The Sacrament of Confirmation
8 June 1891
On Monday, June 8, 1891, two months after her first Communion, Elisabeth put on her white Communion dress again. In the Church of Notre-Dame, she received the sacrament of Confirmation from the hands of Bishop Lecot, the bishop of Dijon.
What did her catechism say about it? “Confirmation is a Sacrament through which we receive the Holy Ghost to make us strong and perfect Christians.”
And, “How does Confirmation make us perfect Christians?”
Answer: “Confirmation makes us perfect Christians by increasing in us the grace of baptism, and by giving us the strength to affirm our faith even at the peril of our lives.”
These fruits of the Holy Spirit ripened quickly in her.
“Our Confirmation took place at Notre-Dame,” Marie-Louise Hallo recounts. “From that moment on, Elizabeth’s piety increased even more, she often received Communion and shed abundant tears afterwards.”
“Often” means that, according to the norms of the time, as a rule she received Communion once a week.
Marie-Louise explicitly states this for the period “from the age of 12”:
“Her mother did not want her to receive communion frequently and, in fact, she received Communion once a week,” even though “at age 12 we went to Mass three times a week.”
Louise Recoing, who met Elisabeth a little before her 12th birthday, more or less agrees: “At that time [she] had to receive Communion once or twice a week.”
Sometimes, when playing, the girls already expressed their dream of religious life. Marie-Louise tells us:
“We used to play nuns, before 1893, after our First Communion. We went to confession behind curtains. We put on our mothers’ skirts, especially skirts with trains. Mrs. Catez was still in mourning for her husband. We imitated the Good Shepherd Sisters. At home we had a fairly large apartment and the nice thing about it was that there was an empty attic where we played.”
No one said if the mutual confessors remained serious all the time…
Conrad de Meester, O.C.D.
Chapter 3, Tout au fond de mon âme ravie (excerpt)
de Meester, C 2017, Rien moins que Dieu: sainte Elisabeth de la Trinité, Presses de la Renaissance, Paris.
Translation from the French text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.