When Marie’s youngest sister Thérèse was 10 years old, she
suffered from an unknown illness threatening her life. Marie
never left her youngest sister’s side and looked out for her
and comforted her with a mother’s tenderness. She never
lost her patience in spite of all the trouble she gave her. (SS)  
Marie and her other sisters knelt at her sister’s bedside and
prayed before Our Lady of the Smile asking for her
intercession in curing her sister. Afterwards, Marie observed
her sister’s physical appearance had changed for five minutes
and she was convinced that her youngest sister was cured.
The miraculous cure took place on May 13, 1883. Afterwards,
her youngest sister remarked about Marie: “It was indeed to
Marie and her prayers that I owed the grace of a smile from
the Queen of Heaven” (SS)  and she also said: “Marie showed
wonderful resignation; by such resignation God was glorified.
Marie suffered greatly because of me, and I am immensely
grateful for all the care she showered on me. Her heart told her
what I needed, and a mother’s heart is far wiser than a
doctor’s: it can guess what is best for her sick child.” (SS)  

One of Marie’s duties was to prepare her youngest sister for her
First Holy Communion. Marie and
Pauline worked consistently
to help her youngest sister to understand the Catechism in
preparation for her First Holy Communion. (M)

Marie desired to serve God by becoming a nun but she had a
reservation about being cloistered. Marie waited for a sign
from God before she would enter into the Carmelite
Monastery even though everyone else was telling her that a
sign from God was not going to happen. At the age of
twenty-two, Marie met Father Almire Pichon after he had
offered a Mass Marie was attending. She confessed to him
her desire of becoming a nun but was hesitant about making
the full commitment. Father Pichon asked her to write down
all her views regarding religious life and why she felt she was not
ready to commit herself to serving him as a nun. So, Marie wrote
down eight pages of her thoughts and discussed them for over an
hour with Father Pichon. After this discussion, Marie felt she was
now “caught in the nets of divine mercy” so she decided to make
an effort to commit herself to serving the Lord as a nun. This was
for Marie the sign she was looking for.  She also explained: “Jesus
has cast a special look of love upon me also!” (SF)  On April 17,
1882, Father Pichon became Marie’s spiritual advisor and on
March 25, 1885, she voluntarily made a vow of chastity.  Soon,
Marie would tell her father that she also was entering the Carmel
and initially he was deeply distressed over the news, but after
hugging her he said: “God could not ask a greater sacrifice from
me. I thought you would never leave me.” (SR)  Marie prepared
her younger sister
Céline to take over the duties of running the
household and taking care of their youngest sister.

During the month of May of 1885, the Guérins went on a holiday
to Trouville-sur-Mer. Trouville is a seaside resort off the coast of
the English Channel. The Guérins took both
Céline and Thérèse
on their holiday and Marie stayed behind in Lisieux. Marie wrote
Therese a letter on the 3rd in a teasingly manner really knowing
that she truly missed her. Marie wrote:  “I am a Fairy Godmother
who can refuse nothing to her big baby. So here I am free of
my baby! This morning people were very kind to look at my
torment as they no longer saw you around me. I told them to go
see her in Trouville look under her beautiful straw hat. Pending
the return of the straw hat to her rightful owner, I must pick and
I mends her dresses ... Poor slave that Marie! ... Picks up her
seashells …mend her other beautiful pleated dress with a
thousand little tears....I treat your little rabbit my best. He is
doing well and sends you a token of friendship with all his little
antics. (LOM27)

Céline and Thérèse were still on their vacation in
Trouville, Marie wrote another letter to
Céline on the 26th of
May. Already the two youngest girls were away from Marie for
almost a month and like any “mother” she was missing her
children. In her letter to
Céline, she started reminiscing about
Céline was two years old and beginning to walk:  “My little
Céline of the past that I loved so much trying her first steps in
the upper study at Rue du Pont-Neuf and everyone shouting,
More, once more !” That I will always remember! "In those days,
you were very nice, you did not walk with your head down like
turtles and you did not look like the lady who laughs in the sun,
showing her teeth.”(LOM29)

On August 30, 1885, Marie writes to Ms. Cadet, a family friend,
who offered her her condolences after finding out about the loss
of her daughter. “Let me assure you of our sympathy. We have
not forgotten our neighbors, good friends, of old, and I need to
tell you that we all share your pain. May God comfort you, I pray
for you with all my heart… Oh! Yes, believe it, my dear lady, to
Heaven, we remember her family and your little Marie loves you …
We can even say, and truthfully, that she is not dead but lives ...
and a blessed life which bans the miseries and sorrows which
we who remain here on earth are surrounded by.” (LOM30)

On August 1, 1886, Father Pichon wrote to Marie from Canada:
“After having prayed very much, I believe I am the interpreter of
Our Lord giving you the signal of departure, of going out of Egypt.
Go quickly with a joyful heart to hide in His Heart.” (SR)   Marie
went to meet Father Pichon in Calais, France before she entered
the convent. She waited there for two days and then waited at
Douvres but finally found him in Paris. There was a
miscommunication as to when he was to arrive back to France.

