I beg your pardon for hastening to answer you by return mail, but it is because I had a request made to Monsieur Vincent for missionaries for the places where you would like to employ them. He gave me a verbal reply which I misunderstood and that is why, Monsieur, I did not send you his regrets for not being able to give you anyone from here at this time. However, concerning the matter of the charity of which you speak in your letter, he said that, if it is agreeable to you, he will ask Monsieur Lambert1 to go to see you. He admires, Monsieur, the charity which our good God gives you for our poor sisters. This leads him to express the hope that He will inspire you to be so kind as to give them a little conference, even if it is only for fifteen minutes, on the virtues of which they stand in need and particularly those to which they are obliged by their vocation.
I am very concerned about Sister Turgis. I believe, Monsieur, that she needs a remedy if she is to avoid serious illness. However, she will have to be ordered to take it because she is extremely reluctant to take any drug. Your charity in taking the trouble to write to me about Sister Marie* greatly consoled me. I was afraid that she was upset. I beg you, Monsieur, to let me know if our poor Sister Marguerite2 is dying or did die peacefully. From the news that I have received of her, I can only surmise that she is dead. Blessed be God in all things! Perhaps Sister Clémence3 will be emotionally stronger once her body, which has been weakened by disease and medications, is restored to health. I feel that too much strain should not be placed on her memory or her imagination, and that she should not be asked to make meditation at all for a long time.
Forgive me, Monsieur, for taking the liberty of speaking to you of all these details. I find the courage to do so from the charity which has led you to fill so perfectly the place of our father. May God be eternally blessed for this!
It is in the love of Jesus Crucified that I am, Monsieur, your very humble and most obedient servant.
P.S. Monsieur, I am taking the liberty of sending you the letter for our sisters unsealed so that you may see what Monsieur Vincent is telling them about obedience.
- Monsieur Lambert (1606-1653) entered the Congregation of the Mission in 1629. Superior in Tout from 1633 to 1637, then at Richelieu from 1638-1642, he was named Assistant General of the Congregation. After another stay in Richelieu (1643-1646), he returned to the College des Bons-Enfants in Paris. Monsieur Vincent sent him many times to visit the sisters of the hospitals in Angers and Nantes. In 1631, he was sent to Poland. He died on January 31, 1633, victim of his dedication to the plague-stricken. His death upset Monsieur Vincent a great deal (Coste IV, 367).
- When they arrived at the hospital, the plague continued its devastation in Anjou (Coste IX, 40). Many sisters fell ill, one of them. Marguerite Francois of Saint-Nicholas in Lorraine, died from it.
- Clémence Ferré, see Letter 34.