Tired of all the bad news

While we can't deny the difficulites for so many people at home and overseas, it's important to take account of the positives, and to spread the Good News. I don't know who said this but; "No-one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side." Blessings..

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Saints Louis and Zelie Martin

This morning in Rome on this Mission Sunday the Holy Father, Pope Francis canonized four new saints for the Universal Church. Among them was Louis and Zelie Martin, a married couple. They are the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, affectionately known as the Little Flower.

Louis Martin
Louis Martin (1823 - 1894) was a watchmaker by trade.  He also managed his wife's lace business. Born into a family of soldiers, Louis spent his early years at many different French military posts.

At twenty-two, young Louis sought to enter religious life at the monastery of the Augustinian Canons of the Great St. Bernard Hospice in the Alps. Unfortunately this didn't work out.  Eventually, Louis settled down in Alencon, a small city in France, and pursued his watchmaking trade.

Zelie Guerin
Zelie Guerin (1831 - 1877) was one of Alencon's more talented lace makers. Born into a military family, Zelie didn't have a very happy childhood and her mother and father weren't particularly affectionate. As a young lady, she sought unsuccessfully to enter the religious order of the sisters of the Hotel-Dieu. Zelie then learned the Alencon lace-making technique and soon mastered this painstaking craft.

Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin met in Alencon, and they married on July 13, 1858, and thus began their remarkable journey through life. Within the next fifteen years, Zelie bore nine children, seven girls and two boys. "We lived only for them," Zelie wrote; "they were all our happiness."They had more than their fair share of suffering in that within three years, Zelie's two infant boys, a five year old girl, and a six-and-a-half week old infant girl all died. Zelie was grief-stricken. "I haven't a penny's worth of courage," she was heard to say. But her faith sustained her. She firmly believed that she would meet her children again "up above."

The Martins' last child was born January 2, 1873. She was weak and frail, and doctors feared for the infant's life. But the baby girl proved to be much tougher than anyone realized. She survived the illness.  "The baby," Zelie noted, "is full of life, giggles a lot, and is sheer joy to everyone." Although the shadow of the cross was never far from the Martin household, Louis and Zelie had always found support in their faith.

The series of tragedies had helped them to grow stronger in their love for each other and their family and they poured out their affection on their five surviving daughters; Marie, 12, Pauline, 11, Leonie 9, Celine, 3, and their new-born. Louis and Zelie named their new-born; Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin. A century later people would know her as St. Therese, and call her the "Little Flower."
(Therese was canonized on May 17th 1925 by Pope Pius XI)

(part of the above information thanks to www.littleflower.org)