On the 24th of July, witnessing daily the cruelty of a slow
and painful death,
Thérèse’s illness, was taking a toll on
Céline’s confidence.  How can
Thérèse be so positive and
brave when she was suffering so much?  When most people
who are dying don’t have the positive energy to get them
through it? Céline says to
Thérèse: “You are my ideal, and
this I cannot obtain.” (LC) I don’t see how I can embrace
death the way you do when you are suffering so much
when my natural instincts tells me otherwise.  I am like a
child, in her mother’s arms reaching for everything and not
able to realize that nothing is in my grasp. And
Thérèse says
to Céline: “Yes, but on the last day, Jesus will approach
His little Céline with all she has desired, and then she will
seize everything.” (LC)   

August had arrived and her health was slowly depleting even
more.
Thérèse looked at her with endearment and said:
“Remember always that you are very little and when you are
very little. You don’t have beautiful thoughts.” (LC)

As
Thérèse was speaking to one of her sisters, Céline entered
into the conversation and added: “I will not be able to live
without her!” And
Thérèse responded: “That’s right; so I’ll
bring you two wings!” (LC)

On August 5th, as both
Thérèse and Céline were speaking to
each other, the teaching never stopped between the two of
them. In an effort to teach Céline “poverty of spirit and of
heart”,
Thérèse reminded her never to strive for
accomplishments and accolades in this life but to stay where
she was and most importantly become “very little”.  Céline’s
focus was to be fully on God.  
Thérèse lovingly said: “When
I am in Heaven, I’ll draw from God’s treasures and I’ll say:
“This is for
Marie, this for Pauline, this for Léonie, and this
for the very little Céline.’ And making a sign to Papa: ‘She is
the littlest now, so we must hasten to get her!’” (LC)

Further in their conversation, Céline again reproaches
Thérèse about her leaving her. And Thérèse counteracts her
words with: “Oh! Not for the space of an inch!” (LC)  As
Céline told
Thérèse a story that placed obstacles in her
path where she felt she wouldn’t be able to be with
Thérèse
in Heaven, Thérèse said to her: “You must ask God: ‘I know
very well that I’ll never be worthy of what I hope for, but I
hold out my hand to You like a beggar and I’m sure You will
answer me fully, for You are so good!” (LC)    

As the teachings continued each day, Céline remarked to
Thérèse about her obituary and said to her: “I would rather
be gone before they wrote it. Do you believe it? Yes, I believe
it, but you must not lose patience; look at how patient I am.
You will have to act like that.” (LC)  
Thérèse continued to
instill in Céline that she must detach herself completely from
herself.  For her to not worry about what was going on around
her and what she thinks she must have or obtain but to have
total trust in God to provide for her what He sees that her needs
are.  Essentially,
Thérèse asked her to please follow my lead.

On the 16th of August, Céline awoke to see
Thérèse in
physical agony. She approached her and
Thérèse told her the
devil has surrounded her. She remarked: “I cannot see him but
I can feel him. He is tormenting me; he is holding me with an
iron hand to prevent me from taking the slightest relief; he is
increasing my pains in order to make me despair. And I can
no longer pray! I can only look at the Blessed Virgin and say:
‘Jesus!’ how necessary is that prayer at Compline: ‘Procul
recedant omnia et noctium phantasmata!’” (Deliver us from
the phantoms of the night.) (LC)

Thérèse then went on to say to Céline: “I experience
something mysterious. Until now, I’ve suffered especially in
my right side, but God asked me if I wanted to suffer for you,
and I immediately answered that I did. At the same instant,
my left side was seized with an incredible pain.  I’m suffering
for you, and the devil doesn’t want it!” (LC) After Céline
hearing what
Thérèse had told her, she went and got a blessed
candle. Céline lit the candle and then the pain that
Thérèse was
suffering from on her left side was gone.  Since
Thérèse
experienced the same amount of pain on her left side as she
did on her right, she now jokingly calls her left side “Céline’s
side”.

