Sr. Agnes of Jesus to Philadelphia February 5, 1911

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Jesus                                           February 5, 1911

 

My little Stanislaus,

 

How can you be ill without having asked permission of your little mother of lisieux!  It is very bad.  It is necessary to take care of you; it is necessary to heal you in order for you to be able to work on earth for the glory of the good Lord.  But at this time it is necessary to profit from the illness to advance in the little path of Thérèse – a path of love and of peace, a sure path, as she as made clear to the Bishop in Gallipoli.

 

This holy Bishop had wished to put our heavenly sister to the test.  He has now gone to Gallipoli1.  He entered our monastery, and placed in the famous chest a sealed envelope.  On a paper enclosed in this sealed envelope were written the words: “My path is sure.”  He asked Thérèse that if she truly wished him to speak of her childlike and spiritual path, to place 300 francs in the envelope when he would open it.  And he really found 300 francs there!

 

It is not marvelous?  The Vice-Postulator2 is busy with this affair.  The Bishop wishes to speak of it to the Holy Father.

 

Let us run together, my little child, in this child’s path, in confidence and abandonment.  I know that you no longer have good legs but the wings of your soul must be substituted3.

 

 

Your little mother,

Sr. Agnes of Jesus, r.c.i.

 



1We could not document this story of a miracle more fully.  “Gallipoli” is a Titular See – we do not have the name of the Bishop on record.  Nor can we identify the “famous chest” – perhaps in the cell of Thérèse?

2 The Vice-Postulator of the Cause was Msgr.  R.  de Teil.  He made a visit to the Carmel of Philadelphia in November, 1914.

3 Sr. Stanislaus of the Blessed Sacrament died on March 10, 1911.

Sr. Agnes of Jesus to Philadelphia September 26, 1910

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Jesus

M.J.T.                                          (September 26, 19101)

 

My dear little child,

 

We are will into the Process2 … the diocesan tribunal is sitting at this time to collect our depositions.  It is, I assure you, very solemn and important.  Pray for us.

 

We recveive up to 92 letters in a day3.  I have three secretaries; our occupations are consoling, no doubt, but they take a great deal of our time … it is why, my little Stanilslaus, I write but only a few lines.  But my heart remains always well attached to you.  Love Jesus very much in order one day to take you place above, beside ?little Thérèse@.  Listen well to her teachings; they will carry you to an always greater confidence in Him Who took you for His little spouse and wishes to press you against His Divine Heart for all eternity and even through each moment of your life on earth.

 

My good and very dear child, say these words always to Jesus in your prayers: “I cannot pity myself, my Jesus, over that which contents You.”

Goodbye in Him; tell your Reverend and good Mother of all my religious affection; tell your Sisters who cherish “little Thérèse” that I recommend them particularly to this angel in heaven.

 

Your poor little Mother from Lisieux,

Sr. Agnes of Jesus, r.c.i.

 

September 26, 1910

 

 

You will have some wood from the coffin and several small pieces of clothing1.  But wait.

I can no longer send out anything of Mother Marie-Ange2 – patience!

Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart and Sr. Geneviève3 do not forget you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



1  By the time that this letter arrive at its destination, Sr. Stanilslaus was aleady seriously ill.  In August of 1910 she had a severe attack of gastritis, and although she tried to resume her duties, she was bedridden by December.

2 The First session of the Ordinary Process began at the Carmel of Lisieux on August 12, 1910.  In the course of a year it interviewed a total of forty-eighty witnesses.

Mother Agnes of Jesus testified from August 12-19 and August 27-September 15; Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart from September 6-13; and Sr. Geneviève was testifying at the time that this letter was written – September 14-28, 1910.  The other Sisters of the Carmel testified in February and March of 1911.

3 The number of letters arriving at the Carmel would increase dramatically as the Cause progressed: in July, 1914, a daily average of 200 per day was recorded; on a single date (February 9) in 1918, the number was 512.

