The 281 letters of Zélie and the 16 letters of Louis Martin reproduced in these pages provide us with a treasury of rich insights into the lives and spirituality of these two individuals who were Beatified by the Church on October 19, 2008 at the Basilica of St. Therese in Lisieux, France. We are given here a series of snapshots revealing the tone and texture of the lives of these two saintly, and in many ways, very ordinary people. The incidents described in these pages give us access to the honesty and intimacy of the lives of the parents of St. Therese never meant for the general public. They greatly enrich our understanding of this charismatic couple who radiated holiness and brought to life the greatest saint of the modern age. They underscore the fact that sainthood is a family project of parents and children immersed in the God of love. They call us to a deeper love for God, for each other and for the poor in our midst and invite us to accept whatever the will of God be for us in our lives, however confusing and painful that may be, and to have total trust and confidence in Him. The anguish of losing four of their nine children, the economic reverses that threatened their businesses, Zélie's losing bout with breast cancer and the Alzheimer's disease suffered by Louis are all brought vividly to light in these letters as is the undying love of this model couple for one another. As St. Therese wrote: "God has given me a father and mother more worthy of heaven than of earth." The present volume has been invaluably by Dr. Fran Renda through a large number of expanded footnotes and other introductory material explaining the background, the times and the customs that prevailed in France during the years in which these letters were written. Guy Gaucher, Auxiliary Bishop of Bayeux and Lisieux and the Sisters of Lisieux are responsible for the preface, the notes and the overall presentation of the text which has been flawlessly translated into English by Ann C. Hess.
Author: Blessed Zélie & Louis Martin
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