Little Company of Mary

Mary Potter Writings

» Elizabeth Bryan

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Mother Magdalen Bryan (nee Dobson)


Elizabeth Bryan was under the direction of Father Selley. She was recommeded to Mary Potter by Selley, as a prospective candidate for the proposed community. Little is known of her background, other than she was born in 1833, and her maiden name was Dobson. Fourteen years older than Mary Potter, and a widow, she had held positions in London within "good" households, and it is possible that she was a housekeepr. Initially, as the letters indicate, the women worked well together, Mrs. Bryan acting as confidante, friend and secretary. Following the foundation at Nottingham, the friendship cooled somewhat when Mother Elizabeth was placed over Mary Potter as Superior of the house.

Letter 1:

33 Norfolk Street


August 8th, 1876.


My dear Mrs. Bryan,

I am so glad to hear from you. It is indeed sad news about Father Selle, but he told me it always happened before he had anything to do, so it may be that God is preparing him for something. It is however, certainly our duty to pray for our father and Director.

This month is devoted to the Heart of Mary. Would you commence a novena in Its honour, especially as the Heart of a mother, and likewise say a prayer everyday in honour of the Ven. De Montfort. I have just been reading his life and it is truly wonderful. I feel sure we shall feel great assistance from invoking him and looking upon him as an especial patron of our "Little Society."

You ask me to pray for you. Do you know I never make a prayer but I mean it for us all who are to be joined together, we hope, for time and eternity. I wrote to Father Selle that though strangers, I thought we all seemed to love one another and so I trust it ever may be. I can answer for my own heart. I think of you by the name of Magdalen and asked Father Selle to do the same. I love the dear Magdalen and think it so well that she should be one of the first to be honoured in a Society that is to represent Calvary.

Do you remember the words of Fr. Selle that night, that if we said our prayers well, all the money for the publishing of the book would come? It was all promised before the end of the week.

I was so pleased with that part of your letter where you said you offered any disappointments for our intentions. They are more valuable than prayers, as likewise is suffering. It told me something of your interior, to show you yourself understood the way of making use of everything in God’s service. We so often lose grace by not offering up the many ways by which we are obliged to deny our own will, whether we wish to or not.

I did not quite understand what the prayers were you referred to. Write soon again and tell me how long notice you would have to give, supposing you were wanted. Of course Fr. Selle would arrange everything for us, but if I had to make a journey abroad he would very probably choose you to accompany me, if you were at liberty to go. Of course it is only a probability.

God bless you, dear friend, and may your patron obtain for you a portion of her love for the Sacred Agonizing Heart of Jesus and Its Treasure, the Precious Blood that she watched and adored on Calvary, knowing the love with which that Heart poured It forth for her.

Thanking you for your good prayers and begging their continuance,

I am yours affectionately in Jesus and Mary,

Mary, S.J.M.

Letter 2:

33 Norfolk Street,


August 15th.


Dear Sister in Jesus and Mary,

I am so glad to respond to your affectionate letter in which I was more interested than you will at present know. My reason for not replying sooner was because I was expecting a few lines from Fr. Selley for you. Hearing however that he has written to you I now write again and, at his wish, explain more fully the troublesome duty ( which however obedience will sweeten) he has wished you to undertake.

First, however, I must tell you that your simple letter written in such a candid way, has drawn you very close to my heart. I hope that we may all be candid and open and as simple as little children in our relations with one another and so be pleasing to the Sacred Heart of our Lord, to which this simplicity is inexpressibly dear. You, the eldest amongst us, have set this example. May we all follow it.

With you I have had for years a great devotion to the Holy Souls, which devotion has not diminished in the least by my increasing desire to save the dying. My was has been to gain all the Indulgences I can for the Holy Souls, but my impretatory prayer has been given to the Dying. Thus if I say ‘My Jesus Mercy’ the prayer is for the Dying, the 100Days indulgence for the Holy souls, that is to say, if Our Lady so pleases, for all is at her disposal. If in union with her I follow Our Lord "the Way of the Cross" my prayer is more specially offered for the dying , but the numerous and wonderful Indulgences which we can obtain by this act of devotion (the greatest I believe that can be gained since they are plenary without the obligation of going to Communion) if I am so happy to gain them, I hope I can afford assistance to the dear Souls in purgatory.

