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Pope Francis canonises Louis and Zélie Martin

First canonisation of a married couple takes place in St Peter’s Square on Sunday

Pope Francis has conducted the canonisation of Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St Therese of Lisieux.

The canonisation, the first of a married couple, took place in St Peter’s Square yesterday.

The Martins, who lived in Normandy in the late 19th century, had nine children, four of whom died in infancy. Azélie-Marie Guerin, as Mrs Martin was born, had wished to become a nun, but was turned down because of respiratory problems; she then prayed that God would give her children and that they would be consecrated.

The remaining five children, all girls, became nuns. The youngest, St Therese, died of tuberculosis in 1897, aged just 24, and was canonised in 1925.

In his homily, Pope Francis said: “The holy spouses Louis Martin and Marie-Zelie Guerin practised Christian service in the family, creating day by day an environment of faith and love which nurtured the vocations of their daughters, among whom was Saint Therese of the Child Jesus.”

The Pope also canonised Italian priest Blessed Vincenzo Grossi and Spanish nun Blessed Mary of the Immaculate Conception.




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