Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Married Saints

Marie-Azélie "Zélie" Martin née Guér...Image via Wikipedia
Zelie Guerin Martin
Thérèse de Lisieux in July 1896Image via Wikipedia
St. Therese of Lisieux




Louis Martin (1823-1894), beatified, husband o...Image via Wikipedia
Louis Martin
Talk about fairy tale lives.  But it's not a fairy tale.  This couple did live and they're both saints.  Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin lived in the 19th century.  They weren't necessarily looking to get married.  They had both tried the religious life, and for one reason or another, that didn't work out.  He had a steady job as a watchmaker.  She had a cottage industry, employing others, with her embroidery.  When they met Louis was 34 and Zelie was 26. They married after a 3 month courtship.

At first, they dedicated themselves to each others sanctification and did not engage in sexual relations, thinking that this would please God.    But after some spiritual direction, their thinking reversed.  They looked at marital relations as a gift from God and children as blessings.  They went on to have nine children!

And they set out to make them all religious.  The boys would be priests and the girls, nuns. Unfortunately, the two boys in the family died, and two of the daughters.

Someone once said to Zelie, "It would have been much better if you had not given birth to those whom you lost so soon after their coming."  But Zelie knew better.  Zelie thought "I do not find that the pains and sufferings can at all compare with the eternal happiness of my little ones, eternal happiness which, of course, would never have been theirs, had they never been born.  Moreover, I have not lost them for always.  Life is short.  Soon I shall find my little ones in Heaven."

See why she's a saint.

Both Louis and Zelie attended daily Mass.  And this was a time when one couldn't receive daily Communion. They gathered the family together for daily prays.  Most of all, they gave all their children a respect for religious piety, devotions, and love of God.

It's no wonder that one of their daughters was to become a saint, and a doctor of the church--St. Therese of Lisieux.

h/t Fr. Thomas Kevin Kraft, O.P. research on married saints
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