The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur

The Woman Whose Goodness Changed Her Husband From Atheist to Priest

The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur book cover
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This inspiring book gives you a splendid example of how to live as a Christian in a secular environment that can be indifferent or hostile to your Faith. For Elisabeth Leseur had two great loves: God, and her husband Felix. Felix loved Elisabeth as well; yet to their mutual sorrow, he couldn’t share the life of the Spirit that Elisabeth cherished.

Occasionally the happiness of their life together in upper-class Parisian society was shattered by Felix’s frustration and impatience. How could such an intelligent woman waste her time, as he saw it, with ignorant superstitions? Sometimes he and his friends would even ridicule and mock her faith.

But Elisabeth loved Felix too much to allow their home to degenerate into an emotional war zone. She realized that confrontations and arguments were useless; she chose instead to keep quiet and pray for Felix. In her secret diary, she recorded how she used his efforts to destroy her faith as means to grow in love for him and for God.

Throughout their life together, it grieved Elisabeth to think that Felix might be separated from her for all eternity because of his rejection of God. For her, life in Heaven wouldn’t be happy without him. Yet when she died prematurely, Felix was still an unbeliever.

The story doesn’t end there. When Felix found this diary, he discovered how Elisabeth’s whole life bore witness to the truth of the God she loved.

In time, Felix was transformed by the diary and his memories of Elisabeth. He became a Christian and, later, a priest. Now she may even be declared a saint. Elisabeth’s diary and spiritual writings (all included in this one volume) map out for you a path to marital harmony and greater love for God — especially if you love someone who stands outside the Faith. Let Elisabeth’s two great loves, and her faith and perseverance, inspire you now.

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Robin Maas photo

"No spiritual writer has taught me more than this French housewife about the sanctifying power of the sacrament of marriage, especially those unions that for one reason or another might be labeled difficult. A true spiritual sister of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Elisabeth Leseur discovered and practiced her own Little Way a form of sacrificial love and asceticism uniquely suited to the domestic context."

Robin Maas
John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family
Fr. Joseph Esper photo

"A profound self-portrait of a soul molded and transformed by divine grace. If St. Augustine's Confessions is analogous to the sun bright, powerful, and penetrating then Elisabeth Leseur s Secret Diary is like the moon: soft, friendly, and enchanting in its spiritual beauty."

Fr. Joseph Esper

"Excellent and often moving testimony of how God works through His Church to offer hope, comfort, and, of course, truth."


Our Sunday Visitor

"Excellent and often moving testimony of how God works through His Church to offer hope, comfort, and, of course, truth."


Our Sunday Visitor

"Excellent and often moving testimony of how God works through His Church to offer hope, comfort, and, of course, truth."


Our Sunday Visitor
  • Pages: 336
  • Format(s): Paperback, eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-928832-48-5
  • Product Code: 482
  • Availability: In Stock
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I have a new best friend and I'm reading her diary.
I can not say enough good things about this book. Elizabeth seems like the woman friend that I've never had. She's a real person, with all the faults and foibles that come with that condition, yet she manages to become a truly great example of what it means to live as a Christian. Can't wait to get to heaven (with the help of this book) so I can meet the author in person!
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Elisabeth Leseur: A life rich in Transforming Love
An autobiographical treasure that reveals a life lived so sweet and simply for the goodness and benefit of others that literally changed lives through the sacrifices and sufferings which Elizabeth Leseur offered up. Her practical admonitions are simple but certainly require Grace to be lived out! The prologue by her spouse is as much a treasure to read as her own work. It is a true life story that paints a picture of love lived out to the fullest!
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Excellent for all readers
Wow. What a woman. This book is good not just for married women (or married people), although if you are a woman in an unhappy marriage, this could be extremely helpful for you. This book is good for ALL Christians, married and unmarried, male and female. This woman is clearly a saint, and she shares what is essentially the secret of life for all of us: dying to self for the good of the other. Don't miss this story.
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Hope for believers
The joy and hope that many evidently find in atheism is a puzzle to believers. For such, the In Memoriam written by Elisabeth Leseur's husband is worth the price of this book. He was a militant atheist for most of their 25-year marriage, while she grew in her faith and from love for him kept her prayers for him secret. Both were highly educated; Felix had lost his faith in studying medicine, was later a journalist and an insurance executive. They were childless, due probably to Elisabeth's many health problems. However, she was able to travel and to entertain until stricken with cancer and dying at the age of 53. The Elisabeth Leseurs of the world are usually unsung. But this diary, rescued by her sister from the burnpile, converted her husband Felix not only to Christianity but to the priesthood. It is a true love story.
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Spirituality for a married woman
There are many excellent books written about Catholic Christian spirituality by saints who were priests, monks or religious sisters. "The Secret Diary of Elisabeth Leseur" is unique because it is the spiritual diary writings of a married woman. There are many married women today seeking holiness in their lives as wives and mothers. This is a book for them! They will find profound and useful spiritual direction in the words of Elisabeth Leseur, whose love for God gave her a steadfast, faithful and fruitful love for her husband. I can't recommend this book highly enough to women who are seeking holiness in their vocation of marriage.
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