On the 21st of August,
Thérèse was relapsing physically, her
suffering had strengthened and she was emotionally exhausted.
She said to Céline that she didn’t want to sound as though she
were complaining so when
Thérèse said to Céline that she was
suffering,
Thérèse wanted her to say to her  “All the better!”  
The next day, after realizing how upset Céline was over seeing
her in such great pain, signaled her over to her bed and said to
her: “Little Demoiselle? I love you very much and it’s very sweet
for me to be taken care of by you.” (LC)

September had arrived and it was the last month that
Thérèse  
would suffer on this earth.  Céline remarked to
Thérèse about the close relationship they had:
“People will not be able to know that we loved each other so much. And
Thérèse responded
back: “It’s not worth desiring that people believe it; the important thing is that it’s so.” (LC)
Days later,
Thérèse affirmed to her that she would protect her always.

On September 16th, Céline had done something that she knew that she shouldn’t have done and
Thérèse caught it and looked at her and responded: “You will be there at my side just the same!”
(LC) Later that day,
Thérèse, filled with emotion by how well Céline was taking care of her, she
said: “Oh, how grateful I am to my poor little Bobonne! You will see all I’ll do for you!” (LC)
Thérèse was very thankful for all the attention she was given by Céline during her illness, every
other day, she would tell Céline how much she loved her and felt the obligation of repaying her
for all that she has done for her.  
Thérèse remarked: “To love you, you have me…and not to love
you, it isn’t God...it’s the devil.” (LC)

On the last four days of
Thérèse’s life, Thérèse was in an enormous amount of pain. So much so
that she begged Céline to pray to Mary on her behalf. She said to Céline, please pray to the Virgin
Mary for me, my little infirmarian but when it comes to praying for myself  I cannot get myself to
do so…(in a sigh) “Oh! How necessary it is to pray for the agonizing! If you only knew!” (LC)
Thérèse’s sister’s asked her who will receive your last look, and Thérèse said: “If God leaves me
free, it will be for Mother Prioress.” (Mother Marie de Gonzaga)

On the day of
Thérèse’s death, September 30th, it was her final bitter taste of suffering.  She was
suffering so much that
Pauline had to hold her up on one side and Céline had to hold her up on the
other.  Moments later as Céline was rubbing ice against her lips,
Thérèse raised her eyes to Céline
with a “prophetic insistence”.  
Thérèse’s look expressed to Céline was with great love and
compassion and with it a “superhuman expression of encouragement and promise” as if she actually
said to Céline: “Go, go! Céline, I shall be with you!” (LC)  All the pains and worries of this earth
were now
Thérèse’s past and her eyes were on Heaven and the start of her journey was about to
begin. Minutes before her death,
Thérèse’s eyes searched the room for Mother Marie de Gonzaga.
She had stated to her sister earlier that her last look would be on mother prioress.  As
Thérèse spoke
her final words,
Thérèse turned instead to Céline and placed her last look on her, a blessing Céline
so desired and received. As Céline stated later in life, “For the memory of that last look, so much
desired by all and given to me, sustains me always and is an inexpressible strength for me.” (LC)

After
Thérèse took her last breath, Céline ran out of the infirmary and leaned against one of the
pillars, in hopes of seeing her sister’s spirit ascend to Heaven. But the visibility was obscured by
clouds and just then as she spoke aloud to herself crying: “If only  there were some stars in the
heavens! (LC)  The clouds and the rain suddenly dissipated and the stars shone through.  It was a
sign for her that her beloved sister’s soul made it.

On October 1, 1897,
Thérèse’s body was prepared.  Céline took her first photograph of her sister
in the infirmary. Due to the dynamics of the camera lens, it was only “equipped for pictures of
longer focus, and Céline did not have much space in the small infirmary; thus the picture had to be
taken from a high angle and was not taken in natural light.” (PA) Céline was not really happy with
the photograph because she felt it did not capture
Thérèse’s true facial expression but admitted it did
show her “heavenly smile”.

As they transferred her body from the infirmary to the choir to be viewed by family and friends,
Céline decided to take another photograph of her beloved sister on October 3, 1897. This
photograph too, felt by Céline did not capture what they saw of their sister.
Pauline had stated:
“We felt there was an air of majesty about her, but we did not recognize her anymore.” (PA)

As Céline stood in her sister’s presence, she saw a tear clinging to
Thérèse’s eyelid. She reached
for her handkerchief and wiped away her last tear. Later, she would cut the cloth into a tear itself
for veneration.

