Emilie


Emilie shared an embryonic sac with Marie. They were a mirror set of twins. Emilie was left-handed, and her hair whorl ran clockwise. All the others were right-handed with counterclockwise whorls. Emilie and Marie were very close to each other, and tended to play together when they were little. Sometimes the three oldest quintuplets (Yvonne, Annette and Cecile) would ostracize the other two (Emilie and Marie), insisting on playing apart from them, as older girls will often ostracize their younger sisters and friends.

Emilie’s favorite color was pink. She would usually be dressed in that color. The nurses made the observation that Emilie was least prone to emotion. She had a pixie temperament, and was the most pious of the five. Emilie was also known to be the most mischievous, and loved to give the others good laughs.

In the early 1954, Emilie decided to take the veil and enrolled as a postulant at a convent in Ste Agathe, north of Montreal. That same year, in August 1954, Emilie died alone in her bed at the convent. She suffocated to death during an epileptic seizure. The world was shocked. No hint of her condition had ever crept into the newspapers. The affliction had not become apparent until she was twelve – three years after she moved into her family home. The Dionnes, feeling that it was shameful, had kept it a dark secret.