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The Sheffield Lay Carmel Community received with great joy the announcement of two new Carmelite saints.  The parents of St Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Zelie and Blessed Louis Martin, beatified by Pope Benedict in 2008, are to be canonised in October, 2015 to coincide with the Synod of the Family.

They are presented as models of holiness in family life.  They simply lived ordinary lives extraordinarily well.

Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin

Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin

Blessed Zelie and Blessed Louis are not being canonised because they are the parents of St Therese.  Rather St Therese’s spirituality was formed by her sainted parents who lived lives of perseverance, faith and fortitude in the graces offered by Holy Mother Church throughout the circumstances of their life span.  Which means namely, they were born, worked at their own trade, met, fell in love, married and had children.

It was in this family that fostered so many vocations where Blessed Zelie and Blessed Louis lived a full life, had a business, experienced joys and tragedies, including loss of children, of a wife to cancer and the suffering of a mental illness.  They lived a life deeply grounded in prayer, faith and a great love of the Church.

The Sheffield Carmelite Community are inspired and encouraged as we see in this devout family a model for our own families and the living of our lay Carmelite vocation as secular Carmelites, whose charism is prayer, community and service.

Blessed Zelie and Blessed Louis Martin, who are the first married couple to be canonised together, are worthy models of holiness in family life.  We pray that our families may be places of love and charity.  And that this love may show itself in devotion and service of the poor and helpless and to the glory of God and the sanctification of all his people.

If you would like to discover more about the faithful following of Jesus in the Carmelite tradition, the Sheffield Carmelite Chapter meets at 12.30pm on the second Saturday of each month at the Mother of God Chapel, Abbeydale Road, Sheffield, S7 1DX, or visit www.carmelite.org.

Forthcoming events include:

9 May                        Talk by Fr Joseph Okeke from St Marie’s Cathedral

13 June                     Talk by Fr Michael Edem from St Marie’s Cathedral

12 September         Day of Recollection at Kirk Edge Convent