Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Story of a Family: The Little Flower and Her Blessed Parents

Venerable Louis and Zelie Martin,
Parents of "the Little Flower"

Today is the Feast of the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux. Her parents, the Venerables Louis and Zelie Martin, will be beatified this October 19, 2008 at Lisieux. Cardinal Saraiva Martins announced the upcoming beautification this past July 12, on the 150th anniversary of their wedding. Beatification is the last step before formal canonization, in which the Church officially declares the beati to be a saint (meaning that God, for His Glory and for the good of the Church Militant, has revealed to the Church the final end of the individual soul[s]).

To better know the soon-to-be Blessed Zelie and Louis, please read the The Story of a Family (written by Abbe Trochu and republished by Tan Books and Publishers), which includes actual letter excerpts from Zelie. It is truly a treasure-trove of (and for) a Catholic family. The Martins lived a very quiet but active interior life, one considered 'unique' and, by the less charitable, 'rigid.' Yet the passage of time has proven that the Martin parents practiced the virtues to a heroic degree, which is always the mark of sanctity. You can also find more information about the Venerables and their family at

As we remember the parents of the Little Flower on their daughter's feast day, I must mention (and share below) a most moving picture of the 'little saint,' taken after her death. But first, allow me to also say that I discovered it at Elena Marie Vidal's ever-lovely, alluring and informative Catholic blog, "Tea at Trianon." Please don't miss Elena's edifying post, "The Passion of St. Therese" of October 1, 2008 .

St. Therese of Lisieux

"The Little Flower"

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