something, she followed it through to the end without anything being able to stop her. During her illness, when her sufferings were more intense, she addressed herself to the saints, often without receiving any sensible help from them; she [824] kept calling on them saying “that they wanted to see how far she would push her confidence”@ HA 12@

His gaze was always turned towards the sky; she ardently desired to see the bonds which held her here below broken, but it was only “to love God more and not for his interest”. Despite her aspirations, she would gladly have remained in exile if God had been more glorified; but she thought that up there she would be more powerful “to help souls and make love loved” @HA 12@

She rose above earthly considerations and saw everything in the light of God. So she had difficulty understanding that one felt too much pain in seeing a sister die, "since - she said - it is only a momentary separation and we must all go to heaven and find ourselves there"

 

[Response to the twenty-seventh request]:

The love of God was the keynote of this seraphic soul. She avoided with great care what could hinder her development, not only voluntary faults, for which she had a deep horror, but the slightest imperfections.

 

[Response to the twenty-eighth request]:

She never sought consolations and sweetness in the spiritual life; she wanted to give to God, at the cost of the greatest sacrifices, a pure and disinterested love. In her relations with Our Lord, she took pleasure in [825] seeing nothing and feeling nothing except her weakness and her impotence for all good. She wanted to rejoice the divine Master at the expense of her rest, in pure suffering. She confided in love to make up for any shortcomings that could slip into her actions.

This strongly tempered soul knew no failure in its devotion to the interests of Jesus and of souls.

 

XXIX and XXX [Answer to the twenty-ninth and thirtieth questions]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus went to God like a child; she understood nothing of the complicated paths followed by certain souls who, according to her expression, "turn in a labyrinth from which they cannot escape and which leads to nothing." @Source pre.@Her followed the straight path of simplicity, considering it as shorter and less exposed to pitfalls. “It is in vain—she said—to throw the net in front of the eyes of those who have wings” @*Prov.1-17@ et@MSC15,1@.

What sustained her in her interior life was the presence of God who never left her, as she herself admitted simply. This habitual recollection was reflected in her countenance and made a strong impression on the sisters, even during recreation. You could see that the sky was her home and that she only lent itself to conversation; she did it with such kindness that it was easy to understand that divine love was the motive which made her act; she wanted to make her sisters happy, and thereby please Our [826] Lord. Finding myself with her in the parlor, I experienced a very deep supernatural impression; I felt that his thoughts were in heaven.

 

When she was near a soul who understood her, she joyfully followed the natural inclination which led her to speak of God. She did it so simply, so discreetly that one could not however penetrate all the beauties of her life of union: one suspected them only by the ascendancy which she exercised around her.

 

XXXI [Answer to the thirty-first request]:

The Servant of God often confided to me the desire she would have had for martyrdom. What regrets did she not express to me at not being able to pick this palm! She

 

WITNESS 9: Thérèse of Saint-Augustin OCD

 

consoled by thinking that the martyrdom of love would make up for that of blood. She also wanted her life to be sacrificed constantly, not being able to hope for the crown if the daily renunciations did not shatter her nature at every moment and detach her from the earth. This regret for martyrdom nevertheless followed her until death. Towards the end of her life, she still exhaled this complaint, alluding to the signs of imminent religious persecution: "You are happier than me, I am going to heaven, but you may well have the grace of martyrdom"

 

XXXII [Answer to the thirty-second request]:

From the love of God carried to the point of heroism flowed naturally the love of neighbor. In [827] community life, the Servant of God practiced the most exquisite charity, constantly forgetting herself for the happiness of her sisters, enduring without complaining and without letting it show the sufferings which the malevolence or jealousy of some who did not know how to recognize its virtue, always remaining with them patient, gentle, amiable, welcoming them with a gracious smile, avoiding what could cause them pain, trying to please them, and constantly excusing them.

 

XXXIII [Answer to the thirty-third request]:

The Servant of God never lost sight of the main purpose of her entry into Carmel, the sanctification of priests. She did not reckon with her pain when it came to helping them, either for their personal good or for the souls that they had the mission to convert or to guide on the way to perfection. In this she followed her special attraction which led her to pray particularly for pure souls and for sinful souls. She ardently desired to see Father Hyacinthe Loison abjure his errors, and she asked me to join in the prayers she made to obtain his conversion. She would have liked to share the labors of the missionaries and fly to distant lands to convert the infidels. She made up for it by the many sacrifices she offered to help them.

 

[Response to the thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth questions]:

When the Servant of God met a sister for whom [828] her nature felt a little estranged, she prayed for her and offered to God the virtues she noticed in her. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was eager to be of service, because she remembered these words of Our Lord: “What you will do to the least of mine, you will do to me. » When she couldn't, she apologized so kindly that we couldn't help but show her our gratitude anyway. She thus lavished herself under the gaze of God without ever demanding a return. Certain characters profited excessively from her kindness, but she did not avoid them because her maxim "never stray from those who easily ask for favors." @MSC 15,2-17,1@

[Continuation of the response to the same requests]:

She showed the heroism of her charity towards [829] a lay sister whom she assisted in her infirmity, and who quite often showed her gratitude only by brusqueness, without the Servant of God becoming weary. to continue his good offices.

She was resourceful in finding ways to show compassion for sisters she knew were suffering or afflicted. With ravishing delicacy she said a word, or contented herself with a smile if she could do no more. But this sympathy went straight to the heart; it was known to be true; around her there really reigned an atmosphere of peace. We felt like an angel.

 

Yet at that time, how many unfortunate things came to disturb our religious life! One wonders how one could endure them and maintain oneself in the practice of virtue. In critical moments, the Servant of God lost none of her recollection; she tried to excuse if it was possible, otherwise she was content to put up with it and pray. She showed Mother Prioress, who was the cause of this disorder, the respect she owed to her authority; she forbade her novices to criticize her conduct and recommended to them the most absolute submission and the greatest charity. Later, when this mother prioress once again became Marie de Gonzague, the Servant of God always had attentions full of delicacy for her.

 

XXXVI [Answer to the thirty-sixth request]:

If the souls exposed to losing a blessed eternity were the object of the solicitude of Sister Thérèse of the Child [830] Jesus, those who found themselves arrested in the expiatory flames aroused her compassion no less. She was in a hurry to place them in the possession of the sovereign Good, drawing for this purpose from the treasures of the Holy Church and asking that after her death many Stations of the Cross be made for her, in order to give her a means of helping them. .

 

XXXVII [Answer to the thirty-seventh request]:

 

In the difficult circumstances of the government of Mother Marie de Gonzague, the Servant of God showed great caution to avoid what could have aggravated the already difficult situation. She tried to reconcile things, to appease troubled spirits so that peace would return and souls could resume their inner life so often troubled. For her, she never abandons the concern for her perfection; on the contrary, she knew how to take advantage of these opportunities to move more quickly towards the goal she wanted to achieve. However, the continuity of his efforts in the practice of virtue

 

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pointed her out to those who approached her more closely. The priests who were called to lead the community had great esteem for the Servant of God and often showed her a great deal of trust.

 

XXXVIII [Answer to the thirty-eighth request]:

The Servant of God was very cautious in the direction of her novices. She knew how to wait for souls, [831] to excite them to virtue without pressing them more than they were able to bear. When she found herself face to face with difficult characters, she was not discouraged; she showed them their faults with firmness and often she triumphed over them. How many struggles sometimes where his courage was put to the test! but she did not know weakness, and while taking care of souls so as not to break them, she reached her goal: the culprits came back eager to do better and asked forgiveness for their conduct.

 

[Response to the thirty-ninth request]:

 

It was kind to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus to render to God the tribute of homage and adoration which is due to him; but she made a very special effort to show him her gratitude for the numberless benefits for which she saw herself indebted to his divine goodness. She knew from experience that God magnificently rewards this spontaneous impulse of a heart filled with gratitude. However, it was not always the hope of this reward that made her turn to the Author of all good. She felt a feeling of grateful tenderness which she expressed to me thus: “Oh! how the good God makes me pity! He lavishes his greatest treasures and gives them to us for nothing! » @Source pre.@

 

[Answer to the fortieth request]:

The Servant of God observed exactly the rules of justice in the way she behaved [832] towards her superiors by giving them the testimony of respect and submission that their authority demands. It is remarkable that she did not change her behavior when she found herself face to face with a Superior whose faults were apparent and whose procedures were sometimes repulsive. The Servant of God never gave any sign of partiality, even with regard to her sisters according to nature. Although his feelings for them had not changed and the ties between them had rather tightened, no one could notice. No one suspected the violence she was obliged to commit to maintain herself always within the limits of the most exact reserve.

 

[Answer to the forty-first request]:

Sister Thérèse was an angel, she distanced herself so much from what could flatter her nature. She seemed to live beyond time and took no interest in news, in conversations when rule or charity did not make it her duty. The gatherings that we saw, alas! so often under our cloisters left her indifferent: she passed by without stopping, always walking with downcast eyes, with that religious demeanor which made her noticeable. She recommended to her novices not to waste their time listening to these sorts of speeches which did not concern them, but to go quickly to their business.

 

When it was a question of her family, whom she nevertheless loved very much, she did not give herself the slightest [833] satisfaction; she took away all those pleasures for which the heart is so eager. How many victories she won over her natural feelings when the elections gave her as mother prioress Agnes of Jesus (her sister Pauline). She was wonderful! Never could one detect in her, under this maternal government, the slightest weakening in her heroic virtue. She also practiced silence perfectly, even with her Mother Prioress for whom, however, the rule gives a certain latitude. Blood ties could in no way weaken his will to practice absolute detachment.

 

The Servant of God mortified herself without respite: she never complained about the bad weather of the seasons, although she had much to suffer from it; she listened quietly to the disparaging words; she valiantly practiced the mortifications imposed by the rule and, to compensate herself for not being able to obtain permission to do more, she eagerly seized every opportunity to suffer that she encountered. In the refectory, she invariably took everything presented to her, even if the food made her sick. At recess she preferred to sit near those she liked the least. His loving nature would willingly have lent itself to the outpourings of friendship; but she constantly denied herself this satisfaction. The preferences given to others, at his expense, caused him joy; a young lay sister [834] did not hesitate to take advantage of this to exercise her patience. Sister Thérèse then showed him a keener affection and untiring devotion.

 

This love of penance had its full bloom during his illness. In the last months, the pains became very violent, and the Mother Prioress thought she should refuse to employ any means of relieving her; she accepted everything with her usual serenity. I wanted to ask the good Lord to ease her suffering. "No, no - she told me quickly - you have to let Him do it." It was not with a view to obtaining greater glory that she spoke thus, for she immediately added: "Not for the reward, but to please Him".

 

[Answer to the forty-second request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, as she says herself, had a lot to suffer here below; on all sides the cross weighed down on her. She found in Carmel what she had come to seek there, daily renunciation and humiliation. In each of these encounters, one could admire the strength of this child of

 

WITNESS 9: Thérèse of Saint-Augustin OCD

 

fifteen years old who, from the beginning of her religious life, knew how to make her happy with what frightens so many other souls. During her postulancy, she was treated very harshly by the Mother Prioress; I never saw her surrounded by care or consideration. This way of acting towards the Servant of God did not change over the years; but the meekness and humility with which she accepted observations and reprimands never failed, even when they were [835] undeserved. One day she was seized in the refectory with a fit of coughing. The Mother Prioress, tired of hearing her cough like this, said to her rather quickly: “Come out, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus!” She withdrew without losing any of her calm and serenity.

 

During her father's humiliating illness, her fortitude shone brighter, to the point of provoking the admiration of our venerable alumni who were surprised at such courage, especially on seeing her maintain her habitual recollection. .

I was extremely surprised when she confided in me about her temptations against the faith. How to imagine this soul, always serene, grappling with such great difficulties? She was believed to be filled with consolation. She acted with so much ease that she seemed to effortlessly perform acts of virtue multiplied. This habitual peace earned him unfavorable judgments. We were not afraid to say out loud that the Servant of God, having never had a fight, had no great merit in practicing virtue. These remarks having come to my attention, some time before her death, I asked her directly if it were true that during her religious life she had never had to struggle against her nature: "I had an uncomfortable nature - she replied - it didn't show, but I felt it; I can assure you that I had many fights and that I was not a single day without suffering, not a single one! Ah! creatures, when they do not see, they do not believe! I can affirm, having [836] witnessed it, that the Servant of God constantly exercised herself to practice virtue; she did not limit herself to expecting everything from God, she acted.

 

Despite her sickly condition, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus never dispensed with common exercises and heavy work. She went without complaining to the end of her strength: “I can still walk—she said—I must do my duty” @Source pre.@

She won the doctor's admiration for the courage with which she bore her illness. “If you knew what she was going through,” he said, “I've never seen her suffer so much, with that expression of supernatural joy: she's an angel! » @DEA 24-9@.

 

[Answer to the forty-third request]:

I have certainly never seen her at fault even slightly on this matter.

 

[Answer to the forty-fourth request]:

As soon as she entered Carmel, the Servant of God had to endure the privations of poverty. Placed in the refectory with a sister who, no doubt by distraction, paid no attention to her neighbour, she was deprived for a long time of what she needed: she let nothing be seen, but waited patiently for Providence to come to her aid.

She preferably sought out what was least convenient and least to her taste, thus mortifying her inclination which was quite the opposite.

[837] She avoided complaining if any object for her use was taken from her, finding that everything she owned belonged to her sisters.

The schedule particularly attracted his attention; she was very exact in not wasting a minute, as the rule dictates.

These external practices were not enough for him; she allowed herself to be stripped of the gifts of intelligence with which she was greatly endowed, allowing her sisters to appropriate them as they pleased, and remaining modestly in the shadows when her thoughts and lights had been taken over. .

 

[Answer to the forty-fifth request]:

A soul thus mortified submitted its judgment fully to the decisions of superiors whoever they were, without any distinction, convinced that one cannot go astray in obeying. The will of her superiors once manifested, she carried it out promptly, without allowing herself the slightest reflection. It was not necessary to command him; a simple notice sufficed for her to submit to it punctually. If it happened that the recommendations, which were sometimes made to her with the aim of relieving her, had the opposite result, she nevertheless complied with them to the letter, practicing virtue to the point of heroism.

 

She observed the rule down to the smallest details and subjections with exemplary regularity.

This obedience, already so admirable, did not seem [838] perfect enough to the Servant of God: she wanted to add to it even more by recognizing that all her sisters had the right to give her orders. A word, a sign was enough to make her act. That this desire was expressed with softness or that an imperious tone came to shock its nature, it was not less exact to bend to the requirements of all, even of its inferiors.

 

She showed herself no less benevolent in the continual disturbances which they were not afraid to impose on her. She did it with a charming grace which prevented us from suspecting the renewed sacrifices which were the consequence of her abnegation.

 

[Session 42: - September 6, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[841] [Response to the forty-sixth request]:

The Servant of God was deeply convinced of her insufficiency and her weakness; this is why she had recourse unceasingly to God to obtain the light and the strength of which she believed herself deprived.

 

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She usually kept silent about the favors she received; besides, she was far from comparing herself to the saints. She simply said to herself: “a very small soul that the good God had filled with graces” @DEA 4-8@

The sight of her nothingness made her experience joy at feeling imperfect and at being recognized as such by her sisters.

[842] She loved the last place, oblivion, which she preferred to contempt, because it dealt her nature more mortal blows.

She liked to think that her glory in heaven would not be brilliant. “The good Lord has always granted my desires—she told me about this—and I asked him to be a little nothing. When a gardener makes a bouquet, there is always a small empty space between the magnificent flowers that compose it; he puts moss there: this is what I will be in heaven: a little bit of moss that will bring out the beauties of the beautiful flowers of the good Lord »

The Servant of God graciously rendered the services asked of her; she willingly lent herself to the desire expressed to her that she should compose some poetry; she did all this simply, without affectation or self-seeking, just to please.

She showed this humility by always accepting reproaches with gentleness, not only from her superiors, but also from her sisters. The unfavorable judgments, of which she was sometimes the object, excited in her soul a lively joy. A sister allowed herself one day to use this language: “I don't know why so much is said about Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus; it does nothing remarkable; we do not see her practicing virtue, we cannot even say that she is a good nun.” These words having been reported to the [843] Servant of God at the end of her life, she expressed her happiness to me as follows: “To hear it said on my deathbed that I am not a good nun, what joy! nothing could make me happier”

 

[Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

I believe that heroic virtue consists in a perfection of virtue which goes beyond what is observed in good and fervent nuns. I have known and I know a large number of very good nuns; but Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had a different and superior way of acting. This difference was not so much to be seen in the object of his acts of virtue as in the more perfect way of accomplishing them. In particular, I observed in her a constancy and regularity of perfection that I have not seen anywhere else; the impetus of his fervor was always equal; she practiced these virtues with an ease and generosity that always made her appear amiable and cheerful. Moreover, I have often observed that good and holy nuns bear with resignation and patience reproaches or disparaging reflections; but to make it an object of joy and exultation, I have never seen that except in Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

 

[Answer to the forty-eighth request]:

I never observed in the Servant of God any indiscretion of conduct. She was very wise and everything about her was very good.

 

[844] [Response to the forty-ninth request]:

It has not come to my knowledge that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had extraordinary supernatural gifts, at least in brilliant forms.

However, I noted a few words uttered by the Servant of God, which seemed to be said under an exceptional influence of divine action. Thus in the month of April 1895, she confided to me: “I will die soon; I'm not telling you that it will be in a few months, but in two or three years. I feel, from everything that is happening in my soul, that my exile is about to end”. These words received their fulfillment since the Servant of God died two years and five months after this conversation.

 

On certain occasions, the Servant of God responded to intimate thoughts that had not been expressed to her.

She announced to Mother Hermance of the Heart of Jesus that she would soon die, and indeed this nun died a year after this warning.

The Servant of God seemed to foresee what would happen to her subject after her death, saying: “That Mother Agnès of Jesus would have, until the end of her life, to take care of her little Thérèse” @DEA 11-8@Other times she affirmed that nothing extraordinary would happen on the occasion of her death or her burial, because all the little souls had to be able to imitate her. She also invited her sisters to collect with great care the rose petals with which she perfumed her crucifix, adding [845] that they could be used to make people happy. I did not hear those last words myself, relating to what would happen after his death. They were reported by the sisters who heard them, and I am sure that they are reported sincerely.

 

L [Answer to the fiftieth request]:

Apart from the facts reported in the previous question, I do not believe that Sister Thérèse performed any miracle during her life.

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

I know, like everyone today, what the Servant of God wrote, but I am not particularly aware of the circumstances in which each of her writings was composed.

 

[Answer to the fifty-second request]:

I did not assist the Servant of God in her last illness: this treatment was reserved for the nursing sisters and Mother Agnès of Jesus, but I was present during her last moments. His death was grand and impressive in its simplicity.

 

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cited. Before expiring, she stared brightly a little above the statue of the Blessed Virgin. She seemed called by a celestial voice. One can say, without fear of exaggerating, that, during the space of a Credo, ecstasy transfigured his features. The expression on his face was then so moving that I lowered my eyes. I do not mean by that that his aspect was frightening, quite the contrary, but radiated [846] a supernatural expression which impressed me.

 

[Answer to the fifty-third to fifty-fifth questions inclusive]:

I did not notice anything extraordinary, neither in the state of the mortal remains of the Servant of God, nor in the ceremonies of her funeral. The support of the people was numerous, but that is explained, I believe, by natural circumstances, in particular by the fact that the family of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus lived in the very town of Lisieux.

 

LAI [Response to the fifty-sixth request]:

I go quite often to the parlor, because our Reverend Mother, whose visit is frequently requested by pilgrims, sends me there in her place. I often hear it said that there is a considerable crowd at the tomb of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, which sometimes you cannot approach. There we pray, we cry, we hope and we go back strengthened or consoled. There are real transformations taking place there. Such a person has come, in despair, who returns full of confidence, with a radiant face, as if from heaven. Among the many pilgrims, we particularly notice missionaries from the Foreign Missions, and currently, officers and soldiers, whose trust in the Servant of God is more evident every day and is often rewarded with marvelous graces.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

During the life of the Servant of God in Carmel, a [847] small number of sisters, deceived by her humility or by some prejudice, did not know how to recognize the great virtue of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, but the greatest many agreed in recognizing in her a soul exceptionally privileged by God and heroically faithful to grace, as I said when answering the question on the heroicity of the virtues (question forty-seventh).

Since her death, the Servant of God's reputation for holiness and miracles has grown day by day. Sister Thérèse's desire was to spend her heaven doing good on earth. She first caused one of the sisters to experience the effects of her protection who had injurious behavior towards her. When the mortal remains of the Servant of God were exposed, this nun came to ask her forgiveness for having failed to recognize her, and rested her forehead on the Servant of God's feet, having recourse to her intercession: she was healed at the moment of cerebral anemia from which she had suffered for several years.

 

Since that time, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus has continued to shower her roses on those who have recourse to her intercession: conversions, healings, spiritual and temporal graces of all kinds; the stories that are sent to Carmel number in the thousands.

Being often sent by our mother to receive priests, religious and missionaries in the parlor, I was able to observe not only their admiration for the Servant of God, but also their boundless confidence in her protection; they consider her a great[848] saint. To ask him for a favor, they say, is to be sure of obtaining it; also, some entrust their ministry to him, others give him the direction of their parishes and consider themselves simply as his vicars.

There are those who take it as a guide for their interior life, recognizing in it an exceptional knowledge of the ways of God. Some have come in reparation, not having wanted at first to recognize the gifts that heaven has bestowed upon him, and have undertaken to propagate his devotion. One of them confessed to me: “I didn't want to surrender, but the little sister knocked me down; now I cannot express my admiration.” What charms them is this intense inner life, with such great simplicity! Also, what ardent wishes for his speedy beatification! The dean of a parish in the North said to me: "I strongly recommend trust in the little sister, but also caution so as not to do anything that resembles a cult, it would be very unfortunate to compromise such a beautiful Cause." Many priests came to ask for the favor of celebrating Holy Mass in the Carmel chapel. From the beginning of the year 1912, until the end of August 1915, the masses celebrated rose to the number of 1395. During eight months of the year 1912, 191 priests asked to celebrate the mass at the Carmel, and for eight months of the year 1915, 286 came.

 

Religious, people in the world have no less confidence in the Servant of God and are no less favored. Their devotion is touching. “This little sister — they say — takes care of absolutely [849] everything”; also they have a considerable number of masses said, either to obtain his beatification, or in thanksgiving for favors obtained or to solicit new ones, such as conversions, healings, protection for soldiers, deliverance of souls from purgatory, etc. . The number of masses requested from the beginning of the year 1912 to the end of August 1915, amounts to 166.000. During eight months of the year 1912, 9594 masses had been requested; during eight months of this present year, 1915, the requests amounted to 56.800.

 

It is not uncommon to hear educated pilgrims say to me in the parlor: “Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus has done nothing extraordinary, it is true, but what an interior life! How we would like to love the good Lord like her! The small sachets which contain a fragment of the curtains of her bed or of some other object relating to the Servant of God are considered a treasure. Officers fix them in the folds of their flag; the soldiers keep asking for them as a backup. It is by the hundreds of thousands that the Carmel gives these souvenirs without being able to completely satisfy the solicitors. Missionaries have told me that the pagans of their missions have great confidence in the Servant of God:

 

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“It is marvelous—they tell me—the good it does among our savages.”

, [Has any artificial effort been made to propagate this reputation?]:

We have done absolutely nothing to activate this zeal. [850] Everything that Carmel has done or published has been done to respond to the pressing requests of the faithful. Even we are asked many things that we do not do.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I have heard nothing said since the death of the Servant of God that was not a eulogy of her holiness.

I said that, during her life, some nuns, a small minority, it is true, had not been able to discern her high perfection. One sister even allowed herself to use this language which I have already reported: "I don't know why we talk so much about Sister Thérèse, she doesn't do anything remarkable, we don't see her practicing virtue, we can't even say may she be a good nun”.

[Does the nun who held this language still live?]:

No, she is dead; it was this nun I mentioned who prostrated herself at the feet of the mortal remains of the Servant of God to ask her forgiveness for having ignored her and was instantly cured of cerebral anemia.

[The witness then continues his answer]:

One might be surprised that such a perfect soul was not appreciated by the whole community without exception, but the good Lord sometimes allows, in order to test the virtue of his servants, that human passions falsify the judgment of many and often cause take the greatest virtues as faults. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus went through this ordeal; but I repeat that it was the few who did not understand it.

[Did the nuns who opposed the Servant of God shine by the perfection of their life and the quality of their spirit?]:

They were fervent, in fact, or at least seemed to me so, I cannot say the contrary; but as for intelligence and above all for rectitude of judgment, that is another matter!...

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth request]:

In the last weeks of her life, the Servant of God intended to begin her conquests immediately after her death, and to visit seminaries and missions. As early as the following year, 1898, the Annals of the Propagation of the Faith recorded results which the missionaries said they had never achieved; they attributed them to a particular breath of the Holy Spirit which passed over some [852] of their missions. In many places the infidels presented themselves to receive instruction and baptism.

 

The Servant of God quite often reveals her presence by scents of rose, violet, incense, etc. This has happened several times in the community. People of the world are also favored by it. At the request of some, she stands near them, like their guardian angel, spreading, without their knowledge, a delicious perfume of which they are informed by the people who approach them and who ask where a smell can come from. so penetrating.

 

Sister Thérèse sometimes gives a presentiment of the ordeal: I have experienced it myself. On January 2, 1911, taking my place in the refectory for the evening collation, I saw in front of me, on the table, something which seemed to me to be an insignificant piece of wood. During the meal, I noticed it several times, without attaching any importance to it; I was even preparing to leave the refectory without realizing what it could be, when a sister, seated near me, made a sign to me to take it. I did. What was my astonishment when I recognized that it was a very sharp thorn, five centimeters long. I asked the "provisional" why she had put this thorn in my place: she replied that she did not understand what I wanted to tell her. Information was taken from the sisters in the kitchen: all claimed to be strangers to it. Then the idea came to me that it was a warning from Sister [853] Thérèse, giving me a glimpse of my mother's approaching death. I don't know how this idea came to me, because my mother was doing very well then, and nothing could make me worry about her. However, my mother did indeed die, less than two months later, on February 27, 1911.

 

The stories of conversions, healings, temporal and spiritual graces that I heard in the visiting room are countless. A priest said to me: “I come here in thanksgiving for the healing of my nephew, suffering from typhoid fever with haemorrhages, desperate for doctors; but he had with him an image of the little sister who never left him, and he had great confidence in her intercession. Now he is perfectly cured."

Another time, I was told of the conversion of a hardened sinner, refusing to receive the priest. As he had lost consciousness, a novena to Sister Thérèse was started for him. On the seventh day, the patient recovers his consciousness, asks for the priest, receives Holy Communion and Extreme Unction, and dies in perfect dispositions.

It is still the abjuration of an old Israelite of 80 years; he allowed his children to be Catholics, but obstinately refused to convert himself, despite repeated entreaties. His family then turned to the Servant of God and, without any pressure exerted on the patient's spirit, he spontaneously changed his mind and died in the Catholic religion.

 

[854] Sister Thérèse seems to have a marked predilection for soldiers, so many are those whom she surrounds with her protection. Some claim to have seen her in the trenches, others on the battlefield; all are encouraged

 

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by this sweet vision; many escape certain death through his protection. Here is a fact that was told to me by a priest a few weeks ago: a cyclist from the general staff, very exposed by his position, saw three of his comrades fall beside him, killed by a shell, his bicycle is shattered under him by this same shell and thrown ten meters and he does not have the slightest scratch. His mother attributes this protection to a relic of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus that the young man carried with him. Facts of this kind which have been told to me are not rare.

A Belgian soldier, suffering since the month of October 1914, from asthma, neuralgic pains in the heart and great general weakness, was treated in several hospitals without obtaining a cure. At the Bon Sauveur Hospital in Caen, Sister Paule, his nurse, gave him an image and a relic of Sister Thérèse, advising him to pray to her, which he did with great confidence. On May 30, 1915, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him standing on a globe, dressed in a blue mantle dotted with gold stars, and wearing a gold crown on her head. A few seconds later Sister Thérèse appeared on the right side of the Blessed Virgin. She was very beautiful, dressed as a Carmelite nun, wearing the white mantle; she held in her hand a basket of roses and threw one on the bed of the patient, who, however, did not find this rose after the apparition. The vision lasted about a minute: the patient then fell asleep and woke up the next morning perfectly cured. Since that time, the evil has completely disappeared. Having come to Lisieux, to make a pilgrimage of thanksgiving and to pray in our chapel, he was very impressed when he saw the statue of the Blessed Virgin which occupies the back of the sanctuary, finding it exactly similar to the one which had appeared to him. It was during this pilgrimage that this soldier, Léon Vandamme, told me himself, in the visiting room, the account of these events.

 

[Answer from the sixtieth to the sixty-fifth questions inclusive]:

I have not directly witnessed any healing of this kind.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I have nothing to add.

 

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. — This concludes the examination of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

Signatum: SISTER THERESE OF SAINT-AUGUSTIN, witness, I testified as above according to the truth, I ratify and confirm it.

Witness 10 - Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

We have already presented Marie-Jeanne-Julie de Chaumontel (1845‑1924), vol 1, pp. 408‑409. Let us only recall here that, professed at the Carmel of Lisieux in 1868, she had had the grace of being formed there in religious life by the venerable Mother Geneviève de Sainte-Thérèse, founder of the monastery, and that she was in charge of the formation of the future Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus from 1888 to 1892. She died in 1924, on November 24, which was then the feast day of Saint John of the Cross.

 

The deposition that follows is almost twice as extensive as that of 1911. It is always with the same simplicity that Sister Marie des Anges expresses herself, but she expands at greater length on the virtues of her former disciple, her Carmelite, her constancy and her strength in the exercise of perfection and her continual union with God which made her readily available to exercise a fraternal charity imprinted with delicacy and helpfulness towards all.

She had been struck by the words addressed by Pope Benedict XV to the famous Father Matheo, of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Picpus, about Sister Thérèse: “It is his mission to teach priests to love Jesus Christ” ( p.865).

Sister Marie des Anges concludes thus: “It is for me, when I consider the Servant of God, what it is for any eye that looks at the stars of the sky: the more it stares at them, the more it discovers. Thus the more I contemplate this soul, the more I recognize it and proclaim it a saint” (p. 906).

 

The witness testified on September 7-10, 1915 during the 43rd-45th sessions (pp. 859-907 of our Public Copy).

