A couple characterized by their mutual vocation for one another, their friendship, and the sanctification of the children. The parents of St. Therese of Lisieux will be canonized on Sunday in St. Peter's Square
"The Synod will present, at the end, solutions and the pastoral guidelines, but with these two saints it is presenting two concrete examples of family holiness. The family holiness of two people who, as spouses and parents, somehow knew how—I dare to say— to "infect" with their holiness their daughter, although this daughter was canonized before the parents." With these words, Father Federico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office, inaugurated last Friday the press conference for the presentation of the figures of the spouses Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, who will be canonized on Sunday, October 18th, at the climax of the Synod on family.
"The motive of the exemplarity of the Martin couple—said the postulator of the cause, Father Romano Gambalunga—is that, by looking at how they lived, we can rediscover what the two Synods, the extraordinary last year and the current one, also want to help us to better appreciate: the fact that the family is not primarily a place of conflict, a place difficult, but rather the place where we learn to communicate, where we discover the beauty of the relationship between man and woman as well as between parents and children. The family and family relations indeed work well when spouses live their encounter, the story of their love as a vocation. In other words, they receive one another from the hands of God and they advance in their lives knowing that there is a good plan, to be discovered together, learning mutual esteem and respect for one another, and sharing all situations—both beautiful and less beautiful—, experiencing the other’s help, the gift. Equally important, moreover, in a marriage, is living the relationship between a man and a woman as a friendship: where there is mutual respect, where there is a pact and a common project is shared, where they help each other to educate their children. And all this—the mutual vocation for one another, friendship, the sanctification of the children—, the Martin spouses were able to live it in an exemplary manner, exercising patience, humility, perseverance, tenderness, and trust, both one with the other and towards their children."
Father Antonio Sangalli, vice-postulator of the cause, after telling about the two miracles that led to the canonization of the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux—the inexplicable healings of two small children, one suffering from a pulmonary malformation and the other from cerebral hemorrhage—, emphasized that "the fact that they are canonized on the same day that they were beatified, the third Sunday in October, World Mission Sunday, recalls how the Martin couple were the educators of Teresa the missionary, and how this couple, if entreated, invoked, by families in severe situations, is immediately close to them."