Therese as Leonie's Spiritual Guide

Part 1, The forgotten Sister of St. Therese.                   Part 3, Visitation at Last.


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Leonie may have been among, the first to realize the spiritual giftedness of her younger sister. The two sisters were alike in their single-mindedness. Both stubbornly held onto their aspirations to become religious. Therese achieved this goal at a fairly young age by begging permission from Pope Leo XIII. Leonie needed Therese's intercession with God before she would attain her heart's desire. But Leonie knew her difficult temperament needed taming, and she turned to her little sister for assistance. In a letter written just four days after she entered the Visitation Monastery for the first time in July of 1887, Leonie writes to Therese as to a peer, "God has been very kind to me; it was He who led me here . . . and I believe this is where He wants me to be. Pray for me, my dear little sister; pray that I may not be mistaken. I think of you often, and I have not forgotten the grace you want. Be at peace, my dear; nothing is impossible to God." (B 42) Leonie continues in this same vein in her letter of November 1887 sent shortly before Celine and Therese went to Rome on a pilgrimage with their father,

Dear little sister, it does me good to talk to you; I know that even though you are so young, you understand me. I want to share with you my soul's desire for intimate union with Jesus. We can find happiness only in Him. Since our hearts are made for God alone, only He can truly fill them; it is madness to (place our faith) in mortal things. I know this from my own experience - until now, I didn’t know how to control my poor heart. But your pure heart ... will come to Jesus in all its freshness. I am so happy for you! Tomorrow is the feast of Blessed Margaret Mary, who cured me miraculously. She is no stranger to the happiness I have found here in the Visitation Order. Pray that she will intercede for a second miracle to make me a holy Visitandine. (B 43)

Almost immediately Therese replied that she prayed daily to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque for that intention. But Leonie was not yet ready for religious life; she was sent home in January of 1888. We have no record of the conversations between the two sisters during the visits of Leonie to Carmel. However, their relationship gradually changed. After five years Leonie again entered the Visitation Order. By this time Therese had become her guide as this letter of November 1893 indicates,

My dear Leonie, How many prayers of thanksgiving I have sent heavenward for the favor God has granted you. Jesus kept you waiting, but at last the cries of His dove touched Him. He stretched out His hand to His bride and drew her into His heart, the tabernacle of His love. Our aunt's prediction is fulfilled. The child whom Blessed Margaret Mary saved is in the Visitation to become the spouse of Our Lord forever. Darling Sister, you see how I share in your joy. Of course, there are sacrifices; but would religious life be meritorious without them? The small daily crosses are our greatest joy for they prepare our hearts to receive the greater ones when our good Lord allows them. Dear Sister, don’t forget to pray for this small Carmelite, who is closely united with you in the heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (B 51, C 200-201)

Two weeks later Leonie replied to Therese,

My dear little Therese. your letter gave me great pleasure. If you only knew how I was hoping for a letter from you! You compare me to the little dove of the Ark; that is in fact the story of my life. I also compare myself to the prodigal son: I have returned to throw myself once again, not just into Jesus' arms, but above all into His Sacred Heart. I must leave you, my dear Therese - but no, on the contrary, we are all united in the Heart of Jesus. Only there can we love with a tenderness which will endure not only for this short life but for all eternity. (B 52)

By mid-October Leonie was already having second thoughts about her vocation. The adjustment to religious life was difficult for Leonie and her health again suffered. She read and reread the letters from her Carmelite Sisters in which they encouraged her to persevere in her vocation. For example, on November 5, 1893, Therese wrote,

My dear Leonie, I am delighted at your happiness; your letters are a real joy. I have no doubt that you are exactly where God wants you to be . .. Our retreat director gave us a comparison which delighted me, "Consider the crookedness of oak trees in the countryside; they send out branches to right and left. Nothing stops them, so they never grow to any great height. Now look at the oaks in the forests which are hemmed in on all sides. All their light comes from above; so their trunks are free of the shapeless branches which would rob them of the sap needed to grow tall. A forest oak sees nothing but the heavens, and by turning its strength in that direction, it quickly reaches a great height. In religious life, the soul, like the young forest oak, is hemmed in on all sides by its Rule which interferes with its movements... Its only light is in the Heavens; there only can it rest its gaze... I am sure you enjoy hearing about such things; herein lies our happiness. Let us plunge our hearts into the infinite. (B 52-53, C 209)

At the end of December 1893, Therese sent new year's greetings to Leonie in the name of her Carmelite sisters. It was an encouraging letter, focusing on the positive in Leonie's life. She said,

