Friday, July 12, 2019

Saint July 13 : St. King Henry II the Patron of the Childless, Disabled and #Oblates

German King and Holy Roman Emperor, son of Duke Henry II (the Quarrelsome) and of the Burgundian Princess Gisela; b. 972; d. in his palace of Grona, at Gottingen, 13 July, 1024.
 Like his predecessor, Otto III, he had the literary education of his time. In his youth he had been destined for the priesthood. Therefore he became acquainted with ecclesiastical interests at an early age. Willingly he performed pious practices, gladly also he strengthened the Church of Germany, without, however, ceasing to regard ecclesiastical institutions as pivots of his power, according to the views of Otto the Great. With all his learning and piety, Henry was an eminently sober man, endowed with sound, practical common sense. He went his way circumspectly, never attempting anything but the possible and, wherever it was practicable, applying the methods of amiable and reasonable good sense. This prudence, however, was combined with energy and conscientiousness. Sick and suffering from fever, he traversed the empire in order to maintain peace.
At all times he used his power to adjust troubles. The masses especially he wished to help. The Church, as the constitutional Church of Germany, and therefore as the advocate of German unity and of the claims of inherited succession, raised Henry to the throne. The new king straightway resumed the policy of Otto I both in domestic and in foreign affairs. This policy first appeared in his treatment of the Eastern Marches.
The encroachments of Duke Boleslaw, who had founded a great kingdom, impelled him to intervene. But his success was not marked. In Italy the local and national opposition to the universalism of the German king had found a champion in Arduin of Ivrea. The latter assumed the Lombard crown in 1002. In 1004 Henry crossed the Alps. Arduin yielded to his superior power. The Archbishop of Milan now crowned him King of Italy.
This rapid success was largely due to the fact that a large part of the Italian episcopate upheld the idea of the Roman Empire and that of the unity of Church and State. On his second expedition to Rome, occasioned by the dispute between the Counts of Tuscany and the Crescentians over the nomination to the papal throne, he was crowned emperor on 14 February, 1014. But it was not until later, on his third expedition to Rome, that he was able to restore the prestige of the empire completely. Before this happened, however, he was obliged to intervene in the west. Disturbances were especially prevalent throughout the entire northwest. Lorraine caused great trouble. The Counts of Lutzelburg (Luxemburg), brothers-in-law of the king, were the heart and soul of the disaffection in that country. Of these men, Adalbero had made himself Bishop of Trier by uncanonical methods (1003); but he was not recognized any more than his brother Theodoric, who had had himself elected Bishop of Metz. True to his duty, the king could not be induced to abet any selfish family policy at the expense of the empire.
Even though Henry, on the whole, was able to hold his own against these Counts of Lutzelburg, still the royal authority suffered greatly by loss of prestige in the northwest. Burgundy afforded compensation for this. The lord of that country was Rudolph, who, to protect himself against his vassals, joined the party of Henry II, the son of his sister, Gisela, and to Henry the childless duke bequeathed his duchy, despite the opposition of the nobles (1006). Henry had to undertake several campaigns before he was able to enforce his claims.
He did not achieve any tangible result, he only bequeathed the theoretical claims on Burgundy to his successors. Better fortune awaited the king in the central and eastern parts of the empire. It is true that he had a quarrel with the Conradinians over Carinthia and Swabia: but Henry proved victorious because his kingdom rested on the solid foundation of intimate alliance with the Church. That his attitude towards the Church was dictated in part by practical reasons, primarily he promoted the institutions of the Church chiefly in order to make them more useful supports his royal power, is clearly shown by his policy.
How boldly Henry posed as the real ruler of the Church appears particularly in the establishment of the See of Bamberg, which was entirely his own scheme. He carried out this measure, in 1007, in spite of the energetic opposition of the Bishop of Wurzburg against this change in the organization of the Church. The primary purpose of the new bishopric was the germanization of the regions on the Upper Main and the Regnitz, where the Wends had fixed their homes. As a large part of the environs of Bamberg belonged to the king, he was able to furnish rich endowments for the new bishopric. The importance of Bamberg lay principally in the field of culture, which it promoted chiefly by its prosperous schools. Henry, therefore, relied on the aid of the Church against the lay powers, which had become quite formidable. But he made no concessions to the Church. Though naturally pious, and though well acquainted with ecclesiastical culture, he was at bottom a stranger to her spirit. He disposed of bishoprics autocratically. Under his rule the bishops, from whom he demanded unqualified obedience, seemed to be nothing but officials of the empire. He demanded the same obedience from the abbots. However, this political dependency did not injure the internal life of the German Church under Henry. By means of its economic and educational resources the Church had a blessed influence in this epoch. But it was precisely this civilizing power of the German Church that aroused the suspicions of the reform party. This was significant, because Henry was more and more won over to the ideas of this party.
 At a synod at Goslar he confirmed decrees that tended to realize the demands made by the reform party. Ultimately this tendency could not fail to subvert the Othonian system, moreover could not fail to awaken the opposition of the Church of Germany as it was constituted. This hostility on the part of the German Church came to a head in the emperor's dispute with Archbishop Aribo of Mainz. Aribo was an opponent of the reform movement of the monks of Cluny. The Hammerstein marriage imbroglio afforded the opportunity he desired to offer a bold front against Rome. Otto von Hammerstein had been excommunicated by Aribo on account of his marriage with Irmengard, and the latter had successfully appealed to Rome. This called forth the opposition of the Synod of Seligenstadt, in 1023, which forbade an appeal to Rome without the consent of the bishop. This step meant open rebellion against the idea of church unity, and its ultimate result would have been the founding of a German national Church. In this dispute the emperor was entirely on the side of the reform party.
He even wanted to institute international proceedings against the unruly archbishop by means of treaties with the French king. But his death prevented this. Before this Henry had made his third journey to Rome in 1021. He came at the request of the loyal Italian bishops, who had warned him at Strasburg of the dangerous aspect of the Italian situation, and also of the pope, who sought him out at Bamberg in 1020. Thus the imperial power, which had already begun to withdraw from Italy, was summoned back thither. This time the object was to put an end to the supremacy of the Greeks in Italy. His success was not complete; he succeeded, however, in restoring the prestige of the empire in northern and central Italy. Henry was far too reasonable a man to think seriously of readopting the imperialist plans of his predecessors. He was satisfied to have ensured the dominant position of the empire in Italy within reasonable bounds. Henry's power was in fact controlling, and this was in no small degree due to the fact that he was primarily engaged in solidifying the national foundations of his authority. The later ecclesiastical legends have ascribed ascetic traits to this ruler, some of which certainly cannot withstand serious criticism. For instance, the highly varied theme of his virgin marriage to Cunegond has certainly no basis in fact. The Church canonized this emperor in 1146, and his wife Cunegond in 1200. Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia 

