St. Peter’s College
Dear Mother Prioress1,
I am so pleased to hear again from the Carmel of “Philadelphia’s Little Flower2”, that I am answering you before a hundred others. It is almost impossible now to overtake my correspondence and other work. Pray that I may always do my duty here faithfully3.
“The charm of the original4” – I cannot quite admit that phrase, but judging by the kind reception it has everywhere met with, Soeur Thérèse – for it is indeed her work – has given it something of the aroma of her own sweet words. I know it is winning hearts that were repelled by the first translation. D.G5. They scarcely understand as yet at Lisieux the delay over it- a good translation of such a book is unspeakably difficult. I nearly lost a friend over the letters – he had begged to be allowed to do them. They were unsatisfactory and I practically rewrote them. “Roses”6 also should be carefully chosen and well – though simply – described. I hope the “Rose Shower”7 will please you.
Dear Sr. Stanislaus’ death is to me one of the sweetest of the favors in the large life1. It may help those who have most claim to her “roses”, namely the daughters of Carmel. Your own name occurred in Mother Gertrude=s sweet letter but I knew you would not have liked to see it there in print, so it was suppressed. I did not know then that you would be one day writing to the Seminary here. I was particularly anxious Mother Gertrude should see the book before she died. The first issue was only of 200 copies and I insisted that one should go straight to Philadelphia (over 4,000, out of 9,000, are now disposed of)2. I hope its appearance gave her some little pleasure.
I am deeply grieved to hear about dear Miss Emery3 and will write to her at once. And how is my correspondent-in-ordinary4 at the Carmel? Well, I hope, though I fear she would like to be gathered young – as we gather “flowers”. I have a very important scheme on hand in which you may be able to assist me. A something of Our Holy Father I wish to put in the hands of every English-speaking priest. For this – and for the “Life” – His Holiness had sent me a special blessing. I intend inserting also a picture of Thérèse in the booklet for the priests5.
There has been a lovely “rose” in Donegal, when lately our “Flower6” came down to a child of four, playing in the garden, and gave her six snowdrops to take to her dying mother. The snowdrops emitted a heavenly perfume. The mother was cured, though a few hours previously three doctors pronounced her to be actually dying. (It was a) Bad case of puerperal fever.
In January a Little Sister of the Poor – ill for years and several times anointed – was told to get up by the “Flower”. She did so and went straight to the chapel. Next morning she arose at 4:30 and went down with the Community as usual. In January also she1 brought back the father of a friend of mine, for fifty years away from his duties. She is wonderful, wonderful – and sweet. God bless her and glorify her soon, very soon. Please ask her to get me the grace of prayer, and ability to cope with my work.
Yours in Jesus, Mary,
1 Mother Beatrix of the Holy Spirit (1846-1939), had been called from Boston Carmel to be appointed as Prioress of the Carmel of Philadelphia in October, 1912, due to the failing health of the Foundress, Mother Gertrude, who passed away on February 7, 1913.
2 Fr. Taylor is referring to Sr. Stanislaus of the Blessed Sacrament.
3 In his position as a Seminary Professor in Glasgow, Fr. Taylor zealously fostered devotion to Sr. Thérèse. This remained his favorite apostolate throughout life.
4 This is perhaps a quote from Mother Beatrix=s previous letter, written in praise of the 1912 English translation of the Story of a Soul, edited by Fr. Taylor.
5 Deo gratias.
6 Accounts of favors received through the intercession of Sr. Thérèse.
7 The section of the above-mentioned book, dealing with favors attributed to Sr. Thérèse.
1 The account of the death of Sr. Stanislaus, written by Mother Gertrude, was published in the 1912 edition mentioned above (page 399-401).
2 Mother Gertrude did in fact see the book shortly before she died.
3 Susan Emery, who was translating the poetry of Sr. Thérèse into English.
4 This was Sr. Mary of St. Joseph (Mary Daily), 1877-1916, one of the Foundresses of the Carmel of Philadelphia, who succeeded Sr. Stanislaus in the offices of Sub-prioress and Turn-Sister. She also fostered devotion to Sr. Thérèse. A childhood friend of Sr. Stanislaus, she would die five years (to the day) after her.
5 This is the “scheme” of which Fr. Taylor speaks above.
6 Sr. Thérèse.
1 Sr. Thérèse.
2 Fr. Taylor (Thomas N.) signs with his initials, in the form of an “N” with a crossbar on its top.