Louis was used to moving house a lot as his father was a military man, but Zélie, even though her father was also a military man – he was actually a French Gendarme – was not used to travelling and only just moved some kilometers to move to Alençon at the age of 13.
Their story is an original one. They both had wished to enter the orders but were not able and were living lonely lives in the calm and peaceful town of Alençon where they met on the bridge of the Sarthe river and married a few months later.
They both had great faith, were good educators for their children (they had 9 of them), they were involved in charity work, wanting to show their faith but were tried by Zélie’s ill-health, they left nobody indifferent.
Nineteen years of real happiness experienced as a married couple and as a family, then seventeen years where the Martin family moved to Lisieux, to live with the memory of a much missed wife and mother.
Today the Church offers us these models of saintliness because “they lived of love” in their ordeals as their daughter Thérèse wrote as a title of one of her poems. They loved each other; they loved their children as parents do and carried out love in the acts of charity outside the family circle.