 

WITNESS 10: Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

[Session 43: - September 7, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[859][Witness responds correctly to first request].

 

[Response to second request]:

My name is Jeanne de Chaumontel, in religion Sister Marie of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart, professed nun of the Carmel of Lisieux. I was born in Montpinçon, diocese of Bayeux, on February 24, 1845 to Amédée de Chaumontel and Elisabeth Gaultier de Saint Basile. I made profession on March 25, 1868.

 

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

 

[Answer to the sixth request]:

I do not believe that any of these bad feelings, [860] capable of falsifying the truth, animate me in any way, and I testify in all sincerity and freedom.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

I first knew the Servant of God when, aged about eight or nine, she came to the Carmel parlor to see Sister Agnès of Jesus, her sister who had come to our house in 1882. Then I knew her more intimately when she herself entered Carmel, where I was her novitiate mistress for four years (1888-1892). Then I left this office, but I continued to share life together with Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus until her death.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

Even when Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was alive, I had a deep affection for her, because of her angelic fervor, but especially since her death my devotion to her has greatly increased by the knowledge that I have gained from the power of his intercession. I strongly desire his beatification, first for the glory of God, then for the glory of the Church, of France, of the diocese and of our Order.

 

[Answer from the ninth to the eleventh questions inclusive]:

I was not a direct witness to the life of the Servant of God before her entry into Carmel. What I know about it, I learned either by reading the “Story of a Soul” or by the conversations of our sisters during [861] recreation. This indirect testimony is probably not useful in the Cause, since the same facts can be explained much better by her sisters who lived with her at that time.

 

[Answer to the twelfth request]:

The Servant of God entered Carmel on April 9, 1888; she was 15 years old. I was, at that time, mistress of novices. As soon as she entered, the Servant of God surprised the community with her outfit, imbued with a kind of majesty that we were far from expecting in a 15-year-old child. She began to perform all her duties with charming grace, was the model of the novitiate and surpassed all her companions by her virtue. She took the habit on January 10, 1889 and made profession on September 8, 1890.

[Were these dates of taking the habit and profession normal with regard to the Rule and customs of the monastery?]:

There was indeed a few months of delay, either for the taking of the habit, or for the profession. These delays were imposed on him by his superiors, on account, I believe, of his young age and in no way out of any reason whatsoever for dissatisfaction with his conduct.

[Then the witness continues]:

She was full of regard for me; his obedience was as prompt as it was blind. She had such an intuition of religious virtue and perfection that there was, so to speak, only to instruct her in the [862] Rule, the Constitutions and the customs proper to our holy Order, so that it performs it immediately in perfection. I don't remember ever really blaming him. I therefore had her for nearly four years in the novitiate, which I left five months after her profession. Charged with the novitiate, in her turn, of which she was very worthy, she acquitted herself of it, like the most experienced nun, although she was charged with this office only as an auxiliary. She would have been equally capable of fulfilling any office in the community, even the office of prioress.

After her profession, she remained, according to our custom, in the novitiate for three years. I do not remember well if she left the novitiate afterwards. She exercised several ordinary functions in the community, such as portress, sacristan, seamstress, etc. She acquitted herself perfectly of all her duties.

 

[Answer to the thirteenth and fourteenth questions]:

It is not, to my knowledge, that the Servant of God ever committed the slightest voluntary breach. From the age of eight that I knew this child of blessing, she appeared to me to be more of an angel from heaven than a little girl from earth. The Holy Spirit was resting in her, God already possessed her and one would have said that an angel was guarding the entrance to this little soul, completely enveloped in a celestial atmosphere, so calm and silent, recollected and reflective was she. One felt [863] in the presence of a child who was not ordinary and who was destined to lead souls to God by the simplicity of her holiness which consisted above all in the heroic practice of the common virtues. This was the hallmark of her life, and she followed this course in every way until her death.

 

XV- XX [Answer of the fifteenth to the twentieth questions inclusive]:

The faith of the Servant of God shone from her earliest childhood, in her love of prayer, sacred feasts, divine offices, pious readings, especially the Imitation of Our Lord and the Holy Gospel. When she entered Carmel, her faith showed itself in the joy she felt at having finally found the

 

WITNESS 10: Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

place of her rest after which she had longed so much and which was for her only the house of God and the gate of heaven.

From the beginning, it comes there only supernaturally, seeing there only God, in everything and in everyone. She only considered Our Lord in authority; it was for her only the image of the crucifix, and had it only been of copper she would have given it the deepest respect, just as much as if it had been of gold.

Her faith, so enlightened, made her see only the will of God in the great trial of her father's illness: she adored him with a redoubled love. The more the sufferings and the humiliations increased, the more generously she embraced each other. In this immense pain, as in all the crosses of her religious life, she always tasted a profound peace, [864] which explains her imperturbable calm, when the most poignant news was brought to her. It was on the occasion of this pain that she said one day to Mother Agnès of Jesus: "Everything sings in my heart as in that of Saint Cecilia" @Source pre.@.

 

The faith that inspired her life, her writings, her poems was subjected to many trials, to cruel, very long and terrible temptations: "I have suffered it for months—she said—and I am still waiting for hour of my deliverance. You have to have traveled under this dark tunnel to understand its darkness...”; and the demon, to despair her still more, said to her: "A deeper night still awaits you, that of nothingness."@MSC 6,2@

It was doubtless from these hours of extreme anguish that the good Lord caused those floods of light to spring upon her which were to give her an understanding of her "little path of abandonment and spiritual childhood" which she so admirably practiced, taught to his novices, discovered to all souls who read his life and left above all to "little souls" as a doctrine of simplicity and love, which was to attract to him the universal admiration of our holy fathers, the popes Pius X and Benedict XV, cardinals, bishops, religious, priests, missionaries of the most learned, one of whom said to me in the parlor: "having found in the reading of his life what he had been looking for in vain for a long time .”

Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XV, speaking to a monk very devout to Sister Thérèse, the Reverend Father Matheo, of the Order of Picpus, said to her last spring, [865] speaking of her: "It is her mission to teach priests to love Jesus Christ.”

 

The Servant of God carried with her the text of the Credo which she had written with her blood.

She also always had the holy gospel in order to have it constantly at her disposal; she delighted in it, and it was there that in her sorrows, in all circumstances, she would draw light and consolation as well as the strength she needed. She had a rare understanding of the Holy Scriptures; moreover, one can judge of it, by his way of explaining them and of discovering the meaning of them in the "History of his soul", which one can say is a marvel, because these catchy pages were only a jet of his pen, having never done a draft.

 

She saw God in all nature, whose beauties revealed to her infinite love and raised her soul to him. I can affirm that the Servant of God heroically put into practice during her short, very full life, these words of our holy Rule: "Arm yourselves everywhere with the shield of faith, so that you can deaden all the arrows of fire that the The enemy shoots you constantly, because without faith it is impossible to please God” @Rule of Carmel@.

This sacred shield never leaves her; with him she triumphs over everything that could have prevented her from reaching the admirable degree of holiness she has reached in such a short time.

 

XXI [Answer to the twenty-first request]:

[866] Cured by Our Lady of Victories, she always had a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. She would have liked to be a priest, because she would have "spoken so well of herself!" » @DEA 21-8@. She found that she was shown to be queen rather than mother... She did not understand why it was said that she would eclipse all the saints as the rising sun makes the stars disappear. she—, a mother who eclipses her children!... I think just the opposite!...” @DEA 21-8@.

The rosary, the Remember were his daily prayers. Her first canticle that she composed was in her honor, it was: "The virgin milk of Mary" @PN 1@, and likewise, her last, entitled: "Why I love you, oh Mary" @PN 54 @

 

Saint Joseph was also particularly dear to him; Above all, she asked him that Holy Communion be granted frequently at the Carmel of Lisieux. She was granted by the decree of Leo XIII; she also sang a hymn in honor of Saint Joseph.@ PN 14@

The holy angels also had their share in her poems, for she loved them with tender piety.

She loved above all the holy Gospel, the holy books, the Song of Songs, the works of Saint John of the Cross. One day, I don't know if she was 17, she spoke to me of certain passages of her mysticism with an intelligence so above her age that I was quite surprised.

Shortly after leaving the novitiate, she told me magnificent things that she expressed [867] later in her splendid canticle: “Vivre d'amour.”@PN 17@

 

[Response to the twenty-first request continued]:

Postulant and novice, her piety is shown in the small celebrations of Christmas and Easter and others, so graciously and poetically prepared and composed by Mother Agnès of Jesus. It was enchanting to see and hear the Servant of God reciting them, both in the expression of her angelic face

 

WITNESS 10; Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

only by the tone of piety so penetrated which expressed the feelings of his heart. It was to bring tears to my eyes. One Christmas day when, representing the Blessed Virgin, she held the Child Jesus in her arms, he would have been alive had she not been more recollected and touched.

 

XXII XXVI [Answer to the twenty-second to twenty-sixth questions inclusive]:

The confidence of the Servant of God was only the practical feeling of her faith in the infinite goodness of [868] God who had enveloped her from the cradle. She had experienced it so much that her soul was towards God like that of a little child towards the most tender father who lets himself be carried in his arms abandoning himself to him for all that concerns him.

Also, the difficulties did not frighten her, as she proved in all those she encountered for her vocation, because her confidence was based on the profound certainty that she had of God's fidelity to help her.

It was therefore this blind confidence which gave her the admirable courage which she gave proof of in her pilgrimage to Rome, not allowing herself to be intimidated by any of the contradictions which she encountered, and which would have disconcerted so many other souls.

 

It is still this same hope that sustained her all her life, as much when she entered Carmel, during her postulancy, her novitiate, which were not without trials, as during her illness and even in the arms of death.

 

On her return from Rome, she had only fresh disappointments every day; she thought she would receive permission to enter Carmel without delay, but Christmas passed and “Jesus—she said—left his little ball on the ground, without even glancing at it” @MSA 67,2@

However, she never ceased to hope against all hope, because, she said, "for a soul whose faith is equal only to a mustard seed, God works miracles to strengthen it" @MSA 67,2@. This was for her the teaching of this ordeal.

 

In the illness of his venerable father, his confidence did not change. She put this ordeal among the days of grace and underlined it in the name of "great wealth" @MSA 83,2@

She had unlimited confidence in prayer, and often said that God had always answered her, that he could refuse nothing to a fervent prayer.

 

She never doubted divine mercy. As a child, she loved to pray for sinners, as she did in particular for the great criminal Pranzini, condemned to death for his appalling murders. She had the certainty of being heard so much she had confidence in mercy: she asked for a single sign of repentance and we know that it was granted.

 

She did not fear death which was, she said, "the only way to go to God" @Source pre.@, nor purgatory which she told me one day "to be the least of her worries" @Source pre .@

She wrote to Mother Agnes of Jesus: “Ah! from now on, I recognize it, all my hopes will be fulfilled... Yes, the Lord will do marvels for me which will infinitely surpass my immense desires...” @LT 230@. Our Lord said one day to Saint Mechthilde: “It is a great pleasure for me that men expect great things from me... It is impossible for man not to receive what he has believed and hoped for... This is why it is useful for him to expect a lot from me and to trust in me.” These words of Our Lord are indeed the explanation [870] of the marvels he has wrought in the universe by Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus since his death.

Where better could I place than here the following words that Pius X said, in a private audience, to a high personage of the Roman nobility, speaking of the Servant of God: "It is extraordinary to see the condescension that Our Lord testifies to all the desires of this soul.”

Mademoiselle de Mérode, Donna Lancellotti, wrote these words of Pius X, taking them from a distinguished character, his relative.

 

XXVII-XXXI [Answer to the twenty-seventh to the thirty-first questions inclusive]:

From her earliest childhood, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus loved God with the most ardent love, as everything says in the “Story of a Soul.”

She heroically practiced mortification of the heart from her postulate, knowing that the smallest thread, as well as a chain, prevents the bird from flying.

She had, as I witnessed, a great deal of struggle not to let her heart become attached, especially to her Mother Prioress, whom she loved very much, but God helped her, allowing her to have only severities, which broke her heart all the more because she could only grasp, in his way of acting towards her, a human feeling which she kept deep in her heart. She no longer went to her except religiously as well as affectionately, depriving herself of all natural satisfaction, so that her behavior was very edifying.

 

[871] The Servant of God had a great fear of the smallest faults, and these words: "No one knows if he is worthy of love or hate" made her shed many tears one day, until She was consoled by the explanation given to her.

She went to God out of pure faith, cheerfully accepting spiritual desolations, offering them to God so that he might give his consolations to the souls she could thus win to his love.

 

Everything that had to do with God was his delight, in Carmel as in his childhood. Her joy was to adorn the altar of the novitiate, dedicated to the Child Jesus, and the height of her happiness was for her to be commissioned to flower the pious statue of the Child Jesus in our cloister: what an interior spirit she animated all this care given to her divine King.

She cherished solitude, admirably understanding these words: "The kingdom of God is within you", and

 

WITNESS 10: Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

those others that she sang so well in her canticle "Vivre d'amour": "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word and my Father will love him, and we will come into him... and we will in him our home.”

She put into practice this advice of the imitation of Jesus Christ: “Close the door of your heart on you, and call to you Jesus your beloved”!

@imit. Liv.1,ch.20@ Being a sacristan, she only touched the sacred vessels with redoubled fervor, remembering these words: "Be holy, you who touch the vessels of the Lord".@*Is.52-11@ and @ MSA 79,2@

[872] Her supreme devotion was to the Holy Face of Our Lord, who repeated to her all the love with which he had loved her in his Passion. It was while contemplating her that she was inflamed with love and zeal for the salvation of souls. She always had it before her in her office book and in her stall during her prayer. She hung from the curtains of her bed during her illness; his sight helped him to support his long martyrdom. She could tell him again this touching stanza of the hymn she had composed in his honor.

“My love discovers the charms of your eyes embellished with tears.

I smile through my tears, when I contemplate your pain."@PN 20@

Another of her most beautiful canticles, dedicated to the Sacred Heart, tells us again what devotion she had for the Heart of Jesus, which she said was "all her support and whose tender love loved her despite her weakness" @ Source pre@. She found him in the Eucharist where he never left her: so receiving communion every day was her dream. Father Youf, who held this privileged soul in such high esteem, granted him this favor for several months.

Is it not a seraphim speaking when she says, in the eleventh chapter of her life, that she has found her vocation, that her vocation is love, that she has found her place within the Church, that it is God who gave it to him, that in the heart of the Church... it will be love!...

She said to our mother, a few days before her death: “A single expectation makes my heart beat, it is [873] the love that I will receive and the one that I will be able to give... my little way to souls is about to begin. .. I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth!...” @DEA 17-7@ Here is the thought that occurs to me about the Servant of God: in the heart of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, divine love was a fire on earth hidden under the ashes of the dark life of Carmel. After having already chosen Saint Mechtilde, Saint Gertrude and Blessed Margaret Mary to reveal to the world the love with which he loves her, did not Our Lord want to use the Servant of God to set fire to the earth? What could confirm my thought would be the extract from a letter from a priest from Argentina, Mr. Augustin Barréro from Buenos Aires, 1914, of which here are some passages:

"How I thank God for the good he does in the world through the posthumous apostolate of his little Servant... Here she is preaching to everyone at once, in their own language, the Gospel of salvation, the small way of spiritual childhood. What a miracle of divine omnipotence is this renewed and enlarged Pentecost! What a lesson for our proud century, and also for us, ministers of the Lord, and who to reach souls, count more on our science than on our holiness!...»

 

The love of God developed, in the heart of the Servant of God, that of the poor and of all those who suffered. His great joy was that he was entrusted with the task of carrying alms to the unfortunates who came to stretch out their hand.

[874] This charity grew in her heart with age and flourished in Carmel. As soon as she entered, she showed a touching charity in the novitiate, in the good that she endeavored to do to one of her companions. With what charity did she not also console me in many of the difficulties which I encountered and which she felt to be so painful to me!

She already had the conversion of sinners at heart, and undertook that of the unfortunate Father Hyacinthe, of whom she was still thinking at the end of her life, offering her last communion for him.

 

I don't remember ever hearing her say a single word against charity, nor ever a bitter response if ever something painful was said to her.

Were she needed for some service, she never showed either boredom or fatigue. If someone knocked on the door of her cell, when she was busiest, she was still going to answer with a smile.

She liked to put her small talents of painting and poetry at the service of the sisters; she happily devoted her free time to it, and gave it so much to others that she couldn't find any for herself.

She offered herself for all the hard work, especially for washing, and did her best to renounce herself, going to the cold water in the winter, which cost her a lot, and in the summer, on the contrary, she preferred to stay in the laundry room. There, she suffered in silence that the sister who was opposite her threw in her face, without realizing it, the dirty water from the linen she was washing.

 

She observed at recreations, as elsewhere, the [875] following point of our Constitutions: "Let them have no particular friendship and let them all love each other in general, as Our Lord Jesus his apostles... The point of loving one another in general is of great importance” @Constitutions of 1582@

 

At recreation, she did not seek the company of her sisters, according to nature, despite her affection for them. She imposed this sacrifice on herself so that her lively charity towards her Carmel family would not suffer. Coming out of a retreat, she arrived at recess without having gone to say hello to her dear little mother Agnes of Jesus, which caused her great pain. She hoped at least that she would sit next to her, but it was not, she went to stand near the first comer. This was told to Mother Geneviève who scolded her, telling her that it was not

 

WITNESS 10: Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

was not to hear true charity. Father Auriault, to whom I quoted this fact, said to me: “Oh! I find it wonderful! », and the former nun, who told me about it, said to me very recently: « Sister Thérèse is a soul who has a sublime mission to fulfill in the Holy Church »; and she added to me, speaking of the Servant of God's perfection: "Really, we've never seen that."

She endured in silence all that was a subject of exercise for her, and triumphed over a natural antipathy towards a sister as she tells it herself, the devil making her see so many unpleasant sides in her: so she did not yield. Does she not resist temptation, telling herself that charity does not consist only in feelings, but in works. She therefore acted with this sister, as with the most beloved person, [827] and rendered her all the services in her power. She prayed for her, offered to God the virtues and merits of this nun: "I felt - she said - that this greatly rejoiced my Jesus". She smiled at this sister when she was tempted to answer her unpleasantly and changed the conversation. This sister asked her one day what could attract her to her so much that she gave her such a beautiful smile every time she met her... "Ah," she said, "what attracted me was Jesus hidden in the bottom of his heart » @MSC 14,1@

 

She asked, of her own accord, to be a companion in employment with a sister near whom a real and difficult apostolate awaited her. What patience and what charity she had to practice on this ground bristling with more than one thorn! But she worked with so much kindness, intelligence and wisdom that she managed to do him a lot of good.

She practiced another heroic act of charity witnessed by the community, in the service she offered to render to the good Sister Saint-Pierre who walked only with crutches. She had to be led at the end of the evening prayer, from the choir to the refectory, which was no small matter! What opportunity for patience did she not find there! She did everything to satisfy the poor cripple, pushing her virtue so far as to offer to cut her bread for her.

I was still witness to his charity when the influenza came to throw consternation in the community, claiming three victims from him. All the sisters except two or [877] three were bedridden. The service was suspended: there was dead silence in the community. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus then multiplied near the sick and dying sisters, as well as in the sacristy, with a calm, a presence of mind and an intelligence that were not ordinary. Our superior Monsieur Delatroëtte, who had been so hostile to his arrival, was struck by it each time he came to see his daughters. From then on, he perceived in this child a subject of great hope for the future of the community.

 

It was still very touching to see with what tender charity she surrounded, in spite of the trouble she often caused her, the good mother Marie de Gonzague. The Servant of God, with her remarkable finesse of mind, grasped the shortcomings that were linked to so many beautiful qualities in this mother whom we loved in spite of everything. Perfectly aware of what made her suffer, she knew how, by her childish ways, to wrap her in tenderness, to console her, to enlighten her, and no words could better be applied to the Servant of God than this: “The truth comes out of the mouths of children.” It was especially on the occasion of an election which she knew had been very painful to the unhappy mother, that she wrote her a very beautiful letter, it seems, which was a good seed sown in her heart.

 

[Session 44: - September 9, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[881] [Answer to the thirty-seventh to thirty-eighth requests inclusive]:

The Servant of God's prudence was that of an old man who experienced life with its trials. She observed everything, reflected deeply, her eye always fixed on the good Lord.

She was very reserved in all things, in her words as well as in her smallest acts, in the small and the great difficulties which multiplied under her steps.

 

Her prudence showed itself in the difficult negotiations she had to make for her vocation. In these conjunctures, she had recourse to prayer, put her trust in God, did not become impatient and had no bitter words for those who thwarted her desire. It took great energy, as she says herself, to dare to speak to the Pope, when she was only a child of fourteen.

When she entered Carmel, she exercised great reserve not to become humanly attached to her Mother Prioress; then, when troubles came to her from this poor mother, she always acted as if nothing had happened, smiling at her in spite of everything and paying her the same respect.

Witness, sometimes, of the painful difficulties that Mother Marie de Gonzague caused to Mother Agnès of Jesus, who became Prioress, the Servant of God suffered cruelly from it, but kept silent. One day, however, she said to me, her heart full of tears: "I now understand what Our Lord suffered from seeing his mother suffer during her passion" @Source pre.@

 

[882] In the novitiate, she showed great prudence in doing good to one of her little companions, whose character made people fear indiscretions. Having herself experienced what a soul suffers from the lack of freedom in matters of conscience, she worked with as much prudence as wisdom to spare her novices this suffering. I witnessed her prudence in this, when I was sacristan: she asked me to secretly send novices to the confessional who dared not ask Mother de Gonzague's permission.

She only went to the parlor out of charity. There, if asked for her advice, she

 

Witness 10: Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

gave them with simplicity and humility and always showed himself, as everywhere, an angel of peace.

She loved solitude, her little cell; she really had contempt for the world and was a "person of prayer" as our holy Constitutions demand @Ste Teresa of Avila@

 

[Answer to the thirty-ninth and fortieth requests]:

The Servant of God never ceased to practice justice towards God and the saints through the worship she rendered them. The ceremonies, the festivals, the frequentation of the sacraments, everything delighted her. At Carmel, she had the greatest devotion to the divine office. “The divine office—she said at the end of her life—was my happiness and my martyrdom both because of my great desire to recite it well and not to make mistakes. I do not believe that anyone can desire more than I to recite the office perfectly and [833] to attend it well in choir” @DEA 6-8@

 

She was always very submissive to the direction of her superiors and confessors whom she held in great esteem, and who themselves gave her a very similar one.

She practiced justice in her way of understanding and practicing silence, because she observed it according to this point of our holy Rule: "The adornment and finery of justice is silence" @Rule of Carmel@

 

[Answer to the forty-first request]: l

The Servant of God's mortification was heroic, for she made it consist above all in the support of the thousand and a thousand little sufferings that make up religious life and in the constant amenity towards all, despite the continual clashes that the one constantly meets in even the most perfect communities, owing to the difference of character and education. The Servant of God endured everything in silence. She never complained of anything, neither hot nor cold, although it was learned later that she had suffered from the latter to death. She took things as they were given to her, either for clothing or for food. On this last point she had much to suffer, for she often had nothing but leftovers, whereas at such a tender age she would have needed to be supported by very fortifying food, as should be done. for any subject so young and in such frail and delicate health.

 

[884] [Continued from the response to the forty-first request]:

She therefore did not put her mortification in the great austerities, which she would have loved very much, if she had had permission, but in which self-love and pride often find their food. She placed it above all in the renunciation of herself and of her own will. Besides, that's what she had understood from childhood: she was already trying to break her will, her feelings, to hold back a useless word and a thousand other things of this kind.

Arrived at Carmel, she set to work, and I can affirm that her beginnings were very painful. It cost her a lot to go and pull grass in the garden, where I sent her every day at half past four to get some fresh air, but she was careful not to tell me, especially since it was a good opportunity for her to meet Our Mother, who did not fail to humiliate her by saying to her: “What is a [4] novice who must be sent out for a walk every day?. ..” And she heard him say again: “This child does absolutely nothing.” And later she thanked Our Mother for this precious education.

 

Our mother having reproached her for her lack of devotion in the offices, she felt obliged to work in her spare time without telling anyone.

When she went towards Our Mother, when it was Mother Agnès who was prioress (and this happened to her less often than to the other sisters), if the portress or some other sister came to disturb her, she did not never complained, although deep down she suffered noticeably from it.

This faithful and constant mortification in which she grew up and which extended throughout her life, enabled us to see her always smiling at suffering.

 

Two months before her death, Mother Agnès of Jesus, hearing her patience praised, came to visit her one day, having the desire to surprise her in a moment of crisis; at the same moment his face took on an expression of joy and was animated by a celestial smile. She asked him that she could be the cause; she replied: "It's because I feel great pain, I have always tried to love suffering and welcome it" @CSG @,

She also said: "Suffering has long since become my heaven here below and I find it difficult to understand how it will be possible for me to acclimatize myself in a country where joy always reigns without [886] any mixture of sadness" @HA 12@

 

[Answer to the forty-second request]:

From her early childhood, the Servant of God managed to dominate her nature and maintain her even and benevolent temper.

In Carmel, his strength showed itself from the beginning in his energy to support the austerities of the Rule and the spiritual desolations. She courageously accepted the severities of her mother prioress. Despite the illusion of several sisters about the way she was treated and who thought she was spoiled anyway, she was in reality very tried by Our Mother. When she met her, she only received reproaches that she endured in silence. During her directions, where she stayed close to our Mother for an hour, she was scolded almost all the time, and what gave her more pain was not understanding the means of correcting herself for the faults that were given to her. reproached.

The Servant of God had this principle that one must go to the end of one's strength before complaining. “I can still walk—she said—I must do my duty” @HA 12@

 

WITNESS 10: Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

The day she entered Carmel, she heard the sobs of her family when she went to the closing gate. She didn't shed a tear, but her heart was beating so hard that she wondered if she wasn't going to die of it. Our Mother Saint Thérèse says that “when she tore herself from her father's arms she felt [887] her bones break” @Vida 4-1@; what must it have been like for this 15-year-old child whom God was asking to impose such a sacrifice on her venerable father for the third time?

She was still a postulant when her father was stricken with a paralysis which, seeking to attach itself to the brain, made people fear a terrible misfortune. The Servant of God surprised me when, in this circumstance, she said to me, casting an angelic gaze towards heaven: “I suffer a lot, but I can suffer even more” @MSA 73,1@. Some time after taking the habit, this ordeal was at its height: “I could no longer — she wrote — then say: I could suffer more,” @MSA 73,1@

 

In all her trials, the Servant of God suffered in silence, like Our Lord during his Passion. By contemplating his divine Face, she understood "that a soul without silence is a defenseless city and that he who keeps silence keeps his soul" @Source pre.@.

 

[Answer to the forty-third request]:

The Servant of God was, in Carmel, as in her childhood, enveloped in an atmosphere of innocence and candor which imposed reserve and respect.

Her First Communion companion, a boarder with her in the Benedictine community, Mademoiselle Louise Delarue, told me one day that she could not forget "the air of innocence and extraordinary candor of her young, extraordinary companion", repeated her, emphasizing this word very strongly.

 

[888] The good Curé of Ars said: “The Holy Spirit rests in a pure soul as in a bed of roses, and from a soul where the Holy Spirit resides, there comes a good smell, like that of the vine in flowers." These admirable words cannot be better applied than to the Servant of God.

Her purity was revealed in all her demeanor, which was so noticed by Father Youf, our chaplain, when he came in to confess the sick sisters, that he offered her to us as a model. And the gardener, seeing her pass under our cloisters when he was working in the courtyard, recognized her, despite her veil, by her dress, and he was very edified not to see her take one step faster than the other. She went with her eyes lowered and lived only for the good Lord. This beatitude: "Blessed are the pure in heart, because they will see God", was well suited to her. I can't compare the Servant of God better than to those little streams in our valleys that flow in the shade and without noise, and whose limpid water is never cloudy.

 

Here is an unusual testimony, given to the virtue of the Servant of God by a Zouave who had great admiration for her: thanking a lady who had given her the "Story of a Soul" and a relic of Sister Thérèse of the As the Child Jesus, he said to her: "I spent four years with General Gouraud, he is like Sister Thérèse, pure as an angel and strong as a lion." This lady of the most honorable, transmitted to us these curious words which she thought should delight us.

 

[Answer to the forty-fourth request]:

One could say of the Servant of God these words of Saint Francis de Sales: “I desire very few things, and the little that I desire, I desire very little.”

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus speaks very sincerely when she says, in her canticle “Vivre d’amour”:

"To the divine Heart, overflowing with tenderness, I gave everything, lightly I run, I have nothing left but my only wealth: to love always!" @PN 17@

 

During her postulancy, she liked to have neat things for her use, and to find at her fingertips all that she needed to work, but, little by little, Jesus enlightened her on this point and she was faithful to the grace . So she happily sacrificed "her pretty little cell jug" @MSA 74,1@ for another coarse and chipped one that replaced it. She then fell in love with the ugliest, most inconvenient objects. One evening, their lamp was taken from him by mistake; she had a great deal to work on, and she was tempted to grow impatient; but the light of grace illumined her in such a way that she rejoiced at being deprived not only of pleasant things, but even of essentials. If she absolutely could not do without some object, she would ask for it, but with humility, like the good poor who hold out their hand to receive what is necessary.

She would never have taken time from work to adorn with flowers the statue of the Child Jesus, [890] the decoration of which was entrusted to her; she devoted only her spare time to it.

I surprised her one evening, dismantling an altarpiece: instead of cutting the wire, she pulled it gently with a small tool, in order to use it again in a spirit of poverty.

She took her clothes as they were given to her, never asking for anything more; the same for food.

 

She understood poverty of spirit with high perfection: she was detached from personal thoughts which nevertheless seem to be property. She said: "I have received the grace not to be more attached to the goods of the spirit and the heart than to those of the earth, and I find it quite natural that my sisters take possession of them" @MSC 19,1 ,XNUMX@

The Servant of God constantly had before her eyes these words of our holy Constitutions: “May they always have before their eyes the poverty of which they profess, to spread its odor everywhere” @Ste th. Const.@

She was truly that poor of the Gospel to whom the kingdom of heaven belongs.

 

WITNESS 10: Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

[Answer to the forty-fifth request]:

From her entry into the novitiate, the Servant of God was submissive to me in everything, and in her obedience, as in her other virtues, she surpassed her companions. She never made an observation to me: her obedience was as prompt as it was blind, not only towards me, but also towards her mother prioress.

