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Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin Novena
Day 2 – Family Life
« Let the children come to Me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. » Mark 10:14
The Martin household knew all the joys and tribulations of normal family life. With their nine children, four of whom died at a young age, Sts. Louis and Zélie had the difficult task of helping each daughter to develop her gifts of nature and grace. They undertook it in a spirit of creativity and Faith which made them always aim higher.
Everything was done in confidence and love, and yet with humor. « I promised the children we would celebrate the feast of St. Catherine Sunday evening, » St. Zélie wrote. « Marie wants donuts, others want cake, and others chestnuts, but as for me, I would like peace. » « Happy family evenings are, at the same time, a chance for more religious instruction. » « They frequently reminded us of eternity, » recounts Marie, their oldest daughter.
Their father was « always available to listen to his daughters, to advise them, and, with a heart filled with God, to receive whatever they said. »
When difficulties arose, such as educating Léonie, they included them in their prayer. « I’m deeply saddened to see Léonie as she is. Sometimes I have hope, but often I lose heart. » « Only God can change her, and I’m convinced that He will, » her mother wrote with hope.
Today, I will pray for my family.
Glory be to
Saints Louis and Zélie,
you who in your life as a couple and as parents
have given witness of an exemplary Christian life,
in putting God in the first place
through the exercise of the duties of your state in life
and the practice of the virtues of the gospel,
we turn to you.
Help us to have unshakable confidence in God
and to surrender ourselves to His Will,
as you did in the joys
but also in the trials, the sorrows, and the sufferings
with which your life was marked.
Help us to love God with all our heart,
to persevere in our daily difficulties,
and to dwell in the joy and hope
that will give us a living faith in Christ.
Intercede for us
so that we may obtain the graces we need
today and all the days of our life. Amen.
Saints Louis and Zélie, pray for us