On October 4, 1897,
Thérèse’s funeral was conducted and she was laid to rest in the new cemetery
for the Carmelite nuns. Céline and
Léonie, led the procession of mourners.

While Céline was admiring the night’s sky, a flame appeared before her eyes and encircled itself
in the sky. As she visualized this unexplainable event, she felt in her soul a resounding peace.  It
was to her, an image of her sister
Thérèse’s soul. Céline was so convinced that this unexplainable
event was brought about by God and her sister that it was a response to her prayers.

Not even a year after
Thérèse’s death did Céline experience another favor of a different kind.  Prior
to
Thérèse’s death, Thérèse knew that Céline would always come running to her for advice.  While
Thérèse was dying, Céline never had the opportunity to speak with her about a passage she meditated
on and did not understand from Zechariah 9:17.  After
Thérèse’s death, she again meditated on this
same passage and this time she received from her sister “an inner sweetness accompanied by the
warmth of divine Charity.” (C)

Céline held the responsibility of the sacristan.  This was an individual who cares for the sacred vessels,
vestments, lights, reliquaries, pamphlets, statues, and anything related to the care of the sacristy and
its contents within the Carmelite chapel.  It was a position held close to Céline’s heart and she paid
special attention to taking care of all of these essentials.  But all of this attention she placed on taking
care of the Carmelite chapel brought about criticism from Mother Marie de Gonzaga which was to
Céline’s dismay. However, it was not until Bishop Amette who visited the Carmelite chapel when
he conducted a ceremony in honor of Blessed Denis of the Nativity, O.C.D of Honfleur, and spoke
about how impressed he was by Céline’s work in front of the entire community  did Mother Marie de
Gonzaga change her mind.

During the month of February in 1899, a spiritual attack ensued on Céline, questioning her virtues
when it came to celibacy.  No matter how many prayers she prayed, the temptation was still there
but she held her ground and clinged to God even though it was difficult to do. She refocused her
efforts instead on saving souls. Saving souls from Satan’s clutches, if saving only one, would mean
more to her than the temptations she herself was facing, there was no comparison to the two. As she
said: “The desire to save souls was like a mania for me...It was this hope that gave me courage.” (C)
The spiritual attacks she endured lasted for two years and three months.

With an ever increasing interest into the life of
Thérèse, after reading her autobiography, the Bishop
of Bayeux asked Céline to write a booklet about her sister. In this booklet, it described the life of her
sister prior to entering the Carmelite monastery and the virtues she practiced with.   The last part of
the booklet was about how she dealt with her illness and her death.  The final name of the book would
be called
Appeal to Divine Love. The purpose of the booklet was to lead Therese’s followers to her
message.

Secondo Pia photographed the Shroud of Turin in May of 1898.  Later, these photographic negative
images would be published in a book called
Le Linceul du Christ by Professor Paul Vignon. On a
pilgrimage, Céline’s uncle Isidore, purchased this book and brought it back with him to Lisieux. Her
uncle decided to give Céline the book. When Céline saw the book, it enraptured her soul; she could
not put it down. When it came time for her to retire to her cell, she would take it out and examine the
image of the face and studied it feverishly.  As Céline first saw the image of his face she stated: “It
was truly my Jesus as my heart had sensed him to be…And, looking for the marks of his sufferings,
I observed by the wounds the imprint of the cruel crown of thorns…” (C) After examing the
photographic negatives, she found it in her heart to paint the image of the Shroud of Turin.

Céline writes in her notes on the 8th of September 1900, “O my Jesus…you know that my desire has
always been to love you and to make you loved. Since I cannot express a greater love than that which
Thérèse lavished on you, my dream is to lavish it on you myself. Together, and on the same day, O
Jesus, you accepted us as little Victims of you Merciful Love, I am the first one to have followed her
Little Way. She opened the door, and I dashed in after her…Is the day very distant when I will hear
the sound of your voice, when you will clasp me to your Heart, when I will be able to see your
Countenance and kiss your sweet Face, when will I be seated eternally beside
Thérèse on our lap?
O Jesus, may I live for you and die of Love!” (C)

In the spring of 1904, Céline started her quest to paint the image of Jesus. Her first attempt was using
charcoal as a medium but unfortunately when she tried to get the image she created published the
charcoal painting was rejected. Using charcoal as a medium did not offer a three dimensional effect
needed to print the image on paper.

