"God gave me a father and mother more worthy of heaven than of earth."
-St Therese of Lisieux
The recent, and unprecedented, canonization by Pope Francis of a husband and wife, Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of their very famous daughter, St. Therese of Lisieux, has stirred a great interest in this extraordinary family. This work, by the highly regarded biographical writer and expert on the Martin family, Fr. Piat, is the definitive biography of the amazing "family of saints".
St. Therese, a Doctor of the Church, wrote in her classic spiritual biography, Story of a Soul, how important her family life was in setting the foundation for her spiritual life. She grew up in a close family where the deep love of parents and children for God, neighbor and each other was the very heart of the home and family life.
This is the story of a modern family of saints, who lived in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a family that seems on the outside to have had a relatively serene life and a smooth path to sainthood. But, as this book shows, the reality is quite the opposite. They suffered the deaths of four children, almost lost a fifth in Therese, had financial challenges, and lost the mother, Zelie, at only 45yrs. old to breast cancer.
The secret to their happiness and success was that deep family love, and boundless faith in God. The Martin parents lavished the love they had for each other on to their children. All the challenges they faced, great and small, were endured with this strong love, and a profound trust in Divine Providence.
This powerful story of a husband, wife and five daughters who overcame many troubles in life is a shining example for all families today in attaining true happiness by putting the love of God and each other at the center of family life.
Illustrated with many wonderful family photos.
"For the first time in two millennia, an entry in the liturgical books will now read, "Saints Louis and Zélie Martin, Spouses". A married couple, a man and a woman, a dad and a mom, who were the parents of a saint, the Little Flower, and in whose married life mutual sanctification took place by cooperation with God's grace. . . Summoning us to lives of heroic virtue, asking us to be the saints we – like Saints Louis and Zélie Martin – were baptized to be."
— George Weigel, From the Afterword
Fr. Stephane-Joseph Piat, O.F.,M., was a French priest and author of the early twentieth century. In addition to A Family of Saints, he wrote other spiritual and biographic works, including Celine, the biography of the sister of St. Therese.