Part 3, Up to Heaven
STORY OF A LITTLE GIRL:
NENETTE DE GUIGNÉ
[ANNE DE GUIGNÉ]
SISTER MARY VERA, S.N.D.
SISTERS COLLEGE OF CLEVELAND
P. J. KENEDY & SONS PUBLISHERS
With Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1935
In the garden was a beautiful statue of Our Lady holding little Jesus.
Nenette loved this statue and she named it Our Lady of Consolation.
Whenever she found things hard, such as getting along with the other
children and not quarreling, or suffering her terrible headaches
quietly, she would run to the
Blessed Mother to pray for help.
When Nenette was eight years old, she made up a little song to be used
before Holy Communion.
O MARY, O MY GOOD MOTHER, GIVE ME YOUR SON!
FOR JUST A LITTLE WHILE, PLACE HIM IN MY ARMS.
O MARY, PLEASE GIVE HIM TO ME. O MARY, I DESIRE YOUR SON.
GIVE HIM TO ME, GIVE HIM TO ME.
After Holy Communion she added these lines:
I AM HAPPY NOW, I HAVE HIM WITH ME.
When Jesus was in her heart, she did not forget His Mother, for she
said, "When little Jesus comes into my heart, I always ask Mary to help
me keep Him there."
The Angels were Nenette's friends. She made up songs which she sang to
them. She often prayed to them when she was in need. When she saw that
Jojo or her sisters were going to become impatient
because their lesson was too hard or too long, she whispered to them,
"Pray to your Guardian Angel; he will help you."
Nenette's Guardian Angel was kept busy helping her and marking the many
things she did in the Heavenly Book of Life. He helped her most of all
Although Nenette was quick in school, it was hard for her to remember.
She, therefore, found spelling and multiplication most difficult.
Besides, she often had headaches and this made studying much harder.
Nenette, however, always worked, no matter how sick she was. She also
worked just as hard at lessons that she did not care for as at those
Catechism was her favorite lesson, for in studying it she found out
more about her dear Jesus. When the time seemed long during the other
lessons, she would say, "Even if the time seems long, I will try hard
and offer it to Jesus." Once she said to a little friend, "We can give
our work in school as a present to Jesus, so when it seems hard, just
think that now you have something for Him. If we love Him, our work
will then seem easy."
When Nenette wrote in her copybook, she was careful to write well, for
everything she did was "for the dear Lord."
As Nenette grew older, her love for her dear Lord also grew. She wished
everyone in the world to love Him. When she heard how wicked some
people are, she prayed, "Dear Jesus, forgive them. They don't
understand. Do make them good." She often asked the Sisters at school
to give her a big sinner to take care of. And then the battle began.
Nenette prayed and prayed and made more sacrifices than ever until her
sinner came back to God. In this way she caught many "big fishes," as
she called them, for her Jesus.
At one time, Nenette heard of a man who was very sick and who had not
been to church from the time he had made his First Communion. He wanted
to die that way, for he would not even look at the face of a priest.
Nenette made up her mind to win that soul. She went to church with her
mother and she prayed and begged Our Lord to hear her. "It is for Your
honor," she pleaded. Later in the morning, she went back to the church
again. She knew it was going to be hard to win this soul. "Mother, has
he gone to confession yet?" she asked. "Come, let .us pray again." They
went back to the church a third, a fourth, and a fifth time to pray
that day. The next morning, Nenette heard good news: her sinner had
gone to God; he had received the last Sacraments.
At all times Nenette remembered to make sacrifices but when she was
"taking care of a sinner" she made many more. She said "Yes" to every
chance that came along until her life became one big "Yes." She gave
each one of these sacrifices to Mary that she might give them to Jesus
and help her pray.
When she was ten years old, she resolved to imitate her Saviour
in everything: "How will I go about it? By combating obstacles,
whatever might keep Jesus from growing in me: my faults, my inclination
to pride and laziness . . . So then, I must fight a daily battle."
In April of 1921 she wrote, "The more I speak to Jesus, the more He
will answer me. He will speak to me through the priest, through the
advice I receive. He will speak to me especially in the depths of my
soul through His grace. The good Lord will say to me, 'I want you to be
more obedient, I do not want you to be vain. If you are that way
already, at your age, what will you be like later?'" She made practical
resolutions: "I must have:
1) cleanliness (of soul), which means to avoid sin; 2) appropriate
clothing, that is, the accomplishment of our duty; 3)
ornamentation----the good actions we do of our own accord." [Refers to
works, those we are not obliged to perform.]
The diligence with which she remained attentive to her interior voice
induced her to learn more even about her most insignificant duties.