After receive a letter from Fr. Pichon on August 1, 1886, Marie made the final decision to enter
the Carmelite monastery. For years since leaving Alençon, Marie was there for her younger sisters
Léonie, Céline and Thérèse and also helping her aunt Céline and uncle Isidore at the pharmacy. It
was hard for Marie to break the news to her family that she would be leaving soon. So she
wrote a letter to her dear aunt after she found out Marie was leaving:  Marie wrote to her a letter
on August 15th: “How do you write what I have to tell you, and how do I tell you without you
writing it? It seems to me that my words and my pen will refuse me this service, yet my heart
needs to talk! I'm wrong!  This is not I, who should speak, but God, and God alone. To Him to
say His mercies are not mine. Who will believe me? ... Well! Yet here is the mercy of God. He
calls me to Him, me, another one unworthy of this grace! My darling aunt, I have found many
times too bitter this mercy of God, but we have yet to answer ... Life is a journey to eternity!
Whether laughing or sad, who cares if it's God's will! Above all, the will of God! O my beloved
parents (Uncle and Aunt), it is clear to me! And if my poor life was such that you could not
believe it, I beg your pardon. My heart, you kneaded recognition and affection, you will keep
forever as filial love. Your eldest daughter, Marie.” (LOM32)

On October 7, 1886, Marie went with her family to visit her mother’s grave for the last time in
Alençon. On October 15, 1886, Marie entered the Carmelite Monastery of Lisieux at the age of
twenty-six and was given the name Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart. Marie’s uncle Isidore wrote
to Marie regarding her new life at the Carmel: “For you, my dear, He hides the roses, the thorns
alone strike your view and He is spreading them abundantly beneath your feet. The path you must
follow becomes invisible because of them. However, you advance without turning your head, being
guided by a feeble voice whose few sighs you can distinguish  amid the outbursts of the storm raging
within your heart.” (SR)  

It was very difficult for Therese seeing her ‘godmother’ entering the Carmelite monastery, so a month
after she entered, Marie wrote to
Thérèse in November of 1886 to try to help console her: “I do not
want my baby to cry like that but it becomes very good and reasonable. Let it not be said today that it
was the last time in your life that you saw me! And when you think Thursday morning the baby then
returns to the parlor and Friday yet! Will there be no time to say many things. Come; tell me soon as
you have more pain and I kiss you both, Celine and Therese. But you are my jewels. Cherished gems
beautify yourself for Heaven with tears and small sacrifices here on earth. This is what happens to
diamonds when you know its benefit. But I do not want my love to despair when God has so ...as
spoiled. Reflect a little on the treats of God. That's when it’s all dry tears. Your little Godmother who
cherishes you.”(LOM33)

After Marie left for the Carmelite and handed all of her responsibilities over to
Céline, Céline was a
little overwhelmed and she was having second thoughts about replacing Marie. So Marie wrote her a
letter to encourage her to persevere given all of her new responsibilities. Marie writes to her beloved
Céline: “I hope she does not want to be called more hope? Yet it was this darling little sister who
is my hope! From it is what I expect of all, which is very good and dedicated. My dear little
Céline is
still a little star in the sky of my life. I see you shine soft and cheerful beautifying two lives: our good
little father and that of your little sister who is entrusted to you now. Yes, you will do this and it is
already done, and you rejoice to dry their tears, you will smile and enjoy the peace of home. But why
darling are there many small thorns? It's true: But ask our good Jesus to hide the roses. The flowers
that you give to others He will make them and he himself has a scent so sweet! You'll see that when
you are sacrificed! There is in this life…But Heaven is at the end! (LOM34)

On the 1st of January 1887, Marie wrote her first letter of the year to her sister
Thérèse. In the letter
she wishes her a happy birthday. Marie says: “Tomorrow you will 14 years old! Your godmother does
not forget it and just wishing you a happy birthday. If I had something to give you! But I have nothing
but this little image that appeals to me and I'm sending you it to celebrate. Here is a stick of licorice
and a beautiful blue ribbon to make you laugh. Farewell my darling, love always the good little Jesus
who smiled in his crib and that tends to thee his little arms to kiss you very hard. Your Marie loves
you with all her heart. It was to you that my first letter be written this year. Embrace my little
and Céline and our dear little Father.” (LOM36)

On the 16th of January, after spending four months in the Carmelite monastery, Marie is still content
and happy that she decided to become a nun. “I assure you we do not get bored in the Carmel, for me
I find myself very happy, and I thank God every day of the grace he gave me.”(LOM37)

