Day Eight 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 main altar of St. Pierre's Cathedral, donated by Blessed Louis Martin.

EIGHTH DAY

The House of the Father

“One day within your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. The threshold of the house of God I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked.”  (Psalm 84:11)

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,

and in our hearts take up Thy rest;

come with Thy grace and heavenly aid,

To fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O Comforter, to Thee we cry,

Thou heavenly gift of God most high,

Thou Fount of life, and Fire of love,

and sweet anointing from above.

Praise we the Father and the Son

and Holy Spirit with them One;

and may the Son on us bestow

the gifts that from the Spirit flow.

(Veni Creator Spiritus)

Gospel Reading:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled.

You have faith in God; have faith also in me.

In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places.

If there were not, would I have told you

that I am going to prepare a place for you?

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come back again and take you to myself,

so that where I am you also may be.

Where I am going you know the way.”

(John 14:1-4)

Reflection:

God is constant in his love. In the hope of the faithful love of our Father, let us understand God's gentleness; let us come to God's Mercy. And if the sweetness of the love of Christ is reserved for the house of the Father, then let us create in our homes the experience of hope. Let us sing, dance, and praise. Why not create in our homes the clean, light atmosphere reminiscent of the homes of Nazareth, of Alencon, of Les Buissonets: “Let us raise our hands to the Triune God. My prayer rises before Thee as incense and my hands as the evening sacrifice.” (Vespers)

Imagine Blessed Louis Martin in his workshop, his eyes sparkling like jewels--did he not contemplate the splendor of the heavenly Jerusalem?  At the end of his life, as he donated the Eucharistic altar in the Church of St. Pierre in Lisieux--did he not make a Tabernacle in the Father's house, like Mary was for Jesus? Louis Martin managed his affairs as a good father, a prince, or a shepherd. He reminds us of the words:  “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock” (Matt. 7:24). The scent of the Homeland is like perfume from the house of the Father. Be happy that you recognize the Father's house: “Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).

St.  Thérèse says as well: “Lift up your eyes toward Heaven, and you will see on thrones of honor a father, a dear mother, that will give you great happiness.”  Return to the Homeland. Dare to take the path of childhood by following the way of Mary. Dare to live this Gospel way, remembering that we are made in the likeness of God and keeping before us the image of the Heavenly Jerusalem. This way of childhood can take us back in time, to before our first sins. Let us ask Him to teach us the Divine Will.

For Meditation:

Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, teach us the way of childhood, the way of purity, which brings us back to the Father's House. Your family can lead us into the mystery of a God who has the tenderness of a mother.

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."