When she was unable to discern what was most perfect, she abounded with
questions. At all costs, she had to know how she must act "to please
Perhaps the most striking aspect of Nenette's character was her
incomparable love of perfection in order and only in order, to
please the God of her heart: "I want to imitate little Jesus," she
wrote. "I have to conduct my soul along the best path," she said with
conviction. "My soul is destined for Heaven. People are very
preoccupied with their outward appearance and hardly at all with the
soul . . . My soul was made for eternal life, to be infinitely happy or
infinitely unhappy. The good Lord wants it to be eternally happy. That
depends on me alone. Mamma cannot do that work for me."
Purity of soul was ever her aim, and she hated the smallest venial sin,
and even her imperfections ,were a source of sorrow since she was so
afraid of grieving the Holy Spirit: "I want my soul to be pure as a
lily." Thus the Sacrament of Penance was so dear to her. She wrote, at
the age of nine, "Confession is a very, very great Sacrament. It gives
us still more graces than we had before. That is why we must really
want to go to confession. We must say our sins with a lot of sincerity.
When we say our sins, and before doing so, we must have great regret
for them, since by them the love of God is diminished."
Nenette was ten and a half years old; it was still 1921. Her sweet face
ever smiling, she was in excellent health, full of energy, exerting
herself towards perfection in all things.
Her purity and goodness radiated in her eyes and everyone who was near
her was drawn to her, becoming better, purer, more peaceful, too.
"We were attracted by her purity," her cousins said, "and we felt the
need to remain with her."
On December 19th, a family outing was planned; Little Anne had been
suffering from a headache for several days. Even so, she wanted go with
the others. On the return trip, her headache grew very much worse, so
much so that when they reached the house, she to lay down; she tried to
eat her soup at dinner but could not, and she returned to bed. That was
her time at the family table.
The next day she had a high fever, and her back ached. "Poor Nenette,
you're suffering a lot," they told her. "Oh yes! But it will be over
soon," she replied with a smile.
At first her little face was contracted with searing pain. Her silent
tears painfully expressed the excruciating pains she had to endure. "I
don't want to see anything, anything at all," she said. "Don't get too
close to me, please . . . You don't mind, do you?" However, not a
complaint escaped her because her main concern was the suffering of her
Anne offered her suffering for special intentions, sometimes giving
them to God hour by hour for those who asked her to do so, and
especially for poor sinners. As she was recovering from a terrible
attack, her mother murmured to her, "You have suffered very
courageously, my dear. You have surely comforted the Heart of Jesus and
contributed to the conversion of sinners." And this little Saint in the
making replied, "O Mamma, I'm so happy! If that's the way it is, I will
gladly suffer even more!"
Her treatment was most painful as the smallest movement brought more
racking stabs of pain. The doctor eventually gave up hope that his
little patient would recover, so on December 28 the priest, Fr.
Grégoire came to hear her confession. She had also eagerly
requested to receive Holy Communion, which impressed the priest. On the
30th he administered the Sacrament of Extreme Unction.
Anne Guigné had but two weeks left on earth and she would soon
be with the Angels to adore God. On January 13th she recited the Act
and the Morning Offering to Our Lady:
"O my Queen, O my Mother, I give myself entirely to Thee! And to show
my devotion to Thee, I consecrate to Thee this day my eyes, my ears, my
mouth, my heart, my whole being, without reserve. Wherefore, good
Mother, as I am Thine own, keep me, guard me, as Thy property and
Obedience was her last act. Little Anne gathered up all her remaining
strength, opened her eyes weighed down by death, and, for the
last time, gazed at her Mamma with a look of much tenderness. At
five in the morning, at the dawn of January 14, 1922----a Saturday, the
day consecrated to the Blessed Virgin----Anne's beautiful soul flew up
meet her dearest Jesus . . .
May this angelic Anne draw as many children as possible to God.
And may she be a reminder to us all that the secret of the kingdom,
hidden to those who think they are wise, is revealed to the little ones
and to those who resemble them.
The Holy Gospel tells us, "If you do not become like little
children, you will not enter into the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew
Nenette is now with the dear Lord she loved so much. She is still "a
big sister." She still tries to make others happy. She is one of Jesus'
loved "little ones."
Another little girl who was going to make her First Holy Communion was
helped very much by Nenette. She did not like to pray and she was only
going to receive Holy Communion because she had to. Her Mother and
Father had not gone to church for years. The children in the class
prayed to Nenette. How happy they were when the little girl changed for
the better. On the evening of her First Communion day, she said to one
of her friends, "Jesus is here in my heart. I will never leave Him."
And something else happened, too. The Father and the Mother also went
to Confession and Holy Communion, after they had not done so for
Anne is still taking care of sinners. Many of them have come back
to God through her prayers. People who were sick have prayed to her and
have been cured. She has helped in all sorts of ways.
She is even more kind-hearted now in Heaven than she was on earth. We
hope that the day will soon come when our Holy Father, the Pope, will
call Nenette a Saint. In no way is this intended to mean anticipating
the authoritative judgment of the Church in this matter.
The forward rose takes you to True Communion Stories.
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