 

[891] One day, I thought I was making prayer easier for her by suggesting a thought that I thought I could help her, but I knew that for her it was only a fatigue: she said nothing to me about it. however, and she would have compelled herself to ponder this thought if I had not been warned.

Our Mother sometimes made recommendations that she herself no longer remembered some time later, which caused the sisters to believe that they could also dispense with following them. For the Servant of God it was not so: she continued to practice them faithfully.

Having left my position as novice mistress myself, I had the Servant of God with me for some time, to help me in the sacristy. I was still able to admire in this office what was her humility, her deference and her obedience: she would never have offered herself for a little elevated work; she kept herself very small and would not have touched the sacred vessels without my permission.

 

But here is the most heroic act of obedience I have seen him perform. The Reverend Father Auriault, of the Society of Jesus, to whom I told it, was very edified. It was when the Servant of God received from Mother Marie de Gonzague, her prioress, the very harsh order not to return to the confessional to find the Reverend Father Alexis Franciscan, preacher of our retreat; yet it was her right like that of the other sisters. This religious saint had put peace in his soul, then troubled by a true interior martyrdom and he had told him to come back. But she dared not break the defense of her Mother Prioress. [892] She confided her pain to me; I was moved and advised her to insist with our Mother, but for greater perfection she preferred to remain silent, putting into practice this point which ends our holy Rule: "Honor your prioress with complete humility, recognizing her for Jesus ‑Christ more than for what it is in itself” @Rule of Carmel@

 

It was by order of obedience that she put all her piety and her still inexperienced talent into painting a fresco of angels surrounding the tabernacle of the oratory. The functions she assigns to each of them express the desires of her soul: to sing the praises of God, to make God known, like the missionaries, to throw flowers, to scatter like roses under the feet of Our Lord by her a thousand sacrifices.

 

[Answer to the forty-sixth request]:

The Servant of God, as soon as she entered the novitiate, put into practice this point so recommended in our Constitutions and so essential to perfection: "Let them take great care not to apologize, except for something where it need it” @Const. From Ste Th.@.

One day, I scolded her at the novitiate for a small broken vase, and I told her that she had no order. But she was not guilty; it cost her a great deal not to tell me, but she nevertheless remained silent.

She never put herself forward for what might have made her appear; she gave her opinion only very humbly and only when asked. There was no self-seeking in her, no susceptibility.

 

[893] At the vigil preceding the great day of his profession, the demon suggested to him that the life of Carmel did not suit him. She ran humbly to reveal to me her temptation. I quickly reassured her, but the better to humble herself, she also wanted to tell our mother Marie de Gonzague what had happened to her.

 

[Session 45: - September 10, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

 

[896] [Continuation of the response to the forty-sixth request]:

Filled with the graces of God, the Servant of God did not attribute them to herself; but, as humility is the truth, it nevertheless recognized them, ascribing to God all the glory. She was not afraid to say, like the Blessed Virgin, "that the Lord had done great things in her"; but she added: "and the greatest is to have shown me my smallness and my helplessness in everything good" @MSC 4,1@.

Seeing an ear of wheat bow down by the weight of its grains, she said: "The good Lord has loaded me with grain for me and for many others, so I want to bow under the abundance of divine gifts. , recognizing [897] that everything comes from above” @DEA 4-8@

She sought neither the looks, nor the esteem, nor the praises of men, God alone being her all.

It was in the meditation of the Holy Face that she studied humility, and understood better than ever that true glory consists in wanting to be ignored and counted for nothing. “There is — she said — only the last place which is not vanity and affliction of spirit” @ Source pre. Imitated Book 3, ch. XXVII@

 

[Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

I saw really fervent and even very holy nuns here, like Mother Geneviève, our foundress, Sister Adélaïde, Sister Louise and many others, but that was not quite what I saw in Sister Thérèse of 'Baby Jesus. In this, I have never been able to observe a single moment of weakness, not a murmur, not even an expression of sadness, and this despite her young age and the great sufferings of soul and body which she experienced. . It was a constancy of perfection and an amenity without shadow. I believe that is a heroic virtue.

 

[Answer to the forty-eighth request]:

I never noticed anything indiscreet

 

WITNESS 10: Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

in his conduct, on the contrary, a characteristic of his virtue, was simplicity.

 

[Answer to the forty-ninth request]:

I did not personally observe any extraordinary [898] supernatural manifestation in the life of the Servant of God. I only heard a few very certain facts reported by our mother Agnes of Jesus and by several of our sisters. So around the age of 10, the Servant of God was favored by the apparition of the Blessed Virgin, who came to cure her of a serious illness. She had a transport of love during her novitiate, but I have only a vague knowledge of it: perhaps Mother Marie de Gonzague had told her not to speak to me about it.

During her illness, they had brought her roses to cover her crucifix, which was her devotion. A few petals having fallen to the ground, they were picked up to be thrown away. She then said with a mysterious air: “Oh! don't throw them away: they can make people happy » @DEA 14-9@

Another day, she said to Mother Agnès of Jesus: “After my death you will have many little joys, at the mailbox and on the side of the tower” @DEA 11-8@, words that were mysterious at the time and which are today fully realised.

 

[Answer to the fiftieth request]:

I don't believe she did any miracles in her lifetime

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

The Servant of God wrote the sublime pages of the "History of her soul" out of obedience, in the simplicity and uprightness of her heart, without suspecting that this book was destined to be published. God wanted it so, so that the whole world could benefit from it, as the rapid and prodigious diffusion of these lines [1] proves, which delight souls and teach them to go to God through trust, love and abandonment. . I did not know that she had written this life, and when it was read in the refectory, I was struck with astonishment and admiration. Some time later, on my long retirement, I took up this admirable book. After meditating on a few pages of it, I had the inspiration, following the example of Sister Thérèse, to read something at random in the Holy Gospels, and here are the words on which my eyes fell: of which such marvelous things are said? It is Jesus, the son of Joseph, and his sisters are there among us.”

 

[Answer to the fifty-second request]:

When illness took the Servant of God to the infirmary, she heroically showed there the virtue she had acquired in health, which our Constitutions demand.

His courage and his patience were equal to his physical and moral sufferings, for the trials of the soul were his portion until the end.

The community rarely went to see her so as not to tire her, she was so weak; but she was always found to be cheerful, amiable, having for all her sisters nothing but an angelic smile.

God permitted that our saintly and devoted doctor, Monsieur de Cornière, could not give him those alleviations which would have alleviated his cruel sufferings. She endured them to the end in all their intensity. The doctor [900] was very edified and said: “Oh! if you knew what she suffers, you would not want to keep her on earth. I won't be able to cure her, she's a soul that's not of the earth" @DEA 24-9@

After receiving Extreme Unction, she said: “I have found happiness and joy on earth, but only in suffering, for I have suffered much here below; it will be necessary to tell it to the souls. In my childhood, I wanted suffering, but I didn't think I would make it my joy: it is a grace that the good Lord gave me later" @DEA 31-7@

Her soul was so given up to love that suffering had become sweet to her: nevertheless she asked that we pray for her, for she felt her weakness.

 

She had lived, like an angel, in our Carmel, she would die there as a seraph.

On September 30, 1897, the agony began at 3:7 p.m. The community gathers around her. At 30 o'clock in the evening, the sisters, who had gone out for a moment, were called back by a loud ringing of the doorbell: I ran up and arrived in time to see her lean her head to the right again, move her lips, saying: “Oh! I love him!... My God!... I... love you...! » @DEA 9-XNUMX@. These were his last words. She sank down, half-opened her eyes, cast a brilliant and magnificent gaze towards the image of the Blessed Virgin, as if seeing something supernatural, and her soul flew up to heaven. She was dying of love, as she had dreamed.

I thought that the Blessed Virgin had come to fetch her at the beginning of the month of the Rosary to compensate her for the touching piety with which she had used the roses to testify her love to Our Lord. She was going to heaven to pick roses more beautiful than those on earth, in order to throw them as a rain of grace over the whole world, according to her promise.

 

[Answer to the fifty-third request]:

It was very beautiful, exposed to the grille of the choir; but this beauty was very weak compared to the extraordinary beauty with which it radiated, when the community raised the body under the cloister, at the door of the infirmary. I was seized by it and I wondered if she was really dead: she seemed so alive to me that I would not have been surprised to see her smiling at her little Jesus, passing near his statue under the cloister. She looked like a martyred virgin stretched out on her reliquary, rather than a poor Carmelite on her coffin.

 

The support of the people was numerous, but there was nothing extraordinary there.

 

WITNESS 10: Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

[Answer to the fifty-fourth and fifty-fifth questions]:

I did not attend these various ceremonies; I don't believe, from what I've heard, that anything out of the ordinary happened there.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

I have heard that there was a considerable and ever-increasing number of pilgrims at the tomb of the Servant of God.

 

[902] [The witness then responds to the fifty-seventh question]:

I said that the chaplains and confessors of the monastery held the Servant of God in singular esteem during her lifetime. Thus, Father Youf, who knew her from the moment she entered and confessed her until her death. Father Baillon, who was said to be one of the most educated priests in the diocese and whom she liked to consult, also had the greatest consideration for the Servant of God. The Reverend Father Armand Lemonnier also considered her a predestined soul, spoke of her only with deep respect; he called her "the little flower," and he attached great authority to her advice.

In the community she was considered a little angel and a model of religious perfection. Of course, I heard here and there a few small complaints; but they arose rather from the faults of judgment or character of those who made them.

[903] Since her death, the Servant of God's reputation for holiness and miracles has spread beyond measure. I cannot compare it better than to the mustard seed of the Gospel, that smallest of the seeds which rises like a tree where the birds of the sky come to dwell.

 

His influence is very noticeable on our community. Since the death of the Servant of God, the progress of our Carmel has been evident in regularity, silence and fervor. A retreat preacher said to our mother: "Mother, we see that a saint has passed through your Carmel."

The spread of his reputation for holiness throughout the world can be measured by the number of copies either of his life or of his memoirs that had to be published to satisfy the requests coming from all over the universe. “Lives” number in the hundreds of thousands, and the images in the millions. From morning to evening, I work only for her; I prepared thousands of images; I hardly receive any letters in which they do not speak to me of her; I never go to the parlor except to hear about it. His portraits, his images, charm those who see them, among others, the beautiful heliogravure which is at the beginning of his life.

The flood of letters, amounting to 500 every day, bear witness to the boundless trust of everyone, and particularly the soldiers, in the Servant of God. Officers take her as protector of their regiment or their company; this is how Colonel [904] Etienne wrote to our mother that he called his regiment “Sister Thérèse’s regiment.” An aviator placed his image on the wings of his airplane. Monsieur Augustin Barréro, a priest from Argentina, writes in a letter that I have already quoted: “The other day, I had lunch on board a four-master, in the roadstead of Buenos Aires. Do you know what caught my eye when I entered the captain's cabin?... The portrait of Sister Thérèse!

On board were two copies of his life; all the officers had read it and our conversation revolved around it for a good part of the meal. TRUE! there is only hell where she is not loved and imitated,” and I would add that I believe I can say that she there causes the rage and despair of the demons.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I have never heard a single word of opposition to the Servant of God's reputation for holiness. All the people I know, in the community or outside, are deeply devoted to him and have a great desire for his beatification.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth request]:

The first manifestation of the supernatural influence of the Servant of God was, as I said, the evident development of religious fervor in the community. On various occasions, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus manifested her presence through miraculous perfumes. I myself have been favored [905] several times, once among others by preparing small papers intended to receive his relics. My sister Jeanne Marie, who was to finish this work, smelled the same perfumes when she opened the box which contained these little papers. Since then, more than two years ago, at the moment of receiving Holy Communion, a perfume of an exquisite odor that I cannot define, enveloped me so strongly that I was struck with surprise; for a few days I smelled the odor of violets as I withdrew from the holy table. These various perfumes have been explained to me by various events of trials or consolations concerning my family.

My sister Geneviève, unable to recognize what Sister Thérèse's large veil had been, asked her to give her the sign of it, allowing that one which she would place on the sick leg of a sister in a white veil, to operate her healing. She was answered, and this sister, covered with about thirty boils, was so healed that from that day (7 years ago on June 1) she never stopped cooking alone, obedience so painful that it is ordinarily given, each week, in turn, to our sisters of the white veil.

 

[Answer from the sixtieth to the sixty-fifth questions inclusive]:

I have not personally witnessed a healing miracle. I have heard the very numerous reports sent to the Carmel read: there are marvelous graces, but I have not retained the details of these communications.

 

[906] [Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

In finishing my deposition, I say again, as at the Ordinary Trial, that it is for me, when I consider the Servant of God, what it is for any eye that looks at the stars of the sky: the more it fixes them and the more he discovers.

 

WITNESS 10: Mary of the Angels and of the Sacred Heart OCD

 

Thus the more I contemplate this soul, the more I recognize it and proclaim it a saint.

Where could the holiness of the Servant of God come from? Perhaps it would be permissible to think that she could have taken her source in the virtues of her own parents, remarkable for their Christian life. It is also permissible to believe that the holiness of our foundresses that I knew can have a lot to do with it. What could confirm my thoughts is that one night after the death of our venerable mother Geneviève, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus saw her in a dream, giving each of her daughters something that had belonged to her; she came to her with empty hands, and looking at her with tenderness, she said to her: "To you, I leave my heart" @MSA 79,1@

 

[907] [Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in responding to previous requests. — This concludes the examination of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

 

Signatum: SISTER MARY OF THE ANGELS AND THE SACRED HEART, witness, I have testified, as above according to the truth, I ratify and confirm it.

Witness 11 - Francoise‑Thérèse Martin Ord. Screw. BMV

Sister of Saint Thérèse, Léonie (1863-1941) had entered the Visitation and testified as the seventh witness at the Ordinary Informative Trial (vol. I, pp.339-359). Despite her good heart, she had been for her people, because of her weak and sickly nature, a subject of concern and perplexity. The itinerary of his vocation was rather tormented: a first attempt at the Poor Clares of Alençon (1886) and two others then at the Visitation of Caen (1887-1888 and 1893-1895). Weakness and inconstancy always mingled with an undeniable goodwill as well as with more than ordinary generosity.

Sister Thérèse had always believed in the ultimate success of Léonie's vocation and before her death she affirmed to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart: “After my death, I will have her return to the Visitation and she will persevere there.” This prophecy came true. At the age of 36, on January 29, 1899, Léonie entered the Visitation for the third time and she remained there. At the school of Saint Francis de Sales and his holy sister, she followed, humble and simple, the path of evangelical spiritual childhood, offering herself to God in perfect abandonment.

 

We do not know if the prospect of having to testify at the Apostolic Process was a cause for concern for Sister Francoise-Thérèse, as was the case for the 1910 Process. We only know that, desiring not to leave the monastery of Caen without renouncing however, when she testified, she had the audacious courage to ask Bishop Lemonnier, who had come to celebrate their titular feast day with the Visitandines on July 2, 1915. She got this answer: “We are not going to disturb a whole court for you” exclaimed the bishop. But while in 1910 she had been received for five days at the Bénédictines du Saint Sacrement where she had found Sister Marie-Joseph de la Croix, Marcelline Husé, the former servant of the Guérins, this time she went to the Carmel of Lisieux, with her sisters, by order of the bishop, and she remained there from 11 to

 

WITNESS: Françoise‑Thérèse Martin Ord. Shut up.

 

September 18, 1915, finding Pauline, Marie and Céline there.

Back at the Visitation, she was able to participate, in humility and recollection, in the triumphal ascension of her sister Thérèse, who had loved her very much. His health began to decline in 1927: frequent illnesses, rheumatic and arthritic pains. She was always of great edification and died on June 16, 1941

 

The testimony of Sister Francoise-Thérèse is very simple, as in the first Trial. She recognizes that she has little to say about Thérèse's Carmelite life, basing herself above all on the letters that her sister had written to her (cf. pp. 933, 934). But she has however. some interesting details about the visits made to Thérèse in the parlor of the Carmel of Lisieux: “When I came to see my sisters in the parlor, I noticed that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus showed herself to be particularly humble and discreet, willingly leaving the floor to others. She was also of very exact regularity, retiring first when the hourglass indicated that the time allowed for the visiting room had passed” (pp. 292-293). Léonie returns elsewhere to this delicacy and fidelity of Thérèse: “When the half-hour allotted for the parlor had passed, she would not have stayed a second longer” (p. 940). This again: “When I saw her in the parlor of the Carmel, she always seemed to me careful not to receive anything, to ask for nothing that could be contrary to the purest religious poverty” (p. 940).

The Visitandine did not forget the role played by Thérèse for the happy outcome of her vocation (cf. pp. 935-937, 942-943). She still testifies in these terms to her sister's kindness: “I noticed... that she was very forgetful of herself, always trying to please others. I was particularly touched by the great delicacy with which she acted towards me. I was then 23 years old and she was only 13, but I was very behind in my studies and my training; my little sister lent herself to instruct me with great charity and exquisite tact so as not to humiliate me” (p. 922). “My little sister was always very sweet and perfectly in control. I don't remember ever seeing her show signs of impatience, let alone get angry” (p. 938).

 

Léonie's deposition is of particular interest for the historical part of the Process of beatification and canonization of her father and her mother, of which Sister Thérèse wrote to Mother Agnès: I have the happiness of belonging to parents without equals who surrounded us with the same care and the same tenderness” (MA “A” 5,1). We can refer in particular to pages 916 and 917 which contribute to reestablishing the truth against certain unfounded insinuations that we did not fail to spread against Mr. and Mrs. Martin.

 

The witness testified on September 13 and 14, 1915, during the 46th and 47th sessions (pp. 913-950 of our Public Copy).

 

[Session 46: - September 13, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[913] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

[Response to second request]:

My name is Marie‑Léonie Martin, in religion Sister Françoise‑Thérèse, professed at the Visitation Sainte Marie de Caen, where I made my profession on July 2, 1900. I was born in Alençon, diocese of Séez, on June 3, 1863 of Louis-Joseph-Stanislas Martin, jeweler and Marie-Zélie Guérin. I am therefore the sister of the Servant of God, Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

 

[The witness answers the third to the fifth questions correctly].

 

[Answer to the sixth request]:

My only desire is the glory of God, and I do not [914] believe that there is any bad disposition in me which prevents me from speaking the truth. I testify very freely, and no one has imposed my testimony on me.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

At the time of the Servant of God's birth, I was in Alençon, with my parents, and I was a direct witness to the first years of the Servant of God. When my father came to Lisieux, after my mother's death in 1877, I was boarded with the Benedictines of Lisieux: I saw my father and my sisters on days off and during vacations. In 1881, I left the boarding school and lived in Les Buissonnets with my father and my sisters until 1886. At that time I left to try out religious life. I returned to Les Buissonnets in January 1888, a few months before the Servant of God entered Carmel. It was only after the Servant of God's death that I left Lisieux to enter the Visitation definitively in January 1899. During the Servant of God's life in Carmel, I visited her from time to time in the parlor.

I will use for my testimony what I observed for myself, and also the writings of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and family letters, written by my sisters. These documents helped me a lot to revive my memories.

 

[Answer to the eighth question) I always loved the Servant of God very much, [915] even during her life, because she was a lovely child. Since her death, I have had a very strong devotion to her; meditating on her examples and her writings does me the greatest good: she is “my ideal saint.”

I very much desire the happy success of his process of beatification. It's not because she's my sister and I love her as such; it is because God will thereby be better known and better loved, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus having shown in action what Our Lord recommends so much in the Gospel: "He who makes himself small like this child will be the most great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:4).

 

WITNESS II: Françoise‑Thérèse Martin Ord. Screw.

 

[Response to the ninth request]:

The Servant of God was born on January 2, 1873, in Alençon, diocese of Séez. I have reported above, in answering the second question, the names and condition of our parents. I attended the baptism of my little sister; she received this sacrament on January 4, 1873, in the church of Notre-Dame d'Alençon: it was Father Dumaine, then vicar of Notre-Dame d'Alençon and today vicar general of the Bishop de Seez, who baptized him; her godmother was our eldest sister, Marie; his godfather was the son of a friend of my father; I forgot his names. The Servant of God received at baptism the names of Marie-Françoise-Thérèse. She did not receive confirmation until much later, the year of her first communion with the Benedictines of Lisieux, June 14, 1884.

[916] Thérèse was the ninth and last child of my parents' marriage. Of the eight children who had preceded, four had died: two little brothers and two little sisters; then four sisters remained, namely: Marie, Pauline, Léonie and Céline.

 

As for the dispositions of my parents, I can say that they were exemplary Christians. My father, first of all, was remarkable for his great charity towards the poor and his extreme fidelity to the least duties of a Christian. No interest could have persuaded him to open his jewelry store on Sundays. He attended holy mass every day, and often took communion; he even took communion every day in the days preceding his last illness. He strictly observed the fasts prescribed by the Church, even at the age of 67. I will also note his remarkable respect for the priests whom he never failed to greet, even if they were strangers.

Our mother was remarkable for her spirit of faith and her charity for the poor. She went to the first mass every day. Associated with the Third Order of Saint Francis of Assisi, she observed its rule with strict fidelity and showed herself to be mortified in food and in all things. She professed a continual forgetfulness of herself. She certainly practiced frequent Communion; but daily Communion was little in use at that time, and I do not remember enough of that time to say whether my mother received Communion during the week.

[917] Our parents loved their children tenderly, but did not bring them up with that softness so common today. They took great care in forming our souls in Christian habits and virtues.

 

[Answer to the tenth request]:

Our mother first intended to feed little Thérèse herself; but she had to give it up because of the weakness of her health. So she was put to nurse in the country. After a year or 18 months, little Thérèse had grown stronger; my mother took her over and brought her up until she was four and a half years old. Our mother then died in 1877.

 

From her earliest years, little Thérèse was remarkable for her obedience and frankness. It was enough that she had been told once that something was wrong for her to abstain from it with extreme care.

When she had made some childish clumsiness, she quickly blamed it on herself.

She showed, from the age of three, an extraordinary understanding of the things of piety: this is how she explained to her sister Céline, older than her by four years, "that there is no no wonder that the good God is present in a small host since he is all-powerful, and he can do whatever he wants” @MSA 10,1@

 

In August 1877, the 28th, our mother died. My father, after this event, left Alençon and came to Lisieux. He did so reluctantly, but for the good of his children, so that we could find in Madame Guérin, [918] our mother's sister-in-law, support and useful advice, since our eldest sister, Marie, had not yet only 17 years old. It was our eldest sisters, Marie and Pauline, who really presided over our education at Les Buissonnets. Little Thérèse had, out of delicacy, chosen Pauline for her "little mother", and it was Pauline who had the most direct influence on the education of her soul. She even became his teacher until October 1881. At that time, I had left the boarding school of the Benedictines of Lisieux, and little Thérèse, aged 8 and a half, went to replace me there, but only as half-boarder, returning home every evening.

At this age of five to eight, the Servant of God's dispositions for piety were already remarkable. His attitude in the evening, during family prayer or during devotional readings, showed that his attention was then entirely fixed on the good God.

She prepared herself each year for the feast of Christmas with a novena, during which she did nine practices of virtue each day.

From that time, she loved to contemplate a pious image, representing "the little flower of the divine prisoner" @MSA 31,2@. To see her, one guessed that she was already conversing with her Jesus in burning colloquies, all intimate however, for nothing appeared on the outside, except the brilliance of his face which took on a quite celestial expression.

 

[919] [Continuation of response to the tenth request]:

She was a boarder at the Benedictines from the age of eight and a half until the age of about thirteen.

During this period, the character of the Servant of God appeared to be more mature than her age; she did not like noisy games. Besides, since our mother's death, she had become less playful, very sensitive and easily melancholy. The intimacy of the family suited him better than the hustle and bustle of a public school. She did very well in her studies, and was grateful, obedient and gentle towards her mistresses. She was kind to her little companions; she would never have wanted to hurt anyone. But it is true to say that this environment does not con

 

WITNESS XI: Françoise‑Thérèse Martin Ord. Screw.

 

did not come very well, and that she was never completely happy there.

During Holy Week in the year 1883, little Thérèse was seized with a strange and violent illness. For some months, perhaps since Pauline entered the Carmel (October 1882), she had been particularly sad and complained of continual headaches. The evil, having reached an acute state, manifested itself in fits of terror which broke out unexpectedly, [920] in connection with futile circumstances, sometimes on several occasions during the same day. In the interval between crises, she was as if inert and spoke little, I cannot say whether she had then fully understood her. We couldn't leave her for a minute. One day when I was away for only a few moments, she took advantage of my absence to rush onto the pavement over the head of the bed. When I returned, I was very frightened, but she hadn't hurt herself.

I have never attended the doctor's consultations or even heard the doctor give his opinion myself, but I have heard in family gatherings that the doctor said, "It's a nervous condition...I I don't understand a thing... maybe she will remain in this state. At certain hours, the patient no longer recognized either her father or her sister Marie.

After six weeks of illness, on May 10, 1883, the illness was at its peak. Frightened and sorry, during a crisis more violent than the others, my sisters and I knelt down at the feet of a statue of the Blessed Virgin who was in the room. I had remained sobbing, my head in my hands, so I did not see the ecstatic expression of the little patient, favored by the apparition of the Blessed Virgin. Only, when I got up from my prayer, I found our little Thérèse perfectly healed. Her face had regained its calm and its beauty, and never since then has any trace of this strange disease reappeared.

 

I believe that she was not 7 years old when she [921] went to confession for the first time: she then went to confession on the main feasts, and loved this reception of the sacrament of penance.

The Servant of God made her first communion in the chapel of the Benedictines on May 8, 1884, at the age of eleven and a half. She would have liked to do it sooner; but she had to submit to the regulations of that time: “It is very sad—she said—to be delayed for a year for not having been born two days earlier. She prepared for this great act with extraordinary fervor, multiplying above all, for this, the little sacrifices and the acts of God's love which she wrote down very precisely in a little notebook. I had the opportunity to see her during her preparatory retreat: she was in deep recollection and completely penetrated by the thought of the imminent coming of Our Lord in her. Especially on the day of her First Communion, the wholly celestial and angelic expression of her features showed that she was more in heaven than on earth.

Around the age of 13, Thérèse had to leave the Benedictine boarding school to return to her family. I don't believe she asked for it herself; but my father, who saw the precarious state of her health, called her back to him. She completed her education, taking lessons from a mistress in town and studying alone at home.

 

At that time, I left my father's house on several occasions for attempts at religious life. So I only occasionally found myself in the company of the Servant of God. I can, however, testify that she was always very pious, took Communion several times a week, and attended daily, I believe, Holy Mass. I also noticed then that she was very forgetful of herself, always trying to please others. I was particularly touched by the great delicacy with which she acted towards me. I was 922 then, and she was only 23, but I was very behind in my studies and my training; my little sister lent herself to instruct me with great charity and exquisite tact so as not to humiliate me.

 

[Answer to the eleventh request]:

Thérèse never confided in me her vocational thoughts. At the time when the question of her entry into the Carmel was being discussed in Bayeux and Rome, I was absent from the house, as I have said, for a trial of religious life; I therefore only know by hearsay from my sisters, and by reading the “Story of a Soul”, what has to do with these events.

 

[Answer to the twelfth request]:

I was only able to know indirectly what happened during the years of Sister Thérèse's stay in Carmel. However, I personally noticed a few details. Thus, when I came to see my sisters in the visiting room, I noticed that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus showed herself to be particularly humble and discreet, willingly letting [923] others speak. She was also very regular, retiring first when the hourglass indicated that the time granted for the visiting room had passed.

 

[Response to thirteenth and fourteenth requests]:

As far as I have been able to observe the life of my little sister, I have never noticed, in her conduct, the least infraction of any duty or obligation, nor any laxity in the practice of virtues.

 

[Answer to questions fifteen to twenty-first inclusive]:

The Servant of God's spirit of faith appeared to me above all in the constant habit she had of appreciating all things from God's point of view. In her conversations, in the advice she gave me in the letters she wrote to me, it was only a question of celestial thoughts. I can think of nothing better to give an idea of ​​her habitual thoughts than to quote two more passages from her letters to me, which I consider a treasure. On August 20, 1894, she wrote to me on the occasion of our father's death:

 

“I think of you more than ever since our dear father left for heaven; I believe that you feel the same impressions as us. Papa's death does not strike me as a death but as a real life. I find him after 6 years of absence, I feel him around me watching me

 

WITNESS II: Françoise‑Thérèse Martin Ord. Screw.

 

holding and protecting me... Dear little sister, are we not more united even now that we look to the heavens to discover there a father and a mother who have offered us to Jesus? Soon their desires will be fulfilled and all the children that the good God has given them will be united to him forever...." @LT 924@

 

April 11, 1896. “My dear Léonie: Your little sister cannot help but also come to tell you how much she loves you and thinks of you, especially on this day of your birthday. I have nothing to offer you, not even an image, but I am mistaken, tomorrow I will offer you the divine Reality, Jesus ‑ Host, YOUR SPOUSE and mine... Dear little sister, that it is sweet to be able to call all five of us Jesus 'our beloved', but what will it be when we see him in heaven and everywhere we follow him, singing the same song that only virgins are permitted to repeat? !... Then we will understand the price of suffering and trial; like Jesus we will say again: 'It was truly necessary that suffering should try us and bring us to glory'. My darling little sister, I cannot tell you all that my heart contains of deep thoughts which relate to you; the only thing I want to repeat to you is this: I love you a thousand times more tenderly than ordinary sisters love each other, since I can love you with the heart of our heavenly Spouse. It is in him that we live the same life and that for eternity I will remain: your little sister, THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS ​​» @LT 186.@

 

[Session 47: September 14, 1915, at 9 a.m. and at 2 a.m. of the afternoon]

[932] [Answer to the twenty-second to twenty-sixth requests]:

During the years I spent with the Servant of God before she entered Carmel, I very often noticed that the aim of her efforts was not to find [933] happiness here on earth. She very often thought of eternity and the happiness of heaven, and liked to talk about it.

Since her entry into Carmel, I have only known the dispositions of her soul through a few letters which she wrote to me and which I have already quoted at the first Trial. I recall here the principal passages which show that the thought of heaven was more and more familiar to her, and that she envisaged from this point of view the sufferings of the earth.

She wrote to me on May 20, 1894: “I cannot tell you everything I would like.... but one day, in heaven, in our beautiful homeland, I will look at you, and in my eyes you will see all that I would like to tell you... In the meantime, we must win this heavenly homeland..., we must suffer, we must fight » @LT 163@

 

In January 1895, after the death of our father, she wrote to me: "The year which has just passed has been very fruitful for heaven: our dear father has seen what the eye of man cannot contemplate... Our turn will also come... Oh! how sweet it is to think that we are sailing towards the eternal shore!... Dear little sister, don't you agree with me that the departure of our beloved father has brought us closer to heaven?... more than half of the family now enjoys the sight of God, and the five exiles of the earth will not be long in flying away towards their homeland. This thought of the brevity of life gives me courage; it helps me to bear the fatigues of the journey”, etc.. @LT 173@.

