Commemorating the Canonization of the Parents of Saint Thérèse, Saints Louis and Zélie Martin

by | Oct 18, 2015 | Canonization, St. Therese, Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin | 15 comments

Today, October 18, 2015, Louis and Zélie Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse, will be canonized saints!

Born into a military family in Bordeaux, Louis trained to become a watchmaker. His desire to join a religious community went unfulfilled because he didn’t know Latin. Moving to Normandy, he met the highly-skilled lacemaker, Zélie, who also had been disappointed in her attempts to enter religious life. They married in 1858, and over the years were blessed with nine children, though two sons and two daughters died in infancy.

Louis managed the lacemaking business that Zélie continued at home while raising their children. She died from breast cancer in 1877.

Louis then moved the family to Lisieux to be near his brother and sister-in-law, who helped with the education of his five surviving girls. His health began to fail after his 15-year-old daughter entered the Monastery of Mount Carmel at Lisieux in 1888. Louis died in 1894, a few months after being committed to a sanitarium.

The home that Louis and Zélie created nurtured the sanctity of all their children, but especially their youngest, who is known to us as St. Thérese of the Child Jesus. Louis and Zélie were beatified in 2008. (source)

I didn’t have a chance to plan anything ahead of time, or even put much thought at all into how I wanted to try and celebrate the canonization, other than ordering a candy mold and some candy watches which I’m planning to use for our upcoming annual All Saints’ Party… So, this yesterday afternoon, I pulled out some of my favorite books, a few of the girls’ dolls, a picture of Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin (a gift I received a few years ago from one of my cousins who lives over in Italy), some leftover lace doilies, and a box of French Vanilla cake mix hoping to come up with some treats in honor of these new saints who were once a watchmaker and lace maker…  I was so pleased with how it all came together!

Didn’t the Watchmaker Cake, Lace Cupcakes, and Cameo and Lace Candy turn out pretty?!? I shared the all the details over at Catholic Cuisine. My family will enjoy them either while watching the canonization live, if we can stay awake that long, or after watching some of the recording in the morning once we arrive home from Mass.

Here are some ways we will be celebrating this special day, plus some additional links as well:

.: Beautiful Dolls :. 
Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin and their daughter, Saint Thérèse
Hand Painted Wooden Saint Dolls custom ordered from Catholic Folk Toys
.: Inspiring Books :. 
.: Fun and Delicious Recipes :. 
The following recipes can be found over at Catholic Cuisine:

  1. Blessed Zélie Martin’s Lace Effect Sugar Cookies
  2. Canonization of Zelie and Louis Martin – Parmesan Lace Bowls
  3. The Lace Cookie – Florentines
  4. French Vanilla Cake and Cupcakes in Honor of the Watchmaker and Lace Maker
  5. Lace Cookie Bowls
  6. Saint Zélie Martin Cameo in Lace Candy made with this Candy Mold
.: Gift Ideas :.

I’ve been browsing the internet looking for some Saints Louis & Zélie Martin gift ideas and decided to include some of the links here to share. I have already placed my order for the darling Tiny Saints (use coupon code ROSES20 to save 20%!):

  1. Blessed Louis & Zélie Martin Art Print from Portraits of the Saints
  2. Louis and Zélie Martin Saint Dolls or Martin Family Dolls from Baby Steps to Jesus
  3. St. Zelie Martin Child Loss Sympathy Print – 5×7 from Hatch Prints
  4. Zelie Martin Canonization Memorial Pendant Necklace from Art Angel Gallery
  5. Sts. Louis and Zélie Martin from Tiny Saints
  6. Sts. Louis & Zelie Martin with St. Therese of Lisieux & Siblings Wood Plaque
.: Watch the Canonization :.

The Live Streaming and Archived Videos can be found on the Vatican YouTube Channel (English):

We (the older kids and I) are hoping to be able to stay awake and watch the canonizations live using the EWTN app and AirPlay. (You can view the EWTN schedule here.) We’ll see… It’s going to be in the middle of the night for us out here on the West Coast – 1:30-3:30 am!

Saints Louis & Zélie Martin, ora pro nobis! 
Saint Thérèse, the Little Flower, ora pro nobis!


  1. Kim Loney

    Such a BEAUTIFUL post!! LOVE the clock cake/cupcakes!! One of the gift ideas you have listed, the Zelie and Louis Martin dolls made by Baby Steps to Jesus, are made by my special friend! We are having your Rose Punch! Happy feast day to you and your lovely family!

