Mother Agnes of Jesus to Philadelphia December 29, 1904

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

December 29, 1904




Dear little Sister,


Alas – the news that you await is going to sadden you, when you read of the death of our very good Mother Marie de Gonzague1 … but let us not, however, be saddened too much over the death of saints!.. Now you have a little sister and a mother in heaven!


I have had the book2 sent to the address which you indicated to me:  the weight with the postage is four francs, fifty centimes, I think; I am  not sure of the price for the postage.  If you see that it is too high, only send four francs in a postal check to the Mother Prioress of the Carmel of Lisieux.


We are still on our knees in spite of the storm that grumbles all around us3 and we strive to unite ourselves more and more as daughters who are totally given over to Jesus.  Pray for us, dear and good little Sister, for the family Thérèse loves so much.  Let us also become saints, roses of love sprinkled over the poor arid earth in order to perfume hearts and draw them to the good Lord.


My religious and sisterly embrace to your Reverend Mother Prioress.


Your little Mother and Sister,

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


Sr. Marie of the Eucharist, the little cousin of Thérèse, is still very ill.  The other little sisters are well.


1 Mother Marie de Gonzague died of cancer on December 17,  1904, with admirable sentiments of devotion to Sr. Thérèse.  Mother Agnes sent the account of her life and a photograph of Mother de Gonzague in death to the Carmel of Philadelphia.


3 One month later, the Law of Separation of Church and State in France would be introduced into the legislature.  It would be voted in during July of 1905.

Mother Agnes of Jesus to Philadelphia October 9, 1903

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

October 9, 1903




My dear little Sister,


You will be receiving, at the same time as this letter, I think, some mementos of our beloved little sister in heaven.1  I thank you for the money order.


Pray well, my little Sister, for the cousin of Thérèse, Sr. Marie of the Eucharist;2 she is very ill at this time.  It was something which we kept private.  I will place it in the hands of the good Lord with submission, no doubt, but also with anguish.  Marie Guérin is the little  solitaire of whom our angel speaks in her childhood3.


As for the catalogue of French books, I do not know, my little Sister, which one to indicate to you.  You could address yourself to the St. Paul Bookstore in Paris, 6 Rue Cassette.  There also, you will find the life of Théophane Vénard.4


I think that one of my letters must have been lost because I already gave you this information.


My good and dear little Sister, I ask that you mention me in you prayers and I promise you on my side to talk to Jesus and to Thérèse about you.  I wish you to become like her, like this sweet child, a little rose of love and heavenly confidence, perpetually scattered and showered for the pleasure of the Heavenly Spouse.


I embrace and kiss you in His sight, my dear little child.  My respectful affection to your Reverend Mother.


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


Céline (Sr. Genviève of St. Teresa)1 has completed at this time the precious drawing of the scene of Thérèse at the feet of the Holy Father2.  This print will be in the next edition3.



1 These were rose petals that were touched to the grave of Sr. Thérèse.

2 See letter 1, page 1, note 3.  Sr. Marie was suffering from tuberculosis  (the same disease from which Sr. Thérèse had died); she would die in 1905.

3 Story of a Soul, page 54-5.

4 St. Théophane Vénard, a priest of the Paris Foreign Missionary Society, was martyred in what is present-day Vietnam in the mid-nineteenth century.   Sr. Thérèse developed a great devotion to him, particularly during her last illness.  He was canonized in 1990.

1 Céline (1868-1959), blood-sister of Sr. Thérèse, entered the Carmel of Lisieux in 1894.  She was also one of the Thérèse=s novices.  It is to her that we owe the many photographs still preserved of the Saint.   She used her artistic talents to spread devotion to her sister through the many portraits she painted of her.  She gave one of the most lengthy and important testimonies at the Process in 1910.

2 This picture depicts the audience of November, 1887, when Thérèse petitioned Pope Leo XIII for permission to enter Carmel at the age of fifteen.

3 The next edition of the Story of a Soul.