The family of Louis and Zelie – Letter #4
July 13, 2017
“This is the one that I prepared for you.” Words that Saint Zelie understood in her heart when she met Louis Martin on the bridge of Sarthe, after having prayed a novena to the Immaculate Conception.
Dear friends of the “Family of Louis and Zélie,”
Today is the feast of Saints Louis and Zelie, the anniversary of their marriage, 159 years ago! It is also our feast, the feast of the Family of Louis and Zelie. On this day, let us pray especially for couples, all of the couples that have many years of experience, all of the couples that are getting married this year or all of those that are preparing for marriage.
Louis and Zelie Martin were married on July 13 in the church of Notre-Dame d’Alençon, which today is a basilica. It was there where they desired, before God, to commit themselves to each other. I invite all of the couples amongst you to renew your marriage promises in union with this Shrine and Saints Louis and Zelie. You may do so by praying together this prayer, followed by the consecration to the Holy Family. If it is possible for you, you can do this in the church, near the Blessed Sacrament:
Husbands and then the wives
N….at the celebration of the Sacrament of our marriage, I received you as my bride with joy and thanksgiving, and I gave myself to you as your husband to live together our « one flesh » blessed and consecrated by God.
I bless you and I bless God for your love and the gift of your life, for our union, for the path that we have walked together. Thank you infinitely for loving me, with all that I am, even with my frailties. Through this prayer, I entrust myself to the mercy of God and to yours, and I renew on this day, before God, the Church and you, the gift of my life in this marriage with you.
Husbands and Wives Together
At this moment we renew our covenant before you, Lord, for you have united us by the sacred and indissoluble bonds of marriage. Come renew and increase the unity of our lives, our hearts, our bodies and our souls! We pray to you today to accompany us for the rest of our lives and we place in your hands our marriage, love and unity.
We entrust to you our future and that of our family: accompany us every day so as to make of our marriage a path of conversion and growth, a path of life and joy, a path of sanctification and happiness, a springboard to evangelize and testify of all your gifts. Amen!
For all those who are not married and who cannot pray that prayer, I invite you to pray for all couples. You can concretely take the time to pray for them.
We are in this summer period conducive to rest, meditation, reading. Let us not forget during our vacation or our time of rest to give as much time to the Lord. As Saints Louis and Zelie did along with their daughter Saint Therese, we can, especially when we are with nature, praise the Lord for this gift he has made for us and sincerely thank him for his love visible in creation. That is why we can especially be attentive this summer to often thank the Lord.
Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus would write in relation to this: “What attracts the most graces from our good God is gratitude, for if we thank Him for a blessing, he is touched and hastens to give us ten others and if we thank Him again with the same effusion, what an incalculable multiplication of graces ! I have experienced it; try and you will see. My gratitude is boundless for all that He gives me and I prove it to Him a thousand ways.”
Let us try to do as Saint Therese and her parents did….
You are around 400 adults who have joined the family of Louis and Zélie. We are very happy to welcome the first Americans, English, Spaniards, Belgians, Italians…
In a special way, I entrust to your prayers the project of the Louis and Zélie Martin Spiritual Center in Alençon which is progressing well. Work is scheduled to begin in early September. It will last around 18 months. We are organizing an open door of this future pilgrim center on July 14 for those who are interested.
Do not hesitate to come and rejuvenate yourself near Saints Louis and Zelie Martin this summer here in the Shrine of d’Alençon.
We assure you of our prayers for your intentions. May the Lord bless you through the intercession of Saints Louis and Zelie!
In the name of the Shrine,
Father Jean-Marie Simar,
Rector of the Shrine of Alençon