The historic Normandy towns of Alençon (Orne) and Lisieux (Calvados) were in the spotlight on the 18th of October. That was the day of the canonization in Rome of Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, Normandy’s most significant 19th century religious figure, her example and writings admired by Catholics around the world. Millions of Catholic faithful, plus audiences from afar will follow the ceremony’s broadcasting.
Alençon was where Louis and Zélie Martin, Thérèse’s parents, lived together. Louis moved to Lisieux with his children after his wife died. Here, his daughters’ religious callings became clear. So the two towns are intimately linked with the Martin family. They have long attracted many pilgrims, be it to the Alençon family home and adjoining chapel, or to Lisieux, with the second family home, the Maison des Buissonnets, Saint Peter’s Cathedral, the Carmelite Convent and the Basilica built in Saint Thérèse’s honor. Following the canonization of Saint Thérèse’s parents this October, quite exceptionally, these two Normandy pilgrimage towns will then figure among the very first in the world to count three members of a same family to have been canonized.
These two spiritual towns welcome hundreds of thousands of pilgrims every year. Further information on Normandy or Visit Lisieux