Léonie had begun a letter to you, but that was the end of it. Nevertheless, she has to write you. Marie is giving her lessons with Céline, and she’s pleased with her. Yesterday she said to Marie,
“I’m going to write to my aunt in Le Mans before she dies and give her my messages for Heaven. I want her to ask God to give me a religious vocation.”
Marie pretended to make fun of her to see what she would say, but she persisted and said,
“Everybody can make fun of me, I don’t care. But I want to tell her this before she dies.”
Finally, today she wrote her letter all by herself, without anyone saying a word to her to give her any ideas. This is what she wrote:
“My dear aunt, I still treasure the picture you gave me. I look at it every day to become obedient, like you told me to. Marie framed it for me.
“My dear aunt, when you’re in Heaven, please ask God to give me the grace of converting me and also to give me the vocation of becoming a true religious because I think of it every day. I beg you, don’t forget my little message because I’m sure that God will answer your prayer.
“Good-bye, my dear aunt, I kiss you with all my heart. Your very loving niece….”
What do you think of this? As for me, I’m very surprised. But where did she get these ideas? It certainly wasn’t me who put these ideas in her head. I’m even quite convinced that, without a miracle, Léonie would never enter community life.
It’s her future that worries me the most. I say to myself, “What will become of her if I’m no longer here?” I don’t dare think about it. But I assure you that this little letter renews my courage, and I find myself hoping that perhaps God has merciful plans for this child. If it only took the sacrifice of my life for her to become a saint, I would give it willingly.
Saint Zélie Guérin Martin
Letter CF 184 to her sister-in-law Madame Guérin (excerpt)
18 January 1877