by Adèle de Batz de Trenquelléon
Translated by Joseph Roy, SM, Edited by Joseph Stefanelli, SM
Vol 1 = 383 pgs; Vol 2 = 544 pgs. $20.00 per set
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Father Joe Stefanelli, SM, says the number of letters from Adèle was “certainly in the thousands. Of them, only 737 have come down to us.” Because her companions in service were scattered over a large geographical area, she developed a system of letter writing. She wrote, “It is not so much the style that should preoccupy us, but rather our own improvement.”
We gain insights into Adèle’s personality, her spirituality, her deep faith, her mission, and her desire to live for God alone. Although her life was short—she died when not quite 39—Adèle worked diligently to spread the faith to all around her. The primary work of the Daughters of Mary continued to be the development and guidance of young women of the Sodality and the Association. During her life as a religious, she founded convents at Tonneins, Condom, Agen, Arbois, and Bordeaux.
***Interested in a little bit of commentary on one of Adele's letters as a "window in" to her inner life and her role as a religious leader? Check out this episode of our podcast series, Sharing Our Marianist Stories, where we talk about one of Adele's letters in great detail, both the humor, the grief, and the daily ups-and-downs of community life! Click here to listen on our website.
Letter 320 (vol. 2, p. 18)
[This is a letter to Mélanie Figarol, who was in the process of organizing a sodality at Tarbes. Adèle’s norm was the Sodality at Agen. She was sharing in its progress and was very satisfied with it. Each of her letters begins with an acte, a phrase to be repeated during that week.]
May 29, 1817
Come, Holy Spirit,
Kindle the fire of your love in my heart!
I have been wanting to write to you, my very dear sister, to let you know the affection I bear you in my heart, to ask you for news of your activities, and to find out whether you had any hope of displaying the banners of our Lady in your town.
I have no doubt, my dear friend, that the Lord has chosen you as his instrument of mercy for many young women. Respond to your vocation and to your destiny. Try to assemble these young hearts under the sacred banner of the Queen of Virgins so as to put their innocence and yours under the protection of her name. Revive your courage and be not disheartened by difficulties; these are ever present when there is good to be done. But the Lord will make your path smooth by the power of his grace. In return, you must be very faithful to him. Try to put to good use all the graces he has given you, and this very cooperation will draw down even more grace.
Come, my child, let us combine our efforts to snatch victims from the devil, to give fresh hearts to Jesus and to Mary. Then, when we present ourselves before the sovereign Judge, we may be accompanied by the souls of those whom we have helped to save.
Farewell, my very dear sister; you have the assurance of my tender affection.
Sister Marie de Trenquelléon
P.S. My regards to your aunt, and warm greetings to your sisters. Try to make some recruits from among them.
Summary Biography of Adèle
Appendix One: Personal Rule of Life
Appendix Two: Rule of the Association
Appendix Three: The Actes
Appendix Four: Concordance of Letters
Appendix Five: Summary Table of Letters (1-304)
Appendix Six: List of Religious and Secular Names
Index to Persons
List of Illustrations
Summary of Biography of Adèle
Appendix One: Concordance of the Letters
Appendix Two: Summary Table of the Letters (305-737)
Appendix Three: Summary List of Religious and Secular Names
Index to Persons