Video of the Mass to celebrate the transfer of Leonie Martin's body to her new tomb in the chapel of the Visitation at Caen, January 21, 2017

This short film (3:05) begins with the processional for this historic celebration of the Eucharist, over which Mgr Jean-Claude Boulanger, bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux, presided.  The present-day nuns of the Monastery of the Visitation, where Leonie lived from 1899-1941, are in the front seats on the left.  The priests in the processional include, among others,

·         Father Jean-Marie Simar, rector of the Shrine of Saints Louis and Zelie Martin at Alencon;

·         Father Olivier Ruffray, rector of the Shrine of St. Therese at Lisieux; 

·         Father Raymond Zambelli, former rector of the Shrine of St. Therese at Lisieux; and,

·         walking immediately in front of the bishop, at left, Father Antonio Sangalli, the postulator of Leonie's cause.  

Our congratulations to all those who have led the cause and to Leonie's Visitation sisters, whom we thank for the privilege of sharing this film.  If you read French, please visit their site, Leonie Martin, Soeur Francoise-Therese.

We give thanks to God for this blessed occasion and pray that the chapel of the Visitation, where pilgrims may now pray at Leonie's tomb, may become a center of grace for the whole world.  

The body of the Servant of God, Leonie Martin, is deposited in her new tomb in the chapel of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen, January 21, 2017

TThe Sisters of the Monastery of the Visitation of Caen have the joy of inviting you to the Eucharist at which Monseigneur Boulanger, bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux, will preside on the occasion of the deposit ot the tomb of the Servant of God, Sister Françoise-Thérèse, Léonie Martin, in her new tomb

Saturday, January 21, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

In the chapel of the Monastery

3, rue de l’abbatiale

14000 CAEN

You are also invited, in honor of this feast, to a spiritual concert that will be given by the ensemble Le Diapason under the direction of Jean-François Chenel

Monday, January 23, 2017 at 8:30 p.m.

In the chapel of the monastery

(admission free)

On January 20, 2017, Pascal Simon reported in Ouest-France that Leonie Martin, the sister of Saint Therese of Lisieux, may be the next native of Normandy to be proclaimed a saint by the Catholic Church.  

Transfer of Leonie's body to the chapel

Leonie's process of beatification opened in 2015.  It reaches a new stage on Saturday, January 21, 2017 at the monastery of the Visitation in Caen, where Leonie lived as Sister Francoise-Therese from 1899 until her death. Her body, which has lain in a tomb in the crypt of the monastery since she died in 1941, will be transferred to a new tomb in the chapel where she professed her vows in 1900.  Her new shrine was designed by architect Hervé Declomesnil. 

Mass to mark the occasion

Monseigneur Jean-Claude Boulanger, the bishop of the diocese of Bayeux and Lisieux, will preside at a Mass to mark the occasion at 3:00 p.m.  He will be assisted by Father Antonio Sangalli, an Italian Carmelite priest who is the postulator of Leonie's cause.  Father Sangalli served as vice-postulator for the cause of Leonie's parents, Saints Louis and Zelie Martin.  

Progress of Leonie's cause

Father Sangalli told Ouest-France that the diocesan inquiry into whether Leonie practiced "heroic virtue" is still going on.  In an interview with TendanceOuest, Father Sangalli said that Leonie's life was full of the spirit of the gospel, of the beatitudes, and that her sanctity was the "heroicity of the everyday."  He hopes that this first stage will be completed before the end of "Leonie's year," which opened on the 75th anniversary of her death (June 16, 2016).  

Possible miracles identified

The file will then be sent to the Vatican, which might proclaim Leonie "Venerable" (a title given to candidates for sainthood who are deemed by the Church to have practiced heroic virtue).  If that were to happen, the next step toward Leonie's beatification would be to identify a miracle attributed to Leonie's intercession, that is, a healing that cannot be explained by science.  Father Sangalli said that three possible cases of unexplained cures have been identified: a little boy in Brazil, a little girl in Switzerland, and a little girl in France.  

We congratulate Monseigneur Boulanger, Father Sangalli, and the nuns of the Visitation on this happy occasion.  How they have labored and prayed to make the holiness of Leonie's life known so that it may inspire us!  Let's continue to support Leonie's cause with our prayers.  

For details in French, see "Leonie Martin, future sainte?  Nouvelle etape a Caen" by Pascal Simon for Ouest-France, January 20, 2017 and "A Caen: les Les travaux avancent pour la beatification de Leonie Martin," by Marc Eynaud for Tendance-Ouest.

"Leonie's sanctity was unique to her" - an interview with Father Antonio Sangalli, the Postulator of her cause, July 2, 2015

"She knew how to welcome what she was.  She was poorer in human qualities than her sisters (less intelligent, less beautiful, etc.).  She accepted all her limitations with faith and surrender to the will of God. Léonie remained simple and humble, happy with what she was. . . .  Her example means that, with what each of us has received from nature and from our parents, a way of holiness is possible for us. . . .  Sanctity consists in loving and accepting the will of God.  This is what Léonie lived.  She loved her inadequacies.  . . . She surmounted all her difficulties by faith."

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