To speak of business – as Secretary to "Our Little Society" it will be necessary for you to have all letters that give any information concerning it, or even its members. All I send you will not be sufficient, but will you kindly ascertain from all members any pieces of information you can get, or any letters that perhaps in future years when said members are dead, may be useful. You need not fear putting down trifles because it will be better in the first ‘log book’ that this should be done. It will be necessary to put down little jottings etc. in this first book as you get the pieces of information.

In the 2nd. Book, by the bye, they will be written again in their proper time and place, but that will not be yet. For one reason, though it is all clearly written out, the commencement of the idea of Our Little Society etc., the papers were in the hands of a priest who would not give them to me. In fact, he said he should destroy them. I did not trouble about it, but said to myself, ‘he cannot destroy them if God does not let him.’ Last night I heard that the said priest had left them – the papers- before leaving England for many years, with another priest to be given to the Bishop. What their probable fate will be I do know not, but they are important in a way that they were not written afterwards, but written from week to week, from month to month. If I look back now and write it all over again it would not be at all the same, so you must pray. I have no diary or anything of that kind that would make up. Being shy of speaking I used to write what I thought necessary to my Director instead of speaking.

One thing I am sorry about is the apparent breach of charity in your knowing names etc. but I do not see how it can be avoided. Truth must be known and it will go no farther than yourself. You may expect a bundle of letters soon. I must look them up you will strive, will you not, to ascertain all dates and what Feasts came on those dates. It will be a long tiring work, but works done for love of God are so valuable in His sight, and I am sure, if you ask, the Holy Angels will greatly assist you.

Always write at full length to me but do not mind if I answer briefly or by postcard. Every letter will be a pleasure to me. I shall perhaps have to return them to you, because they may be necessary to be kept with the others. You understand you must not fear being thought egotistical. You must mention yourself as you would a stranger. It may not be known who was secretary.

May our dear and Immaculate Mother increase in you her spirit to suffer for Our Lord and for His.

Yours lovingly in Their Sacred Hearts,

Mary, S.J.M.

Letter 3:

August 24th

Feast of St. Bartholomew


My very dear Magdalen,

Just received your letters. Thank you very much for them and for the other with stamps kindly enclosed. Will burn them as you ask when I get downstairs again. At present am laid up – have with difficulty obtained leave to write a few lines to you. My mother says she thinks I have a touch of Rheumatic fever.

In worldly societies every one contributes to the general fund. We, members of Mary’s little Society must do the same. We must all contribute to the general stock. Some must bring suffering, some prayers, Masses, etc. I put my pains now. I should be glad if I knew any one of the members were making up for the Communions I am losing.

I understand well your letter and will answer when able.

Yours lovingly in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Mary S.J.M.

Letter 4:

33 Norfolk Street,


August 28th, 1876


My dear Magdalen,

Yours letters give me so much pleasure. I feel so grateful to Our Lord that one of such solid piety is united to Mary’s little Society. It is important that the first members of the Little Company of Mary should possess a great fortitude and a devotion found in the Will of God, seeing Him in all the seemingly adverse occurrences that will arise before our work is established. (I say seemingly because what seems to us adverse may be in reality just the reverse. Calvary itself was seemingly a failure, the enemies of God appeared to have it all their own way but it was not in reality so.)

I forward you some letters. I think it is better not to show the letters of the members. It seems to me well for you to read through the letters, entering in your first book what you think well and then keeping the letters to yourself. They need not be returned to me but they had better be kept. You have very little information at present to begin upon. How the idea arose etc. would take too long at present to write about. If you keep account of all that has happened since you heard from Fr. Selle, even before we were acquainted, there are certain letters of mine will show what happened previously. They were written to my former Director. He refused to give them to me, but as he had previously leave to show them to anyone they are now in the hands of the Bishop. At leats my former Director left them (before leaving England) in care of a Priest to be given to the bishop. At the next meeting you will be able to gain more information.