In February of 1887, a vote was cast by the members of the community to allow Marie to make her
profession and receive the habit. She writes to her father to share the good news: “I really must tell
you the good news is that I will be taking the habit … I did my formal request because it takes all of
the sisters to vote me in. So my dear little Father, your diamond has not been thrown out by God.
Every day of this life, He can let me work by the divine worker who Jesus is in Heaven to be the
jewel in your crown. (LOM39)

In preparation for the big day on March 19, 1887, Marie sent
Céline a list of things for her to do prior
to her ceremony. At this period of time, it was when she would dawn a wedding dress and leave the
monastery and be escorted by her father into the Carmelite chapel to take her vows and then return
back into the monastery. There were a couple of minor details which were frowned upon by the
mother prioress which Marie was unaware of until a couple of days prior. One was that Marie was not
allowed to wear any jewelry and she was not allowed to have short sleeves on her wedding dress. Marie
was going to borrow her aunt’s bracelet and
Léonie’s daisy broach. But at the last minute, she asked her
not to bring them after finding out that they were not allowed.  The most important thing was addressing
the short sleeves on her wedding dress. She asked her cousins if they had a light cotton jacket and if she
could borrow it for the ceremony.

On March 19, 1887, Marie made her profession and received the habit. In the month of February 1887,
she received a letter from her sister prior to her profession: “ My dear sister, you cannot imagine how deep
my love for you is and how much joy I wish you here on earth. You are beloved of the Sacred Heart of
Jesus, whose dear spouse you are soon to become” (LM)  Around this time, Marie’s youngest sister
Thérèse entered the Carmelite Monastery as well.

On April 12, 1887, Marie had thanked her father for sending them some sugar sweets. She remarked:
“This evening, I was so touched that I cannot help telling you about it. You are good, a thousand times
good for your diamond and your pearl. And worse and worse they want to shine and be perfect for your
happy life and be your sunshine. (LOM41) It was customary for the Carmelites on Wednesday during
Easter to grill fish in honor of Jesus providing fish for his apostles. While it was Marie’s turn to read the
Gospel while the community was eating, unexpectedly the prioress interrupted Marie and told her that
she would be responsible for providing the grilled fish for tomorrow’s dinner.  So, Marie lovingly asked
her dear father if he could go fishing for her to help her provide for the community. Of course, he
obliged her request.

Marie sent
Céline a heartfelt letter to wish her a happy 18th birthday, in her letter she said: “Darling,
tomorrow you're 18! My heart needs you to celebrate, you turn 18! ... You are my hope and my joy,
you who replaced me to be near our father that we love so much ... During the hours of silence, I spent
all my time picking flowers for you, I have wanted for you to have wild flowers that open in the sun and
to the light of God... Little
Céline you are The flower of Jesus, a smile to Him alone, the sun of his love
half-opens your corolla ... There is but He! ... What joy to think that you will be to Him! Your eighteen
years! They are not for the world because you want to be with Jesus. Oh! It’s nice to have eighteen
years and to have Jesus in your heart…Goodbye darling, life passes like a shadow ... You, I saw so
small, are already there! I am sending you a picture of the Child Jesus who waits for you and desires you
to be near Him! ...Your sister who loves you like a mother. Tomorrow you will think of your true
Mother in Heaven smiling at her little girl ... We must never forget those days.” (LOM42)

In early May of 1887, Marie,
Pauline and Thérèse received the news by Céline that their father is very
ill. Marie tried to comfort her father in a letter to encourage him to fight his illness. As she writes lovingly
to him: “It therefore seems that we will not be in Heaven treading on roses?. . . Since I've been at
Carmel I had not had that joy, and knowing you are ill will be a big thorn in the middle of our flowers.
This is true, but as is the good God who has grown and that He loves us more than we can understand,
I think he touches and glorifies His Heart for us to abandon to his love. We, your children, do we not
have confidence in you, are we not very sure that you would never do us but only good. Ah! the good
God, the Father of Fathers, I say this and that is a touch to my heart, I say, my God you love us so
much, what can we fear from you? All you do is well done and the test today may disappear tomorrow
if you want it! Are you or are you not the Almighty and infinitely good. These crosses, these concerns,
these trials of life are for me like an oar that pushes my little boat far into the sea and as I watch him
closer to the shore with the blessed joys unmixed ahead. Once there, all my energy goes to that side
and I am hungry and thirsty to be holy and to my benefit of anything that happens! To each his own:
some kill themselves for present goods and bleach their hair to make millions …for us, are we not free
to raise millions for the next life. O my dear little father when I think of the treasure amassed by you,
I am almost afraid. Ah! That God does not advise you to give it away. It seems at times that he can do
to keep her crown Saints. . . It is true that for him, it must be a holiday. But wait, my God! You are
eternity! (LOM43)

