Are St Therese parents saints?

Answered by John Hunt

St. Therese of Lisieux, also known as St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, is a beloved saint in the Catholic Church. She is known for her simple spirituality and her “little way” of doing small acts of love for God and others. But what about her parents, Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin and Louis Martin? Are they considered saints as well?

The answer to this question is a bit complex. While Marie-Azélie and Louis Martin have not been officially canonized as saints by the Catholic Church, they are considered blessed and have been beatified. Beatification is the second step in the process of becoming a saint and is a recognition by the Church that the person lived a life of heroic virtue and is worthy of veneration.

Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin, also known as Zelie Martin, was born on December 23, 1831, in France. She grew up in a devout Catholic family and had a strong desire to become a nun. However, due to her delicate health, she was unable to pursue this calling. Instead, she turned her attention to marriage and motherhood. Zelie married Louis Martin on July 13, 1858, and together they had nine children, four of whom died in infancy.

Zelie and Louis Martin were deeply committed to their faith and lived their lives in a way that reflected their love for God and others. They were faithful to their duties as parents, raising their children in a loving and nurturing environment. They instilled in their children a deep sense of faith and virtue, teaching them to pray and to love God above all else.

Zelie and Louis Martin faced many trials and hardships throughout their lives. They experienced the loss of their children, financial difficulties, and Zelie’s declining health. Despite these challenges, they remained steadfast in their faith and continued to trust in God’s providence.

Zelie Martin passed away on August 28, 1877, at the age of 45, after a long battle with breast cancer. Louis Martin, now a widower, devoted himself to the care of their five surviving daughters. He lived a life of prayer and penance, eventually becoming a layman and a member of the Third Order of Discalced Carmelites.

Both Zelie and Louis Martin’s holiness and virtue were recognized by the Church, and they were beatified together on October 19, 2008, by Pope Benedict XVI. Their beatification is a testament to their exemplary lives as spouses, parents, and faithful disciples of Christ.

The beatification of Marie-Azélie and Louis Martin is significant because it recognizes their sanctity and invites us to imitate their virtues. They are considered models of holiness for married couples and families, showing us that it is possible to live a life of great love and faithfulness in the midst of ordinary and everyday circumstances.

Their beatification also highlights the importance of the vocation of marriage and the family in the Church. Zelie and Louis Martin embraced their roles as husband and wife and parents with great joy and dedication, and their example reminds us of the sacredness and beauty of these vocations.

While Marie-Azélie Guérin Martin and Louis Martin have not been officially canonized as saints, they are considered blessed and have been beatified. Their beatification recognizes their heroic virtue and their exemplary lives as spouses and parents. They serve as models of holiness for married couples and families, showing us the importance of living our faith in the midst of everyday life.