From the HouseTops, Catholic Magazine

Saint Benedict Magazine

P.

LAINLY

S.

PEAKING

Dear Friends,

The Catholic Church believes in saints and even today, when many traditions are being dropped, She continues to canonize new ones.

She believes in their intercessory power before God. She holds them up to us to revere, to inspire, and to imitate their virtues. No wonder the canonization of saints continues; the examples of saints produces more saints.

In this issue of From the HouseTops, we present two saints, Louis and Zélie Mar-tin, husband and wife, who brought into the world nine children. Almost everyone knows their daughter: Saint Therese, commonly known as “The Little Flower.”

Of the remaining eight children, four are also saints—although not canonized—for two died as infants and two more before the use of reason. Three of the remaining became Carmelite Nuns along with Saint Thérèse and the last joined a convent of the Visitation Sisters. Quite remarkable!

Nevertheless, the Church looked into the personal lives of the parents to see if they were truly holy and had all of the qualifications of sainthood. It turned out that not just one but both qualified and they became the fi rst couple ever to be canonized in the same ceremony. Perhaps this oneness in holiness is a reason why their children turned out so well. They worked together, training and disciplining their children with one mind and the same spirit.

If one asks, “What can holiness offer the world?” We can point to this saintly couple and their family. Despite sorrow and hardship, they grew in devotedness to one another; divorce never entered their minds. Neither did they limit their family. If they had, we would never have Saint Thérèse—their last child. They taught their children to honor God through daily prayer and the regular reception of the Sacraments. They provided a Catholic education and kept them from the harmful influences and vanities of the world.

Their personal holiness did not remain self-contained but was contagious. “The family,” it is said, “is a microcosm of society, a single cell of the body.” When it is healthy, the whole body of society benefits. Saints benefit all around them and can even influence future generations for the good.

Saint Thérèse Martin is a perfect example. Although she only lived to the age of 24, hid-den in a cloistered convent, millions of souls have benefitted from her example and inter-cession. There have been countless miracles of grace and nature through her intercession.

Her parents likewise, long before their canonization, inspired and helped many married couples.  May their story continue to inspire souls to follow their example.

 

In the Immaculate Heart of Mary,”
Br. Thomas Augustine, M.I.C.M.
Superior