Your first book will simply, I think, be able to contain odds and ends, scraps of information to be arranged orderly in the real book of the account of the proceedings of the Society. I am so glad I can write to you feeling secure you will not feel offended at my suggestions. I daresay you would do very well without them. Your letters show you so well to me. We both feel alike, do we not, that all ceremony must be done away. We both want to do all the good we can without minding what it may cost us. I thank you very much for your good advice to me. I wish very much we could see one another.

You tell me that you have never made a Retreat. It does seem to me that it would be a very good thing if you could do so, but that matter is not (for me ) to advise perhaps. My idea was that if you could be a week in Retreat, as I was, near Fr. Selle, you might at the same time be able to learn from him all the details for entry in your log-book and get it ship-shape. He knows he can show my letters if he likes. Not only that, but you may have to take a more important part in the Society than you are at present aware of , therefore any advantage you can gain for your soul it would be well to gain. Likewise those whom God appoints to some particular office He gives special graces to. These graces are to enable them to do His work. It is not because they are specially beloved. The Beloved disciple was not made head of the Church.

I send you a rough sketch of what Fr. Selle read at the meeting. You can send them back. I thought you might like to read them quietly. Do not wait to hear from me but write when you think of anything. I shall always be pleased to receive your letters. What a strong bond of union there is between those who are united in god. May He bless and cement this union.

Your loving friend and sister in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Mary S.J.M.


To understand the letters of my sister-in-law, Rita, I must tell you that they were more painful from the fact that I love her very much. She is a dear good girl. I have only known her a year or two. It was through me she was married. She was but a French governess, very poor, My brother wishing to be married, I asked this young girl home. Now she is in a very different position – mistress of the house, a large one, and all. Almighty God permitted her to write like that, as He permitted other very holy people to turn against me. You may never know this sister-in-law so it does not matter much, these letters. I think it is right to send them. Not a word has been said since my return, we are very good friends.

Letter 5:

33 Norfolk Street


September 12th 1876.


My very dear Magdalen,

I do so love that name that I must call you by it, having a special devotion to your Patroness. She will, I hope, be a Patroness to our Little Society. I was much interested in the enclosed. I thought you would need them returned to you. Many thanks.

I do so feel for what you have gone through. I understand the wretched feeling of groping in the dark and seeing no way out, but I believe it precedes all vocations. Priests could tell us more. Though so painful it is no doubt most salutary to the soul, fortifying it for what it must have to bear if it is going to take up the Cross and follow Jesus. As regards our sensible feelings they may easily mislead us. I am so glad you are more comfortable, however, at the present time, but you must look out – there are ‘breakers ahead’.

The two friends you mention I feel most interested in. Where is the Carmelite Convent? Are you likely to see either of them? It seems to me that it is in accordance with Our Lady’s heart to admit to her little Society those who are rejected by others. I cannot explain the feeling I have upon that matter. If a rich lady asked for admittance, ready to build a Convent at once, I should feel some misgiving, but in receiving, if I may so speak, one of these outcasts, I should rejoice.

I was particularly pleased reading of a revelation vouchsafed to some Saint where it appeared that upon God asking Our Lady what favour she wished, that He might grant it, her reply was ‘I ask mercy for the miserable.’ This is, then, the essential spirit of this little "company" of Mary, the spirit of the Good Shepherd. My application of it to the two friends you mention is, of course, different to the application we make of it to the dying, but still it is in the same vein of feeling.

Thank you very much for the promise to procure prayers. I hope they will help me to do all I have, but it seems a pity that I cannot give more time to my writing seeing it seems likely to answer. I did not commence it with the thought of getting money by it, but really now it seems to have resolved into a matter of L.s.d. We must have bread and butter, when we are able to commence our work. I feel growing quite mercenary however, it is all for God. He loves so much that anxious poverty practised by Our Lady and St. Joseph. When I say anxious, I mean anxiously trustful.

Goodbye, dear Sister in Jesus and Mary,

Yours lovingly,

Mary, S.J.M.


