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Accueil > Press review > The Holy Lives and Passions of Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin

The Holy Lives and Passions of Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin

The parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux were the first husband and wife canonized as a couple – National Catholic Register, July 12, 2020

They passed each other on a bridge one spring day — a distinguished, reserved, hardworking watchmaker who had tried and failed to become a monk and a lovely, intelligent, productive lacemaker who had been turned away by the Vincentian sisters. When St. Zélie first laid eyes on St. Louis she heard an interior voice, one that she had learned to trust, say, This is he whom I have prepared for you.

Their life together began on July 12, 1858 — a date remembered by the Church as the feast day of the first husband and wife canonized as a couple. While their married life was holy and admirable, God gave them the opportunity to enter into the suffering of the Cross at the end of each of their lives.

In their 19 happy years of marriage, Sts. Louis and Zélie ran a successful lacemaking business in Alençon, Louis having given up his trade to help his wife in hers. They had nine children, all of whom they baptized within days of their birth. When they lost four of their children, to childhood illnesses and the negligence of wet-nurses, since Zèlie was not able to breastfeed her children, they placed their hope in seeing them again in Heaven.

Louis and Zélie were very careful to raise their surviving children with virtuous habits, correcting their faults sternly, but also rewarding their good deeds with affectionate love. Zélie would pray about and examine the faults and strengths of each child and foster them into holiness and encouraged them to make little sacrifices every day to help them become less selfish.

Louis and Zélie sought a life of holiness together admits the increasing secularization of France and the anxieties of running a business and raising a family. The first accomplished this through a strong family union. A priest who knew them well said of them: “In their family life, the union was remarkable, both between the husband and the wife, and between the parents and the children.”

They sought holiness through the devotions and traditions of the Church. They never worked on Sunday, sought to do the works of mercy, and were very generous with their time and money towards the poor in the community. They always prayed for the souls of those who…

Read More (National Catholic Register)