• Louis and Zélie

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Louis and Zélie

The Holy Parents of Saint Thérèse

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Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, were the first married couple ever canonized together by the Catholic Church. This inspiring story begins in their childhoods and follows them through their joys as well as their sorrows.

Louis, the son of a French army officer, had desired to be a priest. Instead he became a watchmaker, happy to remain single in service of God and neighbor. Zélie had thought about becoming a religious sister, but she became an expert lace maker and started her own company, doubtful she would ever marry. Then one day they passed each other on a bridge . . .

The Martins married and welcomed nine children, five of whom lived to adulthood and became religious sisters. Their household was full of love, which extended, sometimes heroically, to many others outside their family, including the needy and the enemy soldiers quartered in their home during the Franco-Prussian War. 

The secret to their unfailing love was their boundless faith in God. All the challenges the Martins faced, great and small, were met with a profound trust in Divine Providence.

GinaMarie Tennant

GinaMarie Tennant is a church organist, a music teacher, and an artist. In preparation for this book, she read hundreds of Zélie's and Louis' letters. She also assembled a clock and learned the art of making Alençon lace. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

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by Celeste
on 4/7/2021
from SILVER SPRING
Good read for older kids and adults, and all fans of St. Therese of Lisieux!
Gina Marie Tennant brings Louis and Zelie’s story to life for young people.  Relying heavily on the many letters of Zélie, Louis, and other family members, she has crafted a delightful narrative that begins with the childhoods of both Louis and Zélie, their meeting and subsequent marriage, and the story of their nine children, five of whom survived and became brides of Christ.  It is a beautiful, touching story of family life lived with Christ as the center.  We get a glimpse of middle class Catholic family life in late 19th century France, and see how the Martins were always ready to help those in need.  
Once I got started, it was hard to put this book down. If you are a fan of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, you will love learning more about her family!   I think this is a story that readers around age 11 and up (including adults!) will enjoy. 
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