Dedication of a plaque
at 7 rue Labbey,
Louis Martin's home in Lisieux


On the vigil of the feast of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, a plaque was unveiled marking the house at 7 rue Labbey in Lisieux where Louis lived at the end of his life.  See Susan Ehlert's photos of 7 rue Labbey, the plaque, and the reliquary containing relics of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin which was presented by the Sanctuaire de Lisieux to the present owners of the house, Mme. Anne-Marie Hervieu and M. Jacques Hervieu.

Monseigneur Bernard Lagoutte, rector of the shrine at Lisieux, spoke at the dedication (7/11/2009), detailing the life of Louis Martin and the history of rue Labbey.  Mgr. Lagoutte said that rue Labbey was constructed in 1841 and named after a municipal counselor.  The Hervieu family graciously made available to Susan Ehlert their film of the ceremony, which is below, with authorization to post it on the Web.  I thank Susan Ehlert and the Hervieus for permission to display it here.  M. and Mme. Hervieu have been kindness itself to us and to many pilgrims.  See the photo of Louis Martin and his family taken in the garden of rue Labbey, and photos of our visit to the house in 2008.





After Louis Martin left the Bon Sauveur hospital in Caen on May 10, 1892, he lived for a few weeks with the family of his brother-in-law, Isidore Guerin, on rue Paul Banaston in Lisieux.  Then, with his daughters Leonie and Celine, in July 1892 he moved to this house just across the street from the back entrance to the Guerin house.  He was often wheeled across rue Labbey and into the Guerin garden to spend the afternoon.  The house on rue Labbey has a long and beautiful garden stretching down to the Touques River; part of the garden is visible at the end of this video.  Leonie left this house on June 24, 1893 to make her second attempt at the monastery of the Visitation in Caen, where she remained until July 20, 1895.  (She entered the Visitation definitively in 1899).  Louis and Celine continued to live here with a manservant and a maid, but they spent the summers of 1893 and 1894 with the Guerins at the Chateau La Musse near Evreux.  Louis Martin left this house for the last time on July 4, 1894 with Celine for La Musse, where he died on July 29, 1894.  Much information about the last years of Louis's life is available in "Letters of St. Therese of Lisieux, Volume II," which is a gold mine for learning about St. Therese and her family.