Pope Francis Creates New Apostolic Exarchy for Ukrainians in Italy

Vatican News - Pope creates Apostolic Exarchy for Ukrainians in Italy
A new Exarchy has been erected to provide for the pastoral care of Ukrainian Greek-Catholics living in Italy.
The Holy Father has erected the Apostolic Exarchate for the Ukrainian Catholic faithful of the Byzantine rite residing in Italy. The Holy Father has nominated Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General of His Holiness for the Diocese of Rome, as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante [the See being vacant] of the Exarchate.

An Exarchy in an Eastern Catholic particular Church corresponds to an Apostolic Vicariate in the Latin-rite; it is an ecclesiastical circumscription outside the home territory of an Eastern Church, which has not yet been raised to the level of an Eparchy (the Eastern equivalent of a Diocese). Exarchies are understood to be provisional, that is, they are established with the end of growing to the point where they are recognized as an Eparchy.

The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church in Italy
There have been sizable numbers of Ukrainian Greek-Catholic faithful in Italy going back more than twenty years. Since that time, the Italian Episcopal Conference, through its Migrants Service, has progressively organized pastoral care for Ukrainians in the country. At various stages, this has involved the appointment of a nationwide priest coordinator, with the responsibility for individual communities entrusted to the care of the local Latin-rite Bishop.

