Adapted from:




With Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1935




ROSE Part 2, Loving the Good God ROSE

Little by little, Nenette became more like Jesus. It did not happen all at once; oh, no, she worked hard each day. She kept this thought in her mind, "Jesus must live and grow in me." To do things that were hard for her became her great joy. She called them her sacrifices. "We have many joys on this earth," she said, "but they do not last; the only joy that lasts is to have made a sacrifice." With each sacrifice she made an act of love, and, then, offered it to Jesus.

Mother Saint Raymond, who was one of the Sisters at school, read to the children the story of Nellie of Holy God, a pious little girl who died when she was four and a half years old. The children loved the story and some thought it was nice to die young because one would then surely go to Heaven.
"If you die right after Baptism," said one, "you will go straight to Heaven."

"But I should be afraid to die," said another.

"I would like to become a big lady and to have little children like my mamma, and to live a long time," said a third.

"Yes, but what if you commit sins? If you die now, your heart is pure and you will not have to go to Purgatory," added another.

Mother Saint Raymond looked at Nenette, who had said nothing. "And what do you think, Nenette?" she asked. All the children turned to Nenette, who answered sweetly, "A long life is a blessing because then we can suffer much for Jesus."

All day long, Nenette tried to make sacrifices and to suffer in little ways. But it was hard and sometimes she forgot. One afternoon the nurse-maid showed an envelope to the children and said, "Who would like to have a picture?" "I! I! I! I!" cried each one. The pictures were pretty and the children loved them; but there were only three. The nurse felt sorry because she wanted to make each one of them happy.

"Who is willing to make a sacrifice?" she asked with a smile. Everybody was quiet. No one said a word for almost a minute. They all looked at the pictures. At last a tiny little voice said, "I will." It was not the voice of Nenette. She had lost the chance to make a sacrifice. Although she received her picture, she thought to herself, "I have not made a sacrifice," and her little face became sad. From that day on, Nenette made up her mind never to wait, not even for a moment, when she had a chance to offer something to her good God. And she kept that promise well.


For the Feast of Corpus Christi, Mother used to allow Nenette to pick as many flowers in the garden as she wished to bring to the Sisters, who used them on the altars for the beautiful day. One year Mother, Nenette, Jojo, and the little sisters brought armfuls of the prettiest flowers they could find in the garden. The Sisters were very happy. As they began placing them in vases for the altars, Nenette whispered to one of the Sisters, "Sister, I would be so happy if I could make a bouquet for little Jesus. May I help you?"

"Oh, yes, my little Nenette," Sister answered. "Here, take a vase, and fill it with flowers."

"Thank you, Sister," said Nenette.

She chose the prettiest flowers for her bouquet. Once Sister heard her say to herself softly, "I wish I could work always for the good Jesus, always, always! I love Him so much!" Her bouquet was lovely.

"Will you place it very close to Him?" asked Nenette, as she gave it to Sister.

"Yes, my dear," replied Sister Johanna, as she showed her the place. "Here, very close, so that it will almost touch Him." Nenette was overjoyed.

The Blessed Virgin Mary found a big place in the heart of Nenette; she loved to think of Mary especially at the foot of the Cross. She felt that since Mary had suffered she would surely know how to help others when they were suffering. Once when her nurse-maid had received bad news and was sad, Nenette drew a lovely picture for her. It was a cross with many rays around it under which were written these words:


When Nenette gave her the picture, she whispered, "I will say many Hail Marys to the Mother of Sorrows for you." She often said to the nurse-maid, whom she called Demoise, "We ought to suffer for Jesus, because He suffered for us." At another time she wrote a note to her, which said, "Jesus was on the cross and He suffered for us without complaining; therefore, we should also suffer for Him without complaining."

Whenever her dear Mother was in trouble, Nenette would throw her arms around her and kiss her tenderly while she tried to console her by saying, "Mamma do not be sad. If God wants this to happen to us, it is surely for our best."

If God wants this to happen to us, it is surely for our best." Then she would run to the Blessed Virgin and pray for her Mother.

Jesus saw how bravely Nenette was trying. He knew she needed His help and His grace, so He came to her very early in Holy Communion. Most of the children in Nenette's class were seven years old; she was only five and a half. But she knew the catechism and she understood all that a little child ought to know about Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. She passed her examination just as well as the other children and even better. So the happiest day in her life was set for March 26, 1917. On this day Jesus came into Nenette's heart for the first time to teach her how to love Him more and more.

Madame de Guigné relates, "Almost every day, as soon as Nenette and Jacques were able to understand, I would tell them some edifying story from the lives of the Saints, or even more often a parable from the Gospel, which would be followed by a little moral within their grasp. Anne would look attentively at me and engrave all my words in her mind and heart. She would not make any comments, but frankly and seriously accept the doctrine and counsels. Certain passing movements of joy could be noticed in her bright eyes when she learned that, like the Saints, she could prove her love to God by accomplishing her little childhood duties to perfection. She would then strive to put the beautiful things she had learned into practice: she wanted to imitate the Saints."

Anne de Guigné fully understood that love does not exist unless there is a union between two wills, and that this union supposes many sacrifices. Two years later she would write, "A child who disobeys her parents and teachers, a child who is moody, jealous and lazy will serve God badly, will not do His Will. Obedience is the sanctity of children."
To help her in the formation of the children, Madame de Guigné turned to Mademoiselle Madeleine Basset, a young lady from a good family who was seeking a position. Her favorable influence soon reinforced their mother's. Mademoiselle Basset quickly became Nenette's confidante and friend. "Demoise" was the affectionate nickname that Nenette had for her tutor.
Mademoiselle Basset said: "On January 17, 1916, it was my joy----I should say my grace----to meet little Anne. She was then a little girl almost five years old, with brown eyes, a sweet, profound gaze, and ash blonde hair. A lovable little girl without any shyness, but not bold either. She already seemed to possess a wisdom beyond her age. She came to say good day to me in an unaffected and natural manner that I had never seen in a little child. I was struck by it. I was won over."

Anne's governess readily saw that the heart of her student was full of kindness without measure, much meekness and self-abnegation. At first she thought this child had been endowed with such a kind nature from birth; she received quite a surprise on learning through the confidences of Anne's mother that, quite the contrary, she had been turbulent, bad-tempered, impassioned, and jealous. Nenette's conversion did not exclude daily struggle, the beautiful combat of that of a child to master herself and please Jesus.
Demoise was to become the happy witness: Among the four children, little conflicts would inevitably arise over a toy, a picture, a little nothing. Anne had not yet reached the point of altogether renouncing her legitimate claims. Even so, she ingeniously avoided arguments and disputes. Soon she would rise above this stage and attain total renouncement of whatever pleased her, in order to please others.