This beautiful virtual pilgrimage to Alencon (54:18) filmed by Mario Calcagno has beautiful music, unusually good camera work, and superb interviews and narration. The audio is in French, but, even if you do not understand French, you can see places related to Saints Louis and Zelie and Saint Therese that do not often appear in online films. For example:
At 36:49 the church of St. Pierre de Monsort, Louis and Zelie's parish church 1858-1871. The building in which they worshipped has been replaced by a new church, which contains the baptismal font at which all the Martin children except Therese were baptized.
At 42:08, the Pavilion, the small walled garden Louis Martin purchased on the outskirts of Alencon. He kept his fishing tackle there and went there to meditate and pray; his daughters cultivated little gardens and pick picked strawberries..
At 46:14 Louis and Zelie's first home on Rue Pont-Neuf, where the first eight children were born
At 47:18 the building where the Sisters of Providence conducted a school for the makers of Point d'Alencon lace. Zelie and her future mother-in-law attended classes there.
If you have already visited Alencon, this film will recall the memories. If you have not, all the more reason to view the film.
To get to know Saints Louis and Zélie Martin a little better, by Sister Monique Marie. [Note: Sister Monique-Marie was one of those most active in the successful completion of the Cause of Saints Louis and Zélie].
Sts zelie and Louis Martin
The exhibition paints a picture of a warm, living family, with a difficult daily life: the marriage of two quite young persons; learning a common life; the birth of children; and the loss of some. Prayer, the Mass, the Gospel, and the Church are the guidebooks of their life.
Another part of the exhibition traces the recognition of the two miracles: the healing of Pietro Schilirò, which led to their Beatification on October 19, 2008, and the healing of Carmen Lourdes Perez-Pons, which led to their canonization seven years later, on October 18, 2015. Finally, the exposition shows how today's families feel close to the family of Louis and Zélie Martin.
Zélie gave birth to nine children, four of whom died very young. The exposition shows in pictures the places where they lived and presents photographs of the children and of the whole family, such as Uncle Isidore, Zélie’s brother, who was a pharmacist in Lisieux.
The Martin spouse-saints share a taste for work well done. Their life of work is anchored in an ethic of a life deeply imprinted with a profound love for God, Whom they served in practicing boundless charity toward all those around them and to the needy.
Their home was as warm as the family was united. Mutual affection abounded.
“God was pleased all through my life to surround me with love. My first memories are imprinted with smiles and with the most tender caresses.”
Saint Thérèse of Lisieux – Ms A of Story of a Soul. 4v, 9
When Zélie died of cancer in 1877, their father moved the family to Lisieux, where the vocations of each of the daughters would blossom.
A statue of Louis and Zélie Martin which was offered to the Shrine at Lisieux by a Philippine artist is presented as part of the exhibition.
• From March 3 through the end of November 2016
In March and in November: from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
From April through the end of October: from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
• At the Saint John Paul II Center, across from the Basilica
Novena of Masses for the feast of Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin
If you have the good fortune of being in Paris in July in the days leading up to the first feast of Louis and Zelie Martin as canonized saints, please participate in the novena to them at the Church of Our Lady of Victories. This "Novena for Families" begins on Monday, July 4, with an opening Mass at 12:15 p.m. Fr. Jean-Marie Simar, the rector of the Shrine of Louis and Zelie Martin at Alencon, will preside. The solemn Mass to close the novena is on Tuesday, July 12, the feast day, at 12:15 p.m. See details in French for the novena.
Basilica of Our Lady of Victories and the Martin family
Our Lady of Victories, which has a chapel dedicated to Louis and Zelie which contains their relics, was a special shrine to the Martin family. When Louis visited Paris, he prayed here, calling it, in a letter to Zelie, "like a little heaven on earth." It was during a novena of Masses offered in this church in May 1883 for little Therese, when she was sick, that she was cured, and it was here that, before leaving for Rome, she was freed of scruples while praying to the Blessed Virgin.
For those of us who are not in Paris, let's unite ourselves in prayer to this novena and pray for all the members of the human family.
Fr. Antonio Sangalli, the vice-postulator for Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, interviewed recently in Rome while at the exhibit “Therese of Lisieux: Burning With Love,” says that Louis and Zelie lived simply, but were generous to the poor; that, in theface of many tragedies, they continued to trust in God; and that they specialize in helping persons find a boyfriend or a girlfriend; helping couples have children; and helping spouses love each other more every day.
If you read French, subscribe to a new online retreat to prepare for Christmas with Saints Louis and Zelie Martin. It is the work of the Carmelite friars of Paris and includes reflections on the Sunday readings, meditations from the life of Louis and Zelie, suggested practices, and an Advent calendar for daily prayer. See more information and register at the site of the Carmelite friars of Paris. The friars have prepared online retreats for Lent and Advent for the past four years, and more than 10,000 persons have participated.
Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, the Parents of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
The lives of the parents of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux; their spirituality and the life of their family, their beatification in 2008; what we can learn from them today.