In honor of the pilgrimage of the relics of St. Therese and of her parents, Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, and if the visit of Pope Francis o Ireland in connection with the World Meeting of Families, I have created a photo gallery, "The World of Saint Therese and Her Family," to offer you a visual experience of the concrete reality of their lives on earth, during which they became holy. It contains more than 350 photos, many, from my visit to France in May, never published before. Arranged in chronological order, these images illustrate the story of their lives from the birth of St. Louis in 1823 until the canonization of the Martin spouses in 2015. I thank the Shrine at Alencon and the Web site of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux. If you enjoy it, please help me spread the word. Thank you. The above shows highlights of the first part of the photo gallery. To see the gallery, click the photo below:
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The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Philadelphia happily announce that the reliquary of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin and of St. Therese is again enshrined in their chapel. The nuns now invite you to pray in the presence of the reliquary six days a week:
- every Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, and
- every Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Visit the Web site of the Carmelite Monastery in Philadelphia for directions.
Alert: occasionally the reliquary will be absent from the monastery so that it may be venerated in other places. To avoid disappointment, please, before planning a pilgrimage, check the monastery's Web site!
Rejoicing with the people of Great Britain that the relics of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin are now visiting the diocese of Plymouth, I remembered that England knew the joy of the presence of Blessed Louis Martin during his lifetime. About October 2, 1886, he visited Dover with his oldest daughter, Marie, who was preparing to enter the Lisieux Carmel on October 15. Father Pichon, her spiritual director, returning from a mission to Canada, wrote that he would pass through Dover and Calais on October 2, Marie asked Louis to take her to meet him so that she could welcome him home and say good-by before she entered. Louis said “I can’t refuse you anything, my big girl.” The Martins did not find the ship at Calais, so they crossed to Dover, hoping to find Fr. Pichon there.
On that October 2, a Saturday, Therese wrote to Marie from Les Buissonnets:
My dear little Marie,
We just received your telegram. I’m very happy, for I believe this means that you’ve seen Father at Dover. He sent you a letter on Wednesday [this letter was from Dublin, where the ship must have stopped first] which was telling you to go there before him today. You can’t imagine how worried we were. Celine has sent some letters to Dover and Calais “hold till called for.”
Sadly, because of a series of misunderstandings and crossed letters, Louis and Marie did not find Father Pichon at Dover either. Marie was acutely disappointed. Louis, with his customary serenity, said to her “Do not complain, Marie; God saw that you needed this trial. For my part, I am happy to have been His instrument in making this trip with you.” Happily, on their return to France, they found Fr. Pichon at Paris.
May Louis and Zelie be God’s instrument in the pilgrimage their relics are now making in Plymouth!
A portion of the relics of Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin have been visiting Italy this month. The urn containing these relics is now being venerated at the Vatican, and Pope Benedict will receive the relics during his weekly audience on Wednesday. For details, please see the CNS story here.