XIII

FINAL PURIFICATION

DEEPLY as Teresa suffered, neither the loss of friends and reputation, nor her many other trials, troubled her so much as the fear lest all this talk and scandal should prejudice the Devotion which she had so much at heart. On June 1st, 1886, she wrote to Father Snow:

[164] "Never before has it pleased our dear b. Lord to try me half so severely. It seems as though my poor soul was in extreme agony and my heart was bursting with anguish. Then I suffer more, far more than I can express, in those things that are going on lest they may in any way injure the Devotion, for I know the rev. X tried to do all he could to spread it and now he seems to think little of it, though he said he would rather favour it than otherwise, but under the present circumstances what could he do? Then on the other hand I feel that our dear Lord is able to look after His own glory and will do that which He pleases in His own good time, yet if through my imprudence or unworthiness it should be delayed, how sorry I am. Oh how often I ask him to have pity and mercy on me, for I feel I am too cowardly to bear that which in His love He gives me and I feel crushed down to the ground by the weight of this cross, and feel how grateful I should be if it pleased Him to take me to Himself; and on the other hand I ardently wish for more even and fear to appear in His sacred presence. I know you do and will continue to pray for me. Then I am weary of having no settled thing to do and no proper time for to do things in."

Father Snow replied to her as follows:

"Our dear Lord has been pleased to multiply your crosses for your good and His own wise ends. But still you must certainly not lose heart. You know He has said the Devotion will be established m spite of all difficulties and opposition, and we may well suppose that He is allowing these evil things to be said in order that everyone may see in due time that the work is entirely His own. I daresay we have all made mistakes, but our dear Lord loves us in spite of our mistakes and if we humble ourselves before Him and ask Him to pardon us, He in His love will make use of these very mistakes to make the truth more certain. So trust in Him and do not be too anxious.

"I have not yet heard of any school that would suit you but I am going to Preston on Sunday evening and may hear of something there."

She was longing to get another post for it was a terrible trial to her to be idle, but she fully realised the difficulty under the circumstances of finding anything in the Liverpool diocese.

[171] "I do not think that any Liverpool priest would have me in their school for I know many reports are circulated among them, so in charity to their children they could not permit me to go in among them, much less teach them."

Father Snow himself says that the "clamour" was so great that it would have been most imprudent, if it had been possible, to find any situation for her in the whole diocese, for the clamour would certainly have followed her. It even appeared at one time as though the Bishop would forbid anyone to have any dealings with her, and in her distress she wrote to Father Snow:

[165] "I have been expecting a line from you by every post and as I have not yet received one, I begin to think his Lordship has desired you not to have anything to do with me. If so, may almighty God's Will be done, but if so, to whom shall I go? It seems as if everything is coming at once. I would not care very much if all the things I have heard are being said only concerned my own reputation, but I feel they are doing material damage to the Devotion at present, yet I feel certain that, as God is Truth and Justice, He will bring things right in the end.

"It seems to me that the Devil has certainly been allowed to personate me in several cases for there are things being said that I never knew or thought of, much less said. Then about dear —, I am sure I never had an unkind thought towards her; she was always very kind to me, much kinder than ever I deserved. Then I only trust that those who consider me guilty of such fearful sacrileges etc. will try to make reparation to His outraged love in the Blessed Sacrament. And if He is better loved and more reparation given to Him, He only knows how willingly I would lose a thousand characters at such a gain.

"I have thought that perhaps it may please our dear b. Lord to allow people to really consider me guilty of the different sins I have offered myself to expiate and let me feel the shame and confusion that the persons would feel at these things being known, and if I could save one from shame on the last dreadful day, how willingly will I submit to more, for I did not think these things could affect me so keenly.

"I do not intend to contradict one of the accusations, only to you as you are answerable to God for my poor soul, and I protest in His adorable presence that I have tried to lay open my poor heart and soul to you and have not hidden anything purposely from you."

Teresa's suggestion as to the Devil's impersonation does appear to be the only solution to many of the charges which were brought against her. There are like instances in the life of St. Margaret Mary, when the nuns were scandalised by seeing her, as they thought, devouring food in the pantry! Be that as it may, the evil One certainly allowed Teresa no peace.

[173] "The Devil was very boisterous last night. He told me that he had got parties to say that I had taken meals with them and if persons would not say what he wanted, he would do so himself, he would not be thwarted this time. He could do as he liked with me and he would take care to do it."