Céline’s determination did not end there, a year later; she once again began her journey to paint the
same image again as a grisaille (usually painted in a multiple shades of gray). This time, it would involve
many prayers to Our Lady of the Smile, St. Joseph, her deceased family members and all the angels
and saints.  This was a real labor of love for her and she used every ounce of her strength to recreate
the image she had imaged to be the true face of Jesus. Once the painting was completed, she brought it
with her before Our Lady as an offering.  After offering the painting, she was inspired to research the
gospels and found this verse: “All those who were there and who saw what took place said: ‘Truly, this
is the Son of God.’” (C)

Céline’s painting had such a likeness to the image on the Shroud of Turin. The Carmelite monastery
devotion to the Holy Face was great and they wanted to promote the likeness to the faithful.  At the
same time, devotion to
Thérèse was increasing. To include both, the Carmelites thought of placing the
image of the Holy Face on the front of the card and a devotional prayer from
Thérèse on the back.  

Fr. Eugene Prévost, cfs helped the Carmelites in distributing the cards composed in eight different
languages.  Fr. Eugene had strong ties to the Vatican, he requested an indulgence for the picture and
prayer to the Holy Face in February 1906, it was granted by Pope Pius X.  A year later, Fr. Eugene gave
Pope Pius X a copy of
The Story of a Soul and as he opened it, he found the picture of the Holy Face
and he was delighted in seeing it incorporated into the 1906 edition of the Story of a Soul.  Pope Pius X
gave Céline a remembrance and sent her a bronze medal with his picture on it.

Devotions to the Holy Face spread to millions, it was suggested that the image painted by Céline should
be entered into an art competition. The masterpiece was entered into the International Exposition of
Religious Art at Bois-le-Duc in the Netherlands in 1909. The painting was awarded the grand prize. Céline
states: “I am not surprised at having succeeded with the sorrowful Face of my Jesus. I know it is said that
only a pure soul could have the gift for reproducing so beautiful a Countenance; but I still say that, in
order to understand such wounds, a soul would have had to bear its imprints.” (C)

Céline found her devotion in the Passion of Christ. As she stated: “God had seduced me”. (C) She
painted two more paintings of the Passion of Christ. The first one was Our Lord being tied to the pillar
and the second one was of his crucifixion.  Her zeal and fervor increased to composing a special prayer
said in the Breviary (Divine Office) and a Mass in honor of the Holy Face. She was faithful in her devotion.

As her continued devotion increased to the Holy Face and the Passion of Christ, the prioress,
Mother Agnes of Jesus, Céline’s sister Pauline, gave her consent on November 14, 1916 to changing
Céline’s religious name to Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face and of Saint Teresa. Her feast day would
be on the day celebrated on the Transfiguration of Christ-(The Transfiguration of Christ is the
culminating point of His public life, as His Baptism is its starting point, and His Ascension its end) (NA)

Each year the Carmelite monastery would hold a community procession, Céline, with her passion for
the Holy Face, bore the banner of the image of the Holy Face as the procession proceeded.  Having had
the banner of the image of the Holy Face she states: “The face of God, how could I not present myself
with the assurance before that Face of God? Yes, since the Face of my Jesus is God made visible to me
under the appearance of flesh, ‘the bow of the mighty is broken, and the feeble have girded themselves
with strength.’”(1Sam 2:4)

Céline delved into the life of Jesus wholeheartedly. She wanted to know everything there was to know
about Him. She studied everything that was in her possession and at her disposal. She reference and cross
reference the places in the Bible where there were major events that occurred in his life. Céline made every
effort to take her knowledge that she had gained and educate the community through a series of slides of
the scenes that Jesus encountered in his life. She went so far as to outline routes Jesus took prior to his
crucifixion. She outlined in detail the events during Holy Week. Many of her sisters were impressed by her
knowledge.

