Blessed Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin
1823-1894 and 1831-1877
The Church's beatification of a couple is a rare event. The only other recent example is the 2001 beatification of Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi.
Of the Martin's nine children, two daughters and two sons died in infancy. St. Theresa of the Child Jesus (October 1) and three of her sisters entered the Carmelites in Lisieux; the fourth sister, Leonie, joined the Monastery of the Visitation.
Born into a military family in Bordeaux, Louis learned to be a watchmaker. His desire to join the Canons Regular of St. Augustine at the St. Bernard Pass in the Swiss Alps vanished because he did not know Latin. After further studies in Paris, he moved to Alcenon, where he worked as a jeweler and watchmaker, enjoying the opportunity to fish nearby.
Zélie Guérin was also born into a military family. She sought without success to enter the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. Having mastered the craft of making Point d'Alcenon lace by hand, she opened her own shop and did very well.
When Zélie and Louis met in Alecnon, she felt that he was the man whom God intended her to marry. That happened on July 13, 1858. Their surviving daughters were Marie, Pauline, Leonie, Celine and Marie-Francoise-Therese. Life in the devout Martin household is fondly described in Therese's book, The Story of a Soul.
Zélie continued her lacemaking business, which Louis helped to manage. After her death in 1877 from breast cancer, Louis and his daughters moved to Lisieux, where his brother-in-law worked as a pharmacist. His wife, Celine, helped Louis raise his daughters. The entrance of Therese into the Carmelites at the age of 15 was a great sacrifice for him. His daughter Celine looked after Louis until he entered a mental sanitarium in Caen in 1894 and died a few months later.
Many married couples attended the beatification Mass celebrated in Lisieux by Cardinal José Saraiva Martins on October 19, 2008, World Mission Sunday. St. Theresa of the Child Jesus was named co-patron of the missions in 1925.
In life Louis and Zélie knew great joy and excruciating sorrow. They firmly believed that that was with them throughout every challenge that married life, parenting and their occupations presented.
Therese once wrote, "God gave me a father and a mother more worthy of heaven than of earth."
Daily Prayer - 2015-10-02
"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, I pray for your gift of freedom.
I ask how I am within myself today?
The Word of God
Memorial of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church
Reading 1 Neh 8:1-4a, 5-6, 7b-12
The whole people gathered as one in the open space before the Water Gate,
Responsorial Psalm PS 19:8, 9, 10, 11
R. (9ab) The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
Alleluia Mark 1:15
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 10:1-12
Jesus appointed seventy-two other disciples
Some thoughts on today's scripture
Begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture you have just read.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
Rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)
What a wonderful occasion! After decades of exile, the people of Israel finally heard the Law of the Lord proclaimed in a holy ceremony. Special preparations had been made for the festive day, from the rich food and drinks right down to the distinctive platform Ezra used to read out the Law.
So why did the people start weeping when they heard Ezra proclaim God's word? Why did the Levites have to go through the crowd trying to calm people down? Because they began to feel overwhelmed and discouraged by the gap between the life Ezra was describing and the life they had been living. They saw how distant from the Lord they had become, and they began to grieve.
It was only after the Levites' words of encouragement that the people saw God's Law as something more than a burden meant to condemn them. It was a precious gift that revealed not only the justice of God, but his faithful love and mercy as well. They helped the people see that if God had given them the Law, then surely he would give them the grace to live it out!
Isn't that just how God is? We get bound up in guilt and shame, and he comes alongside us to lift our burdens. We worry about all that we won't be able to accomplish, and he reminds us that we can do all things in him. We fret over our past failures, and he reminds us that he has cast our sins away as far as the east is from the west.
How many times have you felt uncomfortable going to Mass or Confession because you don't want to face up to something that is lacking in your life? Don't ever let that happen again! Remember the Levites and their words to the people of Israel. Make it a point to rejoice in your salvation, and let that joy give you all the strength and freedom you need!
"Father, I know I am your child. Thank you for calling me into your family!"
In the Catholic Holy Mass, we unite as they did in today's 1st Holy Scripture. "Today is Holy to the Lord your God" and after reading the Holy Scripture, all the people say Amen. We stand up in Mass when the Holy Gospel is being proclaimed, the Old made into the New. We say Amen, we sing Amen, we say Amen in a variety of ways, "Blessed be God forever". Let's say angels visit in every Holy Mass, perhaps even your faithfully departed souls, and the saved souls can make an appearance. The Lord is righteous in His ways. Do not be sad, dust your feet off all the old and in with the new.
The Psalms pray on "The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart". These are profound statements. If you follow God's laws you will be happy. I don't know if a co-worker is reading this but I'm going to use him as an example on this. On Monday as I was about to write to you, he came into my office with a different look on his face and I'm sure he knew he was barging in on my readings but he had good news. You see, we had prayed about his difficult situation, I took him to the Blessed Sacrament to pray about it, his marriage or separation etc. He came in and said "I don't know what happened but this weekend something came over me and I've decided to leave everything and I want to marry the mother of my child". It didn't affect me much, because I know the Lord is in charge. But what I am saying is that the rest of the time prior to this, I noticed he was not easy to talk to, and he turned down all my invitations to eat and pray together. He was not following the precepts of the Lord. The joy you could feel coming out of him upon the epiphany was like a joyous light. So as he walked out of my office, I prayed to the saints we read about today, the holy couple, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux. Someone has to fight for marriage, someone has to be out there that cares about what God joins, a man and woman....anything else is contra...with a spirit of the anti-Christ at work. And this news, many will accept, and many will reject, the precepts of the Lord.
Our Lord speaks in the Holy Gospel "Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves". When Holy Mass ends, we are to wait until these words are said, the Father dismisses you. Try not to walk out before the final part of the Holy Mass...the final blessing of the Father. I remember my parents used to, and still do, bless me before I'd go out, either out for the night on weekends or out on a long trip. I remember the blessings and I know this set forth the charge on to the guardian angels. And thank God because there were a couple times me and my friends could've gotten killed, among gunfire while cruising streets, among black SUVs chasing me in Mexico, and a nasty car accident I was in on my high school graduation night. Driving is risky, we need every blessing we can get, and we should pray every time we get on those roads. I digress. Go on your way is a command from the Father, and after Mass, we are sent among wolves, waiting outside the door to devour the sheep let out of the gates. Who survives the attacks? Usually the strong, usually the ones protected, usually the ones that are aware! This is a call for you to live the precepts and the joy of the Lord. "Do what He says so things may go well for you" is what we read in spanish for Sunday's Psalms. Don't do things for God so you can get things, because that is selfishness and convenience. Do things because you honor Him and FEAR Him. Did you catch that in today's Psalms? "The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever". I asked the guys to stop the talk and think about what "fear of the Lord" means. One said "respect" another said "to obey" and the answers came together. I'm afraid though, just like I told them, we don't fear the Lord as we should. Some don't even fear the devil. I said after those thoughts, "then, the fear of the Lord must be a gift from the Lord". As you learn about Him, as you fall in love with Him...fear begins...holiness begins. Those that can't and won't capture this message you relay to them, take nothing out of it, don't dwell on it. Dust your feet about it. Stop worrying about it. Why? Because, as they are left pondering in the dust storm, soon their thirst will begin. It is a love action when a mother bird pushes her birds out of her nest. It is a love action when God leaves Heaven and leaves Mother to be with you...the bride. And that will be the focus of Sunday, when a man loves a woman and they marry, they become one...the child has to be accepted and loved because it is from God. This is the fight then, the spiritual fight against abortions and marriages that are not just a man and a woman. What God unites, let no man separate. I asked the guys "why do you think Jesus said the old divorcing was to be no more?". They finally asked me for the answer and I said it is the fruition of the Old Testament. Where people had false gods, other loves, other wives, infidelity was high. There is to be only one wife, just like Jesus is marrying the Holy Church. There is to be fidelity between man and woman. There is to be fruition and give birth to life, and what Christ brings is divinity to mankind. Realize the importance of this beginning with the theological book of Genesis. Realize that from the beginning God made man and from the man the woman and once again, Jesus comes to unite and make right was set forth from the Father. Jesus is waiting. Jesus will always wait on the Altar. His love is mercy and His love is great and His love can move you to take that first step to Him....I Love You and I'm ready
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