If you have the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to France, be sure to go to Alençon.
There, you can follow the footsteps of the Saints we are celebrating today, Saints Louis and Zélie Martin. These married Saints were canonized together in 2015. Saints Louie and Zélie both felt called to religious life, but the Lord called them to marriage. Their wedding was on July 12, 1858, and they had nine children. Four of these children died very young, and the remaining five daughters all pursued religious life. Their youngest child was Saint Thérèse of Lisieux.
During my pilgrimage, I prayed in a beautiful small chapel in the Martin home that overlooked the bedroom where two Saints were born. This bedroom is where Saint Thérèse was born into earthly life in 1873 and Saint Zélie was born into eternal life in 1877. On the doorway it says, “Here, life and death have come together. The Martin family learned to love each other and to surrender to providence.” I was quite moved by this and prayed that they might help me surrender more deeply to the Father’s providential care.
The Martin family lived today’s Gospel (Matthew 10:34-11:1) so powerfully. The lacemaker and watchmaker were known in their community as exemplars of generosity who joyfully received the poor who frequently begged at their home for food and work. Together, they grieved the death of their four young children. Then Saint Zélie suffered and died from breast cancer. Saint Louis became a widow when Thérèse was only four years old. Louis took up the cross of raising five daughters on his own, along with the sorrow of them entering the convent and the humiliation of his mental illness. These married Saints lost their lives for the sake of Jesus and found eternal reward in Heaven.
Sisters, Jesus wants to help you take up your cross and follow Him. Do not be afraid to ask for help in whatever you are suffering today. And remember that Saints Louis and Zélie Martin are interceding for you right now. You are not alone as you surrender to God’s Providence with great trust.You are not alone. // Rose Coleman Click To Tweet
Thank you for being here.
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