As a gift to
Pauline for her feast day, Céline arranged “A little chest in which she had collected a sample
of the twelve stones that, in the Apocalypse, form the walls of the heavenly Jerusalem.” (C)

Céline sought out to study many different Bibles that had been produced by a variety of authors. Their
translation of the Bible held a variety of differences among each of them. She found that they were usually
based upon their own perception of who they thought God was.

The Little Theological Summa of St. Thomas was given to Céline in June 1917. She read through the
entire book and made annotation of quotes describing Jesus. She analyzed her own thoughts and words
which she had written down previously and compared them to the book. After close analysis of both
interpretations, she found that they were similar in thought.  In all of her readings, she still held true to the
teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. As she states: “I do not believe and do not wish to believe
anything except what holy Mother Church believes and teaches.” (C)   

Céline studied large volumes of books on Christ.  Previously, when she had a theological question or did
not understand a verse she would seek out and consult with
Thérèse first. However, after Thérèse’s death,
she used prayer and meditation as a means of understanding passages for which she did not understand.
Her drive for knowledge on Jesus was a need to have a closer union with Him. He was her life.  As she
describes: “Each morning when I go to prayer, I can see the dawn rising and I am thrilled with hope,
because I know just as surely as the horizon is tinged with color before me that Jesus, asleep during the
night of this life, will also rise and his glory will shine on me. It will no longer be the “pale morning star”,
brilliant but fleeting, that I will greet in passing. No, Jesus, whom I have loved so much, my God whom
I have found in his Sacred Humility, he, my Sun, will no longer set. He will be my eternal light and my
glory…and all this will happen soon.”  (C)

Céline’s devotion to Our Lady was just as great. Our Lady is not unapproachable, as a figure just to
admire, but she is someone that we can imitate, easily speak to and of course, lay all of our burdens onto.  
Céline was a child of Mary, for her, all of the honor bestowed upon us was ours.  “To the existence of
the Mother of God: work, prayer, rest, study of the Scripture, with no blazing lights or marvels of any kind.
That is what makes her close to us and capable of sympathizing with our ills.” (C)

The beginning process for the canonization had begun for Céline’s sister
Thérèse. There were many
different views about this subject from dismay to indifference to acceptance. Either way, the beginning
stages of the canonization process had a life of its own.
Therese was viewed by many in the Vatican as
just an “ordinary religious” and at that time, many of the people who were previously canonized as
saints performed heroic acts in the name of Jesus. But
Therese was special in that she captured the hearts
and minds of the ordinary person. It was the public who insisted that her message be heard.   

When an investigation into the life of
Thérèse, during the diocesan process began in 1910, Marie,
Pauline, Léonie and Céline were asked to write a deposition about their sister.  Each one of them was
asked not to share their version of events in their sister’s life with each other.  When it was time for
Céline to give her accounts of her sister’s life, she continually instituted the phrase “The Little Way”.  
When she spoke of “The Little Way” while she was being questioned it brought chills among the
listeners, especially the Promoter of the Faith. Later, the Promoter of the Faith approached her and
asked her not to say those words. He was fearful that
Thérèse’s cause would be ended abruptly. But
Céline was defiant and insistent upon including this phrase. As she remarked: “If it is defeated, it is
defeated; but since I have sworn to tell the truth, I must give witness to what I have seen and heard,
no matter what happens!” (C)

Therese was different, in that she “Practiced only simple and hidden virtues”.  There was no
comparison; she broke the mold of what a saint could be. As Céline stated: “I would not let my sister
be placed in the circle where custom aligned the other saints, that she had practiced simple and hidden
virtues, and that it would be necessary to get used to it…” (C) Despite the objections by the clergy,
the process continued and as history has proven, “The Little Way” has withstood the test of time.

At this same time on September 6, 1910,
Thérèse’s first exhumation was conducted at the Lisieux
cemetery.  The ceremony consisted of placing the remains of
Thérèse and her old coffin into a better
coffin and officially recognizing her remains by both clergy and doctors.

