Here is a post from the book "Our Lady of the Smile" as promised. It is a little glimpse into the devotional heart of her parents and the Catholic home they had dedicated to Our Lady.
Both St. Therese’s parents had a deep and tender devotion to the Mother of God. Her grandfather, Captain Martin, who had fought in the Napoleonic wars, concluded all his letters to his friends by a phrase altogether unexpected in a military officer: “Yours truly in Jesus and Mary”. He was a devout Catholic above all else.
Her own father, Louis Martin, never referred to Our Lord in conversation without adding and His Blessed Mother – “Thanks be to God and His Blessed Mother”. He had dreamed in his youth of becoming a priest, of “serving Our Lady” in the distant Swiss hermitage of the Great St. Bernard. Having failed in this he went to Paris as an apprentice watchmaker, and avoided the dangers of a corrupt city by frequent visits to the Church of Our Lady of Victories. He was much attached to the shrine all his life.
When Louis was married in July 1858 to Zelie Guerin, he found that she too had a particular devotion to Mary, Mother of God. She was a very devout young woman, and had desired at one time to become a Sister of Charity, but she was told that it was not her vocation. From the very first, the home was established in a Marian atmosphere, and the statue brought from Louis Martin’s property became the center of the spiritual life of their home. (Our Lady of the Smile)
They began their married life with the mutual agreement that they were to live like St. Joseph and Mother Mary in perfect chastity as brother and sister in order to imitate their married life. After several months of that ideal and saintly married life, they were counselled by a confessor rather to offer to God with their own hearts many new hearts who would be their children, and better still, saintly children of God.
The happy couple gave their first baby girl the name of Marie and they decided to give Marie also as a secondary name to all their other children including the boys (which died in infancy). There were nine children total – all with Marie as their first name. Three boys had died in infancy and one girl died at age 5. The remaining five girls all entered the convent and lived as saints. St. Therese’s full name was – Marie Francoise Therese.
Mother Mary - pray for us.
St. Therese - pray for us.
St. Zelie and St. Louis - pray for us
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!