So the summer months passed by. Her enforced idleness was a constant trial to her and, worse than all, in the little country church she found so few of the consolations of religion which meant all the world to her. She wrote to Father Snow:

[166] "I would be so grateful if I could get settled in a school. I suppose you did not hear of any that would suit me. Well God's holy Will be done. He knows what is best. We never have exposition here; how I would like to be at Walton this next week. We always went several times during the octave of Corpus Christi. Here the church is only open for about an hour and a half in the morning for Mass, so I cannot spend much time with Him in the b. Sacrament of His love. Oh what beautiful feasts there are just now. Corpus Christi, Sacred Heart, and holy Soul and sacred Head. How I wish I could do something to further the Devotion to His sacred Head I offer up every action for that end... Dear St. Alexander's, I did not think I cared half so much about it as I really do. It has been a very good cross for me and I try to be really grateful for it and all the others. In spite of all our dear Lord's love and goodness to me, sometimes I feel so weary I hardly know what to do. I know the more we are crushed down by crosses the nearer we are to Him and the more we should love and thank Him."

With all her heroic virtue Teresa had a very tender heart and, despite her utter conquest of herself, there is a pathetic human note in her letters at this time which seems to bring us into closer touch with one whose feet were set so high upon the mountain-tops of God. Little as she says, it is easy to see how deeply she felt the desertion of her former friends.

[177] "I have heard a great many things that have been said but it does not change my feelings in any way towards any of them. I know it is God's holy Will that these things should be and I would not feel them the same from the hands of others. I do not think one word has been said that I have not heard yet. I thank our dear Lord for it and love them more who say these things. I have heard that rev. Fr. — has said I said a great many things, but I know there is a mistake somewhere and if it pleased our dear Lord that they should be proved false, then it will be so; if not, I am willing to bear it."

At last, in August, 1886, she succeeded in getting a temporary post at Eccleshall in the diocese of Birmingham.

[178] "It is close to Stone so I can go to the convent there. I am so pleased about that, though I feel it more than I can very well say, leaving all that has been so dear to me, but I am glad of a chance of a little self denial. We do not know how much attachment we have for persons and places until we are obliged to leave them."

But a terrible disappointment awaited her at Eccleshall — the mission was not yet properly established and there was no daily Mass. Whenever possible she went to Stone, where her friendship with Father Wilberforce assured her a cordial welcome. [181] "I am quite at home in Stone but it is a long way for me — 3 miles to Norton Bridge Station and then 4 in the train, but each morning I got a ride down at 6 so our dear Lord has been very good to me." She was not always so fortunate and it seems almost incredible that the frail, suffering, little woman should actually have tried to walk the distance!

[185] "I had to walk five miles to holy Mass though I got a ride home again. I am very done up." But our Lord had not deserted her, for even when depriving her of Mass, He seems always to have come to her Himself.

[184] "I don't know what I am to do about holy Mass on weekdays. I miss it very much, though our dear Lord has been so good to me I have never yet missed Holy Communion. May His holy Name be blessed for ever and ever."

At the end of September, the school at Eccleshall was temporarily closed and Teresa returned to Neston, but a month later she took a post at Osbaldistone near Blackburn. Here once more she was disappointed in the matter of daily Mass, though she was nearer the church and was able to visit the Blessed Sacrament.

[197] "We don't have the holy Sacrifice every morning here, four times this week and three times last. However, I must try and be very resigned. I do really want to wish only that which our dear good God sends me. I can get into the church now, morning, dinner time and night, as I asked and rev. E. Tunstall said the church should be left open, so I am far better off than when I was at Eccleshall. I feel it a long way to church and school from here; it is a good mile I think."

She had one great joy in being able to spread the Devotion.

[197] "They are such good pious people with whom I live and say some of the prayers from the little book each night after prayers. I do ask our dear Lord every morning and often during the day to grant you all that is for your good and His glory. Our dear Lord does seem slow in convincing his Lordship (about the Devotion), but His ways are best and we must wait even as Mary did. I often think she must have felt it so hard to have the divinity of her divine Jesus hidden so long and wondered how it was the whole creation did not fall in adoration at His sacred feet. He knows how willingly I would suffer or do anything in my power to further the desire of His Sacred Heart."

As Lent drew near a terrible dread overcame her:

[206] "Just a line to remind you to say a special prayer for me this week. I am suffering such a fearful agony of dread and fear that I don't know how I exist."

