Saints Louis & Zélie Martin: Suffering in Love & Faithfulness

“The world’s thy ship, and not thy home.” I remember reading that phrase for the first time in St. Therese’s Story of a Soul. In her early twenties, at the time of writing this, she would be considered wise beyond her years. Her wisdom came at no small cost, though – it was bought through the school of suffering.  Suffering can, of course, lead to bitterness or anger or a myriad of unhealthy coping mechanisms. What model did Therese have that allowed her to see in suffering the invitation to something more?? Her parents, Louis and Zelie Martin, pointed the way. The Suffering of the Martin Family The parents of St. Therese were no strangers to suffering, and neither were their daughters. By some accounts, it appears that St. Zelie may have had an emotionally abusive mother, and likely knew suffering from a young age. Both Louis and Zelie were turned away from the religious life they felt so drawn to. They lost almost as many children as survived, and then St. Zelie died of breast cancer at a young age. Servant of God Leonie and St. Therese both suffered from significant mental illness at various points. Although they had financial stability and all would appear well from the outside – the Martins suffered terribly over the years. 

Saints Louis & Zélie Martin: Suffering in Love & Faithfulness

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