The attachment of the faithful to the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church was also ensured through the appointment of an episcopal Apostolic Visitor, an office currently held by Bishop Dionisio Lachovicz, O.S.B.M.

Today there are approximately 70,000 Ukrainian Catholics resident in Italy, divided among 145 communities assisted by 62 priests.

The new Exarchate comprises the whole of Italy. The seat of the Exarchate, and its Cathedral Church will be the parish of Saints Sergius and Bacchus [Santi Sergio e Bacco], which since 1970 has been the national church of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Rome. The church of Sts Sergius and Bacchus dates to the 9th century; and has been associated with the UGCC since Pope Urban VIII granted the church to Ruthenian monks of the Order of Saint Basil the Great in 1641.

FULL TEXT Release from VaticanNews.va

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Friday, July 12, 2019 - #Eucharist


Friday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 387

Reading 1GN 46:1-7, 28-30

Israel set out with all that was his.
When he arrived at Beer-sheba,
he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called,
"Jacob! Jacob!"
He answered, "Here I am."
Then he said: "I am God, the God of your father.
Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt,
for there I will make you a great nation.
Not only will I go down to Egypt with you;
I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes."

So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba,
and the sons of Israel
put their father and their wives and children
on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent for his transport.
They took with them their livestock
and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan.
Thus Jacob and all his descendants migrated to Egypt.
His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters--
all his descendants—he took with him to Egypt.

Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph,
so that he might meet him in Goshen.
On his arrival in the region of Goshen,
Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot
and rode to meet his father Israel in Goshen.
As soon as Joseph saw him, he flung himself on his neck
and wept a long time in his arms.
And Israel said to Joseph, "At last I can die,
now that I have seen for myself that Joseph is still alive."

Responsorial PsalmPS 37:3-4, 18-19, 27-28, 39-40

R.(39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Trust in the LORD and do good,
that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will grant you your heart's requests.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;
their inheritance lasts forever.
They are not put to shame in an evil time;
in days of famine they have plenty.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
Turn from evil and do good,
that you may abide forever;
For the LORD loves what is right,
and forsakes not his faithful ones.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

AlleluiaJN 16:13A, 14:26D

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
When the Spirit of truth comes,
he will guide you to all truth
and remind you of all I told you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 10:16-23

Jesus said to his Apostles:
"Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves;
so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.
But beware of men,
for they will hand you over to courts
and scourge you in their synagogues,
and you will be led before governors and kings for my sake
as a witness before them and the pagans.
When they hand you over,
do not worry about how you are to speak
or what you are to say.
You will be given at that moment what you are to say.
For it will not be you who speak
but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
Brother will hand over brother to death,
and the father his child;
children will rise up against parents and have them put to death.
You will be hated by all because of my name,
but whoever endures to the end will be saved.
When they persecute you in one town, flee to another.
Amen, I say to you, you will not finish the towns of Israel
before the Son of Man comes."

