Quote of the day: 12 July

We arrived yesterday afternoon at four-thirty. My brother was waiting for us at the station and was delighted to see us. He and his wife are doing everything they can to entertain us. This evening, Sunday, there’s a beautiful reception in their home in our honor….

As for me, I’m finding it hard to relax! None of that interests me! I’m absolutely like the fish you pull out of the water. They’re no longer in their element and they have to perish! This would have the same effect on me if I had to stay a lot longer. I feel uncomfortable, I’m out of sorts. This is affecting me physically, and it’s almost making me sick. However, I’m reasoning with myself and trying to gain the upper hand. I’m with you in spirit all day, and I say to myself, “Now he must be doing such and such a thing.”

I’m longing to be near you, my dear Louis. I love you with all my heart, and I feel my affection so much more when you’re not here with me. It would be impossible for me to live apart from you.

Saint Zélie Guérin Martin
Letter CF 108 to Saint Louis Martin (excerpt)
Lisieux, 31 August 1873

 

Louis-Zelie-Therese reliquary (2)
The relics of the Martin family saints: Louis, Thérèse, and Azélie | Tony Basilio / Flickr

 

Explore more of the correspondence of Louis Martin and Zélie Guerin here.

Quote of the day: 14 May

To have had virtuous and God-fearing parents

To have had virtuous and God-fearing parents along with the graces the Lord granted me should have been enough for me to have led a good life if I had not been so wretched. My father was fond of reading good books, and thus he also had books in Spanish for his children to read. These good books together with the care my mother took to have us pray and be devoted to our Lady and to some of the saints began to awaken me when, I think, six or seven years old, to the practice of virtue. It was a help to me to see that my parents favored nothing but virtue. And they themselves possessed many.

Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Life, Chapter 1



The parents of Saint Teresa, Don Alonso Sánchez de Cepeda (1480?-1543), a widower and Doña Beatriz de Ahumada (1495?-1529) were married in Gotarrendura, Avila on 14 May 1509. 

Garcia_miranda
The Education of Saint Theresa
Juan García de Miranda (Spanish, 1677-1749)
Oil on canvas, 1735
Museo del Prado
A young Theresa of Ávila reads a book in a characteristic sixteenth-century room surrounded by her mother and sisters, who are sewing, and her brother Rodrigo, who listens attentively as he is a keen enthusiast of the lives of saints. The work belonged to a series devoted to the life of Saint Theresa most likely in some Carmelite institution.

 

The Book of Her Life: Chapter 1; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

 

Can a mother have any greater honor?

Louis-Zelie_b&w
Saints Zélie and Louis Martin

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

Vierge-du-Sourire_Martin-home
The Virgin of the Smile

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

Lace-making pattern used by Saint Zélie Martin

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

canonization_banner
Canonization banner for Saints Zélie and Louis

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.

 

Novena to Saints Louis and Zélie Martin – Day 3

I press you all to my heart out of love,
and entrust you to your holy mother

READING
Alençon
, 25th November 1877.

Dear girls,

Today, Sunday, is the day when I am the least busy, I am hurrying to address a few words to you.

I’m looking forward to joining you and I’m hurrying the workers to finish the Alençon lace that several of them are still assembling. I therefore hope that on Thursday we will have the pleasure of being reunited and not parting company immediately.

Dear Marie, tell “petit Paulin” that her gold shells (which she used for her miniature models) won’t arrive before next Tuesday, I asked for three of them instead of two. As for your pins, I think they will be easier to find in Lisieux. The moss you mentioned can’t be found in this season, but we will try to have some later on.

Children, pay attention to all your uncle and kind aunt’s instructions; you are aware of the great sacrifices I had to make to secure you their help and good advice, therefore don’t miss a single opportunity to take advantage of it.

You, Marie, my eldest, my first, you know how much I love you; well, continue to devote yourself more and more to your sisters, take care that when seeing you, they may have before their eyes a good model to imitate.

Tell Léonie that if she continues being an absolutely good girl, I will certainly give her something that she will like on New Year’s Day.

A Dieu, my dear children, I press you all to my heart out of love, and entrust you to your holy mother.

From Louis Martin to his five daughters Marie/ Pauline/ Léonie/ Céline/ Thérèse in Lisieux

RESPONSORY
R/. 
Be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
V/.  So that you may be able to discover what is God’s will,
what is good, pleasing and perfect.

PRAYER
O God,
who gave to Saint Louis and Marie Zelie
the grace to lead a life of holiness
as Christian spouses and parents,
grant that, through their intercession and example,
we may be able to love and serve you faithfully,
living worthily our own vocation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Novena to Saints Louis and Zélie Martin – Day 2

What a holy man my husband is.
I wish the same for all women…

READING
Alençon
,  January 1, 1863

My dear brother,

I wish you a happy New Year and desire with all my heart that you do well in your studies. I’m sure you’ll succeed if you want to, this depends only on you. God protects all who trust in Him. Not a single person has ever been abandoned by Him.

When I think of what God, in whom I’ve put all my trust and in whose hands I’ve put the care of my whole life, has done for me and my husband, I don’t doubt that His Divine Providence watches over His children with special care.

My dear friend, I’m very concerned about you [since December 10 or 15, 1862, Isidore was enrolled in the School of Pharmacy in Paris]. Every day my husband makes sad predictions. He knows Paris, and he tells me that you’ll be up against temptations that you’ll find hard to resist because you’re not religious enough. He told me what temptations he had and the courage he needed to overcome his struggles. If you only knew what ordeals he went through…. I beg you, my dear Isidore, do as he did; pray, and you will not let yourself be carried away by the torrent. If you give in once, you’re lost. On the path of evil as well as that of goodness, the first step is the hardest, and, after that first step, you’ll be swept away by the current.

If you want to give me a New Year’s gift and would agree to this one request I’m asking of you, I’d be happier than if you sent me all of Paris. Here it is: you live very close to Notre-Dame des Victoires. Well! Go there just once a day and say a Hail Mary to the Blessed Mother. You’ll see that she’ll protect you in a very special way, and that she’ll help you succeed in this world and give you eternal happiness. What I’m saying to you is not exaggerated piety and unfounded on my part. I have reason to have trust in the Blessed Mother, I’ve received favors from her that only I know.

You well know that life is not long. You and I will soon be at the end, and we’ll be very grateful that we lived in a manner that doesn’t make our last hour too bitter.

Now, if you have an unkind heart, you’ll laugh at me, but if you’re kindhearted, you’ll say I’m right.

When you write to me, don’t mention what I said regarding Louis’ thoughts about your situation because he wouldn’t like it. I’m always so happy with him, he makes my life very pleasant. What a holy man my husband is. I wish the same for all women; that’s my wish for them for the New Year…

From Madame Martin to her brother Isidore Guérin

RESPONSORY
R/.  You must be renewed in mind and spirit, and put on the new man.
V/.  So that you may be able to discover what is God’s will,
      what is good, pleasing and perfect.

PRAYER
O God,
who gave to Saint Louis and Marie Zelie
the grace to lead a life of holiness
as Christian spouses and parents,
grant that, through their intercession and example,
we may be able to love and serve you faithfully,
living worthily our own vocation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Discover more from the letters of Saints Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin on the website of the archives of the Carmel of Lisieux

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