Saint Louis Martin and Saint Zelie Martin were a devout Catholic couple from 19th-century France. The Catholic Church recognizes them as saints and they were the first married couple to be canonized together!
Both Saint Louis and Saint Zelie had a deep love for God and a strong commitment to their faith, which they imparted to their nine children.
They were known for their exemplary Christian virtues and their dedication to their family. Despite facing personal hardships, their unwavering faith and trust in God serve as an inspiration to families and couples worldwide.
Here are nine things to know about Saints Louis and Zelie Martin:
1. Louis was a watchmaker and Zelie was a talented lacemaker.
2. They both discerned religious life before they met. When Zelie first saw Louis, she said she heard Our Lady's voice interiorly, saying, "He is the one I have prepared for you."
3. They married on July 12, 1858. Their wedding anniversary is also their feast day!
4. Zelie birthed nine children, four who died very young. They turned to faith in grief. Zelie said, “...life is short and full of miseries, and we shall find our little ones again up above.”
5. They overcame many crosses on their path to sainthood. Louis struggled with a temper and Zelie endured challenges as a working mother. They prioritized family and faith at home while raising their children.
6. The couple attended daily Mass and faithfully received Holy Communion on First Fridays.
7. Their five living daughters all became religious sisters. Their youngest, Saint Therese of Lisieux, is a Doctor of the Church. Their third child, Léonie Martin, is also a candidate for sainthood.
8. Louis became a widower after Zelie died of cancer. He then dedicated his life to raising his daughters and teaching them the faith through his holy example.
9. The Martins were the first married couple in history to be canonized together on Oct. 18, 2015.
Prayer for Spouses to Louis and Zelie Martin:
Saints Louis and Zelie Martin,
today we ask you to intercede for us.
You are the first canonized married couple,
and we look to you as a holy example
and model for our own marriages.
We ask you to bless all marriages.
Help us to live out our married life with joy and virtue
and for those of us who have children,
please help us to be virtuous parents.
You have modeled for us an exemplary Christian life;
may the example of your unwavering trust in God
and your constant willingness to surrender
all the joys, the trials, the sorrows
and the sufferings that filled your life.
Encourage us to persevere in our daily challenges
and to remain in joy and Christian hope.
Prayer Source: Marriages of Grace