Saint July 12 : St. John Gualbert the Founder of the Vallumbrosan Order

St. John Gualbert, son of the noble Florentine Gualbert Visdomini, was born in 985 (or 995), and died at Passignano, 12 July, 1073, on which day his feast is kept; he was canonized in 1193. One of his relatives having been murdered, it became his duty to avenge the deceased. He met the murderer in a narrow lane and was about to slay him, but when the man threw himself upon the ground with arms outstretched in the form of a cross, he pardoned him for the love of Christ. On his way home, he entered the Benedictine Church at San Miniato to pray, and the figure on the crucifix bowed its head to him in recognition of his generosity. This story forms the subject of Burne-Jones's picture "The Merciful Knight", and has been adapted by Shorthouse in "John Inglesant". John Gualbert became a Benedictine at San Miniato, but left that monastery to lead a more perfect life. His attraction was for the cenobitic not eremitic life, so after staying for some time with the monks at Camaldoli, he settled at Vallombrosa, where he founded his monastery.
Mabillon places the foundation a little before 1038. Here it is said he and his first companions lived for some years as hermits, but this is rejected by Martène as inconsistent with his reason for leaving Camaldoli. The chronology of the early days of Vallombrosa has been much disputed. The dates given for the founder's conversion vary between 1004 and 1039, and a recent Vallumbrosan writer places his arrival at Vallombrosa as early as 1008. We reach surer ground with the consecration of the church by Bl. Rotho, Bishop of Paderborn, in 1038, and the donation by Itta, Abbess of the neighbouring monastery of Sant' Ellero, of the site of the new foundation in 1039. The abbess retained the privilege of nominating the superiors, but this right was granted to the monks by Victor II, who confirmed the order in 1056. Two centuries later, in the time of Alexander IV, the nunnery was united to Vallombrosa in spite of the protests of the nuns. The holy lives of the first monks at Vallombrosa attracted considerable attention and brought many requests for new foundations, but there were few postulants, since few could endure the extraordinary austerity of the life. Thus only one other monastery, that of San Salvi at Florence, was founded during this period. But when the founder had mitigated his rule somewhat, three more monasteries were founded and three others reformed and united to the order during his lifetime. In the struggle of the popes against simony the early Vallumbrosans took a considerable part, of which the most famous incident is the ordeal by fire undertaken successfully by St. Peter Igneus in 1068 (see Delarc, op. cit.). Shortly before this the monastery of S. Salvi had been burned and the monks ill-treated by the anti-reform party. These events still further increased the repute of Vallombrosa.
Development of the order
 After the founder's death the order spread rapidly. A Bull of Urban II in 1090, which takes Vallombrosa under the protection of the Holy See, enumerates fifteen monasteries besides the motherhouse. Twelve more are mentioned in a Bull of Paschal II in 1115, and twenty-four others in those of Anastasius IV (1153) and Adrian IV (1156). By the time of Innocent III they numbered over sixty. All were situated in Italy, except two monasteries in Sardinia. About 1087 Bl. Andrew of Vallombrosa (d. 1112) founded the monastery of Cornilly in the Diocese of Orléans, and in 1093 the Abbey of Chezal-Benoît, which became later the head of a considerable Benedictine congregation. There is no ground for the legend given by some writers of the order of a great Vallumbrosan Congregation in France with an abbey near Paris, founded by St. Louis. The Vallumbrosan Congregation was reformed in the middle of the fifteenth century by Cassinese Benedictines, and again by Bl. John Leonardi at the beginning of the seventeenth century. In 1485 certain abbeys with that of San Salvi at Florence at their head, which had formed a separate congregation, were reunited to the motherhouse by Innocent VIII. At the beginning of the sixteenth century an attempt was made by Abbot-General Milanesi to found a house of studies on university lines at Vallombrosa; but in 1527 the monastery was burned by the troops of Charles V. It was rebuilt by Abbot Nicolini in 1637, and in 1634 an observatory was established. From 1662-80 the order was united to the Sylvestrines. In 1808 Napoleon's troops plundered Vallombrosa, and the monastery lay deserted till 1815. It was finally suppressed by the Italian Government in 1866. A few monks remain to look after the church and meteorological station, but the abbey buildings have become a school of forestry founded in 1870 on the German model, the only one of its kind in Italy. Vallombrosa is also a health resort.
The decline of the order may be ascribed to the hard fate of the motherhouse, to commendams, and to the perpetual wars which ravaged Italy. Practically all the surviving monasteries were suppressed during the course of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The present Vallumbrosan monasteries, besides Vallombrosa itself, are: Passignano, where St. John Gualbert is buried; S. Trinità at Florence, where the abbot-general resides; Sta Prassede, in Rome; Galloro in the Diocese of Albano, with the sanctuary of Bl. Benedict Ricasoli (d. 1107); and the celebrated sanctuary of Montessoro in the Diocese of Leghorn. The modern monastery of Signol near Loriol, Drôme, France, was suppressed by the Ferry laws in 1880. The present abbot-general is Fedele Tarani. The monks now number about 100. The shield of the order shows the founder's arm in a tawny-coloured cowl grasping a golden crutch-shaped crozier on a blue ground. The services rendered by the order have been mostly in the field of asceticism. Besides the Vallumbrosan saints alluded to in other parts of this article there may also be mentioned: Bl. Veridiana, anchoress (1208-42); Bl. Giovanni Dalle Celle (feast, 10 March); the lay brother Melior (1 Aug.). By the middle of the seventeenth century the order had supplied twelve cardinals and more than 30 bishops. F. E. Hugford (1696-1771), born at Florence of English parents, is well known as one of the chief promoters of the art of scagliola (imitation of marble in plaster). Abbot-General Tamburini's works on canon law are well known. Galileo was for a time a novice at Vallombrosa and received part of his education there. Text shared from the Catholic Encyclopedia