 

[Answer to the twenty-seventh to the thirty-first questions]:

During the years of her early childhood the Servant of God was very fond of everything that had to do with piety. At the age of 934, while Marie and Pauline were preparing Céline for her first communion, Thérèse begged to be allowed to attend these lessons and these exercises. Thérèse's piety was enlightened, simple, amiable, without affectation and without contention: she went to God with the naivety and candor of a child who throws himself into his father's arms. In church she was the most collected, even during long services, and was admired as a pious guardian of children. I said that since her entry into Carmel, the Servant of God had found herself separated from me. I only know the dispositions of his soul from a few letters and the memories of the parlor. I could also repeat what I heard told by my sisters, or what I picked up in the notes they communicated to me in the letters they wrote to me, but that would be pointlessly repeating the testimony that they were able to provide themselves.

 

Here is a passage from a letter Thérèse wrote to me on July 12, 1896. She comments on this text of the Canticle: "You have wounded my heart by a hair of your head" (4,9): "We who live in the law of love, how not to take advantage of the amorous advances made to us by our Spouse... How to fear the one who lets himself be chained by a hair which flies on our neck! Let us therefore know how to hold prisoner this [935] God who becomes the beggar of our love. By telling us that it is a hair that can perform this miracle, he shows us that the smallest actions are those which charm his heart! Ah! if it were necessary to do great things, how much we would be to be pitied!... but how happy we are since Jesus allows himself to be chained by the smallest” @LT 191@

 

[Answer to the thirty-second to thirty-sixth questions]:

Around the age of five, six and seven, Thérèse already showed great devotion to her neighbour. I have already said that she did not like childish games and that she was willingly thoughtful and silent. Now she spent whole afternoons playing like this, contrary to her taste, to distract a sickly little cousin.

I could recall here what I said earlier about his patience and kindness towards me.

 

WITNESS II: Françoise‑Thérèse Martin Ord. Screw.

 

I learned from Mother Agnès of Jesus the following trait which shows her charity towards me: Mother Marie de Gonzague, prioress, had told Thérèse to ask, on the day of her profession, when she would be prostrate, the healing of our father, but she contented herself with saying: 'My God, let daddy heal, if that is your will, since our mother told me to ask you, but for Léonie let it be your will that she be Visitandine , and, if she doesn't have the vocation, I ask you to give it to her: you can't deny me that” @Source pre.@He is true that then I left the [936] Visitation after an unsuccessful attempt, but the confidence of the Servant of God remained unshakeable. She said to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart: “After my death, I will bring Léonie back to the Visitation and she will persevere there”

 

When she was little, she loved to take care of the poor, and nothing repelled her, not even dirt; she kissed and caressed the poor and often dirty little children. She loved to teach little children and talk to them about the good Lord.

 

Later, she wrote to me from Carmel, on July 12, 1896, in a letter already quoted: "It is not the small sacrifices that you miss, my dear Léonie... I am delighted to see you face to face with a such a treasure, and especially thinking that you know how to take advantage of it, not only for yourself, but also for souls... It is so sweet to help Jesus by our light sacrifices, to save the souls he has redeemed of his blood...” @LT 191@

 

[Response to the thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth requests]:

Her prudence seems remarkable to me in the advice she gave me for my salvation or for my vocation. While I was in the world, I suffered very great hesitations on this subject, and I made several attempts at religious life. In the parlor, the Servant of God encouraged me to persevere and diverted me from the smallest social events. She said that having put on the religious habit, even temporarily, I should [937] not allow myself any pursuit of vanity in my toilet; moreover, as I said, she kept the hope, which came true, of my definitive consecration to the Order of the Visitation.

 

Here is a passage from one of his letters, at the time of my trials (October 11, 1894): “Since we know of your trials, all our thoughts and our prayers are for you. I have great confidence that my dear little Visitandine will emerge victorious from all her great trials and that she will one day be a model nun... Jesus slumbers while his poor wife struggles against the waves of temptation, but we are going call so tenderly that he will soon wake up, commanding the winds and the storm... Dear little sister, you will see that joy will follow the test, and that later you will be happy to have suffered.»@ LT 171@

In support of what I have just said concerning the wisdom of his advice and his doctrine, I cannot do better than quote this beautiful testimony of our Holy Father Benedict XV. On May 17, 1913, when he was Archbishop of Bologna, he wrote on the occasion of an Italian edition of the life of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus: "It seems that this pious disciple of Carmel wanted to persuade us the ease of attaining Christian perfection; this is why she insisted on showing us 'her way of spiritual childhood'. Nothing should be easier than childlike trust or total surrender into the arms of Jesus. It is sweet for us to dwell on the hope that the example of Thérèse of the Child Jesus will be useful to the faithful of our diocese, she who by holy simplicity reached the heights of perfection” @Annales 938-7@

 

[The witness goes on to answer the thirty-ninth and fortieth questions]:

I do not see any precise answer to make to these questions, except to repeat that the Servant of God was perfectly exact in the fulfillment of all her duties either towards God or towards men.

 

[Answer to the forty-first request]:

My little sister was always very gentle and perfectly in control of herself. I don't remember ever seeing her show signs of impatience, let alone get angry; nor did she seek out treats like the other children.

 

[939] [Response to the forty-second request]:

The Servant of God held in high esteem the merit of courageously borne suffering for the good Lord. I found that she showed great fortitude in difficult circumstances. So it was when he entered Carmel. She loved our father very dearly, and was particularly loved by him. She certainly felt a sharp pain at this separation, and the thought of the grief our father would feel made the sacrifice even more heroic. However, she then separated from her family with perfect calm.

I also found her very courageous on the occasion of my father's illness. I have already quoted a few passages from her letters in which she expresses with what generosity and what spirit of faith she supported this sacrifice.

 

In the advice she gave me, she often repeated that sacrifice and suffering should be considered precious graces. She wrote to me in January 1895: “The good Lord finds you worthy of suffering for his love, and this is the greatest proof of tenderness he can give you, for it is suffering that makes us like him. » . @LT 173@

 

[Answer to the forty-third request]:

The Servant of God was kind and gracious, but she had no vani

 

WITNESS II: Françoise‑Thérèse Martin Ord. Screw.

 

té and ignored even the shadow of evil. She had, by nature, a taste for the beautiful, and this nobility of her soul kept her very [940] above sensual pleasures.

 

[Answer to the forty-fourth request]:

When Therese was a child, she didn't spend the money she was given on superfluities; she used almost everything in alms to the poor, or for good works or to procure some pleasure for others.

 

When I saw her in the parlor of the Carmel, she seemed to me always careful not to receive anything, to ask for nothing that could be contrary to the most rigorous religious poverty.

 

[Answer to the forty-fifth request]:

In her childhood and youth, until her entry into Carmel, the Servant of God was very exact, easy and joyful in obedience. You should never tell her the same thing twice and she followed with exact punctuality the little rules that at the age of 13 and 14 she had imposed on herself for the use of her time and the order of her readings. In the parlor of the Carmel, I also observed her perfect obedience: when the half-hour granted for the parlor had passed, she would not have stayed a second longer.

She never disputed, and she submitted her judgment with great facility.

 

[Answer to the forty-sixth request]:

Thérèse, in her childhood, was reserved and modest, [941] and never put herself forward, and easily persuaded herself that she was inferior to others.

Although she was very pretty, she did not care about it and seemed to ignore it, and showed herself indifferent to receiving this or that form of clothing from her elder sisters.

 

Although our father loved her with a very special affection, which moreover she well deserved, she never prided herself on it and remained humbly submissive to her sisters. The letters she later wrote to me from Carmel are all filled with praises of the virtue of humility and exhortations to practice it. She wrote to me on December 27, 1893: "Ask little Jesus for me that I always remain little, very little..." @LT 154@

On May 22, 1894, alluding to the name of Thérèse which I had received in religion, and which was also hers, she wrote to me:

"Which of the Thérèses will be the most fervent?... The one who will be the most humble, the most united to Jesus" @LT 164@

April 28, 1895: “Creatures will not see my efforts for virtue. Trying to make myself forgotten, I would like no other gaze than that of Jesus... It doesn't matter if I seem devoid of spirit and talent... I want to put into practice this advice of the Imitation: 'Do not put your joy only in the contempt of yourself... Love to be ignored and counted for nothing.." @LT 176@ and @Imit Liv 1 ch.2-3@

 

[Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

I live in community, among very faithful and fervent people, but the contrast is striking between their way of being and what I observed in the [942] Servant of God. This contrast appears to me above all in that there was no arrest in his virtue, but on the contrary a continuous progress. I also notice in the holiness of the Servant of God a friendliness and an ease that do not seem common to me.

 

[Answer to the forty-eighth request]:

I never noticed anything indiscreet about her; I have just said that, on the contrary, everything in his virtue was simple and amiable.

 

[Answer to the forty-ninth request]:

I do not believe that the Servant of God had visions or ecstasies, except three or four times, according to what I was told, namely: the apparition of the Blessed Virgin who healed her at age of 10, a prophetic vision of my father's illness, a flame or wound of love while making the way of the cross in Carmel, an extraordinary state of union with God for 8 or 10 days during his novitiate , and an ecstatic state at the time of his death; but I was not a direct witness to any of these events and Thérèse never mentioned them to me.

As far as I am concerned, I must recall a prophetic view of the Servant of God concerning my vocation. As I had abandoned the Visitation after an unsuccessful attempt, she said to Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart who brought it to me: “After my death, I will have Léonie return to the Visitation and she will persevere there”. I returned there, in fact, on January 28, 1899, I made my profession there in 1900 [943] and I hope to persevere there until my death.

On June 3, 1897, when I had returned to the world, and was thinking more of orienting myself towards a secular life, she sent me an image which I keep preciously; she had written this sentence on the reverse: "Dear little sister, how sweet it is for me to think that one day we will follow the Lamb together for all eternity" @LT 238@

 

[Answer to the fiftieth request]:

Apart from the facts related in the previous question, I have not heard that the Servant of God performed miracles during her life.

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

I remember that Mother Agnès of Jesus told me in the parlor that she had given Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus the obedience to write the story of her soul. But I only became aware of the contents of this manuscript when it was published after the Servant of God's death. I can certify, for the first years of his life, which I witnessed, that this account is perfectly true, and I have not the slightest doubt as to the character of scrupulous sincerity of all the rest of the manuscript.

 

WITNESS 11: Francoise-Thérèse Martin Ord. Screw.

 

[Answer to the fifty-second request]:

I was informed, as events unfolded, either by letters from my sisters or by their conversations in the visiting room, of what was happening in the months immediately preceding the death of the Servant of [944] God. She went to bed definitively in the month of July 1897. I saw her for the last time in the visiting room, on July 3, if I am not mistaken. His face seemed to me then as diaphanous and celestial. I learned from my sisters that she suffered a lot and in admirable feelings of faith, love and patience. I keep from her a very precious letter which I have already submitted to the first trial. This is the last she wrote to me; it is dated July 17, 1897, and written in pencil. Here it is: “My dear Léonie, I am very happy to be able to talk to you again; a few days ago I no longer thought I would have this consolation on earth, but the good Lord seems to want to prolong my exile a little, I am not distressed by it, because I would not like to enter heaven a minute earlier by my own will. The only happiness on earth is to strive to always find delicious the share that Jesus gives us, yours is very beautiful, my dear little sister; if you want to be a saint, it will be easy for you, since deep in your heart the world means nothing to you. You can therefore, like us, take care of the 'only necessary thing', that is to say that, while giving yourself up with dedication to external works, your goal is only one: to please Jesus, you unite more closely with him. You want me in heaven to pray to the Sacred Heart for you, be sure that I will not forget to do your errands to him and to claim everything you will need to become a great saint. [945] To God, my dear sister, I would like the thought of my entry into heaven to fill you with joy, since I will be able to love you even more. Your little sister, THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS” @LT 257@.

 

She died on September 30, 1897, at 7 o'clock in the evening, in an ecstasy of love, of which my sisters then told me the story, and which has since been described in the additional chapter of the "History of a soul .”

 

[Answer to the fifty-third request]:

I saw the body of the Servant of God exposed to the choir grill. Her face struck me as extraordinarily beautiful and such as I have never seen in any dead woman. I would have stayed to contemplate it, but the influx of the faithful who came to see his body and to pray prevented me from doing so. There were many people in the chapel, in the sanctuary and on the steps of the altar. It certainly comes much less to the death of the other Carmelites. I heard people say behind me: "How beautiful she is!" one finds it difficult to pray for her, one feels compelled to invoke her herself.”

 

[Answer to the fifty-fourth request]:

I attended the burial which took place on Monday, October 4, in the city cemetery, in a tomb placed at the back corner, on the right, in the new land of the Carmelites. I noticed that the grave was very deep. There was a lot of competition for clergy.

[946] I learned from public documents that she had been exhumed and transferred to a neighboring tomb, by order of the Bishop of Bayeux, on September 6, 1910.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fifth request]:

At the first burial I attended, there was absolutely nothing resembling worship of the Servant of God.

I did not attend the translation ceremony.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

After the death of the Servant of God, I remained in the world for another 18 months before entering religion definitively. During this time, I often came to pray at my little sister's grave. Some faithful were already coming there, but in small numbers.

Since January 1899, being cloistered, I have not seen the tomb again, but I know, by public testimony, that a current of pilgrimage has been established at this tomb. This pilgrimage is today numerous and continuous.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

During the Servant of God's lifetime, when she was still at Les Buissonnets, I often heard people of good judgment say that she was no ordinary child, that her face had something celestial about it and that the wisdom of his conduct, like his piety, were exemplary.

 

[947] Later, when she entered Carmel, several of the nuns of the monastery told me in the parlor that she was not ordinary, that she had the maturity of a 40-year-old, that she was considered a model nun by all the holiness of her life.

 

[Who were the nuns who gave this testimony? Were they the Servant of God's own sisters?]:

There were others besides my sisters, but I didn't remember their names, except those of Mother Marie des Anges and Sister Thérèse of Saint-Augustin.

[What do you know of Sister Thérèse's reputation for holiness after her death?]:

When the "Story of a Soul" appeared, the admiration of the faithful for the holiness of the Servant of God spread like wildfire, and today it is like a great fire in the whole world.

I noticed that the Servant of God says, in her manuscript: “So far, Lord, I have announced your marvels, and I will continue to announce them in the most advanced age” @MSC 3,1@. Does it not truly prophesy the mission we see being accomplished today?

 

WITNESS 1: Françoise‑Thérèse Martin Ord. Screw.

 

Since my arrival at the Carmel to make my statement there, I have noticed that there are many people and communions in the chapel where there was hardly anyone in the past.

[948] In the chapel, I saw a pilgrimage presided over by a priest who said mass to the group of pilgrims. I am very surprised to see in an interior corridor of the monastery the quantity of ex‑votos sent as a token of gratitude for favors obtained through the intercession of the Servant of God; piles of other votive offerings are locked away in an apartment. Candles sent by the faithful are constantly being burned in front of the statue of the Blessed Virgin: it seems that they are burned for 600 francs a month.

In my community of the Visitation of Caen we are unanimous in recognizing that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus is a saint. Doubtless the enthusiasm is not to the same degree among all our nuns, but all agree in recognizing her holiness.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I have not heard any opposition to the Servant of God's reputation for holiness. I have of course, even in our community, put forward this idea that there was some enthusiasm and some exaggeration in the dissemination of images, medallions, jewels, etc., concerning Sister Thérèse. It is even believed that it is the Carmel which takes the initiative of this propaganda, but this is not true: either the Carmel only responds to the requests of the faithful, or, in many cases, these are com -[9491 merchants who, without being able to

prevent, spread in the public objects of their manufacture.

 

[Answer The fifty-ninth to sixty-fifth requests inclusive]:

Around the year 1900, in winter, in the evening, under an impression of boredom and disgust, I cowardly recited the divine office. Then a luminous form, which dazzled me, appeared on my book of hours. I was not frightened by it, quite the contrary. After a moment I realized that this luminous form was a hand. I firmly believed that it was my little Thérèse; I was perfectly consoled and felt a delicious peace. Since then, this phenomenon has not occurred again.

On September 30, the anniversary of Sister Thérèse's death, two or three times I smelled the smell of roses; four or five years ago; the other years this favor was not renewed.

 

I had spoken, at the first Process, of the miraculous healing of a nun of our community, Sister Marie Bénigne. But it has since been recognized that this nun is in a state of nervousness which makes this case suspect.

I have heard, either in our community or in the visiting room, a considerable number of people recognize themselves indebted, to the intercession of Sister Thérèse, for various spiritual favors. I am confident that I have obtained many graces by invoking him.

I have read numerous accounts, either handwritten or printed in the "Rain of Roses", of temporal and spiritual [950] favors obtained from the Servant of God, but I have not made a study of these cases. particular.

Finally, yesterday during recreation, at the Carmel, we were read a letter from Colonel Etienne who has dedicated his entire regiment to Sister Thérèse and remarks that he is very protected.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I have nothing to add.

 

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. ‑ This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

 

Signatum: SISTER THÉRÈSE‑FRANCOISE MARTIN, witness, I testified as above according to the truth, I ratify and confirm it.

Witness 12 - Sister Saint-André (Eugénie Barbé), OSB

As we have already noted (vol. I, p. 542), Sister Saint-André has nothing exceptionally important to tell us. When she arrived at the abbey of Notre-Dame du Pré in 1882, in the capacity of substitute secular mistress, she had the opportunity to approach Thérèse there, but without ever having her under her direct and immediate supervision.

Born in Les Chapelles (diocese of Laval) on January 21, 1863, she entered the Benedictines in 1884 after having been their collaborator for more than two years. She made her profession in 1886 and was elected prioress ten years later, on August 18, 1896, a position she held for nearly forty years, until the end of 1933, distinguishing herself there by her wisdom and prudence. She died on August 24, 1942, two years before the destruction of her abbey during the bombardments of Lisieux in 1944.

 

To open up Sister Marie de la Trinité to audacious confidence in the infinite mercy of God, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus told her, not without audacity: God, “He whom you have taken for Spouse, certainly has all the desirable perfections; but, if I dare say it, he has at the same time a great infirmity, it is to be blind! and there is a science he does not know: it is calculation...” PO, f. 1070r, vol. I, pp. 453-454). On this subject we would like to point out the following in the following testimony: “(Thérèse) had a very open mind on most of the teaching subjects, except for mathematics, for which she had no attraction. She was also very studious and applied herself a great deal to study in general, and even to the study of arithmetic, which she did not like. I personally attended, at least on Sundays, the catechism lessons. She seemed to be completely in her element there. She was very interesting to observe, so captivated was she by this teaching...” (p. 960). The “little doctor” of Father Domin's catechisms could not be better presented.

 

The witness testified on September 15, 1915, during the 48th session (pp. 958‑964 of our Public Copy).

 

 

[Session 48: - September 15, 1915, at 2 a.m. of the afternoon]

[958] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[Response to second request]:

My name is Eugénie‑Virginie‑Marie Barbé, mother religion Saint‑André, professed nun and prioress of the Abbey of Notre‑Dame du Pré, of the order of Saint Benedict, in Lisieux, where I made my profession. , June 22, 1886.

I was born on January 21, 1863, in Les Chapelles, diocese of Laval, to Michel Barbé, farmer, and Anne Bigot.

 

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

[Answer to the sixth request]:

No feeling animates me that can dissuade me from telling the truth, and no one has exerted on me any influence to induce me to testify in one way rather than another.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

The Servant of God entered our boarding school in October 1881. I came there myself, as substitute mistress, in January 1882. I knew the Servant of God from that last date until she left from the boarding school in January 1886. I was not mistress in her class and I never had her properly speaking as a pupil: but the rules of the house meant that I often met her between classes, in the refectory and at recess. After the Servant of God left our boarding school, I saw her, the following year, come back once or twice a week; she then stopped coming to the Benedictines, and from then on I lost contact with her.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

When the Servant of God was with us, I had for her, not properly speaking a special affection, but admiration because of her piety and her fidelity to duty. Today I have sincere devotion to her because I believe she is pleasing to God. I very much desire the success of her Cause, because I believe that she loved God very much.

 

[960] [Response to the ninth request]:

I don't know anything in particular about the first years of the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the tenth request]:

The Servant of God was 8 years and a few months old when she entered our home as a half-boarder, that is to say, she arrived in the morning and returned home in the evening. So I found her at the boarding school, as I said, when I arrived there myself three months after she entered.

 

I do not have a very personal knowledge of the qualities of her intelligence, since she has never been in my class, I only know what I heard said by the other mistresses that she had a very open mind on most of my

 

WITNESS 12: Sister Saint-André OSB

 

education, except for mathematics, for which she had no attraction. She was also very studious and applied herself a great deal to study in general, and even to the study of arithmetic, which she did not like. I personally attended, at least on Sundays, the catechism lessons. She seemed to be completely in her element there. She was very interesting to observe, so captivated was she by this teaching, and, when questioned, her answers were always particularly interesting.

 

From the point of view of fidelity to the rules and of obedience, she was truly heroic. Supervision was rather difficult, particularly [961] in the stairways and corridors, and his little companions did not fail to break their silence there and commit the tricks of their age. I saw her, she, so recollected and minutely faithful that I was inclined then to judge her scrupulous: I have since understood that it was delicacy and heroism.

In her relations with her companions she was very gentle. She was not fond of noisy games, and during recess she took pleasure in giving them little sermons or telling them children's stories.

 

Her piety was always very great, but I was especially struck by her attitude on the day of her first communion, May 8, 1884: she looked truly celestial.

 

The Servant of God's father withdrew her in January 1886, and gave the state of her health as the reason for this determination. In any case, this departure was certainly neither desired nor provoked on our part. His reception in the association of the children of Mary, established in

our boarding school, moreover, clearly shows that it had given rise to no cause for dissatisfaction. It was to obtain this title of "child of Mary" that she returned for lessons in manual work, once or twice a week, during the following year. I noticed her great piety on the occasion of these returns to the boarding school: the work lesson ended around 3:1 a.m., instead of [2] remaining to converse or to have fun with her companions while waiting for her parents came to fetch her, she went to the gallery of the chapel, in a place where she could not be seen, and remained there in prayer for an hour and sometimes two hours.

The reception in the association of the children of Marie of a pupil who had already left the boarding school was contrary to custom. The president of the council, introducing her, said: "I believe that we will not have to regret having made an exception for Thérèse", and she was admitted unanimously.

 

[Answer from the eleventh to the fifty-fifth questions inclusive]:

As I said when answering the seventh question, I was only able to observe what concerns the Servant of God during the five years of her stay at the boarding school; I don't know anything personal about the rest of his life.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

I know from the people who stay at our hotel that the pilgrimage to the tomb of the Servant of God is developing rapidly. Today, there are a considerable number of people there, at all hours of the day. The people we receive at the hotel are generally educated people of high piety.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

I did not hear, during the lifetime of the Servant of God, that the fame of her holiness spread among the public; but since his death, the spread of this reputation for holiness is not in doubt. All the pilgrims we receive at the hotel, numbering about 963 each year, and coming from France, England, Belgium etc., have full confidence that she is a saint and pray to her in this capacity. In the community, we venerate her, we pray to her faithfully, we take her as a model, we are proud to have had her as a pupil.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I have never heard an opinion expressed contrary to the holiness of the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth to sixty-fifth questions]:

Several of our nuns claim to have obtained through her intercession spiritual favours, enlightenment, graces of progress, etc. I also intend to report from outside the obtaining of spiritual graces, healings, favors of all kinds, but I have no means of controlling them.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I have nothing to add.

 

[964] [Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. ‑ This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

 

Signatum: SISTER SAINT-ANDRÉ, OSB witness, I testified according to the truth, I ratify and confirm it.

Witness 13 - Sister Saint-François de Sales OSB

Sister Saint-Francois de Sales testified at the first trial. Born in Lisieux on March 15, 1848, Marie-Joséphine-Amélie Pierre made her profession on May 17, 1871 with the Benedictines of Lisieux, where she fell asleep in the Lord on February 25, 1933. Therese's class mistress in 1881-1883 and d religious education in 1883-1886, she is able to give us precious testimony about Thérèse's studies.

 

Confirming what Mother Saint-André, prioress of the Abbey, had already testified, the witness declared in particular about Thérèse: "In terms of intelligence, she was really very gifted, although she had, in her class, emulators who equaled him. She was even a little weak in arithmetic and spelling. But on all points, she was very diligent: she was a model student for work... As a student in the religious instruction class, she always maintained herself in first place. Her mind was very eager to learn about everything related to religion: she was passionate about this study and constantly asked questions which testified to this great desire to know and already showed that the things of God were everything for her. (p. 974).

 

On the subject of Sister Thérèse's reputation for holiness, the witness implicitly responds to an oft-repeated objection: "I believe that the dissemination of this reputation for holiness is above all the result of a providential action, and that all the human means one could take are not enough to explain it” (p. 977).

The testimony was given on September 16, 1915, during the 49th session (pp. 971‑978 of our Public Copy).

 

[Session 49: - September 16, 1915, at 9 a.m.]

[971] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[972] [Response to second request]:

My name is Aurélie Pierre, in mother religion Saint-François de Sales, professed nun of the order of Saint Benedict, at the Abbey of Notre-Dame du Pré, in Lisieux, where I made my profession on May 17, 1871. ; I was born on March 15, 1848, in Lisieux, parish of Saint‑Désir, to Edouard Pierre, a commercial employee, and Alexandrine Etienne.

 

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

 

[Answer to the sixth request]:

I believe that I have put myself in the presence of God to make my statement, and that I am moved by no other feeling than the desire to obey and to tell the truth. I did not tell anyone about my testimony and no one told me about it.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

When the Servant of God entered our boarding school in October 1881, I was her class mistress for a little over two years. During the year 1883, the state of my health obliged me to interrupt teaching, but I was put in charge of religious instruction, and I continued, in this capacity, to have the young Thérèse Martin under my direction until he left the boarding school in January 1886.

I also knew his family well, since two of his older sisters, Léonie and Céline, had been educated with us. Moreover, I was in charge [973] of the temporal of the house; Monsieur Martin did us a favor from that point of view and I was quite often in contact with him. After the Servant of God entered Carmel, our relationship ended.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

Even when the Servant of God was my pupil, I recognized in her an innocence and a piety that inspired me with a feeling of respect. Now I invoke him daily with confidence, though perhaps less enthusiastically than others.

I sincerely desire the success of her Cause, because I believe that she is called to exercise a very salutary influence on souls by this “way of simplicity and abandonment” which powerfully draws souls to God.

 

[Response to the ninth request]:

I only know from reading his life what relates to this question.

 

[Answer to the tenth request]:

I remind you that the Servant of God entered our boarding school at the age of 8 and a half. From the point of view of intelligence, she was really very gifted, although she had emulators in her class who equaled her. She was even a little weak in arithmetic and spelling. But on all counts she was very

 

WITNESS 13: Sister St. Francis de Sales OSB

 

great application: it was for work [974] a model pupil.

From the point of view of docility and conduct, she was perfect, I never saw her break the rules in any respect.

She always showed herself to her mistresses full of deference and docility; as for affection properly speaking, she sought it above all in her family.

A feature of her virtue which I then noticed and which greatly edified me, was that she only responded with a friendly smile to the criticisms, certainly painful and even hurtful for her, that another mistress made on the direction that the Servant of God received in her family.

As a pupil of the class of religious instruction, she always maintained herself in first place. His mind was very eager to learn about everything related to religion; she was passionate about this study and constantly asked questions that testified to this great desire to know and already showed that the things of God were everything to her. In reading the "Story of a Soul", which made me aware of her dispositions in Carmel, I found there the development, in a remarkable unity, of these first dispositions of her childhood.

 

In her relations with her young companions, she always testified to a good character, and never showed animosity even towards those of whom she might have complained. She also showed [975] the desire to do them good, and for that reason showed herself to be particularly affectionate towards a child whose family situation was rather difficult. However, this influence for good was not really very great, because of her shyness and her lack of love for the game which prevented her from mingling with her companions.

I have heard this assertion made here and there that Thérèse had suffered persecution at the boarding school from her companions. In truth, one of them, devoid of judgment, sometimes had hurtful behavior towards him, some others, his emulators in class, could be jealous of his success, as is common in schools... and that is all: it would be an exaggeration to call it persecution.

 

Piety was innate in this child, and all her acts, even the most childish, were imbued with the thought of God. His characteristic note was the habitual concern to "please God"; and she did it with the simplicity of a child caressing his father.

I have always seen her as simple and humble and I regard this as a real miracle, so much was she surrounded in her family with attention, tenderness and admiration.

When I want to talk about his first communion, it seems to me that I am leaving the earth. His preparatory retreat was very fervent. On the very day of her First Communion, she had a celestial air, [976] truly angelic, which struck even those who did not know her. She cried a lot after receiving Holy Communion and these tears came from a very intimate happiness.

What she says in her life, of her disposition on the day she received confirmation, is perfectly accurate; she prepared for it with a fervor that I have never found in any other child. The retreat having unexpectedly been extended by a day, it was thought necessary to give recreations to relax the children, but Thérèse took little part in these relaxations, preferring to perfect this preparation. She was confirmed on June 14, 1884.

The Servant of God left the boarding school in January 1886, because the state of her health no longer allowed her to attend classes regularly.

She did, however, come back once or twice a week for manual labor lessons. I noticed that when the lesson was over, she didn't strike up a conversation with her companions or with her mistresses; most often she went to the gallery of the chapel where she conversed with the good Lord.

She was received into the association of the children of Mary, of which she is the most beautiful ornament.

 

[Answer from the eleventh to the fifty-sixth questions inclusive]:

I only know about all this what is printed in his life or what is said in public: I have no personal and direct knowledge of it.

 

[977] [Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

It is not to my knowledge that the Servant of God's reputation for holiness spread during her life.

Since her death, several hundred people have come here to our hotel each year, whose trip is motivated solely by their devotion to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, whom they regard as a saint. People continually ask to visit our chapel, where she made her first communion, and the little chapel where she was received as a child of Mary, and where we have collected the memories we have of her.

