Saint Therese of the Child Jesus
of the Holy Face
The first photo of the reliquary of St. Therese of Lisieux and her parents, Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin, after it was installed at the Carmelite Monastery in Philadelphia
The new "family reliquary," containing relics of St. Therese of Lisieux and of her parents, Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, in its permanent home at the Carmelite Monastery in Philadelphia. The reliquary has been placed in the shrine of St. Therese in the chapel, in the exact place where the "traveling reliquary" of St. Therese was venerated by an estimated ten thousand people in 1999. Fittingly, this is also the place where, until 1997, crowds prayed before the portrait of St. Therese painted by her sister, Celine, and given to the Philadelphia Carmel in 1907 by Miss Pauline Wilcox. In the background is the statue of St. Therese as a Doctor of the Church. November 16, 2013.
Sunday, December 1, 2013 at the Carmelite Monastery in Philadelphia: pray in the presence of the reliquary of St. Therese and of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin. Conference and Benediction.
Please begin your Advent by spending some time at the Carmelite Monastery in Philadelphia on the first Sunday of Advent. I will give a conference about Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin at 1:00 p.m. Pray in the presence of the reliquary of the Martin family; do some Christmas shopping in the monastery's newly replenished bookstore; and participate in Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament at 3:30 p.m. See the details below, and get directions to the monastery.
The Shrine at Alençon (the Shrine of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin and St. Therese) announces its new Web site in English
I am delighted to announce that on November 21, 2013 the Shrine at Alençon launched its new Web site in English at http://www.louiszeliemartin-alencon.com/eng/ Find out how you can go on pilgrimage to Alençon, where Louis and Zélie spent their whole married life and where Thérèse was born and lived till she was four and a half. Learn more about the lives, message, and prayer of the Martin family and about their cause for canonization. Above, hear Mgr Jacques Habert, bishop of Seez, the diocese in which Alençon is located, welcome visitors to the English Web site. He speaks first in French and then in English. I congratulate the Shrine about this new initiative. Please spread the word.
See a seven-minute interview with Fleur Nabert, sculptor of the reliquary of the Martin family, at the Magnificat Day of Faith, November 9, 2013
At the Magnificat Day of Faith, November 9, 2013, in Philadelphia, Doug Keck and Johnette Benkovic interview Fleur Habert, the sculptor who created the reliquary of St. Therese of Lisieux and of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin. View the interview beginning at 1:57:64 and ending at 2:05:40. Fleur tells how the reliquary came about and explains its symbolism.
Text of Msgr Lagoutte's presentation of the reliquary of St. Therese of Lisieux and Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin to the United States
With his generous gift of the relics of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin (and the gracious gift of the Carmelites of Lisieux of the relics of their daughter St. Therese), Mgr. Bernard Lagoutte, former rector of the Shrine at Lisieux, presented the above scroll to mark the occasion of the arrival of the reliquary in Philadelphia. I reproduce the text in typewriting below.
Msgr. Lagoutte visited the Carmelite Monastery in Philadelphia on Sunday, November 10, the day after Magnificat Day, and offered Mass for the nuns and their guests together with the new rector, Father Olivier Ruffray. He had the joy of seeing the shrine where the reliquary will be venerated and of speaking to the Carmelites about continuing their mission of communicating the spirituality of St. Therese and of the Martin family. The nuns welcomed both rectors with great happiness.
The reliquary was transferred to the Carmelite Monastery this afternoon, where a beautiful evening Mass celebrated this great joy. Children, lay persons, religious sisters, deacons, and priests joined the Carmelites in thanking God. Visitors drove from as far away as Maryland and Virginia to venerate the relics, and the chapel was adorned with two hundred roses sent by a friend of the community. We rejoiced especially in the presence of a delegation of schoolchildren and young people from Regina Coeli Academy in Abington. The reliquary now rests in the shrine of St. Therese in the chapel, not many yards from the tombs of the four foundresses of Carmel in Philadelphia who did so much to make Sister Therese known early in this century. Public veneration resumes at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow and continues until 8:00 p.m., interrupted only for Benediction at 3:00 p.m. and a conference by Fr. Frederick Miller at 3:30 p.m. We welcome everyone to come, share our happiness and pray for your intentions.
In September 1896, one year before being called back to God, Thérèse had an intuition of the celestial mission that Jesus was going to entrust to her until the end of time: “I wish to travel the world proclaiming your name throughout the earth!” she cried to Jesus. The reality of this mission would be verified almost immediately after her death by the incredible universality of her spiritual experience and the innumerable graces obtained through her intercession.
Today the Little Flower, Thérèse, proclaimed Doctor of the Church and Patron of Missions, still travels the world proclaiming the Flame of Jesus! She does this notably through the tangible sign of her relics. And when joined by those of her cherished parents, Blessed Louis and Zélie Martin, this sign is all the more meaningful for the men and women of our time who are engaged in the vocation of marriage. In inviting veneration of these relics brought together for the first time in a unique ‘family’ reliquary, I hope that all of America—spouses, parents, and children—will give thanks to God for their love lived in the humility of everyday life and will pray that their family life may be a road to sanctity. Yes, that all may confide their family joys, anxieties, and distresses to the Lord, through the intercession of Thérèse, Louis, and Zélie! I also hope that on the occasion of the veneration of these relics, my brother priests may revitalize their zeal for pastoral initiatives for families. I wanted to entrust these precious relics to the Magnificat Foundation because, in their work of evangelization through the good, the true, and the beautiful, I am certain that they will know how to share and make known the spirituality of the Martin family in the U.S. Happy and moved to see this reliquary arrive here in Philadelphia on this magnificent continent where the faith burns with ardor. I give it my benediction.
Msgr. Bernard Lagoutte
Rector of the Sanctuary of Lisieux