At the end of May 1887, Marie sent
Thérèse a small note, to Les Buissonnets, asking her for some
parchment paper that she had. After her request, Marie took the opportunity to send to her a poetic
message on the examples of faith. Marie wrote: “I dream of Buissonnets, I hear a song thrush of birds
singing for us endlessly from morning until evening. Sometimes it thunders but they sing anyway. Small
birds have more spirit than we; they praise the good Lord always, in all weather, even when the sky is
dark. Darling of my heart, if my baby grew up! And you will always be my baby; what we have about
us is singing to our good Jesus, Oh! Yes, even when our hearts are sad. Our hearts have so many causes
for joy, so much! (LOM44)

Marie wrote to her father Louis to thank him for the fish he had caught and gave to them in August 1887.
She also praises him for showering them with so many gifts for the community. Marie writes: “Thank you
my dear little father! Thank you, thank you! Still good fish. . . You give to us in abundance too. Our
Mother is touched and your diamond almost in tears. How do you repay everything you do for us? By
becoming holy. . . Oh! It is that title we all aspire to obtain, daughters of the cloister as the other two are
remaining in the world. But unfortunately it does not become a holy day.  Life is as continuing and
repeated as often as our dear little mother, ‘Why are you looking for the rest as it is for the work you
were born.’  But the rest will come because we were born also to the happiness and the happiness of
heaven ...” (LOM46)

Marie wrote to her father to celebrate with him in spirit for St. Louis’s feast day on the 25th of August
along with the letter she gave him a bouquet of verbenas. She reminded him of what a treasure he was
to his family and to his family from up above. Marie writes: “I wish you a happy and holy feast day filled
with every grace. May God allow you many more years for your children who love you so much, for you
are their sun in this life or rather their whole heaven with Jesus.” (LOM48) Marie reminded him of last
year when there were four of them that were with him celebrating, but this year Marie was at Carmel and
Leonie was at the Visitation. Marie continued to write: “Ah! All their love, their gratitude! You who have
not caught their flight to God, who hast given so generously, be blessed forever. May you be returned a
hundredfold in this world and in the next. As part of our dear mother in heaven before us, unite with us to
bless you with the four angels which are yours too! Five in the country and five in exile! The Family that is
up there in Heaven and the family that is down here on earth who on one day celebrates you.”(LOM48)

Four days after Louis,
Céline and Thérèse left for the pilgrimage on November 4, 1887, Marie wrote to
Céline a letter wishing them the best while they were on their pilgrimage. She said: “My darling, take care
to enjoy all the joys that the good God gives you, for indeed there are still some left on this earth. When
one sees such a good father who does not know what to invent to make you happy, there is not enough
there to rejoice all day? Please study the wonders of this world to give us some news for us poor little
hermits. Do you know that it lifts the heart of God? It is true that all is vanity under the sun, but yet you
are not going because of vanity but to the holy realities of the earth, to the martyrs, to the Supreme
Pontiff.” (LOM50)

On the family’s pilgrimage to Rome, they also stopped and visited other holy sites in Italy. During this
time, Marie and
Pauline kept in constant contact with Thérèse and Céline because they knew of Thérèse’s
desire to enter the Carmel and knew her last step would be to ask the Pope himself. On November 9, 1887,
Marie writes to her sister
Thérèse: “My darling, rest in the Heart of the good Jesus, abandon yourself to
Him and He will not abandon his little Teresita. At this moment, the minute He wills it she shall come to
Him in his house, and she will not be too embarrassed for him to open the doors. I pray for my little
beloved goddaughter. She eats good food especially for having the strength to make her beautiful and holy
pilgrimage. Do you think you're going to visit the real home of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus! ...
(House of Loreto) This is what is beautiful. Pray hard for us all so that one day we could not only see the
house but sees Jesus himself and the beautiful Paradise.”(LOM 51)

On the same day, November 9th, Marie also writes a letter to her father
Louis expressing to him her
devotion to him. Marie writes: “So there you are again in the Eternal City (Rome) ... For you, it will be a
new attraction, since you will be receiving the blessing of the Supreme Pontiff. Therefore when we are at
the feet of God, in his eternal city, to Him shall we all be together! As many audiences as we want in this
beautiful paradise. . .or rather an audience of hearing the words from his lips so lovely that no one can
imagine, as St Paul himself never wanted anything. He will satisfy you, Oh our Father is so good! Sweet
things that will be said to you and how much love He will have that will fill you. I like to dream about
these future glories that will crown your life. But in the meantime, I ask the good Lord that He is in no
hurry and that He will leave you much longer to your children, who love you and revere you.” (LOM 52)

On the 11th of November, Marie responds to her sisters’ letters from Italy. Marie explains to both
and Thérèse that she wasn’t able to write much due to the busy schedule she was up against. But she
instructed Celine to write everything down, so that she doesn’t forget anything from the trip after each
day’s events. She also reminded both of them of the lines they often repeated together: “Time is your ship
and not your residence ... "(Lamartine). You see as you make way ... and we run as quickly and even
quicker to Heaven, our one true home.” (LOM 53)

