The outstanding places of the Martin Family

The pavillon

In 1857 while still a bachelor, Louis Martin bought the Pavillon as a place for meditation and relaxation.

It is a little tower of 3 stairs, in the corner of a garden, with a spiral staircase, first external then internal. It is near the river Sarthe, and Louis kept his fishing tackle there.

After his marriage, the Pavillon became the relaxation place for his family. His children liked coming here to pick ‘strawberries and gooseberries’. As it is just a step away from the Sarthe, Louis often came fishing, an excellent meditative activity…

After moving to Lisieux Louis kept this place as a ‘pied à terre’ when he visits friends in Alençon.

This place reveals the contemplative character of Louis, who loved solitude and lived an intense life of prayer. It is a quiet place away from the city centre

This also reveals the simplicity of Louis dear life. Overhead, nothing is superfluous. This place is a haven of peace that helped Louis to live his spiritual quest in solitude.

A place to visit

In order to visit the Pavillon, you must contact the group reception

The bridge where Louis and Zélie met

It is on the bridge of the Street Sarthe in Alençon which connects Montsort district to Saint Léonard district that Louis and Zélie Martin meet for the first time in the month of April 1858. The father Piat tells usthis decisive encounter: “[…] she met a young man whose noble features, the look reserved, holding dignified impressed her. Meanwhile, an inner voice whispered in secret: “This is the one I have prepared for you.”” Story of a Family p.33

Surprisingly, the Sarthe bridge, as it is called by the inhabitants of Alençon, is only a few dozen meters from the house of the Sisters of the Hotel-Dieu where Zélie entry was refused by the Superior. A vocation can thus hide another…

He house of Rose Taillé, Sainte Therese nanny, in Semallé

It is the house of Rose Cut, nurse of Therese, who lived at Semallé. This woman took care of this baby whom health was so precarious that they feared for her life. Therese was only two months old when Rose Taillé became her nurse, in March 1873. She stayed with her nurse until April 2, 1874. As a child she was very attached to her nurse, and remained this way even after she returned to her parents in Alençon.

Pilgrims regularly go to the home of the little Rose, by car or on foot, at eight kilometres from Alençon. How not to link the name of the nurse, who was called ” little Rose ”, and the love of Therese for flowers, especially roses, she said: “When I get to heaven I will fall a shower of roses.»

Rose Taillé now rests in the cemetery of St. Margaret of Carrouges.

The watch and jewellery store of Louis Martin in Alençon

This house of the rue du Pont-Neuf in Alençon was bought by Louis Martin before his wedding and it was the first home of the Martin Couple.  All the children were born there except little Therese.

The store was located on the ground floor. The house of the family was located on the upper floors.

By moving in this street, Louis had chosen to settle in front of l his friend Vital Romet shop called “le Gagne Petit.”

The Martin family left this place in 1871 to settle in the house of Saint Blaise street where St. Therese was born.

Saint Denis sur Sarthon The baptism’s church of Zélie Martin

Zélie Martin born Guérin was born on December 23rd 1831 in the commune of Gandelain, not far from Saint Denis-sur-Sarthon.

Her father Isidore Guérin (1777-1865) had been a soldier in the Napoleonic war in Wagram, then served with generals Masséna and Soult during the Spanish campaign. Finally he became a policeman in Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon.

His wife, Louise-Jeanne Macé (1805-1877) was a simple countrywoman. Zélie grew up in Saint Denis with her elder sister, Marie-Louise (1829-1877) and her brother Isidore (1841-1909), born ten years later.

In September 1844 her parents moved to Alençon. She was baptised in the church of Saint Denis-sur-Sarthon. You can visit the church and admire the baptistery.

Clarisses Monastery in ALençon

Zelie Guerin was close to the Franciscan Third Order. Although it seems she wasn’t a full member, she was several times a month with the Clarisses in order to walk in the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare.

Even today, the Clarisses are present in the Rue de la Demi-Lune in Alençon. Despite the vagaries of history, this community has always been present in Alençon since its foundation by Marguerite de Lorraine, more than 500 years.

Their offices and the celebration of the Eucharist are opened to pilgrims.

You can contact the sisters by phone at 00 33 2 33 80 21 70