Press Release

Pilgrim relics of Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin to have a one-day visit at the Veritas Chapel

The pilgrim relics of the parents of St. Therese of the Child Jesus will be enthroned at the Our Lady of Veritas Chapel on Friday, February 10, 2017 as part of their first visit to the Philippines.

The visit of the pilgrim relics of Saint Louis and Zelie Martin, the first couple to be canonized together in the history of the Catholic Church is organized by the Military Ordinariate of the Philippines with the lead of its Bishop, Most Rev. Leopoldo Tumulak, D.D.

Their relics, contained in a pilgrim reliquary that weighs 91 kilos were welcomed through a Mass at the Shrine of Saint Thérese of the Child Jesus in Villamor, Pasay City on January 2, the 144th birth anniversary of their daughter Saint Thérese, who is also known as the Little Flower of Jesus. Starting on January 3, the pilgrim relics were brought to churches in different parts of the country until they are returned to France on February 28.
Louis Martin was born in 1823 in Bordeaux. Louis dreamed of becoming a priest but his difficulty in mastering Latin made him give up pursuing the vocation. Meanwhile, Zelie Guerin who was born in 1831, also hoped to become a religious. She went to the Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul, however, she was refused entry because of poor health. She suffered from severe headaches and respiratory problems in her childhood. She then became a successful lace-maker.

The relationship of Louis and Zélie started when they met on the Sarthe Bridge in Alençon. A few months after, they got married on July 12, 1858 at the town of Alençon, and at midnight at Notre Dame Basilica. They had nine children, but only five survived, including Marie, Pauline, Léonie, Celine and Thérese who all became nuns. Saint Thérese and three of her sisters joined the Carmelite Order, while Léonie, who entered the Monastery of the Visitation at Caen, is also a candidate for sainthood. On August 28, 1877, Zélie died of breast cancer at the age of 45. Louis suffered from stroke later and died after a heart attack on July 29, 1894.

Saint Therese was beatified on April 29, 1923 and canonized on May 17, 1925, by Pope Pius XI, only 28 years after her death. Saint Therese of the Child Jesus is one of the patron saints of the missions and co-patron of France. Her feast day is celebrated on October 1.

The Martin couple was beatified on October 19, 2008, by Cardinal Saraiva Martins, Legate of Pope Benedict XVI. They were canonized by Pope Francis during the Synod of Family on October 18, 2015. The feast day of Saints Louis and Zelie who are being upheld as models of Conjugal and Family Life is on July 12.

For inquiries, please call Ms. Renee Jose or Mr. Rey Isabela at (02) 925-7932 to 39 local 129.

Radio Veritas 846, the number one faith-based Radio in the Philippines, is owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Manila. Established in 1969, the Ramon Magsaysay recipient Catholic radio station continues to be the leading social communications ministry for truth and new evangelization in the country today.