the Carmel



Located at 17, rue du Pont-Neuf, this house was bought by Louis Martin on November 9, 1850 in order to set up his watch and jewelery business there. He was then 27 years old and began his professional activity after several years of training in Paris, Rennes and Strasbourg.

This house will see the birth of all the children of the Martin family with the exception of Thérèse.

In April 1870, Louis Martin sold his house and his business to his nephew Adolphe Leriche, the son of his sister Fanny, in order to help his wife Zélie in the management of her lace workshop.

Back of the house

Current view of the house. She does not visit.

The birthplace

Located rue Saint-Blaise, this house was bought on February 9, 1843 by Isidore Guérin senior for his retirement. The Guérin home moved there on September 10, 1844. Zélie was then 13 years old. His parents run a small drinking establishment there on the ground floor, which will close very quickly. It was here that in 1853, Zélie and her sister Marie-Louise, known as Élise (who would later become a nun at the Visitation of Le Mans under the name of Sister Marie-Dosithee), opened their Alençon point workshop.

This house was then the scene of the family life of the Martins from 1871 to 1877. This is where Saint Thérèse was born on January 2, 1873. She lived there with her parents and sisters until the death of her mother. Zélie Martin on August 28, 1877.

Zélie Martin ran a lace workshop from her home with about twenty workers.
The family lived there a life rich in friendly and family relations. Very pious, they went to mass every day and were careful to bring up the children in the love of God and the poor.

The house, now managed by the Sanctuary of Alençon, can be visited.

Alencon Sanctuary 
Alencon Tourist Office


On April 24, 1857, Louis Martin acquired the "Pavillon", a small house located near the Saint-Pierre de Montsort church which would become his place of relaxation and spiritual rejuvenation. It is here that he will place the statue of the Virgin, better known as the "Virgin of the Smile", offered by Mademoiselle Félicité Beaudouin, benefactress from Alençon.

The Pavilion will be sold on October 9, 1894, then bought back in May 1929.

Interior of the Pavilion

Current view

Notre Dame Church

It was in this church that Louis and Zélie Martin were married on the night of July 12 to 13, 1858.

It is also in this church that Saint Thérèse was baptized by the Canon Dumaine the January 4 1873.

Baptismal font on which Thérèse was baptized and Thérèse's baptismal robe.

The Notre-Dame d'Alençon church was erected as a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on August 10, 2009, shortly after the beatification of the Martin couple.

Saint-Pierre de Montsort church

Church of the Martin family from the first years of marriage of Louis and Zélie until the move to rue Saint-Blaise. It is here that all the Martin children were baptized with the exception of Thérèse.

The house of the Tifennes

House of Léonie and Jacques Tifenne, friends of the Martin family. Mrs. Tifenne, when she was a young girl, was a neighbor of Louis Martin and his parents. Mr. Tifenne, meanwhile, studied pharmacy with Isidore Guérin, Zélie's brother. Léonie Tifenne is the godmother of Léonie Martin.

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