My dear Leonie, I am glad to be bringing you greetings for'94. My wish as I kneel before Jesus' crib is to see you clothed in the holy habit of the Visitation. Your dear little letter pleased me, I see that you are truly happy, and do not doubt that God is giving you the grace to remain for ever in the ark of holiness. We are reading the life of St. Chantal [Jane Frances de Chantall at meals; it is a real joy for me to hear it; it brings me even closer to the dear Visitation which I love. I see the intimate union which has always existed between it and Carmel. This makes me bless the good God for having chosen these two Orders for our family. The Blessed Virgin is truly our Mother, since our convents are specially dedicated to her. Ask the dear Infant Jesus that I may always stay little! I say the same prayer for you, as I am aware of your desires and I know that humility is the virtue you most desire. (C 211-212)

In March 1894 the Carmelites learned that Leonie had been accepted as a novice. Therese joyfully wrote to her,

My dear Leonie, I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that you will soon receive the habit. I know how happy you are, and I share your joy. Darling Sister, the good God has repaid your efforts! I remember what you told me in the parlor before you entered the holy ark. It didn't matter to you that you were always the last of us. You sought Jesus alone, and for Him you renounced all consolation. Our dear father used to say that God never allows Himself to be outdone in generosity. So God will not deprive you of the joy of publicly becoming His betrothed. Jesus has said to you, as to the Bride of the Song of Songs, "Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone ... Arise my love, my beautiful one, and come... Behold I am at the door. . ." (Sg 2:10-13) Like the bride in the Canticle you have awaited Jesus' coming for a long time. (B 54, C 217-218)

On April 6, 1894, Leonie was clothed with the religious habit and received the name of Sr. Therese-Dosithee in honor of her sister whose faith and humility she wished to imitate and in memory of her aunt whose prayers she credited for the taming of her personality and for the gift of a religious vocation. Leonie's letter to her sisters after this event has been lost, but here are excerpts from Therese's replies in mid-May,

I am overjoyed that St. Teresa, my holy mother, has become yours as well; this links us more closely man ever. . .The deepest thoughts of my heart cannot be translated into earthly language. One day my eyes will tell all the things I long to say. Meanwhile, may our daily sufferings and struggles prepare us for our heavenly homeland. Pray for your little Therese that she may make the most of her exile on this earth... (B 55) I know

Jesus is well pleased with you. I am sure the acts of love gathered by Him are more numerous than the infidelities still existing in your heart. Which of the Thereses will be more fervent? The one who is more humble, more united to Jesus, more faithful in performing every action through love! Oh, let us pray for each other's fidelity. Let us not refuse Him even the smallest sacrifice; all is important in religious life. To pick up a pin through love could convert a soul. What a mystery! Jesus gives such value to our actions; let us love Him with all our hearts. (B 55, C 227-228)

Then in early July of 1894 the Guerins (Leonie's and Therese's uncle and aunt), received a despondent letter from Leonie. Mine. Guerin described it as follows in a letter to her daughter Jeanne,

Yesterday your father received a letter from Leonie which has made us very anxious. With filial trust, she described all her trials and struggles. She even said that without the support of her kind superiors, she would have returned to us already. This is far from reassuring. What would she do? She would only suffer since she is not happy in the world. (B 56)

In the same vein Therese wrote to Celine in La Musse on July 7, 1894, "My dear Celine, Leonie's letter upset us a great deal. I hope this is only a temptation; we must pray hard for her. God easily can give her what she lacks." (C 228) On August 20, 1894 shortly after their father's death, Therese wrote the following to Leonie,

I think about you more than ever since our dear father went to Heaven. After six years of separation I have found him again; I feel him nearby watching and protecting me. Darling Sister, are we not more united than ever now that we must look heavenwards to find the father and mother who offered us to Jesus? Soon their desires will be fulfilled, and all the children God gave them will be united to Him forever. I realize you will feel Celine's departure; but I know well how generous you are to Our Lord. Life will pass quickly. When we are reunited forever we will be glad we suffered for Jesus. (B 58, C 242)

Three weeks later on September 14, 1894, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Celine entered Carmel. Never again would Celine visit Leonie. A month later on October 11, 1894, Therese sent Leonie a feast day letter. She wrote,