Meanwhile, her friends were growing anxious about her. Miss Catterall and Miss Ellen Nicholson had taken charge of St. Peter's school at Newchurch and their one wish was to have Teresa with them. Knowing she would do nothing without Father Snow's consent, they applied to him for permission to invite her there, and to their great delight he agreed to the proposal. She arrived on the 24th of March and, as was always the case towards the end of Lent, she was in a very suffering state.

"She has been in bed all day today", writes Miss Catterall to Father Snow, "and can scarcely articulate a word. Her throat seems to be in a fearful condition and I cannot persuade her to gargle it. She has not done it once since she came. She has been bad more or less every day, I think. She is worse this year than she has ever been before." Teresa herself afterwards referred to this as the "very hardest Lent I have yet known."

She remained at Newchurch for about four months. It seems as though our Lord had brought her to this sheltered spot, far from the tumult of the world, and surrounded her with tender loving friends, in order to perfect his Spouse for the final ceremony of her mystic union with Him which was now so shortly to be accomplished. As at Wigan, He had sent Miss Ryland to be with her in her hour of need, so now Miss Catterall and Miss Nicholson lavished every care upon her, and she here came in touch with two new and lasting friends, Father Musseley and his housekeeper, Margaret Murphy. Father Musseley was the priest of the mission at Rawtonstall to which the school at Newchurch (some 3 miles distant) was attached. He was a practical minded Belgian and a very holy priest. From the first he was much impressed by Teresa, struck chiefly by her wonderful eyes which seemed to see so far. He questioned Miss Catterall about her, saying he felt sure she was holy in some special way. Miss Catterall, faithful to her obedience would tell him nothing but referred him to Father Snow. However, he soon had opportunity of learning more for himself and he quickly came to regard her as a saint. Margaret, his housekeeper, had been a factory girl. She was a simple soul who possessed the golden gift of silence, and it is doubtless for this reason that she became one of Teresa's greatest friends. She loved to go over to Newchurch and used to sit for hours with her while the teachers were busy in the school. One day she said that though she knocked loudly at the door she could get no answer. She knew Teresa must be in and next time she saw her she asked why she had not been admitted. "Oh", said Teresa simply, "my guardian angel never told me you were there! He must have been busy getting the tea!" It was her custom to have the tea ready for her friends when they returned from school.

Another day when Miss Catterall came in, Teresa told her she had had a visit from a lady with a most beautiful child, and the whole evening she could speak of nothing but the beauty of this little child. Miss Catterall was puzzled as she knew of no such person in the neighbourhood. A few days later Teresa told her the lady had been again and this time she had been allowed to take the child in her arms. Then Miss Catterall understood that it must have been Our Lady, especially when Margaret said that Teresa had told her Our Lady had been to visit her and showed her the chair on which she sat.

It seems that during these four months, Teresa's life, thus hidden from the rude gaze of men, was one of almost continual miracle. As in Wigan, in the days preceding her mystical Espousals, she was in such constant ecstasy that her friends came scarcely even to notice it. Miss Catterall was in close communication with Father Snow and a few extracts from her letters will give a more vivid picture than any mere description of their daily life. On May 18, 1887, she wrote:

"I scarcely know what to make of her, she seems to be popping off either one way or another. On Monday evening she seemed very weak (a little before six) and said she did so wish to receive Holy Communion. In a few minutes she popped off; about five minutes after, I saw her open her mouth and I distinctly saw the Sacred Host alight on her tongue. She seemed all anxious to get it and at once closed her mouth. Then she seemed as though she was dead except that she seemed to have a most beautiful smile upon her face. On Tuesday at dinner time she popped off and you would almost have thought she was doing arithmetic, she would first put up one finger, then three fingers, then one again. I guessed she would be teaching someone about the mystery of the Blessed Trinity.

A week later she wrote again:

"Since I wrote to you I have three times seen her receive the sacred Host. On last Friday evening, Father Musseley's housekeeper came to see Teresa. While she was here, she (Teresa) got ill, as it were, and both Margaret and myself saw distinctly the sacred Host alight on her tongue, but neither of us could see where it came from. I look upon Margaret as a very good person and she has become extremely fond of Teresa. She knew of course when she saw that Teresa was receiving Holy Communion."

