Saints Zélie & Louis - They're really like you and me.

When you think of the parents of Saint Thérèse, you picture perfect, pious people, right? After all, it would take flawless parents to produce Saint Thérèse, a Doctor of the Church.

But consider these points:

Zélie was a workaholic. She had her own lace-making business and was pulled in a million directions, with work, family and community vying for her time.

Louis developed Alzheimer's and had to spend time in a mental institution. He ran away one time, and had to be confined.

Zélie lost four of her children in infancy and early childhood. She couldn't nurse them, and it's strongly suspected that a couple of them starved to death through the neglect of their wet nurse.

Both parents dealt with the shock of discovering that their problem child, Leonie, was being abused physically and verbally by the maid.

Listen to the voice of Zélie, speaking about her greatest sorrow:

"When I closed the eyes of my dear children and buried them, I felt the sorrow indeed, but it has always been resigned sorrow. I did not regret the pain and cares I had borne for them. Several people said to me, 'It would have been better if you had never had them,' but I could not endure this sort of language....They were not lost forever; life is short and full of miseries, and we shall find them again up yonder."

Zélie Martin understands a modern mother's anguish, as she watches her children fall prey to addictions and destructive behavior.

Louis Martin understands the helplessness of children watching their parents descend into Alzheimer's and dementia.

Let's raise up sons and daughters who have the courage to face the battle for the soul of our culture. Saints Zélie and Louis Martin know what we're up against, and they're in Heaven to help us on our mission here on earth.

Saints Zélie and Louis Martin, pray for our families.


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