La Chapelle, Feast of Saint Anne (July 26, 1640)
I am well aware of your frequent trips out of the city and of a certain disorder among our daughters there. I do not know if Monsieur Lambert1 has gone there. If he does so, I humbly beg of you to speak very openly to him of the state of the sisters, individually and as a group.
I praise God with all my heart that this good girl has given herself to the service of the Penitents. I assure you that had I been there and had she sought my advice, I think that I would have tried to persuade her to do the same thing. As you know, when I was there I never spoke to her about remaining with us nor did I do so to others who would have willingly joined us for the sake of this establishment. Is it not reasonable, Monsieur, to serve all souls redeemed by God?
The sisters of Angers are as dear to me as those elsewhere and, if I dared, I would say that they are even a bit dearer. But this is self-interest because of the honor and charity I have received there. So, Monsieur, may the holy will of God be accomplished in us and through us in time and in eternity! I have no thought at all concerning the girls about whom your Charity did me the honor of writing. Perhaps this is because I was waiting for you to be so good as to give me further information about them. I think that I would be almost as hesitant about a person who, for whatever reason, would fear nothing, as about one who, moved by human prudence, would want to be reassured. I also have misgivings about those who have worked as domestics or who live in the city. However, the Spirit of God breathes where it will.
I have not had the honor of seeing the person whom you placed in charge of the Psalms of the late Monsieur de Marillac2. I do not know if it can still be purchased. His works on Job were never published3. My son told me that your nephew would be returning soon. I will give him my copy for you if I cannot And another. See, Monsieur, how simply I speak and deal with you. I would be very relieved to know the true situation in Loudun when you get back. Permit me to continue to recommend our poor daughters to your charity. I feel that Monsieur Tonnelier4 will do no harm. Believe me ever in the love of Jesus Crucified, Monsieur, your very humble daughter and obedient servant.
- Monsieur Lambert, see Letter 18.
- Michel de Marillac (1563-1632), Keeper of the Seal. A man of great spiritual depth, he worked on a treatise on eternal life while he was in the prison of Chateaudun. He also undertook a translation of The Imitation of Jesus Christ, The Psalms and The Book of Job. His daughter-in-law, who joined him at Chateaudun, took care of the publication of the books.
- The publication was not yet done.
- Monsieur Tonnelier, confessor of the sisters at the hospital of Angers.