I believe that the spread of this reputation for holiness is above all the result of providential action, and that all the human means that we have been able to take are not sufficient to explain it.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I have sometimes heard criticism of the noise that is made around this Cause; but I have never heard the Servant of God's holiness be doubted, however slightly.

 

[Answer from the fifty-ninth to the sixty-fifth questions inclusive]:

In the community, there are hardly any nuns who have not received spiritual favors, after having invoked the Servant of God, especially graces of progress, deliverance from interior sorrows, etc.

The pilgrims in our hotel or the people [978] whom I see in the visiting room have often told me of more external favours, such as cures, special protection in family affairs; but I have not verified any of these miracles myself.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I think I said it all.

 

WITNESS 13: Sister Saint-Francois de Sales OSB

 

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. ‑ This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

 

Signatum: SISTER SAINT-FRANCOIS DE SALES

Witness 14 - Victor-Louis Domin

Victor-Louis Domin (1.X. 1843 13.VI.1918) was for more than forty years chaplain of the Benedictine Abbey of Notre-Dame du Pré in Lisieux, and, for this reason, particularly well placed to know and observe the young Thérèse Martin (see vol. I, pp. 530‑534). It was of him that Thérèse wrote: “He called me his little doctor, because of my name of Thérèse” (MA “A” 37v).

Father Domin is only too sober in his deposition, because we would have liked him to give us something more about Thérèse as a child, whom he had been able to meet frequently at his uncle Isidore Guérin's house, with whom he had some connection. of kinship.

 

Like the two previous witnesses, he too underlined the Servant of God's love for religious teaching: "I knew her best as a catechist during the year preceding her first communion, and the years which followed until his departure. I remember that she knew her lessons perfectly, that she was extremely attentive to the explanations, never taking her eyes off me during my instructions. When I asked a more difficult question, I would sometimes say: 'Let's ask one of our doctors that'; I thus designated the most educated, Thérèse and one of her companions” (pp. 986‑987).

The witness testified on September 16, 1915, during the 50th session (pp. 985‑990 of our Public Copy).

 

Session 50: - September 16, 1915, at 3 a.m. of the afternoon]

[985] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

[Response to second request]:

My name is Victor‑Louis Domin, priest, chaplain and confessor of the Benedictine nuns of Lisieux. I was born on October 1, 1843 in Caen, Saint-Sauveur parish, to Louis Domin, printer, and Euphémie Delos.

 

WITNESS 14: Victor-Louis Domin

 

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

[Answer to the sixth request]:

I am entirely free from any such internal or external influence.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

When, in 1887, Monsieur Martin, after the death of his wife, came to settle in Lisieux, he paid a visit to the Abbey and presented his children: this was the first interview I had with the Servant of God.

I then met her, several times, in the family of Monsieur Guérin, her uncle, a family with which I am related.

But it was above all, during her stay at the Abbey as a half-boarder (October 1881 to January 1886), that I got to know the Servant of God. [986] During this period, I was his confessor and I was his catechist, at least the year preceding his first communion and the two following years. When she had left the Abbey for good, I stopped seeing her.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

Since the Servant of God's death, I have professed a sincere and lively devotion to her, based on the knowledge I acquired of her virtues by reading the "Story of a Soul."

I don't go a single day without specially invoking him. I sincerely desire her beatification because of the mission that I had the good fortune to fulfill with her, and also for the honor that will reflect on the house.

 

[Response to the ninth request]:

About what happened before the Servant of God came to Lisieux, I know nothing except by reading her life.

 

[Answer to the tenth request]:

I know next to nothing about what was going on in the boarding school classes. I announced the grades every month, and I kept this general memory that she always had excellent places and excellent grades, although she was one of the youngest, if not the youngest in her class.

I knew her better as a catechist, [987] during the year which preceded her first communion, and the years which followed until her departure. I remember that she knew her lessons perfectly, that she was extremely attentive to the explanations, never taking her eyes off me during my instructions. When I asked a more difficult question, I sometimes said: "Let's ask one of our doctors that", I thus designated the most educated, Thérèse and one of her companions.

As a confessor, authorizing myself from the example of Bellarmine, in the process of canonization of Saint Louis de Gonzague, I believe I can say that my impression today is that at that time, the Servant of God did not commit no fully deliberate fault.

She prepared very conscientiously for her first communion. I remember a word she said to me after the absolution: “Oh! my father, do you believe that the good Jesus is pleased with me?” These words, and above all the tone with which she uttered them, drew my attention to the delicacy of her soul and the fervor of her dispositions.

 

[Answer from the eleventh to the fifty-third questions inclusive]:

I have no personal information on these matters.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fourth request]:

I attended the funeral service in the chapel [988] of the Carmel, on October 4, 1897. I did not notice anything extraordinary in this ceremony.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fifth request]:

I noticed nothing, in these circumstances, which resembled a liturgical cult.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

I will make my devotions at the tomb as often as possible. I started this practice long before the opening of the first Information Trial. Already, at that time, we met groups of pilgrims there. Since then, this current has been maintained, increasing day by day. Today, each time I go to the tomb, I see that there are 8, 10, 15 people, sometimes more. Among these pilgrims, there are often priests, and these pilgrims come, not only from the surrounding area, but from far and very far, even from Oceania. From the beginning, soldiers were sometimes met there; since the war, there are many more. I believe that these pilgrimages are the spontaneous fruit of popular devotion and that nothing has been done to provoke them. On the tomb, the pilgrims pray with deep contemplation.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

On the very day of the funeral, Abbé Rohée, senior parish priest of Saint-Pierre de Lisieux, said these words in [989] my presence: very sure she was in heaven.

Today the opinion that she is a saint is general, almost all over the world. I believe that we have formed this opinion of her holiness by reading her life, and even more by the numberless graces that we obtain by invoking her, favors which realize the prophetic word that she uttered: “After my death I will make a shower of roses fall.”

I don't believe that anything has ever been done to hide what could be unfavorable to the Servant of God's opinion of holiness. I don't think that reputation was artificially created either; as for the means taken to spread the knowledge of the Servant of God's holiness, which was real by the way, many have seen in this some exaggeration: perhaps they are right; however, I believe that these human means, whatever one may think of them, cannot explain the universality of this devotion to the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I know of no serious opposition to this reputation for holiness.

 

WITNESS 14: Victor-Louis Domin

 

[Answer from the fifty-ninth to the sixty-fifth questions inclusive]:

Many people who come to the Abbey, in memory of Sister Thérèse, claim to have been favored by her intercession, either by spiritual graces [990] (conversions, etc.), or by temporal graces (healings, help of all kinds) , but I did not directly witness any of these miracles.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I have nothing to add.

 

[About the Articles the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. ‑ This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

Signed: L. DOMIN

Witness 15 - Alexandre‑Charles Maupas

Alexandre-Charles Maupas (1850-1920) was appointed parish priest of Saint-Jacques de Lisieux and delegate superior of the Carmel in 1895 (vol. I, p. 526) and therefore could not know Thérèse until the end of his life. He modestly declares (p. 1001) that he did not have enough time to form a detailed personal judgment on the virtues of the Servant of God.

In fact, her testimony concerns more the reputation of holiness than the heroicity of Thérèse's virtues. But it is moving to hear her relate certain expressions of the Servant of God preparing to leave this world to join the Father. These expressions come to confirm the objectivity of the notes of Mother Agnès published in the Last Interviews and relating to the joy felt by the Servant of God approaching her end at the thought of her next meeting with Jesus (cf. p. 1002).

The witness testified on September 17, 1915, during the 51th session (pp. 996‑1005 of our Public Copy).

 

[Session 51: - September 17, 1915, at 2 a.m. of the afternoon]

[1000] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[Response to second request]:

My name is Alexandre-Charles Maupas, priest, honorary canon, pastor of the parish of Saint-Jacques de Lisieux and ecclesiastical superior of the Carmel of the said city. I was born on August 27, 1850, in Mesnil-Auzouf, diocese of Bayeux, to Alexandre-Pierre Maupas, farmer and

of Jeanne Marie.

 

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

[Answer to the sixth request]:

I give my testimony in all sincerity and freedom.

 

WITNESS 15: Alexandre‑Charles Maupas

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

When I arrived in Saint-Jacques in 1895, and was appointed ecclesiastical superior of Carmel, the Servant of God had already been there for 7 years and had 5 years of profession. So I was able to glimpse him in the last two years of his life and especially in his last illness.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I have a real devotion to the Servant of God through whose intercession I believe I have obtained notable graces. I desire his beatification for the good of the Church and of souls. I want it to be as soon as possible, so that I can attend.

 

[Answer from the ninth to the eleventh questions inclusive]:

I know nothing about the beginnings of Sister Thérèse's life, other than what I have read and heard about her.

 

[Answer to the twelfth request]:

During the few months that elapsed between my entry into office and the Servant of God's last illness, I barely had time to catch a glimpse of her, and I was unable to form a personal judgment of her.

 

[Answer from the thirteenth to the fiftieth questions inclusive]:

I did not know her well enough to formulate a personal and detailed judgment on these various points.

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

I read the writings of the Servant of God with great pleasure and great edification. I particularly admired the sublimity of his doctrine on the love of God. I was also struck by her extensive knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and the application so happy that she knows how to make almost every page. This far exceeds what can be expected of such a young nun, and I would consider myself blessed to be able to do the same.

Having had the opportunity to pass by the Grande Chartreuse, I received this testimony from one of the main monks of the abbey, around 1902 or 1903, I do not remember [1002] the exact date: "We have wanted since long find a book that could do good to our brothers, the life of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus responds perfectly to this need and does our brothers the greatest good.

 

[Answer to the fifty-second request]:

When I saw her for the first time in her last illness, she seemed to me joyful and radiant; I asked him the cause of his joy. She answered me: "It is because, this time, I will soon go to see my Jesus." She therefore seemed to me to contemplate death, not only with great calm, but with real joy.

When I administered the sacrament of Extreme Unction to her, some time before her death, I told her that if she received this sacrament well, her soul would be pure "as on the day of her baptism." These last words caused him, his sister told me, great joy.

 

[Answer to the fifty-third request]:

I did not notice anything special in the state of his body after his death.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fourth request]:

I presided over the burial which took place in the city cemetery, in the special Carmelite enclosure, on October 4, 1897. Nothing extraordinary happened in this circumstance. I also attended the transfer of [1003] his remains to a neighboring tomb, on September 6, 1910, under the presidency of the Bishop of Bayeux. The minutes have been published.

 

[Answer to the fifty-fifth request]:

Nothing was done, in these circumstances, contrary to the rules of the Church

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

The state of my health unfortunately does not allow me to go to the tomb as often as I would like, but I know full well that there is, every day, and from morning until evening, an uninterrupted succession of pilgrims of all classes and from all countries.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

In the last days of the Servant of God's life, I was able to see that she was held up in the community as a model nun. The chaplain, Mr. Youf, told me himself when he had the highest esteem. Today, in my parish, in the whole city, I notice that she is considered a saint; moreover, having had the opportunity to make long journeys, I noticed that wherever we stop, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus is known and regarded as a saint.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I have never heard an opinion expressed contrary [1004] to the holiness of the Servant of God. I only heard sometimes that there was perhaps a little noise around the Cause; but I attach no importance to this remark; besides, the Servant of God has nothing to do with it, and all that one can do and say does not prevent her from being a saint.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth to sixty-fifth questions]:

Personally, I attribute to the prayers I made to the Servant of God the unexpected conversion of three dying people. The conversion of one of them was particularly remarkable. Struck by the censures of the Church, he refused at first to retract, and seemed destined to die in final impenitence. I made a novena to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, asking that the patient call me back, which actually took place towards the end of the novena. I was able to administer all the sacraments to him, and he died in an edifying manner.

I have also personally observed conversions of pilgrims; one in particular really struck me.

I also believe I owe him my recovery from a serious illness last winter. A novena was made for me which ended on the anniversary of the baptism of the Servant of God. I had associated with

 

WITNESS 15: Alexandre‑Charles Maupas

 

these prayers, and at the end of the novena I found myself unexpectedly out of danger.

In addition to these personal favours, I know that a very large number of people claim to have obtained, through her intercession, graces of all kinds; I did not [1005] bother to verify these assertions.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I have nothing to add.

 

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. ‑ This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

 

Signatum: A. MAUPAS, superior of the Carmel

Witness 16 - Alcide Ducellier

Abbé Ducellier, this priest “full of tact and heart”, as a recent biographical profile happily depicts him, is already known by his testimony as a second official witness at the Ordinary Informative Trial.

Born November 14, 1849 in Chicheboville (diocese of Bayeux), he was ordained a priest in 1874. Always available for the needs of the ministry, he had a very eventful apostolate; everywhere he stood out for his entire devotion to the Church and to souls. Vicar at Saint-Pierre de Lisieux from 1877 to 1884, he had the honor of hearing the first confession of Thérèse Martin when she was barely seven years old; he was her confessor until he entered the Benedictine Abbey as a half-boarder. Archpriest of Saint-Pierre since his return to Lisieux in 1899, he preached at the taking of the habit of Pauline, his spiritual daughter, as also, later, at the taking of the habit and the taking of the veil of Céline. Thérèse had a special affection for him. He died in Lisieux on December 20, 1916, at the end of the year in which he had been able to testify at the Apostolic Process.

 

His testimony is very poor. This venerable priest reports, as already at the Ordinary Process, Thérèse's first confession. His testimony relating to the Martin family, of which he was a close friend, is of great value: "I can say of this family, which moreover is notorious in this town, that it was an admirably Christian family and which edified everyone” (p. 1028). The rest of the deposition concerns Thérèse's reputation for holiness.

 

Mr. Ducellier testified in the 54th session, February 7, 1916 and his testimony in our Public Copy extends from page 1027 to page 1031.

 

WITNESS 16: Alcide Ducellier

 

[Session 54: - February 7, 1916, at 9 a.m.]

[1027] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[1028] [Response to second request]:

My name is Alcide‑Leoida Ducellier, born in Chicheboville on November 14, 1849 to Louis Adolphe Ducellier, masonry contractor and Céleste Philippe. I am the archpriest of the cathedral of Saint-Pierre de Lisieux.

 

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

[Answer to the sixth request]:

I believe that I am not subject to any influence whatever that could distort my testimony.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

Around 1880, I was curate at Saint-Pierre de Lisieux; I was confessor to Misses Pauline and Marie Martin, elder sisters of the Servant of God. When little Thérèse reached the age of seven, I heard her first confession. Shortly after, she entered the boarding school of the Benedictines and I myself left the post of curate at Lisieux; I did not return to this parish until 1889, as parish priest.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I personally have great devotion and great confidence in the Servant of God. I invoke him daily, and several times each day. Her reputation for holiness, the spiritual graces she obtains, the miracles that take place through her intercession and my personal memories motivate this devotion. I desire the success of his canonization; she will be a protector and a glory for her city of Lisieux.

 

[Response to the ninth and tenth request]:

The family of the Servant of God came to settle in Lisieux after the death of Madame Martin. I can say of this family, which moreover is notorious in this city, that it was an admirably Christian family and which uplifted everyone. [1029] Mr. Martin in particular showed a heroic spirit of faith when his children successively left him to enter Carmel. After the death of Madame Martin, Mademoiselle Marie, the eldest of the children, occupied herself above all with the material management of the house; Pauline, the second, currently Mother Agnès, Prioress of Carmel, gave herself entirely to the education of little Thérèse, and acquitted herself of this task with great devotion, Christian spirit and prudence.

 

I saw little Thérèse in particular at church where she came very regularly with her family. Although she was barely seven years old, she attracted the attention of parishioners with her angelic piety.

 

[Answer to the eleventh to fifty-fifth questions inclusive]:

Having left Lisieux in 1884, only to return two years after the death of the Servant of God, I have nothing personal to say on all these questions.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

The pilgrimage to the tomb of the Servant of God continues regularly, even during the bad season. Pilgrims come here, even from distant regions. These manifestations of devotion have a remarkable character of recollection, piety and trust, we see nothing in them that denotes singularity or superstition.

 

[1030] [Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

As pastor of the parish of Saint-Pierre de Lisieux, I was able to observe and I affirm that all the Christian people in my parish who knew the Servant of God during her stay in Lisieux have kept the memory of her as an exceptionally pious and uplifting maiden whose virtue attracted attention; moreover, there is not, I believe, in my parish today, a Christian family that does not constantly invoke the Servant of God. All hold her for a saint and are convinced that her intercession obtains signal graces and even miracles. Among those who give me this testimony, there are a large number of enlightened, judicious piety, whose judgment deserves consideration. As for the origin of this reputation for holiness, I believe that God used the book “Story of a Soul” to make the Servant of God known; but certainly, in my opinion, nothing has been done to create a false reputation for holiness. The graces obtained were the main cause of this movement of piety.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I have heard nothing opposed to this reputation for holiness and miracles.

 

[Answer from the fifty-ninth to the sixty-fifth questions inclusive]:

I have not personally witnessed any [1031] miracles. I often hear people in my parish say: "I obtained, through the intercession of Sister Thérèse, such and such a grace... I never invoke Sister Thérèse without being answered... etc.."

I heard Doctor La Néele, a doctor, tell that a young man from Glos, suffering from intestinal perforation, was bound to die of this lesion: the aforesaid doctor, who was treating him, applied a relic of the Servant of God and healed.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I have nothing to add.

 

[This concludes the examination of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already submitted in response to previous requests. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

 

Signature: DUCELLIER.

Witness 17 (1 ex officio) - Beloved of Jesus and the Heart of Mary, OCD

This witness, like the previous one, Father Ducellier, was one of the ex officio witnesses at the Ordinary Trial.

We know that Aimée de Jésus (Léopoldine Féron), born on January 24, 1851 in Anneville-en-Saire (diocese of Coutances), entered the Carmel of Lisieux on October 13, 1871 where she died on January 7, 1930, never had a great intimacy with Thérèse. As she noted at the beginning of her 1911 deposition (cf. I, p. 572), she repeats it in her new testimony (p. 1043), although she no longer says there—like the first time —to have been “one of the instruments which God used to sanctify it.” Sister Aimée was not in favor of four sisters living together in the same monastery. This is why she opposed Celine's entrance with all her might, then changing her mind in a mysterious way, thus giving Thérèse, in the name of God, the "response" she was waiting for. to know if his father Louis Stanislas had gone straight to heaven (cfr. MA “A” 82v).

This fact gives particular value to the testimony: “I noticed that her sisters, following nature, paid great attention to her; but she, for her part, was perfectly detached from these family ties” (p. 1045).

The witness dwells above all—in his brief testimony—on Thérèse's reputation for holiness and on the graces attributed to her intercession. It is moving to hear her express her gratitude to the Servant of God for the blessings that, from heaven, she reserves for herself and her family.

The witness testified on February 8, 1916, during the 55th session, pp.1043-1051 of our Public Copy.

 

[Session 55: - February 8, 1916, at 8:30 a.m.]

 

[1043] [The witness correctly answers the first request]

[Response to second request]:

My name is Léopoldine Féron, born in Anneville, diocese of Coutances, on January 24, 1851, of Ambroise-Auguste Féron, farmer and Cécile Enault. I entered the Carmel on October 13, 1871 and I [made] my profession there on May 8, 1873, under the name of Sister Aimée of Jesus.

 

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

 

[Answer to the sixth request]:

I am very free in my deposition, I have not suffered any influence.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

I was already professed at Carmel when Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus entered it. Although I did not have a special intimate relationship with her, I nevertheless shared her life as a religious during all the time she lived in Carmel. As for the years that preceded her entry into the Carmel, I only know what I heard reported by her sisters who are also Carmelites in this monastery.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I have a very sincere devotion to the Servant of [1044] God; I invoke her every day and I even believe that she granted my family very significant protection. I ask every day that his beatification succeeds for the glory of God and also for the glory of Carmel.

 

[Answer from the ninth to the eleventh questions inclusive]:

On the first years of the Servant of God, I only know what I heard told by her sisters who were able to bear witness directly.

 

[Answer to the twelfth request]:

My sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus entered the Carmel on April 9, 1888, at 15 years and three months; she took the habit on January 10, 1889; she made her profession on September 8, 1890 at the age of 17 years and 8 months; she took the veil on September 24 of the same year. She died in Carmel on September 30, 1897, at the age of 24 years and 9 months.

During her religious life, she filled the jobs of sacristan and portress. She was also responsible, for several years, for the formation of novices.

 

[Answer to the thirteenth request]:

I have never seen Sister Thérèse fail in any way in her duties as a Christian and a nun.

 

[Answer to the fourteenth request]:

[1045] The Servant of God was not only faithful in practicing the virtues

 

WITNESS 17 (I OFFICE): Aimee of Jesus OCD

 

Christians, but she was very careful to seize every opportunity to exercise these different virtues.

 

[Answer to the fifteenth to forty-sixth questions inclusive]:

What particularly struck me in the life of the Servant of God was her humility and her modesty. She was able to go unnoticed and keep hidden the graces and gifts she received from God and which many, like me, only knew after her death.

I noticed that her sisters following nature had great attentions for her; but she, on her side, was perfectly detached from these family ties: only once did she seem to me deeply affected by a pain which had befallen one of her sisters; but it is hardly an imperfection and perhaps even that God did not judge it such. I never noticed that she failed, even in words, in charity towards any of her sisters in religion.

 

One of our sisters told me that she had been very edified by the great humility with which she bore a reproach that this sister addressed to her on the occasion of the way in which she disposed of the flowers sent by a worker, around the coffin. of our mother Geneviève.

 

[Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

[1046] I have always thought that the virtue of Sister Thérèse could be equaled to that of our mother Geneviève, the venerated founder of our community of Lisieux. She was truly his daughter in her humility and charity. That is to say that his virtue has always seemed to me heroic and above the common measure.

 

[Answer to the forty-eighth request]:

Sister Thérèse, even from her entrance at 15, seemed very judicious and very prudent in all things. There was nothing indiscreet in his way of practicing the virtues.

 

[Answer to the forty-ninth request]:

I have no knowledge that during her life she was the object of these extraordinary gifts.

 

[Answer to the fiftieth request]:

It is not to my knowledge that during her life she performed any miracles.

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

I only knew the writings of the Servant of God when they were printed after her death. I am not able to appreciate them from the theological point of view. I believe her story written by herself to be very sincere and very true. It is true that she reveals herself there with a more lively charm than I had observed during her life; but this is to the praise of her humility in showing [1049] how she kept her virtues hidden.

 

[Answer to the fifty-second request]:

I saw the Servant of God little in the last months of her life, because I left the job of nurse at the start of her illness.

Only once did I have the joy of approaching her to help change her bed. Then she could no longer speak, but she thanked me with a celestial gaze so full of gratitude and affection that I remember it as a pledge of her protection.

During her intense suffering, her face retained an angelic expression of happiness,

 

[Answer to the fifty-third request]:

I did not notice anything in particular during his funeral, except for a very large crowd of faithful.

 

[Response to the fifty-fourth and fifty-fifth requests]:

I only know by hearsay how the Servant of God's tomb is laid out in the town cemetery.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

The assistance of pilgrims to the tomb of the Servant of God is known to me through visits to the visiting room and through what the touriere sisters and our mother prioress tell us about it. From all these testimonies it is evident that the pilgrims are very numerous and that they come to the cemetery not out of curiosity, but out of a feeling of religion [1048] and confidence.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

During the Servant of God's lifetime, even at the time of her profession, but especially in the last days of her life, she was looked upon in the community as a little saint. This opinion was general among us. We were probably not thinking, then, of all the marvels that have happened since, but we saw her as an exceptionally privileged little soul of God.

Since her death, everyone in the community has admired the graces of all kinds obtained through her intercession and no one doubts that she is truly a saint.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I don't know what's going on in the world; but here no one has the slightest doubt about the Servant of God's holiness and power of intercession. During her life, although she was not equally known and appreciated by all, even those who knew her less still held her in high esteem.

 

[Answer from the fifty-ninth to the sixty-fifth questions inclusive]:

Our mother prioress receives many letters every day in which we relate extraordinary graces obtained through the intercession of the Servant of God. Many [1049] soldiers, in particular, say they are indebted to his invocation, for miraculous preservation in the greatest dangers or for the unexpected healing of wounds which seemed mortal. (Here the witness sends to the court several letters containing reports of this kind. In one it is a question of the sudden cessation of a hemorrhage consecutive to the section of the humeral artery: it is a testimony among a thousand others ). The witness continues as follows:

I have to point out three miraculous favors to which members of the

 

WITNESS 17 (I OFFICE): Aimee of Jesus OCD

 

my family: first of all the unexpected conversion of my brother Arsène, obtained by the invocation of the Servant of God, several months before his death, when he had been far from God for many years; I related this conversion in my deposition at the Trial of the Ordinary.

Secondly, my niece, daughter of this converted brother of whom I have just spoken, obtained, by the invocation of the Servant of God, the fruitfulness of her marriage which, after four years, seemed sterile. Moreover, on the occasion of the birth of her child, she was cured, in the first days of a novena to Sister Thérèse, of a puerperal infection which endangered her life.

Finally, one of my cousins, Sister Marie‑Jeanne de Chantal, of the Congrégation de Notre‑Dame des Missions, mistress of novices in New Zealand, attributes to the protection of Sister Thérèse the improvement of her health, which was compromised by pulmonary consumption. which the doctor declared to be the most serious. This religious cousin became [1050] zealous of Sister Thérèse's invocation. She writes to me that, in the mission in Oceania, where she works, the Servant of God is invoked on all sides with the most complete confidence.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

One can add, touching the reputation of miracles after death, that soldiers and officers send, as ex-voto, to the Carmel, the decorations won by them on the battlefield. I ask permission to show the court a kind of frame where several of these crosses and medals have been placed. (The court examines this frame which contains seven crosses of the Legion of Honor and as many war crosses and military medals).

 

[ 1051 ] [Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. ‑ This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

Signatum: LOVED SISTER OF JESUS.

I have filed as above according to the truth, I ratify and confirm it.

Witness 18 (2 ex officio) - Marthe of Jesus and Blessed Perboyre, OCD

The testimony of Sister Marthe of Jesus gives the impression of a new direct encounter with Thérèse of the Child Jesus. The witness, XII at the Ordinary Process, brings to it the weight of her filial affection, with a wealth of details, expressions, facts, which make her deposition, despite its brevity, one of the most beautiful and precious of the Apostolic Process. . 

We already know Sister Marthe, her life and her character. In the introduction to his deposition of 1911, in the various testimonies of the Autobiographical Manuscripts of Thérèse and in the Obituary Circular, the humble converse appeared to us with his limits and his goodwill. She was called, as you will remember, Désirée-Florence-Marthe Cauvin, and she was born in Giverville (Diocese of Evreux) on the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16, 1865. She lost her mother very early; his childhood and adolescence were deeply marked by suffering and his character bore indelible traces. Entering the Carmel of Lisieux in 1887, she died there on September 4, 1916, a few months after giving evidence at the Apostolic Process. Novice of Thérèse of the Child-Lésus, she wanted to prolong her time of novitiate to enjoy longer the direction of her holy Mistress. 

The portrait that Sister Marthe draws of Thérèse is one of the clearest and most attractive. The simplicity of the Servant of God, her rectitude, her strength, her fervor, her equality of character appear as an admirable example and encourage imitation. This applies particularly to Thérèse's charity when we consider what Sister Marthe says about it. A charity that stands out even more in the face of the shortcomings that Sister Marthe humbly recognizes. “I can say in all truth that Sister Thérèse of the Child-Lésus has always been a true mother to my soul through the care she took to form me. I acknowledge having very often exercised her virtue, and I am convinced that another sister, in her place, would have abandoned me, so unbearable was I; but she always treated me with much love and charity, without ever showing the least boredom” (p. 1063). And what Thérèse was for Sister Marthe, she was for everyone, as the witness proves by the facts. Truly, for the little Saint, charity was everything. It was because she was always animated by a great faith. She saw Jesus in everyone, this Jesus in whose presence she always walked.

This is also the secret of the great recollection that Sister Marthe was able to observe in the Servant of God. “I have always been struck by the great recollection in which the Servant of God lived, even in the most entertaining occupations. One felt that she was always united with the good Lord, she never showed dissipation, even in tiring work, for example in the laundry. When she saw that I was letting myself be carried away by material work, she would say to me: 'What are you doing?... Be more interior, occupy yourself more with Jesus, even in the midst of your labors'” (p. 1061 ). If Sister Marthe brings us valuable "logia", partly already known through what she had passed on for the "Counsels and Souvenirs of the Ancient Story of a Soul", she also knows how to speak to us, as very few have done, of Thérèse, educator and spiritual formator; she recounts her personal experiences and those of her companions who, entrusted like her to the Saint, felt the power of her gaze, of her words, and of her example.

Sister Marthe deposed on February 8, 1916, during the 56th session, and her deposition can be found on pages 1058-1077 of the Public Copy.

 

[Session 56: - February 8, 1916, at 2 a.m. of the afternoon]

[1058] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[Response to second request]:

My name is Florence Désirée Cauvin, born in Giverville, diocese of Evreux, on July 16, 1865, of Alphonse Gauvin, shepherd and Désirée Pitraz. I am a lay sister of the Carmel of Lisieux, where I entered in 1887 and where I made my profession on September 23, 1890.

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

 

[Answer to the sixth request]:

I prepared my statement on my own; no one [1059] helped me. I am ready to answer with perfect sincerity.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

I did not know the Servant of God before she entered Carmel. When she came there, I myself had been there for three months. We therefore shared the same religious life until his death in 1897.

Especially from her profession, I had a particularly intimate relationship with her, because she was a little saint; she did me a lot of good and our mother had allowed me to talk with her about the things of God for the benefit of my soul.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I have a very great devotion for the Servant of God, for the memory of all the good she has done me, and I trust that I will obtain many graces through her intercession. I have a great desire for her beatification so that she may be better known and do more good for the glory of God.

 

[Answer from the ninth to the eleventh questions inclusive]:

I know nothing about the first years of the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the twelfth request]:

[1060] Sister Thérèse entered Carmel in April 1888. I had been there myself since the previous December. She took the habit on January 10, 1889 and made her profession on September 8, 1890. I made my profession on September 23 of the same year. Sister Thérèse wanted to stay in the novitiate all her life. So I stayed there myself because I didn't want to be separated from her. She served as sacristan and portress. In addition, she worked in the formation of novices from her profession. She was doing this on the orders of Mother Agnès de Jesus, prioress, not officially, but rather incognito because, had it been known, it would have aroused the jealousy of Mother Marie de Gonzague and would have disturbed the peace of the community. . When towards the end of the life of the Servant of God, Mother Marie de Gonzague again became prioress, she confirmed Sister Thérèse in this charge of formator of novices.