I am so glad that your feast day is the same as mine. I am sure St. Teresa will shower you with graces on the 15th. I pray for you to her as well as to [St, then BI.] Margaret Mary [Alacoquel]. If you only knew what sacrifices we offer for you! I believe you would be touched. Since we learned about your trials, our fervor is very great. I am confident that my dear Visitandine will emerge victorious from them and some day will become a model religious. God has already granted her so many graces. Would He abandon her now that she seems to have come into port? Jesus sleeps while His poor bride struggles against the waves of temptation, but soon He will awaken. He will quiet the wind and the waves, and peace will be restored. Dear little sister, you shall see that joy will follow your

trials, and later on, you will be glad that you have suffered. (B 58, C 242243)

One marvels at the maturity and wisdom of Therese who was only twenty-one years old at this time. She is the guide of her older sister. One marvels also at the humility and self-acceptance of Leonie who treasures and saves every word from her younger sister. Leonie's fears were well-founded. At this time the superior of the Visitation Sisters in Caen was Mother Marie de Sales Lefrancois who insisted on a strict observance of the Rule. She had little patience with Leonie who, for example, frequently lost her place in the Office book as this community prayer shifted from hymns to psalms to intercessions, etc. Marie Guerin wrote the following to her daughter Celine,

Jeanne (Guerin LaNeele who lived in Caen) has seen Leonie; she has been better for the last three days. But the mistress of novices is beginning to give up, and I don’t know what will happen. Poor Leonie also has a terrible temptation to do with the Eucharist; she doubts the Real Presence of Christ in it. I am sorry for her, and I pray for her a lot. It seems that the minute the mistress of novices takes her eye off Leonie, she hardly bothers to follow the Office at all. (B 59)

Was it lack of interest or was it total frustration that caused Leonie to give up on trying to pray the Office? She knew she was not gifted intellectually, and physically she seems to have been a clumsy person. In exasperation perhaps she is supposed to have said that all she wanted to do was to please God without racking her brains over it! Even Celine heard about Leonie's difficulties, for Jeanne had written directly to her with the news that the novice mistress could no longer vouch for Leonie's perseverance in religious life. Poor Leonie. All her sisters wrote notes of encouragement, but Therese was the primary correspondent. In her new year's letter of 1895 Therese wrote,

I joyfully send you my best wishes at the beginning of this new year. This past year has been a fruitful one for Heaven: our dearest father ... rejoices in the rewards God has prepared for those who love Him. Our turn will come too; soon perhaps one of us will hear Jesus' call. Oh, it is sweet to think that we are skimming along towards the eternal shore! Your letters give me great pleasure, and do my soul good; I rejoice to see how much God loves you and showers you with His graces. He finds you worthy to suffer for His love, and this is the greatest proof possible of His affection, for it is through suffering that we become like Him. Darling Sister, don’t forget the last and poorest of your sisters; ask Jesus that she may be very faithful, and that she may be as content as you are in always being the littlest and the last. Your little sister, Therese (B 59-60, C 247248)

Although Leonie seems to have kept all the letters she received from her Carmelite sisters, very few of her own letters to them have been preserved. Still the observant reader catches glimpses of the person Leonie was becoming through her sisters' responses. Her problem with keeping the place in the Office is just one example of the suffering Leonle experienced because of her natural awkwardness and slowness. But she trusted totally in God's mercy as she strove to cultivate a gentle and loving acceptance of her imperfections. Francis de Sales' way of doing everything in love, by love, and for love became Leonie's way too. After Celine received the Carmelite habit on February 5, 1895, Leonie wrote to her,

Our dear mother's wishes have been fulfilled - we are all five religious! Didn't she pray that this would happen - and didn’t she ask God, with her great faith, that one of us should be a Visitandine? But this poor Visitandine's cowardice and reluctance to yield herself completely to love make her unworthy. Pray that in the end I will surrender." (B 60)

Those are the brave, self-challenging words that reflected Leonie's determination to surrender all to God's love as a Visitation nun. That was before the Sisters in Caen decided to postpone her profession to allow more time for testing her vocation. Leonte was crushed by this decision and considered transferring to the Visitation in Le Mans. Therese tried to encourage her sister in this letter of April 28, 1895,