Can you read my writing well? Please tell me if not. I have rather a difficulty with yours now. You must not mind me telling you.

Letter 6:

33 Norfolk Street


Septbr. 18th. /76


Very dear Sister in J and M.

Many thanks for your letter just received, and postcards. Please pray and get prayers for Fr. Selle, he has just gone on Retreat. Will answer your question as soon as I can hear from him. Must thank you very much for the nicely copied Society paper. Did Fr. Selle tell you to copy and send me? I had asked him to get a member to copy I wanted one so badly.

Regarding the books, we cannot get enough. I will send you 9 as soon as I can, in the meantime, order 1from the nearest Catholic bookseller. We cannot afford to advertise, but by ordering thus, anywhere we go, get the book known. Regarding the Preface, I can but say what I have replied, when I was told I could have no humility to publish such praise, that I did not know it before it was printed, and if I had should not have interfered, preferring obedience and giving up my own will to all things. What you say is indeed true upon the Will of God. Nothing happens without his permission and all things work together for good to those who love God.

Regarding your friend, I think she acted right by remaining in the world, when advised to by her Director. Sometimes we do not pray sufficiently, however for our Director or whatever we want. I have known wonderful things by prayer – for instance, one little thing. I wanted to receive all the scapulars. My Director said he did not like it (but did not refuse) that it was like having several religious habits. He was a good secular priest, but very secular, if I may use such an expression. He put off investing me, though he had the power, but one morning, just as I was praying that Our Lady would ask for me, he came across the Chapel and told me he would invest me. Not only that, he gave me a wish I did not like to ask for (intending to receive all one day for fear of troubling) he fixed certain days for the reception just as I wanted - the Feast of the Seven Dolours for the scapular of the 7 Dolours; Feast of the Precious Blood for red scapular etc. And even of his own accord recollected when the Feast of the blessed Trinity came and gave me the Scapulars and received me etc.

These little answers to prayer sometimes make you feel more grateful than the greater. It is so good of God to give us the wishes of our heart.

Goodbye, dear Sister. I hope you take care of your health.

Yours lovingly in the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Mary, S.M.


The meeting I heard was postponed. Pray, please, that the Path of Mary and the sequel may have the blessing of God and prosper spiritually and temporally. If the critics cut it up it may hinder sale.

Letter 7:

33 Norfolk Street


Septbr.22nd, 1876.


Dear Sister in Jesus and Mary,

Many thanks for letter received. We both have the same feeling regarding a wish to see Fr. Selle. I forward you 9 copies of the book. Fr. Selle wrote to ask my leave to have the letters entered in a book. They are not all dated, so you will have some trouble in putting them in succession as I believe he wishes. If I were not so occupied, I might write many things, useful perhaps to be known, but all in good time. There is no hurry. When I have holidays I shall have more leisure. Please keep all letters, whether copied or not. I enclose some more.

Please do not think anything is (a) trouble. It is really a word I need never use for I feel pleasure in all I do, and naturally in anything particularly anything concerning the Society. I do not know what advertising costs. Do not think it is necessary as we shall all, I hope, try and distribute books and thus make them known.

Is a giant in strength, thank you, to what I have been so many years. I had 7 years bad health and must say I enjoy this year, having got so strong. I had forgotten what it was like to be well. God is very good to give me both the one and the other, they both do me good.

Thank you for your kind offers to copy for me. I think that sized book will do very well. The Society paper was copied so nicely, am very glad to have it. Lent 2 good girls my paper and they said they could only make out a word here and there.

Goodbye and God bless you, dear Sister. Please excuse if I do not always answer your nice letters.

Yours lovingly in Jesus and Mary,

Mary, S.M.


If you hear of a situation for a good genteel looking young girl near London, please let me know.

Letter 8:

Septbr. 28th, 1876.

Joy be with you always, and a very specially happy Feast for our glorious St. Michael’s day. I have a great devotion to that dear Angel and his motto "Who is like to God".

