From Mme Martin to her brother Isidore CF 217 - August 16, 1877.

From Mme Martin to her brother

Thursday, August 16, 1877

… I saw the doctor the day I received your last letter. I showed him the packets, and he told me they were good but as … [sic] I’d asked for it for my stomach and intestinal pains. I was expecting a treatment that would have relieved me, but he only prescribed a bottle of mineral water! Yet it seems to me that they could do something to relieve my pain because I can no longer stand up. I hardly ever go downstairs. I go from my bed to the armchair and from the armchair to my bed. I just spent two very cruel nights.

Two days ago I washed myself with Lourdes water, and I’ve suffered a lot from that moment on, especially under my arms. Really, the Blessed Mother doesn’t want to cure me.

I can’t write any longer, my strength is at an end. You were right to come to Alençon when I could still stay with you.

What can you do? If the Blessed Mother doesn’t cure me it’s because my time is at an end, and God wants me to rest elsewhere other than on earth….


© Society of St. Paul / Alba House


This was the last letter of Zélie. Marie, the Martin’s oldest child, wrote four letters to her aunt and uncle, Céline and Isidore Guérin, during the last few weeks of her mother’s life. These letters provide objective insights and details that give us a fuller picture of Zélie’s final days:  July 28, 1877August 9, 1877August 25, 1877  and August 26, 1877.           

On July 30, Céline and Isidore Guérin came to visit Zélie.

On August 26, Zélie received the Last Rights surrounded by her family. Céline will have artist C. Jouvenot depicting the scene in Life in pictures.

On August 27, Isidore and Céline came from Lisieux to be with Zélie as she dies.

On August 28, 1877, Zélie died on Tuesday at 12:30 a.m. surrounded by Louis, Isidore, Marie and the nursing sister.

On August 29, 1877, Zélie’s funeral occurred on Wednesday, at 9 a.m. in the Church of Notre Dame d’Alençon.


The Martin family moved into Les Buissonnets in Lisieux on November 16, 1877.





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