In November 1877, shortly after the death of Mrs. Martin, the family moved to a house just outside Lisieux. The house, which they rented, was just off the road to Pont l’Evêque, on a little road called “Chemin du Paradis” (“Paradise Way”). Thérèse Martin spent eleven years of her life here, until she joined the Carmelite Convent.
The pilgrim’s first impression on entering Les Buissonnets is the striking calm and sense of peace. In this environment one can immediately imagine how happy Thérèse must have been here, surrounded by her loving father and sisters.
When talking of her childhood memories, Thérèse tells us that it was only in Les Buissonnets that she was ‘truly happy’ ; however she also wrote that the period of her life from the age of four and a half until her fourteenth year was the ‘most painful’.
Her two older sisters took on the role of a mother to Thérèse after her mother’s death and it was in this house that she had to endure the pain of loneliness when they both entered the convent.
Nevertheless, Les Buissonnets, surrounded by trees, was a very special place during the childhood of the little Thérèse and pilgrims can feel this when they visit the different rooms of the house.
- The kitchen fireplace reminds us of the grace of Christmas 1886.
- The dining room where Thérèse had her last meal before entering the Carmelite Convent.
- The room where she was cured by the Virgin Mary on Sunday 13th May, 1883.
- In the last one, are displayed her toys.
The statue in the garden invites us to think of the courage with which Thérèse asked her father’s permission to enter the Convent on the 29th of May, the Feast of Pentecost, 1887.