Another letter gives a further account of Teresa's state at this time:

"We were out almost all day and Miss Higginson was left all alone. She had told me during the week that she was going to be ill and I think she was not sorry to be left alone. Father Musseley brought her Holy Communion in the morning and she told me it was about four o'clock in the afternoon when she got all right. After we returned in the evening, she seemed all right for about half an hour and then she popped off. I must admit I have been greatly afraid twice, on Wednesday evening and last evening I was really afraid of her dying, she seems to suffer so acutely with her heart, it is most pitiable to see her, I never saw any human being suffer in such a manner. She is three times worse than she has ever been. She swells so very much and seems nearly choking. Last night I quite expected seeing her heart leap out of its place. Can you account for it being so bad? I don't know whether I am right or not but I think that her great love for our blessed Lord causes her heart to expand. No one has said it to me. It is only what I myself think. You can have no idea how bad she gets, I wish you could see her. I am sorry you could not come. I have several times seen her receive Holy Communion. On Thursday, I saw her receive the sacred Host twice within two hours. I forgot to tell you that last night when she was bad after receiving Holy Communion, she was speaking to someone (I am certain it was our b. Lord), pleading most earnestly for some persons but principally for some priests.1 I don't know who they are, but it was most touching to see and hear her with tears streaming down her face and her heart beating so very hard. She was begging of Him to spare them and to strike her instead. I really could not help crying myself. It is fearful to see her and to feel the presence of God. I never used to have such feelings as I have now she gets bad. I am not afraid of her in any way, for I stay by her side all the time waiting to see if I can do anything for her. Do you think there is any fear of her dying? I have heard her exclaim several times: 'Let it break!' and it seems to me that her heart is really going to break.

"Do you think there is any fear of her dying? I do get so frightened sometimes, though I love to be near her to do anything for her, and I assure you I don't lose any opportunities of being by her side. I pity those poor priests whoever they may be. She has to plead so very hard for them. Last night she was pleading for someone who was dying, because she said to me when she got a little better, 'the Devil said he would have that soul in spite of the prayers of Our Lady and the Precious Blood of Jesus, but he is conquered again.' I cannot tell you how grateful I am that she is with me, she certainly is not the slightest bit able to go about and teach, she is always popping off many times in a day. Do you know, I have seen her receive Holy Communion thirteen times; I have plainly seen the sacred Host."

It might well be thought that with all these strange occurrences Teresa could hardly have been an altogether welcome guest, and there is no greater proof of her strong and winning personality than the unfailing desire of her friends to have her with them. Despite her trials and sufferings, she was so far from being self-absorbed or gloomy, and they one and all declare that they never felt such happiness as in her presence. They describe her as bright and cheerful, "so merry", full of fun, telling little stories and entering into all the details of their daily life. She certainly was no spoil-sport and, though she took no food herself, she loved to prepare their meals, cooking most dainty dishes with careful attention to their special tastes. She seldom left the house and was never seen to open book or paper, and yet she was always ready to enter into conversation on any topic of the day, though where she got her knowledge remained a constant source of astonishment.

While such were the impressions of her friends, what was the secret history of her soul? Father Snow was anxiously awaiting tidings of the great event which, from his close study of mysticism, he was sure must be near at hand, but Teresa herself had no such suspicion and merely thought she was being prepared for further suffering in union with her beloved Spouse. Father Snow points out that one of the purifications preparatory to the mystical Marriage is the mortification of spiritual desires, and this was still Teresa's greatest trial. She had not strength to walk the three and a half miles to the church at Rawtonstall and, though our Lord so often gave Himself to her, she could seldom get to Mass. Her friends would occasionally club together and hire a cab, but, for the first time in her life she sometimes failed to get even to Sunday Mass, and the thought that she was disobeying one of the Commandments of the Church was more than she could bear. The following beautiful letter clearly shows her state of mind:

"Newchurch, June 3 87

[212] "How can I attempt to speak of the love and condescension of our dear blessed Lord towards this poor worm of the earth, for you know what I am, and yet, in spite of all my misery and wretchedness, when I get very weak and these great desires come upon me, so much so that I feel I must really die if He does not come to me, He has satisfied the craving desire of my poor heart and soul and has given Himself to me several times in a day, and it has pleased our dear b. Lord to allow others to see me receive Him. May His Holy Name be forever blessed and His Holy Will done in all things. It is well said that love has no laws, and surely it is so when we think of the love of Jesus for His poor little ones. Oh my Father, these things seem quite incredible, yet it really is so. It seems as though He forgets Himself and thinks only of the littleness and weakness of His poor child. Oh was ever love like unto His love, the love of His sacred Heart.

"It has pleased our dear Lord that I should suffer a little more for Him this week and I was not able to get to Holy Mass last Sunday, (Whitsunday.) I do really wish to be resigned, yet I cannot tell you what a longing I have to get to Mass. Then there is that same feeling I always have about people knowing things about me and I seem unable to overcome it, for when I heard that dear Minnie and Nellie had seen, I felt for sometime as though I could never look at them again, yet I thanked our dear b. Lord for it.

