J.M.+ J.T. Carmel of Lisieux
August 19, 1909
My dear little sister and child,
With great joy we have received the story of the practically complete cure of your Reverend Mother1. Would you please give us more news without too much delay? We are very happy also that you have sensed the perfumes of “little Thérèse”2. Oh, no, it was not of the imagination, but truly reality; be persuaded and rejoice fully in this gift.
Here, at this time, we have the perfume of suffering. Our Reverend Mother3 is very ill and we are quite uneasy. She received Extreme Unction three days ago. There is no more hope and Thérèse does not wish to cure her! Without doubt, it is in order to give us something more since suffering is always a great good, but the will of the good Lord is sometimes a crucifixion, one must admit. Grant that this God, so good, may have us embrace Him with confidence and with love! Pray that it be so!
Little Pauline has returned to the world4! That has quite astonished me. But I believe that her health would not permit austerities. She will be a Carmelite by desire and in heaven we will let her slip into our phalanx.
We have only had the second visit from the people about whom you told us5. Unfortunately, I received your letter after the departure of the visitors. Without it, I did try briefly to receive them. However, they were delighted with the visit.
What a shame that over there you do not have the life of Thérèse, or at least the “Call”, in English! Address yourself to Father N, Taylor, St. Peter’s College, Bearsden, Glasgow, Scotland. At least, he will give you all the necessary information. He is a fervent friend of our “little Queen”1.
We have received your postal money order and have taken note of your new order. We cannot yet send you the calendar. We do not have it, but you will receive it at the end of the year.
While you are waiting then, my dear little Stanislaus, receive the expression of my truly maternal devotion and thank your Reverend Mother Prioress, who is so favored by Thérèse, for permitting me to love you thus.
Tell her that I love her too, very much, and that I kiss her hand and her Scapular. For you, my little child, I kiss your forehead as I used to kiss the pure forehead of your sister in heaven.
Your “little mother”,
Sr. Agnes of Jesus, r.c.i.
Could you send me a copy of the text of the letter that emitted a fragrance for you2?
1 Page 17, Note 5.
2 A phenomenon of the sensing of sweet scents that cannot be physically accounted for. They are associated with the presence of holy persons who have died. In the case of St. Thérèse, the perfumes were most often the scent of roses.
3Mother Marie-Ange; Page 17, Note 2.
4Pauline Wilcox, (Page 11, Note 4), entered the Carmel of Philadelphia as a Postulant in December, 1908, but unfortunately did not have a vocation to Carmel. She remained a very good and devoted friend to Mothers Gertrude and Beatrix and to all the Sisters, with whom she continued to correspond.
1 Fr. Thomas N.Taylor, born in Scotland in the same year as Sr. Thérèse (1873), was ordained a priest in the year she died (1897). He read the Story of a Soul soon after it appeared and was immediately and deeply impressed with its spiritual message. He began to correspond with the Carmel of Lisieux and to him is given the credit to have been the first person to suggest that the Cause for Beatification be introduced. He testified at the 1910 Process of the impact that devotion to Sr. Thérèse was beginning to have in the English-speaking world. He was instrumental in the editing of the 1912 English translation of the Story of a Soul.
2 The information concerning this letter referred to is unknown. About the phenomenon of fragrances,, see Page 17, Note 2.