Like my father, my mother was very detached from earthly things. She was highly intelligent and had extraordinary energy: difficulties were nothing to her. Her spirit of faith was remarkable and helped her to endure life’s many hardships. When she lost her children, she knew immediately where they would be and overcame her immense grief. She wrote, “I wanted to have many children in order to bring them up for heaven”.
Sr. Geneviève of Saint Teresa, O.C.D. (Céline Martin)
Witness 8 for the Diocesan Process
My father and mother had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin. That’s why they gave the name Mary to all their children, both boys and girls. Before he married, my father placed a statue of the Blessed Virgin on a path in his garden, and later it would become very dear to the whole family. It was this very statue that was in Thérèse’s childhood bedroom and which came to life and smiled at her when she was very sick. Praying at the foot of the same statue, my mother was granted very great favors. My parents were very helpful to the poor. When a servant happened to fall ill with rheumatoid arthritis, my mother treated her herself, day and night, for several weeks, not wishing to send her back to her parents because they were poor.
Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. (Marie Martin)
Witness 7 for the Diocesan Process
My mother was abnegation personified; she was gifted with extraordinary energy. The lace-making business that she established alone, and which she looked after tirelessly to assure her children’s future, made her life very meritorious. When my little brothers and sisters died, her submission to God’s will, despite her deep grief, was so great that people less Christian than herself were almost shocked, to the point of saying that she did not love her children.
It was my parents’ wish that all of us be consecrated to God; they would have liked to give Him priests and missionaries. My mother had been struck by the life of Madame Acarie, and many times I heard her say, “To think that all her daughters became Carmelites! Can a mother have any greater honor?”
Sr. Agnes of Jesus, O.C.D. (Pauline Martin)
Witness 6 for the Apostolic Process
View more lace-making patterns from Saint Zélie’s workshop here
Learn more about Saint Louis and Zélie’s life together here
Read Saint Zélie’s letters here
Read letters addressed to Saint Zélie Martin here
The blogger is grateful to all of the members of the Archives team at the Carmel of Lisieux for their tireless efforts to make the treasures of the Martin Family accessible to the public.