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J.M.+ J.T.                                           Carmel of Lisieux

January 4, 1906

 

Jesus

 

My Reverend and dear Mother1,

 

Have you received the mementos of our dear little sister in heaven2?  Was the package wrapped securely?  Was anything lost?  Is it satisfactory?  I ask pardon for having left you a little bit of work to do, but the sister who takes care of these things is overburdened.

 

Thank you, my dear Mother, for telling me so fraternally about things which the “little Queen” obtains for you and other details that cause me so much joy.  Oh, how this angel loves and blesses your monastery!  Rather, it is quite right that she reserve for it her most beautiful roses: love and confidence in God.  May she send these to you from me, my good Mother, for we are far from one another.  May I be a good Mother, holy and beloved, so that these wishes might be efficacious.

 

Our community is very honored to feel itself so united to your dear ones, my Reverend Mother.  Please pray for us, because the storm still approaches and threatens to engulf everything3.  While waiting, we live in the most perfect peace, trying to make of our little monastery a place of peace and delight for Our Lord, Who is so offended in our unhappy country.  If our little saint was here, practicing, in the shadows, the most heroic virtues, she would weigh in the balance of mercy!  But what am I saying!  She weighs more than ever in this balance, because for eight years she has been with us more than ever, placing in the balance the reparation and love which she ignited in a thousand hearts.

 

I kiss your hands and your scapular4, my Reverend Mother, with affection and fraternal respect, and, as I say, in Jesus,

 

Your sister and friend,

Sister Agnes of Jesus, r.c.i.

Were there several sachets of hair1 in the package from Lisieux?  If not, I would be sorry.

 

Pardon me for not being able to write to you in English.  Excuse my ignorance.

 



1 In this letter, Mother Agnes is addressing Mother Gertrude, Foundress and Prioress of the Carmel of Philadelphia.

2 Mother Agnes had sent still more souvenirs.  The relics of St. Thérèse obtained from Lisieux for the Carmel of Philadelphia include hair, pieces of her Habit and wool from the pillow on which she died, soil from her  grave, wood from her coffin and from the floors of her cell and  of the infirmary, and a blood-stained piece of cloth taken from her coffin when her body was exhumed in September, 1910.   See the letter of September 26, 1910.

3 French government officials were taking inventories of Church property at this time as a result of the promulgation of the Law of Separation of Church and State.  Pope St. Pius X vigorously protested the state of affairs in France with the February, 1906 Encyclical, Vehementer nos.

4 “Kissing the scapular” is a customary sign of respect toward the Prioress in Carmel.

1 Relics of  Sr. Thérèse’s hair, still preserved in the Carmel of Philadelphia.