Visitation Monastery of Caen, Leonie Martin’s Monastery of Profession, a Video,& Bishop’s Homily

Leonie Martin, Sr Francoise Therese, was a Professed Member of the Monastery of the Visitation in Caen, France.

Meet the Sisters and explore the Monastery as it is today, in this superb video!



The tomb of Leonie was transferred on Jan 21st to the Chapel of the Visitation Monastery. Below is a translation of the Bishop’s homily at that time:

Léonie: Sister Françoise-Thérèse – Chapel of the Visitation on 21 January 2017
“Father, what you have hidden from the wise and learned,
You revealed it to little ones “Matthew 11:25
Brothers and sisters,
The one that brings us together this afternoon is not a nun who founded a religious order like Teresa of Avila. No, it is a little one in the sense of the Gospel, a little sister, named Léonie, Sister Françoise Thérèse here at the Visitation. There was little Therese, the last one, but there was especially poor Leonie. Small and poor go well together. Being small is the opposite of being POWERFUL. A powerful man finally scares. We admire him perhaps … but for what he does and for what he has, far more than he is. Now Léonie has nothing to offer but what she IS. Then every human being, with its failures and successes, can recognize himself in it. It is in this capacity that he who accepts to be small, to be deprived of a thousand things becomes rich with a thousand relations, a thousand bonds … Without knowing it, he weaves an immense tapestry made of a thousand faces. This is what Léonie tells us. Only the one who is small is really a sister and can be named sister Françoise Thérèse.
Jesus was small because he was fully Son of the Father and learned to receive everything from God his Father. He was small and he was fully brother to  men. The little brother par excellence is Jesus of Nazareth. In him all those who sought a brother found him. But at the same time Jesus showed what the Father was. The humble, the poor … In a word, all those who know themselves to be small, even if they have money, success, intelligence, they discover what the Father is … A God Almighty in Love … but dependent on his creatures … A God who is able to suffer before the disfigured face of his creatures … Yes, a God who is a heart marked with a cross. This is what we discovered during this year of Mercy … In contemplating Leonie, it is the face of Jesus that we discover.
In 1935, in a letter addressed to her sisters at the Carmel of Lisieux, she wrote: “I want to be so small that Jesus is forced to keep me in his arms.” It is indeed Leonie who has implemented in her life the little path of spiritual childhood
of her sister Therese. She adds: “My spirituality is that of my Therese, and consequently of that of our holy founder (Saint Francis de Sales), his doctrine and his, it is all one, the soul which our great Doctor dreamed. I am in perfect surrender … “. [Letter of 3 May 1935]
Léonie and La petite voie … the way of childhood, … the small path of trust
St Teresa of Avila wrote in the sixteenth century: “The Lord is present even among the pots”. Leonie, of course, was not at Carmel, but she could have written what the reformer of Carmel said. Basically, the narrow path described by Therese, it was Leonie who best lived it. Leonie wrote: “O my God, in my life where you have put little of that which shines, make that like you I go to the authentic values, disdaining the human values ​​to estimate and want only the absolute, the eternal , The Love of God, by dint of hope “. It was Léonie who became a disciple of her sister and yet 10 years separated them. The influence of Leonie after her death was very rapid: letters from all continents arrived and arrived constantly here at the Visitation.
This small path, that of spiritual childhood, Therese discovered at Christmas 1886, when she definitively emerges from childishness. It is the path of trust and total abandonment in the hands of the Father. It is a way where one leaves oneself to open oneself to others. “I am only a weak and impotent child, yet it is my weakness that gives me the audacity to offer myself to Jesus, to Your Love, O Jesus.” She wrote again: “I had offered myself to the child Jesus to be his little toy. I told him not to use me as a price toy that children just watch without daring to touch it, but as a small ball of no value that he could throw to the ground, pushing Walk, drill, leave in a corner and press on his heart if it pleased him.
Here we find the humor of Therese. It is through her weakness, her littleness, that she understands the infinity of the Love of the Father. “In spite of my smallness, I can aspire to holiness; Growing up is impossible. I have to bear myself as I am with all my imperfections, but I want to seek the means of going to heaven by a very straight, very short path, a little new road.

This path is made of trust and love in the banality of everyday life. “Jesus does not ask for great deeds, but only abandonment and gratitude. It is abandonment alone that guides me I have no other compass. This small path is a path that everyone can follow, only by practicing love, so that “the left hand does not know what the right hand does”. We are all called to holiness: for this it is enough to put a lot of love into the most ordinary activities of life. “Jesus does not look so much at the greatness of the actions, nor at their difficulty, but at the love which causes these acts to be performed.”
Therese is the saint of everyday life. She speaks of the sanctity of everyday life, of fidelity to small things, without splendor, full of love. It evokes the divine way under the most human appearances “To collect a needle for love can save the world”. It is also a way accessible to ordinary people, who express themselves through the everyday life without ever having realized exceptional things that would be media. It is holiness within the reach of all. She will talk about the elevator that must lift her up to the sky and this elevator is not reserved for the rich. It is within the reach of all, it is the arms of Jesus.
This is the small way Leonie has lived. These are the little people who around the world find themselves through it. Many families who have difficulty with one of their children will gladly turn to her. In the same way, how many young women also seek their vocation through a winding path. They find themselves through Leonie who found his way after three attempts. Finally, as Bernanos says, “It is easier to despise oneself than to love oneself with humility.” Leonie reconciled with herself and she agreed to be different from her sisters. There is never a trace of jealousy in her letters. One can say that she has learned to love herself with humility and simplicity.
+ Jean Claude Boulanger
Bishop of Bayeux-Lisieux.

2 Responses to “Visitation Monastery of Caen, Leonie Martin’s Monastery of Profession, a Video,& Bishop’s Homily”

  1. MARY ANN VOSS says:

    Will you please send to my email a prayer to obtain a miracle from Leonie? We have a young MOM, Carrie who has a two year old and a 3 month old and the Mom is dying of cancer. They give her weeks to live .
    She chose life over cancer treatment as she was diagnosed with the cancer during her pregnancy and would not abort her child.
    please respond quickly.
    Thank you and God bless you,
    Mary Ann Voss
    2764 Sawmill Rd.
    Blountsville, Al. 35031 USA phone 973 280 2856. I don’t know the international calling code, sorry.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Sr.Francoise Therese,my dearest sisterLeonie, pray for me and my family.Thank you.

Leave a Response