“an extraordinary witness of conjugal and family spirituality.”
Angelo Cardinal Amato
Today is the Feast Day of Louis and Zellie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux. The Martin parents were not canonized for being the parents of a saint, but for being saints themselves. Having cleared this hurdle, we then need to expose and reduce to rubble the bold-faced lie that Louis and Zellie married to merely beget children for the Church. Manichean "Catholics" continue to promote this thesis, yet it is untenable after examining the facts and using a little common sense.
Libertine Catholics, many espousing a false, truncated and down-right distorted view of St. Pope John Paul II's so-called theology of the Body (as, exemplified in the confused and gravely erroneous ideas of e.g. Christopher West. Sadly, this man is not an isolated example, but reflects the general tenor of TOB advocates) promote a perspective of Holy Matrimony which is the opposite evil of the Manichean.
With regards to the Martins, the Libertine "Catholics" presently are silent, but the Manicheans have plenty to say, and plenty of grave errors and distortions.
If, as our Manicheans argue, our two saints married to beget as many children as possible, and that the marital bed is merely an incubator for the exchange of biological matter, our saints rather than being canonized, would rightly be excoriated as living Holy Matrimony sacrilegiously.
The letters of Zellie Martin (truncated in English translation) do not reflect a Manichean. To the contrary. It was not Zellie's idea to live celibately. It was Louis who needed to correct his view of Holy Matrimony; and he did, under her influence and their priest. Louis would come to realize that Holy Matrimony without sexual Union between husband and wife is a chimera, a facade. The issue of the relationship between Our Lady and St. Joseph is a separate matter, given that she was espoused to the Holy Spirit, who had come upon her in a form of Union.
In conclusion, Louis' devastation following Zellie's death reflect his profound love for his wife. This was a love for the ages; not that of a Manichean.
This post is dedicated to "Always Catholic" whose birthday
Providentially falls on this Feast Day. She prayed a two year Novena
to St. Therese of Lisieux for the canonization of her parents.