    2015-10-18 11:56:51

  2. Cathy

    I did so enjoy this post. I take a great deal of pride in the fact that my parents chose to name me after both Saint Catherine of Siene and Saint Therese of the Child Jesus. I am privileged to have two wonderful saints as patrons! Thank you!

    2015-10-18 14:30:17

  3. Debbie

    Jessica you are a true Marvel! With such little time you created a most beautiful and meaningful celebration for your family today. How wonderful that your dear children are blessed with such a thoughtful mother. This is a most lovely tribute to the newest of our special Catholic Saints. Thank you so much for sharing…May God continue to bless you with creativity and talent to make special for your children all of the days of our wonderful Catholic life!

    2015-10-18 19:45:04

  4. Tracy Bua Smith

    Hi Jessica,
    This is so beautiful! I'm amazed you can just "throw together" such a beautiful celebration of an exciting and memorable day in our lifetime and in our Church! I'm learning so much about these new Saints and I can't wait to learn more! I love your clock cake and lace holders!

  5. Judith

    Hi Jessica, I am not a Catholic (or a Christian at all) and don't know anything about St Therese or her family. However, I do find myself interested in reading about her life. I think she would be someone I would relate to. I see that she she wrote and I would like to read her writings, but first I would like to read a good modern book that would help me to a better initial understanding of her. Is there a book you would recommend?

    2015-10-19 18:58:51

  6. Jessica Gordon

    Hi Judith! My absolute favorite is Archbishop Fulton Sheen's St. Thérèse: A Treasured Love Story. It is a compilation of sermons preached by Bishop Sheen, on the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of the birth of St. Thérèse, representing a life long study of her spirituality. I purchased the Hardcover edition which is currently OOP, but it is now available in paperback as well.

    On the back cover of my copy of the book it shares a quote from the introduction by Fr. J. Linus Ryan, O. Carm: "I find in taking up this book that it makes for compelling reading – a reluctance to put it down. Not only does it reveal the essential Thérèse, it also reveals the essential Fulton Sheen. This is a book that will be a rich resource for anyone's spiritual reading or meditation and, extraordinarily, it is as relevant to today's spiritual life as it was when first delivered 33 years ago."

    2015-10-19 20:33:16

  7. Anne

    Beautiful! Isn't their canonization such a beautiful reminder that the greatest gift we give to our children is the love between the spouses?! The relationship of the spouses can so easily begin to take second place in our time when the world judges our worth so much by what others see. Truly our marriage is our key to heaven and to the sanctity of our children. May these beautiful saints watch over us and grant us that most treasured pearl of a marriage rich in the fulfillment of all God created it to be. From that beautiful union will spring forth many holy religious vocations and saintly children, just as the Martin family gave to our beloved Church. God bless you, Jessica!

    2015-10-19 19:46:49

  8. Judith

    Thank you so much Jessica. I have ordered the book and am sure I will enjoy reading it.

    2015-10-20 06:04:53

  9. Claire

    Lovely! I missed this celebration this year. Do you know when their yearly feast day will be celebrated? I think it's 12 July but not sure. That way I can use your ideas to celebrate then…

    2015-10-20 08:58:48

  10. Marie

    I agree with Jessica, this is one of my all-time favorite books! Great recommendation Jessica! 🙂

    2015-10-21 01:30:52

  11. Marie

    Cathy – I love your comment and I hope my daughter feels the same way when she grows up. 🙂 She is Katharine Therese. Named after St. Katharine Drexel whose own patron Saint was St. Catherine of Sienna.

    2015-10-21 01:30:52

  12. Julie

    Hi Jessica, Sorry if you've already said this before (I can't find it), but could you tell me where you got your white rose candle holders from? They are so beautiful!

    2015-10-21 14:54:20

  13. Jessica Gordon

    Hi Claire! Yes, I believe that it will remain on July 12th.

    2015-10-21 18:45:46

  14. Jessica Gordon

    Thank you, Julie! I am trying to remember where I purchased that rose tea-light candle holder… I'm pretty sure I bought it at Michaels last year (or maybe earlier this year?) but I'm not positive. If I remember correctly it was also available in a light pink and I was torn on which color to buy. I wish I would have purchased more than one!

    2015-10-21 19:17:53

  15. Amy Caroline

    What an awesome celebration!

    2015-10-24 20:34:52


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