Pastor André Générat became parish priest of Mailly-le-Château in 1941 when Élise was 16 years old. Élise appreciated him enormously, and he was her spiritual father throughout his life, even after his appointment to Saint-Florentin in 1957. From that date Élise wrote him letters. He died in 2001.
Called in April 1964 by Father Girard to preach at Elise's funeral, his homily is made entirely of quotes from Elise's letters. All the assistants are struck by the beauty of the words heard.
In June 2016, against all expectations, these letters were found at the bishopric by the bishop's secretary. A real miracle!
Elise’s words to Father Générat
From a letter from Elise to Father Générat in June 1959:
My Father, if we were to talk about you, now ... I will not forget the date of your Priestly Jubilee. It is true that it is also undoubtedly the date of ordinations everywhere and that it is the time to pray for all priests. But it’s you mainly that I think about.
This week, I will offer it everything for the priests but above all, above all, for you. Prayer, work, suffering and joys. (Joys, yes, because my letter, which is a little too sad, must not make you believe that I no longer have any joys! The good Lord knows how to send me some and make me discover them anyway!).
I think so strongly of those fifteen years when you tried to convey your ardor within us, and for my part, of this wonderful agreement from the first day with your priestly soul, so deep that the distance has not at all broken or even attenuated it, and which remains my strength to me now.
I very often continue to suffer all the same from your absence, but by praying I always find you. Or when it's too hard I think that in Heaven the Good Lord will know how to put us this time… in the same neighborhood! Is not it? I don't have the right to complain, anyway! The Lord has given me the grace of having been formed, guided throughout my childhood and my youth by two priests, different certainly, but both so ardently so deeply priests… I had to store up graces for all my life, and the Holy Spirit is there to help me refresh them…
I don't know how to say everything I have in my heart…
My Father, thank you thank you for everything. Sunday I will unite myself with all my soul to your thanksgiving. So strong, it will be like I'm really close to you. And I will pray that you will be a saint. And that G. will look like you. My letter is very long, but it took me 8 days to write it, piece by piece!
Very united to you, I send you my filial and grateful memory. Kiss your mom for me.
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