"Rev. J. C. Musseley brings me Holy Communion and hears my confession every week. Is it not kind of him to come on purpose so far? I know you will ask our dear Lord to bless him for his kindness to me.

"Did you get the book you were expecting? and if so, did I make it clear enough about the way in which our dear Lord now deals with my poor soul? In the way I think I wrote about, it would seem as though God was in the very centre of the soul and the flames, if I may so speak, rose very high and those of the higher part of the soul particularly so, and God was in the soul as we might drop wine on sponge cake and it would be saturated with it. Yet in the one I would explain the soul is in God and learns things in a more perfect manner by looking as it were in the mind of God (as we might look at a thing in a bright glass) and the soul is more refined in feeling, her enjoyment is very great or her suffering excessive according as God may wish to teach her. All is peace and a great calm is always in the soul and this enables her to understand and see things very clearly, and she knows that all the things of this earth are only like so many bubbles that must sooner or later burst, and she understands what value and how to use those things of earth. And to me, because I am so impatient and covetous, I feel that I really cannot bear to stay here, and it seems as though my poor soul really left the poor body and would fly to Him with impatient desire, and if He did not increase the suffering in my soul, I do not think I could remain, and what a suffering there is continually in the soul on this account. It feels that as yet it cannot go, and yet on the other hand it knows that it could not suffer the same for Him in dying, so the poor heart is breaking because it cannot break. And then I feel as though I should have asked you to allow it to break, for that pain seems more than I can at times bear, yet it is so sweet in all that I cannot live without it, and yet I feel as I am dying through it at other times. And there is a knowledge of that which God teaches her so perfect that to see is to feel and be saturated with whatever it shall please our divine Lord to instruct her, and yet there is ever a longing desire that cannot be satisfied and will not be, until the soul possesses Him, never to be separated from Him.

"This may all seem contradictory one to another, yet this is the way it appears to me and I have asked the Holy Spirit of God to help me to make it clear to you. I could say a great deal more but I think you will now understand, and if it has pleased our dear Lord to let you be the same, I think you will understand very clearly, and now, while I am writing, I feel these desires again rising within me. I say the pain is great and so to me it is expressive, for it would seem as though God did not hear the prayer that went up to Him with each beating of the heart, and there is nothing to look at here and Holy Communion only makes it worse, and so the pang is very great, yet so sweet that it fills the soul with joy at being allowed to suffer it for Him."

On July 18, she wrote to Father Powell.

[214] "The three weeks holiday have been like a retreat to me and our dear b. Lord has given Himself to me so often of late that I feel sure He is preparing my poor soul for greater sorrow and suffering. And the way in which our dear b. Lord is now teaching and allowing me to suffer renders the soul most capable of understanding excess of joy or extremity of suffering, for we realise it in God Himself. May His Holy Name be forever blessed. I wish only His divine Will, though I am such a poor coward, yet suffering has I think become essentially necessary for me, for I do not think I could exist now without it."

Our Lord still impressed her with the urgency of the mission He had confided to her in regard to the Devotion to His Sacred Head:

[218] "He seems to crave of me so earnestly to fulfil His desire and I feel so helpless that it causes me such a pang and at times I feel that I cannot endure it, for He seems to urge me on so tenderly and so piteously He implores, and yet I don't see what we can do."

Towards the end of July, Teresa went on a visit to Elizabeth Dawson, her friend at Clitheroe, and she wrote in tones of joy:

[224] "Since I came to Clitheroe, I feel as if I had all I could desire on this earth. Two Masses every morning and a visit to our dear blessed Lord whenever I like to go in church, and I go in school every day and I can see the tabernacle from my bedroom window. I shall feel as if I were going into Purgatory out of Heaven when I have to return."

It was in a tiny bedroom hardly better than a box-room that Teresa found her heaven and, little as she knew it, Heaven was in very truth about to stoop to earth in a most wonderful manner in this lowly spot. She remained here for three months, her life continuing much the same. Miss Dawson saw her receive Communion on at least one occasion, when she described the sacred Host as seeming to come through the roof. She also testified to having seen Teresa's brow perforated with holes as from thorns.