Céline had always longed to be with Jesus and her sister
Thérèse in heaven. In 1911, she developed
an attack of pneumonia in both of her lungs; her sisters had thought that she would not make it because
her illness was so severe. But Céline proved them all wrong and her health improved dramatically.

In 1915, the Superior of the Carmelite Order, waived the “Rule” where there was to be only 2
biological sisters in the chapter of the same monastery.  Céline became exempt from this rule and was
finally able to take a position within the chapter.

On April 9, 1915, the progression of the canonization process of
Thérèse had reached to the
Apostolic Process where the Holy See was to conduct an examination of Céline’s sister virtues.  It
was decided that this examination would take place at the Carmelite monastery in Lisieux.  Céline’s
sister
Léonie was asked to come to Lisieux to testify on the virtues of her sister. It was a great joy,
knowing that the sister, Céline,
Marie and Pauline haven’t seen in several years and thought that they
would never see again in the flesh was coming to their Carmel.
Léonie was accompanied by Mother
Superior Jeanne-Marguerite.  Once
Léonie arrived, it was as if time had never passed.  It was as if
they were back at Les Buissonnets. The presence of the entire family both living and dead was felt
by all of them. It was a moment in time they all would remember the rest of their lives and it would
be the last time all of them would be together until they were all reunited in Heaven.

To complete the examination process, an exhumation of the remains of
Thérèse was conducted. On
the 9th of August 1917, a procession led by Bishop Lemonnier went to the Carmelite cemetery and
unearthed the casket and brought it to the Cemetery chapel. There the casket remained enclosed until
the next day. On the 10th, Céline was given permission as well as one of her Carmelite sisters, Sister
Madeleine of Jesus, to leave the monastery and assist in the examination of the remains. Céline was
driven to the cemetery in the early hours of the morning and witnessed the removal of all of the
remains of
Thérèse out of the coffin. The only thing that remained unchanged from the first
exhumation in 1910 was the silk ribbon banner and roses that was placed in the coffin reading:  “I want
to spend my heaven doing good on earth.  After my death, I will let fall a shower of roses.”  Céline
assisted in wrapping the remains of her sister in white lien and tying them with silk ribbons.

On August 14, 1921, Pope Benedict XV addressed in his papal message to the faithful about “The little
way of Spiritual Childhood” and
Thérèse’s virtues, for Céline it was a “victory” for all the hard work
she and her sisters had done for her sister
Thérèse.  Céline stated:  “I have never experienced such a
great and deep joy as I did…The beatification and canonization themselves did not bring me as intense
a happiness.” (C)

Céline wrote on November 25,“Finding myself in the garden, in the hermitage of the Holy Face, I saw
once again the humiliations that have been our lot and that of our dear father; relatives distancing
themselves from us, apologizing for being part of our family; friends and acquaintances who said among
themselves: “what good was his piety?” He bore the weight of his own sacrifices; and the godless sneer,
because of him, at the lamentable end of the just.” It seemed to me that then God had said to his angels:
“Write” and I saw one of them mark something down on the “Debit” side of the ledger. Since then, many
years have passed. Would the All-Powerful delay the day of reckoning? At that moment, I raised my
eyes, and I noticed on the cross of Carmel’s dome the little glittering star…All the celebrations of our
Therèse’s canonization were summarized there, and I heard in my heart these words pronounced with
indescribable fatherly tenderness: “Are you happy?” Then a wave of gratitude swept over me
completely, and, with tears in my eyes, I could say over and over again with love: “O my God!” (C)

With the influx of interest in St.
Thérèse, after her canonization, Céline worked continuously hard on
spreading her sister’s message.  Her duties evolved into fully dedicating herself to her sister’s cause,
thus having herself replaced from the daily responsibilities of the monastery so that she could spend
more time promoting her sister.

Céline co-authored with her sister
Pauline, the book “Little Catechism of the Act of Oblation”.  Both of
them simplified
Thérèse’s message so that everything could be included and understood especially by
those that faced learning disabilities.  After that book was completed, another book was written called
the “Little Way” encouraging followers of the Theresian message to imitate her sister.  
Pauline composed
the writings and Céline took on the design aspect of the book.  A third book was put together called
“Life in Imagery”, which was a collection of photographs that depicted the life of St.
Thérèse.

