Relics Of Louis & Zélie Martin & Saint Thérése To Visit Thurles Today

Relics of three Saints; namely Louis & Zélie Martin and their daughter Saint Thérése will be briefly visiting the Cathedral of The Assumption, Cathedral Street, Thurles today, Monday September 3rd, from 11.00am approximately until 5.00pm.

Pictured L-R:  Marie-Azélie “Zélie” Guérin;  Husband Louis Joseph Aloys Stanislaus Martin, and their daughter Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin [Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.]

Louis Martin (22nd August 1823 – 29th July 1894) and Marie-Azélie “Zélie” Guérin Martin (23rd December 1831 – 28th August 1877) were two married Roman Catholic French laypeople and the parents of five Roman Catholic nuns, including Thérèse of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun who was canonized as a saint of the Catholic Church in 1925. On 18th October 2015, the couple were also canonized as saints, becoming the first spouses in the church’s history to be canonized as a couple.

The relics of these three Saints, all from the one family, came initially to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families attended by Pope Francis, and were an integral part of that congress, and are now travelling throughout Ireland.

Louis Joseph Aloys Stanislaus Martin was the third of five children of parents Pierre-François Martin and Marie-Anne-Fanny Boureau. Louis had intended to become a monk, wishing to enter the Augustinian Great St. Bernard Monastery. However he was rejected because he did not succeed at learning the language of Latin, and instead became a watchmaker studying his craft in the French cities of Rennes and Strasbourg.

Azélie (Zélie)-Marie Guérin, later his wife, was born in Gandelain, near Saint-Denis-sur-Sarthon, Orne, France; the second daughter of Isidore Guérin and Louise-Jeanne Macé.  Zélie initially wanted to become a nun, but was turned away by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, due to having respiratory difficulties and recurring headaches.

The couple lived as brother and sister for ten months after their wedding, before deciding to live as husband and wife, after a spiritual director encouraged them to do so.  They went on to have nine children, with only five of same, all daughters, surviving infancy.

The five surviving daughters were:
(1) Marie Pauline (7th September 1861 – 28th July 1951), serving as the nun, Mother Agnès of Jesus, Carmelite at Lisieux.
(2) Marie Léonie (3rd June 1863 – 16th June 1941), serving as the nun, Sister Françoise-Thérèse, Visitandine at Caen; and a candidate for sainthood since January 2015;
(3) Marie Céline (28th April 1869 – 25th February 1959), serving as the nun, Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face, Carmelite at Lisieux.
(4) Marie Françoise-Thérése (2nd January 1873 – 30th September 1897), serving as the nun, Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, Carmelite at Lisieux, canonised in 1925.
Finally (5) Marie Louise (22nd February 1860 – 19th January 1940), serving as the nun, Sister Marie of the Sacred Heart, Carmelite at Lisieux.

Zélie died of breast cancer on the 28th August 1877 in Alençon, aged just 45 years, while Louis suffered two paralysing strokes, and died on the 29th July 1894 at Chateau La Musse near Évreux.

Both Louis and Zélie were declared “venerable” on 26th March 1994 by Pope John Paul II, and were beatified on the 19th October 2008, by José Saraiva Cardinal Martins, the legate of Pope Benedict XVI in the Basilica of Saint Thérése of Lisieux.

Saint Thérèse was canonized on 17th May 1925 by Pope Pius XI, just 28 years after her death, and today you are invited to bring a rose should you wish, since same is forever associated with Saint Thérése,


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