Leonie (Sr. Françoise-Thérèse)

sister of saint Therese of Lisieux

Significant dates in her life

  • June 3, 1863
    • Léonie is born at Alençon. She is the third daughter in the Martin family.
  • May 23, 1875
    • First Communion at the Church of Notre Dame, Alençon.
  • Jun 18, 1877
    • She accompanies her sick mother to Lourdes along with Marie and Pauline.
  • Oct 3, 1881
    • At the age of 18, she finishes her studies at the Benedictine School at Lisieux where she was a boarder.
  • May 13, 1883
    • Thérèse is miraculously cured by the Virgin Mary in Léonie’s presence.
  • Jun 14, 1884
    • She acts as sponsor for Thérèse at the latter’s Confirmation.
  • Oct 7, 1886
    • While Mr. Martin is still residing at Alençon with his four daughters, she makes a first attempt at religious life by entering the Poor Clares. She stays only two months.
  • Jul 16, 1887
    • She enters the Visitation Convent at Caen at the age of 24.
  • Jan 6, 1888
    • Léonie leaves the Visitation Convent at Caen having stayed for 6 months.
  • Jan 10, 1889
    • She attends Thérèse’s first profession along with her father and sisters Céline.
  • Feb 12, 1889
    • Mr. Martin is admitted to the Bon Sauveur Hospital at Caen where he stays for 3 months. Léonie and Céline visit him regularly.
  • Jun 24, 1893
    • She enters the Visitation Convent for a second time.
  • Apr 6, 1894
    • At her first profession, she takes the name Sr. Thérèse-Dosithée.
  • Jul 20, 1895
    • Having spent two years in the Visitation Convent, Léonie (age 32 years) leaves and goes to reside with the Guérin family at Lisieux.
  • Jul 17, 1897
    • In her last letter to Thérèse, Léonie assures her sister that she will become a Visitation Sister.
  • Oct 4, 1897
    • Thérèse is buried. Léonie leads the mourning.
  • Jan 28, 1899
    • For the third and final time, Léonie enters the Visitation Convent at Caen. She is 35 years of age.
  • Jun 30, 1899
    • Léonie is once more professed at the Visitation Convent at Caen, this time taking the name Sr. Françoise-Thérèse.
  • Jul 2, 1900
    • Final profession at the Visitation Convent.
  • Aug 1910
    • At Bayeux, Léonie acts as a witness for the cause of Thérèse’s beatification.
  • Sept 1915
    • She meets her three sisters at the Carmelite Convent in Lisieux during the Apostolic Process of the cause of Thérèse’s beatification.
  • Apr 29, 1923
    • Sr. Thérèse of the Child Jesus is beatified at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome by Pope Pius XI. Léonie (Visitation Sister) and her three sisters (all Carmelite Sisters) are invited to Rome for the ceremony, but they decline out of a desire to remain faithful to their vocation to the enclosed religious life.
  • Jun 16, 1941
    • She dies at the Visitation Convent at Caen, aged 78 years.
  • Mar 11, 1945
    • The casket containing the relics of St. Thérèse, Patron Saint of France, is brought to the Visitation Convent at Caen, to “salute” the mortal remains of Léonie in the crypt.
    • For about the last 15 years, the Crypt which holds the mortal remains of Léonie has been made accessible to the many pilgrims who come to pray at her tomb.