In 1897, but before she was really ill, Sister Thérèse told me she expected to die that year. Here is the reason she gave me for this in June. When she realised that she had pulmonary tuberculosis, she said: 'You see, God is going to take me at an age when I would not have had the time to become a priest ... If I could have been a priest, I would have been ordained at these June ordinations. So, what did God do? So that I would not be disappointed, he let me be sick: in that way I couldn't have been there, and I would die before I could exercise my ministry.'
The sacrifice of not being able to be a priest was something she always felt deeply. During her illness, whenever we were cutting her hair she would ask for a tonsure, and then joyfully feel it with her hand. But her regret did not find its expression merely in such trifles; it was caused by a real love of God, and inspired high hopes in her. The thought that St Barbara had brought communion to St Stanislas Kostka thrilled her. 'Why must I be a virgin, and not an angel or a priest?' she said. 'Oh! what wonders we shall see in heaven! I have a feeling that those who desired to be priests on earth will be able to share in the honour of the priesthood in heaven.' from: St. Thérèse of Lisieux by those who knew her: Testimonies from the Process of Beatification, ed. and trans. by C. O'Mahony, OCD (Dublin, 1975) pp155-6
Monday, July 30, 2007
What do you make of this?
Among the testimonies from the process of the beatification process of St. Thérèse there is a long and detailed statement by her sister, Céline Martin, whose name in religion was Sister Genevieve of St. Teresa. She gave her testimony from 14 to 28 September 1910 before a diocesan tribunal, set up by the bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux. Sister Genevieve bore witness under oath that: