Clarification of the Status of the Cause of the Servant of God, Leonie Martin

The Servant of God, Leonie Martin, Sister Francoise-Therese of the Visitation at Caen, in 1940, aged 78.

The Servant of God, Leonie Martin, Sister Francoise-Therese of the Visitation at Caen, in 1940, aged 78.

The first reports in the French press stated that Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger of the diocese of Bayeux and Lisieux was to announce on Saturday, January 24 the opening of the diocesan process for Leonie Martin, the sister of St. Therese.  In fact, he announced that he had requested authorization from the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to open the cause.  On January 25, Ouest-France reported in the story "Leonie Martin; En route vers la beatification" that Bishop Boulanger

celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Monastery of the Visitation, on Rue L‘Abbatiale in Caen. He announced that he had responded to the wishes of the people and the religious community where Leonie Martin (Sister Françoise-Thérèse was her religious name) lived from 1899 to 1941. “Bishop Boulanger has already received notice of the Episcopal Conference of Normandy. He will now send a letter to the Congregation of Saints in the Vatican,” said Carmelite Father Antonio Sangalli, postulator of the cause of beatification of Léonie Martin.

When Bishop Boulanger has received the response of the Holy See, he will establish a diocesan tribunal to “conduct a proper investigation and look for any obstacles to the beatification.” In this context, the body of Sister Françoise-hérèse will be exhumed from its place in the crypt of the monastery. Her remains will be exposed in a reliquary which will find a place in the chapel of the monastery.

Ouest-France story by Pascal Simon

When I asked Father Sangalli for a his thoughts about this announcement, he replied:  

Saturday, January 24, the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, Founder of the Order of the Visitation, was a good day for all those who are discouraged, who can now find in Léonie a shining example of someone who has overcome the difficulties of her personality, who started humbly in the path of the Little Way traced by the little Therese. Leonie, or the holiness of the last place! Leonie, or the sanctity of the unique talent that is not hidden!

As we wait for the Vatican's decision, let's focus on walking in Therese's way with Leonie.