 

[Answer to the thirteenth request]:

Sister Thérèse discharged all her duties to perfection, not by natural inclination, but by virtue.

 

[Answer to the fourteenth request]:

I have never seen her fail in the practice of any virtue. She always brought the same fervor to it.

 

[1061] [Answer from the fifteenth to the sixteenth request]:

The Servant of God always saw the good God in all things and particularly in superiors: also, she was very faithful in fulfilling the smallest duties that the mother prioress indicated to her. She often reproached me for my lack of a spirit of faith and submission. "If you saw the good Lord in your superiors—she told me—you would never reflect on what they say, but you would always obey blindly without the slightest return on yourself" [primary source of this word].

 

[Response to the seventeenth request]:

I have always been struck by the great recollection in which the Servant of God lived, even in the most entertaining occupations. One felt that she was always united with the good Lord, she never showed dissipation, even in tiring work, for example in the laundry. When she saw that I let myself be carried away by material work, she said to me: “What are you doing?... Be more interior, take more care of Jesus, even in the midst of your work.”

 

[Answer to questions eighteen to twenty inclusive]:

Before we had made profession, as there was no one to sweep the chapel, we were both charged, for a few weeks, to fulfill this office. One day, the Servant of God, seized with a surge of love, went to kneel on the altar, knocked at the door of the tabernacle, saying: [1062] "Are you there, Jesus, answer me , I beg you." [see here the image offered by Marie du Sacré-Coeur, who inspired this gesture and this question]. Then resting her head on the door of the tabernacle, she remained there for a few moments, then she looked at me. Her face was transfigured and radiant with joy, as if something mysterious had happened between her and the divine prisoner.

 

[Response to the twenty-first request]:

I have always been particularly struck by Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus' great love for the Blessed Virgin. When she was on this chapter, she couldn't stop. She advised me to entrust myself completely to this good Mother and to have towards her the tenderness and simplicity of a very small child. A few weeks before her death, she called me and said: "I will not be at peace on your account, you must promise me to recite a Remember to the Blessed Virgin every day.” I promised him and I was faithful to it.

 

[Answer to the twenty-second to twenty-sixth questions inclusive]:

She never worried about the happiness of the earth, but she always spoke to me of eternity, and constantly exhorted me to trust in God.

 

[Answer to the twenty-seventh to the thirtieth questions]:

The Servant of God often said to me: “If you want to achieve holiness, you must not content yourself [1063] with imitating the saints, but you must be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Do not believe that to achieve perfection it is necessary to do great things. Oh no! our love is enough for Our Lord, let us give him everything he asks of us without making any reservations. It is so sweet to sacrifice oneself for the one one loves more than oneself! So nothing costs and everything becomes easy.”

 

[Answer to the thirty-first to the thirty-sixth questions]:

I can say in all truth that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus has always been a true mother to my soul through the care she took to form me. I acknowledge having very often exercised her virtue, and I am convinced that another sister, in her place, would have abandoned me, so unbearable was I; but she always treated me with much love and charity, without ever showing the least boredom.

When we came to disturb the Servant of God to ask her for a favor, we were always sure of being well received; she was even in a hurry, she never showed the slightest annoyance, and if it happened that she could not please, she excused herself in such a friendly way that people went away as happy as if she rendered the requested service. She said to me: “If a sister asks you for a favor, do everything that depends on you to render it, even if it would cost you a lot. Never say no. See the good God in each of your sisters, then you will never [1064] refuse anything: this is true charity.”

 

During the eight years that I spent with the Servant of God, I never heard her lack charity. She always excused her sisters, highlighting their virtues. When I told her of the fights that some gave me, she was careful not to agree with me; but she attributed it to my lack of virtue. If she saw a nun who was burdened, she quickly went to the front to relieve her of her burden, and she did that as well for a poor little lay sister as for a choir sister.

There was, in the lingerie, A sister of difficult character and no one wanted to be with her. Sister Thérèse asked to be put as an assistant in this job because she knew there was a lot to suffer.

One year, I expressed to her my desire to make my annual retreat with her. She acceded to my request and, for three years, she did me this favor. For that, she let the time of her profession pass and waited for me to leave in solitude. I learned later that I was making her make a very great sacrifice in this, but I would never have suspected it, because she didn't show it.

To stimulate me to the practice of virtue, she forced herself to make small sacrifices with me, which we marked each day and the list of which we placed on Sundays at the foot of the Blessed Virgin. Sister [1065] Thérèse did not need to use these little means for herself, but she did it only for me, in order to encourage me.

 

[Response to the thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth requests]:

The Servant of God was very cautious. I especially noticed it in the advice she gave me as a novice. We could entrust everything to her, we were sure that not a single word was repeated to anyone, not even to Mother Agnès of Jesus when she was prioress. That's why I went to her with confidence, which I have never been able to do since with anyone. I told him everything and always received the lights my poor soul needed. One day she wrote me a note from which I quote a few passages which show the wisdom of her direction: "My little sister, do not be afraid to tell Jesus that you love him, even without feeling it: it is the way to forcing him to help you... it's a great ordeal to see everything in the dark, but it doesn't completely depend on you; do all you can to detach your heart from the cares of the earth, then be sure that Jesus will do the rest. But above all let's be small, so small that everyone can trample on us without even seeming to feel it” @LT 241@.

She also showed herself to be very careful not to arouse the jealousy of Mother Marie de Gonzague [1066] by applying herself to the formation of novices.

 

The day Mother Marie de Gonzague asked the Servant of God to adopt a missionary priest as her spiritual brother, she forbade him to even mention it to Mother Agnès of Jesus (her sister Pauline and also her former prioress). This order was a great sacrifice for the Servant of God, but in perfect obedience she was faithful in never saying a single word to him. Out of prudence and fearing that Mother Agnes might surprise her, she took care to bar the door of her cell so as to be able to hide from him what she was writing.

 

[Response to the thirty-ninth and fortieth requests]:

Sister Thérèse was very exact, as I have already said, in fulfilling all her obligations; for the smallest services rendered she expressed her gratitude with effusion.

 

[Answer to the forty-first request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was perfectly modest, never ran, walked very religiously, her eyes lowered; she did not try to see or know what was going on around her. She never bothered with what didn't concern him. She never gave her opinion on anything unless asked, but she did so very discreetly and in few words. “When you see several sisters gathered together talking—[1067] she told me—don’t stop there, go your way, without even wanting to hear what is being said” @ tem 15@

The Servant of God was very silent; I do not remember having heard him say useless words. She also never spoke in the regular places and didn't want us to go find her during the time of great silence.

 

The Servant of God was truly dead to herself; she never acted by nature or to satisfy her passions; you felt that everything about her was supernatural. She never sought the company of her sisters, Carmelites in this same monastery, and that out of pure detachment, because she loved them very much, but she went with any nun in the community. I would even say that she preferred to go with those who were the most neglected and the least loved.

I often had difficulties with the Servant of God's sisters. I didn't want to tell him, for fear of hurting him. She noticed it and said to me: “I'm sure you have fights against my sisters, why don't you tell me what they make you suffer? I wouldn't have any more pain than if you told me about another nun." Since that day, I no longer hid anything from her and she never showed the slightest boredom.

 

[1068] [Response to the forty-second request]:

When I was employed in the kitchen, I always noticed a great mortification in the Servant of God. You could give her anything you wanted, she never complained about anything; we were completely unaware of her taste in food because she took everything indifferently.

The Servant of God never complained when she was cold, although she suffered greatly from it. When I went to see her, I was very edified by her mortification on seeing her poor hands all swollen, covered with chilblains and barely able to hold her needle. When I was in the kitchen and she had occasion to come there, which often happened, for she was a porter, I invited her to warm herself a little; but she did not want it and all my entreaties remained useless; yet it was not forbidden, but the more Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had occasion to suffer to please God, the happier she was.

I also found her very courageous in bearing interior pains: one year in particular, seeing her so fervent, I thought she was flooded with supernatural consolations and I envied her happiness, because I suffered a great deal interiorly. I tell him. She smiled at my confidence and told me that her soul was like mine, in the greatest darkness. This answer surprised me, so much had her outward joy persuaded me of the contrary.

 

[1069] [Answer to the forty-third request]:

The first time I saw Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, she struck me as an angel. His face really had a celestial reflection, and this impression always remained the same to me, not only during his postulancy, but also throughout his religious life.

A nun having come to see me in the parlor, I asked permission to bring my sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, which was granted. When she had left the parlor, this respectable nun said to our mother who was present: “How delightful this child is, she is more from heaven than from earth. She has something so pure, so candid that the sight of her rests the soul. How I thank you, my mother, for having brought her to me!”

 

[Answer to the forty-fourth request]:

I have always admired the constant fidelity of the Servant of God in the smallest obligations of the virtue of poverty, such as picking up a match and a piece of paper, etc.

I noticed again that she was very diligent at work; she never lost a minute. She also advised me to be very scrupulous on this point, "because—she said—time does not belong to us."

The sister in charge of linen told me that the Servant of God had asked her as a [1070] great favor to give her the oldest linen, the most mended, everything that the other sisters would not want to wear. . This sister acceded to her request, which filled Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus with joy.

 

[Answer to the forty-fifth request]:

The Servant of God was always a very obedient nun. Never have I seen her commit the smallest infidelity against the rule. She was attentive to obey down to the smallest details. When our mother made some recommendations, she followed them to the letter and never failed.

She left everything at the first sound of the bell, even in the middle of a conversation, however interesting it was. If she was at work, she left her needle without finishing a stitch she had started. In this way she was always the first to arrive at the choir, which made her happy because she received there, she said, the blessing of the angel of the community.

 

[Answer to the forty-sixth request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus wanted to be forgotten and always go last. I never heard her apologize, even though she was unfairly accused. She said to me, alluding to my condition as a converse sister: “How I would like to be in your place, in your position of little sister of the white veil. Your life is humble and hidden, but [1071] know well that in the eyes of God there is nothing small, if everything you do, you do it out of love”.

One day when I was going to see Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, I saw her come to me, all beaming with happiness. I asked her why she was so happy. She replied: “I was with my first job and she told me everything about me that she didn't like. She may think she hurt me, but no, it was on the contrary the pleasure she gave me: also, how much I would like to see her again to smile at her”. A moment later, there is a knock at the door; it was precisely this sister, whom she received with the greatest kindness, which greatly edified me: I was amazed at such heroic virtue.

 

[Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

I have seen many fervent nuns, but I have never seen any whose virtue resembled that of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. What seemed to me heroic in his virtue was the perfect constancy of his fidelity without anything ever being able to slow it down. Thus, when Mother Marie de Gonzague said painful things to Mother Agnès of Jesus, Sister Thérèse, who was certainly very affected, did not cease to show herself full of deference and delicate attentions towards this prioress.

Whether she was tired or in pain, nothing showed in her fervor to obey and in the ever-smiling amiability of her fraternal charity. [1072] This equality of virtue seems heroic to me, and I have never observed it in another.

 

[Answer to the forty-eighth request]:

I didn't notice anything indiscreet in his conduct. She was, on the contrary, of a perfectly straight judgement.

 

[Answer to the forty-ninth request]:

I consider the discernment that the Servant of God showed in the conduct of her novices to be a supernatural gift. She showed a prudence and a maturity well above her age. How I regret that I took too little advantage of the good advice she gave me, because I now recognize that everything she said was inspired by God and that she never acted according to her personal views.

Sometimes I found it hard to hold his gaze, it was so deep and penetrating; I felt that she read everything that was going on in my soul.

One day when I was in great pain, I had taken great care to conceal my suffering from her: I meet her and I speak to her as kindly as possible so that she doesn't notice anything. But what was my astonishment to hear him say to me immediately: "You are sorry, I am sure of it."@MSC 26,1@ I was amazed to see myself thus divined; so I told her what made me suffer and, by her good [1073] advice, she gave me peace of mind.

 

At the beginning of my life in Carmel, I had attached myself to our Mother Prioress with an affection that I believed to be true and good, but Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, who was a little saint, saw right away that my affection was too human and hurt my soul very much. On December 8, 1892, an unforgettable day for me, she called me to her house and said to me: "You cause the good Lord a great deal of pain because you are looking for yourself too much with Our Mother: your affection is quite natural, which is not only a great obstacle to your perfection, but puts your soul in great danger: if you must always behave like this, you would have done better to remain in the world. She added: “If Our Mother notices that you are in pain, you can very well tell her everything I have just told you. I would rather have her dismiss me from the monastery, if she wishes, than fail in my duty by not warning you for the good of your soul."@MSC 20,2-21,2@

 

[Answer to the fiftieth request]:

I don't think that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus performed any miracle properly speaking during her life.

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

I only know the writings of the Servant of God through the publication that has been made of them.

 

[1074] [Answer to the fifty-second request]:

I know nothing about the illness of the Servant of God except that she suffered a real martyrdom. The community did not go to see her because of her great weakness. But as being her little novice and being employed in the kitchen, I still had the joy of seeing her sometimes and of building myself still near my holy mistress. Although she was very ill, she did not forget my birthday on July 29, the eve of the day when she received extreme unction, and had a small image handed over to me with a note from her hand.

I did not attend the Servant of God's agony either, but I was present when, at the moment of breathing her last, she opened her eyes and stared for a few moments at something invisible.

 

[Answer to the fifty-third to fifty-fifth questions inclusive]:

I know nothing particular about these points, and have noticed nothing extraordinary in these various circumstances.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

I know from hearing it said and because it is notorious that there is a continual crowd of pilgrims to the Servant of God's tomb, and that people pray there with great fervor. A few weeks ago, a person came to see me on his way back from the cemetery. She told me that she had been amazed at what she had seen: “There were [1075] — she said — about ten men; among them, four soldiers: all prayed with great devotion and without any human respect; one of them in particular edified me more than the others; he said his rosary with great piety. Oh! my sister, you cannot imagine the faith and confidence with which people pray at the tomb of your little saint. »

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

During the life of the Servant of God, the nuns of the community certainly considered her to be very fervent, but her great simplicity and her humility made it impossible to notice all the heroism of her virtue. However, the novices, who frequented her more, regarded her as a saint. Sister Marie ‑ Madeleine, who had just died and testified at the first Trial, at one time avoided going with her, "because — she said — Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was too holy and she guessed all that passed in his soul.

Since her death, all the sisters in the community love and venerate the Servant of God as a saint. We feel that his influence does much good to our souls; each seeks to imitate him in his "little path of trust and abandonment." I even notice that those who had not noticed her holiness during her life now recognize how heroic and pleasing to God she was.

Almost every day, at recess, our [1076] mother reads us letters from the soldiers who are fighting at the front. These letters tell of the Servant of God's truly remarkable protective traits.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I have never heard anyone doubt the holiness of the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth to sixty-fifth questions]:

I have heard of multitudes of miraculous graces obtained through the intercession of the Servant of God, but I have not seen them myself. Personally, I can attest to the following two facts:

1° One evening, while passing near the statue of little Jesus by Thérèse, I perceived a very strong scent of heliotrope. I didn't notice it at first, but since the scent was still very strong, I began to look for the cause. Not finding it, I informed our Mother Marie-Ange who came and perceived the same smell: she immediately thought of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the perfume disappeared immediately. It was the first time that our little saint had shown herself to us in this way.

Another time, they came to fetch me to go to a disabled sister, it cost me a lot, but, despite my reluctance, I went there with the idea of ​​imitating our little Thérèse. Arriving at the disabled sister's cell [1077], I was seized by a very sweet and very accentuated perfume of violets. I thought it was our little saint who was doing me this favor to show me how much Jesus is satisfied with the little sacrifices we make for his love.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I have nothing to add.

 

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. ‑ This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

Signatum: SISTER MARTHE OF JESUS.

I have filed as above according to the truth, I ratify and confirm it.

Witness 19 (3 ​​ex officio) - Pierre‑Alexandre Faucon

This witness is completely new. He did not appear at the Ordinary Trial, and now he appears as an ex officio witness. He did not approach Thérèse until the end of her life when, already ripe for heaven, but in the midst of the night of faith, she glimpsed and predicted her future mission, the approach of the time of her conquests.

 

Born in Ondefontaine (Calvados) on February 15, 1842, Faucon was ordained a priest on June 29, 1868. Completely at the service of his diocese, he filled several successive offices there, always with apostolic zeal and great devotion. First vicar at Notre-Dame de Guibray, he passed in the same capacity, in 1870, to Saint-Jacques de Lisieux, and was then transferred to Caen, in 1876, as chaplain of the Benedictine monastery. In 1883 he was appointed parish priest of Ryes, and finally in 1886 he returned to Lisieux as chaplain of the Congregation for Orphans; at the same time he became extraordinary confessor of the Carmel. At the Apostolic Process he declared himself, as we will see, “honorary canon of Bayeux, chaplain to the nuns of Our Lady of Charity of Lisieux.” He died on May 3, 1918.

 

The testimony of the canon, very sober and discreet, confirms the admiration he had revealed on September 29, 1897, after hearing the last confession of dying Thérèse (cfr. PA, testimony of Mother Agnès of Jesus, p. 508) . Faucon recalls this confession, but, what matters more, he recalls the supernatural dispositions and attitude with which Therese approached the great sacrament of Penance. “When she came to me, at four-time confessions, she spoke with great simplicity, clarity and sobriety. There was nothing in his spiritual conduct that denoted the slightest affectation. She did not concern herself with others, forgot herself and thought only of God” (p. 1085).

 

Faucon testified on February 9, 1916, during the 57th session, and his deposition can be found on pages 1084‑1088 of our Public Copy.

 

[Session 57: - February 9, 1916, at 9 a.m.]

[1084] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[Response to second request]:

My name is Pierre-Alexandre Faucon, born in Ondefontaine, February 15, 1842, to Gilles Faucon, private guard and Aimée Besognet. I am a priest, honorary canon of Bayeux, chaplain to the nuns of Notre-Dame de Charité de Lisieux.

 

[The witness answers the third to the fifth questions correctly].

 

[Answer to the sixth request]:

In my testimony I am not subject to any interior or exterior influence that could alter the truth.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

I knew the Servant of God through the functions of extraordinary confessor of the nuns of Carmel that I exercised during the last four or five years of the Servant of God. She came to my confessional at four-times. Moreover, his ordinary confessor being seriously ill, I was called in the last days of his life to give him the last absolution.

I was also informed about what concerns the Servant of God through my conversations with the other [1085] nuns of the monastery.

I read “The Story of a Soul” which confirms what I knew about the Servant of God; but I will only say in my testimony what I learned personally.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I love the Servant of God very much and I have great devotion to her, because of her virtues and her power of intercession, which I have no doubt about. I very much desire his beatification and it will be a great joy for me to attend it if God grants me life.

 

[Answer from the ninth to the thirteenth questions]:

I personally don't know anything specific about the Servant of God's early years and curriculum vitae.

 

[Answer to the fourteenth request]:

When she presented herself to me, at the four-time confessions, she spoke with great simplicity, clarity and sobriety. There was nothing in his spiritual conduct that denoted the slightest affectation. She did not concern herself with others, forgot herself and thought only of God. It seems to me that she realized the maxim of the Imitation "Ama nesciri et pro nihilo reputari", or better still this saying of St. Paul: "Mortu estis et vita vestra abscondita est cum Christo in Deo" (Col. 3, 3 ).

 

[1086] [Answer to the fifteenth to thirty-sixth requests inclusive]:

I haven't seen the Servant enough

 

WITNESS 19 (III ex officio): Pierre‑Alexandre Faucon

 

of God to give detailed testimony on each of the virtues.

 

[Response to requests thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth]:

The nuns of Carmel gave me great praise for the Servant of God as mistress and director of novices. Those in particular who were under her direction told me that she enlightened them, dispelled their doubts, consoled them marvelously, encouraged them admirably and seemed to read their souls. She had an answer to everything; also, how much did they not regret her after her death! how they missed her!

 

[Answer to the thirty-ninth to fifty-first requests]:

I don't know anything personal about these details. I could give an appreciation of it after reading the "story of his life" which I consider to be very sincere, but everyone could make the same judgment.

 

[Answer to the fifty-second request]:

Because of the serious illness of Mr. Youf, ordinary confessor, I was called to the dying Servant of God to hear her last confession. I entered his infirmary as if into a sanctuary. [1087] Seeing him filled me with deep respect. In the midst of her sufferings she was so beautiful, so calm that she already seemed to be in heaven. The venerable Father Granger, a diocesan missionary, knowing that I had to approach the Servant of God, whom he no doubt considered to be a saint, instructed me to ask her to pray to obtain two particular graces for her. She promised me with simplicity and humility. I have since learned that Father Granger had obtained these favors which related, I believe, to the construction of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Langannerie.

 

[About the fifty-third to fifty-fifth requests, the witness says he has nothing in particular to declare].

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

I have been and I go, when I can, on pilgrimage to the Servant of God's tomb. The influx of pilgrims is continuous and often in considerable numbers. We pray well, with reverence and gravity.

 

[Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

Generally speaking, it is believed everywhere that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus is a saint and obtains miracles. This is evident since people come to his tomb from the most diverse regions and people write from all over the world to ask for prayers or relate miracles.

 

[1088] [Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

I don't know of anyone who is opposed to this reputation for holiness or miracles.

 

[About the fifty-ninth to the sixty-fifth requests, the witness says he has nothing in particular to declare].

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I have nothing to add.

 

[Regarding the Articles, the witness says he only knows what he has already filed in response to previous requests. ‑ This concludes the questioning of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

Signed: P. FAUCON.

I have deposed as above, according to the truth, I ratify and confirm it.

Witness 20 (4 ex officio) - Anatole Flamérion SJ

The learned Jesuit is already known to us: we met him as an ordinary witness 23 at the 1911 Trial. He did not know Thérèse of the Child Jesus. This is why he speaks of it only in relation to the reputation of holiness, to the power it seems to have in heaven, to the admirable influence of the Story of a Soul.

 

Born in Paris on October 7, 1851, Anatole Flamérion entered the Society of Jesus at a very young age. An excellent teacher, he spent a good part of his life in various Colleges of the Company in France; he also preached retreats and exercises. He was so successful there, especially with the priests, that his superiors appointed him director of the "Villa Manrèse" in Clamart, near Paris. His place was there, and it's hard to say all the good he did there. In 1909, while continuing his ministry at the Villa Manrèse, he succeeded Father de Haza as official exorcist of the diocese of Paris and at the head of a work of which this same Father had been the first director, the work of "La All-merciful Mother and of the Victims of the Heart of Jesus.” He died in Paris in 1925.

The Ordinary Process already mentions the double apostolate of the Father (cf. I, pp. 508-512). We would, however, like to emphasize his apostolic zeal for the Work of the Victims, given that it was the cause of an incident to which he refers on pp. 1107-1108, and which had worried the ecclesiastical authorities, even in Rome, during the previous years. As he had written retracting his deposition of 1911—of no importance for the life and virtues of Thérèse—the Sacred Congregation of Rites had asked for clarification. While it was only a question of the simple fact that the bishop of Lisieux energetically opposed the entry into the Carmel of one of the "victims", an enormous file on this question was collected in a large official volume preserved in the Archives of the Bishopric of Bayeux, under the title “Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God Thérèse of the Child Jesus - Memorandum of the Bishop of Lisieux on the RP Flamérion incident (1914).

In his deposition, Flamérion, as we have said, speaks above all of the fame of holiness, of the miracles and of the influence of the writings of Thérèse. About the writings, the judgment of the Jesuit is particularly interesting, because it is the fruit of an evolution: at the beginning it was not favorable. “Reflectively studied, this work (Story of a Soul) presents a very profound doctrine on the love of God as the driving force of a life of sacrifice. I find in it a perfect conformity, for the whole and the details of the doctrine, with the writings of the saints whose spiritual doctrine is more authorized in the Church, such as Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Thérèse , St. Francis de Sales, Blessed Henri Suzo, etc. (pp. 1099-1100). The witness insists on this in the following response to the sub-promoter, wanting to know if he judges Thérèse's writings tinged with quietism, or at least tending inopportunely to lead souls towards mystical union, without taking into account the need for purification and ascetic effort: “The doctrine of Sister Thérèse is in no way quietist. Like St. Francis de Sales, she squeezes with a velvet glove, but she squeezes very hard. If it immediately commits souls to the love of God, it is to make them find in this love the strength to practice effectively and in the most positive details the mortifying virtues” (p. 1100).

Also very important is what Flamérion describes on the influence of Thérèse and her doctrine on the priests.

The witness testified on August 25, 1916, during the 58th session, and his testimony is found at pp. 1097‑1109 of our Public Copy.

 

[Session 58: - August 25, 1916, at 8:30 a.m. and at 2 a.m. of the afternoon]

[1097] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

 

[Response to second request]:

My name is Anatole Flamérion, born in Paris, parish of Saint-François Xavier des Missions Étrangères, on October 7, 1851, to Nicolas Alexandre Flamérion, municipal employee of the city of Paris and Louise Adélaïde Charlotte Sicard. I am a priest, professed religious of the Society of Jesus and director of the work of Sacerdotal Retreats in Clamart, diocese of Paris. I am also, by delegation of his eminence Cardinal Amette, exorcist [1098] ex officio for the diocese of Paris.

 

[Witness answers questions XNUMX through XNUMX correctly].

 

[Answer to the sixth request]:

It is to fulfill a duty that I come to testify before the court. My testimony is not influenced by any outside pressure or by any personal feeling that could falsify its character.

 

WITNESS 20 (IV OFFICE): Anatole Flamérion SJ

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

I never personally knew Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, and I will have no direct testimony on her curriculum vitae and on her virtues.

I have read his writings and I will be able to say, from the theological point of view, what seems to me about his doctrine and his spirit.

As director of priestly retreats, I will be able to bear witness to the influence that the examples, lessons and protection of Sister Thérèse exert on the spiritual life of a good number of priests.

Finally, as an ex officio exorcist for the diocese of Paris, I will have to relate facts where the supernatural influence of the Servant of God seems certain to me.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I have a deep devotion and great confidence in Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. [1099] This disposition is motivated above all by the experience of his salutary influence, both in myself and in others.

I earnestly desire his beatification for the glory of God, the good of souls and his own exaltation.

 

[Answer from the ninth to the fiftieth question inclusive]:

I indicated earlier that I had no direct testimony on the life of the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

I have read the life of the Servant of God written by herself, as well as the poems, letters, advice and other annexes to this volume.

A first reading gave me rather unfavorable impressions, all that seemed a little cutesy to me. I regretted, as an imprudence, that the superiors had encouraged the writing of this autobiography (year 1901).

 

Five or six years later, I was obliged to recognize that the reading of these works was very salutary for the souls that I directed. I then resumed the reading of this book which I have since meditated on a lot and I found that, studied with reflection, this work presents a very profound doctrine on the love of God as the driving force of a life of sacrifice. I find in it a perfect conformity, for the whole and the details of the doctrine, with the writings of the saints whose spiritual doctrine is more authorized in the Church, such as Saint Catherine-[1100]rine of Siena, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Thérèse, Saint Francis de Sales, Blessed Henri Suzo, etc.

[Ask from the deputy promoter: do you believe that the writings of the Servant of God are imbued with quietism? Do you believe that they intend to lead souls directly to mystical union without taking into account the lower exercises of the purgative way? - Answer]:

Sister Thérèse's doctrine is in no way quietist. Like Saint Francis de Sales, she squeezes with a velvet glove, but she squeezes very hard. If it immediately engages souls in the love of God, it is to make them find in this love the strength to practice effectively and in the most positive details the mortifying virtues.

 

[Answer to the fifty-second to fifty-fifth questions inclusive]:

I personally know nothing about these points.

 

[Answer to the fifty-sixth request]:

I went several times to pray at the tomb of the Servant of God to obtain spiritual graces which I in fact obtained. On my first visit in 1909, I found myself there alone. In 1910, I found a few people there. In 1912, I noticed a very considerable competition. It is well known that since then this competition has been maintained and only increased. Pilgrims are not only ignorant and common people, but very qualified people (bishops, superiors of orders, priests, religious, etc.).

 

[1101] [Answer to the fifty-seventh request]:

From all sides and at every moment, we hear bearing witness to the reputation of holiness and miracles of the Servant of God. The universal impression bears on the effectiveness of his intercession. I personally know a very large number of souls who constantly invoke Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus to obtain spiritual or other favors from her, and many testify to me that they indeed obtain them. Being in Paris, I have occasion to hear communications on this point from all parts of France. Popular attention is more explicitly focused on the supernatural efficacy of her intercession than on the heroicity of her virtues, but more spiritually enlightened people more usually express their admiration for the heroic virtues of the Servant of God. The primary cause of this reputation is, in my opinion, the real holiness of the Servant of God and above all the experience that we have had of the effectiveness of her intercession. Undoubtedly the means, moreover very legitimate, that were taken to make known the Servant of God (especially the publication of her Life), contributed to the spread of this reputation, but they are not the cause. main. Besides, if that was a human enterprise, it would have fallen a long time ago.

 

[Answer to the fifty-eighth request]:

In the first years that followed the publication of the Life of Sister Thérèse (1898), I heard [1102] that many people, even in the Carmels, considered this publication inopportune and tainted with some sentimentality. But these were superficial impressions without the allegation of positive and well-researched grievances. Moreover, this impression is today submerged by the crowd of contrary testimonies.

 

[Answer to the fifty-ninth request]:

I personally know a good number of priests who owe the increase in their priestly perfection to their devotion to Sister Thérèse and to the practice of the “little way.” They devote themselves to making it known, honored and invoked. I must remark that, of these priests, some are among the most pious, the most zealous; others, though

 

WITNESS 20 (IV OFFICE): Anatole Flamérion

 

good and serious priests, had neither in their past, education and environment, nor in their turn of mind, nor in the kind of their spirituality, a real aptitude to understand Thérèse and to embrace the “little way.” I know some, whom I could cite by their names and functions; they had a predisposition of an academic and modernizing spirit (I am using rather simplistic expressions, but the court will grasp the nuances), or else a tendency to irony and disdain, frequent, moreover, in mysticism. Now, from both of them I had the testimony that they received a number of graces in the spiritual order, and more than once in the temporal order. Quite recently, one of them, having retired to Clamart, allowed me, knowing that I was going to Bayeux, to invoke [1 103] his testimony and declare his name: it is Mr. Canon Audollent, vicar general, director of free diocesan education. He affirms the benefits of Sister Thérèse towards him, from the point of view of spiritual graces (I have seen the effects myself) and from the point of view of the work he administers, by an intervention repeated several times. , in terms of material resources.