I write only a few lines in haste. You were quite right to put your name. Fr. Selley wishes you named as Elizabeth. He might get confused with different names. The numbers are adding so. He writes in answer to my question, "Tell Elizabeth she must be extremely prudent and feel well assured she can do so in perfect safety, then she has permission from me to reveal just as much as is necessary to bring such persons into communication with me."

Regarding the Postage – you need not in all cases, I think, pre-pay, or if so, perhaps might write outside, as we see other books, 1s.1d – or 1s.1/2d. etc. for Post. I find it makes a great difference to me having to pay Post.

Regarding the young girl, she is a good and very genteel looking girl of 16 or 17, tall and thin. I want her somewhere in or near London.

And now, dear Sister, about the money you sent. You must not do such things as that. I feel rather uneasy about it, but will employ it for the "Society" in some way. It is very good of you and I felt it so. It was St. Joseph’s Day and I generally expect some temporal good on Wednesday.

The first post went by and the second seemed also gone, and I felt myself almost reproaching him that he had not been so kind and you letter came with another kind one about the books, but you must not do that again. There was a certain simplicity about it, too, that pleased me, but you know, even if we were together, as a Postulant nothing as a rule is taken till finally admitted.

Goodbye dear Sister, am so very glad you are happier. It is the beginning of still greater happiness I hope and pray in the loving Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Letter 9:

33 Norfolk Street


Octbr 10th. 1876


Dear Sister in Jesus and Mary,

I really begin to be uneasy at not hearing from you that you received the books. They were sent by "Sutton". Please let me know as it is so long. A Postcard will do if you are busy.

We must not have any ceremony or fear of giving offence to one another, as we are both so employed working for one cause, united by the holy friendship those must ever have who are joined in Jesus and Mary in the way we are. For myself, I never feel that I can do enough. It seems always a sorrow that we are not together under one roof, and that roof one that Our Lord himself lives under, ever present in the Blessed Sacrament. I am quite submissive to God’s Will to wait so long as He pleases, but still I must do all I can by prayers and others ways to obtain that God may hasten the time when we may live together in the "Sanctuary of the Heart of Mary," where we will have our own home and make a home for Our Blessed Lord.

This will certainly be. Please God, it may not be long, but I do not know if you have heard that we may not have any more meetings. I am not surprised. It was a means of bringing us together – it has done its work. It had not, to my mind, the signs of continuance in it, but I think it must be a grief to our good Father Selley. We must pray very much for him. He is allowed to direct in the confessional but not by letter etc.

I hope you are keeping well and happy and will not be disappointed about the break up. I rather fancy you will not.

Please pray very earnestly that a certain matter now on foot may be God’s Will, for if so we shall indeed have reason to say "Deo Gratias," which however we have every moment of our lives, reason to say, if we saw things rightly.

You are ever to me, my very dear Magdalen. I shall think of you thus.

Yours lovingly in the Sacred Hearts,

Mary, S.M. 


Please excuse, I think I have written about 100 letters last two weeks, besides other writing. Am up early and late.

Letter 10:

33 Norfolk Street


Octbr.17th 1876.


My dear Sister in Jesus and Mary,

Many thanks. How kind and thoughtful you are, but you must not think I have not written because I had others to write to. Fr. Selley, from the commencement, told me to write to members once a month. You, being Secretary of the little company, I did not think I was to keep that to you.

I have indeed been occupied in various ways. I have an important letter now to write to France, began more than a week ago, not yet finished. I have just finished copying the enclosed letter from the original which Fr. Horan, our good Parish Priest, somewhat reluctantly gave me. He almost wanted me to sit down there and then and copy what I wanted, but I told him I would bring it back. I think it a rather important letter to be copied and put with the others. Will you please return it to me.

I likewise send you some letters of Sr. Clare. If you can read them I shall be glad if you will copy and keep. I an afraid you cannot them so do not send all. I am rather in a hurry for the originals back. Please, do not mind saying if you have not the time. I must then make time somehow. They are very confidential letters, hardly right to show anyone, but I trust there is no harm to you being quite confident, as I am too, they will be for yourself alone.

You must pray earnestly for me. I am in great difficulties at the present time, and have no adviser. I am not at all surprised that I am deprived of Fr. Selley’s advice. I knew very well that I should be deprived of him and told him so, either during my retreat or whilst in London.