Miss Catterall was all this time doing her best to get Teresa back to Newchurch, and when Father Musseley offered her a post in his school, urged her to accept it. Teresa, suffering though she was, longed to be again at work, but all the same her heart failed her at the prospect of returning to the spiritual desolation of Newchurch. So strong was this feeling that she wrote to Father Snow:

[227] "Seeing this uncontrollable feeling taking such possession of me that I really begin to think that there may be some wrong in it, or some attachment to my own will or way, I thought I had better let you know, for whenever I consider or speak about returning to Newchurch, such a loathing feeling comes over me that I can hardly endure it, and such a longing to be where I can visit Him in His sacramental presence. These things may seem very small to you or to anyone who is any way advanced in the way of perfection, but to me, poor wretched worm it is great, and it is the first time I think I ever thought twice of a thing after you had told me what you wished and yet I am led to consider these feelings coming from our Lord Himself, for when these great desires and love of Him come upon me that I find myself dying as it were through the desire of seeing Him and being united to Him inseparably; when it seems as though my whole being goes out to Him (as though the soul were tom from the body); when I am getting all right again, I find myself telling Him that I can never rest away from the Sacrament of His love, and I do not wonder at it for when He burns us with this fire, who but He can satisfy?"

And satisfy He did, for she wrote a few days later:

[229] "Our dear b. Lord knows what is best for me and I do thank Him and wish to be as soft wax in His sacred hands. I can only tell Him I am all His and wish Him to do as He wills with me. Though I am in such terrible straits, at times I cannot say anything, only in my heart. And I really do not know how I feel and at other times it would seem as though God poured into me such excesses of divine Love that I feel dying as it were with very love... Our dear Lord continues to give Himself to me several times a day, and oh how He teaches me by His love what He is and what I am, and such extremities come upon me that I know not how I exist. May He be praised for ever and ever."

Both Father Powell and Father Snow were at first in favour of her accepting Father Musseley's offer and she wrote to Father Powell:

[280] "Since Father Snow wrote and told me about your decision, I have not I think commented upon it, though none but our dear b. Lord can tell what it will be for me to go, for besides missing visits and morning Mass, it will cost 5s. for Sundays, then there are the holidays of obligation, and if I should run short, then I put myself m the way of breaking the commandments of the Church. I do not in any way wish to run away from the cross or seek to get my own way, though I should never take a school knowingly where I could not get holy Mass and I do not like to put myself in the way of forcing our dear b. Lord to work miracles of love for such a vile wretch as I am. Though I know in obedience I cannot err, and I have every confidence in my directors, yet I feel I should do wrong not to speak when I think you do not understand things, and I have missed Sunday Mass there so often that I could never like Newchurch."

(Father Snow writes: "With regard to this letter, the reader should bear in mind that Teresa was at this time suffering from the purifications preparatory for receiving the Mystical Marriage, and part of these sufferings is the mortification in spiritual desires and things. St. Peter of Alcantara taught St. Teresa this truth.")

But after all the sacrifice was not required of her. On September 20th, she wrote again to Father Powell:

[232] "I daresay rev. A. Snow will have written to tell you that I am not going to Newchurch for which I am most grateful... I think it is very good of our dear b. Lord to have allowed things to turn out so favourably for me, for it would have been like penal servitude for me and though I made the sacrifice I still hoped it would be Abraham's sacrifice, and so it has proved Deo Gratias."

Great as was her relief at this reprieve, her soul was still held in the purifying flames and she sent another urgent call for help to Father Snow:

Sept. 1887.

[234] "I never have before experienced such terrible sufferings as I underwent last night. Oh my Father do pray for me, for I feel I really could not go through the same again. May His Holy Name be forever blessed. One five minutes of such agony I am sure far outweighs all united pains and sufferings of my life, and such an awful fear and dread I have of its recurrence that I wonder how I live. I feel that you understand something about it, but no one could I am sure frame words to express the overwhelming sorrows and extremities of the soul. Oh do ask our dear sorrowful Mother to protect and intercede for me her poor miserable child. It is post-time so I cannot say more tonight but I do wish I was nearer to you. I cannot say a word to rev. J.H. and I am in such a plight. I suppose I may give the satisfactions of Sunday to rev. Powell as it is his birthday.

"Thanking you again and again for all your care and kindness and begging your prayers and blessing I remain dear rev. Father

"Your obedient and devoted child in the S. Head and loving Heart

"TERESA HIGGINSON,            
"Enfant de Marie."

"Oh do pray for me."


1. Father Snow told Miss Catterall he believed the priests for whom Teresa was pleading in this touching way were some of those who had most violently opposed her.