Dear little sister, I am convinced that you have found your true vocation. . . to be , Visitandine at Caen. God has given us many proofs of this ... your notion of going to Le Mans is a temptation, and I pray Jesus will deliver you from it. I do understand that postponement is a trial for you, but you ought to rejoice in having more time to prepare for profession. I remember what happened in my being a few months before profession. At the end of my novitiate year nobody was taking any notice of me because our Father Superior thought I was too young. This hurt me a great deal; then God showed me how much self-seeking was in my desire to pronounce my holy vows. I told myself: When I took the habit, I was clothed in a beautiful white dress decorated with lace and flowers. But I must make this robe by myself. Jesus will help me; my efforts will be hidden in my heart to be seen only by Him. What does it matter if I seem poor and lacking in intelligence and talent? I wanted to practice this saying from the Imitation that we should love to be ignored and counted for nothing. Thinking of this, I felt a great peace in my soul. I was no longer worried about my profession date. I knew that when my wedding robe was ready, Jesus would come to find his bride. Darling Sister, I was not wrong. Jesus united me to Himself much sooner than I had dared hope. Now God continues to lead me along the same path. I have only one desire, to do His will. You remember how I used to call myself Jesus' little toy ... Children often get more pleasure from little toys that they can pick up or lay down at their fancy than from those of more value which they dare not touch. I was glad to be poor so Jesus might find more pleasure in playing with me. This is my advice. Pray for me as I practice these insights. (B 61-62, C 250-252)

Despite her efforts and good will, Leonie was sent home three months later on July 20, 1895. Her delicate health would have profited from a gradual adjustment to the demands of religious life. But that was impossible since any modification of the Rule for such needs was unacceptable to the community at that time. Since all her sisters were in Carmel, the Guerins welcomed Leonie lovingly into their home and took her to visit her Carmelite Sisters that very day. Therese described this visit in a letter to Mme. Guerin,

We were overwhelmed with grief over poor Leonie. It was a real agony. God sent us no consolation; I could find no prayer but that of Jesus on the Cross, 'My God, my God, why have you forsaken us?'. . . We were overcome with emotion when we saw her. She was crying so hard that we could not make her say a word. Finally she met our eyes; then all went well. (B 62)

A few weeks later Marie Guerin entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux, and Leonie was alone with her aunt and uncle. In due time Celine was professed and then Marie Guerin received the Carmelite habit. Leonie rejoiced on both occasions, but her joy was tempered with painful regret since the presider, Msgr. Hugonin, also had been present at Leonie's clothing in the Visitation habit just two years earlier. Therese wrote to Leonie on April 10, 1896, the feast of St Leo and Leonie's patron,

Leonie, your little sister sends feast day greetings to tell you how much she loves you and thinks of you. I have nothing to give you - but yes, I do; tomorrow I shall offer the divine Reality for you, Jesus the Host, your spouse and mine. My Darling, sweet as it is for all five of us to call Jesus 'Our Beloved', how much sweeter it will be when we see Him in Heaven! We will follow Him everywhere, all singing the hymn which none but virgins may sing; then we will understand the value of suffering and trials. We will say as Jesus said, 'Our suffering was truly necessary to try us and to bring us to glory.'

My Darling, I cannot tell you all the thoughts of my heart about you. The one thing I must say is that I love you a thousand times more tenderly than ordinary sisters love one another since I love you with the Heart of our heavenly Spouse. In Him we live the same life, and in Him I am yours forever. (B 64-65, C 266)

How consoling this letter must have been to Leonie. Therese addressed her as a person consecrated to God. And in truth, that is what Leonie considered herself to be, She even tried to live as if she were still in the convent and so found life in the world difficult. The pleasures of society experienced at the Guerins' country home were a temptation for her. Tormented by scruples, Leonie wrote to Therese in July 1896,

Dear little sister ... tell me about God and everything that can help me to grow in virtue. These are the only things that will make me happy. . . If you knew how much help I need not to be captivated by the pleasures and vanities of the world! In spite of all the good will possible, I am drawn to them almost imperceptibly. Even if I not sin in that, my piety and love for Jesus are lessened. I have nothing left to offer Him. Dear sister, you will prevent me from repeating my mistakes, won't you? I am so weak; I rely on your help.