Another, also charged with honorable functions in the diocese, a fervent devotee of Sister Thérèse, an eminently pious priest, declared that he had recovered, without being able to count on it, a very large sum, and that through the intervention of Sister Thérèse.

Another priest, under my supervision, exercising high functions in one of the most important secondary establishments in Paris, had nothing, quite the contrary, that predisposed him to taste Sister Thérèse, at least I thought so, and he likewise. , so much so that I, myself then devoted to Sister Thérèse, would not have dared to speak to her of this devotion, for fear of attracting a certain smile to the corner of her lips. However, a colleague said to him one day: “You should read the life of a Carmelite nun, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus; you are a psychologist, that would seem curious to you. He takes it literally, asks for the fullest life, and spends all Christmas day reading the book cover to cover. He is conquered. Much better, he had, together with a charitable lady, taken care of a poor woman condemned by the doctors, and whose death was going to leave her [1104] alone in the world, without allies, without relatives, in extreme misery, two orphans, a 16-year-old girl and a 13-year-old boy. The poor woman had been in despair for many weeks, cursed Providence, could not accept this dreadful prospect. Faced with the peril of this soul, the priest thought of Sister Thérèse: he began a novena, the charitable lady had done the same, each without their knowledge. Result: complete reversal, admirable resignation, the poor woman died with her eyes still fixed on the image of Mary, assisted by her two orphans reciting the rosary, until their mother's last breath. I sent, in due time, to Lisieux, the detailed account, written by the hand of the priest.

But Sister Thérèse's intervention enveloped the lives of these orphans, whose marvelous protection and extraordinary .

To limit the examples: only one which resembles many others. A priest of my penitents, a man not at all sentimental, nor mystical, quite calm and quite positive, said to me: “Do you know the life of a little Carmelite?...”—“Yes! Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus! ”—“Ah! I have just read it, I am delighted; it is above all this simplicity, this solid and amiable virtue at the same time.” "I am happy - I told him - to hear this testimony from your mouth, being such as I know you."

I could multiply the examples, and all would come back to this idea: “What simplicity, what kind [1105] virtue and what strength too and what generosity!.”

Dare I quote, finally, the testimony of the depositor himself who is a convert to Sister Thérèse, and could proclaim that his life has been changed, turned around, by the protection and action of Sister Thérèse, with whom he was enveloped , about his ministry to priests, and as charged with the work of the Victims of the Merciful Mother?

This is not the place now to indicate the conditions and produce the proofs. These will have to be judged, at the hour that God will indicate.

 

[Response to fifty-ninth request continued]:

There is a work called “Victims of the Merciful Mother for the Heart of Jesus.”

My superiors entrusted me with the direction of this work, in 1909, after the death of Father de Haza, who had been its first director. [1106] This work consists essentially in the fact that a certain number of souls are chosen by the Blessed Virgin, for reparation to the Heart of Jesus, for sinners, for the renewal and sanctification of priests. These souls have a special mission and walk in an extraordinary way. They wrestle directly and sensibly with demons, thus weakening or breaking their power for the benefit of other sinful or tempted souls. The heroic virtues they practise, the expiations and reparations they offer by assuming upon themselves these crucifying pains, so much lessen the temptations in other souls or even deliver them completely. The devil, in his wickedness, can cause these victims to suffer morally and physically. But they are armed against him with powerful and often extraordinary graces.

All of this was submitted to the Congregation of the Holy Office in 1901.

In the exorcisms that I had to perform on these victims, who are not ordinary possessed, since the demon in them is chained and a slave, it was told to me over and over again that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus exercised over the demons, for the good of souls and especially priests, a continuous influence. The demons called her with rage: "that little priest-eater," etc.; complained that she ravished their souls, said that she favored my ministry in priestly retreats and in the direction of priests.

What makes the truth of this [1107] influence of Sister Thérèse certain for me is: 1° that since I have been entrusted with this work for the Victims with which Sister Thérèse is associated, the effectiveness of my ministry to has grown considerably; it is in the 2nd place that a certain number of facts which had been announced to me by these same forced confessions of the demons were ef

 

WITNESS 20 (IV OFFICE): Anatole Flamérion SJ

 

actually done. In particular, I was told ironically: “Souls will come to you for Carmel! "Now, I don't have a confessional, I don't run any associations for young girls, and yet seven people have spontaneously found themselves under my direction, one of whom has entered Carmel and the others are about to join. admitted.

It is true that since my testimony at the Ordinary's trial in 1911, a fact has occurred which could give rise to some hesitation among the judges concerning the truth or the effectiveness of Sister Thérèse's intervention, at least in the particular case of one of these victims, or on the value of the sources of information mentioned above.

 

This is the JP case: here is what it consists of. It had been declared to me by the supernatural communications of JP, who is a “victim”, that the will of the Sacred Heart and of Sister Thérèse was that the said JP was admitted to the Carmel of Lisieux. However, the steps that I have taken to have him accepted there have so far come up against a refusal from the Bishop of Bayeux, in his capacity as superior of the Carmel, declaring that he would only admit JP on the injunction of the Congregation of [1108] Religious. In view of this fact, while maintaining my full personal conviction of the truth of Sister Thérèse's action in the case, I thought I had to withdraw the deposition I had made at the Ordinary's Trial. I believed that respect for authority required me to take this step. Today quoted again for the Apostolic Process, I deliver the facts as they are to the appreciation of the Sacred Congregation of Rites.

 

[Answer from the sixtieth to the sixty-fifth questions inclusive]:

I have nothing to say.

 

[Response to the sixty-sixth request]:

I have nothing to add.

 

[1109] [Regarding the Articles, the witness said he only knew what he had already filed in response to previous requests. — This concludes the examination of this witness. Reading of Acts is given. The witness makes no changes and signs as follows]:

Signatum: A. Flamerion, praes. S.J.

Witness 21 - Mary of the Trinity and the Holy Face OCD

The 17th witness of the Ordinary Process reappears here as the first witness of the “Continuative” Process, 21st in the series of those who had to testify at the Apostolic Process. We have already said several times that this is the most qualified witness, the only really important one in the “Continuative” Trial, who gave one of the most valid testimonies of the entire Trial.

 

This is Thérèse's well-known favorite novice. She was called in the world Marie-Louise-Joséphine Castel. Born in Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives (diocese of Bayeux) on August 12, 1874, after a trial at the Carmel on Avenue de Messine in Paris, she entered the Carmel of Lisieux in 1894 and made her profession there on April 30, 1896. She died there during the tragedy of the last war, on January 16, 1944.

 

His deposition, one of the longest in the entire Apostolic Process, is serious and detailed. Even if she repeats data, words, facts already filed at the first Trial, she strives to do so in a new way, and her testimony is so fresh that it gives the impression of revealing something new. .

Marie de la Trinité, as she herself puts it at the beginning, lived “in great intimacy” with Thérèse for three years and a few months (cfr. p. 1216). This is how she can testify to having seen her "always faithful in all things" (p. 1218), "with an air so recollected that one could judge that she did not lose the presence of God" (ib .). The sight of this intimate union with God was the foundation and the secret of the effectiveness of the spiritual formation that Thérèse gave to her novice, which gave the value and the strength of her pedagogy. We can consider the testimony of Marie de la Trinité as a true exposition of this pedagogy, one hundred percent supernatural, but based on principles and experiences which demonstrated "a prudence and a maturity of judgment well above her age". (p. 1248).

 

We find here and there in the testimony of the witness facts and sympathetic expressions, already known by the Councils and Remembrances of the old edition of the Story of a soul. Marie de la Trinité had noted them immediately after Thérèse's death, "long before there was any question of the Trial, even informative" (p. 1235), and this gives them a special value.

 

WITNESS 21: Mary of the Trinity OCD

 

cial to the words of the nun who knows well that Thérèse, when she spoke to her, revealed her soul, her religious experience, what she herself practiced before advising it to others (cf. pp. 1221, 1230, 1255).

We note with pleasure that the witness emphasizes the quite ordinary life of Thérèse, exempt from those charismatic facts that the life of the saints usually offers to our admiration: “her life, here below, was not out of the ordinary; this is its particular stamp which makes it imitable and accessible to all” (cfr. pp. 1273‑1274). But this "ordinary" is heroic virtue. Marie de la Trinité brings out in an excellent way the characteristics of the heroism of this ordinary life, in two pages which are among the best of the Trial (cfr. pp. 1272-1273). She underlines with precision how difficult continual fidelity was at a time when, in the Carmel of Lisieux, everything seemed likely to destroy it. The division, the character of Mother Marie de Gonzague, a certain laxity which had crept in, certainly did not favor the maintenance of a fervor always on the alert. Thérèse had walked against the tide with humility, charity and strength, practicing moment by moment what she had recommended to the witness: “When all of them break the Rule, that is no reason to justify us. Each should act as if the perfection of the Order depended on her personal conduct” (p. 1219).

 

The testimony of Mary of the Trinity presents, with realism, a holiness made of simplicity and strength in line with the Gospel. A holiness perfectly accessible to people of any state or condition. This is why its content is one of the most valid and topical in the Trial of Thérèse of the Child-lesus.

The last pages relate to the ever-increasing reputation for holiness of Thérèse, who "made her own propaganda" (p. 1290).

The witness testified from September 23 to 28, 1916, during sessions 61 and his testimony can be found on pages 65-1215 of our Public Copy.

 

[Session 61: - September 22, 1916, at 2 a.m. of the afternoon]

[1215] [The witness correctly answers the first request].

[Response to second request]

My name is Marie‑Louise Castel, in religion [1216] Sister Marie de la Trinité. I was born in Saint‑Pierre‑sur‑Dives on August 12, 1874, to Victor Castel, teacher, and Léontine Lecomte. I am a professed nun at the Carmel of Lisieux, under the name of Sister Marie de la Trinité.

 

[The witness answers the third to the fifth questions correctly].

 

[Answer to the sixth request]:

My testimony is perfectly free, and I do not believe that I am under the influence of any inner feeling or any external pressure that can prevent me from telling the truth.

 

[Answer to the seventh request]:

When I entered Carmel as a novice on June 16, 1894, the Servant of God, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, had already been there for six years. Mother Agnes of Jesus, who was then prioress, gave her to me as an “angel” according to the custom of our Order, so that she could initiate me into the exterior practices of the Rule. At the same time she recommended that I take her advice for my formation, as if she had been mistress of the novitiate. I followed this advice and lived in great intimacy with the Servant of God until her death, that is to say for three years and a few months.

 

[Answer to the eighth request]:

I have great affection, great gratitude and great devotion for the Servant of God.

My gratitude and my affection are motivated [1217] by all the good she has done me; I have devotion for her because I have seen her practice the virtues like a saint. I very much desire her beatification so that she may become, in a way authorized by the Church, the model of souls who are called to serve God in the simplicity of ordinary ways.

 

[Answer from the ninth to the eleventh questions inclusive]:

I was not a direct witness to the life of the Servant of God before the year 1894, the date of my entry into Carmel. However, during the three years that we lived together, the Servant of God often spoke to me, at my request, of the particularities of her childhood, of her youth in the world, and of her first years in Carmel. What she told me about it is related by her with complete conformity in the "History of a Soul."

 

[Answer to the twelfth request]:

When I entered the Carmel in 1894, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had already been professed for four years; she should therefore, according to our rules, have left the novitiate the previous year, because we remain in the novitiate three years after profession. Nevertheless, I still found her among the novices. Mother Marie de Gonzague, who was then mistress of novices, explained to me that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had asked, out of humility, to remain in the novitiate. On the other hand, Mother Agnès of Jesus, then prioress, willingly acceded to this request because she thought that Sister Thérèse could thus have a very happy influence on the novices. In 1896, Mother Marie de Gonzague again became prioress, [1218] but at the same time retained the office of mistress of novices; She kept Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus in the novitiate, so that Sister Thérèse remained there in this somewhat special situation until her death in 1897.

 

WITNESS 21: Mary of the Trinity OCD

 

I saw her perform the jobs of porter, then of sacristan, a function from which she was discharged a few months before her death. She was also, as I have just explained, equivalently novice mistress. Without going into the details of her virtues, I can say here that she greatly edified me by the attentive perfection with which she acquitted herself of these different functions.

 

[Answer to the thirteenth request]:

I can answer this question in one word: I never caught the slightest weakness in the Servant of God on any point whatsoever.

 

[Answer to the fourteenth request]:

On this question as a whole, I can only repeat what I have just said: it is that I have always seen her faithful in all things.

 

[Answer to the fifteenth request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus acted in all things with such perfection and with such a collected air that one could judge that she did not lose the presence of God. What made this spirit of faith heroic was the disarray in which the community lived at that time. Having no other stimulus than her faith and her love for God, living in a rather relaxed environment, she [1219] truly deserved the praise addressed to the Just in Ecclesiasticus: "Who could violate the law and not didn't rape, do evil and didn't” @*Eccli. 31,10@.

She said to me: “If all of them break the Rule, that is no reason to justify us. Each should act as if the perfection of the order depended on his personal conduct” @Source pre.@ as also on the other words of the witness.

I admired his faith in his superiors. Whoever they were, she dealt with them as with God himself. When Mother Marie de Gonzague was prioress, Sister Thérèse corrected me when I happened to criticize her behavior and call her "the wolf" (nickname we had given her among novices): "It was good when she didn't wasn't prioress—she told me—but now that she has the sacrament of authority, we must respect her. If we act towards her with a spirit of faith, the good Lord will never allow us to be deceived. Even without knowing it, she will always give us the divine answer”

One day she met me going towards Mother Marie de Gonzague. She said to me: “Have you thought of praying to recommend your direction to the good Lord? It is very important to obtain that the words of the mother prioress are for you the organ of the will of God.”

 

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had to undergo terrible temptations against the faith. One day when she was talking to me about the darkness in which her soul was, I said to her in astonishment: “But these so luminous canticles that you compose contradict what you tell me! » She answered me: « I sing what I want to believe, but it is without any feeling. I would not even like to tell you how dark the night is in my soul, for fear of making you share my temptations. She would never have confided in me, and I would never have suspected it, seeing her speak and act as if she had been blessed with spiritual consolations.

 

[Answer to the sixteenth request]:

The Servant of God endeavored to form her novices in the spirit of faith which animated her herself. On this point, she would bear no negligence on my part. One day, she reproached me severely for the fact that my bed was badly made: “You give there a proof that you are hardly united to the good God. If you had made the bed of the Child Jesus, is this how you would have made it? So what have you come to do in Carmel, if you don't act with an inner spirit? It would have been better for you to remain in the world to make yourself at least useful by some external works. But as soon as she saw me acknowledging my wrongs, her tone softened, and she spoke to me like a saint of the merits of faith, of the souls that we save by our fidelity, of the marks of love that we can give to the good God. .

I always derived great spiritual benefit from my outpourings of soul with her: “The main cause of your sufferings—she told me—comes from the fact that you look at things too much from the side of the earth and not enough with a spirit of faith : you seek your satisfactions too much. Do you know when you will find happiness? That's when [1221] you won't be looking for him anymore. Believe me, I have experienced it."

 

[Session 62: - September 25, 1916, at 9 a.m. and 2 hrs. of the afternoon]

[1227] [Answer to the seventeenth request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had a very special cult for the adorable Face of Jesus; she saw in her the mirror of the humiliations and sufferings of Jesus during his passion. The sight of this divine Face kindled in her soul a passionate desire to resemble her, as she expressed it to me. Very happy to see her two novices, Sister Geneviève and me, share this devotion, she composed a consecration to the Holy Face for the three of us. She also composed me a hymn on the same subject. These two pieces were printed in the complete edition of the "Story of a soul" page 1 and 308 (edition in 381° of 8) @PN 1914@. The Way of the Cross also had a lot of appeal for his soul; she liked to do it as often as possible "as much—she told me—for the personal good she got out of it as for

 

WITNESS 21: Mary of the Trinity OCD

 

deliver by this means the souls from purgatory.”

Her spirit of faith showed itself above all in her employment as sacristan. I sometimes found myself with her while she was preparing the vestments and the sacred vessels for the Mass the following day, and I was deeply edified to see with what faith, what respect, what care she acquitted herself of them. She expressed to me her happiness at having, like the priests, the privilege of touching the sacred vessels, of preparing, like Mary, the nappies of the Child Jesus. She kissed them with love, as well as the large host which was about to be consecrated.

 

[1228] [Response to the eighteenth request]:

His desire for Holy Communion was intense. She envied the fate of those who took Communion every day, because at that time the community did not have this privilege. To console herself for this deprivation, she prayed with faith to the good God to remain in her heart from one communion to the next: “Ah!—she said to him—I cannot receive Holy Communion as often as I wish. , but, Lord, are you not all-powerful? stay in me as in the tabernacle, never move away from your little host” @Pri 6@

[How did you find out about this request from the Servant of God? Do you think that the Servant of God was firmly convinced of the continuation of this presence? Did the Servant of God ever explain the mode of this presence? - Answer]:

It was in her act of consecration to merciful Love that the Servant of God formulated this prayer explicitly. She composed it in June 1895; she told me about it at the end of November of the same year. She told me on this subject that nothing is impossible with the omnipotence of God and that he would not have inspired this request in her if he had not wanted to carry it out. In the canticle “I thirst for love” which she composed for my profession (April 30, 1896), she expresses the same thought in these verses:

“You, the great God whom all heaven adores,

You live in me, prisoner night and day” @PN 31@,

She explained to me on this subject that it was on purpose that she had put: "you live in me prisoner" and not: "you live for me prisoner", which could have been understood [1229] from the presence of the divine prisoner in the holy tabernacle, and that she had wanted to express her confidence in the realization of the prayer in question. She also said to me, on the same occasion: “For his little victims of love, the good Lord will do wonders; but usually they will operate in faith, otherwise they could not live. »

She never explained to me the mode of this presence, and I don't believe that she herself ever bothered to find out what this mode of presence was.

 

[Response to Eighteenth Request continues]:

One day of Communion, as the Servant of God was very tired, Mother Marie de Gonzague, Prioress, wanted her to take a remedy before Mass. In her pain at losing Holy Communion, Sister Thérèse begged her with tears to allow her to delay taking this remedy until after Mass. She pleaded her cause so well that she obtained what she asked for, and even, from that day, the ancient custom of losing communion in such a case was abolished.

One day I met the Servant of God in the cloister: her recollection struck me; she seemed to be carrying something precious which she carefully sheltered with her scapular. When I passed her, she said to me, in a low voice, in an emotional tone: “Follow me, I am carrying Jesus! She had just taken from the communion table the little gilt plate on which she had discovered a rather notable fragment of the holy host. I followed her to the sacristy where, after she had deposited her treasure, she made me kneel beside her to pray until she [1230] could deliver it to the priest she had notify.

 

[The witness replies that he has nothing in particular on this point].

[Answer to the twentieth request]:

The books of Holy Scripture, and particularly the Holy Gospels, were his delight. Their hidden meaning became luminous to her, and she interpreted them admirably. In her conversations, in my directions with her, always some passage from these divine books came from a source in support of what she told me: it was as if she knew them by heart.

 

The Servant of God had a great devotion to the divine office. She was so recollected there that she told me sometimes to pray there more easily than at prayer itself. Her outfit was impeccable. She often gave me recommendations on this subject, attaching great importance to them. I must remark that, on this point as on all the others, what she recommended to me was only the description of her own conduct. So she said to me: “If you had an audience at the court of an earthly king, all your movements would be studied; how much more must you be reserved in the presence of the King of kings! To deprive oneself, because of this divine presence, of moving, of touching either one's face or one's clothes, is extremely pleasing to the good Lord, because he sees that we value him and that we like."

 

[Response to the twenty-first request]:

[1231] The devotion of the Servant of God to the Blessed Virgin was touching. His relationship with her was that of a child with the dearest mother.

 

WITNESS 21: Mary of the: Trinity OCD

 

laugh. She said pleasantly: "I like to hide my sorrows from the good Lord, because, with him, I always want to appear happy with everything he does." But to the Blessed Virgin, I hide nothing, I say everything.”

During her last illness, she suffered a real martyrdom. As she had remained calmer for an hour, Mother Agnès of Jesus said to her: “You suffered less, didn't you? » - « Oh no just as much - she replied - but it was to the Blessed Virgin that I complained.»

When I was heading with her and had expensive things to say to her, she would lead me past the miraculous statue that smiled at her as a child, and said to me, "You're not going to me. say what costs you, but to the Blessed Virgin". I complied and she listened to my confidence near me. Then she made me kiss Marie's hand, gave me her advice, and peace was reborn in my soul.

The Servant of God had a cult for the holy angels and particularly for her guardian angel whom she loved to invoke often. She told me that it was out of respect for him that she always tried to maintain a dignified bearing, that she avoided frowning or contracting her face. She corrected me if I did not imitate her in this: “The face is the reflection of the soul—she told me—; it must always be calm, like that of a little child, always happy, even when [1232] you are alone, because you are constantly a spectacle to God and the angels.”

She had a filial affection for our Mother Saint Thérèse and our Father Saint Jean de la Croix. The works of the latter had particularly delighted her; she meditated from memory on long passages of the Spiritual Song and of the Living Flame and told me that at the time of her great trials, these works had comforted her and had done her immense good.

She told me that she had asked all the saints to adopt her as a child and to obtain for her their double love for the good God; in return, she had given up to them the glory that they would bring to her. Among her favorites, she cited Saint Joseph, the Saints Innocents, Saint Agnes, Saint Cecilia, Blessed Théophane Vénard and Blessed Joan of Arc. She liked to talk to me about the characteristic virtues of each one in order to excite me, like her, to imitate them.

 

[Response to the twenty-second request]:

Never did the Servant of God, to encourage herself to suffer or to work, consider consolations or earthly interests. Nor did she ever offer us such motives to support us in our efforts. The intentions which were most ordinary to him and which excited him more to generosity were to win souls to the good God, to please the good God; she also longed for the life of heaven, but she liked to repeat often that she did not envisage heaven as a place of rest and enjoyment, but rather as a state where it would be given to her to love God more perfectly. [1233] and do more good on earth: “I will not rest—she said—until the last of the elect is saved” @DEA 17-7@

It seems to me impossible to push trust in God further than she did. She liked to repeat that one obtains from God as much as one hopes for. She also told me that she felt within her infinite desires to love the good God, to glorify him and to make him loved, and that she firmly hoped that they would all be realized and beyond; that it was to misunderstand the infinite goodness of God to restrain his desires and his hopes. “My infinite desires—she said—are my wealth, and for me the words of Jesus will come true: '“To him who has, there will be given and he will abound” (Mt. 13,12)” @MSB 4,1@

 

[Continued response to requests twenty-third, twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth]:

Her hope in God never wavered, even when her soul was plunged into the deepest darkness, when her prayers were not answered, when everything went against what she would have liked. [1234] “The good Lord will sooner tire of proving me than I will of not doubting him—she said to me one day—; even if he killed me, I would still hope in him” @DEA 7-7@

She would never have said she was in pain if they hadn't forced her to. “The good Lord sees everything—she said to me—I abandon myself to him; he will be able to inspire Our Mother to have me treated if necessary.”

In her last illness, one day when she was consumed by fever, the nurse was mistaken and thought to relieve her by placing a bottle of hot water at her feet. She then told me that she had undergone this remedy without saying a word, but that she had not been able to refrain from complaining about it to Our Lord: "My Jesus," she said to him, "I burn and they still bring me warmth... I am happy, however, to find the opportunity to lack what is necessary in order to better resemble you in order to save souls.” The nurse, who had left her, returned soon after bringing back a refreshing drink. " Oh! —she said on this occasion—that our Jesus is good! how sweet it is to confide in him! » @DEA other words M.dela Trinité, avril@

 

[Response to the twenty-sixth request]:

The Servant of God did not fail to teach her novices this practice of trust in God and of perfect hope.

In my first year of novitiate I encountered many oppositions to succeed in my vocation. When everything seemed hopeless, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus asked me: “Are you confident that you will succeed all the same? "— "Yes—I replied—I am so convinced that [1235] the good Lord will grant me this grace that nothing can make me doubt it.” “Keep your trust in mind,” she told me resolutely—it is impossible for the good Lord not to respond to it, because he always measures his gifts by our trust. However, I confess that

 

WITNESS 21: Mary of the Trinity OC D

 

if I had seen you weaken in your hope, I would have doubted myself, so much all hope is lost on the human side.

“When you are ill—she also said to me—simply tell it to the Mother Prioress, then abandon yourself to the good God without difficulty, whether you are treated or not. You've done your duty by saying so, and that's enough: the rest is no longer your business, it's God's business. If he lets you lack something, it's a grace, it's because he trusts you are strong enough to suffer something for him.

[How is it that you are quoting these recollections verbatim as you stated them at the Informative Trial?‑Answer]:

Long before there was any question of the Trial itself Informative, immediately after the Servant of God's death, I had written down, for my personal edification, the advice I had received from the Servant of God. In fact, I know them by heart and could not express them otherwise.

 

[response continued]:

When I had family troubles, she used to tell me: “Entrust them to the good Lord and don't worry about them any longer: everything will turn out well for them. If you worry about it yourself, the good Lord will not worry about it, and you will deprive your parents of the graces that you [1236] would have obtained for them by your abandonment”

She also said, when I showed her my fear that God would be angry with me because of my constantly recurring imperfections: "The one you have taken as your Spouse has, if I may is to be blind, and he does not know arithmetic. If he saw clearly and knew how to calculate, do you believe that in the presence of all our sins he would not make us return to nothingness? But his love makes him positively blind. See rather: if the greatest sinner on earth, repenting of his offenses at the moment of death, expires in an act of love, immediately, without calculating on the one hand the many graces that this unfortunate man has abused, on the Apart from all his crimes, he only counts his last prayer and receives him without delay in the arms of his mercy”

 

[Response to the twenty-seventh request]:

The life of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was nothing but an act of love for God. She carried out Saint Paul's advice to the letter: “Either you eat or you drink, whatever you do, do it for the love of God.”

On July 29, 1894, the community drew lots for some pious sentences. The note that fell to him was this: “If at every moment you were asked what are you doing? your answer should

to be: I like! In the refectory?: I like it! At work?: I like it! etc This note, which she kept until her death, gave her extreme pleasure. She said to me: "He is the echo of my soul, for a long time this is how I have heard love and how I exercise myself to practice it."

[1237] I said one day to the Servant of God: “If I were unfaithful to grace, I wouldn't go straight to heaven! "Oh! it is not that—she answered me—but it is the good God who would lose love.”

 

[Answer to the twenty-eighth request]:

One day I told the Servant of God some facts about magnetism that I had witnessed. The next day she said to me: “How good your conversation yesterday did me, oh! How I would like to be magnetized by Jesus! with what sweetness I handed over my will to him! Yes, I want him to take hold of my faculties so that I no longer perform human and personal actions, but actions that are entirely divine and directed by the spirit of love.

She said to me another time: “At the Office of Sext, there is a verse that I always utter reluctantly: it is this one: 'Inclinavi cor meum ad faciendas justificationes tuas in aeternum propter retributionem'; interiorly I hasten to say: 'O my Jesus, you know well that it is not for the reward that I serve you, but only because I love you, and to save souls. »

 

[Response to the twenty-ninth request]:

The Servant of God often quoted me this sentence of Saint John of the Cross: "It is of the utmost importance that the soul practice a lot of love, so that, being consumed quickly, it hardly stops here down and come quickly to see God face to face. .@Long live">.@Hailing Flame str 1,v.6@

She herself confessed, at the end of her life, [1238] that she did not lose sight of the presence of God, and it was easy to see by her always recollected demeanor and the care with which she did all her actions, that she was really always thinking of God. Moreover, she never spoke of anything other than the love of God or the perfection of our works which must be the consequence.

 

[Answer to the thirtieth request]:

The Servant of God had at heart to communicate to us her dispositions concerning the love of God. When she urged me to do so, she did so with such unction that she often shed tears. She often repeated to me these words of Saint John of the Cross: “On the evening of this life, you will be judged on love. So learn to love God as he should be loved, and let yourself be." @Maxims and Opinions@

 

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All of her spiritual doctrine, which she called her "little way", boils down to love, trust and humility.

We know his act of offering in holocaust to merciful Love. She suggested that I offer myself, like her, as a victim of love and prepared me to make this offering.

 

[Response to the thirty-first request]:

From his love for God was born an ardent zeal for the salvation of souls, especially for the souls of priests. It was especially for them that she had embraced her Carmelite life. She told me that by praying [1239] and sacrificing oneself for their sanctification, one worked at the same time for the salvation of the souls with whom they were entrusted.

She had a mother's love for souls and called them "her children." She thought of them continually and worked tirelessly to “earn their eternal life,” as she put it.”

One laundry day, I walked leisurely to the laundry room, examining the flowers in the garden as I passed. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus went there in the same way, but with an alert step; She soon joined me and said to me as she dragged me along: “Is this how you hurry when you have children to feed and you have to work to support them? Let's hurry, because if we have fun, our children will starve.

Another time, I said to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus looking at the sky: “How happy we will be when we are up there! "It's true - she continued - but for me, if I have the desire to go to heaven soon, don't think it's to rest! I want to spend my heaven doing good on earth until the end of the world. Only then will I enjoy and rest. If I didn't firmly believe that my wish could come true, I would rather not die and live until the end of time in order to save more souls."

 

[Answer to the thirty-second request]:

The great charity of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus for her neighbor had always struck me [1240] very much. She showed it on every occasion. This disposition was entirely supernatural in her and derived from the love of God. This was particularly the case with the very tender affection she showed me; our relationship was very spiritual; she was careful to rebuke me for all my failings: “I owe you the truth—she told me—hate me, if you want, but I will tell it to you until I die.”

Conversely, the affection I had for her was also quite supernatural. I noticed with astonishment that the more I loved her, the more I loved the good God, and when my love for her grew cold, I was forced to recognize that I was in bad moods. One day she gave me a picture on the back of which she had written this sentence of our Father Saint John of the Cross: "When the love that one bears to the creature is a completely spiritual affection and founded on God alone, as it grows, the love of God also grows in our soul” @Nuit liv 1 ch.4@.