The 20th of November was a special day for
Thérèse, Céline and Louis Martin. It was the day that she
was going to see the Pope and the day that she would ask him, to enter the Carmel. To encourage her
Thérèse, not to feel defeated, Marie asked her to work harder at building a better relationship with
one of her detractors. Marie wrote: “My
Thérèse never tires of being the ball of the Child Jesus. It will be
so good one day to roll to heaven, and it will be so well! But while waiting it is necessary for you to win
Mr. X a little on the ground in the rocky paths so that the little ball will not deflate. That would make the
baby Jesus cry who loves you both (
Thérèse and Céline).” (LOM54)

On a separate sheet of paper, she wrote to her father Louis on the same day about
Léonie. Léonie was
having trouble at the Visitation monastery. Apparently, from a brief reprieve, she was doing better than
what was expected. Marie wrote: “We received good news from
Léonie, I hope that God will regard the
generosity of his new Abraham and He will have mercy on our little Visitation. As long as she does not
leave her Visitation, they will all be to Him, your daughters. Proud father!” (LOM 55)

On November 23, 1887, Marie and
Pauline received the news of Thérèse’s visit with the Pope. For
Thérèse, it was not an encouraging encounter with the Pope; she felt her entrance into the Carmel was
still in limbo. Marie writes to
Thérèse to encourage her and to give her hope: “You can say with truth as
the virgin Agnes (St. Agnes) said: "He put his sign on my forehead!"  Yes, little darling of Jesus, he has
marked you as his little wife with the sign of the Cross. But you would not be his if it were not so. You
would not be privileged if you had ever placed your lips on its bitter cup. But darling, the sweetness that
is hidden ... Yes, in this cross there are roses ... This is not just to comfort you while I am telling you this:
it's my belief. Did you notice the words of the Holy Father that were addressed to you: "You will enter if
God wills it!" This is profound, my little
Thérèse, Ah! If you only knew what mysteries it contains. "You
will enter if God wills." A word from the Holy Father is a word from God Himself: it is as if Jesus told
you: "My child, if I want you, you shall go, if I want, despite all the contradictions, although not all of you
will enter, if I want, tomorrow's hearts will be changed because I have all of them in my hands! "Yes
darling, the Holy Father has spoken the truth: he could not tell you a more consoling word. "You will
enter if God wills it!” For me, it is a balm and I would always say that without tiring. Did he not say: Wait
my child and listen to the voice of your superiors, he told you: "You will enter if God wills it!" To receive
the happiness in your heart I know you would have had to hear a yes. But Jesus wants to give you the
experience of complete trust and abandonment for his
Teresita. He wants his little ball but does not want
to break it ... Ah! He loves her to much for that and that her heart not be troubled. Jesus said to his
apostles as before: "It's me! Do not worry. "No, my
Thérèse, no, there is nothing to fear, there is only
blessed Jesus! This Jesus who loves us both… Yes, my
Thérèse, yes, the Holy Father looked upon you to
listen to you. And Jesus too ... Ah! As He looks lovingly towards his beloved little toy… I was wondering
if the hour of God was not anticipated by us. But Now I know not! He gave us evidence. And I'm sure it
will be his will.” (LOM 56)

On November 24, 1887, Marie wrote to
Céline to try to encourage her to maintain her faith in God and
use this experience to continue to build her faith regarding the uncertainty of
Thérèse entering the
monastery. It was very discouraging to
Céline about what had occurred at the Vatican.  Marie wrote:
“This life’s journey is so beautiful; it’s a true picture of life which is never without clouds. The good God
does love you too much to sow only roses in your path. But I confess that I believe that God has His
purposes in all designs and his delightfulness of mercy. Forget joyful until the end, God willing, forget
HAPPINESS despite all that can happen. You'll see I'm right to invite you to the joy. Be grateful to God
and to our good father (
Louis) for a gift of such a journey. Be GREAT, generous and fearless. This does
not suit you to be otherwise. Be happy, happy, happy, hearing the Holy Father. And do not draw clouds
in the sky. You would be a clumsy artist.” (LOM 57)

Marie also wrote a letter to her father, while he was with his two daughters,
Thérèse and Céline, in Rome,
Italy on November 25, 1887. In the letter she expresses to him the gift of receiving a blessing from the
Pope: “I'm all fragrant with the blessing of the Holy Father ". Ah! I'm not surprised he has given you a
special look. He, the representative on earth, to understand you, O Venerable Father! He has blessed your
white hair; He has blessed your old age! It seems to me that it is Jesus Himself who blessed you, made
you look! Press into your hands the august hands, what a privilege! There is nothing left to see and enjoy
in this world. I find that after that there is more in Heaven. Oh dear Father, as I am eager to work one day
to deserve the special look of Jesus, to deserve to place my hands into his for eternity. Ah! The bright
future is what we prepare ourselves for! Heaven! Heaven! O endless joy!” (LOM 58) Marie always
showed great admiration for her father.

