Holiness and social life

social, life, poor, service, holiness,  Louis and Zelie Martin Guerin, parents of St. Therese of Lisieux
Clemenceau court, at Alençon, at the time of Louis and Zelie

Holiness and social commitment

A wide range of social activities


Louis and Zélie Martin had contact with a wide variety of people as business people and as employers …  Louis took part in pilgrimages to Paris and Chartres where he met people from many different backgrounds.


They mixed with various different groups in their daily lives.  The need for nurses for their children enabled them to get to know from the inside different ways of life in both town and country.


Friendship played an important part in their life (for example the Vital Romet group, neighbours and family).


Louis’ and Zélie’s concern for the poor and marginalised of their times.

“The Martin family’s openness and the generosity of their welcome is legendary: not only was the house open and welcoming to all who knocked at the door, but they were enormously warm-hearted and ready to ‘give of themselves’.”

Cardinal Sareiva Martin at the time of their beatification



Vital Romet, group, friends, catholic, Louis Martin, adoration, father of St. Therese of Lisieux
The Vital Romet group

The Vital Romet group

A group that was active in grass-roots social work


Louis Martin was an active member of the group, made up of thirteen men from the Monsort district of Alençon, friends from various professional backgrounds (tradesmen, shopkeepers, teachers, civil servants and other professional people) and political persuasions (from royalists to republicans).


They were socially committed Catholics following the example of Frédéric Ozanam in the service of the poorest (the Society of St Vincent de Paul, founded in Alençon in 1847).  “It is time to show that the Church can plead the cause of the common man.” F.Ozanam.


Catholic Working Men’s Clubs:  Louis Martin supported the movement founded by Albert de Mun; he was its eleventh subscriber in Alençon.


The Catholic social movement helped the working class to organise.  Vital Romet was one of the promoters of the cooperative movement in Alençon as early as 1876.



A group whose social work was rooted in prayer.