Saint Thérèse of Lisieux: A Gateway
December 20, 2012

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Blessings for Advent and the Christmas season.  Highlights of this month's newsletter:     
  • Diocesan inquiry into a miracle attributed to Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin.  .   
  • With Therese at Christmas   
  • The relics of St. Therese in the Philippines  
A blessed Christmas,

Maureen O'Riordan

Diocesan Process for miracle
attributed to Bl. Louis and Zelie Martin to open in Spain on January 7, 2013
Round photo of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin against a blue background

During this season in which our thoughts are turned to the Holy Family, marvelous news about the cause of the Martin spouses.  On December 12, 2012 the Shrine at Lisieux posted the announcement below in French on its Facebook page.

"The process concerning the diocesan inquiry into the presumed miracle attributed to the Martin spouses will be officially opened by the Archbishop of Valencia, in Spain, on January 7 at 7:00 p.m.  The Tribunal will be named, and the first session will follow the next day.  If all goes well, the final work could be sent to Rome at the end of April or the beginning of May, which could mean . .  . canonization of Louis and Zelie in 2013!" 

The Shrine commented that a little Spanish girl named Carmen had been cured at the intercession of Zelie and Louis. 

Louis and Zelie were not beatified until more than five years after the close of the diocesan inquiry into the healing of the baby Pietro Schiliro.  Will the wheels move more quickly for their canonization?

The Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux has just opened a new English section called "The Martin Couple."  I am delighted to announce that there, thanks to the generosity of Alba House
, you can now read online Dr. Frances Renda's introduction to A Call to a Deeper Love: The Family Correspondence of the Parents of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, 1863-1885This introduction is a powerful reflection on the marital spirituality of Louis and Zelie.  It concludes:

"As Louis and Zelie Martin offered themselves to Christ as a couple, they set out to discover the ministry of a man and a woman joined in marriage.  They model for us the marital journey to ever deepen our understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage--a call to conversion in Christ--a call to mirror Christ's love--in a word, a call to a deeper love.  And they beckon us to join them in the priesthood of the laity, given to us at Baptism, to restore our marriage, our family, and the world around us to the God of merciful love.

Thus, through looking at the marriage of Louis and Zelie Martin, we understand that their marriage was a gift from God to the Church, and their love for each other was fruitful far beyond what they could have accomplished through their own sanctity.  They call out to us to be attentive and accepting to the God who is present in the everyday events of our lives, however confusing and painful they may be, and to have total trust and confidence in the God of love."

A Call to a Deeper Love is a gold mine.  It's here that you will learn to know Zelie and Louis and their family intimately and to see that this couple, now not far from canonization, struggled with war. grief, sickness, their personal weakness, money troubles, the challenge of operating successful businesses, finding child care, and looking after their elderly parents: all the challenges we face today.  They became saints in the midst of that struggle, and they helped their youngest daughter become a channel of the Merciful Love so much greater than she was.

Order A Call to a Deeper Love.

Read more about the lives of Louis and Zelie Martin

With Therese at Christmas in Carmel

At Lisieux Carmel it was customary on certain feast days for the nuns to draw by lot certain pious sayings.  Eight days before Christmas Therese and the other Carmelites drew by lot sayings called "vehicles by which to go to the Creche" and which inspired the nuns to be fervent in the last few days of Advent.  You will see that some sayings said "you will go to the creche on the wings of a dove," and one says "You will go to the creche carried by a Newfoundland dog."  Some sayings, such as "You will go to the creche by an automobile," date from a time later than Therese.  To choose a saying for yourself, visit "Vehicles by which to go to the creche."
        Relics of St. Therese arrive in the Philippines on December 15, 2012   
Relics of St. Therese arrive in the Philippines