La Chapelle, December 21, 1640
I praise God with all my heart for the blessings which His goodness has bestowed on the charitable concern which you manifest in the direction of our dear sisters. I am still a bit worried about Sister Clemence’s1 apparent naivete. I hope that God will enable you to discover her true dispositions. I am also concerned about Madame Terrier’s retreat at the hospital for the reasons pointed out by your Charity. But, Monsieur, would there not be a way of closing off the door which separates her room from the sisters’ little kitchen? She has a fireplace. Moreover, she could make use of the main kitchen in which the sisters wash the dishes of the poor. I believe, Monsieur, that it is very important for the administrators to approve this arrangement before this good woman leaves the house where she is now. I do not know who advised her to move, because I think that she can render great service to God by working for the salvation of the souls residing there. I have no recollection of her having asked for sisters for this establishment, and still less of having given her any hope that this could be arranged, because I know that we cannot even consider it since we have only enough sisters for the care of the sick.
I am surprised that the doctor is complaining that the sisters do not accompany him on his rounds because this is the responsibility of Monsieur Nabulo, who does not fail to carry it out and is sufficiently exact in informing the sisters of the needs of the sick. Nevertheless, I humbly ask you, Monsieur, to tell them to do whatever you judge necessary. It is a great hindrance for sisters who have such a holy occupation to want to learn to read when they are not able to do so. For this reason I have sometimes refused to allow this for a long time even for those sisters who can read a little.
It is true that our letters have been somewhat delayed. I think that the fastest way would be to send them by my son. For although he is not in Paris, his mail still goes to the College des Bons-Enfants.
I take advantage of your patience. I beg you to forgive me for this and to honor me with the certitude that I remain, Monsieur, your very humble and obedient servant.