For the first time in history, in this lovely video, follow the Visitation nuns through a day in their monastery at Caen: Mass, private prayer, communal prayer, housework, bookbinding, operating a pension for students, study, recreation, conferences, playing volleyball in the garden . . . Experience not only the building where Leonie Martin lived for so long the way of her sister, St. Therese of Lisieux, but also the simple, joyful spirit of the Visitation community. A beautiful way to celebrate Leonie's birthday. 16 minutes long; silent except for music and sung prayer.
The Web site "Leonie Martin, Soeur Francoise-Therese," sponsored by the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen, has been opened just in time for the 75th anniversary (June 17, 2016) of Leonie's death. Visit it at http://www.leonie-martin.fr/
For the moment, the site is only in French, but I hope it will appear in English soon. Even if you do not read French, you can enjoy much of the site, which contains previously unpublished photos. The site is simple and short, so you can view it all quickly.
- a welcome page,
- Leonie's life as a child and laywoman, with a previously unpublished photo of the chapel of the Visitation at Caen in Leonie's time;
- Leonie's religious life, with three beautiful color photos of her cell. I believe these are the first photos of Leonie's cell ever published.
- a timeline;
- the story of the process for Leonie's beatification;
- a short history of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen
- a short story about the monastery today;
- a few paragraphs about the Visitation Order;
- An appeal for help in restoring the chapel (and you can read the appeal in English and donate in English here)
- news stories (for example, about the restoration and cleaning of the chapel and of some new publications in French about Leonie)
- Directions to the monastery (but note that, while the chapel is being restored, both the chapel and the crypt are closed to the public)
Since July 16, 2013, when "Leonie Martin: Disciple and Sister of St. Therese of Lisieux" opened, until now, I believe it was the only Web site in the world dedicated exclusively to the life and spirituality of Leonie Martin. I am delighted that the Visitation nuns, who have supported this site so generously, now have been able to open their own site, which will be a beacon for the lovers of Leonie everywhere. I congratulate and thank the Visitation nuns of Caen for giving us this beautiful gift for the 75th anniversary of the death of their sister's entering into life. May she bless them.
The Monastery of the Visitation is not a shrine or a pilgrimage office; it's simply a small group of nuns responsible for the old building in which Leonie lived and where people come to visit her tomb. The nuns have no staff and no funding for the work Leonie's cause makes necessary. If the Holy Spirit moves you to do so, please make a gift to the restoration fund in honor of the anniversary. Thank you.
Toward Beatification: The Body of Léonie Martin is Exhumed at Caen, France
Ever since Saturday, April 25, 2015, the crypt where the body of Léonie Martin (1863-1941), sister of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, rested is no longer a place of contemplation and prayer for pilgrims.
Long a true place of worship located within the Monastery of the Visitation, behind the City Hall of Caen, the place is now closed to the faithful. The exhumation of her body is the first clear sign of the launch of the process of the beatification of Léonie Martin, which was announced in January by Bishop Boulanger, Bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux.
Seventy-three years after her death, the body of Léonie Martin has been exhumed to make “an official examination of the mortal remains,” said Father Olivier Ruffray, rector of the Shrine at Lisieux. An historical commission will also begin work to collect all the documents and all the testimony about Léonie Martin’s life. Theologians will then have the task of examining “Léonie’s reputation for holiness.”
Father Antonio Sangalli, vice-postulator for Blessed Louis and Zelie, appointed postulator for Leonie's cause
“It can take a very long time,” said Father Ruffray. A postulator has been appointed to monitor the various stages of the beatification process. This is Father Antonio Sangalli, a priest of Italian origin. He is also the vice-postulator of the cause for canonization of Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin, parents of Léonie and of Thérèse.
- The above story is translated by Mary Davidson with thanks to TendanceOuest, where it appeared 4/29/2015. Please see the original story in French: "Béatification: le corps de Léonie Martin exhumé à Caen."