Day Seven 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.

Zelie Martin about 1875.  Photo courtesy of Mme. F. Besnier. 

SEVENTH DAY OF THE NOVENA TO SAINTS LOUIS AND ZELIE MARTIN

Abandonment in hope

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Prayer to the Holy Spirit:

“Come, Holy Spirit; come Fire of Love, come Father of the poor; loving my wounds. Lord, You chose me from my tender childhood, and I can be called the work of Your love.” (St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus)

Reading:

Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad because of her,

all you who love her;

Rejoice with her in her joy,

all you who mourn over her

So that you may nurse and be satisfied

from her consoling breast;

That you may drink with delight

at her abundant breasts!

For thus says the LORD:

I will spread prosperity over her like a river,

like an overflowing torrent,

the wealth of nations.

You shall nurse, carried in her arms,

cradled upon her knees;

As a mother comforts her child,

so I will comfort you;

in Jerusalem you shall find your comfort.

(Isaiah 66: 10-13)

Reflection:

In the home of Nazareth as in Alençon, there is room for a gentle and rewarding education. The sweet school of the Virgin Mary, like that of Thérèse, teaches us in Wisdom and Truth: "The truth will set you free."  Free to love, but also free to recognize, to receive love, and to enjoy loving. We can recognize this love because it is a source of grace and healing.

Moreover, Louis and Zelie Martin give us a great example of faithfulness in prayer during time of trial. They are faithful to novenas and pilgrimages. St. Paul says, “How beautiful are the feet that carry the good news.” In her sickness, Zelie Martin abandoned herself in confidence during a trip to Lourdes. To have abandonment, to have confidence of healing: all our states of misery should feed on one or the other. What a mystery, what a treasure to discover!

In the school of Thérèse, we receive everything from Jesus through Mary. We receive the way of childhood, this beautiful childlike healing:

“Whatever you ask the Father in my name, I will do, that the Fathermay be glorified in the Son. … Whoever loves me will keep my word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him”

(John 14: 13, 23).

In this abandonment, Zelie Martin carried within her heart her nine children, consecrated to the Lord. In our innermost being, we must become willing to bear a new child: a child with the names of Love and Forgiveness.

For Meditation:

Saint Zelie Martin, show us the path of Mary, the great way of childhood prophesied by Thérèse. Let us be reborn in the heart of Mary in confidence, setting aside our own strength.

Louis and Zelie Martin, teach us to abandon ourselves to the time and to the graces of the Father, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

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.

Amen.

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

For tomorrow:

The complete novena: