Saints are not just priests and nuns. They are laypeople too. And for the first time in the history of the Roman Catholic Church, a married couple will be canonized as saints together on October 18. We hope all those apps which include Saint of the Day and liturgical calendars will be updated to include Louis and Marie Zélie Guerin Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. The announcement, made at the Vatican on March 3, noted the intent of Pope Francis to canonize them during the world Synod of Bishops on the family October 18.
When in Lisieux, France during the year that this couple was beatified, I was blessed to be able to pray at the reliquary containing the remains of these two famous parents. One of the printed materials in the Lisieux basilica instructed: They are not saints because their daughter was St. Therese; she is a saint because of them. It’s an important point to remember because they earned this distinction by their exemplary lives, the fruit of which included St. Therese and her sister, Leonia, whose cause is also in the canonization process.
The Martins are the first couple in the history of the Church to be brought through the canonization process as a couple. According to a scholar of the Martin family, although their causes were first brought separately in 1957, Pope Paul VI united them into a single cause in 1971 in recognition that they became holy as a couple. To learn more about the Martins, listen to an interesting interview of this scholar at RadioMaria.
For more on the couple who traveled the road to holiness TOGETHER, enjoy this video.