Saint July 12 : Saint Louis and Saint Zélie Martin the Parents of St. Thérèse the Little Flower - #Lisieux


Brief Biography of Zelie and Louis Martin
  Zélie never lost her longing for the cloister yet she loved her husband and children, and totally fulfilled her role as both wife and mother. She was a highly skilled lace maker and an astute business woman. Zélie Guérin was born on December 23, 1831 in the parish of St-Denis-sur-Sarthon near Alencon; she was baptised on Christmas Eve. Her father had retired from the army and was a member of the local police force. Her mother had given birth to her first child, Marie Louise, two years previously and the family was completed with the birth of a son, Isidore, ten years later. Her father sold his house and land in the country in order to send them to school. The family moved to Alencon when Zélie was 13 and together with her sister, she attended the school of the Perpetual Adoration. After the move to Alencon her mother ran a café for a short time and her father tried his hand at woodwork. Later Isidore, who was a bright child, was sent to the Lycée. In adult life after studying medicine in Paris he became a pharmacist at Lisieux. Zélie suffered severe headaches in her childhood as well as respiratory problems, and it was probably on account of her poor health that the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul would not accept her as a postulant when she applied to join them. Her sister entered the Visitation Convent at Le Mans at the age of 29, and became Sister Marie-Dosithée. On entering she declared, ‘I have come here in order to become a saint.’ Zélie’s plan unfolds Zélie had decided that if God did not want her as a religious she would marry and have many children who would all be consecrated to Him. She turned to Our Lady and asked her how she should earn her dowry. On December 8, 1851 she received her answer in the form of an interior voice which said, ‘Make Alencon point lace’. Zélie went to a professional school to learn her craft; she quickly excelled and left to start her own business. One day when she was crossing the Bridge of St. Leonard, Zélie noticed a man passing by and again heard that interior voice. It said, ‘This is he whom I have prepared for you.’ The man was Louis Martin, whose mother had noticed Zélie at the lace making school. On July 13, 1858 Zélie and Louis were married; she was nearly 27. On the evening of her marriage Zélie visited her sister at the Visitation Convent in Le Mans. She had been a postulant there for two months, but this was Zélie’s first visit to her and she could not stop weeping. She wished with all her heart that she could have entered too. Zélie was always totally content with Louis, Zélie’s agree to Louis’ proposal for chastity, even though she still wanted to bring up children for God. During the first year of their marriage they cared for a little boy of five whose father had died and whose mother had eleven children. They lived a life of chastity for ten months, after which, under the direction of a confessor they agreed that they should have children of their own. Once convinced that this was God’s will for them they had nine children in thirteen years. Meanwhile, Zélie set up her office next to Louis’ shop, where she continued with her lace making.  The first baby Zélie’s first child was born on February 22, 1860, and given the names Marie Louise. Zélie and Louis had decided to give all their children the name Marie in honour of Our Lady,  Marie had good health from the start, and proved to be the easiest of all the children to rear. On September 7, 1861 Marie Pauline was born; she too was a reasonably strong child, though she suffered from a chronic cough during her first years. Zélie’s third daughter Marie Léonie was born on June 3, 1863. Marie Hélène was born the following year on October 13. Zélie’s own health was already beginning to fail. She was unable to nurse this child herself and had to entrust her to a wet nurse. In April 1865 Zélie wrote to her brother, ‘You know that when I was a girl I received a blow in the breast, through striking the corner of a table.  In June 1865 Louis’on September 20, 1866 she gave birth to Marie Joseph Louis. It was the easiest birth since her first child and the baby was big and strong.  The little boy was very ill and on February 14, he died. Zélie believed she had a saint in Heaven. She turned to St. Joseph making a novena which ended on his feast day for another son. As when she asked Our Lady’s prayers for a second child, the baby was born precisely nine months later. Marie Joseph John Baptiste arrived on December 19, 1867 but his was the most difficult birth of all. Everyone could see that this baby was not strong.  