Day six of the novena to saints Louis and Zelie Martin

prepared for Sainte-Therese Parish in Metz, France.  Used with the permission of Fr. Jean-Claude Lange and translated by Mary Davidson for "Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Gateway."  Please join me in thanking them.


The night sky near Lisieux.  Courtesy of l'instantane Normandie.

The night sky near Lisieux.  Courtesy of l'instantane Normandie.

The night, the desert, the purification

"That's why I'm going to seduce her into the wilderness and speak to her heart" (Hosea 14)

Prayer to the Holy Spirit:

"Come, Father of lights, God of Love, teach me to pray. Lead me to the truth. Engrave my soul with your blazing fire and fill me with your Love. Come Holy Spirit, who made the martyrs, confessors, apostles,  prophets, heroes, and all great hearts: this is the only path that leads to salvation, so therefore I take it too.” (St. Louis Marie Grignon de Montfort).

Psalm 4:

Answer me when I call, my saving God.

When troubles hem me in, set me free;

take pity on me, hear my prayer.

How long, O people, will you be hard of heart?

Why do you love what is worthless, chase after lies?

Know that the LORD works wonders for his faithful one;

the LORD hears when I call out to him.

Tremble and sin no more;

weep bitterly within your hearts,

wail upon your beds.

Offer fitting sacrifices

and trust in the LORD.

Many say, “May we see better times!

LORD, show us the light of your face!”

But you have given my heart more joy

than they have when grain and wine abound.

In peace I will lie down and fall asleep,

for you alone, LORD, make me secure.


Our concepts of desert, of loneliness, and of night mingle with those of abandonment, sadness, and punishment. If we accept that our earthly time is not that of God, then we can better understand these negative ideas. For Our Father does not appear to us in storms, or major events, but as Elijah experienced Him:  in silence and a gentle breeze. Is it not in the slightest whisper that we tell a secret? For God gives. and He takes away again. in a great mystery of exchange in love. From our perspective, it happens that when we give. sometimes we feel we are not understood. Sometimes we refuse to give, even as we refuse to receive.

Blessed Zelie Martin gave everything she had for her children, right up until her death. Blessed Louis Martin gave his all to the Eucharist on the altar. And the “all” they gave led to their crowning in Heaven.  Thus, our earthly nights or our deserts are not those of Heaven. As the dawn triumphs silently over darkness, knowing that morning is inevitable, we must accept without stubborn resistance our night, our desert, or our purification.

On Calvary, the spear brought forth blood and water, a gushing fountain of life. It was necessary for God to suffer in order for us to accept Him. At the end of Christ’s agony, the spear foreshadowed a birth. He could not come before the agony that had announced a death.  Therese wanted the Coliseum dust, the dried blood of the martyrs. Zelie Martin brought forth a holy family through her physical and psychological trials. Louis Martin brought to Carmel his desire for the priesthood, and, like Moses after crossing the desert, he could see the Promised Land. Let us read again the writing of Louis Martin: "God has opened a way to lead all people to the happiness that He intends for them. It is a path of contradictions and of the cross. It is for the princes as well as the shepherds, and faith teaches us that no one is exempt. "

For Meditation:

Saints Louis and Zelie Martin, teach us to be simple, to be poor in spirit as instruments of God.  As St. Therese prepared the altar for each Eucharist, may we invite our God to our table. As we wait for His presence, may we become His servants.

Daily Prayer: Our Father, Hail Mary, Our Father.

Prayer to Saints Louis and Zelie Martin

Saints Louis and Zélie Martin,
after having had the desire for religious life,
you heard the Lord's call to the vocation of marriage. 

You are the "parents without equal"
of whom your daughter Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus speaks;
the fortunate parents of Léonie,
the Servant of God, Sister Françoise-Thérèse;
of Marie, Pauline, and Céline,
transplanted to Mount Carmel;
and of the four children
taken from your affection in their youth:
Hélène, Joseph, Jean-Baptiste, and Mélanie-Thérèse.

 You gave all glory to God
through your humble and patient work,
your commitment to the poor,
and your family life,
where reigned the happiness
of loving
and being loved.

 You lived your daily life concretely
through the joys and sorrows of your existence.

 You love us as your own children,
with the heart of a father and the heart of a mother,
because you are the friends of God. 

Listen to our prayer and our request
(state the request . . . )
and intercede for us with God the Father,
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
in the grace of the Holy Spirit.


This prayer is courtesy of the Shrine of Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin in Alencon.

Prayer that was recited before the canonization:

"God Our Father,

I thank you for Louis and Zelie Martin,

a couple united in faith, giving the witness of an exemplary Christian life

through the exercise of the duty of their state in life

and the practice of the evangelical virtues.

In the education of a large family,

through trials, mourning, and suffering,

they generously expressed their trust in You

and their submission to Your will.

Deign to grant, O Lord, the graces that I seek,

in the hope that the father and mother of St. Therese of the Child Jesus

will one day be proposed as models for today's families for the entire Church. Amen."


The translation of this novena is copyright Maureen O'Riordan 2013-2017.  Please do not reproduce or republish the text elsewhere.  You may pray it from this Web site, link  to it, and share the link.