Pope Approves Beatification of the Parents of St. Therese

Cindy Wooden of CNS has the story:  "Pope Benedict XVI has approved the beatification of Louis and Marie Zelie Guerin Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.  The couple will be beatified Oct. 19, World Mission Sunday, during a Mass in the Basilica of St. Therese in Lisieux, France, the Vatican announced Aug. 19.....The Martins were declared venerable, one of the first steps in the sainthood process, in 1994. But despite the active encouragement of Pope John Paul II to move the cause forward, the miracle needed for their beatification was not approved by the Vatican until early July.  Louis lived 1823-1894 and his wife lived 1831-1877. They had nine children, five of whom joined religious orders."

And some thoughts from a big fan of the Little Flower:

The beatification of Louis and Zelie has been celebrated by those who have been (rightly) looking for more examples of saintly married couples.  Ironically--for those looking for examples of married saints--the two had initially thought of living together as "brother and sister," hoping to imitate the celibate love of Mary and Joseph.  Happily, a confessor later persuaded them to enjoy a more conventional marriage.  On the other hand, their canonization process has also been critiqued by those who wonder if the two are being honored for their own holiness (which is evident) or because they were the parents of Therese.  (Though one may raise the same question of St. Monica, for example.)  Zelie died at a young age, and in later years Louis seems to have suffered some form of mental illness or dementia, a source of unending pain to his daughters, especially Therese who wrote about her father extensively in her journals.  A fine summary of their lives, written by a Carmelite scholar can be found here.

James Martin, S.J. (no relation!)

8 years 9 months ago
Dear Father Martin, Thank you very much for your reflections about the beatification of Zelie and Louis Martin. For more about their lives, the beatification, the miracle, and their pastoral significance, please visit http://thereseoflisieux.org Sincerely, Maureen O'Riordan
8 years 9 months ago
Thanks very much for sharing this, Father. St. Therese is the name I took at confirmation when I became a Catholic and her patronage over me has been without fail. I'm a big fan of the Little Flower too, as well as her parents, who have much to teach us about the vocation to married life.
8 years 9 months ago
This is important so listen up...Thus saith the LORD, God of Creation... Psalm 115;17 The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. Ecclesiates 9;5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. Job 14;12 so man lies down and does not rise; till the heavens are no more, men will not awake or be roused from their sleep (death). John 11; 11-14,After he had said this, he went on to tell them, ''Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.'' 12His disciples replied, ''Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.'' 13Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14So then he told them plainly, ''Lazarus is dead, 15and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.'' Why is there a resurection if we go to heaven or hell or pergatory at death? Do we make God a liar or alter his natural plans? We cannot proclaim that Saints do miracles. Who has given that right to mortal man? Take heed lest you be overcome by the spirit of Devils. God will not be mocked and if you try to change his word to support your theories you will be damned! THE DEAD ARE SLEEPING! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS GHOSTS!!!! They are the spirit devils trying to deceive you. WAKE UP AND READ THE WORDS OF THE LIVING GOD! Love Brother James.
8 years 9 months ago
St. Thérèse of Lisieux wrote of her parents, 'God gave me a father and mother more worthy of Heaven than of earth.' I read an excellent life of Louis Martin, entitled 'Louis Martin, an Ideal Father.' It is wonderfully written and goes into much detail concerning his life, along with his wife Zelie and the rest of the family. It is really a edifying and inspirational book. I highly recommend it. It is wonderful to hear that both Louis and Zelie are to be Beatified together. Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, pray for us! Glenn Dallaire
8 years 9 months ago
Father James, Serious Biblical scholars across denominational lines believe that the Old Testament verses you refer to show the authors as denying any sort of afterlife entirely. This is especially clear in Ecclesiastes, where the author asserts that people and animals end up in the same place. If you actually took them literally, you wouldn't believe in any sort of resurrection of the dead at all.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A youth takes the Eucharist from Monsignor Gregorio Rosa Chavez during a Mass giving thanks for Pope Francis' announcement that Chavez will be elevated to the rank of cardinal, at San Francisco de Asis parish church in San Salvador, El Salvador on Monday, May 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
Rosa Chavez has a reputation as a man of the people, warm and quick to smile.
Fan leaves the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, England, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Over a dozen people were killed in an explosion following a Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena late Monday evening. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Pope Francis sent his condolences and prayers to all those affected "by this senseless act of violence" in Manchester, England.
In this photo taken May 19, 2017, a GPO worker stacks copies of "Analytical Perspectives Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2018" onto a pallet at the U.S. Government Publishing Office's (GPO) plant in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The budget’s moral measure will be assessed by “how well it promotes the common good of all,” the bishops write.
Kevin ClarkeMay 22, 2017
A veteran activist provides a blueprint for creating a movement in the moment of Trump.
Nathan SchneiderMay 22, 2017