1823 Sister Césarée

Therese (Césarée) and her letter

Sister Césarée was born Thérèse Stuter (Studer) on 23 March, 1823 in Oberbruck, Alsace, France to Sebastian Studer and Anna Marie Fritz. Thérèse was the sixth child born to Sebastian and Anna Marie. She was eight years younger than her brother, Aimé (Amandus) Studer.

Sister Césarée, was a Fransican Nursing Nun who belonged to the order of Saint Sauveur in Overbronn, Alsace, France. Thérèse entered the convent on December 8, 1853 and made her perpetual vows on June 30, 1867 and took the new name, Sister Césarée. She died May 12, 1893 in Saint Amarin, Alsace, Haut Rhin, France.

Therese/CesareeBelow is a translation of the letter Césarée wrote to Amandus. The letter is  dated December 10, 1890 and post marked Saint Amarin, Alsace, Haut-Rhin, France.

Dear brother and sister-in-law: 
Since we again approach the end of the old year and soon start the new year, I present to you, my most precious on earth, my best heartfelt wishes. Again a year disappeared in the ocean of eternity and only the strongest impressions, happy ones and unhappy ones, remain in our memory. Dear brother and sister-in-law, I wish you a very happy new year, I wish you in this the new year health, contentment, patience in suffering and if the Lord God decides to call us up, which easily could happen, peace in heaven. However I will pray to God that he still will grant you many years. The same I wish your children although most of them did not write to me yet nor gave me any sign of their friendship. I remember you daily in my prayers and ask the dear mother of God (Mary) to protect you. I also pray that your whole family will be blessed and don't forget to raise your children in Christ's Catholic religion and make sure they learn how to pray. I myself am healthy again and am able to work again. God be praised. Oh how happy one is if one can even in old age fulfill ones responsibilities. About our family I cannot tell you much. As far as I know they are all healthy, I only know that August who lives in Bordeaux was sick and of Caroline his sister I have not heard in a long time. 

I am curious to know whether you have recovered from the influenza, which occurred in some orders but nobody died of it. Your wife is O.K. too I hope. We here in the Elsass did not have a bad year. The fruits grew well as did the wine. One is content since the prices did not go up. Yet there are daily things brought about by want and laziness. You probably know the town or village of Oderen or Marrahilf. there lived a poor family, the husband Arnold 30 years old, his wife 28 years old with five children, the oldest 9 and the youngest one year old. The father had to go to the army for a couple of weeks, came back and worked for four days a week, in a factory. The mother took from somebody five small pieces of wood (firewood) which were worth a small amount of money. The people reported her to the police and she got consequently a penalty of four weeks in prison. Also they owed three months rent to a Jew who auctioned off their furniture to recover the money. Consequently the mother did not know what to do and went out of her mind. On the 15 November in the morning after the husband left for work the mother took her children, one after the other to a room and cut their throats with a razor knife and finally did the same to herself. The woman was pregnant too and therefor committed sevenfold murder. What made this woman do this awful deed? Distress and misery certainly were contributing factors but lack of faith in Christ also were involved because for years she neglected her duties towards religion and became dependent on alcohol which let her fall into the abyss of eternal damnation. She could have asked for help and one would have helped. But lack of faith and the wretched alcohol were instrumental in her undoing. 

I hope to hear soon of you and your children. Tell them if I would not be so old I would come personally to wish them a happy New Year. One hears often that people travel from Elsass to America just as one travelled in earlier times to Paris. 

I will now end my letter. I hope you remain healthy and well and don't forget to remember me in your prayers. (And should I die before you remember my poor soul because I have almost nobody but you left in this world). At the time it is very cold here, during the last 14 days much snow has fallen. Otherwise the fall was very nice weather wise. I don't know what more to write, I greet you all through the holy heart of Jesus and Mary and remain your loyal sister unto death.      (signed) Soeur Césarée