Blessed Louis Martin
Louis Martin 1.jpg
Born 22 August 1823, Bordeaux, Gironde, France
Died 29 July 1894, Arnières-sur-Iton, Eure, France
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 19 October 2008, Basilique de Sainte-Thérèse by Pope Benedict XVI

Blessed Louis Martin (22 August 1823 - 29 July 1894) was a French layman and the father of Saint Thérèse de Lisieux. His wife was Blessed Marie-Azélie Guérin.


Early life

Louis Joseph Aloys Stanislaus Martin[1] was the third of five children of Pierre-François Martin and Marie-Anne-Fanie Boureau. Several of his siblings died young.

Although Louis intended to become a monk, due to his lack of knowledge of Latin, he was rejected, and decided to become a watchmaker.

Marriage and family

He later fell in love with Marie-Azélie Guérin[2], a lacemaker, in 1858 and they married just three months later.[3] Her business was so successful that Louis sold his watchmaking business to go into partnership with her.

Although the couple lived as brother and sister for ten months after their wedding, they decided to have children. They would later have nine children, though only five daughters would survive infancy:

  • Marie (22 February 1860 - 19 January 1940), as a nun, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, Carmelite at Lisieux.
  • Pauline (September 7, 1861 - July 28, 1951), as a nun, Mother Agnès of Jesus, Carmelite at Lisieux.
  • Léonie (June 3, 1863 - June 16, 1941), as a nun, Sister Françoise-Thérèse, Visitandine at Caen.
  • Céline (April 28, 1869 - 25 February 1959), as a nun, Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face, Carmelite at Lisieux.
  • Thérèse (January 2, 1873 - September 30, 1897), as a nun, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, Carmelite at Lisieux, canonised in 1925.[4]

On August 28, 1877, Zélie died from breast cancer in Alençon, Orne. Louis sold her lacemaking business and moved to Lisieux, in Normandy, where Zélie's brother Isidore Guérin, a pharmacist, lived with his wife and two daughters.


Louis Martin-edt

Portrait of Thérèse's father at the Basilica of St. Thérèse (Lisieux).

In 1889 Louis suffered two paralyzing strokes followed by cerebral arteriosclerosis, and was hospitalised for three years at the Bon Sauveur asylum in Caen. In 1892 he returned to Lisieux, where his daughters Celine and Leonie looked after him devotedly until his death on July 29, 1894 at the chateau La Musse near Evreux.


Louis and Marie-Azélie Martin were declared "venerable" on 26 March 1994 by Pope John Paul II. They were beatified[5] on 19 October 2008 by Jose Cardinal Saraiva Martins, the legate of Pope Benedict XVI in the Basilique de Sainte-Thérèse, Lisieux.[6] The faithful are now invited to pray for a miracle attributed to their joint and sole intercession. After such a miracle is deemed credible by officials at the Congregation for Causes of Saints in the Vatican, they can be counted among the saints of God.

External links

pt:Luís Martin e Zélia Guérin

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