Was St. Therese's mother herself a saint? The Church now says "Yes!"
Zelie Martin and her husband, Louis, were declared Venerable by the Church in 1994 for their heroic virtue, and the couple's cause is now complete, ending with their cannonization in 2015. Zelie married at 27, bore 9 children, ran a home business and did a superb job of raising 5 daughters, including "the greatest saint of modern times" (St. Pius X). She died of breast cancer at 45, but her greatness was recognized by her family and friends, and is now known to the world.
Zelie suffered many of the ordinary burdens of life, yet she was happy, loved her children madly and enjoyed them immensely. This book was written by her daughter, Celine, who had access to Zelie's letters and to the reminiscences of her older sisters in the Carmel of Lisieux. It is authentic and inspiring, showing what a tremendous life's work and accomplishment it is to be a truly Catholic mother. Looking at Zelie's picture, one can see her incredible character, integrity, goodness, constancy and love.
Celine Martin, also known as Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face, was born in 1869 in France as the seventh daughter of the Martin family. The sister of St. Therese of Lisieux, Celine made known her own call to the religious life just two months after her hand was sought in marriage. Fr. Pichon, her spiritual director, afterwards authorized her desire for a vow of virginity, and she became a Carmelite nun in 1894. She was instrumental in spreading her sister's message by various means, but also found time to write two books of her own: The Mother of the Little Flower and The Father of the Little Flower. Four years after celebrating her Diamond Jubilee, Sister Celine Martin died on February 25, 1959.