125 years ago with St. Therese: her letter for Celine's 25th birthday, April 28, 1894
Friday, April 26, 2019 at 09:32PM
Maureen O'Riordan in Celine Martin, St. Therese, events related to St. Therese of Lisieux

 Celine, left, with Marie Guerin at La Musse in the summer of 1894. Photo courtesy of the Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux

 In 1894, Celine was living with her father in a small house on rue Labbey, across a little alley from the home of her uncle, Isidore Guerin.  Leonie was making her second attempt at the Visitation at Caen, and Celine's other three sisters, Marie, Pauline, and Therese, were nuns at the Lisieux Carmel.  Celine usually visited them once a week.  But the Carmelites were not allowed to write letters to a person they had seen that week in the speakroom. So, as her birthday approached, Celine gave up the visit in order to receive a birthday letter from each sister.  Every year Therese wrote a special letter.

 Therese was 21 in 1894.  She wrote to Celine on Thursday, April 26, for Celine's birthday on Saturday, April 28: her letter accompanies a poem she had written for the occasion [more on that tomorrow]. She speaks of Celine's role as the caregiver for their sick father, who would die on July 29:  "You are now the visible angel of him who will soon go to be united to the angels of the heaveniy city!"  Then she gives a short, rich, and powerful commentary on the gospel story in which Jesus, after he rose from the dead, found that the disciples had "worked hard all night long and caught nothing," and filled the basket with so much fish it almost broke the nets.   Since in 1894 Easter Sunday fell on March 25, Therese could have meditated on this story for a month already.  Please read Therese's birthday letter to Celine on the Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux.  

Article originally appeared on Saint Therese of Lisieux (http://www.thereseoflisieux.org/).
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