The family of Louis and Zelie – Letter #6
September 13, 2017
“I thanked our good Lord that nothing had happened to him. It is truly providential; she needed to have rolled on the ground. Her good angel has watched over her and the souls in purgatory, to whom I pray daily for the little one, have protected her.” Saint Zelie (CF 119, June 25, 1874)
Dear Friends of the “Family of Louis and Zélie,”
In this month of September, we are entering the month of the angels. This will permit us to unite ourselves more particularly with our guardian angel and to pray to him. Many centuries before the birth of our Savior, the Jewish people already believed in the presence of a personal angel who, in His Love, God placed at our side to protect us and accompany us. The Old Testament abounds in amazing stories about the Old Testament. God did not cease to send them to men to have them catch a glimpse of the glory of God. For example, the three mysterious characters who announce to Abraham, by the oaks of Mamre, the birth of his son Isaac (Gn 18: 1-8).
The Old Testament also teaches us that God sends His angels like messengers to let us know His holy will.
Even in difficult situations, God has often dispatched His angels to comfort His faithful servants, to fortify them and even to save them from a premature death. Like for Elijah when he was losing courage on the path towards Mount Horeb, an angel gave strength to the afflicted prophet, giving him bread and water and then encouraging him to continue on his path (1 Kg 19:7).
One will not be surprised then to hear David sing the proximity and the protection of the angels: “For he will give his angels charge of you to guard you in all your ways…lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Ps 91:11).
To believe in the real presence of our guardian angel at our side often represents a challenge to contemporary man, even for a Christian. Admittedly one hears from time to time this remark: “You have a good guardian angel!” when someone miraculously comes out of a perilous situation. But who really thinks about what he says? In everyday life we think too little of that benevolent companion and best friend whom God has placed beside each of us since our childhood to be our protector and shepherd!
The New Testament also speaks to us in many places about the supernatural intervention of God by means of His holy angels. On the threshold of the New Testament stands the Archangel Gabriel, who makes himself visible again to announce to the priest Zechariah, who was then in office in the temple, the birth of a blessed son whom the sterility of his wife Elizabeth had made it impossible for her to conceive (cf. Lk 1:5-14). When “the time was fulfilled” the same Archangel Gabriel is sent to Nazareth near the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Full of Grace, to announce to her the most decisive event in the entire history of creation: God Himself would become Man! (Lk 1:26-38)
Jesus Himself would visibly experience the action of the angels. After having been tempted in the desert “the angels came and ministered to him” (Mt 4:11). During His agony in the Mount of Olives “there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him” (Lk 22:43). And when Peter in the moment of the Lord’s arrest cut the ear of one of the High Priest’s slave Jesus reprimanded him “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Mt 26:52-53). On the morning of Easter, angels resplendent with light appeared to the frightened women, telling them to go and tell the disciples of Jesus the Good News of his Resurrection (Mt 28:2). And in the moment of the Ascension, two angels dressed in white made this promise to the disciples: “He will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
Many saints themselves also experienced the assistance and presence of the holy angels, for example like St. Gemma Galgani. She said one day: “My guardian angel never leaves me…He never leaves me for one minute. Whether I speak, pray or go about my business, he does everything with me.”
During this month, we can pray to our guardian Angel, using for example, this simple prayer : “Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day, be at my side, to light and guard, rule and guide. Amen.”
This month, we have great news to announce to you : our bishop, Msgr. Jacques Habert, announced a jubilee year in Alençon for the occasion of the 160th anniversary of the marriage of Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin. The jubilee will open on July 7-8, 2018 and will close on July 13-14, 2019. We will be happy to welcome you for this occasion. I already entrust to your prayers all of the preparations for these great celebrations.
As for us, we assure you of our prayers for your intentions. May the Lord bless you through the intercession of Sts. Louis and Zelie!
Father Jean-Marie Simar,
Rector of the Shrine of Alençon