Céline then took on the task of cataloging everything that was about
Thérèse from her life as a child
through the canonization process. Everything was organized based upon
Thérèse’s love for God.
The information she had gathered and organized culminated into a book called “The Spirit of Blessed
Thérèse of the Child Jesus” expressing Thérèse’s love for God. In all of the work that Céline had
accomplished there never was a sense of completeness for her.  She continuously had the drive to
continue to pursue more ways of promoting her sister’s way which for many others was a daunting task.

On obtaining the houses once occupied by the Martin family, Céline worked increasing hard for the
sake of pilgrims as well as having them organized in the way that reflected the way
Thérèse lived
her life. From the house they resided in Alencon to daunting task of the Basilica of St.
Thérèse of
Lisieux.  Every detail was examined and contemplated on before it was instituted.

By 1929, the foundation stone was laid for the start of the Basilica of St.
Thérèse of Lisieux. It was a
task closely monitored by Céline where she aided in the design aspects.

Painting was a great passion for Céline, not only in her work for St.
Thérèse but also as a means of
expression. Her eyesight was depleting as she got older which made it more difficult for her to paint.
There were however, critics which detested her work and made it known but there were many
religious and lay people which rose to her defense as Fr. Francis of Holy Mary stated: “
Thérèse
nevertheless used these pictures to make her presence felt throughout the entire world, for the
remote huts in the bush country to the tents of the nomads…exercise their her gracious influence.
Because of this, Céline’s portraits merit our respect.” (C)

Céline was given the position in the community council, also in 1929, for which she kept until her
death. Céline’s role consisted of advising and overseeing of the publications of works distributed
through the Central Office of Lisieux and also direct correspondence with people from around the
world. The most difficult obstacle for her to face wasn’t the vast number of letters that were written
by followers of St.
Thérèse but the constant visits that were received into the monastery. As Céline
described it: “To be treated like some strange animal” was the most difficult and gave her the feelings
of wanting to rebel against it. (C) She didn’t want to be seen as a “great attraction”.

It was the “Little Way” for Céline that gave her serenity. As she wrote to
Pauline: “I don’t know
how to show my gratitude to God for putting us, like Jesus through humiliation. I feel I will bless
him for it throughout eternity. Down here, I thank him for it with a joyful soul. I believe there are
no graces greater than that. Ecstasies and Miracles seem trite compared to that. Besides, I thrill
with happiness to recall all that has happened in my life that made me fall, all that contributed to
humbling me, even my faults, since they could not disfigure what is used for loving more.” (C)

On October 9, 1935, Céline described in her writing her union with Our Lady: “Yesterday evening,
during the time of silence, I felt ineffably united to my heavenly Mother; I experienced an
indefinable feeling I dare not express. It seemed to me that the Blessed Mother was here with us,
that she was my sister, my friend; there was a familiarity between us, a kind of equality like that
of a family. Oh! How pleasant that was! This morning, during Mass, I was still thinking about it,
and it was sweet for me to make the comparison between that grace and the Feast of the
Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin we celebrate today. This the third time in my life that my heavenly
Mother has visited me at first Vespers of this very consoling solemnity.” (C)


Written by: R. Hann

Bibliography

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.
Martin, Celine. The Mother of the Little Flower Trans: Fr. Michael Collins, S.M.A. (ML)
Rockford, Ill.: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. 1957
Martin, Celine. The Father of the Little Flower Trans: Fr. Michael Collins, S.M.A. (FL)
Rockford, Ill.: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. 1955
Scallan, Dorthy. The Whole World Will Love Me, The Life of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face (WW)
Edited by Fr. Emeric B. Scallan, S.T.B. Rockford, Ill. Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. 1954
---. CÉLINE: Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face. Trans: The Carmelite Sisters of the Eucharist of Colchester, Conn. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997. (C)
Martin, Céline The Father of the Little Flower (Louis Martin) (FL)
trans: Fr. Michael Collins, S.M.A. Tan Books and Publishers, Inc. 1955
Clarke, John, trans. St.Thérèse of Lisieux: Her Last Conversations. (LC)
Washington, D.C.: ICS Publications, 1977.
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