Novena to Saints Louis and Zelie Martin - Day One
Day One of the Novena to Saints Louis and Zelie Martin prepared for Sainte-Therese Parish in Metz, France. Translated by Mary Davidson and published at "Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Gateway" with the permission of Father Jean-Claude Lange. Fervent thanks to them both.
First Day of the Novena to Saints Louis and Zelie Martin
The Meeting, God's time
"Never forget that He who is Love died for you. But you will not like that you will suffer in silence." St. Margaret Mary [Alacoque] of Paray-le-Monial.
Prayer to the Holy Spirit:
The Spirit and the Bride say, "Come" . . . come with your grace, for thisworld is passing, and you will be all in all. Let the one who hears say, "Come," as one who is thirsty comes to drink freely of the living water. He who testified to this, said: "Yes, I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus, maranatha.
The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall want for nothing.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff comfort me.
You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.
God does not place a desire within us unless God is willing to fulfill it. In fact, the desire of the Spirit lived within Louis and Zelie Martin, they who chose the consecrated life and a total gift. Yet their hopes for a monastic life were not realized. God favored them, in His divine plan, in another time, another path, another door. Remember the engagement between Tobias and Sarah: "Now you are my brother and she is your sister. She is given to you forever starting today”(Tobias 7:11). In fact, it is never good to cling too firmly to our will that our plans succeed. That is why we must attend the school of patience and allow ourselves to be molded by the Spirit. The Divine Will is what is important. Through the tiny lace stitches of Zelie Martin and the ticking clocks of Louis Martin, let the parents of St. Therese take us back to their earthly time, where we will learn to love. Reread the text that Louis Martin addressed to Zelie: "The bond of this sacrament of marriage is independent of consummation. We have a clear proof of this truth in that the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph, although truly married, maintained a perpetual continence. These illustrious spouses have had many imitators living as virgins in marriage, with just a pure union of heart, giving their mutual consent to eschew the relations allowed for their state in life. These marriages had all the essentials necessary for their validity. They even had advantages over the ordinary marriages to represent a more perfect way: the chaste and perfect spiritual union of Jesus Christ with his Church.:
To understand and walk with the desire of the Martin spouses to live in holiness, we remember that in the light of the Spirit, the fertility of the couple often begins beyond the desert: "Then they began to think they had not only to acquire holiness, but also to add new companions to develop the order Our Lady began with them " (order of the Servites).
God our Father, teach us to value your time, not our time so often encumbered by our earthly desires.
May our companions and the things we love reflect Your presence alone.
Louis and Zelie Martin, bring us the gift of being receptive to the Spirit of God.
Louis and Zelie Martin, teach us to remember the gift of the Spirit.
Daily prayers: Our Father; Hail Mary;
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.
The prayer that was offered before their canonization is below:
"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. Please do not reproduce or republish the text elsewhere. You are most welcome to pray it from this Web site, to link to it, and to share the link.