1The exhumation of the remains of Sr. Thérèse took place in the cemetary of Lisieux on September 6, 1910.  The Carmel of Philadelphia still preserves the piece of wood from the coffin and a piece of cloth that was exhumed with the remains, both of which were sent later by Mother Agnes.  See Page 8, Note 2.

2Perhaps circulars or information concerning her, or a piece of her Habit, had been requested.

3Blood-sisters of Sr. Thérèse.  (See page 7, note 1; page 19, note 2)

Sister Agnes of Jesus to Philadelphia April 1, 1910

 

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

April 1, 1910

 

Jesus

 

My very dear little child,

 

I do not forget you; may this thought always be a consolation to you since you wish to love me as a little mother, a little mother who is very heavily burdened, I assure you, and who has more time for loving than for telling it and writing it1.

 

You must have received the circular2 about Mother Marie-Ange and the “Shower of Roses3” Soon you will receive the “Articles of the Tribunal”4.  Thus, you will be able to follow the dear Cause … which is as precious to you as it is to us – I truly feel it is so.

 

How are things with you?  I do not understand English … pity my ignorance; I have no faith in the translations of my little Thérèse of the Eucharist5

 

Always be full of confidence in Jesus and may His love perfume all your little actions.  Never be sad “because a great joy is prepared for you and awaits you in heaven.”  Amen!  Alleluia!

 

May your Reverend Mother Prioress bless me and embrace you for me.

 

Your little mother of Lisieux,

Sr. Agnes of Jesus, r.c.i.

 



1 In the space of one year , 1909-10, the Carmel received 9,741 letters concerning Sr. Thérèse, and the preparations for the Diocesan Tribunal for the Ordinary=s Process (of Autumn, 1910) were going on at this time.

2 A ?circular@ is a brief account of the life and death of a religious.  It is customary in Carmel to send a circular to the other monasteries of the Order on the death of a Sister.

3 An expression used by Sr. Thérèse (see Page 13, Note 1).  This became the title of a number of volumes listing various favors obtained through her intercession, the first of which was published around this time.

4 Reports on the progress of the Tribunal that would soon go into session at the Carmel.

5A member of the Carmel of Lisieux who knew a little English.

Mother Agnes of Jesus to Philadelphia October 7, 1909

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Carmel

October 7, 1909

 

Jesus

 

My very dear little child,

 

I only wanted to put in a signed picture and I made a mistake on the envelope.  It only needed a 5-centime stamp.  Since I cannot take off the 10-centime one, I am simply going to add others and to recommend to you our Reverend Mother who is, so to speak, near her last moments1!  Pray for us too, my little Sister and beloved child.  Recommend our Mother and her daughters to your very good Reverend Mother.

 

How is she doing?  You do not give me any news, but this news interests me very much.  We have just lost a benefactor in the person of my holy uncle, Monsieur Guérin2.  Pray for him; he was a Tertiary of Carmel.

 

Goodbye now in Jesus, my little Stanislaus.  May His love embrace you, may He find in you the same delights that He used to find before, in the heart of Thérèse!

 

Your humble and poor “little mother”,

Sr. Agnes of Jesus, r.c.i.

P.S.

Your order will be faithfully filled.

Thank you for having sent me the little letter “of the incense perfumes3”.

We have received the postal money order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



1 Mother Marie-Ange (Page 17, Note 2) would die on November 11, 1909.

2 Maternal uncle of the Martin sisters (Page 12, Note 3).

3Page 21, Note 2.

Mother Agnes of Jesus to Philadelphia August 19, 1909

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

August 19, 1909

 

Jesus

 

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.

5 Unknown.

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.

Mother Agnes of Jesus to Philadelphia August 11, 1909

 

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

August 11, 1909

 

Jesus

 

Mademoiselle1,

 

With you, I profoundly regret the illness of your mother.  I would have been happy to receive you on behalf of our Reverend Mother who, alas, being gravely ill, cannot come to the speakroom2.

 

You see, Mademoiselle, that the “Little Flower3” leaves thorns in the hearts that she loves the most here below!  Therefore, you must not conclude that she loves you less because you are tried – I think that it is quite the contrary.  Be assured that if you cannot come to Lisieux, she will go to you and all of you will have, the best and most precious graces as if you had been able to accomplish your pilgrimage to her tomb.

 

Please tell your good mother that we are going to begin a novena this evening for her cure; we will make it at the feet of the “Virgin of the Smile4” in the very cell of the “Little Flower”.

 

The eyes of this heavenly flower were blue in her childhood; later they became an indefinite color, but very intense and brilliant, while very mild at the same time.

 

We are going to think of a special memento which you request for the “little Stanislaus” whom I also love very much and we will send it to her with pleasure.  We would like to have, in return, the account of the cure of the Mother Prioress of the Carmel of Philadelphia.5

 

 

And, now, Mademoiselle and dear child, I thank you in advance for your generous offering.  Would you thank your good parents for us?  In return, we are going to pray that our little Thérèse be the Angel of their trip and that they arrive in good health in their dear country while awaiting arrival into our common Fatherland above, where we will know each other in joy, close to our heavenly little Thérèse.

 

Pray a little, Mademoiselle and dear child, for her who has been very unworthy to be the “little mother” below and who professes herself a daughter of St. Teresa1.

 

Your humble and grateful Sister

And servant,

 

Sr. Agnes of Jesus, r.c.i.

 

P.S.

My two sisters, Marie (Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart)2 and Céline (Sr. Geneviève of St. Teresa)3 are very touched by your gift and thank you for it.  They are praying for you and your family.

The little notes will be placed faithfully in the place you desire.  Please tell this to dear Sister Teresa of Jesus4.  We will send a photo of Sr. Thérèse of the Child Jesus later.



1 To an unknown benefactor.

2 This is Mother Marie-Ange of the Child Jesus.  She was elected Prioress of the Carmel of Lisieux in 1908 (at the end of Mother Agnes’s two terms) at the age of 27.  She took the first official steps toward the introduction of the Cause of Sr. Thérèse.  She would die in November, 1909, and was succeeded by Mother Agnes.

3 Soon to be the popular appellation of St. Thérèse, she gave herself this name in the very first lines of the Story of a Soul.

4Page 15, note 7.

5Mother Gertrude of the Heart of Jesus suffered from an attack of pneumonia which was complicated by heart disease.  In the Spring of 1909, she had a very severe spell of illness, and received the Sacrament of the Sick.  She recovered on the last day of  a Novena to Sr. Thérèse which was being said by the Sisters in Philadelphia.

1 St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila), the Foundress of the Order of Discalced Carmelites.

2  (1860-1941) The oldest of the Martin children and the Godmother of St. Thérèse.  It is to her that we owe Manuscript B of the Story of a Soul.

3 Page 7, note 1.

4 A member of the Carmel of Philadelphia.

Mother Agnes of Jesus to Philadelphia March 31, 1909

 

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

March 31, 1909

Sr. Stanislaus,

 

Jesus

 

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.

 

P.S.

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.

Mother Agnes of Jesus to Philadelphia January 4, 1909

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

January 4, 1909

 

Jesus,

 

Sr. Stanislaus,

Anniversary of the baptism of Thérèse.

 

Jesus,

 

My dear little child,

 

Yes, the “little Queen” is happy with you, hovering around you.  Yes, you are part of the legion of little victims of love.  Are you happy for your post?

 

Do not say that you are far from walking in the path of childhood, because you are walking there; I assure you of it in the name of Thérèse.  Let your little heart of a child, therefore, be all joy and confidence!  Do not tremble over your miseries; sing rather the mercies of a God Who made you and gives your such great graces each day.

 

You tell me that your assurance is in your poverty.  Oh, that is quite right.  Yes, when one recognizes one’s poverty and, in order to gain heaven, relies absolutely on the love of the good Lord rather than on riches, then all goes well because one’s soul is in the Truth.

 

Your “little Mother” in Jesus,

Sr. Agnes of Jesus, r.c.i.

 

We are sending mementos and pictures and also the “Call1”.  We do ask the return of the two samples.  I hope that they are not lost.

 

 

 

 



1 A periodical.