Céline was still agonizing over the fact of Thérèse’s uncertainty of entering the monastery. On the 26th of
November 1887, while still on the pilgrimage to Rome, Marie wrote to
Céline again to encourage her faith:
“Is it not beautiful how God orchestrates life, is it not good to surrender to Him! Ah! What a Heart is his!
He comes as quickly to our aid as soon as we suffer and in all the Crosses we bear he hides these
treasures ... which we do not always know. God does not show each of them every time as brilliantly,
but they are nonetheless there and if we do not see them here on earth, in Heaven we will see each and
every one of them. You, my dear
Céline, you will recover without a doubt the generosity that you prove
to God by giving your heart to
Thérèse. It is God who has any leads, any ... I always thought that God
Thérèse. This was proof to none.” (LOM 59)

In March of 1888, Marie wrote a letter to her father to show her gratitude towards him for all of the things
he has done for them at the Carmel. It was a month before
Thérèse enters the Carmel to where he would
lose another daughter. The decision was made in January but they delayed it until April. Marie writes:
"My darling father, it feels me with great joy to say thank you for the large amount of seafood you gave us.
We feasted upon it all week. May God bless you overwhelmingly for what you continue to do for us. My
beloved father you are indeed one of His dearest, Oh! Yes, I can see your soul radiate with such joy in my
heart. Failing virtues, it brightens your diamond. For us what are you then?  I do not think there are a lot of
fathers that are more loved and revered as much as you are. For me, I feel that my heart is always at your
side. If I could give you all of my happiness, I would. But in all my happiness here on earth, it is with the
Carmel that I choose to take my journey that is bound for Heaven.  There is no obstacle to great to prevent
me from making this journey with the Carmel. It is good here and we aren’t tempted by the trappings of this
world as so many others are." (LOM 60)

On April 9, 1888,
Thérèse entered the Carmel. Today, her father Louis lost another daughter. Right before
Thérèse entered through the door; both her and her father said their parting words as he wept at giving
another daughter away. In an attempt to ease her father's grief, Marie wrote him a letter.  In the letter she
states: "
Céline tells us that we aren’t worthy of you, I agree. Ah! What a father we have been given! You
are truly a blessing above many. It doesn’t surprise me that God guides all of his children to this
incomparable father! It awakens God’s heart to see that special love which you have showered upon us. I
know our dear mother is smiling in Heaven as she is so happy to see you in surrendering to God as you fix
your eyes upon Heaven. Oh father, you are the best of fathers, if we don’t imitate your generosity and
follow in your footsteps we will not become worthy of being holy. Ah! Jesus will bless you a hundredfold
for your generosity, a pure fresh half opened lily. Oh, your crown in Heaven, dear father, will radiate with
such great beauty.  Please pray for your diamond that it will not pale in comparison to yours." (LOM 61)

Marie wrote a letter to
Céline on the 27th of April, the next day it was going to be her 19th birthday. In her
letter to
Céline, Marie expressed the divine wish for her to receive abundant graces from God on her
birthday.  Marie reiterated to
Céline what a blessing she was to her and her family. Since, she was now the
sole daughter that was taking care of their father. She writes: “In all of Jesus’s treasures he couldn’t have
chosen but the best one. Now, the only desire that you have is to become holy. This is what all of us must
work towards.  Ah! My beloved sister, this is all we have left to do in this life.” (LOM 62)

Knowing of Marie’s impending profession, Fr. Pichon, her spiritual advisor, wrote her a letter on May
12, 1888, describing the event about to take place and offered her advice about not looking back on taking
this major step in her life: “So now you enter the “Upper Room” (the profession of Marie), I beg Our Lady
to keep you close to her during these blessed days (10 day retreat prior to profession) to prepare yourself as
I would do it for Him. You must surrender yourself to Jesus as I would give you myself. Yes, I understand
the most mysterious secrets of your soul.” Previously, when she was contemplating the religious life, she
had many doubts and Fr. Pichon became her spiritual leader to help her work through it.  He goes on to say:
“Jesus is good for you and is generous to me in being there for you! It is a blessing to see you entirely
devoted to his love. Sacrifice the world without any reservation and without pity. I do not want you to be
spared like Isaac. (Reference to Isaac the prophet: Hebrews 11:17)  I do not want the sword to be suspended.
The blessed sword which will decide everything that binds you to the earth and the world. Allow yourself to
dive into the arms of Jesus. To live and die there will be your sole ambition. By the hands of Mary, I bless
your heart’s content.”(LOM 63)

