Join us on this seventh day of The Novena to Our Lady of Good
Join us on this seventh day of The Novena to Our Lady of Good Help, Queen of Families, in praying for the Virtue of Charity.
Virtue of Charity
Before meeting, Louis and Zelie Martin had decided to consecrate themselves to the Lord by entering religious life. But God had not created them for these vocations. Both discerned that religious life was not God’s will. Zelie mastered the delicate handiwork of lacemaking and Louis became a watchmaker. While perfecting their trade and living their Catholic Faith, they met and fell in love.
At the beginning of their marriage, Louis and Zelie were dedicated to a life of celibacy, viewing each other first as brother and sister in Christ and second as husband and wife. Following the advice of their confessor, the door of marital love was opened, their marriage was consummated, and they were blessed with nine children. Their life centered on daily Mass, the rosary, devotion to the Brown Scapular and care for those in need.
Their path to holiness was not without pain. Louis and Zelie suffered greatly at the loss of four of their children. Zelie died of cancer when their youngest child was just four years old. The Martin family did not lose hope, but learned to place even greater trust in God. Left a widower, Louis persevered faithfully and selflessly in the raising of his children. He suffered through severe sickness and deterioration of both mind and body, depending on his daughters’ care and drawing strength from the Lord.
Louis and Zelie had instructed their children in the faith and their sacrifices bore great fruit. All five of their surviving daughters – including the youngest, Thérèse, the “Little Flower” – ultimately entered religious life.
Our Struggles Today
We find ourselves in relationships that are void of true love and justice. We value people based on how useful they are to us, selfishly manipulating them to get what we want. We are unable to find the human connection we long for because we seek fulfillment in artificial relationships, rather than offering to others a generous, self-giving love. We turn human beings into objects for our own self-gratification, often through technology or pornography.
Saints Louis and Zelie, you regarded each other as brother and sister in Christ, and were aware of God’s deep love for each soul placed in your care. When faced with suffering, your selfless concern for the other was the ultimate strength of your marriage and family. Your sincere devotion to the Lord and to each other helped you guide your children on the path that God had chosen for them. Louis and Zelie, obtain for us from God the virtue of charity so we may generously give of ourselves to our families for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Prayer of the Family: The Threshold of Faith
God, our loving Father and Creator, You invite families to participate in Your unique plan for salvation by entrusting to us the lives of our children, inscribing Your Divine image in their souls. This image or “icon” illuminates our families with Your face, transfiguring our homes into domestic churches. You stand at our thresholds knocking, waiting for us to throw open our doors and invite You to enter more fully into our family life. Let us not ignore Your repeated knocking, but welcome You, embracing the graces You wish to give. May these graces enable us to pass on the gift of our Catholic Faith to our children, giving them what they need for salvation and growth in holiness. It is from the threshold of our domestic church that our families will bring glory to You and hope to the world.
Our Lady of Good Help, Queen of Heaven, implore your Son to strengthen the virtue of charity in our families in order to teach our children what they should know for salvation.