Joyful news: Leonie's tomb in the crypt of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen reopened to visitors

Left: Carmelite friar fr. antonio sangalli, postulator of Leonie's cause, in the crypt on the day it was reopened.  From far right, Fr. Olivier Ruffray, rector of the shrine at lisieux; mgr jean-claude boulanger, bishop of bayeux and lisieux; father Jean-Marie simar, rector of the shrine of sts. louis and zelie at al4encon, with members of the historical commission.  photo credit: visitation of caen.

Left: Carmelite friar fr. antonio sangalli, postulator of Leonie's cause, in the crypt on the day it was reopened.  From far right, Fr. Olivier Ruffray, rector of the shrine at lisieux; mgr jean-claude boulanger, bishop of bayeux and lisieux; father Jean-Marie simar, rector of the shrine of sts. louis and zelie at al4encon, with members of the historical commission. 
photo credit: visitation of caen.

"On April 25, 2015, the body of the Servant of God, Léonie Martin, was exhumed as part of the cause for her beatification.  Many people call the monastery or come to the reception desk to ask to pray near the Servant of God, but access to the crypt where Léonie’s tomb is has been closed to the faithful since that date. 

On July 18, 2016, in the presence of Mgr Boulanger, bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux; of Father Sangalli, the postulator of the cause; of the members of the historical commission [that has been appointed to inquire into Léonie’s life, writings, and virtues]; and of the Visitation Sisters, Léonie’s body, clothed in the Visitation habit, was deposited in her glass shrine.

A sarcophagus has been erected in the chapel of the Visitation to receive the shrine of Léonie when the restoration and cleaning of the chapel, begun in February 2016, is completed.

Meanwhile, it is again possible for the faithful to enter the crypt, but only under certain conditions:

1.      First, please present yourself at the reception desk during the hours indicated. 

2.      Second, while you are in the crypt, please display all the respect one should show when one prays near the body of someone who has died. 

3.      Third, accept that Léonie’s body is not visible. 

4.      Finally, all photographs are forbidden.

These conditions are necessary for the pursuit of the cause for Léonie’s beatification.  Thank you for your understanding."

This article is translated with thanks from the Web site maintained for Léonie by the Visitation nuns of Caen.  See their post "Réouverture de la crypte."  We thank them also for permission to use their photos above. 

Important notes from the translator:

The hours presently posted for visiting the crypt (as of August 27, 2016) are:

From Monday through Thursday:
9:10 a.m. until 10:50 a.m. (Mass is at 11:00 a.m.)
2:15 p.m. until 5:15 p.m.

Friday:
9:10 a.m. unjtil 10:50 a.m. (Mass is at 11:00 a.m.)
3:30 p.m. until 5:15 p.m.

Saturday:
9:10 a.m. until 10:50 a.m. (Mass at 11:00 a.m.)
2:30 p.m. until 5:15 p.m.

Sunday:

9:00 a.m. until 9:50 a.m. (Mass at 10:00 a.m.)
After Mass: until 12 noon
2:30 p.m. until 5:15 p.m.

These hours are subject to change without notice at any time.  Before going to Caen, please see the hours for the crypt posted on the site of the Visitation at Caen.

Note: I understand that the glass shrine which contains Léonie’s body is in the crypt, but her body is not visible.  The body of a person under consideration for sainthood may not be exposed for veneration until the candidate has been beatified.  To allow people to pray near Léonie’s body in the crypt again, but to prevent her body from being seen by the faithful who come to pray, the shrine has been covered with a red cloth.