Therese Martin from her birth in Alencon until her mother's death:
January 2, 1873 - August 28, 1877
Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin, the youngest of the nine children of Louis Martin, a watchmaker, and Zelie Guerin, a lacemaker, was born on January 2, 1873 in Alencon, France. She was baptized two days later in the church of Notre-Dame. Before Therese's birth, two little boys and two little girls had died very young.
Therese's parents were devout, energetic, and loving. Her mother established a business manufacturing Point d'Alencon lace. Therese had four older sisters: Marie, Pauline, Leonie, and Celine. Several years after little Therese was born, Zelie developed breast cancer. After a painful illness, she died on August 28, 1877. Zelie and Louis Martin were declared "Venerable" in 1994, and the cause for their beatification is progressing. After his wife's death, Louis decided to leave Alencon and move with his children to Lisieux, where Zelie's brother and sister-in-law, Isidore and Celine Guerin, could offer an extended family to the motherless girls.