My thoughts of you bring me closer to God. I understand your desire to meet Him soon, to be completely lost in Him; I too desire this. You are ready to meet God and will be well received. I will face Him empty handed; but I am not afraid. I trust Him. Do you understand that? Please ask God to deliver me from scruples; I am always turning in on myself. You may be sure l am showing you my wounds as clearly as l can. I love you with all my heart. (D 55, B 65)

The reader can sense the workings of God within Leonie's heart. Her humility and honesty identify her as a person focused on total loving dedication to God. Notice how Leonie addresses Therese as her teacher in the ways of God. Question: could an adult of limited intelligence have penned those thoughts? Or was Leonie the victim of learning as well as physical disabilities? The following letter to Celine written about a week later only reinforces this query,

Only twenty days left in La Musse. I am not unhappy about it although I live as I do in Lisieux. I see more and more the meaninglessness of all that passes. This thought does me good and detaches me a little. But there is a sadness deep within me which I can never completely overcome. Although I feel that for the moment I am where God wants me to be, I suffer, I suffer much, for my exile seems very long to me. (D 56, B 65-66)

These were among the first letters from Leonie that have been preserved. Did her Carmelite sisters recognize at last the sterling qualities blossoming within their sister? Leonie was making giant strides in humility and trust during these years of her exile; she had become a fit candidate for Therese's Little Way. After her Act of Oblation to Merciful love on June 9, 1895, Therese's life had become a continuous act of pure love. She willingly shared her insights and wisdom with Leonie who considered her younger sister to be her spiritual guide. Therese knew how to encourage her older sister in her desires to be a Visitandine. Her gentle but firm understanding helped Leonie patiently await God's plans in her regard. In response to Leonie's letter of July 1896, Therese described her Little Way of Spiritual Childhood,

My dear Leonie, It makes me happy to see you in such good spirits... I am not surprised that the thought of death is sweet to you since you no longer care for anything on earth. But I assure you, God is much kinder than you think. He is satisfied with a look, a sigh of love... As for me I find perfection quite easy to practice because I realize all I need do is to take Jesus by the heart. Look at a little child who has displeased his mother by disobeying her or by flying into a temper. If he sulks in a corner and cries from fear of being punished, his mother certainly won’t forgive his fault. But if he runs to her smiling, holding out his little arms and saying, "Kiss me - I won't do it again," his mother surely will press him tenderly to her heart and forget his childish mischief. She knows that her little one will do the same thing at the next opportunity, but that doesn't matter; if he takes her by the heart again, he will never be punished... Ah! how can we who live under the law of love fear One "who lets himself be held by a glance of our eyes?" (Sg 4:9) We must learn to hold Him captive, this God who makes Himself a beggar for our love. In telling us that a glance can work so great a marvel, He shows us that the smallest actions done for love will win His heart. How fortunate we are, since Jesus lets Himself by held by the smallest! Is not your life made up of small sacrifices, Leonie? I rejoice to see you with such a treasure before you, especially since you know how to put it to profit, not only for yourself, but even more for souls. How sweet it is that our little sacrifices help Jesus as He saves the souls redeemed at the price of His blood. If our sacrifices hold Jesus prisoner, so too could our joys. Let us offer our Spouse the small joys found in life's path. You asked for news of my health. Well, my darling Sister, I don’t cough at all any more. Are you happy? That will not prevent God from taking me whenever He chooses. Since I do all I can to be like a little child, I have no preparations to make. Jesus Himself will have to pay all the expenses of my journey, and the price of my entry into Heaven! Goodbye, my dear sister; I love you more and more. (B 66-67, C 275-276)

Therese had internalized the Gospel passage, "Unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 18:3) As this letter indicates, she had abandoned herself to God's loving providence with the trust of a child, confident that Jesus would take care of everything. This was her Little Way which meant living an ordinary life with kindness, generosity, attentiveness to details, and above all with love. From the depths of her own poverty of gifts and opportunities Therese had identified with the poor and inadequate in the world who strive to love God. She prayed Jesus to look down in mercy upon the multitude of people who shared her littleness. Therese had found her mission - to help others love God as she did and to give everyone the Way of Spiritual Childhood. Leonie was among her first disciples. As Leonie pondered over her letters from Therese, her trust in God's loving Providence increased and she became peaceful in the midst of her suffering in exile from her beloved Visitation. After all, this was God's will for her at the moment.

On July 2, 1897 Leonie visited Therese before leaving for a month in La Musse with the Guerins. Leonle burst into tears when she saw how thin and pale Therese had become. She knew she was seeing her little sister alive for the last time and it broke her heart. About two weeks later Leonie wrote to Celine,

Life is filled with separations as we watch those whom we love go away from us. We are about to lose the one who has been our joy on this earth. My sister, let us not weep for her but rejoice with her. I envy her happiness and cannot ask God to cure her. That would be loving her selfishly and going against God's will. It is clear that He is ready to pluck this pure lily which has always truly belonged to Him. He only lent her to us. I know that you share my feelings, Celine. If you could write down everything Therese says, it would be a consolation for me to have it. I do not have the joy of being near her now. I am not worthy of that. Perhaps I would not be as brave as you are. Jesus is right to impose this sacrifice on me. I knew the other day that I was seeing our angel for the last time on this earth and it broke my heart. (B 68-69)