Zélie was resigned, he suffered enteritis and on August 24, 1868 he died in his mother’s arms. Zelie's father, unable to live alone, had been persuaded to move in with his daughter and her family. He died less than two weeks after her second son.  On April 28, 1869 Marie Céline was born. Hélène fell ill tragically and unexpectedly; within forty-eight hours she died, aged only five.  Marie Mélanie Thérèse lived less than two months. In July 1871 the family moved to Zélie’s old home. Zélie went to the 5.30 Mass there every morning with her husband; they both received Holy Communion several times each week, which was unusually frequent at that time. She had about fifteen women working for her. Zélie even dealt with investments and read the stock exchange journal. Having lost Hélène and Mélanie Thérèse, Zélie was delighted to find herself expecting her ninth child. On Thursday 2nd January 1873 Zélie gave birth to her last child, Marie Francoise Thérèse.  The little brothers and sisters who had died were considered very much a part of the family and following Zélie’s own conviction the children were taught to look upon Heaven as their true home. In October 1876, doctors said the swelling in Zélie’s breast was A fibrous tumour’ and advised an operation.  On February 24 her sister died at the Visitation.  Zelie and 3 of her daughters set out for a pilgrimage for healing to Lourdes on June 18. Zélie fell and twisted her neck causing pain from which she never recovered. She was immersed four times in the baths, but her pain remained as severe a ever. Zélie arrived home in good spirits, even though her health was worse. She held on to Our Lady’s promise to Bernadette, ‘I will not make you happy in this world but in the next.’ At the end of June the tumour began to discharge; the nights were dreadful; the pain was so severe Zélie could not sleep. few more steps. On August 16 Zélie wrote her last letter to her brother, ‘If the Blessed Virgin does not cure me, it is that my time has come and that God wishes me to find my rest elsewhere than on earth.’ Ten days later a haemorrhage took away her voice, her limbs became swollen and she became so weak that the Guérins were summoned. Louis fetched the priest escorting the Blessed Sacrament from the Church. The family were all gathered round for this final ceremony. The next day the Guérins were there. Céline Guérin never forgot the mother’s last look; she resolved to do all she could for the children, but she knew she could not replace such a mother. On Tuesday August 28 at 12.30 a.m. Zélie died, her husband and her brother beside her. The three older girls were there, but they did not waken the two younger ones. Thérèse’s father took her to see her mother for the last time the next morning. The following day Zélie was buried with the four little ones. It was not until 1894 when Louis died that Isidore Guérin had the family grave moved to Lisieux. In 1957 the Cause for Zélie’s Beatification was introduced together with that of her husband. … The Cause of Louis and Zélie received a great boost when the Holy See officially recognised their heroic holiness and on 26th March 1994 they were declared Venerable by Pope John Paul II.
 Short Biography of Blessed Louis Martin Father of St. Thérèse Above the graves of St. Thérèse’s parents behind the Basilica in Lisieux are the words, ‘God gave me a father and mother more worthy of Heaven than of earth,’ words written by Thérèse to Abbé Bellière just two months before she died. Time has shown that Thérèse was not alone in believing this as their Cause for Beatification was introduced in 1957. Their heroic holiness was officially recognised by the Holy See when Pope John Paul II declared them Venerable on 26th March 1994. Louis’ family were from Normandy he was born in the south of France at Bordeaux. His father was a captain in the army garrisoned there, though he was actually away in Spain when Louis was born on August 22, 1823. Louis’ only brother, Pierre, was four years older. He died at sea while still young; his sister, Marie, who was three years older, died when she was only twenty-six. Louis was baptised privately straight after birth but the full ceremonies at the Church of St. Eulalie were not completed until October after his father returned from the Spanish campaign. He was given the names Louis Joseph Aloys Stanislaus. After his return from Spain Captain Martin was transferred to Avignon, where in 1826 another child, Anne Fannie, was born. She was the only one of the family besides Louis to have any children of her own; she married Adolphe Leriche and in 1844 gave birth to a son of the same name, but died nine years later. The youngest of Louis’ sisters, Sophie also died at age nine. The father chose to live in Alencon where he knew he could educate his children.  