Lisieux - Les
Her father was left to raise the
five girls, ranging from four to seventeen. His brother-in-law,
Isidore Guérin, a chemist in Lisieux, invited them all
to go and live with him in this small town, with its population
of just 18,600 people. They moved on November 15, 1877.
spent eleven years at Les Buissonnets, a fine house with a quiet
garden, some way from the center of the town. Her sisters, Marie
and Pauline, took care of her education. Louis Martin was both
father and mother to his children. He called Thérèse
his "little queen" and often took her walking or fishing
in the surrounding countryside. Her character had changed; the
shock of her mother's death had turned her into an introverted,
shy and self-effacing child. Her entry into the Benedictine Abbey
school of Notre-Dame du Pré was a trial for her. "The
five years (1881-1886) I spent there were the saddest of my life".
She worked hard, and loved catechism, history and science, but
had trouble with spelling and mathematics.