I want you particularly to do something for me. For some time past I have been wishing to hear from a Father de Bray. He is a living saint, terribly persecuted, but, Our Lady as he says, will protect him. Another order, I believe, do not believe in him. God permits these trials.

Poor Fr. Selley is very ill, not even able to say Mass on Sunday.

I should be so glad to see you. I have so much to say to you. You asked me if Dr. Grant knew about this. I forgot to answer you. No – I had not the slightest idea of it. I will give you some extracts from a letter of his to my mother concerning me. She has the letter, so give you the substance. Fr. Burke ( now dead) had seen Dr. Grant and said he thought I would make a good nun. I was very calm and peaceful, quite capable of judging my own mind. He, the Bishop, advised my mother to take me to Brighton to see what Convent life was like and judge if I thought myself equal to it, as in all substantial matters it would closely resemble other orders. I went a visitor to the Convent, remained, was clothed. The Bishop had written to the Rev. Mother to ask her to let me know about other orders. It seems to me most Providential that I should have thus passed so long in the Noviciate, going on for 2 years. My health broke down and a Jesuit priest advised a change too.

You being so simple in speaking of yourself has been so serviceable to me. I feel quite grateful to you for letting me know you better. I quite look forward to seeing you.

Yours in the hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Mary, S.M.

Letter 11:

Octbr. 20th, 1876.


Dear Sister in Jesus and Mary,

How quickly and well you have copied. I wish I had known, I would have sent enclosed letters before, did not think at all you would have been so quick. Fr. Selley never saw that letter to Fr. Horan with the accompanying explanation. I think it was written in May or June. I had not got it to show him.

I have a strange piece of news to tell you. Not only is there to be a new Church but a Cathedral and Bishop’s See. The diocese is to be divided, I hear, and we are to have a Bishop of Portsmouth. Our prayer must be for a Saint. I am not making any comparison –Bishop Danell is indeed good and holy, but I only mean it will be well to make a daily prayer to that effect.

Goodbye. May God give His blessing to us both now and for evermore.

Yours lovingly in Jesus and Mary,

Mary, S.M. 


I saw the Path was advertised. Do you not see the papers? You should see the "Catholic Times" Oct 6th and "Weekly Register" sept. 30th I think, also there will be a letter of mine this week in "Catholic Times" and "Universe".

Letter 12:

33 Norfolk Street


Octbr. 30th, 1876 


Dear Sister in Jesus and Mary,

Many thanks. I think it is wonderful you could make out these letters so well. I could not make out exactly the words wanted, but is of no importance.

Now to answer your questions. There is great probability of our leaving Southsea altogether, I do not know whether at Christmas. I should like to go to London soon. My mother and sister-in-law are well. I myself am like someone else. I have extraordinary health, and this time of year used to try me so. I must say I enjoy being so well after all these years, and am very grateful that one complaint after another has gone.

The "Path" has sold very well and reviewed very well too. See "Weekly Register" of Septbr. 30th and "Catholic Times" Octbr. 6th. So our prayers are answered about its being reviewed well, for no critic said a word against its being reviewed. The "Universe" did not say a word against it, only the Preface. Someone has blamed me for not mentioning more about its being from de Montfort. In the original MSS . I had fully explained about "True Devotion" etc. but the Path of Mary as it is, was simply a series of Articles written out quickly for Rosary Magazine. Fr. Philip Limerick wrote to me such articles would be valuable but told me, as there was a prejudice, not to mention de Montfort’s name at all, and only to insinuate the devotion, prepare people’s minds for it. I asked Fr. Selley to have de Montfort’s name to put in, and so we did. Fr. S. said likewise he would mention in preface, suppose he forgot. (I forgot to mention Fr. Limerick would not accept – one reason, I had not kept sufficiently to his advice but he said there were good and original thoughts and much he liked).

You can only see Fr. Selley in the confessional, which is indeed where I believe his gift lies. The confessional and spiritual direction is his part of the work. He fully knew this long ago, and wrote to me he should withdraw from active direction when someone else appeared, that he was but acting because I had o one else, that he was but a stopgap.

