J.M.+ J.T. Carmel of Lisieux
March 31, 1909
My dear little Sister and child,
Tell your dear Reverend Mother that I have received the postal check and the ten francs for which we thank this close friend of our little Thérèse1 very much.
As for the order, it is still impossible to send you the rose petals2; the supply is exhausted. Are there no copies of the big edition3?! I hope that our new editions will not be late in appearing. We so not have any of the “Call” either … not one single copy. All our books really have wings4! Have you received the circular about the Cause5? It will interest you very much.
My dear little child, according to your desire, I have kissed the little Jesus; I have asked Him to bless and kiss His “little seamstress”. I touched it to the Infant Jesus of the cloister6, where one often breathes mysterious perfumes, and also to the holy Virgin who smiled on Thérèse7. Near her too, it is not rare to sense some wafts of incense and of roses, but especially of incense. It is our Thérèse who this manifests her presence. Is it not delightful?
My dear child, regarding the pages of which you speak; you will read them only in heaven … but have patience, ?the exile is short@1! You will come up there into your little family. You are part of it, and there you will learn so many things! May it suffice you in this world to know that Thérèse has suffered much and has loved in proportion.
I remain your good friend in Jesus, my little child. May He reign in your heart!
Your “little Mother”,
Sr. Agnes of Jesus, r.c.i.
More pictures of Thérèse on her death bed2. Small format – we have just ordered some. More pictures with gilded edges. We have not had them remade. How delightful it is, this “letter of the Child Jesus”3.
1 An unknown benefactor.
2 Rose petals touched to the grave of Sr. Thérèse.
3 Again, perhaps a popular life of Sr. Thérèse.
4 This shows that, barely 12 years after the death of Sr. Thérèse, the demand for literature and mementos was growing to marvelous proportions.
5 Later sent by Mother Agnes to the Carmel of Philadelphia.
6 Reference to a statue of the Child Jesus enshrined in the cloister of the Carmel of Lisieux. Sr. Thérèse had charge of this statue during her religious life. Sr. Stanislaus made an outfit for it and sent it to Lisieux.
7 The “Virgin of the Smile”, a statue that miraculously came to life and smiled on Thérèse, curing her of a mysterious neurological illness in the year 1883. It was given to the Carmel of Lisieux in her lifetime and is now placed above her relics in the Chapel.
1 A line from a poem by Sr. Thérèse: “To live by love”.
2 A painting by Sr. Geneviève.
3 In a note written to Mother Agnes before her death, Sr. Thérèse referred to herself as a “letter” that she (Mother Agnes) was writing which, after her death, would be opened and read.