Feast of Saint Denis (1640)
The friends of the mother of one of our infants are strongly urging us to settle the legal proceedings that have been taken against her in her absence. They are asking that we propose to them what we want so that they can extricate her from her difficulty. There is an ecclesiastic1 who is meddling in the matter as well as the master of the household where she works. I promised them our decision. We can either make an example of her for others and press charges against her which will completely ruin her, or we can follow a more lenient course and demand that she pay her child’s expenses; that she take the child with her after she has obtained the written guarantee of a responsible person stating the she will not harm the child but will raise it in keeping with her obligation; that she make a donation to the house (please let me know the sum).
I believe that those who are meddling in this affair will pay whatever we ask so I think it should be a goodly sum. Or, Monsieur, before making these demands you might prefer them to propose a sum themselves. Please, without deference to other matters, be so good as to respond to all of this since Monsieur Leroy2 has put the matter entirely in my hands.
It is my intention to do everything connected with this affair in obedience to you as Superior of the Ladies, whom I would like to see meet here every week. If you judge it good, after I have received your reply, I will notify them to come to a meeting here to resolve the matter. Or, if you prefer, please tell our sister to ask them to assemble here tomorrow, Wednesday, at 11 a.m. at which time 1 am expecting Monsieur Bret, who is coming for the response which I am to receive from your Charity.
Madame Turgis3 has arrived. Do you think that the sister whom she brought with her should make her retreat here along with the sister who spoke with you at Sainte-Marie, or would you prefer her to make it at the residence of the deceased Commander?4
I told the good sister from Saint-Germain3 that we cannot keep malcontents here, nor can we put up with those who disedify the other sisters. I warned her that if she wished to remain she would have to change her comportment, and that she would not be fit to serve the poor for at least the next few years.
Our money is all in French currency. We have very little gold of any weight. I am quite willing for God to make use of it if such be His holy will. I met Madame de Villeneuve5 who told me that she had been shown a house at La Chapelle. I do not know which it could be if not ours.
Please think about it. I believe that we would have to inform you of all the structural problems, as well as those that can be remedied before we move, so that we will have no regrets later on.
I beg the goodness of God to allow nothing to interfere with the accomplishment of His designs and that I may remain truly, Monsieur, your most obedient daughter and servant.
- “Beneficiary”: owner of an ecclesiastical benefice.
- Monsieur Leroy, one of the adminstrators of the work with the foundlings.
- Elisabeth Turgis arrived from Angers, see Letters 107 and 38.
- The Commander de Sillery, who died on September 26, 1640.
- Madame de Villeneuve, friend of Louise de Marillac, founded the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross in 1641. She died on January 13,1630.