Regarding your other question. Father Selley having told me that it was against the rule to direct by letter - I did not know this from the beginning – I was afraid of asking or mentioning what might induce him to do so. Of course, he would know better than I when he might break it and could, of course, ask his Superior’s leave but still I did not wish to do so without necessity. At Sr. Clare’s wish I did however I write. This may have partly brought the storm down upon poor Fr. Seller’s head. I am indeed grieved for all he has had to go through, but I can see the Will of God so plainly in this last upset of plans. He writes to me he is still allowed to direct, in the confessional, those who will join the society when formed. Outside the confessional he will not speak of it at all.

I should like much to see you, there is a deal for you to know. From my heart I wish your Feast of All Saints may be a happy one. If it is all to you I wish it, you will long remember it.

God bless you ever, prays yours lovingly in Jesus and Mary,

Mary, S.M.

Letter 13:

33 Norfolk Street


Novbr. 1st./76. 


Dear Sister in Jesus,

Will you kindly copy the enclosed and return to me. If there is anything you do not understand, that needs explanation, you might put your questions on a sheet of paper numbered, and I would return it to you.

Such extraordinary things take place that I am thinking of using copying paper so that I might send you copies of letters I write, for I cannot otherwise keep you acquainted with full particulars. Everyone almost I have to do with crosses me. I wonder when you will do so?

I should have liked you to have had a letter I wrote lately to the Cardinal, but it would have taken time to copy. Please let me have enclosed back. I thought I had better let you see my own letter too.

God bless you, dear. Excuse more.

Yours lovingly in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Mary S.M. 


Please make special Communion for my intention. My heart at times, seems ready to break and yet I do not lose my peace, but am so intensely grieved. One special intention must be that God may manifest my future Director. It is so contrary to my wish to act as I am now. Another intention is that God may hasten the time of sending the answer from Rome, though we must not be impatient even to know God’s Will. That would be delusion, since it is evidently His Will to keep me in uncertainty. I do not know what else I can do. I am, as it were, kept prisoner. I tried to get leave to go to London the other day but could not. I know I can fully rely upon you not to mention Sr. Clare or anything else I make known, until it may be necessary to make all known.

P.S. What I want returned, please, are the enclosed and copy of Sr. Michael’s letters rather the extracts. I was afraid of troubling you too much so did not send them to you to be copied. I think it well to show Fr. Horan what Sr. Clare really did say. She has written, I believe, to the effect she knew nothing about the book until she saw it in print. I think she has written to others too. Fr. Horan said she wrote I was going about saying I had written it by her advice and direction. Sr. Clare may have been told to write to Fr. Horan. If not, God permitted it as other great trials. Before she wrote to me about 3rd edition I had written to Fr. S. I thought it was not usual. It was the third edition we sent to the binders.

Letter 14:

Novbr. 4th, 1876.


Dear Sister in Jesus,

Many thanks. What a deal of trouble I give you. I think it would be well to have a copy of Fr. Limerick’s letter, do you not? I have no need of the other letters.

There is indeed a confusion and I cannot explain without breaking confidence. I am not sure indeed I am bound to be so particular, but after all, it can make no real difference. The one great thing we must do now is to pray and suffer. I hope the Cardinal and the Holy Father may speak of this matter. You will pray and get all the prayers you can, please. It may be he crisis is coming.

God who has supported me so wonderfully seems now to have likewise left me more to myself, but I must act on pure faith. My actions may be better thus than with the holiest feeling since I am obliged more than ever to offer Our Lady’s dispositions and all the desires of her holy Heart, since my own desires have left me except one – to do God’s Will in the very slightest matter.

Thank you very much for your knid sympathy. I hope I have not complained. I have done very wrong if I have for it is, first of all, just to suffer, next I have prayed to suffer, and likewise it is one of the greatest helps the souls can have.

Goodbye and God bless you ever.

Yours lovingly,

Mary S.M. 


Would you send me a copy of the extracts from Sr. Michael’s letters