Marie wrote a small note to
Thérèse during the third week in May of 1888 at the Carmel. Therese had only
been at the Carmel for a month and already some of the nuns were giving her a hard time. Marie wanted to
encourage her after she witnessed
Thérèse being humiliated. She writes: “The child Jesus is happy! Tonight,
Thérèse offered her heart to Jesus with such beautiful flowers…sacrificial flowers…she truly understands…
Ah! Those flowers are the most fragrant to Him than all of the flowers of the world. Again, He knocks at the
window against all of the rhetoric conspired by the wicked. So, that his little bride knows not to refuse Him
anything. Knock, knock…you who have not seen your mother tonight, or have seen very little of her, come
see me as I smile at you. In Heaven, I inundate you with joy for the small joys are beyond you. In turn, I
will inundate you with the fragrance of my flowers. Knock, knock…Come back to comfort me my love,
for those that do not like me. Ah! I cannot wait to see you again. Have you other flowers to give me? I do
not force the hearts of every man…Oh! let me knock on yours forever.” (LOM 64)

Marie’s sister
Pauline had some encouraging words for her on her impending profession. Pauline, becoming
the first of the Martin sisters to profess, had already crossed this threshold in her life as a Carmelite.
wrote to her beloved sister: “Dear little white dove, it is true that we must suffer, please believe that the little
sparrow (
Pauline) has its share of both bitterness and refreshing water. But most importantly, we really have
Jesus! Try to accustom yourself to give to Him everything. At times you have done well…never going to
drink unnecessarily from the fountains of other people, always coming back with an ardent thirst for Jesus.
I love you very much dear little white dove of Jesus, because your wings have grown so much. You have
always tried to spread them out in the desert for Jesus for only Him to see alone. You have the ability to
understand your happiness in the emptiness of all things, because by your willingness you will receive the
greatest of graces. My weakness made me shed a few tears during my profession and at the same time, a
small insect with transparent wings came to rest on the edge of our book. I would have gladly told the
insect: “Hush, little creature but because you would blame me for my ingratitude, I did nothing.” It is true
that it seemed to say, “I am more faithful than you, looks like I am more obedient to the orders of my
Creator. God told me to come and place myself before you. You could have chosen to kill me. But I, an
insect, have no desires or fears.  I am God; fore he makes what he wants.” (LOM 65a)

Despite the small insect, I still had problems. Then, Jesus came to comfort me, not to take away the pain
but to allow me to understand the grace hidden under the thorns of this life. And I replied, “Lord, to
whom shall I go?  Only you have for me the words of eternal life.” I have read something very mysterious.
The sense of sight will not be the most enjoyed in Heaven but it will be hearing. “For the act by which
I mean the eternal Word in me, rather than the act by which I see out of me…What makes our beatitudes
is not to act, but rather to receive God’s actions. Now, when I hear, I am passive; I am active when I
see, etc… Little dove, here is proof once again that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us.  Jesus said to
Saint Teresa of Avila: “Out of you, is useless. Look, I have told you. Finding me is not difficult, call upon
me, this is enough. Tear without showing anyone. (LOM 65b)

Marie wrote to her father on May 17, 1888, just five days prior to her profession. She wanted to let him
know that she made her final decision to profess herself for the rest of her life to Christ. She sought her
father’s forgiveness as well as his approval. “I come to ask you for your forgiveness for all of the trouble
I caused you throughout my life. I leave my loneliness expressly for that. Do not deny your diamond your
forgiveness and your blessing. Ah! It is sweet to come on the eve of such an alliance to receive the
forgiveness from a father like mine. It is sweet to the diamond going to enshrine herself in the Heart of
Jesus and not enshrining herself to a mortal husband. Father, our revered patriarch, to be the object in his
children’s eyes is a like love. Oh my dear little Father, what happiness this brings me to profess my life to
Christ. The world understands nothing and it is useless for me to try and explain it. “This is the secret of
the King and the secret of souls He calls to Him!” Happy are the souls who have really found the hidden
gem, the great treasure hidden in the field to which only a few people find.  Pray for me father that I prepare
to be the best spouse of the King of Heaven.” (LOM 66)

While Marie was on retreat prior to her ceremony, she reflected upon several things. One of those things
was meditating on the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  She wrote these words just days prior to her May 22nd
profession: “The lonely Heart of Jesus has a very sweet pleasure to her grand daughter; she reads it from
her heart. Life is full of sacrifice, it is true! But what a joy it is…If you knew how much I LOVE you.
When I meet you, I will think you are an angel…You, who are so AIGLE and are called to roam throughout
the hills to the setting sun, please pray for the little reed that is kept so low at the bottom of the valley. The
slightest breeze will make it fold. Oh! Pray for me on the day of my profession! Please ask that your little
girl is still a very obscure grain of sand, well hidden from everyone’s eyes that only you Jesus would be
able to see me. I have become increasingly little, reduced to nothing. Please forgive me for all of my
transgressions, if only you knew how much I regret that I have told you that you were calling upon me
so often…I will seek to never cause you any trouble…goodbye…forgive me.” (LOM 67)

