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Today is the feast of Saints Louis and Zelie Martin, parents of Saint Therese of Lisieux, who was a member of the Apostleship of Prayer. The first married couple to be canonized together; Louis and Zelie expressed throughout their lives a strong concern for others that was rooted in a personal love of God.
In particular, they saw the many challenges that afflicted the poor of their small village. The Martin family was blessed with a successful business and so they used that success to aid others in need. For example, in their first year of marriage Louis and Zelie took care of a young boy whose mother had died and provided for his needs. Louis himself would always visit the sick and gave whatever excess money he had to the poor. Saint Therese would later remark how often the poor would come to their house for food and clothing.
This holy couple reminds us of a “mission of compassion,” where we continue the work of Jesus who said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor” (Luke 4:18). We are not to remain isolated in our Christianity, but to be attentive to the needs and challenges of the world, both praying for resolutions and being an active part in addressing them.
Let us invoke the intercession of Saints Louis and Zelie Martin that we may join Pope Francis as he addresses the challenges of the world and find new and creative ways to resolve them.
- Philip Kosloski (USA)