« Celine's letter to Leonie (August 15, 1917) giving details of her role in the second exhumation of the body of her sister, St.Therese of Lisieux | Main | 100th Anniversary of the Second Exhumation of the Relics of St. Therese of Lisieux (August 9-10, 1917) »

100 years ago with St. Therese: letters from her Carmelite sisters about the second exhumation of her relics, August 9-10, 1917

The rosewood coffin which held the oak reliquary that contained the body of St. Therese in the town cemetery of Lisieux from the date ot its second exhumation (August 10, 1917) until its solemn translation to the Lisieux Carmel on March 26, 1923. Photo credit: Susan Ehlert

The second exhumation of Sister Therese's body, of course, caused excitement in Lisieux, and her Carmelite sisters did their best to keep Leonie, their sister in the Visitation monastery at Caen, informed.  So you can read their eyewitness accounts of what was happening that week:

  • On August 5, 1917, four days before the ceremony began, Marie of the Sacred Heart wrote to Leonie telling her of the arrangements and mentioning that Celine (Sister Genevieve) was to go to the cemetery to assist at the ceremony.  She wrote that "The little coffin, or rather reliquary which will contain her bones, will be placed in a large lead-sealed coffin (rosewood), which will be lined with silk as well."  That rosewood coffin is pictured above.  Visit the Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux to read Marie's letter.

  • On August 10, 1917, the day the two-day ceremony was completed, someone who was traveling to Caen offered to take another letter from Marie to Leonie.  At the Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux, read Marie's letter, recounting the events of the day as Celine, who had been at the cemetery, had told them. She mentions that a white ribbon containing the words "I want to spend my heaven in doing good on earth.  After my death I will let fall a shower of roses" which had been tied around some roses from the Carmel's garden that were placed at the feet of St. Therese during the 1910 exhumation was found intact, the ribbon still white, the letters still gold.  
Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 11:36PM by Registered CommenterMaureen O'Riordan | CommentsPost a Comment

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