I am delighted to announce that a fortunate group of readers can purchase new copies of the book Léonie Martin: A Difficult Life, by Marie Baudoin-Croix. This book about St. Thérèse's sister Léonie, published in French in 1989, was translated into English and published by Veritas Press in Dublin in 1993. Veritas reprinted it in 2004. Unfortunately, it is now out of print, and Veritas has announced no plans to reprint it. But, through a special grace, I have received the last eighty new copies, and you can purchase it through this Web site.
After the August 1, 2011 premiere of the film " Léonie!" in Michigan, I told Cecilia Prizer of Angels of Our Lady Religious Gifts and Bookstore in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, my partner in distributing books and articles to make St. Thérèse better known, how much I wanted to make the book available to those interested in Léonie. Through a distributor she found the last new copies of the book, which were in a warehouse in the British Isles. Now they're in Pennsylvania waiting to be shipped. To be fair, we are distributing them to the first comers, so please act now if you want one. $12.95.
About Léonie Martin: A Difficult Life
Léonie Martin was the least gifted of the four sisters of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She was an emotionally disturbed child, abused by the family’s maid, expelled from school, who suffered and caused anguish in her family. She did not fit their expectations of holiness.
Marie Baudoin-Croix, the well-known French poet, has examined the letters of Léonie’s mother, Blessed Zélie Martin, to her daughters, her sister, her brother, and her sister-in-law. We see the backward child, the despair of many, who was the first to follow Thérèse’s Little Way. The author examines Léonie ‘s correspondence with Thérèse, who shared the way generously with her sister. It was only after three valiant but unsuccessful attempts that Léonie, at the age of thirty-five, was finally accepted by the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen. She succeeded in conquering a “tough” temperament, so that by the time of her death in 1941, at the age of seventy-eight, she was regarded as a saint, and her monastery at Caen was inundated with letters testifying to her posthumous aid.
In his preface, Fr. Christopher O’Donnell, O. Carm. writes: “This book by Marie Baudoin-Croix is to be strongly welcomed. It does not add to what has been available about Léonie to specialist scholars, but it will be a revelation to so many admirers of St. Thérèse in the English-speaking world . . . . It is an ideal companion to the autobiography of St. Thérèse.”
In her introduction the author notes: “Quite simply, it is comforting to everyone to know about one woman’s struggle to conquer a difficult, intractable temperament. Also, the story of the young rebel who was Léonie can give help and hope to parents who are hurt by their clashes—often violent—with their children.”
Léonie’s story can encourage all people, and it inspires especially the parents of other “special needs” children; persons who have a hard time finding a place in society and in the Church; and persons deeply wounded by past experiences. Paperback, 128 pages, including six pages of photographs. [Note; these copies sold out in weeks, but, to purchase a used copy online, click on the image above or click here].