I would like
to tell you about someone whom I deeply admire. She is not a Blessed or a Saint
(though I believe she is in heaven) her name is Celine Martin, she is the
sister of the great St Thésèse of Lisieux.
Martin or Sr Genevieve of the Holy Face, as she was known in religion, is my
‘pin-up’. Some of you may have a picture of a movie star, or football player or
pop singer pinned up on your bedroom wall or stuck in your school books. You
may even have a picture or statue of your favourite saint in your home. Well
Celine/Sr Genevieve is my ‘pin-up’ and she is ‘pinned-up’ on my heart.
born on the 28th April 1869, she was nearly 4 years older than her
sister St Thésèse, ‘the little flower’. As little girls they were inseparable, they
did everything together. When Celine was very young she surprised everyone by
announcing that she was going to be a nun. When Celine grew up she knew that
she loved Jesus very much and wanted to give her life to Him.
me, love her so much? Well, it is this, when Celine was 19 years old and at the
right age to enter the Carmelite community and Thésèse was 15 Thésèse told
Celine of her desire to be a nun. Thésèse at 15 was too young to enter, yet
Celine, loving her little sister very much helped Thésèse to overcome the
obstacle of her age and enter the Carmelite monastery at Lisieux.
about Papa?” cried Thésèse to Celine, “it will break his heart.” “Do not worry, I will stay with him” Celine
answered. Though Celine herself had such a great desire to be a nun, she
thought of others. Thésèse entered with Carmelites Lisieux at the age of 15 and
left Celine to look after her dear Papa alone. All four of Celine’s sisters
were now in religious life, Marie, Pauline and Thésèse with the Carmelites and
Leonie with the Visitation sisters.
faithfully cared for her Papa until he died and went to heaven. Less than two
months later Celine entered her beloved Carmelite community. On that first night
when she entered her cell (bedroom) she found a poem on her pillow that had
been placed there by her sister Thésèse, which her Papa had written for Celine
before his death.
“Come to us,
My crown lacks one bright pearl.
said to us, and we are all here.
To pluck you from the world
on our wings of white,
like birds on the branches pluck a flower bright.
Oh, come to us! Come to us, dear!”
I couldn’t imagine
putting aside my dream so that another could live theirs, but this is what
Celine did, isn’t that really true love? Sr Genevieve, as Celine was known in Religious
life then followed her younger sisters ‘The Little Way.’ (Check out ‘St
Thésèse’ on Saint of the Month, on kid’s Cloister to find out more) Some might
find it embarrassing to follow their little sister, and to have their little
sister known as a great saint, but not Sr Genevieve, she humbly and lovingly followed
St Thésèse, thinking that she Thésèse, was much greater than herself.
Sr Genevieve worked
for the spreading of St Thésèse’s ‘The Little Way’ up until her death on the 25th
of February 1959, she was then 90 years old. Sr Genevieve was always content to
be known as ‘the Saint’s sister’. I love her for her deep humility and love and
I consider her to be a true saint, though she is not proclaimed one by the
Catholic Church Yet!
It is my great
desire to see her made a saint in my life time.
Maybe you would
like to pray with me today the prayer for her beatification, and ask her to
intercede for you at throne of God.
graciously hear my humble prayer
Thank you for the grace you gave your daughter,
Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face.
Be pleased to grant me, according to your will,
the grace of ... (make your request) through Sister Genevieve
I pray that she may soon be numbered among your saints,
so that she may be glorified by your Church here on earth.
I humbly pray in Jesus’ name. Amen