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.

Decree for the Opening of the Cause of the Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God, Sister Francoise-Therese (Marie Leonie Martin) - full text in English - July 4, 2015

Jean-Claude Boulanger

By the grace of God and of the Apostolic See

Bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux


Having read the Supplex Libellus submitted on January 15, 2015 by the Reverend Father Antonio of the Mother of God (Antonio Sangalli), a Discalced Carmelite friar who is legitimately named Postulator, and by Mother Marie-Christine Cottard, Superior of the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen and “Acteur” of the Cause, in which they asked us to introduce the Cause of beatification and canonization of the Servant of God, Sister Françoise-Thérèse, born Marie-Léonie Martin (Alençon 1863-Caen 1941), professed nun of the Order of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who, in following Christ, poor, chaste, and obedient, with humility and the evangelical spirit of authentic charity, did not through fear, bury the one talent he had received in a hole in the ground, but instead she was able to make this small inheritance fruitful (cf. Mt. 25, 24-27.  “I am happy to be only a poor little nothingness and that Jesus is my only treasure.” (Father Piat, Léonie, a sister of Saint Thérèse at the Visitation, Office Central de Lisieux, 1966, p. 198).

It is with confidence that I grant this request, and make the necessary and appropriate investigations, convinced of its solid foundation and of the absence of obstacles to the cause and after my brothers in the episcopate of the Ecclesiastical Province of Normandy, assembled in session on January 22, 2015, issued a positive opinion about its desirability, and after having requested the Nihil obstat from the Holy See, today, according to the Normae servandae n. 11/b, and the instruction Sanctorum Mater art. 43 §3, I have the joy of announcing to the priests, to the religious, and to the laity of our diocesan community, by this


that we have the intention of setting up an ecclesiastical tribunal for the opening of the


Taking into account the serious responsibilities which this decision entails,


formally all those who are aware of some obstacle, which perhaps conflicts with the reputation for sanctity of the Servant of God, to give their opinions to me or to the Postulator.

Anyone who has documents or objects relating to the Servant of God Sister Françoise-Thérèse (letters, unpublished material, notes, photos, objects) is invited to send them to the Postulation (Monastère de la Visitation – 3 rue de l’Abbatiale – 14000 Caen –
Tel. – -
, which will make certified and conformed copies.

The present decree shall be read at the end of the celebration of each Holy Mass on Sunday, June 28, 2015 and shall remain affixed to the notice board of our episcopal Curia of Bayeux and Lisieux and of all the parishes, the churches, the monasteries, the convents, and the institutes of consecrated life in the diocese.  It shall also be published in the diocesan journal Église de Bayeux et Lisieux, the Internet site of the diocese (, the local journals, and the daily issues of La Croix. 

We have ordered our chancellor secretary to inform the Postulator of the Cause, the Reverend Father Antonio of the Mother of God (Antonio Sangalli), of our decision and also to announce that


ON JULY 2, 2015 AT 9:30 A.M.

Permission is granted to reproduce this decree in its entirety.
Please include the language: "English translation by Maureen O'Riordan for"

We thank the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen for furnishing the Decree.