In 1842 Louis began to learn watchmaking. In Strasburg Louis climbed the Swiss Alps to the Augustinian Monastery of Mount St. Bernard but to seek admission to the community. The Prior told him that without any knowledge of Latin he could not be accepted. He persevered for over a year, but when illness made it necessary for him to give up for a while he never returned to it. Master Watchmaker Louis returned to Alencon a master watchmaker and in November 1850 established his shop in the Parish of St. Pierre de Monsort. The house was large so Louis had his parents to live with him. He worked hard at his watchmaking and later added a jeweller’s shop. He insisted on closing his shop on Sundays even when a priest suggested that he might leave the side door open. In 1857 he bought the Pavilion, a small property on the outskirts of the town. He also liked fishing and he often took his catch to the Poor Clare Convent. He was generous to the poor and never hesitated to give practical help when he saw the need.When he was thirty-five, only three months after their first meeting, Louis married Zélie Guérin, on July 13, 1858. They lived behind his shop, and as the house was so large his parents were able to remain there, living quite separately on the floor above. Since Louis and Zélie both desired to live the religious life they chose to continue their dedication to God through chastity after their marriage. It was only ten months later, when a confessor suggested that they should consider the vocation of parenthood that their ideas changed. Louis was delighted when his first daughter was born on February 22, 1860.  In the following thirteen years eight more children followed Marie; Louis rejoiced at each birth and sorrowed when three of them died as small babies, but his greatest sadness in those years was the death of five year old Hélène on February 22, 1870. That same year, in April, Louis sold his business to his nephew, Adolphe Leriche, and in July 1871 the family moved to Zélie’s old home. Louis’ mother continued to live above the shop, happy that her grandson now occupied the other apartment.  Louis had always done all he could to help Zélie with her lacemaking business. With the birth of Thérèse in January 1873 Louis’ family was complete. He loved to spend time with his five daughters.  Louis liked to go on pilgrimage to Our Lady’s shrines. At the end of 1876 when Louis realised that his wife was fatally ill he became inconsolable. He gave up his fishing for a time and would not leave her. On August 28 Zélie died and the following day Louis took his little Thérèse to kiss her mother for the last time. Louis was left with five daughters ranging in age from 4 to 17, Louis fulfilled his wife’s wishes and less than three months after her death the family went to live at Les Buissonnets in Lisieux, to be near her brother, Isidore Guérin, and his wife Céline. he returned to Alencon to visit his own mother and the family graves Marie ran the house helped by a maid. He still enjoyed reading and also passed much time there in meditation and prayer. He spent each evening with his daughters. Usually one of them read aloud from ‘The Liturgical Year’ or some other carefully chosen book. Céline and Thérèse often sat on his knee and he told them stories and sang to them. This was where Thérèse first heard many of the melodies that she later used as settings for her poems. The evening always ended with family prayer and Thérèse said that she only had to watch her father to know how the saints pray. He often spoke of Heaven and every day he assisted at the early Mass as he had done in Alencon. He established the Nocturnal Adoration Society in Lisieux with the help of his brother-in-law. He was active in the St. Vincent de Paul Society and each Monday he gave alms to the poor. Carmel takes Pauline When Thérèse began school at the Benedictine Convent it was often Louis who took and collected her together with Céline who was also a pupil there. When Pauline expressed her desire to enter Carmel he gave his permission willingly even though he was not at all sure that her health would stand up to the austerities of the life. Later that same day he said to her, ‘Pauline, I have given you permission to enter Carmel for your happiness, but do not think that there is no sacrifice on my part, for I love you so much.’ He was sorry to lose a daughter from the family circle which meant so much to him, but he was happy that the prayers he had made with Zélie that each child would be consecrated to God were being fulfilled. He knew that of all the girls Pauline had been closest to her mother and Zélie had been convinced that she would enter a convent. Now her wishes had come true. The following March Louis set off for Paris with Marie and Léonie to celebrate the Holy Week and Easter ceremonies there. Céline and Thérèse were left in the care of their aunt and uncle and during that time Thérèse became very ill. Louis had Marie send to Our Lady of Victories in Paris to ask for a Novena of Masses to be said for her recovery. It was during that Novena, on Pentecost Sunday, that Our Lady smiled on Thérèse and she was cured.  Léonie soon decided suddenly to enter the Poor Clares however, was not strong enough to follow the austere rule of the Poor Clares. When Thérèse asked her father’s permission to enter Carmel, Louis was not so surprised, even though she was only fourteen.  He went with her to see the Bishop and he took her, together with Céline, on a pilgrimage to Rome where she asked the Holy Father for the necessary permission. Léonie, this time with her father’s full permission, had gone to try her vocation at the Visitation Convent in Caen, but even though the Visitation was much less austere than the Poor Clares Leonie could not enter. By this time Louis’ health had deteriorated. Through most of his life he had been well and strong but one day when he was fishing near Alencon he was stung behind his ear by a poisonous fly. At first there was only a small black spot which did not trouble him very much, but over the years the infection spread. The year before Thérèse entered Carmel he experienced a paralytic stroke which affected his left side. The date for Thérèse’s Clothing in the Carmelite Habit was delayed because of Louis’ illness but it was finally fixed for 10th January 1889.  He led Thérèse to her clothing.  On February 12, 1889 Louis was admitted to the Bon Sauveur, hospital at Caen. In the hospital he had a considerable amount of freedom and he received loving care from the sisters. He spent much of his time in the Chapel and was able to receive Holy Communion daily when he was well enough. By this time Louis had suffered further strokes which had paralysed his legs. His daughter Pauline had been elected Prioress of Carmel. Léonie then entered the Visitation Convent at Caen again in June 1893. Céline alone remained with her father until his death, but she was greatly supported by the Guérin family. In 1888 they had inherited, together with the Maudelonde family, La Musse. On August 18 they returned to Lisieux. Throughout the following winter, Louis’ health remained stable. In May Céline went to Caen but while she was there on May 27 Louis suffered a serious stroke. Louis received the Last Sacraments. He seemed to be recovering again until June 5 when he had a serious heart attack while Céline was at the 7 a.m. Mass in the Cathedral.  He suffered another, more prolonged heart attack on July 28 and again he received the Last Sacraments.   Céline remained alone with her father praying the invocations to Jesus, Mary and Joseph for a happy death.  Isidore Guérin Isidore pressed the crucifix to Louis’ lips several times. By this time his breathing had become very weak, and at a quarter past eight on Sunday 29th July 1894 he died.  Louis’ body was taken back to Lisieux where he was buried on August 2 after a Requiem Mass in the Cathedral. Céline had written to her sisters in Carmel ‘Papa is in Heaven’. Prayer for the Beatification of Louis and Zélie Martin and to obtain favours through their intercession: God Our Father, we praise You for Louis and Zélie Martin, a truly faithful husband and wife, who lived their Christian life in an exemplary way through their duties in life and practice of Gospel teaching. In bringing up a large family, in spite of trials, bereavements and suffering, they showed immense trust in You and obedience to Your will. Lord deign to manifest Your will in their regard and grant me the favours I implore while praying that the father and mother of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus be presented as models of family life today. Amen. The Causes of Louis and Zélie Martin were drawn up between 1957 and 1960 in two separate processes whose findings were sent to Rome. These two Causes will now be examined according to the method of the historical process and form one single Cause so that this husband and wife may be Beatified together, should the Church so decide. The faithful are, therefore, invited to invoke Mr. & Mrs. Martin together for favours and miracles confided to their intercession. 
(Image Painted by Belita William - Shared from Google Images)


Edited from(much longer and beautiful biography)  by J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm http://web.archive.org/web/20120315073852/http://www.sttherese.com/Parents.html