From a press release issued today:
The Marriage Reality Movement announced Sunday, World Marriage Day, that it has named Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the patron saints of the Movement. “Saints Louis and Zélie Martin are the perfect patron saints for the Marriage Reality Movement,” said Executive Director Richard Caron. “They offer an exemplary model of marriage as God intended it: a vocation to life and love.” Louis and Zélie Martin are the first spouses in the history of the Church to be canonized as a couple and the first parents of a saint to be canonized. Pope Francis declared them saints on October 18, 2015. Living in the 19th century, they experienced many of the same joys and challenges families encounter today. Each owned a small business, and they were faced with finding good child care, achieving professional excellence, operating profitable businesses, caring for aging parents, educating a special-needs child, forming their children in the faith, and finding time to pray and to be active in their parish. Zélie died of breast cancer in 1877, leaving Louis a single father to five minor daughters. Later, Louis was diagnosed with cerebral arteriosclerosis and spent three years in a psychiatric hospital. Through both their joys and struggles, they accepted their own powerlessness, that God might be all-powerful in their lives. In canonizing them as a couple, the Church recognized that their marital relationship was crucial to their holiness. The Marriage Reality Movement will seek the intercession of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin as it works to take back marriage for our children and families. They can inspire spouses to fully embrace the vocation of marriage, making themselves irreplaceable to one another and to their children, as the Martins did. “Marriage isn’t about superficial happiness,” said Bill May, founder and Chief Mission Officer of the Marriage Reality Movement. “It is about the joy of loving and being loved unconditionally. Unlike the perception in our throw away culture, the reality of marriage is about a man and woman choosing to make themselves irreplaceable to each other, not to be discarded if they are no longer pleasing to the other. The Martins are now saints, and one of their daughters, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, became a doctor of the Church. Their marriage changed history, and every marriage and every family can do the same.” The Marriage Reality Movement is establishing the Society of Saints Louis and Zélie Martin for those who support the work of reintroducing marriage as the sole institution that specifically unites children with their mother and father. The Movement also works to protect the right of children to be brought up in a family with their mother and father united in marriage and to discover the truth about love, sexuality, marriage, and family.
Learn more about the Marriage Reality Movement here.