A Sister of St. Thérèse: Servant of God, Léonie Martin – Bearer of Hope w/Fr. Timothy Gallagher
a podcast series
Ep 1 – A Sister of St. Thérèse: Servant of God, Léonie Martin – Bearer of Hope w/Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast
Fr. Timothy Gallagher and Kris McGregor begin a new series that reflects on the life of the “forgotten” sister of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Servant of God Léonie Martin.
Fr. Gallagher says, “Léonie’s life holds a very important story because she was the forgotten one; she was the one who was in the last place; she was the one who was less gifted than the others. Today we would call her a ‘problem child’, and we’ll see that she certainly was the source of great anxiety to her parents, especially to her mother, Zélie, who loved her dearly.”
As a child, Léonie suffered from severe illnesses and physical maladies that would plague her entire life. She also struggled with understanding social clues and interactions, and with behaving appropriately. Conventional educational models of the day failed to meet her particular needs, and she was labeled “developmentally delayed”. Yet those who knew her well described her as having a “heart of gold”.
Who was Léonie and what were her struggles? Why has her cause of canonization begun? Father Gallagher, along with Kris McGregor, answers these questions and explains why Léonie is “a bearer of hope” in this landmark series.
Ep 2 – A Sister of St. Thérèse: Servant of God, Léonie Martin – Bearer of Hope w/Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast
In this episode, we hear a little more about her younger sister, Marie Hélène, who died at the age of 5, as well three other siblings, Joseph Louis, Joseph Jean-Baptiste, and Marie Mélanie-Thérèse, who all died during infancy. We then begin to experience the challenges of Leonie’s education and the ability to interact with others appropriately. What is the family to do? How can her challenges be addressed in love?
We also here more from Leonie’s loving aunt, Zélie’s sister, Elise, now known as Sister Marie-Dosithée, a member the Visitation Sisters.
Ep 3 – A Sister of St. Thérèse: Servant of God, Léonie Martin – Bearer of Hope w/Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Discerning Hearts Podcast
In this episode, we begin to hear from the perspective of St. Therese and her early memories of Léonie. Also, Zélie continues to share her fears, frustrations, deep concerns for her Léonie. She thinks she has found an answer with the arrival of two retired nuns. They might be able to teach her challenging daughter, but not all is what it appears to be with these two women. There is also something of a mystery surrounding Zélie and Leonie’s relationship. What is preventing Zélie from breaking through to her daughter? Then another sad death affects the family, while Zélie begins to experience her own health failing. What will become of her poor Léonie?
For more podcasts in the Discerning Hearts Series with Fr. Gallagher click on the link below to be taken to audio page:
Fr. Gallagher obtained his doctorate in 1983 from the Gregorian University. He has taught (St. John’s Seminary, Brighton, MA; Our Lady of Grace Seminary Residence, Boston, MA), assisted in formation work for twelve years, and served two terms as provincial in his own community. He has dedicated many years to an extensive ministry of retreats, spiritual direction, and teaching about the spiritual life. Fr. Gallagher is the author of six books (Crossroad) on the spiritual teaching of St. Ignatius of Loyola.