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the Parents of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
St. Patrick's Church
Through the Web site "Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Gateway," Carmen Alvarez-Breckenridge, a parishioner of St. Patrick's, requested Father Antonio Sangalli, the vice-postulator for the cause of Blessed Louis and Zelie, to send to St. Patrick's relics of Louis and Zelie and a photo of them.
The tapestry and the relic
After the Dominicans who staff the parish confirmed the request, Father Sangalli sent to St. Patrick's relics of Louis and Zelie and a tapestry showing them with their daughter, St. Therese. The parish friars of the Dominican Order, which has done so much for St. Therese, supplied a beautiful reliquary for the new relics and promised to display them permanently in this small shrine within the church.
The Martin family
On July 12, 2009, the first feast of Blessed Zelie and Louis and the anniversary of their marriage in 1858, the Dominican friars presided at the liturgy of the universal Church for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. After each Mass was over, they permitted the faithful to see the tapestry and to venerate the relics of the Martin spouses.
Relics of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin
The relics are displayed here in the new reliquary. The lace underneath them recalls the point d'Alencon lace Blessed Zelie manufactured.
Zelie, Therese, and Louis
The tapestry was created based on photos of Zelie in her early twenties, Louis at about thirty-five, and Therese at fifteen.
Tapestry, flowers, and relics
The relics and the tapestry are to be displayed in the church forever.
Tapestry and flowers
More than six hundred people venerated the relics on the feast. Families stood in a line stretching to the back of the church, and children kissed and hugged the reliquary.
Before the pulpit
Each bouquet had nine calla lilies to honor the virginity of the nine Martin children. The red roses symbolize Louis and Zelie's conjugal love, while the Queen Anne's lace evokes Zelie's profession, in which Louis was a partner. The lace ribbon matches the lace on Zelie's dress, and the gold ribbon, crowned with interlocking wedding rings, evokes the holiness they achieved through marriage.
At right you can see the statue of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland and of the parish. It is especially fitting that St. Patrick's Church was one of the few churches in the United States to mark the feast because, as Msgr. Lagoutte, rector of the shrine at Lisieux, said, "Ireland has led the world" in promoting devotion to Louis and Zelie.
The Blessed Virgin
Flowers for the Blessed Virgin, to whom the Martin family was passionately devoted.
Joseph and Jesus
St. Joseph and the child Jesus complete the Holy Family, reminding us that Zelie and Louis are a new holy family for us.
Flowers symbolizing the Martin family surround their Eucharistic Lord in the tabernacle. Therese wrote "Dear little sister, receive Communion often, very often: there you will find the sole remedy if you want to be healed."
Shrine of St. Therese
The shrine of St. Therese at St. Patrick's.
Statue of St. Therese
Votive candles before the statue of St. Therese
Statue of St. Therese
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.