Testimonies given on the occasion
of the coming of the relics to Sainte-Thérèse Parish in Metz
Some Testimonials . . .
My relationship with St. Thérèse began with our arrival in this parish. I knew very little about her, but I have come to know and venerate St. Thérèse since I came to the parish of Sainte-Thérèse. This great admiration for our Saint is what brings us together today.
The reception of the relics of Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin in the parish was a second discovery, since I did not know about the journey of faith of the parents of Thérèse. After reading their story, I was deeply touched by their faith journey and what they gave to their children. It is a model of the Christian family, after Mary and Joseph obviously, but it is also a model that can inspire us every day as young parents.
The children have been affected by the arrival of the relics. Different times were organized for them at the parish during the visit. Since then, we pray to and invoke Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin in our family prayer. We have now a small photo of the Martin couple in the prayer corner at our home.
(Gilles, father of three children)
Louis and Zélie Martin helped us to deepen the ecclesial dimension that the Sacrament of marriage invites us to: to be a couple, but to be a couple in the Church. We were moved, as a couple, by the presence of the Martin spouses. Among the fruits of their visit was the entry into the catechumenate of a young man 29 years old of Syrian origin. He felt really welcomed by the Christian community gathered for the Eucharist on the last day of the presence of the relics.
(Charles-Marie, father of two children)
Between the arrival of the relics at the end of November and our parish pilgrimage to Lisieux in late December, a door opened for me. Never before had I felt the desire to read the writings of Louis and Zélie Martin. Their presence at our parish has awakened in me the desire to learn more about their life and that of St. Thérèse.
(Claire, mother of four)
I saw many happy couples with lots of kids, joyfully living their faith. The Martin spouses are a model for them: they have taught their children to love the Lord and to pray. The arrival of their relics was truly a grace, an inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This grace was a response to something that already has existed a long time in the parish: the Thérèsian spirituality.
(Corinne, consecrated virgin)
The Blessed spouses, Louis and Zélie Martin, give us a beautiful testament to a couple's life, a family life. I think it is important in today's society, to show that all states of life are called to holiness, including families, consecrated persons, or priests.
The visit of Louis and Zélie Martin echoed in us their beatification in Lisieux, which we participated in three years ago. In them we find loving parents anchored in God, allowing their children to grow in faith. Their prayer life, centered in the Eucharist, has touched us greatly.
Their lifetime reflects the motto "First serve God." They are a good example of faith and life embodied in Christ, which is naturally transmitted to children.
Louis and Zélie Martin are part of our everyday life; we entrust ourselves to them at family prayer. Our eldest, Charlotte (8 years), told us that she was very touched to see how Louis and Zélie took good care not only of their children but also others who were in need.
(Etienne and Clemence, parents of four children)
Our joy was that of the whole family together:
-- Reunion of Thérèse and her parents in our church.
-- Our family’s reunion as a special group with friends who have five girls, which we feel
is special since we are the parents of six girls (ages 14 to 1 year)
-- Reunion of our parish family, through a process of devotion and reverence.
-- Reunion for us as a couple, with a model Christian couple in which the Holy Spirit has sown the seeds of life offered to God. This nearness to Louis and Zélie Martin helped us identify even more with the couple Joseph and Mary, who were obedient, prayerful, and trusting. We mention especially the time of night prayer, when we were of one mind with the Blesseds under the attentive eye of their daughter, St. Thérèse.
Louis and Zélie are human models, closer in time to us than the Holy Family. They are our great brother and sister, who said "yes" to their vocation. And we see that this "yes" is the source of many treasures. But they are also models of the "little way" of love that their daughter Thérèse gave us through the touch of her finger. If their life has an impact on us, it is for the hope that they put into our hearts, as in the Communion of Saints. If men of flesh, forgiven sinners, arrived there, then the range of possibilities is huge for us. They give us hope that our life, offered in love, is not lost but a fruitful life. We need such examples in our journey of conversion.
(Arnaud and Veronique, parents of six daughters)
I enjoyed this time of veneration of the relics, which brought together 11 groups of “prayer mothers.” This enabled mothers of all backgrounds to come together to pray for our children and the children of the world.
(Florence, a young mother)
It was beautiful to see all these parents who brought their families to the feet of these holy teachers. This leads me personally towards abandonment, trust and hope for each of my children. It assures me that the call to holiness is possible for all families in the world. Yes, it is quite a challenge, but if Louis and Zélie Martin were successful, then we can be also.
(Catherine, a young mother)