She taught me to supernaturalize my affections. Realizing that I was looking for myself with our Reverend Mother Agnès of Jesus, she said to me one day: “Do you think you love our Mother very much? Hey! Well, I'm going to prove you absolutely wrong: it's not our mother you love, it's yourself. When you really love, you make every sacrifice to bring happiness to the person you love. So if you had this disinterested love, you would rejoice to see our Mother finding pleasure at your expense; and, since you think that she has less satisfaction in speaking with you than with another, you should have no trouble when it seems to you that she is [1241] forsaking you for this other”

On June 13, 1897, she wrote to me on the back of an image representing the birth of the Child Jesus: “May the divine baby Jesus find in your soul a dwelling place entirely perfumed with the roses of love; may he still find there the burning lamp of fraternal charity which will rejoice his little heart by making him forget the ingratitude of souls who do not love him enough» @LT 246@

 

[Session 63: - September 26, 1916, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[Answer to the thirty-third to thirty-fifth questions]:

Better than anyone, because of the intimacy of our souls, it was easy for me to discover his hidden acts of charity. It was thus that in joint work I always saw her taking the most difficult and least attractive part by preference. One day I asked him which was better, to go and rinse the laundry in cold water or to stay in the laundry room to wash in hot water; she replied: “Oh! it's not hard to find out! When it costs you to go to cold water, it is a sign that it is also costing others, so go for it. If, on the contrary, it is hot, preferably stay in the laundry room. By taking the worst places, one practices both mortification for oneself and charity for others. »

She told me to go to recreation, not with the aim of recreating myself, but to recreate others: “There, perhaps more than anywhere else—she said—we find opportunities to give up ourselves in order to practice charity. For example, if someone tells you a boring story, listen to it with interest to make her happy; make yourself [1245] agreeable to all, you will only succeed, it is true, by renouncing yourself”.

 

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I noticed that everything she advised, she practiced herself with an undeniable perfection: she was always ready to go out of her way to help, and she did it with a smile so pleasant that one might have thought that it was forcing her to put her to work. She didn't say that people bothered her when people came at the wrong time and even without reason to disturb her in her work. It was immediately that she rendered the service that was asked of her. She was so complacent that I noticed many sisters taking advantage of her and asking for her help as a matter of course. It was to the point that I was sometimes revolted by it, but she found it quite natural and her charity made her ingenious in order to please everyone.

 

As Mother Prioress' feast approached, almost all the sisters brought their birthday gifts to Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, so that she could embellish them with some paint. Each one wanted to be served first, and, instead of recognition, the Servant of God often received reproaches: "You took better care of my sister such and such's work, you started with her, etc... .” There were some that were not delicate enough to require very complicated paintings: she overworked and tired herself a lot to satisfy them, but she rarely succeeded. However, all these failures and these reproaches so painful to nature seemed not to touch her: "When we work for the good God - she said - we do not expect any recognition from the creature, and these reproaches cannot take away the peace.” During recreation or working together, she preferred to seek the company of sisters whom she saw a little sad and endeavored to make them flourish by her spirit and by the services she rendered them. When she couldn't manage it, she prayed for them as she told me one day.

For two or three years, she had as her first job the most industrious sister one could meet: by her many manias she would make an angel lose patience, it takes heroic virtue to comply with all her demands; it is the appreciation of all those who know her. All day she stunned with her sermons and her speeches which were veritable charades. One day when she spoke to me in this way, I replied to her with some impatience. "Oh! my little sister—she said to me—, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus has never spoken to me as you do!» I reported this to the Servant of God who said to me: “Oh! be very gentle with her, she is sick, then it is charity to let her believe that she is doing us good, and that gives us the opportunity to practice patience. If you are already complaining, given the lack of contact you have with her, what would you say if you were in my place obliged to listen to her all day? Hey! Well, what I'm doing, you can do it, it's not very difficult: you have to be careful not to get annoyed inside, to soften your soul with charitable thoughts; after that we practice patience as naturally.”

I confess that I have been so often edified by the patience and always equal charity of Sister [1247] Thérèse of the Child Jesus towards this sister that I believe that, for that alone, she would have gained to be canonized, for such constancy in gentleness seems to me impossible without heroic virtue.

The Servant of God asked and obtained to be placed as the helper of a sister with whom none had been able to cope. This sister, who has now returned to the world, was afflicted with a dark melancholy and a violent character. She caused the Servant of God to suffer many sorrows by her injustices and her harsh and wicked words. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus endured everything without ever complaining, and by her gentleness soothed her companion to the point that she ended up recognizing her faults and humiliated herself by it near her. The Servant of God took advantage of these good times to cheer her up, so much so that this sister admitted that no one in the world had done her as much good as Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus.

It remains for me to speak of the charity she exercised towards me, it is indeed thanks to her that I succeeded in becoming a Carmelite. My lack of virtue, of health, and also the lack of sympathy that I encountered in the community, because I came from another Carmel, created a thousand almost insurmountable difficulties for me. In these painful moments, only the Servant of God consoled me, encouraged me and skilfully seized the opportunities to plead my case with the sisters who were against me: "How willingly I would give my life - she repeated to me - so that you succeed in your vocation!” She confessed to me that she counted [1248] the day of my profession among the most beautiful days of her life. It is in memory of this day that she composed the poems "Glose sur le divin" and "I thirst for love" which were printed in the "Histoire d'uneâme."

[Answer to the thirty-sixth request]:

The Servant of God told me that it was necessary, through our prayers and our sacrifices, to obtain for souls so much love from God that they could go to paradise without going through purgatory. However, she did not forget the deceased who suffer in this place of expiation. It was for them that she made, as often as she could, the Way of the Cross. She would have liked to do it every day, but she was sometimes prevented from doing so by the work that obedience imposed on her. She tried not to miss any opportunity to gain indulgences for their benefit; she advised me to be careful to do the same.

 

[Answer to the thirty-seventh to thirty-eighth questions inclusive]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus always showed a prudence and a maturity of judgment well above her age. Very often, at that time, because of the mentality of Mother Marie de Gonzague and of certain spirits in the

 

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community, there were disputes, sometimes very stormy; so, when things got too nasty, it was always Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus who, with uncommon tact and skill, restored peace to the community.

Because of her astonishing wisdom, I consulted her [1249] as an oracle; she clarified all my doubts without hesitation and with precision; she told me what I should do or avoid. I always had to congratulate myself for having followed his advice, and when I wanted to go against it, I had to regret it.

One day, I wrote to him that to punish myself for an infidelity I had resolved to deprive myself of communion the next day. She answered me with this note: "Dear little flower of Jesus, it is enough that by the humiliation of your soul your roots eat the earth... you must raise your corolla very high so that the bread of the angels comes like a divine dew strengthen you and give you all that you lack” @LT 240@

One day, I wanted to deprive myself of prayer in order to devote myself to a hurried work, she said to me: "Unless there is a great necessity, never ask permission to miss the exercises of piety for any work: it is there is a devotion that cannot please Jesus! True dedication is not wasting a minute during work hours”

My excessive sensitivity made me cry often and for nothing. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, realizing that this weakness was putting an obstacle to my spiritual advancement, had the ingenious idea, to heal me, of making me collect my tears each time in a shell. This original method works perfectly for me.

 

I especially noticed her caution in the directions I had with her. No curious or embarrassing questions even under the pretext of doing good. She listened to my confidences with interest, but did not provoke them. I then saw for myself that she practiced what she wrote later in her life: "When I talk to a novice, I avoid asking her questions that would satisfy my curiosity...because I Seems you can do no good by looking for yourself.” @MSC 1250@

To console me in a temptation, she said to me: “Notice the method used to make the brass gleam: they are coated with mud, with materials that dirty them and make them dull; after this operation, they shine like gold. Hey! well, temptations are like this mud for the soul; they only serve to make shine in us the virtues opposed to these same temptations.

 

The Servant of God followed the attraction of my soul to lead it to Jesus. She told me that she would never want to force a soul to follow her own path unless it was inclined and wanted it, because the good Lord leads souls by different paths, in which each must work according to the divine will. It was thus that at that time, being very childish in character, I used a rather original and perhaps childish method to practice virtue: that of delighting the Child Jesus by playing all kinds of games with him. spiritual. This method making me make serious progress, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus encouraged me by condescension, and, entering into my state of mind, wrote to me, on Christmas Eve 1896, the letter which was published in The "Story of a soul" (Edition in 1°, 8, page 1914), and which begins as follows: "To my darling little wife, bowler, on the mountain of Carmel..." @LT 292@ . Not having sufficiently noticed that this letter had [212] been written only out of condescension for the particular state of a soul, certain people have mistakenly seen in it the general and absolute teaching of a puerile spirituality.

 

[Continued response to requests thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth]:

I had the opportunity to hear from her mouth an important explanation of what she called “her little way” of love and trust. I had informed him of my intention of expounding this spiritual doctrine to my relatives and friends. " Oh! — she told me — be very careful when explaining yourself, because our misunderstood “little way” could be taken for quietism or illuminism.” She then explained to me these false doctrines, unknown to me. I remember that she quoted Madame Guyon to me as a heretic. “Don't believe,” she told me, “that to follow [1252] the path of love is to follow a path of rest, full of sweetness and consolation. Ah! it's quite the opposite. To offer oneself as a victim of love is to surrender oneself without reserve to divine good pleasure, it is to expect to share with Jesus his humiliations and his chalice of bitterness.

I said to him another time: "Who taught you your 'little way of love' which expands the heart so much?." She answered me: “It is Jesus alone who instructed me, no book, no theologian taught me, and yet I feel in the bottom of my heart that I am in the truth. I received no encouragement from anyone except Mother Agnes of Jesus. When the opportunity arose to open my soul, I was so little understood that I said to God like Saint John of the Cross: 'Do not send me any more messengers from now on who cannot tell me what I want” @C.Spi str 6@

 

She asked me one day if I would give up after her death her "little way of trust and love?." "Certainly not - I told him - I believe in it so firmly that it seems to me that if the Pope were to tell me that you were mistaken, I would not be able to believe it." " Oh! — she continued eagerly — one would have to believe the Pope above all; but don't be afraid that he will come and tell you to change your way, I won't give him time, because if, when I get to heaven, I learn that I have misled you, I will get money. good Lord permission to come and tell you immediately. Until then, believe

 

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that my way is sure and follow it faithfully”

 

[Response to Requests Thirty-ninth and Fortieth]:

[1253] Justice shone particularly in Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. Her novices had recourse to her in complete confidence because she acted towards them without any search for herself and without any respect of persons, although she counted among her novices her own sister and a first cousin.

She was faithful to her duty and nothing could have deterred her. When I wanted to remember the text of our regulations, I had only to watch her act.

She loved the truth and suffered only with difficulty from the necessity of certain dissimulations imposed by the sadly jealous character of Mother Marie de Gonzague. One day she could not refrain from protesting openly in front of a notable part of the community (about fifteen nuns) against a crying injustice on the part of Mother Marie de Gonzague, then mistress of novices.

[Could you quote the exact terms of this protest? - Answer]:

She said: “Mother Marie de Gonzague is absolutely in the wrong. It is scandalous to act like this towards his mother prioress and what pains me the most is to see in this the good God offended. A nun replied: “Mother Marie de Gonzague is mistress of novices, she has every right to humiliate her novices!” “No—replied the Servant of God—that does not come under the category of humiliations that one can impose.”

­

[1254] [What was this glaring injustice? Answer]:

Mother Agnes of Jesus was prioress at the time and was soon to leave office. As the time of novitiate for Sister Geneviève and me had expired, Mother Agnès proposed, as was in order, to receive our profession before the end of her priorate. The ecclesiastical superior had also on his side expressed the desire that it should be so. Mother Marie de Gonzague, mistress of novices, anticipating her forthcoming re-election to the priorate and jealous of reserving for herself the reception of newly professed sisters, violently opposed, in front of the whole community, the project of the prioress and the superior, and this in terms very hurtful for Mother Agnes of Jesus; this is what brought the protest of the Servant of God.

[Witness continues]:

Sister Thérèse suffered from seeing Mother Marie de Gonzague living under the illusion of her faults, and tried every means to open her eyes to the truth. She thus very often exposed herself to the malevolence of this poor mother blinded by her sad passion of jealousy; but it mattered little to her, she was only aiming to do good to this unhappy soul whom she loved in spite of everything.

 

[Response to the forty-first request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was very mortified, but with a kind mortification that did not make itself noticed. She used creatures only out of necessity for the accomplishment of her duty or out of charity, without ever seeking her pleasure in them.

I particularly admired her detachment towards her sisters [1255] by nature: she did not show them more affection than the other nuns. Recently I expressed my astonishment to her older sister (Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart) that, during the life of the Servant of God, she hardly sought his company: “Of course! - she answered me - but how could you expect me to go to her side? I really wanted to, but, out of loyalty, she did not want to talk to me.

 

In the refectory, I was her neighbor at the table, and despite all my attention, I could never notice what she liked or disliked; she ate everything indifferently. When she was very ill, and the nurse forced her to tell her what she liked, she confessed that certain foods had always hurt her; yet I had seen her eat them with the same indifference as other foods.

The mortifying advice she gave me made me notice hers more easily, because she never gave me advice without carrying it out perfectly herself. This is how she recommended me not to mix my food to make it more pleasant; not to lean your back against the wall (this requires great attention, because the benches, which are quite narrow, are adjacent to the wall); to finish my meal with something that does not flatter the taste, like a bite of dry bread. "All these little nothings - she told me - do not harm our health, they do not make us notice, and they maintain our soul in a supernatural state of fervor". She also advised me, when I was sitting in our cell, to [1256] move our little bench away from the wall, so as not to lean on it. In short, she reminded me of mortification in all my acts, which gave me proof of the attention she paid to it herself.

 

By her own admission, suffering from the cold was the most painful bodily mortification she endured in Carmel; she bore it heroically without complaining or seeking relief. She picked me up when I let it appear that I was cold, either by walking bent over or shivering. One day I had put our alpargates to dry on a heater and had put them warm at my feet to warm me up. Noticing this, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus said to me: “If I had done what you have just done, I would believe that I had committed a great immortification; what would be the use of having embraced an austere life if we seek to relieve ourselves in all that can make us suffer? Without a command of obedience, we must not evade even the smallest practice of mortification” @Idem@

Our families and our monasteries had offered many gifts to our dean, Sister Stanislas, for her wedding.

 

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Golden. One among others had aroused general admiration, and was then offered to our chaplain, Father Youf. The latter had occasion to speak of this object to Sister Thérèse and he asked her what she thought of it. The Servant of God seemed embarrassed and had to admit that, having a great desire to see this object, she had deprived herself of looking at it out of mortification. Father Youf was so edified by this fact that he expressed all his admiration for the prioress, Mother [1257] Marie de Gonzague, telling her that she had a real saint in this young nun.

 

[Answer to the forty-second request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus pushed the virtue of strength to the point of heroism.

When I entered Carmel, his sister, our Reverend Mother Agnès of Jesus was prioress and I was well edified by the strength of soul that the Servant of God showed when she witnessed the scandalous scenes of jealousy that Mother Marie made daily de Gouzague to his beloved "little mother". Her heart was extremely sensitive and affectionate, particularly towards this sister who had served as her mother; and yet her serenity of soul was never disturbed in the midst of these storms: she always remained graceful and amiable. She said to me: “The good God who allows evil will draw good from it: our 'Little Mother' is a saint, that is why the good God does not spare her”. She also told me that it was our duty to pray for the conversion of Mother Marie de Gonzague, and that she was more sorry to see God offended by her than to see her "little mother" suffer.

In the community I have often heard the elders praise the equanimity of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus at the time of her father's painful ordeals, which progressive cerebral congestions obliged to commit to a nursing home. She herself, speaking to me of these family sorrows, said to me: [1258] “These ordeals are for me subjects of perpetual thanksgiving.”

 

One day she said to me: “I practice suffering joyfully; for example, when one takes discipline, I imagine myself being beaten by the executioners for the confession of the faith; the more I hurt myself, the happier I look. I do the same for any other bodily pain: instead of letting my face contract in pain, I smile! »

 

Another time, she came all beaming and said to me: “Our Mother has just told me about the persecution that rages against religious communities. What joy! The good Lord is going to make the most beautiful dream of my life come true! When I think we live in the era of martyrs. Ah! let us no longer worry about the little miseries of life; let us apply ourselves to wearing them generously to deserve such great grace”

One day when I was crying, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus told me to get used to not letting my little sufferings show: "It's true—I told her—I will no longer cry except with the good Lord .” She resumed quickly: “Be careful not to act like this, this good Master has only our monasteries to rejoice in his heart; he comes to us to forget the continual complaints of his friends in the world... and you would do like ordinary mortals!... Jesus loves happy hearts; when will you be able to hide your sorrows from him, or tell him in song that you are happy to suffer for him?”

 

She said to me again: “In the past, in the [1259] world, when I woke up in the morning, I thought about what was probably going to happen to me during the day, and, if I foresaw trouble, I got up sad. Now, it's just the opposite... I wake up all the more joyful and full of courage as I foresee more opportunities to show my love to Jesus and to save souls. Then I kiss my Crucifix and say to it: 'My Jesus, you have worked enough during the 33 years of your life on this poor earth. Today, rest... it's my turn to fight and suffer'”

 

The Servant of God was of incomparable courage; she followed her Rule without softening until her strength was completely exhausted. She began to suffer seriously from the throat three years before her death, but no one took notice. At the end of Lent 1896, which she had accomplished in all the rigor of our Order, she was seized with the spitting of blood of which she speaks in her life. In my capacity as nurse's aide, she told me about it the next morning (Good Friday); her face was beaming with happiness. She also expressed to me her joy that Mother Marie de Gonzague had easily allowed her, despite this accident, to practice all the penitential exercises of these last two holy days. She made me promise to keep the secret so as not to upset Mother Agnes of Jesus. This Good Friday she therefore fasted, like us, all day, eating only a little dry bread and drinking water at noon and at six o'clock in the evening. Moreover, apart from the Offices, she did not stop doing very tiring cleanings; in the evening, she again took the discipline for three Miserere. [1260] Also, on returning exhausted to her cell, she was again spitting blood as the day before.

Since then, her health declined with alternating better and worse, which did not prevent her from following all the community exercises and always appearing to be smiling. She confided to me that often, during the divine office, her heart failed her due to the violence she made in chanting and standing up; but she shook off her fatigue with these words: "If I die, it will be seen."

When I realized that she was exhausted, I went to ask Mother Marie de Gonzague to dispense her at least from the Office of Matins, but my efforts had no success. The Servant of God begged me not to intervene, assuring me that our Mother was aware of her fatigues, and that if she was not careful, it was because she was inspired by the good God who wanted fulfill his desire to go without relief to the end of his strength. She went there, in fact, for the day before the day when she was not to get up again, she came again to the evening recreation. There, she confessed to me that the day before she had taken more than half a

 

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time to go up to his cell; she was obliged to sit down almost at each step of the stairs; it had taken her incredible efforts to undress alone. Despite her denial, I informed Mother Marie de Gonzague and also Mother Agnès of Jesus, and since then, serious attention was paid to treating her.

 

[Session 64: - September 27, 1916, at 9 a.m. and at 2 o'clock. of the afternoon]

[1264] [Answer to the forty-third request]:

Everything about the Servant of God breathed purity. I cannot say what good it did my soul on account of this virtue. She taught me to see all things with purity: "Everything is pure for the pure - she liked to repeat to me - evil is only found in a perverse will." She humbly confessed to me that she had never been tempted against purity. She said to me one day: “I always take extreme care when I am alone, either when I get up or when I go to bed, to have the reserve that I would have if I was in front of other people. And besides, am I not always in the presence of God and his angels! This modesty has become so habitual to me that I could not act otherwise.

 

[Answer to the forty-fourth request]:

Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus practiced poverty in all its perfection. I noticed his attention to losing nothing and taking advantage of everything to avoid the slightest expense. She lowered the wick of her little lamp very low, so as to receive only the indispensable light. [1265] She mended her clothes to the end, and everything she needed to avoid having to renew them. By this same spirit of poverty, she always wrote in very close lines to use less paper. When, in the refectory, she happened to take a few grains of salt more than she needed, instead of throwing them away, she kept them in reserve for another time. She often recommended this virtue of poverty to me, assuring me that it was very desirable to lack even the necessities because then one could call oneself truly poor. She told me that when I couldn't avoid having people buy and they gave me a choice, I should, without hesitation, take what was cheapest, as the poor do.

Out of love for poverty, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus had a particular taste for the most worn-out clothes. Our seamstress sister was mending one day near her at recreation some old, badly shaped, very worn wimples. She told the Servant of God that she was saving them to give to our lay sisters in addition to those for the week, because they were not presentable; that is why she only gave them to her intimate friends whom she knew to be not very difficult: “Oh! then,” said Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus in a pleading tone, “consider me, I beg you, as one of your intimate friends.” The seamstress acceded to his request, and from then until her death she was gratified with the poorest and most inconvenient wimples.

 

[Answer to the forty-fifth request]:

The Servant of God was heroic in her obedience. Although she confessed that she did not always feel understood in her directions with her ordinary or extraordinary confessors, she nevertheless submitted all her thoughts to them and followed their advice without restriction. It was thus that, having composed her "Act of Offering to Merciful Love", she did not want to communicate it to me before it had received the approval of an enlightened priest. This one having made her change a word, moreover rather insignificant in the formula, she hastened to correct this word in the few copies which had been made of it.

It was to remain more dependent that she asked to be kept in the novitiate after the ordinary time and that she remained there until the end of her life. This request is all the more remarkable since at the time when she made it, Mother Marie de Gonzague was mistress of novices, and it was on her in particular that she made herself dependent, to which, undoubtedly, she could have no natural appeal.

For nothing in the world would she have wanted to do anything without permission. One day when she had forgotten to ask permission, I told her that she could do the thing and then she would report on it. She replied quickly: “No, of course! except [1267] in a very extraordinary case, I will never allow such a thing to happen. These little subjugations make us practice our vow of obedience in perfection. If we avoid it, what good is it to have made this wish?

Above all, she proved the heroicity of her obedience in her exemplary fidelity to fulfilling to the letter and without reasoning the multitude of little regulations that Mother Marie de Gonzague established or destroyed according to her whims, unstable regulations of which the community paid little heed.

Not only did she thus obey the orders of her Mother Prioress, but she obeyed with the same promptitude any sister in the community. I have experienced this myself more than once, much to my edification and confusion. One day, among other things, I said to him: “Go and do such and such a thing”; immediately, she left her occupation which certainly had more attraction for her, and went where I sent her; and yet she was my mistress and under no obligation to do as I told her.

 

It is recommended in our regulations to collect the smallest pieces of wood that can be found around the house, because they can be used to light the fire. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus followed this practice to the point of carefully collecting the little wood from the size of her pencils.

After taking the habit, our Reverend Mother Agnès of Jesus, teaching her to sit on her heels, as is customary in Carmel, told her to sit on the right side. She considered this advice as an [1268l order, and until her death she submitted to it, never wanting to allow herself to change sides even to relax.

 

WITNESS 21: Mary of the Trinity OCD

 

To teach me a lesson, she confided to me one day the heroic act she had done as a postulant and novice: "Our mistress, Sister Marie des Anges—she told me—commanded me to tell her each time I had stomach ache. Now, this happened to me every day and this commandment was a real torture for me. When the stomach ache took hold of me, I would have preferred a hundred blows of the stick rather than going to say it, but I said it each time out of obedience. Our mistress, who no longer remembered the order she had given me, said: 'My poor child, you will never have the health to make the Rule, it is too much for you!'. Or else she would ask Mother Marie de Gonzague for some remedy, who would reply displeased: 'But that child always complains! people come to Carmel to suffer, if she can't bear her pain, let her go!' Yet I continued for a long time out of obedience to confess my stomach aches at the risk of being fired, until finally the good Lord, taking pity on my weakness, allowed me to be relieved of the obligation to make this confession."

During her last illness, as people seemed surprised that she should take permission for insignificant details that she could have accomplished on her own without scruple, she said to Mother Agnès of Jesus: "My mother, I want do everything by obedience” @DEA 11-9@.

 

[1269] [Response to the forty-sixth request]:

The humility of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus was truly heroic. She sought humiliation like a treasure. She often begged me to tell her all the unpleasant words I heard, not only about her, but what must have been more painful to her, about her dear "Little Mother" and her other sisters. She herself expresses the joy she felt on these occasions, in the “Story of a Soul”, chapter X: “Ah! truly, it is a delicious feast which fills my soul with joy. How can a thing that is so displeasing to nature give such happiness? » @MSC 1@.

Not only did the Servant of God let this supernatural joy show when I reported malevolent comments about her, but I noticed the same serenity in her when the sisters threw harsh and disagreeable words at her unexpectedly. A former nun could not understand that Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus, so young, took care of the novices. She told him, one day, that she needed to know how to lead herself more than to lead others. I witnessed this conversation. The Servant of God replied with angelic gentleness: “Ah! my sister, you are quite right, I am even more imperfect than you think”

 

She confided to me one day that if she had not been accepted into Carmel, she would have entered a Refuge to live there, unknown and despised, in the midst of the poor repentants. “My happiness—she told me—would [1270] have been to pass for such; I would have made myself the apostle of my companions, telling them what I think of the mercy of the good God.” “How—I said—could you have concealed your innocence from your confessor?” "I would have told him that I had made a general confession in the world and that I was forbidden to repeat it."

She constantly taught me the practice of humility. What she called her “little way of spiritual childhood” was the continual subject of our talks.

One day, she approached me with these words: “An abundant and chosen table has just been served in your honor. Like a mother for her child, I eagerly collected these substantial dishes; I bring them to you because I think they will do you the good and the pleasure they would do me.” These dishes were humiliating words, bad judgments against me. "Promise me," she said to me as she finished, "that you will do for me as I do for you." See how I give you proofs of true love; since you love me, give me these same proofs.”

 

I was discouraged at the sight of my imperfections. Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus said to me: “You make me think of a very small child who does not yet know how to walk. Wanting to join his mother at the top of a staircase, he raises his small foot to climb the first step: useless trouble! he always falls back without being able to move forward. Ah! Well, consent to be that little child. By practicing all the virtues, always lift your little foot to climb the stairway of holiness. You won't even [1271] manage to climb the first step; but the good Lord only asks of you goodwill. Soon, overcome by your useless efforts, he himself will come down and, taking you in his arms, will carry you forever into his kingdom.

 

Another time, I was still saddened by my shortcomings, she said to me: “Here you are again out of the 'little way'! the pain that depresses comes from self-love, the pain that is supernatural raises courage. We are happy to feel weak and miserable because the more we recognize him humbly, expecting everything for free from the good God, without any merit on our part, the more the good God lowers himself towards us to fill us with his gifts with magnificence.

 

[Answer to the forty-seventh request]:

People ask me if I know what heroic virtue is. It consists, it seems to me, in a degree of perfection that goes beyond what one can encounter in the [1272] common run of souls, even fervent ones, and especially, in the case that concerns us, in the life of a nun. uplifting.

I have not the slightest doubt about the character of heroicity of the virtues of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus. What I've seen him do is beyond what you can see, even with the best. Among other characters of heroicity I noticed:

1° that in the best nuns one inevitably observes moments of oblivion, escapes of nature, some slackening in fervor. At Sister Thérèse's there is nothing like it. Although I have

 

WITNESS 21: Mary of the Trinity OCD

 

lived with her in constant intimacy, I was never able to grasp the slightest wavering in her fidelity and in the generosity of her conduct.

 

2° What seems to me to further accentuate the heroic nature of her virtue is that she lived in Carmel at a time when everything was in disarray in the community. Parties had been formed there under the influence of Mother Marie de Gonzague; there was therefore a great lack of charity there. Regularity and silence were badly observed there. In such an environment, to maintain perfect fidelity, as Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus always did, it was necessary to go up a current, to resist the general impulse, which required a truly extraordinary virtue.

 

3° Having three of her sisters and a first cousin in the community, and the most beloved of these sisters even finding herself as Prioress at the head of the community, it would have been very easy and natural for her to agree, without missing to the Rule, many satisfactions. Now, she never [1273] did so to my knowledge; on the contrary, she seemed to go best with the other nuns. However, the whole of his life shows the extreme delicacy of his affection for his own sisters and in particular for Mother Agnès of Jesus, his "Little Mother." It was therefore not out of indifference of character that she acted thus, but out of a supernatural and truly heroic detachment under the circumstances.

 

4° I am asked in what virtues this heroicity seems to me more marked, I answer that the heroicity of his virtue seems to me particularly remarkable:

1° In the continuity and intensity of his recollection and of his affectionate union with God. I believe it is very true, what she confessed, moreover, that the thought of God was in her uninterrupted.

II° In the generous fidelity with which, to please God and win souls for Him, she took advantage of all providential opportunities to make sacrifices.

III° In the practice of charity towards the sisters, as I explained it in the preceding answers.

IV° Finally in his humility.

 

[Answer to the forty-eighth request]:

Calm and poise were salient qualities of the Servant of God.

 

[Answer to the forty-ninth request]:

The supernatural gifts, miracles, ecstasies, etc., which are ordinarily admired in the lives of the saints, were not [1274] the lot of the Servant of God: her life here below did not come out of the ordinary; this is its particular cachet which makes it imitable and accessible to all. The good Lord made her feel that he wanted it that way in order to give her as a model to the many souls who walk the common path in the night of faith. She spoke to me about it sometimes with her usual simplicity. I remember that one day I expressed to him the desire that his death should take place during his thanksgiving after Holy Communion: “Oh! no—she replied quickly—that's not how I want to die, it would be an extraordinary grace that would discourage 'little souls' because they couldn't imitate that! They must be able to imitate everything in me.”

Her high degree of perfection, of union with God, and also her great natural intelligence made her very perceptive, so that very often I believed that she had the gift of reading my soul. I pointed this out to her and she replied: "I don't have this gift at all, but here is my secret: I never make observations to you without invoking the Blessed Virgin, I ask her to inspire me with what must do you the most good; after that, I admit to you that I myself am often surprised at certain things that I tell you without reflection on my part. I only feel that I am not mistaken, and that it is God's will that I tell you.

I often received much needed graces of strength to resist violent temptations, at the precise moment when the Servant of God was praying for me.

 

One day something quite extraordinary happened to me: I was not happy that she had not [1275] wanted to see me when I had gone to find her at an inopportune time. I wanted to make him feel my bad mood, by not talking to him about the day. In the evening, she came to see me, and as I was preparing to reproach her, I was suddenly seized with a supernatural feeling which completely changed my dispositions; I was as if under the action of a superior force which gently compelled me to apologize to him and made me understand that I was not dealing with just anyone, but with a saint particularly loved by God. Since then, in my dealings with her, I could not help feeling a certain respect mingled with a daily growing admiration for this angel of virtue.

 

[Answer to the fiftieth request]:

To my knowledge, the Servant of God did no miracles during her life.

 

[Answer to the fifty-first request]:

The Servant of G