How poignant Leonie's feelings and yet what total acceptance of God's will for her. Therese wrote once more to Leonie on July 17, 1897, about six weeks before her death,

My dear Leonie, I am happy that I can still chat with you; a few days ago, I thought that I would never again have that joy on earth, but God is prolonging my exile a little. I don't mind, for I do not want to enter Heaven a minute sooner by my own will. Our only happiness on earth is to train ourselves always to delight in the lot Jesus gives us. Yours is very beautiful, darling Sister. If you want to be a saint, it will be easy for you because in the depths of your heart the world has no meaning for you. You can concentrate on the one thing necessary. I mean that even as you devote yourself to external works, your sole desire is to please Jesus and to be united more intimately with Him. You asked me to pray to the Sacred Heart for you when I am in Heaven. Be assured that I will not forget to give Him your messages; I will ask Him for all you need to become a great saint. Goodbye, dear Sister. May the thought of my entry into Heaven fill you with joy. There I can love you even more. (B 70, C 356-357)

After returning from La Musse, Leonie visited the convent daily to check on news about Therese. In the evening of September 30th, the Guerins and Leonie were praying in the Carmelite chapel when this note from Pauline was passed to them, "Our angel is in Heaven. She breathed her last at seven o'clock while pressing her crucifix to her heart and saying 'Oh, I love you!' Her eyes were raised to Heaven. What did she see?" (B 72) Since M. Guerin was ill at the time, Leonie had the honor of leading the mourners both at the funeral ceremony in the Carmelite chapel and at the burial in the cemetery of Champs-Remouleux on October 4, 1897.

From heaven, Therese became Leonie's help and model. She reread Therese's letters and the notes from her other sisters bearing messages from or about Therese. The Story of a Soul, published at the end of September 1898, became Leonie's bedside book. As she learned the secrets of the love which Therese and her beloved Lord had shared, Leonie began to hope that despite her fragile health and innate restlessness, she still might be a Visitandine one day. Leonie may have learned at this time the following incidents which she publicly disclosed during the Process for Therese's beatification in 1910.

In early 1888, Therese had said prophetically to a Benedictine sister in Lisieux: "We must not worry about the fact that Leonie's attempts at religious life have been unsuccessful. After my death, she will enter the Visitation Order, and this time she will succeed; she will take my name, and that of St. Francis de Sales." (B 75) On the day of her profession on September 30, 1890, Therese prayed, "O Jesus, may it be Your will that Leonie become a Visitandine! If she has no vocation, I beg You to give her one; You cannot refuse me this." (L 7) Her sister Marie told Leonie that Therese once said, "After I die, I will make Leonie rejoin the visitation Order, and this time she will stay." (B 75)

So ends the spiritual guidance of the living Therese. Encouraged by these prophecies of Therese and by the new policy of gradual adaptation to the practices of the Rule for the young sisters in the Caen Visitation, Leonie reapplied for entrance into the community and was admitted January 28, 1899. God's timing had arrived.


While the following books provided the resources for the article, most of the quotations are a composite of the various sources In the text of this article, the bold-type letter(s) after each quotation refer to the books listed below.

Baudouin-Croix, Marie. Leonie Martin: A Difficult Life. Dublin: Veritas
        Publications, 1993. Hereafter known as (B)

Collected letters of St. Therese of Lisieux Trans. F J. Sheed.
        Ed. AbbeCombes. New York: Sheed & Ward, 1949. Hereafter known as (C )

Dolan, Albert H. God made the Violet Too. Chicago: The Carmelite Press,
        1948. Hereafter known as (D)

Life of Sr Francoise-Therese Martin V.H. M. UnpubIished circuIar from the Visitation Monastery of Caen, France.
      Trans. M. C. Martens V H. M., 1941. Hereafter known as (L)

St. Francis de Sales In His Letters. Trans. Dom Benedict Mackey. Ed. The Sisters of the Visitation, Harrow-on-the-Hill. St. Louis: B. Herder Book Co., 1933.         Hereafter known as (H )

The Spiritual Conferences of St. Francis de Sales. Trans. Dom Benedict Mackey. 1906. Westminster MD:
        The Newman Press, 1962. Hereafter known as (S)

Part 1, The forgotten Sister of St. Therese.              Part 3, Visitation at Last.

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