COLORADO SPRINGS. Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Theresé of Lisieux, have been declared the patron saints of the Diocese of Colorado Springs’ Office of Marriage and Family Life, said Christian Meert, who directs the office along with his wife, Christine.
“It all started when the Archdiocese of Philadelphia invited Christine and I to give a presentation on Louis and Zélie Martin for the World Meeting of Families in 2015 — just a few weeks before their canonization in St. Peter’s Basilica on Oct. 18, 2015,” Meert said.
Louis and Zélie Martin lived in 19th-century France. Married in 1858, they had nine children, of which four died in infancy and five entered religious life. There were the first married couple to be canonized together.
“Of course, we knew a lot about their daughter, St. Theresé of the Child Jesus — commonly known as “The Little Flower” — who died at age 24 in a Carmelite monastery in Lisieux, France, and was proclaimed Doctor of the Church. But we didn’t know much about her parents,” Meert said. “So we read tons of their own letters and books about them, some written by their own daughter, and we fell in love with them. We loved the way they raised their daughters and went through difficult and painful times together. We loved their families times, their family prayers, how they went to daily Mass — in other words, the way they lived Christ in their daily lives. We loved their marriage and the example they set for all married couples; their goal was heaven.”
The Meerts offer free one-hour presentations on the Martins to any parish in the diocese that invites them to speak. The presentation includes the opportunity to venerate a first-class relic of the Martins. They will give the presentation on Oct. 5 in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Shrine of St. Theresé in Pueblo.
For more information, contact the Meerts at email@example.com or 719-900-8229.
(Catholic News Service contributed to this story.)