Marie writes a note to
Thérèse two days before her final profession on the 20th of May.  She tells her:
“O cherubim, take me to the garden of the Bridegroom! Here it is…He approaches…Will he stop and look
at me…Will I be this little plant that He will look at with complacency or will he pick the flower to inhale the
scent!...Open your corolla (a group of petals on a flower) and show your heart to Him and He will look upon
you with love!” (LOM 68)

On May 22, 1888, Marie was professed and her youngest sister placed a crown of roses on her head. (SS)  
After Marie made her final profession, it was for her “An assurance of her eternal crown in heaven.”
Marie wrote to her father thanking him for the beautiful gifts he had given to the Carmelite Monastery and
promised him she would not let him down and also wrote: “Oh you, best of fathers, who give to God
without counting the cost all the hope of your old age; yours is the glory, a glory that will not pass away.
Yes, beloved Father, we shall glorify you, as you deserve to be glorified, by becoming saints. Less than
that would be unworthy of you.” (SF)  

In December 1894, Marie asked
Pauline to have her youngest sister Thérèse write her childhood memories.
Marie’s youngest sister started her manuscript in January 1895 and it was given to
Pauline in January 1896.
In 1895, Marie’s youngest sister approached her in the courtyard and asked her if she would become a
“Victim to the Merciful Love of God.” Marie’s first instinct was to refuse her younger sister’s request
because as she stated: “Indeed not, for if I offered myself as a victim, God would take me at my word, and
I have a great dread of suffering. Besides, far from inspiring me, the word victim has always repelled me.”
(MST)  But soon after Marie’s refusal to her youngest sister’s request, Marie’s younger sister explained to
her that when you offer yourself as a victim to the Love of God it is different from giving yourself over to
His justice: “It does not always mean an increase in suffering but gives you the ability to love God more.
Marie was convinced and she made the Oblation to the Merciful Love of God.”(MST)  Marie’s found her
vocation and it was Love.

In the following years, Marie dedicated herself to an “extended group of friends and benefactors to Carmel,
she proved to be one of the most ardent apostles of the Act of Oblation.”(MST)  In every opportunity
given to her, Marie introduced her “Oblation of Love” to many people she corresponded with. Between
September 8-17, 1896, Marie asked her youngest sister to write another manuscript on her “closeness to
God”. In the letter which accompanied the second manuscript from Marie’s youngest sister, her sister wrote
to her expressing her feelings about Marie’s influence on her life: “This child, dear godmother, whom you
offered to the Lord and who speaks to you this evening, is the one who loves you as a child loves its
mother...O my dear Sister, you wish to hear about the secrets Jesus confides to your little sister; however,
I realize He confides in you too, for you are the one who taught me how to gather the divine instructions.”
(LC)   She also wrote: “How happy we both are to be able to understand the secrets of Jesus! If you (Marie)
would write what you know of them, what wonderful pages we should read. But I know you prefer to keep
“the secrets of the King” to yourself. You (Marie) tell me it is honorable to reveal and confess the works of
God, “ yet I think you are right to keep silent, for it is quite impossible to describe the secrets of heaven in
the words of earth.” (SS)  

Written by: R. Hann
Revised by: Sr. Michael Marie, O.C.D.
Revised by: Sr. Mary Jeanne, O.C.D.


Abbé Combes, ed. Collected Letters Of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux . (CL)
New York: Sheed & Ward, 1949.
Baudouin-Croix, Marie. Léonie Martin : A Difficult Life. (LM)
Dublin : Veritas Publications, 1993.
Beevers, John, trans. The Autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Story of a Soul.  (SS)
New York: Doubleday, 1957.  
Clarke, John, trans. St.Thérèse of Lisieux: Her Last Conversations. (LC)
Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 1977.
Dolan, Albert H. Rev.. Collected Little Flower Works. Chicago: Carmelite Press, 1929.
---. The Little Flower’s Mother. Chicago: Carmelite Press, 1929. (CW)
---. God Made The Violet Too: Life of Léonie, Sister of St. Thérèse. (GV)
Chicago: Carmelite Press, 1948.
Martin, Celine. My Sister St.Thérèse Trans: The Carmelite Sisters of New York. (MST)
Rockford, Ill.: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1959.
Mother Agnes of Jesus. Marie, Sister of St. Thérèse. Ed. Rev. Albert H. Dolan, O.Carm.
Chicago: Carmelite Press, 1943. (M)
Piat, Stéphanie Fr. The Story Of A Family: The Home of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. (SF)
Trans: Benedictine of Stanbrook Abbey. Rockford, Ill.: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1948.
---. CÉLINE: Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face. Trans: The Carmelite Sisters of the Eucharist of Colchester, Conn. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997. (C)
Redmond, Paulinus Rev. Louis and Zélie Martin: The Seed and the Root of the Little Flower   London: Quiller Press Limited, 1995. (SR)  
Sr Marie of the Sacred Heart correspondence, www.archives-carmel-lisieux.fr (LOM)
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