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Saint of the Day: St. Martin
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Pope Approves Miracle Attributed to Intercession of Saint Thérèse’s Parents


louis & zelie martin

Diane Montagna - published on 03/19/15

Canonization expected to take place at October Synod on the Family

The parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Louis and Zelie Martin, will be canonized after Pope Francis today approved a miracle attributed to their intercession. They will be the first married couple in the Church’s history to be canonized together.

The miracle involves a little girl in the Archdiocese of Valencia, Spain, according to promoters of cause of canonization. Born prematurely and with multiple life-threatening complications, the little girl, named Carmen, suffered a major brain hemorrhage, which could have caused irreversible damage. Her parents prayed to the Martins for their daughter. The little girl survived and is now healthy.

During an audience this morning with Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Holy Father issued a decree confirming the miracle, the Vatican said in a statement.

Pope Francis is now expected to consult with cardinals at a consistory in June on possibly holding the canonization ceremony during the Ordinary Synod on the Family, to take place Oct. 4-25.

Last month, Cardinal Amato revealed the canonization would take place this year, in the same month as the synod. “Thanks to God in October two spouses will be canonized: the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux,” he said.

Blesseds Louis Martin and Marie Zelie Guérin Martin were married in 1858 and of their nine children, five entered religious life while the remaining four all died in infancy. Zelie Martin died of cancer in 1877 aged 45; Louis lived until he was 70 and died in 1894. The couple were beatified in 2008 at a basilica dedicated to their daughter in Lisieux.

Their beatification – believed to be the first of parents of a saint – exemplified the important role parents play in their children’s human and spiritual upbringing.

Pope Francis venerated the relics of St Thérèse, her parents and another couple, Blessed Luigi and Maria Beltrame Quattrocchi, before last year’s extraordinary Synod on the Family. St. Thérèse is the patron of a worldwide adoration novena for the synod which began in February, takes place on the first Thursday of every month, and will end on October 1, the feast of St. Thérèse.

The Pope also today promulgated decrees of heroic virtue for seven individuals including three laypeople, raising them to the title of “Venerable”.  

The full list is as follows:

– Servant of God Francesco Gattola, diocesan priest and founder of the Daughters of the Most Holy Immaculate Virgin of Lourdes, born September 19, 1822 in Naples, Italy, died there January 20, 1899;

– Servant of God Petar Barbaric, Jesuit novice, born May 19, 1874 in Klobuk, Bosnia and Herzegovina, died April 15, 1897 Travnik, Bosnia and Herzegovina;

– Servant of God Mary Aikenhead, founder of the Religious Sisters of Charity of Ireland, born January 19, 1787 in Cork, Ireland, died July 22, 1858 in Dublin, Ireland; 

– Servant of God Elisa Baldo Foresti, widow, founder of the Holy Home of St. Joseph in Gavardo, and cofounder of the Humble Servants of the Lord, born October 29, 1862 in Gavardo, Italy, died July 5, in Brescia, Italy;

– Servant of God Vincenta of the Passion of the Lord (nee Jadwiga Jaroszewska), founder of the Benedictine Samaritan Sisters of the Cross of Christ, born March 7, 1900 in Piotrkow Trybunalski, Poland, died November 10 in Warsaw, Poland).

– Servant of God Juana of the Cross (nee Juana Vazquez Gutierrez) professed religious of the Franciscan Nuns of the Third Order Regular and Abbess of the Santa Maria de la Cruz convent in Cubas, born May 3, 1481 in Villa de Azana (today’s Numancia de la Sagra), Spain, died May 3, 1534 in Cubas de la Sagra, Spain;

-Servant of God Maria Orsola Bussone, young layperson of the Focolare Movement, born October 2, 1954 in Vallo Torinese, Italy, died July 10, 1970 in Ca’ Savio, Italy.

Diane Montagna is Rome correspondent for Aleteia’s English edition.

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